Comedy Team To Perform ‘Laugh In Peace’ Today
The description of the “Laugh In Peace” comedy show may sound like the beginning of a joke on its own. However, a rabbi, a reverend and a Muslim will perform together at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts tonight.
Featuring comedians Rabbi Bob Alper, the Rev. Susan Sparks and Gibran Saleem, the show will bring what Gary Hahn the National Comedy Center director of marketing and communications, has described as a “unique, fun and meaningful” performance.
From three different backgrounds and faith, Alper hopes that the varied comedy can continue to help people laugh together.
“We say quite explicitly we feel that people who laugh together can’t hate each other,” Alper told The Post-Journal.
The three will perform at 7 p.m inside the Reg Lenna.
Since 2002, Alper has been performing with a Muslim comedian as a way to attract a diverse crowd. For the last 15 years, he has been performing with Sparks. And for three years now, Alper, Sparks and Saleem have been conducting shows with people “who really like each other.”
“The show is secondary,” he said.
The show is still “tag-team comedy,” as Alper described it, with each comedian doing their own set before the three of them join each other on stage at the end of the show.
“We each do our own lives,” he said of each individual’s set. “It’s often very autobiographical.”
Alper’s stand up comedy, which began around 1988, is now about his own life as a 74-year-old man – something he wants to do “forever.”
Alper said his idol is comedian George Burns who was scheduled to perform on his 100th birthday but died at 99 years old.
Why does he want to perform until he dies?
“Comedy is so satisfying,” Alper said.
The “Laugh In Peace” set will look to make people laugh together in order to help them “bond together,” Alper said.
The group has recently performed in places from The World Bank in Washington, D.C. to the Palestinian Fest in Houston, Texas. Alper and Sparks performed in the area two years ago at Chautauqua Institution. Often, if one comedian isn’t available, two of them will perform instead.
As for the creation of the comedy center that offers insight into the comedic world, Alper said he’s “thrilled.”
He said, oftentimes, people view comedy as a “diversion,” but now he said the NCC is giving “comedy its due.”
“The new comedy center will help people understand that enormous value it has,” he said.