Let’s be honest. Pit bull-type dogs are funny, from their giant blocky heads, to the goofy faces and antics they create, right down to their hilarious vocals. Chances are, if you’ve met one of these “types” you’ve probably had a good chuckle at some point.
However, the bad reputation they have gotten over the years—and the abuse and discrimination that they face—is no laughing matter. That’s why Rebecca Corry, an actress/comedienne inspired by her rescue pit bull Angel, came up with the idea to take her show on the road in 2011 with Stand Up For Pits (SUFP).
Now in its seventh year, the Stand Up For Pits events continue to educate, advocate, and save the lives of pit bull types—all while making people laugh with amazing comedy. It has steadily grown each year to include more stops, this year rising from eight cities to thirteen. New stops on the tour include Raleigh, NC; Philadelphia, PA; Spokane, WA; Buffalo, NY; St. Louis, MO; and Portland, OR.
The 2017 SUFP tour kicked off at New York City’s Gotham Comedy Club on April 30th, with a sold out show featuring an all-star lineup. Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich hosted and performed, followed by Wil Sylvince, surprise drop-in guest Jim Gaffigan, Janeane Garofalo, and the woman behind it all — Rebecca Corry.
Many who perform at or support the SUFP Foundation may not have experience with pit bull-types daily or even have dogs at all, but everyone that PupJournal spoke with agreed that abuse and discrimination is wrong and must end.
“This goes beyond dogs,” Katie Rich told PupJournal when asked why she would encourage someone to buy a ticket for a Stand Up For Pits event. “This is promoting basic human decency.” Rich is mom to a pit bull rescue named Lulu herself.
“It’s good to see [pit bulls] in a positive light,” Wil Sylvince commented, in addition to mentioning becoming pescatarian and caring about all animals. “[As a black man], I know what the pit bull stereotype means — the idea that most are brought up to be vicious killers. It’s good to be involved with an organization working to change that bad rap, to get them out of the negative light.”
Janeane Garofalo, who was performing for the fourth year in a row, is a pit bull mom herself and a staunch supporter of Stand Up For Pits. “Once you rescue a [pit bull], you’re a convert because you realize they’re the greatest dogs who have gotten a bad rap,” Garofalo told PupJournal. “It is unfortunate that quite unfairly their reputation has been erroneously defined by a handful of alarmist news stories. A pit and a pit mix is the greatest dog you’ll ever have.”
Garofalo went on to say:
“Any kind of advocacy group for people and animals that are marginalized is important, but pit bulls most especially because people do not understand what a great dog it is. They prejudge them unfairly. It’s like a civil rights issue.”
Angel, who sadly passed away last April, less than a month before the 2016 SUFP tour kicked off, was still very much a presence — from the numerous t-shirts worn by attendees, to the pictures of Angel hanging all around the stage. Rich introduced Rebecca Corry, not by her name, but as “Angel’s mom.”
Corry spoke to PupJournal about Angel’s continued impact:
“Angel changed people’s lives. A lot of people didn’t know her, but they felt like they knew her. Everyone has a story about what Angel did to change them, and they’re all different. They have a different favorite post, they have a different favorite thing she did… there’s just all these things she did that impacted people I wasn’t even aware that was happening, but was for many, many years. She was a great ambassador and teacher.”
Though Corry had no plans of ever adopting another dog and has stated on numerous occasions that there will never be another like Angel, she recently made an announcement that she had decided to officially adopt her foster pup Todd.