published Thursday, June 20th, 2013

'Humor for the Tumor': Evening of comedy benefits Karen Mills

If laughter is the best medicine and hard times will always reveal true friends, then "Humor for the Tumor" is the perfect prescription for Karen Mills.

This double dose of love and laughter for the hometown comedian comes courtesy of three of her funniest contemporaries: Leanne Morgan, Sonya White and Etta May.

Mills was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May and will undergo 15 weeks of chemotherapy. Mills said her treatment begins this week and her prognosis is as good as anyone could have.

"I'm fine," she said earlier this week. "I want everyone to know that. This is not a pity party or a solicitation. The girls and Michael [Alfano] at The Comedy Catch wanted to do this, for which I am very, very grateful.

"And it's going to be a great show. These are professional comedians, and they are very funny."

Etta May said she wanted to help because the medical bills could be life-altering.

"People don't realize that we are small-business people," said the comedian. "We don't have retirement funds or pensions. One doctor's appointment can change your life forever.

"They say that laughter is the best medicine, but money is the best medicine," she continued. "Try paying a bill with a knock-knock joke."

The show, rated PG-18, is scheduled at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road. Tickets are $20, and extra donations will be accepted.

To purchase tickets, call 423-629-2233 or visit

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at bcourter@times or at 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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