Comedian David McSavage is kicking off a tour of Ukraine today – with all proceeds going to the people who need it most in the towns he performs in.
The comedian has also set up a GoFundMe page to support the ‘Special Comedy Operation’ in the war-torn country.
He will perform in six Ukrainian cities in the coming days, taking to the stage alongside local Ukrainian comedians.
The first show will take place in bomb shelter in Lviv this evening and on Newstalk Breakfast, he jokingly said he hopes the tour, “might make me look heroic”.
“I’m going to try and make people laugh,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing to do.
“You know, I agreed to do it and I am sort of semi-regretting it, but I’m going. There are other Ukrainian stand-up comedians like me and I think it is quite nice to be there with them doing a show.
“Also, I’ll be honest it might make me look heroic. Having said that, my ex-wife - she is Polish - said to me, it’s not that dangerous, do you think you’re a hero? So, she wasn’t having it.
“I mean it is relatively safe touch wood in the areas I am going to – but it does feel a bit risky.”
He said he hopes the tour can offer some light relief from the everyday horrors the country is experiencing.
“It is a horrendous thing that’s happened,” he said. “We can’t believe it. It is like watching murder in slow motion before our very eyes every day,” he said.
“I think we’re starting to get a bit weary of these constant stories so, it’ll be nice to have a bit of fun with local comedians and that’s it really.”
He said the ability to keep laughing in the darkest situations is very important.
“I was worried about that too and then I looked up a comedian who did a stand-up in English in a bomb shelter in Kyiv and I mean, it was dark,” he said.
“I can’t really go into the stuff he was talking about here, but it was very dark – but to me it was very, very funny.
“To me, that’s a way of processing what you’re going through and it’s a sign that you are mentally healthy, I think, that you still have a sense of humour. The ability to laugh is, yeah, it’s really important.”
All proceeds from the tour will be donated to people and groups in the towns hosting the shows.
You can donate to the appeal through GoFundMe here.