Maui Comedy Festival

How Comedy Fans Can Support Maui & The Wildfire Relief Efforts

Just like everyone, we were devastated to learn about the destructive wildfires that struck the Hawaiian island of Maui last week. The historic town of Lahaina was hit hardest, as century-old buildings and history were razed in minutes. Many in the area were forced to evacuate, sometimes with nothing but the clothes on their back. Most tragic, at the time of this writing, 93 people died and thousands more lost everything. Making it the most devastating wildfire America has seen in a century. Our hearts break for all those effected. Having visited there, we learned there’s more to this community than some run-of-the-mill tourist spot in a tropical paradise. The area has a history and spirit that only comes from the citizens that inhabit it. And right now those people need help.

2014 Maui Comedy Festival. The Laugh Button.
2014 Maui Comedy Festival. The Laugh Button.

Maui & Lahina's impact in stand-up comedy.

Lahaina also holds a special footnote in comedy. Back in 2014, 35 comedians descended upon the town over Halloween weekend for the Maui Comedy Festival, bringing humor to one of the most isolated land masses in the world. We were on hand that weekend, working with festival organizers Paul and Kacky Chamberlain as both media partners and on-site help. Looking back nearly a decade later we’re still very aware of how magical that weekend was – an unparalleled lineup of comedians who today are some of the biggest names in the industry. Comic talent that has since gone on to set live attendance records in arenas, self-released specials watched by millions. Became late night band leaders, world renowned podcasters, written/starred on critically acclaimed TV shows, won Emmys, and had many HBO, Netflix, or Amazon specials. We documented the weekend and encourage you to dive into our photo archives and write ups of the event. It’s all more sobering to realize that every venue these comics performed in are now ash.

Shortly after the news broke, we were in contact with the Chamberlains to see what can be done to help. They directed us to The Hawaii Community Foundation where people can donate to deliver relief to the people of Maui. We’ll be donating and hope you can as well.

A message from the Maui Comedy Festival producers.

The Chamberlains stated, "Kacky and I have never been prouder than when we spoke to a comic experiencing Maui for the first time, hearing how the island and its people touched them profoundly, making them feel welcome. And in true comic form, almost all of them joked about being too happy to do their set that night. The thought that every venue where they performed is now gone is both inconceivable and crushing. Lahaina is far more than a 'tourist destination'; it is the heartbeat of Hawaiian culture and a multi-generational haven for hundreds of Hawaiian families. The only solace we can find in the face of this unprecedented tragedy is knowing that the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands, built on resilience and unity, will always rise above adversity. It truly is our collective responsibility to respect, protect, and aid this island that has given so much to so many."


The Maui Comedy Festival website has been updated with more information about how you can help.


Click here for more ways to support & donate!

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