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Former Comedy Club emcee Don Barnhart brings documentary ‘I Am Battle Comic’ to Hermosa Beach

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Former Comedy and Magic Club emcee Don Barnhart entertains troops at an undisclosed overseas location.

by Ralph Doyle

Shortly after graduating from Aviation High in Redondo Beach in 1981, Don Barnhart skateboarded to an Army enlistment office. The recruiter wasn’t in. So he skateboarded home to Hermosa Beach. On the way, he saw a help wanted sign outside the Comedy and Magic Club.. He was hired as a doorman. Within a few years, he was the house emcee.

“One evening,” he realled, “Jay Leno told me, ‘If you want to be a comedian, you’ve got to take your act on the road and see if it plays everywhere.’”  

Barnhart followed Leno’s advice. But he never forgot how close he came to becoming a soldier. He vowed if he succeeded as a comedian, he would follow Bob Hope’s example and entertain overseas troops.

True to his vow, in 1992, he formed Battle Comics. Next Thursday, Nov. 9, Barnhart is bringing “I Am Battle Comic” to the Hermosa Beach Community Theater.

The 1 hour, 29 minute documentary follows Barnhart and his fellow “Battle Comics” during their 2016 tour of Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. “I Am Battle Comic” is the third installment of comedian and documentary filmmaker Jordan Brady’s critically acclaimed “I Am Comic” trilogy.

In addition to Barnhart’s “Battle Comics,” the documentary includes interviews with comedians George Lopez, Dave Attell, Wayne Federman and George Wallace. Proceeds from the Hermosa Beach screening will go to Team Rubicon, a volunteer veterans’ group that responds to natural disasters.

Don Barnhart’s Battle  at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on March 23, 2016.

After years on the road, Barnhart now has his own show at the Jokesters Comedy Club at the D Casino Hotel on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. He has appeared on MTV, Star Search, and Evening At The Improv. 

Jeff Capri, another Hermosa Beach comedian who appears in “The Battle Comics,” organized the benefit screening. Capri teaches a comedy class in Redondo Beach and he designed the 2013/2014 Hermosa Beach parking pass.

He has appeared on “Comics Unleashed” and “Last Comic Standing.” He a regular on XM/Sirius.

Following the screening, Barnhart, Capri and director Brady will host a Q and A

Happy Hour: 5:30 p.m. Screening: 7 p.m. Presale tickets $25. $30 at the door.

For tickets and to view a trailer visit ER



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