Comedian Andy Steinberg, Wednesday, Oct. 13, is performing at Tempe Improv with all donations benefiting Gateway Academy, a school that specializes in the education of students diagnosed with high functioning autism.
The show, titled “Funny for Autism," is centered around autism in a non-traditional way, according to a press release.
The school has a special place in Steinberg’s heart, Steinberg’s son, Tru, who will be hosting the show, graduated from Gateway three years ago.
“I want to do this show benefiting Gateway because this is as much about the school and its current students; as it is about me and my son. Before Gateway, Tru had difficulties finding a school that he felt comfortable in,” Steinberg said in a prepared statement.
“When we were looking for a new school, we visited Gateway Academy, and, within 30 minutes, Tru knew this was his school. He instantly had a feeling of security, while also having the experience of a more traditional school. It has been a very exciting journey with Gateway.”
Steinberg, 56, has been performing comedy for 10 years now, a “late bloomer” in the comedy world. Steinberg performs across the country, appearing as the feature act for popular comedian, Aries Spears.
This show will serve as a “tune-up” for a debut comedy album/DVD that he has been working on and plans to release in February 2022. Steinberg has been writing material about Tru since he was a young kid and now that his son is older, Steinberg doesn’t want to retire that content necessarily, but he wants to get that content recorded and archived.
“Tru is a natural performer. He loves to get up and get the attention, and performing is very easy for him,” Steinberg said.
Attendees can expect a very honest look at autism.
“I want to put it out there that this is a different type of show about autism than one might expect. The audience should not expect a nice, G-rated show --- this isn’t going to be that,” Steinberg said. “It won’t be X-rated or anything. It is a PG-13 to R-rated type of show – it’s something for adults. I have never had issues with the language or content in the past, but comedy room language will be used. This also makes it more approachable for people that may have no connection with anyone on the spectrum,” he said.
The event is being held at Tempe Improv, which, is very supportive of both Steinberg and Gateway, he says.
“Tempe Improv and Big Bash have supported me and my endeavors with Gateway Academy,” Steinberg explained. “Tempe Improv is one of the oldest Improv’s in the country and the building is exceptional --- as a performer it gives you a confidence boost. It may as well be my ‘home’ club.”
Gateway Academy remains a large part of Steinberg’s life, he says.
“Gateway is still a centerpiece of our life. Even though Tru graduated three years ago, I am in constant contact with the school,” he said. “They are always there to answer any questions I have. There is a lifelong connection between my family and Gateway.”