CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article erroneously identified the name of Joel Richardson's company. The correct name is OutFront Artists. Patch apologizes for the error.
When Julian McCullough’s parents got divorced his freshman year at Moorestown High School, he and his cooking-challenged father became regulars at the Golden Dawn Diner on Route 38.
Like, really regular.
“We went almost every night for four years,” McCullough said.
He and his dad got to know the owners, every employee, and the other customers.
“They became sort of like a second family,” he said. “I just have amazing memories of that place. It’s just a very special place for me.”
So when McCullough, now a famous comedian residing in Los Angeles, got a text from his aunt, who still lives in Moorestown, that the Maple Shade diner had been destroyed by fire, it was like a punch to the gut.
Immediately upon receiving the text, he said, he began thinking of ways to help—which is sort of uncharacteristic, McCullough admitted.
“I’m not generally a charitable guy," he said. "But the last couple years, I’ve had some good fortune in my life and I realized … I’m finally in a place where I can maybe give back a little bit. This is maybe a new phase of my life."
McCullough, who graduated from Moorestown in ‘97, has had a great stretch lately: he’s a regular on Chelsea Lately, appears on the MTV2 show Guy Code, recently did stand-up on Conan, and just ended a stand-up tour with Jimmy Fallon.
So performing for a crowd of locals should be no problem.
McCullough, with the help of fellow Moorestown graduates Joel Richardson and Nolan Cox, will perform at the Hotel ML on Route 73 in Mount Laurel Sunday, with all the proceeds going to help rebuild the diner.
Richardson, who organizes comedy shows through his company, OutFront Artists, said McCullough reached out to him for help putting the event together, along with Cox, a catering and sales manager at Hotel ML. McCullough, Richardson said, was one of the first people to ever headline a show for him.
Richardson said roughly half of his company’s shows benefit “one organization or another … It’s a little bit of our niche.”
McCullough described his act as mostly autobiographical—“I’ll take small things that have happened to me and expand on them”—which extends to his experiences at Golden Dawn. He said a good-sized chunk of his material is actually about diners.
Tickets to the show are $20 for advance purchase, $25 at the door (plus a two-drink minimum during the show).
Doors open at 6 p.m., seating begins at 6:30, and the show starts at 7.
McCullough said fellow comedian “Mad Dog” Mattern will open the show.
Patch was unable to reach the owners of Golden Dawn for comment, though Richardson said they were “beside themselves” when they heard about the fundraiser.For anyone looking to make a donation who can’t attend the show, visit the diner’s fundraising page here.