With a full house and six comics who had the crowd laughing hysterically, BC/EFA’s Third Annual Comedy Cares Event was not only fun for all involved, but a fundraising success as well.
From Host Jim David, who helped produce and promote the event, to Saturday Night Live’s Darrell Hammond, who eagerly filled in as a last-minute replacement, all the performers involved in this April 3 event – hosted by Caroline’s comedy club – took time out from hectic schedules to help Broadway Cares make a difference.
“At BC/EFA, we know how committed and generous the Broadway community can be,” said BC/EFA Producer Anthony LaTorella. “But it’s so exciting to see that comics are just as willing to take time out to support our cause.”
David kicked off the evening with a politically-charged routine and then introduced the other comics: Larry Amoros (best known as a writer for “The Rosie O’Donnell Show”), Bob Smith ( HBO’s, “The Bob Smith Comedy Half-Hour” ), Judy Gold (HBO’s “At the Movies” ), Hammond (SNL’s pitch-perfect Bill Clinton) and John Pinette (currently starring in Broadway’sHairspray).
David’s varied routine touched on his 18-year relationship to the current political scene. Amoros followed with a routine on the joys of turning 50. “The day you turn 50, the AARP will find you,” he said. Smith talked about being single, Judy Garland vs. Elvis (“She could drink him under the table.”) and the kitsch he collects when performing at Gay Pride Events. “I’ve become a prop comic,” he said, showing off a series of items, including Rainbow Pride Oven mitts.
Gold also discussed the joys of returning to single life – after 20 years in a relationship and two children, and drew laughs recounting the prickly experience of being interviewed with her mother on a Nightline segment about when people knew they were lesbian or gay. “My mother said, ‘I knew when you were two,” Gold said. “Every night you went over to the neighbor’s house…and you had to wear a necktie.”
In addition to his dead-on impersonations of Clinton and Dubya, Hammond talked about drinking (“I used to drink in this big bar. This really big bar… Mexico.”) and the strange experience of being a regular on SNL. “On the show, I’ve kissed both Monica Lewinsky and Paris Hilton,” Hammond said. “I’m now related to everybody.”
Pinette was voted Stand-Up Comedian of the Year at The American Comedy Awards and at Comedy Cares he showed the audience why with a routine that drew gut-wrenching laughs from his experiences cross-dressing onstage to seemingly mundane topics like fast food (“Popeye’s Chicken is the nutritional equivalent of smoking crack.”) and the interminable lines at Starbuck’s (“If I’m going to Starbuck’s, I’m going to Dunkin Donuts to get coffee first.”)
Pinette regaled the audience with some of the indignities he’s endured to play Edna Turnblad, including a shoe-fitting with a garment district cobbler who said, “It’ll be like putting a PUMP on a HAM.” He also praised his assistant for helping him dress eight times a week. “I’ve got toenails like box cutters…Believe me, it’s no fun putting pantyhose on a fat man.”
Throughout the evening, the raucous laughter of Frank Conway, BC/EFA’s Associate Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Production Services, mixed with that of almost 200 other audience members. “Last night was a laugh riot,” said Conway. “From host Jim David to closer John Pinette, with a dash of Bob Smith, Larry Amoros and Judy Gold, they covered all the bases from lesbian motherhood to men in dresses. These top comics were right at home with the Broadway Cares crowd.”
Conway added, “Darrell Hammond was even singing show tunes and making Broadway references as part of his act.”
BC/EFA would also like to thank the evening’s generous sponsors: Smirnoff, The Onion, Air America Radio, HHC/Men Event andNext Magazine.