Christian comedy troupe coming to Tampa - WNCN: News, Weather

Christian comedy troupe coming to Tampa

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Gutter humor? Nah. Trash talkin'? Nope. Crass cracks? Not from this group.

"I used to be funny for money," says Pete O'Shea, founder of Humor 2 Outreach, a newly formed Christian comedy troupe. "Now I'm laughing for the Lord."

Since launching its "Summer of Love" tour late last month, the six comedians are racking up bookings for their sanitized two-hour show at churches and other venues throughout the Tampa Bay area. They even have a June 7 booking at the Tampa Convention Center.

"Funny is funny," says Juanita Lolita (yes, that's her real name) Williams, the only female in the group. With a hillbilly daddy from West Virginia and a Puerto Rican mother, she refers to herself as the group's "hillbilrican."

"A joke doesn't have to be filthy to make people laugh. If it's good, keeping it clean gets the same reaction."

But it's not all for fame and glory. H2O has a higher purpose.

The comics donate a portion of its ticket sales to the ministry or outreach of the host's choosing. So for a $10 ticket, patrons know that at least half of the proceeds will be directed to a charitable cause.

O'Shea, senior youth minister at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Largo and host of a daily live show on WTIS (1110-AM) in St. Petersburg, says the concept for H2O was "divinely inspired."

For 15 years, O'Shea worked as a professional standup comedian, appearing at clubs and colleges all over the country. He says the Lord spoke to him about using his talent to serve God and to benefit others.

But how? O'Shea says he had a vision about a comic ministry that could be used as a fundraiser for cash-strapped nonprofits. He scoured the Tampa Bay area for "clean" comedians who shared his vision to entertain, evangelize and raise funds.

He found them, one by one: Williams, a newcomer to the comedy scene and member of Calvary Chapel in St. Petersburg; singer-songwriter Johnny "Big Papa" Roberts of Abundant Life Church of Lakeland; Frank "SomeguynamedFrank" Hall of Baylife Church in Brandon; Bill "Bull" Ohse of Bayside Community Church in Safety Harbor; and Josh Loudermilk, a pastor and social media manager with KForce who belongs to Evangelical Presbyterian of Plant City.

They came from varied backgrounds, different denominations and a range of comedic styles. But their common ground – a commitment to their faith and desire to serve – gave them an immediate bond.

In just one month of working together, O'Shea says everything is clicking. And that's not always easy with a room full of big personalities.

A staff meeting with all six comedians is "a little like watching ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' over and over and over again with a couple of twists and turns you didn't see coming," he says. "It's never boring and it's always fun. We're already like a family."

And they've keep their promise to help raise much-needed money for specific projects. Of their three bookings so far, proceeds will help fund two church mission trips and a youth ministry. O'Shea also loves looking into the crowd audience and hearing laughter coming from an audience ranging from young children to the elderly.

"You go to a comedy club and you would pay $100 to see six headliners like this," he says. "Yet here we've got a show that is ‘grandma-proofed' with suitable content for the entire family at an affordable price. And the best part is when the night if over, you will know you've helped a needy cause."

They also take a break from the levity to deliver a more serious message at the shows. The host group gets the opportunity to share its vision and needs; the hope is to get more people involved as volunteers and supporters.

"We've got some ills in this community that just shouldn't be here, like hungry children," O'Shea says. "The government has proven it can't take care of our problems. It's up to us to change society. And it starts with you and me."

With no budget or agents, H20 is depending on word-of-mouth to promote its mission. It helps that O'Shea has his own platform through WTIS; the other comics continue to work other gigs or regular jobs to supplement their income. There's also a Facebook page (H20 – Humor 2 Outreach) and a Web site (www.h2ohumor.com).    

Former Christian schoolteacher-turned-comic Johnny Roberts, who portrays a Southern cracker redneck and dresses the part, is the son of Pentecostal preachers. For that reason alone, resorting to a raunchy and ribald routine is out of the question.

"If I say a bad word," he says, laughing, "my daddy will just appear and start whopping me with a belt."

To book H2O for a charitable event, call (727) 710-4094 or email h2ohumor@gmail.com


COMING UP FOR H2O

WHEN: 7 p.m. June 7, 15 and 21

WHERE: June 7, Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St., Tampa (813) 964-5511) ; June 15, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 4518 S. Manhattan Ave., Tampa (813) 839-5056; and June 22, Christian Family Church, 3457 Kenyon Ave., Tampa (813) 802-8736.

WHAT: Benefit shows by Christian comedy troupe Humor 2 Outreach.

COST: $10 for each show. At least half of the proceeds will go directly to the designated charity by the host site.

INFORMATION: Visit www.h2ohumor.com     

 

  • NewsMore>>

  • SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:23 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:23:35 GMT
    Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
  • Pinellas Health Dept. warns of parasitic disease

    Pinellas Health Dept. warns of parasitic disease

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:12 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:12:18 GMT
    Wikimedia Commons photo credit Ukko.deWikimedia Commons photo credit Ukko.de
    The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is asking for the public's help to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis, a disease that spreads easily in households, child-care settings and through swimming in contaminated water.
    The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is asking for the public's help to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis, a disease that spreads easily in households, child-care settings and through swimming in contaminated water.
  • Florida's CFO: Insurance customers entitled to refunds

    Florida's CFO: Insurance customers entitled to refunds

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:37:47 GMT
    Consumers who bought insurance plans but could not use them in the early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout should be able to get a refund, Florida’s chief financial officer told News Channel 8. Some customers who signed up for plans and paid premiums didn’t initially receive ID cards or numbers from insurance company Florida Blue in early 2014.
    Consumers who bought insurance plans but could not use them in the early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout should be able to get a refund, Florida’s chief financial officer told News Channel 8. Some customers who signed up for plans and paid premiums didn’t initially receive ID cards or numbers from insurance company Florida Blue in early 2014.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:07:49 GMT
    Wikimedia Commons photo by Eja2kWikimedia Commons photo by Eja2k
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:56 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:56:28 GMT
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.