A man walks into a church holding a life size pig puppet. The pig says…
Have you heard this one before?
Then you might have seen comedian, musician and ventriloquist Taylor Mason on one of the Thou Shalt Laugh DVD’s, Gaither Homecoming Concert Tour DVD’s, or at one of his numerous concerts around the country.
Taylor grew up the son of a radio farm broadcaster and a stay-at-home mom in suburban Chicago. After discovering that his ability to make people laugh wasn’t restrained to his college classmates, Taylor began working in the piano bars that dotted Chicago.
The next several years found Taylor serving as musical director for The Second City Touring Company, house emcee at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago and then eventually as the emcee of the legendary Catch A Rising Star Comedy Club.
A Star Search Win
In 1990, Taylor took his act to the television show Star Search with Ed McMahon. His act earned the grand-prize of $100,000 as well as the accompanying publicity and recognition within the comedy world. Mason describes himself as “an antidepressant that can be absorbed through the eyes and ears.” He has been entertaining kids and adults for nearly 25 years and has headlined every major comedy club in the USA.
Laughter in the Real World
Any conversation with Taylor Mason includes the poignant, the laughable and occasionally even the ridiculous. Known for his “clean” comedy acts that has been described as “easy enough for a child to understand but mature enough for teens and adults to appreciate,” Taylor points to our common humanity as the key to his continued success.
On the theological foundations of God’s sense of humor…
“I’ve looked…God created the penguin- a bird that can’t fly- so there is a heavy sense of humor there.”
On how a pig puppet explains salvation…
“There’s a puppet – let’s say it looks like a pig. You look at it- it’s got a snout, a curlicue tail, four legs, it’s fat and pink. It’s a pig. I get it; it works. Then a puppeteer puts his hand inside the puppet and the puppet ‘comes to life.’ I always explain it this way to children. It’s human beings. He’s viable as a human being- with two arms, two legs, hair, eyes, he’s a human but until you’ve got Christ…that is what actually brings things to life. I’m hesitant to have so much hubris to say that my act is an analogy of how God works but that is exactly how it works in my performance. No matter what venue I’m in- casino, churches, corporate gigs, people get it. Sometimes, I come out and say it but it’s how you use the comedy or performance piece to represent yourself as a Christian.”
On Christian comedy…
“I’m not really a Christian comedian- that is such a misnomer. I am a Christian who is a comedian. It’s not like I ever said, ‘I want to be a comedy writer.’ I was just doing what I was set on earth to do. It means that whether I am dealing with the head guy at Warner Brothers or my local children’s librarian who wants me to do a program to get kids to read over the summer. Even though she has no budget, I treat it the same. I don’t think that in God’s eyes there is a difference. You apply the same quality to everything. That’s the message of Ecclesiastes to me.”
On being a part of Family Comedy Night…
You are trying to take what you do on this earth, in my case it’s being a comedian, and apply your ability and your success at doing that to helping people who are less fortunate. That goes right back to whom we are as people of faith and this is why we are here and what we’re supposed to be doing.
On the question of whether his life is funnier than most…
To be human is to be flawed. There are two ways to look at those flaws- one is (to say) that this is a problem and we have to overcome it. Another way is that we are given a sense of humor to find the light in the situation and the humor in it. It’s all an obstacle course that is there for a reason. It is how we deal with those obstacles. There’s always something humorous about a situation. For whatever reason, I have the ability to bring that to life a lot on stage, in videos and in the written word.
Laughter for a Good Cause
Taylor Mason will be appearing locally as part of Family Comedy Night at Boca Raton Community Church on Thursday, February 17, from 7-9 p.m. and then at Christ Fellowship on Friday, February 18, 7-9 p.m.
A benefactor with a desire to support several area family organizations has arranged for Taylor to bring his award-winning talents to Palm Beach County with all ticket proceeds benefiting 4KIDS of South Florida, Place of Hope, and First Care Family Resources.
Doug Sauder, president of 4KIDS, is excited about this unique fundraising opportunity. “Families are the church’s primary resource, and when they can be brought together and strengthened through a great night of fun–and the proceeds can help repair broken families–it’s a win–win situation,” Sauder said.
4KIDS of South Florida offers hope and healing to children who are victims of abuse or neglect as well as pregnant teenagers. Their goal is to provide a safe place for kids in crisis, and they’ve been doing it since 2001. 4KIDS has over 100 licensed foster homes, a home for young women who are pregnant, and twelve family-style homes that serve young adults, teens, and difficult-to-place sibling groups.
Place of Hope, based in Palm Beach Gardens, is a state-licensed child welfare agency that offers family-style foster care as well as other services for families in crisis. They have been serving the Palm Beach community since 2001. The Life was started by Pastor Tom and Donna Mullins of Christ Fellowship Church.
First Care Family Resources has six pregnancy resource centers dedicated to saving unborn children from abortion. First Care has served Palm Beach County for more than 25 years. They are committed to teaching young people the benefits of abstinence, “speaking life” into difficult situations, and helping those who have a history of abortion to find healing.
Tickets are available for purchase at www.FamilyComedyNight.com for $15 per person. Family 4-packs, business sponsorships, and VIP seats are also available.
For more information on the benefit ministries, please visit these websites:
For more on Taylor Mason: www.taylormason.com.