BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been a while since Roy Wood Jr. visited Children’s of Alabama.
Wood, the Birmingham-born stand-up comic has made a name for himself over the years, both onstage as well as on Comedy Central shows like “They Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and “This is Not Happening.” On Friday, he found himself looking around the Southside hospital, very different from the one he remembered from years ago.
“The only fun thing to do was walk to the vending machine,” Wood said. “I don’t even think they even had a gift shop yet. This place is nice.”
On Friday, Wood returned to Children’s with fellow comic and Alabama native Ced Delaney to perform a private comedy show for parents with children at the hospital. The show was part of a larger effort Delaney has been putting together for several years called the “Good Medicine Project,” where he visits different hospitals to perform and entertain both parents and patients.
“To give them all just a minute away from what they’re dealing with, to just give them a little relief is all we’re trying to do, even if it is just for 10 minutes,” Delaney said.
Wood said that with the exception of USO tours he has performed overseas for the troops, he has never performed in a hospital before.
“It’s nice, for just a second, to make them forget about everything,” Wood said.
The comedy night is part of Children’s monthly “Parents Night Out,” which is typically held the second Thursday of every month for parents and feature different kinds of entertainment.
“Having a patient in a hospital can be very stressful,” said Lisa Howard, coordinator of volunteer services at Children’s.
Adam Kelley, manager of corporate marketing communications at Children’s of Alabama, said he was thankful for Delaney and Wood’s time to come help others.
“It’s very gratifying and encouraging that people outside the hospital who try to treat them who are there and give them a break from reality,” Kelley said. “Anytime outside groups show kindness to them, there’s ripple effect.”
For Wood, the night has been part of a larger effort to give back to his hometown. Wood recently shot a TV pilot in Birmingham called “Jefferson County: Probation” and often comes back to Birmingham for shows and to visit family. Wood hopes that like himself, others give back to Birmingham.
“I think at the end of the day, it’s important for the young people in Birmingham to know that there’s people who have stood where they’re standing who have gotten to higher horizons and broader horizons and that they are capable of doing that as well, but it’s also important to come back and give to the community and pour yourself back into the people that helped make you,” Wood said.
Delaney said he plans to visit more hospitals to perform comedy, some of which will feature Wood while others will feature other comedians.
Check out the full interview with Delaney and Wood Jr. below.