Fighting Cancer with Comedy

Stand-up comic Quincy Jones recently got his own HBO comedy special. Here's why he's not letting cancer stop him from pursuing his dreams. 

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- Posted on Apr 20, 2016

Quincy Jones is fighting cancer with comedy

Facing a terminal cancer diagnosis is nothing to laugh about, but that’s just what comedian Quincy Jones intends to do.

The 32-year-old stand-up comic from Seattle, Washington discovered he was battling a rare form of cancer called peritoneal mesothelioma in July of last year while on tour. Doctors gave him just one year to live and Jones immediately began chemotherapy.

“One of my biggest fears when I was in that hospital — I thought I wasn't going to be able to perform again,” Jones told The Frame, an entertainment-focused radio show in Southern California.

Jones decided he would pursue his life’s passion no matter what.

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The comedian, who once challenged himself to perform 1,000 shows in one year– that averages to 3 sets every day – hasn’t let his illness slow him down.

“It's pure joy for me on that stage,” Jones told Southern California radio station The Frame.  “I love the ability to perform.”

But once he learned he had cancer, hitting the stage night after night just wasn’t enough. The diagnosis spurred him to dream bigger. His goal? To film his very own comedy special. 

Fellow comedian and friend Nicole Blaine began raising funds to make that dream a reality through a Kickstarter campaign while Jones was going through treatments -- filming TV shows aren't cheap after all. A few months later, Ellen DeGeneres got word of the Kickstarter's success and Jones was invited to be a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where the host revealed to Jones that the comedian would be getting an HBO special.

“I do comedy,” Jones explains. “That's what defines me. That's what I am. I'm a comedian. So I want to leave a special behind.” Jones was scheduled to record his special on April 4 at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles with HBO reportedly airing it later in the spring.

The comedian hopes his story can inspire others to keep fighting and keep pursuing their dreams.

“The special is dedicated to anybody who has been through cancer, lost someone to cancer, or has cancer,” Jones says. “It's not about me. This is bigger than me.”

 

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