Stand-up delivers comic relief for Foster summer safety stand-down
Stars and Stripes May 23, 2008
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Safety was a laughing matter at Camp Foster’s annual 101 Critical Days of Summer Safety Stand-down program thanks to the comedian who gave the briefing Wednesday.
Maj. Gen. Mary Ann Krussa-Dosin, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler’s commander, challenged her safety officials to "think outside the box" to reach the 18- to 26-year-old Marines who make up the Corps’ largest age group, said Shawn Curtis, of the Installation Safety Office.
What they came up with was Hawaiian comic Bo Irvine, winner of the sixth season of "Last Comic Standing," airing this year on NBC and Bravo. He said he’s been entertaining and informing Marines about safety for two years at military installations in the States, but this is the first time he’s performed on Okinawa.
Irvine works on Marine Corps Bases Hawaii but has been developing his comedy career for the past 20 years. He has shared the stage with such comic notables as George Carlin, Howie Mandel and George Lopez and has performed on HBO, Showtime, the "Comedy Club Network" show and NBC’s "Late Night with Conan O’Brien."
Spreading the message about risk management and safety using humor is more effective than boring servicemembers with PowerPoint presentations, Irvine said, adding that his civilian job with the Corps helped him tailor his routine to Marines.
Marines and sailors chuckled throughout the hourlong event as Irvine shared humorous stories that highlighted the importance of risk management at work and on liberty.
Sprinkled throughout the jokes were messages about seat belt use, water safety, the danger of complacency on the job and motorcycle basics.
"They recruited you because you are risk takers, but you need to use risk management," he said, telling the audience that "your safety is your responsibility."
Irvine said Marines also should use risk management while off the job, reminding them of what he called famous last words: "Hold my beer" and "Watch this."
Those phrases usually end with a preventable accident, he said.
"I was definitely entertained," said Lance Cpl. Kolby Buchanan, 20, with Headquarters and Service Battalion on Camp Foster.
After attending one of the four presentations Wednesday, servicemembers headed to a safety fair featuring display booths, demonstrations, hands-on activities and even some games.
Cpl. Santori Scott, 20, with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, called the experience "different."
"It’s better than sitting there and being PowerPointed to death," he said.
Irvine will perform during safety presentations at Camp Kinser on Friday, Camp Hansen on May 28 and 29 and Camp Kinser on May 30.
Call DSN 645-3806 for more information.