Not Just for Laughs

By staff March 1, 2005

Sarasotan Dick Smothers brings his more than 45 years of show biz experience to the Sarasota Comedy Festival this month (aided by wife Denby, co-chair for the two main events of the fest.)

Yes, the brother that Mom liked best, who's made his home in Sarasota for the past few years, puts in not one, but two appearances for the festival, which benefits the Child Protection Center. First he's the special guest at the Funny Bones Luncheon (March 7 at Michael's On East Ballroom); then he headlines the Cartoon Classic Gala March 12 at the Hyatt, which also welcomes author-comedian Andy Andrews and comic Gary Gulman.

There's not room for a full bio of Smothers, whose hit TV shows and countless stage appearances with brother Tommy have entertained us for generations. But for any of you not familiar with his fellow entertainers, Andrews is the author of the best-selling book The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success, a book that travels back in time to converse with seven historic individuals. Hailed by The New York Times as a modern-day Will Rogers, Andrews is not only a comedian but a motivational speaker who, of course, incorporates humor into his speeches.

Gulman's career is more comedically straightforward; he's reached the finals of the Last Comic Standing show on TV twice and has also appeared on the Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman. Along with his fellow stars, he'll entertain the crowd at the gala, which also features a silent auction of works by nationally syndicated cartoonists.

For tickets or more information, call 362-3972.

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