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Globe Santa

Comics step up to lend a hand

Boston Bruins president Cam Neely and journalist Lisa Hughes joined Santa in the Back Bay Wednesday.

Cecille Joan Avila for The Boston Globe

Boston Bruins president Cam Neely and journalist Lisa Hughes joined Santa in the Back Bay Wednesday.

Boston-based comedian Dave Russo said that when the founders of Callanan & Klein Communications approached him last year about helping support Globe Santa, “it was a no-brainer.”

“I’ve always had great Christmases and holiday seasons, and I really wanted to be able to share that with some kids in the area,” said Russo, of NESN’s “Dirty Water TV” and a Boston Comedy Festival winner.

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“As entertainers, we kind of get to live the life of Riley,” Russo said in a phone interview. “We get to sleep in; we get to stay out late at night, but it is our responsibility to give back to the community.”

Russo quickly signed on to help bring toys and books to children in need, organizing a night of comedy that raised almost $3,000 for Globe Santa’s effort to bring a happy holiday to local families who might otherwise have no gifts to open Christmas morning.

After last year’s success, Russo has assembled another lineup of top local comedic talent to entertain audiences at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at Giggles Comedy Club inside Prince Pizzeria in Saugus.

This year’s lineup includes Russo, Lenny Clarke, Tony V., Anthony Scibelli, Paul Gilligan, and Artie Januario. Russo said each will treat the audience to some of his greatest hits.

Russo said his own act stretches the bounds of stand-up comedy.

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“I’m more of an entertaining kind of act, where I will tip-toe the line, but I try not to cross over it,” the animated comedian said.

To make last year’s event possible, Russo approached Steven and Trisha Castraberti, owners of the pizzeria, and Michael Clarke, owner of Giggles and brother of veteran comedian and actor Lenny Clarke, who were immediately on board.

Recruiting comedians — including Clarke, Januario, Scibelli, and Johnny Pizzi — proved to be just as easy, Russo said.

“We’re all kind of still little kids on the inside, and we know how much we love the holidays, and it really would be a shame if other kids weren’t able to enjoy the holiday season,” he said.

“It’s just basically kids helping other kids; we’re just a little older.”

Prince Pizzeria donated the pizza, which was served in unlimited quantities to everyone who bought a $25 ticket, and others donated auction items. The comedians donated their time and their talents, something they were eager to do then, Russo said, and are excited to repeat this year.

“We’re all passionate about that,” he said. “We’re looking forward to it, and none of us are taking a dime, honestly. It’s all going to Globe Santa.”

For more information about A Night of Comedy to Benefit Globe Santa, visit the website www.princepizzeria.com/?post_type=events&p=7981.

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