The Grasscast
Take Action, Not Sides: Gun Violence Prevention with Brady

Take Action, Not Sides: Gun Violence Prevention with Brady

November 11, 2022

It's because of episodes like this one that Grassroots Comedy does what it does. Taking on the super sensitive issue of gun violence prevention, host Chris Blackwood is joined by comedian Max Wolfson to interview JJ Janflone and Kelly Sampson of Brady. Together, they dissect the state of gun violence in the U.S., current efforts to reduce gun violence, why it's so darn hard to do that, and what listeners can do to take action. 

Curious about gun violence prevention, but not eager to spend your time learning about it because it sounds like the opposite of relaxing and fun? Fair! And also - this episode is for you! Like always, we somehow still manage to make the conversation fun and get some good laughs in on an otherwise very unfunny thing!

 

Shouts outs and references:

JJ Janflone and Kelly Sampson Co-host Brady's Red, Blue and Brady Podcast. As of posting this, they have recorded 210 episodes on gun violence prevention! Wowza! Make sure to check it out (right after listening to this episode of the Grasscast, of course).

Max Wolfson, our Co-host of this episode, is part of the Midnight Gardners League - a very funny DC-based, nationally touring comedy group that you should check out.

This episode features stand-up comedy from DC-based comedian Winston Hodges

Click here to donate to Brady and all the important work they do to make the U.S. a safer place! 

The Grassroots Comedy Five Year Anniversary Song!

The Grassroots Comedy Five Year Anniversary Song!

July 17, 2022

Grassroots Comedy (GC) turned five years old earlier this year, marking half a decade of supporting causes in a time of need through jokes. With comedy for so many causes under our belts, it can be hard to summarize what those causes have been in a succinct way.

For those who missed the GC five year anniversary show back in Feb 2022, here is the song from that show (written and performed on a whim) that attempts to do that. It also helps us understand why GC Executive Director Chris Blackwood quit his pursuit of music a long time ago. 

A special thank you to Scott Williams for the guitar, and Emre Yagci for the sound engineering on this one! 

 

Episode 7: Supporting (and Laughing With) Ukraine, With the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation

Episode 7: Supporting (and Laughing With) Ukraine, With the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation

June 15, 2022

In this long awaited Ukraine episode, host Chris Blackwood is joined by Ukrainian comedian Anna Tirat-Gefen and John Kun, Vice President of the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation. Together, they discuss not only about the war in Ukraine, its implications, and how to support its victims, but also the role of COMEDY in Ukraine, why Ukrainians are funnier than Russians, and how humor is being used as an effective tool in a time of war.

Even if you think you already know everything there is to know about Ukraine and this war, we’d wager to bet you’ll learn a thing or two from this episode, and would wager even more that you’ll laugh out loud at least once. We also encourage you to go to www.usukraine.org to donate to the cause today!

Episode 6: Abortion Rights with Pro-Choice Virginia

Episode 6: Abortion Rights with Pro-Choice Virginia

April 26, 2022

In this episode, we do a deep dive into abortion and the current state of abortion policy in the U.S. We're joined by Grassroots Comedy's own Dana Fleitman as Co-host and interview Cassidy Clark from Pro-Choice Virginia who answers all of our serious and silly questions. 

It is sad, terrifying, and also a great time! Like crying while also laughing in the fetal position (that's right - fetal). 

To support the fight for reproductive freedom in the U.S., you can donate directly at Pro-Choice Virginia's website

Episode 5: Afghan Refugee Support with Solutions in Hometown Connections

Episode 5: Afghan Refugee Support with Solutions in Hometown Connections

February 14, 2022

This episode does a deep dive into the very important cause of supporting Afghan refugees, and is somehow also very fun. Chris Blackwood and guest Co-host, comedian Yasmine Elhady, interview Merritt Groschel – the Founder and Director of Solutions in Hometown Connections (SHC). SHC is an organization that supports immigrants and refugees in the DC Metropolitan area through connecting them to mentors, tutors, community groups and other resources needed to resettle.

A real life Afghan immigrant - Marzia Nazari - also joins the conversation and provides important perspective on her own experience of immigrating to Maryland with her family and escaping Taliban rule. They break down refugee stereotypes while leaning into American stereotypes, share some stories and laughs, and most importantly – learn about how refugees can be supported in their new lives abroad.

This episode includes Grassroots Comedy Show clips from comedians Yasmine Elhady, Christian Escoto, and Jaffer Khan. This may just be the funniest and most important episode yet!

Episode 4: Voting Rights with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Episode 4: Voting Rights with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

December 31, 2021

This final episode of 2021 has it all. Hosts Chris Blackwood and Robert Mac dive into the issue of voting rights in an effort to understand and solve ongoing voter suppression in the USA. They interview Damon Hewitt, the President and Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and discuss why they don't have a shorter name, the origin and current state of American voter suppression and what can be done about it, and why everyone seems to enjoy making fun of lawyers. 

If that's not enough, this episode also includes comedy clips from some recent live Grassroots Comedy shows, featuring Jani Tillery, Martin Amini, Haywood Turnipseed Jr, and Grassroots Comedy's own Chris Blackwood. With all of that, along with some additional surprises, this is not an episode you want to miss! 

Episode 3: Youth Empowerment with Horton‘s Kids

Episode 3: Youth Empowerment with Horton‘s Kids

December 8, 2021

After a long hiatus we're finally back! In this long-awaited episode, we dig into youth empowerment in the Nation's Capital in an interview with Leigh Player from Horton's Kids. In addition, Chris and Robert offer advice to teenagers, because they are like, really smart and good at it. They also advise you to listen to this episode for your own good. Because education and laughter are good for the mind, body and soul. 

Episode 2: Climate Change with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Episode 2: Climate Change with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network

May 29, 2021

Hosts Chris Blackwood and Robert Mac dig into the issue of climate change through interviews with Mike Tidwell from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), Charley Silverman from Orchard City, Colorado, and another special guest that Chris met as a gas station. Featuring comedy clips from comedians Brittany Carney, Violet Gray, and Robert Mac, this episode is as funny as it is informative. 

Episode 1: Immigrant Rights with Ayuda

Episode 1: Immigrant Rights with Ayuda

April 22, 2021

In this pilot episode of the Grasscast, we dive into the issue of immigrant rights, with a special guest from Ayuda- a Washington, DC based organization that provides legal, social, and language services to help low-income immigrants access justice and transform their lives.

Chris and Robert discuss silver linings of harmful immigration policies (spoiler alert- there are none), we hear from a real life United States immigrant, and hear topical comedy from comedians Denise Taylor, Maher Matta, and Dana Fleitman.

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