The Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada received an award recently from the LA City College Foundation for running his annual comedy camp for underprivileged children, and his most prized pupil, Tiffany Haddish, introduced him at the event.
“I’ve known Jamie since I was 15 years old,” she said, “and now that I’m only 21 for the 18th year, I have to say he has done some pretty amazing things in my world. When he started The Laugh Factory back in 1979…he started a place where I have always found to be my safe place. That stage was the first place anyone ever made me feel like I was accepted. He started these comedy camps…at-risk children would come and they would learn communication skills, be able to, how to stand in front of an audience. Learn confidence. Learn how to write a joke. Learn how to be in the presence of strangers…I grew up in foster care, right? And that was hard, living in strangers’ homes and trying to be accepted. And feel like, dang, why they don’t want to keep me here? Because they kept moving me from this place to this place to this place. And then I came to The Laugh Factory. And all these great comics would tell me, ‘You’re funny. You have talent. You can do this.’ And he’s uplifted me and presented me in front of really awesome people, and given me super great opportunities, and every time he’s ever given me a chance to shine, I’ve taken it, and I’ve ran with it, and we rejoice over it together. And you have helped me become a grown-up woman. And I ain’t got no kids. I ain’t no ho out there or nothing!”
“My whole mission in life is to bring joy, and I feel like that’s what Jamie’s mission is. He has brought joy to people for over 39 years. Jamie, did you know that?”