Never forget — to laugh: Diner’s comedy show on 9-11 serves yuks as alternative to grief

Laughing the pain away: Brooklyn comedian and psychiatrist Ellen Orhid will perform comedy at the Mirage Diner on 9-11 to give people some respite from the grievous anniversary.
Brooklyn Daily
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Experts agree: It’s about time we laugh on Sept. 11.

The Mirage Diner is hosting a stand-up comedy show on the 15th anniversary of the devastating terror attacks — a National Day of Remembrance when moments of silence punctuate the morning and tear-filled vigils spill into the night. But even on the soberest occasion, having a laugh is healthier than dwelling on the pain, according to one Brooklyn psychiatrist and comedian who will perform at the Midwood diner.

“It’s not disrespectful. God knows no ones making jokes about it,” said Dr. Ellen Mausner, who goes by Ellen Orchid on stage and grew up eating at the Mirage. “It’s certainly one of the darkest days I’ve ever lived through, and I would rather be doing comedy on a day like that — you need the comfort of comedy on a day like that.”

The show — Mirage’s second dinner-and-comedy night — will shelter people from the blitz of memorials and tributes that can exacerbate grief, she said.

“There’s gonna be so much coverage on TV — I think it opens up the wounds again for a lot of people,” said Mausner, who practices medicine in Brooklyn and Manhattan but dreams of being a sitcom star. “It was a day my mom used to spend crying and watching tributes to the victims.”

Manhattan comedy impresario Al Martin and New Jersey funny man Dennis Ross will share the bill with Mausner. A ticket gets you dinner, a cocktail, and the show.

Eatery management had some reservations about the event, which they say is a public service more than a money-maker, but decided to press forward to give people a more positive way of uniting on the anniversary of tragedy, one employee said.

“We thought that it’s not a day to just be negative — it’s more of a day to come together,” said Roy Maleh, the diner’s marketing guru. “If people are coming together and having a great time with their families, that’s the most important part.”

Comedy Night at the Mirage [717 Kings Hwy. at E. Eighth Street, (718) 998–3750]. Sept. 11 at 6 pm. $45. Reservations required.

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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