Funny men coming back for a show

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Scott Hansen

After three local appearances in December, Scott Hansen and the Stagebenders are slated to bring their family-friendly humor back to Freeborn County on April 1.

And, no, this is not a pre-April Fool’s Day joke.

Hansen, along with Stagebenders Gust Alexander and Kim Thomassen, will perform one show at the American Legion Club to benefit the Freeborn County chapter of the American Red Cross.

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Local Red Cross Executive Director Jeanie Opdahl said the funds will be used to fund continued programming at the local chapter, including disaster response training.

This isn’t the comedy team’s first time providing comedy relief to aid with the financial relief of locals in need. Hansen and the Stagebenders filled the Legion in December when they generated laughs to benefit Toys for Troops and the Albert Lea High School choir. Todd Uptadel of the Legion said one of those shows sold out, and if it sells out this time, a second show will be added.

The comedy team also performed in Freeborn before Christmas to benefit Toys for Troops. Hansen said they performed more than 30 shows statewide for the Toys for Troops Comedy Tour this winter.

Hansen is the founder of Toys for Troops comedy shows, which have raised over $100,000 for the Don Hansen VFW in Ham Lake, and others in Minnesota. The funds are used to provide toys, gift certificates and help with bills to families of troops. It has assisted families of troops to help them make their mortgage payments, car payments, utility bill payments and to purchase phone cards.

“Comedy’s a good mix for benefits,” said Hansen. “I do a lot of them gratis and a lot of them as fundraisers.”

He said he was disabled for a few years, and realizes the importance that outside help can mean to someone struggling to get by.

He commends the people of Freeborn County for supporting the people in the community during their time of need.

“We’ve all had tragedies in life, so it’s nice to know someone will step in and help,” he said.

Scott Hansen is a five-time winner of the Minnesota Comedian of the Year award. He has made TV appearances on HBO, Showtime, E! and A&E.

Hansen has also written comedy material that has been performed on the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Alexander and Thomassen, also known as The Stagebenders, are two junior high school buddies from Minneapolis. They now play to sellout audiences at concerts, comedy clubs and colleges from coast to coast.

Tickets, please

What: Scott Hansen and the Stagebenders

When: 7 p.m. April 1

Where: Leo Carey American Legion Post 56

Why: Benefit Freeborn County chapter of the American Red Cross

Cost: $20