Comedy: Teen comic brings the healing of laughter to cancer patients - The Oakland Press

o "Laughter is the Cure for Life" backyard talent show

o MC/Host Sam Silverstein.

o 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9 (doors open at noon).

o 25316 Sherwood, Huntington Woods.

o Tickets $5.

o All proceeds go to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.

o The band Taxon Clade will perform an after-show.

o Call 248-821-2108 or 248-821-0284

o For more information, visit

Sam Silverstein took a leap of faith when he first got onstage to make people laugh.

Still just 18 years old, the Huntington Woods teen has already performed at all of the major comedy spots in Southeast Michigan -- Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, Joey's Comedy Club in Livonia, Trippers Comedy Club in East Lansing and Laff Tracks in Novi.

His show includes juggling, acting and video, which he uses to tell a story and introduce him to the audience.

Football was his only passion in high school until he won the Berkley High School talent competition with a visually stunning juggling/comedy act, and, "I quickly fell in love with the stage."


Then he turned his talents to charity. He's hosting a backyard talent show at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, to raise money for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

"During my senior year of high school, my football team took a trip to visit (Mott)," he says in an email exchange. "I really enjoyed the tour and it really made me realize how fortunate I am just to be healthy and alive."

He found that Mott does "some amazing things for their patients in terms of great medical care and providing a fun and home feeling environment during their stay."

"Cancer is something that everyone can relate to. It is an awful disease that most individuals have been impacted by some way or another," Silverstein says, noting his beloved grandfather died from cancer.

"Seeing him in his final days was tough, but that being said he had already lived through his best years and experienced a wonderful life," he adds. "As opposed to a child whose life journey is just beginning, and they have no control over the awful disease. ... The tour guide mentioned how some of these children are stuck in the hospital for weeks up until years. This really got to me and made me want to make a difference.

"The money we raise goes towards what the hospital calls Child and Family Life Services. Basically, what that means is that as opposed to putting the money into research, where millions are donated, the money goes towards buying things like toys, technology, video games, music, etc. Things that make more of a direct impact and bring smiles to the children's faces through our efforts."

His goal is to tour the country making people laugh "while raising a lot of money for a great cause," he says in his bio on the website

In February, during his freshman year at Michigan State University, where he majors in advertising, Silverstein produced and performed his first "Laughter is the Cure to Life" hourlong live comedy show. He performed to a sold-out auditorium, raising more than $2,000 for Mott, then did a second show in April at Grand Valley State University, raising another $500.

This weekend he hopes to raise $1,500, and Silverstein says he's sold more than 150 tickets so far. Star Trax Entertainment is donating a DJ, and seven local performers in addition to Silverstein will lend their talents.

He plans more "Laughter is the Cure to Life" shows at MSU, the University of Michigan and Ohio State University this upcoming school year.

To learn more about Mott's Childhood and Family Life program, visit

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