IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Comedy Works to close temporarily

Club owner Joy Little, who used her comedy connections to raise money for cancer research, died shortly after the disease spread to her pancreas.
/ Source: PhillyBurbs.com

Club owner Joy Little, who used her comedy connections to raise money for cancer research, died shortly after the disease spread to her pancreas.

Her laugh was infectious. Her mission was to have you rolling in the aisles.

Joy Little of Bensalem helped establish Comedy Works clubs in Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Wildwood.

But her last remaining Comedy Works, at Georgine’s in Bristol Township, will close only temporarily following her death from cancer last week.

Little, 59, battled breast cancer for more than a year. In October, she organized a “Laugh for a Cure” comedy night to benefit breast cancer survivors. This summer, doctors discovered the disease in her pancreas.

“Some people described her battle as a roller coaster,” said her brother, Steve Young. “I remember it as a steep, downward slide.”

His sister lived a life so full of laughter, Young said.

“When we all started together, we were like inmates running the asylum,” he said. “We put some really great shows together, in part, because there really was no place else to go.”

At a time when men dominated the standup comedian business, Little held all-women shows, her brother said.

“She was the one who pushed us to seek out and book female comedians like Rita Rudner,” Little remembered. “She would have all-women shows. She would have girls’ night out, and she would not let any men in that audience.”

Joy is survived by her mother, Penny Sklar, her husband, John, and their three sons, Richard, Kevin and Bryan, as well as seven grandchildren.

“She had the most infectious laugh in the world,” Young said. “If you could make her laugh, then everyone else would start laughing.”

“I won’t forget her laugh,” Young added. “You can’t forget her laugh.”

The Comedy Works at Georgine’s will remain closed through Sept. 10, the management said.

James McGinnis can be reached at 215-949-3248 or jmcginnis@phillyBurbs.com.