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Comic comes back for church
Fundraiser aids Good Shepherd
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Forsyth County News
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Eric Hunter holds family, friends and faith dear to his heart — and his comedy routines.

He’ll bring them all together tonight for a benefit performance at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in north Forsyth.

Hunter, 43, has performed alongside comedy greats, in famed clubs and on the TV show “Last Comic Standing,” but he loves a good church show.

The sold-out fundraiser for the church’s building fund will be Hunter’s first in his parents’ town. He has held three similar events at a church in McCormick, S.C., where his in-laws live.

“I thought, ‘Why don’t I try it at my parents’ church?’” Hunter said. “I contacted the priest at Good Shepherd and he thought it’d be a great idea.”

Hunter had attended Good Shepherd for about a year while living in Forsyth County and got married there in summer 2008.

He said he enjoys performing his usual “clean, funny and family friendly” style of comedy at churches.

“I like the atmosphere and the audiences and the cause as well, being a Catholic and faith meaning a lot to me,” he said. “It’s nice to do a show that benefits the church as opposed to a saloon owner.”

He may be serious about his faith, but that doesn’t mean it’s off-limits for jokes.

Hunter’s father, Duane, said his son draws inspiration from everything he hears, sees and experiences. That includes his mother’s Irish Catholic background and his dad’s early retirement.

“The acronym for that is f-i-r-e-d,” his dad recalled Hunter joking at an Atlanta comedy club years before.

Hunter was focused on sports and academics as a child, his father said, but always loved a good joke.

He graduated from high school in Stone Mountain and worked many years doing a metro Atlanta cable sports show.

While in Atlanta, Hunter attended a comedy workshop at Emory University and then started performing at open mic nights.

He’s performed several shows at The Punchline, a Sandy Springs comedy club, and has been at his act for about 13 years.

Hunter lives in Long Beach, Calif., though his father said Cumming is his home on the East Coast.

Hunter will bring along friend and Atlanta comedian Al Ernst as his warm-up act tonight.

Organizer Bob Frey said he was pleased with the response to the sold-out show, which is expected to draw 300 people.

He set up the event like the popular Chastain Park concert nights in Atlanta. Guests bought tickets by eight-person tables and can bring their own dinner and decorations.

While Eric Hunter was surprised to hear the show was sold out, his father wasn’t.

“With the religious aspect of people who can get together and laugh, especially in today’s economy and world conditions, it’s just going to be a welcome night of relief,” he said.