The What: Standup Comedian Tom Scheve Fundraising Event for Mission Children’s Hospital
The When: Thursday, July 30, 8 p.m.
The Where: Altamont Theatre, 18 Church Street, Asheville
The Cost: $5 in advance; $7 day of show
If you have laughed in Asheville in the past six years, chances are comedian Tom Scheve had something to do with it. The 38-year old Georgia native is so ingrained in the local comedy scene that if you’ve seen a standup show or read a joke in a local parody publication recently, he was likely connected to it. If, however, you missed one of his many attempts at making folks laugh, you can see Scheve on Thurday night at Altamont Theatre and help out local children in need at the same time.
“Every Friday, I turn in the Asheville Disclaimer page to Mountain Xpress, which is my way of coping with the pressure of being voted “Worst Feature in the Mountain Xpress” by my beloved readers,” explains the hard-working single dad.
“I’m on the road sometimes four nights a week, so when I’m home I play hide-and-seek with my daughter and count to 100,000 while I update my website.,” Scheve says. “I’m currently shopping around a book I’ve written entitled, Dope Fiend, if you know anybody who likes pure filth. I’m also busy writing a kids book called Cat Detective Agency, but I don’t want to give away what it’s about. In my free time, I’m living out some weird Asheville daydream.”
Scheve’s comedy roots run deep.
“I’ve been a humor writer for as long as I’ve been writing. I realized making teachers laugh when they read my papers was going to be my only scholastic achievement,” Scheve says.
“I wrote columns for a college paper and sold humor pieces to publications like the Las Vegas Mercury. My 20s were frivolously spent writing, editin, and publishing small independent newspapers that leaned heavily on humor (Washboard Weekly and Asheville Disclaimer). I think I actually sped up the demise of print journalism.”
Scheve got on stage the first time in 2009, “when I was the perfect stand-up age of 33 and had a kid,” he cracks.
“I wanted to give myself the best chance of succeeding in this industry, so I didn’t rush in all young and childless with nothing to say. I strategically sat back, wrecked my life a few times, and then emerged fully formed from my failure cocoon as a stand-up comedian. It’s been literally nothing but standing ovations since. I stand and clap onstage, as a subtle trick to prompt the audience into clapping their hands, because it helps with the deafening silence sometimes. I definitely get a lot of seated ovations with this technique. They’ll do the standing, and the ovation, but not both.”
When Asheville did not have much of a comedy presence to speak of, Scheve helped create it.
“Along with fellow comedian Cary Goff under the Disclaimer Comedy banner, we’ve produced literally hundreds of shows, including a two-year weekly gig at Grove Park Inn, as well as shows at Lexington Avenue Brewery, The Southern, and anyone else who favored hasty handshake deals,” he explains. “When we started, there were practically no booked stand-up shows being produced in Asheville. Since that time a lot of other venues have jumped in the game, and that’s a great thing. We don’t have to worry anymore about bringing stand-up to Asheville. It’s here.”
While Scheve has been taking his act on the road a lot more lately across the region, he’s coming back to Asheville Thursday for more than just laughs.
“Every dollar of the loot raised by what will surely be a raucous, sell-out crowd is being donated to Mission Children’s Hospital,” he says. “It is a payola scheme so that I can later get booked to perform at Mission Children’s Hospital, giving me the upper hand when hammering out a lucrative performance contract with those fat-cat baby-savers.
“But if that doesn’t come through, I will be satisfied to give a few hundred bucks to a group of dedicated science-wrangling miracle workers who are the only reason my daughter Zoe is alive today. She was born weighing 1.5 pounds, and her first (and frankly, cleanest) home was the Mission NICU, where she resided several months before being released into the wild as a normal-sized, brilliant, beautiful baby who is happy and healthy to this day. Zoe’s mother, Michele Scheve (who runs the excellent Slice of Life comedy show at Pulp Lounge, as well as hosts “Slumber Party” on Asheville FM) and I will never be able to repay Mission Children’s Hospital for all they’ve done for our family, so you will repay them when you buy a $5 ticket to a show that is easily worth $6 or even $7 Canadian.”
And as you might expect from a comedian with Scheve’s chops, you should expect the unexpected.
“We have surprises in store for this show, such as who else will be in the show and which celebrities will be attending in civilian attire,” the maestro of mirth said. “It’s going to be a good time, there will be some surprises, and every penny from ticket sales is going to Mission Children’s Hospital. It’s a $5 show downtown on a Thursday night, and you won’t regret it.”
Jonathan Rich writes about entertainment for Ashvegas.com.
Excellent cause! Tom is fantastic. We are big fans of the whole Scheve family!