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Salvation Army Benefits from Comedy on the Cumberland


Clarksville, TN – Stand up comedy returned to Clarksville, on Tuesday, June 7th at 7:00pm at the Roxy Regional Theatre, as F&M Bank presented “Comedy on the Cumberland”. The Clarksville Salvation Army was the beneficiary of the show. This year, Bonehead Promotions is focusing on The Clarksville Hunger Project, an awareness campaign featuring benefits for the local agencies who fight hunger in our community, because hunger is no laughing matter.

This show featured Paul Strickland, Brian Swinford, and C.J Harlow; and was hosted by local talk show host and comedian, Hank Bonecutter.

Hank Bonecutter with Brian Swinford, CJ Harlow, and Paul Strickland

Hank Bonecutter with Brian Swinford, CJ Harlow, and Paul Strickland

Most people think of the Salvation Army as the bell ringers on the corner, but the Salvation Army is much, much more that a few people asking for your contributions. The Salvation Army in Clarksville has not only a homeless shelter but a family store as well.

The James Amos shelter (opened in 2009) has four rooms for families, 18 beds for single women, and 24 beds for single men. All these people are provided breakfast and dinner. During the day they leave to look for work and to address other issues of immediate importance in their lives. Most people are homeless for only a short period of time after losing their job or having some other type of personal crisis.

A Salvation Army Bell Ringer stands outside of the Roxy shortly before the Comedy show began

A Salvation Army Bell Ringer stands outside of the Roxy shortly before the Comedy show began

Martin Bruner

Martin Bruner

Martin Bruner, chair of the Advisory Board, admitted prior to the beginning of the show, that this had been a “tough year” for the Clarksville Salvation Army. Jill Crow, also an active member added that the flooding earlier this year had stretched their resources thin. The Salvation Army store itself was flooded and had to be renovated, but additionally the Salvation Army went into flooded neighborhoods and provided hundreds of meals for victims.

During July, the “Christmas in July” drive will feature mini red buckets located in many places in Clarksville to request additional much needed funds. Please remember to contribute all that you can.

The Family Thrift Store on Kraft Street (open Monday through Saturday is always in need of following items:

  • books
  • clothes
  • furniture
  • decorative items
  • kitchen items
  • lamps
  • small appliances

At Comedy on the Cumberland, the Salvation Army had the following items for sale: cookbooks for $18.00; Christmas cards, $15.00; and note cards, $15.00. You can call 931-553-8494 to see at what other locations these items may be purchased.

The Salvation Army booth in the Lobby of the Roxy Theatre

The Salvation Army booth in the Lobby of the Roxy Theatre

Even if you can’t donate cash, you can still donate your time. The Shelter is always in need of cooks. Please call 931-552-5350 and see how you can help.

The office of Sgt. Joyce Lance, corps administrator, is located at the Clarksville Church Office, 208 Kraft Street, 931-552-5350. Help is available for anyone who is in need.

Part of the Hunger Project of Clarksville, last year the Salvation Army served 1,475 persons, provided 5,757 shelter nights, gave 11,512 meals to people, distributed 8,637 items of clothing, and distributed 474 items of furniture. It also assisted 5,213 people during natural disasters. Many people are familiar with the Angel Tree project at Christmas but some are unaware that this is part of the Salvation Army’s mission. Nursing home residents also received 1,227 gifts through the Salvation Army.

The serious work of the Salvation Army was featured in a short video at the beginning of Comedy on the Cumberland where all proceeds were donated to this very worthy cause. Many viewers were surprised to learn that nearly 30 per cent of homeless people are former members of the U. S. military.

Emcee Hank Bonecutter

Emcee Hank Bonecutter

Hank Bonecutter, emcee for the evening, is the host of Clarksville’s longest running morning show and also Clarksville’s only local morning talk show. On the air since 1993, Hank Bonecutter hosts three hours of local news, weather and sports talk.  WJZM’s “The Bone Show” features local news and weather updates every thirty minutes from 6:00am to 9:00am Monday through Friday on WJZM at 1400 A.M.

