Eamon Cannon Comedy Project

A project of Inner-City Arts


Eamon Cannon hated school. He loved to learn. He hated to be taught. He could have been a dropout, a slacker, the class clown who never got anywhere.

One semester Susanna Spies came to his high school to teach Standup Comedy. For Eamon, the class was a revelation. He discovered who he was, how to talk about the world, his feelings, his parents and friends, race and class, with brilliant humor and insight.

Everyone loved Eamon. By the time he was twenty, his voice was their voice. He was the “skinny white kid” who drew cheers at black clubs and prep schools alike. He trained other kids to find their voices, mentored them, stood up for them.

He was a comic genius. A month after his 20th birthday he died.

Not many people leave a legacy at that age, but Eamon did. Now his legacy has a home — just where Eamon would want it — at ICA’s multi-cultural arts center in LA’s Skid Row.

The Comedy Project is headed and taught by Susanna Spies, Eamon’s mentor, colleague, and friend. Her students come from all over, mostly high-risk areas.  Some are homeless.

We don’t intend to create a raft of Richard Pryors, Lili Tomlins, Lewis Blacks, George Lopezes, or Jon Stewarts (though we might and we know this world needs them). But the Comedy Project has already created immediate and startling benefits. Standup can transform an unorganized, awkward, insecure young person who could barely write a paragraph into one who takes notes, writes monologues, memorizes them, organizes a public presentation that must be tight, well-timed, focused, clear, and funny. How many adults can do that?

Susanna’s curriculum is original, developed over years through her Comedy Playground classes at The Improv comedy club. In 2009 she was declared one of ten in the nation’s Leaders in Learning profiled in Variety’s Educational Impact Report.www.live.com

Eamon didn’t make it. There are thousands like him who will find their voices and their own personal genius.  Especially with your help.

To donate by check: Make check payable to “Inner-City Arts”  or “ICA” with “FBO Eamon  Cannon Comedy Project” in the memo line. Send to ICA, 720 Kohler St., Los Angeles CA 90021. Your contribution is tax deductible.

To donate via credit card or PayPal, go to  The Eamon Cannon Comedy Project  

To learn about ICA, go to www.inner-cityarts.org

To learn about Susanna Spies and Comedy Playground, go to www.comedyplayground.com.  It has a beautiful  tribute  to Eamon and more about the class at Inner-City Arts.

You can also contact us by email:  eccp@comedyproject.org