12A show featuring some of the country’s best comics that also supports a good cause? Sounds like a wonderful and heal*arious thing to watch.

The Best Medicine Brigade is hosting a national competition to find America’s funniest veterans and military spouses. The show, Operation HEAL*ARIOUS, is making a stop in Fayetteville which is known for having a large population of veterans, active duty servicemembers and military spouses.

HEAL*ARIOUS is a nonprofit that provides free and therapeutic humor programs to improve psychological performance and mental health. This comedy showcase featuring military spouse and veteran comedians is bringing awareness to the nonprofit.

The judges of the show include Dewayne White, an Army veteran and a DC-based stand-up comedian who performs all over the country; P.T. Bratton, an Air Force veteran who delivers clean, conscience comedy in a post-pandemic world; and Red Squirrel, an Army spouse and nationally touring comedian with Southern Momma Tour and Glitter & Grit Comedy Tour.

The Fayetteville show will be hosted by Stan Shelby, a Navy veteran. Shelby cut his teeth in the comedy world as a member of the Atlanta comedy community and can be seen performing across the country.

The contestants for the local show are Chris Petty, an Army veteran, Robert Taylor, a Marine Corps veteran, Jelvon Young, an Army veteran, Hulin Saunders III, an Army veteran, and Monica Daly, an Army veteran.
Petty and Young are both local residents of Cumberland County.

Young told Up & Coming Weekly he is excited to participate in the comedy show.

“It’s another opportunity to showcase my talent as well as help people escape their troubles momentarily,” Young said. “Hopefully, people will leave feeling a lot better than they came, and people should come to experience the magic of laughter.”

The show will then be headlined by Ashley Gutermuth, a military spouse who is an online comic and standup comedian. Most of her comedy is focused on military humor. She has developed a major fan base with over 200 thousand followers on Instagram (@ashgutermuth) and 194 thousand followers on TikTok (@AshGutermuth). She has also appeared on “The Tonight Show.”

A special guest will also make an appearance at the show, Austin von Letkemann, also known as @MandatoryFunDay on social media.
Letkemann is an Army Intelligence Officer and through his social media accounts, he pokes fun at the various nuances of military life — everything from the Defense Travel System to mandatory ‘fun days’.

Due to high demand the 8 p.m. show on July 29 is sold out, so producers have added a 4 p.m. show. Both shows will take place at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre. Ticket prices start at $20 for general admission.

More information about tickets and Operation HEAL*ARIOUS is available at www.bestmedicinebrigade.com.

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