Hank is the driving force behind Comedy on the Cumberland, now one of the major charitable events in Montgomery County.

To open the June version of Comedy on the Cumberland, Hank thanked the Roxy Theater,  John McDonald, the Roxy’s artistic director, and Tom Thayer, managing director, for their support and use of this wonderful venue at 100 Franklin Street. (To contact the Roxy for tickets to their professional productions you can call 931-645-7699) or e-mail . Reservations can be made through the website—–24 hours a day and 7 days a week.)

Sponsors for this night of hilarity were F & M Bank, Wyatt-Johnson, Wendy’s of Clarksville, and Coleman Tractor Company.

Members of the cast of the Roxy’s latest show, “Songs of John Denver” gave a preview to the audience by singing “Grandma’s Feather Bed” in a flawless harmonic arrangement featuring two women and three men from the professional cast.

Members of the Cast of Almost Heaven, the John Denver Musical

Members of the Cast of Almost Heaven, the John Denver Musical

The comedians who were actually the featured performers of the evening were Brian Swinford, C. J. Harlow and Paul Strickland.

Brian Swinford

Comedian Brian Swinford

Comedian Brian Swinford

Swinford, a two-year veteran of the comedy circuits, won’s Funniest Comic in Nashville multiple times.

He also won the as’s contest for the funniest comic in Nashville because “old ladies love him” according to his publicity agent.

A former youth pastor, he cracked jokes that kept the audience in giggles throughout his routine.

He joked that he had lost 50 pounds, but his well-muscled physique cast doubts on the sincerity of that remark.

C. J. Harlow

Comedian CJ Harlow

Comedian CJ Harlow

C. J. Harlow, former roommate of Paul Strickland, was even funnier as the night progressed. His background includes a stint in the U.S. Marines, bicycling across America, and teaching English in Korea among many other pursuits. His line of banter rollicked from one subject to another as the audience laughed nonstop. His originality made him the hit of the evening for many people. With a new CD in the works, C. J. is traveling from Clarksville to comedy shows in Louisville, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Indiana, and Columbia, South Carolina in June. Hopefully, he’ll be back to Clarksville in the near future.

C. J. Harlow is found on line at where you can see the numerous venues where he has kept people laughing constantly and begging for more.

Paul Strickland

Comedian Paul Strickland

Comedian Paul Strickland

Paul Strickland is known, not just as a comedian, but as a story teller. His philosophy is related as “I firmly believe that making people laugh at themselves and their world is a good way to help them escape while, hopefully, gaining some perspective on what they’re escaping from, and distracting them from the fact that I just took their money.”

Having just returned from the Orange Fringe Festival, Paul is leaving Clarksville’s Comedy on the Cumberland to tour to Buford, Georgia, Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, and four cities in Michigan throughout June and July.

Recently divorced, Paul’s home is now full time on the road where he does a great job of helping people laugh at themselves, at the foibles of life, and at the human condition in general.

One of the central themes of his act was the series of adventures in Bald Knob, Arkansas. His dynamic story telling kept the house rocking. You can see one of his routines at and find out what his laugh fest is all about.

As he finished his comedy routine, he quoted his favorite happiness word from Arkansas, “Dang-dern!” He reminded everyone that it doesn’t take rocket science to find happiness—just something a bit unusual that reminds you that there’s fun in life if you reach out and grab it.

Paul said, “Happiness is just like finding Bigfoot—you don’t wait for it to come looking for you; you just have to go after it on your own.”

The most often heard comment in the lobby of the Roxy Theater after Comedy on the Cumberland ended was “This was the best one ever!”

Another Comedy on the Cumberland will be announced soon. Be sure you buy your ticket early and not only contribute to the well-being of your community, but give yourself an unforgettable night as well. Last Friday had a sold out audience; don’t be left out of this fun experience.

It’s a blast!

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About Sue Freeman Culverhouse


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