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Improv Asylum to host 9th annual performance to benefit Globe Santa

Globe Santa greeted youngsters outside the Rattlesnake Bar, where a Globe Santa event was held Wednesday.
Globe Santa greeted youngsters outside the Rattlesnake Bar, where a Globe Santa event was held Wednesday.Credit: Cecille Joan Avila for The Boston Globe

Bostonians can provide a merrier Christmas to families in need by donating money, goods, or time. Or they can just stay up all night laughing.

That last option is made possible by Improv Asylum, which will host its ninth annual “No Rest for the Wicked Funny” benefiting Globe Santa from 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

Shalyn Ward, coordinator for the event, said the crowd tends to ebb and flow over its 24-hour run, but those willing to miss some sleep will be rewarded with increasingly wild comedy.

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“It’s a lot of fun,” Ward said. “We’re usually packed . . . until midnight, even until about 3 a.m., and then things get a little bit crazy.”

If 24 hours of comedy is not enough, there is also a VIP pre-party sponsored by Goody Glover’s Restaurant & Bar. The revelry will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Improv Asylum theater on Hanover Street and include complimentary food and drinks.

Ward said most of the show consists of traditional improvisational comedy, with performers creating impromptu scenes based on ideas suggested by audience members.

“Oftentimes we auction off a suggestion, too, which is a great way to get your suggestion in there,” she said. “So for that guy who’s been shouting ‘green bean’ all night, we make him pay to get ‘green bean’ in there.”

While much of the show is geared to older audiences, the 10 a.m. hour Saturday is set aside for children, who get in free and can perform on stage with the professionals before having a visit with Santa Claus.

“For us, being an improv comedy club, it is hard to get the kids involved during the whole 24-hour period,” Ward said, “so it’s a great way to bring it back to [how] it is all about the kids.”

Alongside the improvisations will be brief interview segments and stand-up comedy from entertainers TJ Connelly, official DJ for the Boston Red Sox; interior designer and HGTV star Taniya Nayak; David Eigenberg, star of “Chicago Fire” and “Sex and the City”; and Boston stand-up legend Tony V.

Tony V. said he has been involved in the event almost since the beginning, despite some initial trepidation.

“At first I was really skeptical about it because there’s this imaginary perceived battle between improv and stand-up,” he said. “But then they called, and they were so gracious, and I said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ ”

V. said that this year, as in the past, he will be working the midnight-to-1 a.m. shift.

“I think they like to clear the house out,” he joked. V. said his slot combines short segments of his stand-up with improvised scenes based on his act.

“I get to do my act enough, so when I get there I like to stretch a little bit, make those folks work, too, see what they can do with this foolishness,” he said.

V. said the show is fun for the performers, as well as the audience, and each year he tries to incorporate something that he will perform once during the comedy marathon and never again.

For information or to buy tickets, visit www.improvasylum.com/norest.

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