Michael Danahy believes that nothing can heal an illness better than laughter.
And no matter what he may end up doing as a career, he just wants to make people laugh.
“When people laugh at what I say, it makes me feel really good. I love interacting with people and making them laugh,” Danahy said. “Laughter is the best medicine.”
Danahy, 15, was born in New York City, where he lived until he was 3. He and his family then moved to Atlanta, where he remained for a similar amount of time. The Danahys returned to New York for less than a year before his mother landed a job with the Gap company and moved the family to Florence, Ky., where they have settled.
Danahy said his mother, Lisa, was his motivator for applying to the 2009 Xposure Workshop. Lisa went online and found information and the application to the program.
“She said, ‘put yourself out there and try to get a scholarship,’” Danahy said. “I want to major in the communications field, and journalism is classified under that area.”
He was originally an alternate selection to the workshop, but due to a grant given to the program, three more people were able to attend, including Danahy.
Danahy said his father, John, worked as a sports broadcaster in Mississippi, which sparked an intense interest in television and broadcasting for Danahy. He frequently makes movies with Windows Movie Maker and uploads videos to YouTube.
The comedian said he believes in optimism and living life to the fullest.
“Being sad is okay, but make it as short as possible because why be sad when you can be happy?” Danahy asked.
Danahy said that one event shaped his optimism and good nature. On a mission trip to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina relief, Danahy met a couple, Ed and Arlene, who had survived the hurricane. Arlene was bed-ridden in her home due to a medical condition when the storm came through. A boat became entangled in a fence surrounding the couple’s house, and they escaped through a window onto the boat before the water could swallow them. They rode in the boat until they came to a rescue boat that transported people to a gymnasium, which served as a shelter. Somehow, Arlene’s ailment healed after the hurricane passed.
“It’s just a touching story that really shaped the way I think,” Danahy said.
When Danahy isn’t making people laugh, he runs cross-country and track, where he participates in the 3,200-meter dash. He is an active member in his church youth group at St. Timothy Catholic Church, a member of the National Honor Society, and a homeroom representative in the Student Council.
He said he attends as many sporting events as possible and yells as loudly as he can.
So what is he going to be doing years from now?
“I don’t know for sure, but I want to be married with a family, out of college, and I want to have a job that I enjoy.”
Franklin-Simpson High School