kevin lyman australia benefit joe rogan whitney cummings jim jefferies
[Photos via Whitney Cummings/Wikimedia Commons, Joe Rogan/YouTube, Jim Jefferies/YouTube]

Comedy giants Joe Rogan, Jim Jefferies and Whitney Cummings have teamed up to appear at Stand Up For Australian Fires, the Australia wildfires benefit show taking place Jan. 26 at the Novo in Los Angeles. Proceeds from the event–co-produced by Kevin Lyman and Joe Sib–will go to Wildlife Warriors, the Australian nonprofit dedicated to the protection of that country’s wildlife.

The event will be hosted by L.A.-via-Australia standup Monty Franklin, who can be seen on Rob Schneider’s Netflix series Real Rob. Franklin teamed up with punk-rock movers and shakers Kevin Lyman (Warped Tour) and Joe Sib (SideOneDummy) to put together an event that aims to bring awareness to the massive ecological disaster that the country is facing. There will also be funding outreach to generate donations to help assist and preserve Australian wildlife.

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“I think the world has seen some pretty devastating images of the Australian people, wildlife and land being stripped apart by these fires,” Franklin tells AltPress about the roots of his benefit. “I love my home country, but living in Los Angeles, I felt helpless. I don’t have a million dollars, and I don’t have a million followers. But what I do have are some great friends that just happen to be some of the best comedians in the world.

“So last Friday at the Comedy Store within 10 minutes of coming up with an idea for a standup benefit show, I had Joe Rogan, Jim Jefferies and Whitney Cummings onboard to help, without hesitation.”

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Franklin then reached out to SideOneDummy label founder/spoken-word artist Sib to see how he could help ramp up the process. The actor says Sib “immediately put his ‘Let’s make this thing massive’ hat on” and called Warped Tour founder/nonprofit advocate Kevin Lyman. 

“To be honest, I don’t even know what happened after that,” Franklin reveals. “But Joe and Kevin went nuts. They got the [promoter] teams at AEG and Goldenvoice on board, with everyone coming together and hustling to get this together in under 48 hours.

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“I went from feeling helpless looking at pictures of my country burning to feeling hopeful and looking at posters of a huge comedy benefit that will generate funds, awareness and support to the whole country,” he says.

Franklin and his comrades chose to earmark funds to Wildlife Warriors, run by the legendary Irwin family and the Australia Zoo. “When hearing about the loss of half a billion animals and the need to help the ones injured immediately to ensure the survival of many species,” Franklin says, “I thought, ‘That’s where my focus is going.'”

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Funds from the Australian wildfires benefit event will be used to assist the Australia Zoo Hospital. The money will be disbursed to send medical supplies to wildlife rescuers and carers on the frontline of the fire-affected areas; purchase food preparation equipment for wildlife care groups to cater for the huge number of patients; and to construct a climate-controlled intensive care ward for the ever-growing number of koalas harmed by the fires.

“This is a great show for a great cause,” Franklin says, “and the fact that so many people have come together to help is amazing. The people of Australia are good people. People around the world are good people.”

For more information about the event, click here

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