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Tribute event for Chris Cornell planned at Joe Squared on Saturday

Tribute event for Chris Cornell planned at Joe Squared on Saturday
Musician Chris Cornell in 2008. (Jeff Christensen / AP)

The reported suicide last month of Chris Cornell hit the legendary rocker's fans hard, including Baltimore comedian Mike Moran.

To cope, Moran turned to his two most reliable antidepressants — music and comedy — and quickly organized a tribute event called "Laugh and Cry," scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday at Joe Squared on North Avenue. Several comedians, including Mickey Cucchiella, and musicians, including Brad Gunson, are set to perform.

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Any fan of comedy knows how rich a vein depression has been for some of the best comics: Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Rosie O'Donnell, Marc Maron, Richard Pryor. The list is long, and hits every corner of celebrity, including music.

"From the outside, I couldn't imagine having a better life than Chris Cornell's," said Moran, who will perform stand-up and play with his eponymous 100% Original Cover Band. "It goes to show, depression doesn't care how successful you are. If it can take down someone who seems to have it all, then any of us can be affected. So many people I know suffer, and just letting others know they are not alone seems like all we can do sometimes."

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That's why Cucchiella signed on to headline the comedy portion of the event.

"I've been very public about my own mental health," said the former 98 Rock radio personality. He recently performed a one-man show based on his depression at Magooby's Joke House and the Baltimore Comedy Factory.

He said humans have been laughing at each other's misfortunes since one caveman cracked up over another dropping a rock on his foot thousands of years ago. "I came up with some comedy algebra: Tragedy plus you, minus me, equals funny," he said.

As Charlie Chaplin famously said: "To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it."

The tribute event at Joe Squared has a $10 cover charge. For more information, go to joesquared.com/events.

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