Comedian Eric Lyden, a 1989 graduate of Ewing High School, will be returning to his hometown to bring some humor into the lives of his former classmates.

Lyden is donating his time and talent to raise money for the EHS Class of 2021 Parents Association event on Friday, June 7, in the auditorium at Incarnation-St. James to raise money for the class’ post prom.

Eric Lyden

“We are thrilled to have Eric Lyden returning to his old stomping grounds to jump-start our first big fundraising effort,” says Eve Bolden, co-president of the Parents Association. “We want to host an incredible post-prom party for the Class of 2021, and I’m confident it will be an incredible event with Eric and the rest of the Ewing community lending their support.”

This is not the first time Eric has traveled back to Ewing to offer a helping hand.  He has participated in fundraising events at Fisher Middle School and the Hollowbrook center.  This, however, is the first time he’s performed at a church.

“I guess I’ll have to take out my bit about growing up crystal Methodist,” he says. “Seriously, I am primarily sarcastic and mostly work clean. I might have to work a little cleaner so I don’t get struck down, but it won’t really impact my act. One of my close friends is a minister, and he told me the bible says that ‘laughter doeth good.’ I figure if I can think of it, God must be good with it.”

Lyden, who graduated from EHS in 1989, grew up a block behind the school, and says he is excited when he can come back to Mercer County. He has been working professionally as a comedian for more than 20 years.

He says that when he quit his day job to work full time as a comedian, he started driving to Cleveland, Boston, Washington, D.C. and other cities to perform. He then supplemented the road-trips with performances on cruise ships, flying to Fort Lauderdale, the Caribbean, Alaska and other places.

Lyden met his wife, Carrie, on one of those cruises. He says that he has become more of a homebody in recent years, limiting his cruise gigs to about one per month, choosing to book shows around the area so he can get home to his wife and three kids where he lives in Fair Lawn.

It can sometimes be difficult to be a comedian in 2019, particularly when people have become hyper-sensitive to certain issues, Lyden says.

He has a simple piece of advice for those attending a comedy show. “You don’t have to laugh at everything, but you don’t need to be offended either.” A line Eric uses in some of his performances, which he stole from his wife, sums up the comedian’s point of view on this touchy subject: “Some people have a high opinion of their opinion.”

Highlights of his career include appearing on Comics Unleashed, his first real television show, and opening for Joan Rivers many years ago.  More recently, and unrelated to his comedy career, he was cast in an episode of the Ray Liotta crime drama, Shades of Blue.

“I had been imitating him in my act for years, and here I am sitting five feet away, trying to act like it’s no big deal” Lyden says. “The craziest coincidence though is, 20-something years earlier, my dad had a scene in the movie Goodfellas with Liotta.  I win though, because my dad didn’t have a line.”

Lyden says he is looking forward to the June 7 show. “I just want to make people laugh and bring some humor into the world. I can confidently say that anyone attending the Ewing show will laugh a lot and it will be money well spent.”

The EHS Class of 2021 Parents Association was created to raise money to host a post-prom celebration for their children in the Spring of 2021. The group has set a goal of raising $25,000 to put together party with entertainment, prizes and more. For more information, contact Bolden at erhackett@yahoo.com.

Tickets for the Comedy Night are $20 for adults and $15 for students, and can be purchased online at ehs2021.booktix.com. There are a limited number of seats. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 8 p.m.  Light refreshments will be provided (at no additional cost) and there will be a 50/50 raffle and various tricky tray basket raffles as well.