Comedy DSM hosts Stand-Up Comedy Night for a Cause

Comedy DSM was founded by Greg Romans three years ago.

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Comedy DSM was founded by Greg Romans three years ago.

Video applications from over one hundred comics were submitted to Comedy DSM for Stand-Up Comedy Night for a Cause.

The eight comics who were selected will be performing their stand-up routines at 8 p.m. on April 8 at Ames City Auditorium.

Greg Romans, comedian and founder of Comedy DSM, found inspiration from his 5-year-old niece, Kennedi Degner, to start this fundraising event. Degner was diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy, a muscular dystrophy, at birth and was not expected to live longer than a few hours. All of the money earned from the show will be donated to MDA.

“None of the comics are getting paid, they’re all volunteering their time to raise money for MDA,” Romans said. “It all goes to any type of research to hopefully find a cure for it one day.”

5-year-old Kennedi Degner, who was diagnosed with Myotonic at birth, was the inspiration for Stand-Up Comedy for a Cause. (Greg Romans)

Breanna Kalhorn, a Nebraska based comic, is happy to trade a paycheck for a good cause and a new venue to perform at.

“It’s great that the proceeds are going toward [MDA] and I love being involved in stuff like that,” Kalhorn said. “I’m also getting to perform in a different scene out of town.”

When Kalhorn saw the application form for Stand-Up Comedy Night for a Cause in the Omaha comedy scene Facebook group, she submitted the only quality footage of her comedy she had: the Omaha Clash of the Comics 2022.

“I actually lost the competition, but the footage of my set from there got me this spot still, which is pretty cool,” Kalhorn said.

Kalhorn describes her comedy style as dry and self-deprecating. Since winning multiple roast battles, she has been locally known as an insult comic. Two years ago, Kalhorn’s friend found an open mic in Omaha at an improv theater.

“My friend kind of just dragged me there and I just went up and impulsively did it, and it didn’t go horribly, so I kept doing it,” Kalhorn said.

Dillon Meek, a comic from Mason City, Iowa, is excited to work with his “comedy buddy,” Oliver Schmitz, again.

“Performing with a friend helps immensely because there’s somebody there that you can comfortably run ideas through with,” Meek said.

Along with comedy, Meek has a career in social work. He currently works with adults who need help with mental or physical disabilities and substance abuse.

“Anything that is going to benefit people that have disabilities is something that I want to be a part of,” Meek said.

Meek also hosts an annual Toys for Tots show, where they collect toy and monetary donations.

“Being able to use what you’re passionate about to help other people is such a good feeling,” Meek said. “I’m super pumped to have the opportunity, and super grateful that Greg picked me to be one of the comics.”

This is the second annual Stand-Up Comedy Night for a Cause, with last year’s event taking place in Nevada, Iowa and raising $1,500. This year, Romans hopes to double this.

“We had a lot of success,” Romans said. “We’re kind of hoping for the same numbers as last year, maybe even higher. Moving to Ames, a lot of college students might actually get to come to it.”

According to Romans, this is a PG-13 show, with a swear jar on stage to help comics avoid foul language. Tickets for the show, which lasts two hours, are currently on sale online for $20.