Poppy Champlin Inducted into the RI Comedy Hall of Fame, Honoring a Legendary Career


A Night of Laughter and Recognition as Poppy Champlin Secures Her Place Among RI’s Comedy Greats

Rhode Island’s comedy scene celebrated an unforgettable evening on Saturday, May 20, 2023, as RI comedian Poppy Champlin was officially inducted into the  Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame. With her impeccable wit, fearless stage presence, and remarkable contributions to the world of comedy, Champlin was honored for her outstanding achievements during a joyous and laughter-filled evening.

Poppy Champlin-RI Comedy Hall of Fame.
Poppy Champlin: Inducted into the RI Comedy Hall of Fame on May 20, 2023.

Held at the historic Park Theatre and Events Center, the induction ceremony showcased the tremendous impact Champlin has had on the comedy industry throughout her 42-year career. Champlin, a native of Narragansett, was warmly received by a packed house consisting of fellow comedians, friends, family, and dedicated fans who have supported her journey from the beginning.

Poppy and Mama Champlin
Poppy poses with her 90-year-old mother at her Hall of Fame induction.

Champlin’s comedic prowess has earned her recognition and admiration far beyond Rhode Island’s borders. Over the years, she has graced the stages of prestigious venues across the country.  Her infectious stage presence and magnetic personality have garnered her a dedicated fan base that spans generations.

During the induction ceremony, Champlin graciously accepted the honor, expressing her gratitude to the Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame for recognizing her contributions to the craft. In her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to her comedy influences, acknowledged her fellow comedians who have supported and inspired her, and thanked her family and friends for their unwavering support.

Host, Charlie Hall created a comedy atmosphere as only he can do.

The event was filled with heartfelt speeches, uproarious laughter, and fond memories shared by fellow comedians who took the stage to honor Champlin, such as Comedy Hall of Fame members, Charlie Hall, Doreen Collins, and John Perrotta.  The induction was performed by comedian and Hall of Fame Founder, Joe Hebert, who recalled seeing  Champlin perform in 1981, 4 years before starting his own comedy career.

Champlin’s induction into the Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame serves as a testament to her enduring legacy and remarkable achievements within the field. Her presence continues to inspire new comedians, particularly women, to embrace their authentic selves, challenge societal norms, and fearlessly pursue their comedic dreams.

At the end of the evening, Poppy did what she does best. She performed nearly an hour of kickass comedy. “Her performance was outstanding,” Hebert said. “I didn’t expect anything less.”

Poppy clowns around in front of her RI Comedy Hall of Fame caricature.

As the evening concluded, Champlin stood among the greats of Rhode Island comedy, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those in attendance. Her legacy as a gifted comedian, advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, and an influential figure in the world of comedy will undoubtedly inspire future generations of comedians to find their voice and make a difference through laughter.

Champlin performs before a packed house at her RI Comedy Hall of Fame Induction

Poppy Champlin’s induction into the Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame is a well-deserved recognition of her exceptional talent, significant contributions to comedy, and the immeasurable joy she has brought to audiences throughout her extraordinary career. As the laughter from this historic evening echoes through time, it will serve as a reminder of the lasting impact Champlin has made on the comedy world, forever solidifying her place among the comedic legends of Rhode Island.


The RI Comedy Hall of Fame FINALLY Has a Home

Park Theater Cranston, RI

The Park Theater is the NEW HOME of the RI Comedy Hall of Fame

(Photo Compliments of RI Monthly)

Charlie Hall-RI Comedy Hall of Fame
The RI Comedy Hall of Fame began as an idea I had in August of 2011.

It was one of the hottest stickiest nights I can remember.

I was watching television trying to beat the heat and saw a commercial for an upcoming awards show. That was my Eureka moment.

I’d had been doing stand up comedy for 25 years at that point and suddenly realized there were no honors, or accolades for local comedians. Hey Joe, Why not change that?

After writing down some ideas, I called Frank O’Donnell, (a long time friend and mentor,) and brought it to his attention. We spoke for twenty minutes. At the end of our chat, plans were in place for a comedy roast to take place the following year. The first inductee into the Hall? Charlie Hall, of course. That decision was a no-brainer.

I met Charlie in 1985 at the former Periwinkles Comedy Club, which was located in the Arcade Building in Downtown Providence. He was running Charlie Hall’s Talent Night on Wednesday nights. The cover charge was a dollar.

I stand by my belief, that Charlie Hall was the state’s first, and is still the best comedian in RI. No one was more deserving. Charlie would tell you that, himself.

The First RI Comedy Hall of Fame Event

Over 20 comedians and local celebs and politicians and a sold out audience of 300 showed up to pay homage to Charlie, (Creator of the Ocean State Follies, Aging Disgracefully and the author of the state song, RI-It’s for Me,) with a comedy roast in his honor. It was an amazing and highly successful event.

Other comedians followed through the years, each one having provided RI with significant and meaningful contributions to the art.

More RI Comedy Hall of Fame Inductees

Joining Charlie?

John Perrotta, Frank O’Donnell, Ace Aceto, Doreen Collins, Tom Cotter, Bobby Braciola, The Funny 4 Funds Co., and though not officially announced at the time of this article, Ruth Buzzi, of Laugh In fame, who was born in Westerly RI in 1936.  Ruth has graciously accepted the honor.

The Induction of Bobby Braciola
RI Comedy Hall of Fame: From (l) to (r) Ace Aceto, Dana Nathanson, Joe Hebert and Charlie Hall.

The Hall Grows

Dana Nathanson consented become an officer in the Hall in early 2013.

Dana, a former manager at the Comedy Connection for 20 years, brought a great deal to the table. She’s now my Senior Director and booking agent. Nathanson had been of major assistance to me during my early career, and once again has become extremely valuable to the local comedy scene.

The Home of the RI Comedy Hall of Fame

Until this week, The RI Comedy Hall of Fame had a digital home on the internet. Now, as Ed Brady and Jeff Quinlan resuscitate the historic Park Theater into an entertainment complex, unlike anything the state has seen before. As Brady said in his official press statement on February 22, 2022, “You’re going to see Hollywood magic happening right here in Rhode Island.”

I have no reason to doubt him.

Bill Simas
Bill Simas made a promise to get the RI Comedy Hall of Fame a physical home. He more than delivered.

A vitally important part of Brady and Quinlan’s team is Funny4Funds.com founder, and comedian, Bill Simas, who will be running, The Comedy Park Comedy Club. 

Five Years ago at his company’s induction into the RI Comedy Hall of Fame, Simas made a promise in front of 400 people in East Greenwich to find a permanent home for the Hall.

Simas kept his word.

Bill was instrumental in getting the Hall of Fame into the Park Theater. Brady and Quinlan saw the merits of having the Hall in their venue, and now future RI standups will have a place to see and pay homage to those who paved the way for them.

Sure, thank me for founding the Hall of Fame, but thank Bill Simas, Ed Brady and Jeff Quinlan for giving it a home.

The RI Comedy Hall of Fame is scheduled to open on April 29, 2022.