For the 11 years of “Stand Up for Homes with Hope” — the local housing organization’s biggest annual fundraiser — they’ve signed a contract with a “30-day-out” clause for the comedian.
That means if he or she gets a call from “Saturday Night Live,” or a sudden movie contract, the performer can cancel. Hopefully, those 30 days provide enough time to find a replacement.
Every year, that date has come and gone without incident. It’s a good thing: “Stand Up” accounts for nearly 15% of Homes with Hope’s yearly budget. It’s allowed them to house nearly twice as many homeless people as they did before the event began, in 2008.
But this year, CEO Jeff Wieser and his staff were surprised to see that Mike Birbiglia — the 2018 headliner — was opening on Broadway a week before the gala. There was a show the same date and time as he was expected to be at the Quick Center.
Birbiglia’s agent confirmed that — 39 days before showtime — he was exercising his out clause.
The board, “Stand Up” committee, sponsors and friends went into overdrive. They identified possible comedians, then whittled the list to find those who were available, affordable — and appropriate for a family-friendly audience.
They found Nate Bargatze — the first comedian who had been recommended to them, way back in February.
He’s a very funny comedian, working on a TV pilot based on his move to Nashville. He has toured with Chris Rock, had his own Netflix special, and appeared more than a dozen times with Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien.
Ticket sales and promotions were on hold, until Homes with Hope knew who they were promoting. But now they’re in high gear, ready for November 3.
There’s no backing out now.
(For tickets and more information about “Stand Up for Homes with Hope,” click here.)