The Origins and Legacy of Stand-Ups Give BAC!
The Origins and Legacy of Stand-Ups Give BAC!
Brooklyn Autism Center (BAC) began with four students in the basement of a church. Today, it's a leader in the field of autism education with a growing enrollment, an ever-expanding list of thriving partnerships and an influential voice in the community of serving people with special needs.
It seems appropriate that the school's annual comedy show, Stand-Ups Give BAC, would have a similar journey: a spark of an idea that grew into an event that exceeded everyone's expectations.
Like most of the successful programs at BAC, the idea of a comedy fundraiser came from founding parent Sydnee Jorgl and the excellent resource she had in Marc Hirschfeld, another BAC parent and expert in the comedy world. In fact, "expert" almost seems like an understatement. Marc's experience as a casting director has spanned for several decades and includes work on The Jeffersons, Married...with Children, The Nanny, NewsRadio, Seinfeld, That '70s Show, and Kevin Can Wait. He received an Emmy for his work on HBO's From the Earth to the Moon and has appeared on panels from Backstage discussing the importance of diversity in casting, an initiative which he spearheaded during his tenure as EVP, Casting for NBC Universal Television for almost a decade.
Marc added the important role of "Peter's Dad" to his resume sixteen years ago and has been one of BAC's most active parents, knowing all of our students by name and greeting each one of them with a friendly conversation when he brings Peter to school. He has put that same enthusiasm and gusto behind organizing Stand-Ups Give BAC, recruiting top-notch comics every year since Sydnee first floated the idea of a fundraiser his way.
People who have attended Stand-Ups Give BAC know that it's not your traditional gala. Opening with a video of our students and staff from the past school year the evening is a rare event that makes you cry and laugh in equal measure.
Marc's eye for talent and beloved reputation in the comedy community have enable him to book well-established comics like John Oliver, David Cross, Michael Che, and Jim Gaffigan, oftentimes just before they explode on to the national scene - Michael Che, for one, appeared at 2014's Stand-Ups Give BAC, mere months before becoming the Weekend Update co-anchor on Saturday Night Live. Michelle Wolf appeared at 2018's show just 2 months before headlining the White House Correspondents' dinner.
A buzz is already circulating over who is performing at the 11th annual comedy show. Regular followers and supporters of BAC will be the first to know which comics will grace the stage of Carolines as part of the most eagerly-anticipated event of the year. The show always sells out... make sure to get your tickets today!
Stand-Ups Give BAC: Where Are They Now?
We've been lucky to have such a stellar lineup for Stand-Ups Give BAC ten years running. Here's just some of the accomplishments of some of our favorite alumni have been up to before and since then:
John Oliver (2009)
He first became known to most through his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Now he's become a unique voice in late-night comedy with his smash hit HBO's Last Week Tonight, for which he's won several Emmys and a Peabody award.
David Cross (2009)
Beloved by many for his role as Tobias Fünke in the sitcom Arrested Development, Cross written, directed and starred in many TV shows and movies over the years including Alvin and the Chipmunks, Modern Family, Kung Fu Panda and more.
Janeane Garofalo (2009, 2010, 2013)
Having begun her career as a cast member on The Ben Stiller Show, The Larry Sanders Show, and Saturday Night Live, Janeane has appeared in more than 50 films (including Reality Bites, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, The Cable Guy, and Ratatouille). We've been fortunate to have Janeane perform at 3 of our comedy shows!
Colin Quinn (2012)
He's best known for his work on Saturday Night Live in the late 1990's as a writer and actor, including co-anchoring Weekend Update with Norm Macdonald. Quinn has been in numerous films and TV shows since we last had him at our show, including a recurring role on HBO's Girls and playing Amy Schumber's father in her debut film Trainwreck.
Jim Gaffigan (2013)
The self-described "clean comedian" reminds us that family-friendly material can still be hilarious. In the past few years he's written and starred in The Jim Gaffigan Show and appeared on Portlandia, Bob's Burgers, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. He is a regular commentator on CBS Sunday Morning, for which he won a Daytime Emmy in 2016.
Michael Che (2014)
His work on Saturday Night Live started in the writers' room. After a brief but memorable stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Che was made a full cast member on SNL and became known for his impersonations of Lester Holt and Ben Carson. He's now sharing the anchors' desk with Colin Jost at Weekend Update.
Rachel Feinstein (2015)
A good friend of Amy Schumer, Rachel starred in Schumer's debut film Trainwreck, frequently appears on Inside Amy Schumer, has had multiple Comedy Central specials, including the most recent one hour special Amy Schumer Presents Rachel Feinstein: Only Whores Wear Purple. She's co-hosted The View on multiple occasions and more recently starred in the HBO comedy Crashing.
Pete Davidson (2016)
Davidson joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2014 at the tender age of 20, one of the youngest cast members ever. He is known for basing his comedy on his own life and employing aspects of his life that have been likened to "a series of brutal truths and vulgar confessions," and which make him relatable to audiences.
Michelle Wolf (2018)
Declared as the "future of stand-up comedy" by the Daily Beast, Michelle Wolf made international headlines as the much buzzed-about headliner of the 2018 White House Correspondents' dinner. She was previously on on-air contributor and writer for "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" and a writing supervisor and performer on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" before starring in her own HBO Special: Nice Lady and having her own series on Netflix.