The nonprofit, co-founded by Bill Drewes, a cancer survivor who “knows the first hand benefits of humor as a part of the healing process,” and Chris Mazzilli, co-owner of the Gotham Comedy Club, sends stand-up comics to hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers and social services agencies at no cost to bring humor to the sick, aged and lonely.
While Gallarotti, whose work includes the show “Totally Clueless” on MTV, was volunteering, audience members would sometimes volunteer to sing for him.
As host of the first “Gotham’s Got Talent” show at the Kew Gardens Community Center, the Brooklyn resident again had the chance to see the artistic skills of those he usually entertains.
The show, held on Wednesday, featured not only comedic performances by its members, but singing and poetry as well.
The community center is a creative outlet, according to Program Director Rachel Epstein.
“I think of this place as one big talent show,” she said.
Run under the auspice of Queens Community House, the center offers creative writing, visual art and dance classes, a comedy workshop, a chorus and a theatre group that performs all over Queens called “Belle’s Players.”
The center also holds “ show us your talent” shows twice a month, coordinated by one of its many volunteers, that features dancers, singers, poets and more, where anyone can come up and perform.
After having GCF comedians visit the center once before, Epstein was excited to work with the nonprofit again, and to see members, who are mainly senior citizens, have another opportunity to show off their skills.
“Age is just a number,” she said. “[Sharing your talents] enhances your self-esteem and image, and empowers you to give back to the community.”