Brad Upton returning for Hanford High fundraiser

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerSeptember 7, 2012 

Funny man Brad Upton, who now lives in Seattle, might be a Richland High alum, but that isn't stopping him from coming to the aid of Hanford High's annual fundraiser for its athletics programs, which is Sept. 14.

"Brad has always been very supportive of our fundraising needs," said Mike DePeel, organizer of the event. "We love his comedy and the Tri-City spin he puts into his performance. We do invite our friends from Richland High School to join us for this show though."

Upton taught elementary school in Pasco before he took off for the footlights of comedy nearly 28 years ago.

In fact, the show will be held in the Richland High auditorium. Doors open at 8 p.m. Showtime's at 9 p.m. Opening for Upton will be comic Nigel Larson.

"Nigel is a comic I hand-picked for this show because he's a really nice kid who works pretty clean," Upton said. "He moved to Tacoma from Rochester, N.Y., to care for his grandparents, who are in their 90s. In fact, he does some material about that."

Admission is $15 for reserved seats and $10 general. Tickets are available at

The fundraiser also includes a four-person golf scramble starting at 1 p.m. Sept. 15 at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland. Registration fee is $80 and includes 18 holes of golf, range balls, a cart, prizes and food afterward, DePeel said.

DePeel said he likes that Upton's humor is mostly geared to a general audience, which makes him a good draw for an all-ages fundraiser.

"Brad's humor is pretty tame compared to some (comics) who have expletives splattered throughout the show. We put a PG-13 rating on Brad's show, so older high school kids can attend."

Upton said two years before he graduated from Richland High in 1974, Hanford High opened its doors and half his friends went to the other high school.

"The kids I grew up with were all together through our sophomore year, then they split our class and started Hanford High in the fall of 1972," Upton said. "Richland and Hanford High (graduating) classes of 1974 hold our reunions together because we started out together. And, after all these years, no one can remember who went where anyway."

Upton stays busy on the comedy circuit performing at clubs across the country and he's a favorite on many cruise ship lines to the Caribbean and Alaska. He's opened for such notable entertainers as Joan Rivers, Johnny Mathis and Pam Tillis, and toured with the Mid-Life Crisis Comedy Show.

His humor has earned him plenty of comedy titles as well. He won the title of top comic at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival and headlined at Catch A Rising Star in Reno and Las Vegas. He also has been a guest comic on MTV's Half Hour Comedy Hour and An Evening at the Improv.

* Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;

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