Cam Neely Reveals Why Boston’s Biggest Comics Come Home Each Year To Benefit His Foundation


Comics Come HomePhoto Credit: Cam Neely Foundation/Vanguard PR

If you are looking for some nonstop laughs, you won’t want to miss tomorrow night’s annual Comics Come Home being held at the TD Garden. From past familiar faces like Michael J. Fox to this year’s big name funnyman, Jimmy Fallon, each year’s show brings together national comics with favorite local comedians.

The 23rd annual event is once again being hosted by Denis Leary and this year’s show will feature stand-up performances by Lenny Clarke, Jimmy Fallon, Jared Freid, Lil Rel Howery, Robert Kelly, Juston McKinney, Jeffrey Ross and Mo Amer.

We caught up recently with Cam Neely, president of The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care (and current president of the Boston Bruins) to find out why Boston’s biggest comedians return to Boston for a fun night of comedy to benefit his foundation, which provides support for cancer patients and their families.

How is this year’s Comics Come Home going to be special?

I look at every year as being special. Being the 23rd year is special in itself. Comics Come Home is the longest running stand-up comedy benefit in the country and it’s for people who want to come out to support cancer patients and their families.

What can a first-timer expect at the show?

Primarily, most comedians are current event driven, so whatever is going on, they try to relay that to the audience. They are all great, fabulous, funny storytellers. For the most part, it’s just two hours of nonstop laughter.

Why did you decide to create the show 23 years ago?

I lost both of my parents to cancer. Instead of going to the movies to take my mind off things, I went to comedy shows. Once I got to know Denis Leary, I asked if he would be interested in hosting a show to benefit the foundation and he has been doing it ever since. I am blessed to be able to have people who want to give their time from the volunteers to anyone who comes out to support the cause. I want them all to know how impactful it is for someone dealing with cancer.

Tell us a little about some of the foundation’s works.

The first project we did was on a floor inside Tufts Medical Center. Patients can stay there, but it’s also for their family members. The patients have the burden of dealing with the illness, but there is also a financial burden for families from out of town looking to stay somewhere. We wanted to alleviate that burden. We wanted to find a way to make the money that we raise get to work right away by helping these families.