Mike G takes insults for a good cause, raising money for Camp Fire survivors

Comedian TJ Hudson gave the “ABC’s of Mike G Ride.” Mike G’s dog, ‘Lil G’ sat quietly with Mike G for most of the night and received more love than comedic roasts on Feb 24, 2019. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

What would it take for you to sit in front of an audience and be publicly ridiculed in the name of comedy? For Mike Griffith, also known as “Mike G Ride,” it took having both a winning personality and it being for a good cause — raising money for Camp Fire victims.

The comedy roast of the Chico icon was produced by Nick Stiles and the organization known as Cause-Worthy Comedy. It was hosted at the Chico Women’s Club Sunday night and was for “mature” audiences.

Nick Stiles, the producer of the comedy roast event, was the first to start with the jokes about Mike G on Sunday night, Feb 24, 2019. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

Griffith said it was his first time doing comedy and he wanted it to be for a positive cause. He said he has always been moved by the love of the community in the events of crises like the Oroville Dam Spillway evacuation and the Carr Fire. He wanted a way to support our neighbors in Paradise.

“I was giving Camp Fire victims rides when they were homeless, and this is a big cause to me,” Griffith said.

“We were planning this before the Camp Fire happened, then that happened and it was obvious,” Nick Stiles, the organizer of the event said. “Every fundraiser should be for the Camp Fire until further notice, I think.”

Stiles said he told Griffith about the idea for the show a year ago. He chose Mike G Ride to be the face of the jokes because he knows him well.

“This was a fundraiser, but we also wanted to honor Mike in a special way,” Stiles said. “Nobody does roasts anymore, hopefully we can bring it back.

“Griffith is a local celebrity that everyone has seen jamming out as he rides his pedicab around downtown Chico, making him the best choice for a comedic roasting event,” Stiles said.

Mike G sits with his jaw dropped as a local comedian, Dillon Collins, roasts the Downtown Chico personality on Sunday night. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

“Roasting a guy like Mike G Ride is like roasting all of Chico,” E.V.E., one of the local comics said.

Most of the jokes were about Griffith, but the other comedians weren’t safe from humorous criticisms either.

In total there were 14 local Chico personalities at Sunday night’s event. Some were radio hosts, others were local comics. Councilmember Ann Schwab and Action News Now Anchor, Linda Watkins-Bennett were also included in the line-up — getting in a few jabs on one another.

Mike G had the opportunity to fire back at all of the comedians that roasted him. “I had to skip over some of the stuff I had written,” Griffith said. It was his first time doing comedy on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

Some of the roasters had never done stand-up comedy in front of an audience before, one of which was Watkins-Bennett.

Griffith personally asked Watkins-Bennett to be part of the comedy roast. She said the joke writing process was a collaboration with Nick Stiles that took over two hours.

“I was very worried not having done this kind of venue before, so I was very grateful people laughed,” Watkins-Bennett said.

The laughs didn’t die out as the night went on. The audience was engaged and even participated by contributing their own snarky comments on occasion. Burns were made, but everyone, including Griffith, left the comedy fundraiser unharmed.

“I feel like we were still a little easy on him,” Watkins-Bennett said.

The mean-spirited comedy for a good cause seemed to work out well for Griffith and the other comics as it was all in good fun.

“I knew everybody and hand-picked people who I thought wouldn’t go too dark,” Stiles said.

“There were a lot of positive roasts,” Griffith said. “Everybody’s been so awesome though. It was a blast.”

Most of the local Chico personalities that took part in the comedic roast of Mike G Ride to raise money for victims of the Camp Fire at the Chico Women’s Center on Feb 24, 2019. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

The one-night event raised over $1,000 for Camp Fire donations through ticket sales and donations.

Olyvia Simpson can be reached at [email protected] or @OSimpson15 on Twitter.