Published February 24th, 2016
Orinda Becomes Comedy Central on March 4
By Diane Claytor
Night of Comedy's headliner, Brad Williams Photo provided
Everyone's heard that old saying: laughter is the best medicine. If that is, indeed, true, the Lamorinda community has the opportunity to greatly improve their health next month. That can be done by attending "A Night of Comedy," the Orinda Chamber of Commerce's very popular, and very funny, annual fundraiser. For the past six years, this event has had audiences practically rolling in the aisles. This year's March 4 evening at the Orinda Theatre promises more of the same.
Ben Feldman, named one of 2013's Best Comics to Watch by the San Francisco Weekly, will open the show, delighting the audience with his acerbic, playful wit. He'll then turn the stage over to the evening's headliner, Brad Williams, considered one of the funniest, most in demand comedians working today.
Williams is a little person (or, as he describes himself, "a dwarf, midget ... I say them all interchangeably"). But the only thing small about him is his 4 foot 4 stature. He has more energy and personality than people twice his size. In fact, the late, great Robin Williams once called him "Prozac with a Head."
"My comedy doesn't revolve around my size," Williams said. "I'm not going to talk about how I can take a bath in a thimble, but of course, my stories are told from my vantage point. I don't know how to tell a joke from the perspective of a 5-foot 10-inch blue-eyed blonde man."
Williams, a Southern California native, has been doing standup for 13 years, a career that started as a fluke when he was a sophomore at USC. He had gone to a local comedy club when the performing comedian started making jokes about midgets. "The audience around me wasn't laughing," Williams said, which caused the comedian to take notice. "He brought me up on stage and started asking questions," Williams continued. "My answers got laughs and as soon as that happened, the adrenaline just soared through me. I remember it so vividly. That was the moment."
From there, Williams began attending open mic nights at comedy clubs throughout Southern California; he'd hustle, often driving for hours to get to a club where 'I'd have 15 minutes to make people laugh. It's a grinding, slow build," he reported. But he made it.
Williams has appeared on numerous TV shows, including Dave Attell's Comedy Underground, The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. He has two comedy albums, which he promotes by promising fans that "if you buy a comedy album from a midget you automatically get into heaven." He's a regular on a Los Angeles radio talk show and, along with his friend Adam Ray, produces "About Last Night," a weekly audio podcast. He just finished recording his second Showtime special, which will be out within the next several months. This follows on the heels of the Showtime special he did last year, which was the cable channel's highest rated comedy special of 2015.
A review of Williams' first CD, "Coming Up Short," said Williams' "approach to comedy is a smart one. Williams is a passionate comedian with some truly funny observations... he makes the world a better place by making us laugh."
On Friday, March 4, you'll have the opportunity to laugh hysterically, smile continually and witness Williams in action. You will also be able to enjoy adult beverages from the Lamorinda Wine Growers Association and the new Cine Cuvee.
Charlie Chaplin once said, "A day without laughter is a day wasted." Don't waste another day.
Tickets for this riotous evening, which begins at 7:30 p.m., are $30. Front row, VIP seating, along with complimentary access to a private bar where champagne will flow all night, is available for $100 per person. Tickets may be purchased by going to the Orinda Chamber of Commerce website,

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