Padres star turns frightening life event into 'Comedy for a Cause'

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
Posted at 11:09 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-21 11:46:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Padres all-star pitcher Kirby Yates will be out of his comfort zone Sunday night when he and his wife, Ashlee, host a night of stand-up comedy.

The event will raise money and awareness for a cause very close to the Yates' heart: Epilepsy.

One night in 2018, the couple was asleep when Kirby heard Ashlee begin making strange sounds. It went from that to a seizure. She was pregnant with their second child at the time.

"It's the first time I'd ever been involved in anything like that," Yates told 10News. "It's hard to see your wife, she's pregnant with our son, and you have feelings that you've never had before."

"He was definitely terrified," Ashlee said. "I obviously don't remember it, but I just know he had a very hard time with that."

After a myriad of tests, Ashlee was shocked to be diagnosed with epilepsy.

"I didn't know it was random and can come at any time or age," she recalls.

When searching for ways to cope with the diagnosis, Ashlee turned to one of her favorite things: Stand-up comedy. She had performed at clubs before, but began integrating humor about her condition into her act.

"That was actually my outlet. As soon as this happened, that was the first thing I did. I was like, I need to do something drastic to deal with this and I don't know what those options are," Ashlee said. "I like to make people laugh. I like to have fun, so this seemed like a good fit."

That led to the decision to host "Comedy for a Cause", which will take place Sunday night at the American Comedy Co. in the Gaslamp. Ashlee will perform with two other well-known San Diego comedians. Kirby and several of the biggest Padres stars will be in the crowd.

They also will likely be the biggest targets for the comics' humor, "I know they're big Padres fans, so I'm sure they've been following the season and have some good jokes," Ashlee said. "I did suggest a roast on Kirby."

"I told them they can roast me as much as they want and it's fine," Kirby responded. "I enjoy a laugh and I can take it pretty good."

Ashlee tells 10News that the show is close to a sell-out, but there are still a few tickets available.