The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, the host affiliate for the 2021 national convention, is proud to host the first-ever NFB LOL Comedy Night. The master of ceremonies for the event is Marilee Talkington, an acclaimed blind actor who recently appeared onscreen in the Apple TV Plus adventure drama See. Nine blind contestants will present comedy material to an audience of convention attendees, who will then vote, American Idol-style, for the winner. The best two performers will win cash prizes of $200 for first prize and $100 for second prize. The event takes place Monday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. Like the convention, the event is virtual and is accessible the Zoom link below:
- NFB 2021 National Convention LOL Comedy Night - Monday, July 5. Zoom meeting ID: 985 9871 5785
“We are proud to present this event, the first of its kind, as part of the kickoff of the 2021 convention,” said Ronza Othman, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. “Laughter and fun are always an important part of our conventions, so we wanted to make it official and to give rising blind comedians a chance to show us what they’ve got.”
Our Host, Marilee Talkington
Marilee Talkington, the emcee for the event, is an award winning actor, writer, director, motivational speaker, and creator of new theatrical works including TRUCE, her one-woman solo show (BBC 4) and several short independent films. She spoke at the 2019 national convention after her breakout TV role on the CBS crime drama NCIS, in which she played Annie Barth, a blind witness whose information was critical to solving a case. Later that year, she drew rave reviews from critics in the role of Souter Bax in the first season of the Apple TV + sci-fi adventure drama See, which also starred Jason Momoa and Academy Award winner Alfre Woodard. In 2020, she received the NFB’s prestigious Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award for her work in helping transform the entertainment industry's views of blind people and for founding Access Acting Academy, a first of its kind acting program specifically for blind and low vision performers.
Marilee Talkington said, “I'm no stand-up comedian, but I love me some comedy! And I'm delighted to continue my support of the NFB by emcee-ing this event. We're gonna have some fun!"
The Comedy Lineup
Below are the comedians and their brief description.
Annie Dannelon Davis
My name is Annie Davis and I am thirty-five years young. I am from Cincinnati, OH. I am affiliated with NFB of Ohio and am currently a member of the Performing Arts Division. I try to incorporate comedy in almost everything I do; however, I have been doing stand-up as a hobby for about five years. Aside from comedy, my favorite hobby (as of late anyway) is cooking when I find a decent recipe. Nothing like the joy of mastering the art of deliciousness!
Christine Faltz Grassman. Age is old enough to know better and young enough to choose to ignore knowing better; in other words, between 51 and 52. From Virginia by way of New York.
NFB participation includes being a member, Chapter leader and Division leader.
President of the Patomic Chapter in Virginia. Have been doing comedy informally as long as I can remember. Formally, I took a comedy class with my son in 2013 and we graduated
by performing at Governor’s (a club I presume) in Wontag New York. Favorite hobby is learning.
David C. Hammel
Age: 70. Urbandale, IA (Des Moines). Treasurer for IA Affiliate and Des Moines Chapter. Performing about 20 years but only as part of singing in Barbershop Quartets. Married to a Blind Iowan - We also adopted two blind children. I drive for the Iowa Department for the Blind.
My name is Dan Hicks and I am 65. I am the Treasure in the Tampa Bay Chapter, and I have been an officer and President of the NFB Florida affiliate. I have been telling jokes all of my life but nothing formal. I wrote the Harry Potter play which was performed in the opening ceremony in the 2013 Orlando NFB National Convention. I have worked on routines for a long time but have not performed Formal stand-up comedy. My favorite hobbies are reading and writing science fiction and horror and following other comedians.
I’m Nick Isenberg. I’m 79 and live in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. I became involved with the NFB while I was a student at the Colorado Center for the Blind in 2017 and I belong to the Colorado At-Large NFB Chapter. I became legally blind in 2011 and completely blind in 2019. In 2017 I realized that I had come up with so many blind jokes, I had enough to
do a stand up. So, I tried it at a local open mic and people went nuts. So, I’ve been doing occasional stand ups here in Glenwood Springs and in Aspen. Now I produce and host the radio program and podcast “The Tactile Traveler”. My hobbies are skiing and mountain climbing.
My name is Mike Karsok. I'm 38 years old. I live in Boston Massachusetts. I'm a member of the NFB MA At Large Chapter. I've been doing comedy since 2011. My favorite hobby is traveling and meeting new people.
Hello my name is Elvin Maglinte, I am 44 years old from Stockton CA. I’m part of the San Joaquin County NFB stockton chapter. I’ve been doing comedy for almost 3 years, it will be three years this coming September. My style of comedy discusses my life as a blind comedian, relationships, current events and growing up as a Filipino. I have performed in places such as Alameda Comedy Club (New Faces), Laughs Unlimited, Comedy Spot and Stabs Comedy theater. My hobbies include stand-up comedy, DJ-ing, traveling, and being with family and friends.
My name is Aundrea Moore. I live in Austin Texas. I will be 70 years old next April. I serve on the board up directors of the Austin chapter, National Federation of the Blind of Texas where I have been a member since the mid 1970’s. I have been doing comedy as long as I can remember. Before I was in the first grade I was called on to entertain my parents and their friends singing and doing stand up and then later when my co-workers at the Texas Attorney General’s office were wanting some entertainment. I did not actually approach comedy clubs officially until 2019. In March 2020 some of the comedians at our largest comedy club encouraged me to enter the funniest person in Austin contest. And then the lock
down hit and the comedy club closed. My hobbies are doing stand up comedy, writing and producing my own songs, swimming, and hanging out with friends.
Age 57 and lives in Knoxville Tennessee. A member of both NFB Tennessee Volunteer Chapter and the Nashville Chapter. Serves as President of the NFB Tennessee Seniors Division and is on the state membership and legislative committees. I have performed stand up comedy and comedic story telling off and on for 25 years. My two top hobbies are performing and axe throwing.
Plan to Attend and Have a Laugh!
All are welcome. Below is the Zoom details to join the event:
NFB 2021 National Convention LOL Comedy Night - Monday, July 5.
Zoom meeting ID: 985 9871 5785