Virtuous cycle: Bike messenger raises cash for medical debt relief

Brooklyn Paper
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Laughter is the best medical billing system!

A Bushwick comic and bike messenger is gearing up to host a comedy show in a bicycle shop, in order to raise money for medical debt relief. The comedian behind “Stand Up! at Haven Cycles,” in Bushwick on March 20, said he was inspired by a recent accident that left him in the hospital.

“There was some pretty intensive stitching,” said Danny Felts, the show’s host and spokes-man. “Fortunately I was on Medicaid at the time, but it reminded me that for some people, giant medical debt can completely obliterate their well-being.”

The night will feature four other comedians who are also avid cyclists — Mary Cella, Jess Reed, Anders Lee, and Max Ogle — and will raise cash for Rest In Peace Medical Debt, a do-good group that buys and forgives medical debt from creditors, usually for pennies on the dollar.

Brooklyn cyclists are acutely aware of the dangers of medical expenses, since they share the streets with multi-ton vehicles that could easily squash them, said Felts.

“I can’t explain the number of times I’ve almost been caused bodily harm by cabs, Ubers, people texting, etc.” he said.

The comedian moved to Brooklyn from Portland, Oregon two years ago, and said that the car culture of his new home is terrifying.

“The people driving here are actually insane,” he said. “It’s just absolute anarchy. I thought a ‘New York stop’ was gliding through a stop sign, but it’s just blowing through a full red light!”

Haven Cycles, where the show will take place, is also Felts’s regular spot for bicycle repairs. Performing inside the shop will have some challenges, he said, but he thinks they will be able to pack in some fans.

“Honestly, the total occupancy is not a ton of people,” he said. “But we have chairs and stuff like that. Some people might have to stand against the bikes.”

The comedian’s work as a bike messenger has worked its way into his act, he said, including a bit about the worst food item to deliver by two-wheeler: Chicago deep-dish pizza.

“That is just a terrible food to deliver,” he said. “It’s just a bowl of bread and cheese that you’re trying to keep from spilling.”

Stand Up! at Haven Cycles [1546 Dekalb Ave. at Irving Avenue in Bushwick, (347) 529–4621,]. March 20 at 8 pm. $5 suggested donation.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Posted 12:00 am, March 18, 2019
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