DC Man Overcomes Homelessness to Spread the Gift of Laughter

Man clapping, woman laughing


DC native Brandon Haynes is the marketing mastermind behind Bamma Phi Bamma, a blog- turned-parody-comedy-troupe that has been growing since its debut in 2006.
But his life hasn’t been all fun and games.
Nearly a decade ago, when Brandon was just 15 and his family was homeless, he successfully challenged the Montgomery County Maryland school system for the right to remain at Montgomery Blair High School. A judge found that as homeless students, Brandon and his brothers were entitled by federal law to stay in their schools.
Brandon went on to survive a bout of deadly Hantavirus and to graduate from Morgan State University with a business degree.
In 2006, the brothers created Bamma Phi Bamma as a family project and a way to recognize the struggles they have overcome.
What began as an interactive website of users posting funny pictures soon developed into a blog with a large following. In 2009, Haynes got the idea to combine the website with live comedy shows.
“We decided to try something new. Why not mix reality with the internet?” says Haynes.
With eight comedy shows under their belt and a growing fan base, Bamma Phi Bamma continues to offer locally-grown comedians a stage.
Haynes credits the project’s popularity to the creativity and originality of the acts.
“How many times has someone been to a comedy show with a cowboy in a midriff shirt, and a grown man in a Captain America costume? No one has ever approached comedy like we have, and that makes us unique.”
Bamma Phi Bamma’s next performance will be the 4th Annual Comedy Take-over, held Saturday, June 8 at the Rio Restaurant & Lounge in Laurel, MD at 9:30 P.M. It will be headlined by rising Baltimore comedienne Stiletto, who made an appearance on the Mo’Nique show. There will also be a chance for upcoming comedians to compete in an open mic competition. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 each.

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