×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jamie Masada Continues Delivering Thanksgiving Alms at the Laugh Factory

For the founder of a comedy club, Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada’s stories tend toward the sentimental rather than the hilarious. When he talks about the inspiration for his annual free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, he’s far from a bucket of laughs.

“I heard about an actor-comedian in town in 1979 who wanted to be an actor,” Masada said. “He found out how hard it is, and he didn’t want to go back home for a holiday, and he killed himself. I heard about it, and I said why don’t I have a little dinner for everybody, like a family?”

Now in its 35th year, Masada’s Laugh Factory welcomes anyone and everyone looking for a warm Thanksgiving dinner, served up by some of standup comedy’s most famous faces. Past servers include Tim Allen, Dane Cook and Paul Mooney, among many others. Masada doesn’t ask for their help, but the talent shows up, he says.

Starting at 1 p.m., with seatings at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., Masada and friends will dish out food to anyone who needs a meal, with a free standup show thrown in. Masada expects more than 2,500 visitors, and won’t accept a dime from any of them.

There’s no need to be an aspiring comedian or actor to sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some.

Masada says some of the starving artists to come through the line over the years have gone on to reach the highest points of Hollywood success, though he wouldn’t name names; that’s not the point.
“You give them a little bit of energy, positive energy, so they can do what they want to do,” Masada says. “That’s the most important thing.”

 

More Scene

  • Naomi Scott Talks Rebooting Princess Jasmine

    'Aladdin': Naomi Scott on Why Her Princess Jasmine Needed Nasim Pedrad's New Character

    Call Naomi Scott the queen of the reboot – or at least, the princess. The 26-year-old actress is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin,” but it’s not her first time jumping into a role that’s already been well-established. Audiences may recognize Scott from 2017’s “Power Rangers” update, where [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Why Sacha Baron Cohen Credits Donald Trump for ‘Who Is America?’

    Over the course of history, comedians have shared their take on current events with biting commentary on everything from class and gender to fashion and politics, and the current presidential administration is definitely no exception — with President Donald Trump regularly lampooned on shows like “Saturday Night Live” and by late-night TV hosts. But when [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content