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San Francisco Comedians & Writers to Raise Funds for Slain Iraqi Comedian on Monday, January 8, 2007

Bay Area comedians and writers are coming together to raise money for the family of Walid Hassan, who was murdered during a kidnapping attempt in Baghdad on November 20. Hassan was one of the foremost comedians in Iraq and creator of the sketch comedy show “Caricatures” on al-Sharkiya television, which made fun not only of the US Army and Iraqi authorities but also the Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. The benefit at the Make-Out Room at 3225 22nd St. in San Francisco on Monday, January 8 at 7pm will feature a mix of comedians, writers, as well as subtitled video clips of Hassan’s show. Donations requested of $10-20.

Best-selling writers appearing in the two-hour extravaganza will be Daniel Handler of Lemony Snicket, Andrew Sean Greer of Confessions of Max Tivoli, Michelle Tea of Valencia and Rent Girl, and Tom Barbash of On Top of the World.

Comedians performing will be headliner Joe Klocek, Sal Calanni of sketch group Tossing Alice, Ali Mafi of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, podcast comedy phenomenon Mark Day, Samantha Chanse, Tessie Chua, Arthur Gaus, and Kurt Weitzmann. The benefit will be hosted by Nato Green of Iron Comic and Stephen Elliott of LitPAC.

“The worst thing that happens to most comedians around here is getting heckled in Modesto, but Hassan gave his life for socially relevant comedy,” according to comedian Nato Green. “We want to raise awareness about Hassan’s life and work, and to send a message of support to those satirists overseas who work tougher crowds than we ever will.”

Money raised will go to Hassan’s family through a special fund from Reporters Without Borders. According to the international press freedom organization: “Walid Hassan lost his life while trying to cheer up Iraqi TV viewers and give them a different, less tragic, perspective on the chaos surrounding them." More than 140 journalists and media assistants have been killed since the start of the war in 2003.

Laughing Liberally-San Francisco is associated with, but not produced by the Laughing Liberally National Company.

For more information:

Contact: Nato Green (415) 595-3867 for Laughing Liberally-San Francisco
Stephen Elliott at (415) 971-0291 for LitPAC
Lucie Morillon at (202) 256-5613 or for Reporters Without Borders

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