Stand-up comedian Pam Stone is once again using the power of laughter to heal and help rescued animals in need.
Stone is the headliner for an Aug. 24 comedy benefit at the historic Abbeville Opera House for Big Oaks Rescue Farm. Appearing with her is special guest and comedian, Andy Forrester and emcee Mike Elis. Last year, Stone did a comedy benefit in Greenwood to support Big Oaks.
“This is my very first time (performing at Abbeville Opera House) and I’m kind of excited about it,” Stone said, during a telephone interview with the Index-Journal. “You always add to your material but you also have people who see you again and again because they want to hear certain bits and certain jokes.”
Stone, who lives near Landrum, has an extensive background in live comedy and she is also a horse trainer and accomplished equestrian in the discipline of dressage.
She got to know the magic of Big Oaks Rescue Farm several years ago when an aggressive donkey was re-homed there and found refuge and friendship with another male donkey and a duck on the farm.
“I took the donkey there and he, Teddy, immediately buddied up with one of the jacks,” Stone said. “Joe (Mann) later sent me a video of the two donkeys sharing a feed tub and a duck they kind of adopted, who would get the crumbs. I was so grateful. Between Joe (Mann) and Mary (Moss), they were, and are, ones who have actually done something in cases of animal neglect and abuse. They have gotten up at all hours and put themselves in dangerous situations. The vast majority of the time, they nurse these animals through. It is completely a vocation and a labor of love.”
Big Oaks, launched in 2007, under the leadership of Joe Mann. When he died in 2016, the farm and its mission continued with Mary Moss. Big Oaks relocated Greenwood, to 809 E. Townsend Road in Hodges last year, after Lonza purchased its former property on Kateway. Big Oaks is a nonprofit that provides sanctuary, rehabilitation and animal adoption for horses, donkeys, mules, goats, sheep and other farm animals. The farm also promotes animal welfare education and humane treatment.
Stone is an actress, comedian, writer and former radio host. She is perhaps best known for her seven seasons on the hit ABC sit-com, “Coach,” portraying Judy Watkins. She has performed at the White House and made numerous television appearances. Her syndicated columns appear in the Index-Journal. Stone released her first novel, “Girls Like Her,” in February 2017, which was nominated for the Southern Book Prize. The novel is also on Kindle.
Stone jokes that she doesn’t write material, she just takes notes on current events, news and the world around her.
“I let real life do the comedy and I’m the messenger,” Stone said. “I don’t try out material on anybody. When you’ve been doing stand-up as long as I have, you have a pretty strong sense of what will work and what won’t...Politically, every freaking day, there is something.”
Stone said her comedy “tends to be relational” in her approach to topical subjects and current events.
“I’m a Southerner,” Stone said. “I live in the area. I live in a town of 2,000. I totally get what it means to live in small towns...I am so grateful that I started in stand-up comedy when I did. It was hot in the 1980s. There were very few female headliners and few out of the South. There was a ton of work in clubs. Now, comics gain a lot of notoriety using social media and YouTube.”