These 8-year-old comedians show that when it comes to helping other sick children, laughter is the best medicine.
We're thrilled to introduce you to Max Chwatko and Alex Travin— aka the Comedy Kids—two 8-year-olds from Westchester, New York, who’ve found a powerfully effective (and hilarious) way to help children with cancer. Check out their inspiring story.
How They Got Started
Last year, Max’s sister Scarlett, 6, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and from day one, Max wanted to do something to help, says his mom, Robin Chwatko. So Max teamed up with his best friend, Alex, to brainstorm. “These two have always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” says Alonna Travin, Alex’s mom. “They’re constantly cooking up business ideas.” The moms were hardly surprised, then, when the boys announced: “We want to set up a fundraiser—and we’re thinking jokes! You can tell them anywhere, they’re free, and if you have a creative mind, you can make up as many as you want!”
- RELATED: When Your Child Has Cancer
Jokes for cancer research? Genius!
The boys knew their third-grade peers would respond to humor, so they tested the waters with Jokes for Scarlett. They charged 5 cents for each, and soon kids were bringing in loads of allowance money. School wasn’t exactly the appropriate place for this, so the boys told their classmates they were organizing a booth at the farmers’ market, and their moms helped make it happen. Last November, The Comedy Kids debuted at the Chappaqua market, where customers could make a donation to A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure PLGA Foundation, a locally based charity raising money for pediatric brain cancer research, in exchange for a laugh.
Their Comedy Inspiration
Max and Alex’s routine is a combination of original one-liners and those they’ve found on the Internet, in books, from friends, and recently, from Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated personal assistant. Their favorite comedians? Easy! Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Billy Eichner from Billy on the Street, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, and Carol Burnett. Max also names his grandfather as inspiration.
The duo began fundraising in October, and by November they had raised over $20,000 toward their $50,000 goal... but they aren’t stopping there. With the help of their parents, they’ve launched a website that includes a “Comedy Kids in a Box” kit with jokes, T-shirts, and instructions. Max and Alex want anyone, anywhere to raise money for the charity of their choice. Kids in Texas and Hawaii have already started their own Comedy Kids campaigns—way to go, boys!
How You Can Help
April is National Humor Month, and we want to flood your news feeds with laughter, while helping a great cause! Starting March 1, 2017, film a joke video and post it to Instagram using #FamilyFunnies. Don’t forget to tag us @familyfunmag, along with a friend (or two!). Encourage them to post their own joke or donate to A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure at familyfun.comedykids.org. We’ll be sharing all month long, too!
Do you know an amazing kid who deserves to be featured in our magazine? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.