MCCS - News and Events
Leatherneck Comedy Tour brings laughs, builds unit cohesion
Release Date: 3/9/2012
HQMC (MR) QUANTICO, VA –
Since its launch in the fall of 2011, the “Leatherneck Comedy and Entertainment Tour” has been attended by more than 4,000 Marines and Sailors. The tour is designed to be an opportunity for Marines and Sailors to take a break from the operational stress of their daily schedules and to build unit camaraderie. Even the shows’ motto is: “If you are not a Marine or Sailor this show is not for you.”
Tour performers include veterans of the entertainment circuit, with backgrounds including the Laff Mobb comedy troupe and the Def Jam Comedy Tour, as well as HBO and Showtime specials. The show has featured comedians such as Rudy Rush, Alex Scott, Corey “Zooman” Miller, Bill Posley, Mark Viera and musical performance ranging from Tommy Stanley, a singer-songwriter currently serving in the Navy, to the Stephen Cochran Project featuring a Marine veteran, to pop singer Kimberly Cole.
“Helping Marines laugh, have fun, and forget, just having a little bit of welcome home, I think that’s what the Leatherneck Tour is about,” said Stephen Cochran, a country musician from Pikewill, Ky. “At the end of each show, hopefully everyone leaves knowing we came and we did our best to give them a little piece of home,” Cochran added.
The tour, which is sponsored by the Headquarters Marine Corps Single Marine Program, helps build unit morale, esprit de corps, and cohesion. According to Michael Brown, Single Marine Program manager, “over the past few years, the Marines have expressed a desire to have more entertainment available on the installation, and with the help of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Community and Family Policy Office, who provided the funding for the shows, we were able to schedule events at 17 bases and stations around the world.”
Cpl Kelly McManus, a Marine Attack Squadron 513 embarkation specialist at MCAS Yuma summed it up for the attendees “I did not think I’d laugh as hard as I did,” and Lance Cpl Angel Dejesus, financial technician Headquarters Battalion, MCB Hawaii, said that “all of the comedians made me laugh today and the MCCS staff did a great job.”
This spring the, Leatherneck Comedy and Entertainment Tour is scheduled to make appearances at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms (23 March & 8 June), MCAS New River (4 May) , MCAS Iwakuni (18 May), Camp Fuji (16 May) Camp Foster (9 May), Camp Hansen (7 May), Camp Kinsner (11 May), MCAS Futenma (14 May), MWTC Bridgeport (24 May), and return shows at Camp Lejeune (13 April) and Camp Pendleton (22 June).
The Leatherneck Comedy and Entertainment Tour features three comedians and a musical act at each show with the performers changing from location to location. The entertainers enjoy performing for the Marines as much as the Marines enjoy the show. Alex Scott, a former enlisted Air Force X-ray technician, said that “as a vet myself, I know how important it is to get the morale up for the troops. Sometimes they’re far from home. Getting a good laugh can be a great way to ease stress.”
Rudy Rush, who has hosted “Showtime at the Apollo,” and has appeared at a number of the Leatherneck Tour events said he enjoys the change of pace from his shows for civilian audiences. “Performing for the troops on the Leatherneck Tour is great because it gives me not only a chance to do what I love, but it also offers the chance to thank the men and women who protect my right to do so. Seeing Marines and Sailors take an hour or two to escape the everyday riggers of service is an awesome thing,” he said.
Brown added, “We are trying to bring some fun to Marines and Sailors any way we can. If Marines like these shows, they should let their leadership know and we will try to do more of these kinds of events in the future. ”
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