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Laughter As Medicine: Las Vegas Headliner Matt Kazam Benefits Local Cancer Groups On February 12

photo courtesy of They Laugh You Win and Matt Kazam

Ever notice how every cliché has an element of truth in it? Take, for example, ‘laughter is the best medicine.’

MK: When my mother went through breast cancer twice – it was those times of us laughing in the hospital, you know, before she went into surgery – I know it had an effect. 

That’s comedian and Las Vegas Headliner Matt Kazam.

MK: (ring) Hello!

TOC: Hello!

On February 12, Kazam brings his Las Vegas show to the Treasure Coast to benefit the cancer support organization Friends After Diagnosis… And the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. Both groups are based in Indian River County. He's donating his time and talent to the cause.

MK: It’s taken down everyone in my family, you know. This is a problem that’s our problem, a societal problem, and the soldiers, you know, the survivors are the ones going through this because it’s through their treatments that God forbid this happens to you – those people fought for us and they deserve to be supported that way.

Kazam is originally from New York City.

MK: I'm gonna sound this way forever. Even my inner monologues sound this way. I’m channeling Joe Pesci in my head at all times. I was just in New York City. It was $19 to go over the George Washington Bridge!

He began performing at age 3, and when he was 10, he saw a comedian perform onstage at the Riviera in Las Vegas.

MK: 10 years old I saw that first show - I knew I wanted to be a Las Vegas Headliner. Got here. Got that title.

And a residency at the Riviera!

MK: In the same room. It was crazy.

The same room he first saw the comedian when he was 10.

MK: Elvis was the first headliner to perform the Riviera. I was the last.

In 2015, the Riviera was demolished to make way for the Las Vegas Global Business District. Kazam though was ready for a change. He wanted to teach.

MK: So, I took two years off, and if I was going to approach this new business, I was going to have to learn the neuroscience – like what I knew intuitively on how to make people laugh but actually figure out, you know, the biological, physiological reasons of where laughter comes from..

Through his company THEY LAUGH YOU WIN, he teaches that science and the tools of stand-up comedy for success in any profession. He’s even held classes at The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

MK: We are at our least toxic state – we are at our best as human beings – when we’re laughing.

He made the Treasure Coast connection when he taught Dr. Raul Storey of Healing Arts Medicine and Florida Cancer Specialists, which are based in Vero Beach.  

Kazam will perform at the Vero Beach Theatre Guild on February 12 at 7 pm.

MK: This has been my dream for a long time to do something like this. To put the patients in the room and, you know, let’s put that notion of laughter is the best medicine on trial.

Everyone is welcome, however. It’s…

MK: …not just for the survivors and not just for the cancer patients but literally anyone that wants to come laugh. Mission accomplished already, I can tell you that.

He says his brand of comedy is to take people back to a simpler time.

MK: It's not just my story, it's our story. It's how much the world’s changed in the last 40 years. We had three stations on TV, and we didn’t have Google, we had Go Ask Your Father. I remember we used to have to navigate with big paper maps like we were Magellan, you know, on the side of the road – your father out there trying to get you to Cleveland.

Tickets are $20 through the Vero Beach Theatre Guild Box Office. You can learn more by here: