By Mike Cohen
Chances are you have not heard of Adam Jason Orenstein. However, if we switch over to the stage name this popular Jewish American stand up comic has been using for the past three decades then Orny Adams should indeed sound very familiar.
Adams has been a regular at the Just For Laughs Festival for many years and he absolutely loves Montreal. That is just one of the reasons why he has agreed to headline the McGill IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Research Group “Laugh Your Butt Off” fundraiser on Thursday, November 14 at the Oscar Peterson Hall in NDG (7141 Sherbrooke Street West7141 Sherbrooke Street West).
Adams is proud of the hour-long stand up specials he has done on Netflix, Comedy Central and Showtime. In addition, he has appeared on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman and The Conan O’Brien Show while starring as Coach for six seasons on the hit TV show Teen Wolf.
Adams graduated from Emory University in Atlanta in 1993 with a degree in Philosophy and Political Science and had intended to go to law school until he was awakened by the arts while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. After college he had trouble finding a job so between part-time work he began playing comedy clubs in the Boston area. He quit working days and has never looked back since.
Adams delivers a powerful, incisive stand up routine that vacillates between the relevant and the absurd. He attacks what’s wrong with the world and sometimes even what’s wrong with Orny. In addition he is touted as brutally honest, satirical and his performance is ceaselessly energetic.
Adams recently told The Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he concedes his worldview is shaped by being Jewish. “We Jews find pain in everything!” he says. “And we don’t forgive. You hear people of other religions say, ‘You murdered my kid, but I forgive you, that’s what God would want.’ Jews? We never forgive. We don’t even forgive a bad meal!”
The JTA notes that that Adams’ comedy mentor was the late Garry Shandling, and Adams first came to national attention in the 2002 documentary “Comedian,” which contrasted superstar Jerry Seinfeld with the then-struggling younger comic. Seinfeld remains supportive of Adams’ career.
“Some comedians try to divide the audience,” he says. “I go up there and use comedy to bring us closer together.
The goal of the upcoming program, entitled “Laugh Your Butt Off,” is to raise $175,000 to secure funds critical for IBD research and patient care.
Lorne Mayers is the president of the McGill IBD Research Group.
Dr. Ernest Seidman is the Director of the McGill IBD Centre of Excellence, located on the 16th floor of the Montreal General Hospital
The evening will consist of a cocktail dînatoire courtesy of Java-U Catering, with musical entertainment provided by Que Sera, followed by Adams,
The McGill IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Research Group was established in 1992 by concerned members of the community to ensure financial support for IBD clinics at McGill University’s teaching hospitals. Its mandate is to continue to provide important services for those living with IBD, as well as their friends and family, with the overall goal of improving quality of life and preventing complications. Services include accessible, state of the art patient-centered care provided by multidisciplinary teams of dedicated professionals; cutting edge clinical research on the genetic and environmental causes of IBD, novel, non-invasive diagnostic methods, the most up to date therapies; training the next generation of clinicians and scientists dedicated to treating and searching for the cure of IBD; and raising awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through patient education and community outreach programs.
Tickets for the fundraiser are available online at www.mcgillibd.ca or by calling 514-398-2787. The cost is $300. A special price of $175 is available for those aged 35 and under.