Comedian Pat Thornton will stand up for 24 consecutive hours of comedy in the name of charity.
No stranger to the challenge, Thornton, a Bloor Street West and Dovercourt Road area resident, is raising funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation for the fourth consecutive year. Since its inception, his 24-hour standup gig has raised more than $30,000 for the foundation with the hopes of collecting a significant amount more this time around.
“It’s a huge comedy event,” Thornton told The Villager. “I have my friends write jokes for me while I’m doing it. We just laugh so much. It’s so awesome.”
The 24-hour standup festival takes place at the Comedy Bar at Bloor Street West and Ossington Avenue, Friday, Nov. 16 from 8 p.m. and finishes Saturday at the same time.
What keeps him motivated to deliver laughs for a full day?
“The Stephen Lewis (foundation) does amazing work. I just want to help.”
Four years ago, Thornton was approached by the star of The Comedy Network’s hit show, ‘Hotbox’ to participate in the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s ‘Dare to Remember’ campaign.
“I got approached on the street and asked if I wanted to do a dare,” Thornton recalled.
Unable to refuse, he came up with the idea for the 24-hour stand-up show.
“The first year was really, really hard,” he admitted, “but it gets easier and easier. It’s a strange trip, a real riot. You’re just fuelled by exhaustion.”
Thornton is on stage alone, but is fed jokes by friends in the audience and via Twitter.
“As time goes on, my brain slowly dies,” he joked.
A graduate of Humber College’s School of Comedy, Thornton said he’s always thought of himself as a funny and creative person and knew he didn’t want a “real” job. Comedy has been his full-time gig for the past 12 years. In addition to Hot Box, Thornton has appeared on TV shows ‘Call Me Fitz’ and ‘Almost Heroes’ among others.
The event is “all about raising money,” he said.
You can watch the standup marathon online at dailymotion.com or in person at the Comedy Bar located at 945 Bloor St. W.