Jon Stewart Rocks Comedy for Autism EducationHeather Turgeon
Last night, the Comedy Central charity event “A Night of Too Many Stars,” hosted by Jon Stewart, truly lived up to its name. The two-hour event for autism education featured stand up comedy from Ricky Gervais and Lewis Black, sketches from George Clooney, Tina Fey, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman and more.
Meanwhile, a phone bank manned by stars like George Clooney, Dana Carvey, Tom Hanks and Betty White took donation calls (the biannual show has raised over $7 million since it started in 2006).
Highlights: Tina Fey presented her Tina Fey 2011 swimsuit calendar as a slideshow to the live audience at the Beacon Theatre in New York (telling Stewart, standing next to her, “keep your pants on, Jon.”)
Chris Rock called the ex boyfriend of a woman in the audience and cursed him out for breaking up with her over facebook by posting pictures of another girl (she donated $20,000 for the privilege). And two women donated $9,000 each to hold Steve Carell’s hand on stage while he simulated an orgasm and shouted their names). Yes, you heard right.
My favorite part of the event might have been Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock on stage singing “Scarborough Fair”, which ended with Paul Simon walking on and the three rapping “Gin n Juice.”
Meanwhile, the whole event was punctuated by highlights of autism education programs around the country that had me watery-eyed.
Like a program in which 7th grade public school kids go during their recess and lunch periods to an autism special education program to mix, learn about children on the autism spectrum, and provide social skills learning opportunities. The program leaders said they expected it to benefit the kids with autism, but didn’t realize how much it would benefit the visiting 7th graders too.
Stewart gave a shout out to Temple Grandin, who was in the audience, and talked about how her life success was made possible because of the education programs her mom was able to put her in. One in 110 kids are on the autism spectrum, said Stewart, and the event funds will go towards creating opportunities for these children to grow and learn. It was really an inspiring show that I hope continues.
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