Comic Raises $125K for Atheist Tornado Survivor

Doug Stanhope liked her candid CNN interview

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 30, 2013 7:16 PM CST

(Newser) – Abrasive stand-up comedian Doug Stanhope is helping out a few people in need—if not in the most charitable spirit. The funny man known for drinking and smoking on-stage has raised more than $100,000 for an Oklahoma family whose house was leveled by a tornado earlier this year, Raw Story reports. Why that family? Because one of its members, Rebecca Vitsmun, told Wolf Blitzer in a live CNN interview that she was an atheist.

"Saying 'I’m an atheist' in Oklahoma is like screaming 'Jihad' at airport security," Stanhope said. "It took some nuts." So Stanhope started an Indiegogo campaign called "Atheists Unite," which raised an impressive $125,760 with support from thousands of people, including illusionist Penn Jillette and actor Ricky Gervais. But Stanhope admits that he didn't really do it for Vitsmun and her family. "I didn’t do it because I felt sympathy," he writes at Vice.com. "I did it simply to be a prick to her Okie Christian neighbors."

Comedian Doug Stanhope.
Comedian Doug Stanhope.   (DougStanhope.com)
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Wolf Blitzer interviews Rebecca Vitsmun.   (CNN)

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