Category Archives: Comic Relief

The legacy of Andy Kaufman lives on, uhm… I mean Comic Relief

In 1986 Comic Relief, a charity organization was founded with a mission to raise funds to help the homeless.

Performances ranged from comedy to live music and speeches, some of which was intended to enlighten people about the realities of the homeless.

Comedians Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Whoopi Goldberg were the hosts of the show and performed with hundreds of other comedians, celebrities, and occasional politicians.

Many beautiful friendships were formed over decades while producing this show to help the most vulnerable people in society.

Here is the opening sketch from the first show in 1986

In 1990 Robin, Billy and Whoopie offered a testimony to Congress for the homeless

At 8m35, Robin says the one thing that echoes in my heart every day and probably still does with all those who supported Comic Relief:  “You can’t keep picking people up, you have to stop them from falling.”

Favorite Sketches from Comic Relief

“The Introduction from Hell” is one of my favorite moments of Comic Relief 5, which I think overall was their best year.  Energetically it just felt like their hearts were on fire and everyone was doing really great.

There are dozens of sketches that we’d love to share, including one from Billy playing a war veteran.  It is very memorable.  If this website continues, it would be nice to show this and many other sketches.

Billy and Robin sing about getting older.  I don’t remember what year this was, but it is quite funny.

Behind the Scenes

For the friends of Comic Relief that gave their personal time and resources to this effort, we thought you would like some behind the scenes footage to see your friends once again.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Here is some behind the scenes footage for making advertisements for the Comic Relief shows.  (It’s fun to see raw footage!)

This Incredible Legacy Deserves a Monument in DC

I’d like to see a permanent monument in Washington DC to honor this incredible trio and their friends.  As leaders in the entertainment industry, they offered a glowing example to future generations that others can follow to make the world a better place.

They knew the homeless are the most vulnerable people in society that have no social voice, or worse are abused for their status.  Homelessness can happen thru circumstance that is no fault of their own.  To have THAT level of empathy and compassion is truly extra-ordinary.

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About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Robin’s Legacy and Testimony to Congress

In 1990 Robin Williams and Whoopie Goldberg testified before a Senate panel chaired by Senator Edward Kennedy urged Congress to support the Homelessness Prevention and Community Revitalization Act.

Robin made a PROFOUND statement at 8m30 about the heart of the problem:

"...to truly prevent homelessness THAT'S where it lies.  You can't keep picking people up.  You have to stop them from falling."

While he appeared nervous at times during his testimony, he didn’t hesitate to slam anyone who took the crisis lightly.  He urged Congress to look beyond such short-term “Band-Aid” efforts and to actually find long-term solutions to end homelessness.

Robin Williams led by example.

Together with Bob Zmuda, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal, the Academy Award-winning actor helped raise more than $70 million for Comic Relief, a nonprofit that donated 100 percent of its proceeds to help homeless people in need throughout the U.S. (Read more here.)
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For Robin this was not just a matter of talking about the problem or writing a check.  He was personally and directly involved.

Homelessness can happen for some incredible reasons that are painfully unjust.  These same people then endure ridicule for their status or are even killed for it.  (Let’s change that conversation.)

Homeless people deserve kindness and respect.  Robin knew that passionately, because he took the time to understand how someone could end up homeless.

This is Robin’s legacy!

Fast-forward to 2015…  Homelessness is a very big conversation.  I can speak about many aspects of it because it happened to me when someone destroyed my home while I was physically VERY vulnerable.

I had a successful business and an advanced degree… I am one of many that said “It won’t happen to me” and it did.

I chose to take a situation that nearly killed me and turn it into a gift for thousands of people, by sharing TIPS FROM SURVIVORS.   Insider lessons from those who lost their homes, so you can protect your loved ones, your home and life savings.

I hope in doing this, I can honor the legacy he and his friends inspired, and give us ALL the ability to better protect our homes and ability to thrive.  YOU ARE INVITED TO BE A PART OF IT TOO.

Every bit of love matters to carry on these very important legacies for future generations!

PLEASE do see THIS video tribute and Robin’s prayer of compassion for the homeless.


You can learn more about the film in the links below:

Comic Relief #2 ~ Robin Williams

Robin Williams closed Comic Relief #2 by slamming religious television evangelists, politicians and war.  Telling it like it is…  without one dick joke.  That is rare in his stand-up routines.  =)

A beautiful moment in media history happened when a powerful media company chose to do something unprecedented that was very heartfelt. HBO used their media power to help the weakest people in our society, the homeless.  ~ They gave a social voice and helped vulnerable people regain some dignity and respect.  ~ Thank you!

With hearts full of love and many years of hard work, Whoopie Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams hosted  many fundraising events for the homeless.  Much of what we are sharing with Comic Relief hasn’t been seen in 20 years and this is a great legacy to echo.

WORDS AND IDEAS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

mark twain quote2


About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Visit here to learn about
how to participate.

Comic Relief #2 ~ “Bobcat” Goldthwait

“Bobcat” Goldthwait became known for his unique brand of comedy, which combines elements of political satire and often bizarre or somewhat unsettling black comedy.  Bobcat says he is retiring, but don’t believe him because he is too damned fabulous to leave us!

RW fans would be interested to know that Goldthwait and Robin Williams appeared on the same bill together, but not as a comedy team, using the names “Jack Cheese” and “Marty Fromage.” Goldthwait used the name Jack Cheese when he appeared in Tapeheads; when Williams made a cameo as Mime Jerry in Goldthwait’s Shakes the Clown, he was billed as Marty Fromage.

Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobcat_Goldthwait

A beautiful moment in media history happened when a powerful media company chose to do something unprecedented that was very heartfelt. HBO used their media power to help the weakest people in our society, the homeless.  ~ They gave a social voice and helped vulnerable people regain some dignity and respect.  ~ Thank you!

With hearts full of love and many years of hard work, Whoopie Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams hosted  many fundraising events for the homeless.  Much of what we are sharing with Comic Relief hasn’t been seen in 20 years and this is a great legacy to echo.

WORDS AND IDEAS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

mark twain quote2


About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Visit here to learn about
how to participate.

Comic Relief #2 ~ Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time, in fact he was the first person to be given the prestigious presidential Mark Twain Award.

Marsha Warfield is best known for her role of Roz on Night Court.   Before Night Court, she was a writer and performer on her own show and the Richard Pryor Show.  She continues to use the power of her words to bring awareness to continuing issues of racism in America.

A beautiful moment in media history happened when a powerful media company chose to do something unprecedented that was very heartfelt.  HBO used their media power to help the weakest people in our society, the homeless.  ~ They gave a social voice and helped vulnerable people regain some dignity and respect.  ~ Thank you!

With hearts full of love and many years of hard work, Whoopie Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams hosted  many fundraising events for the homeless.  Much of what we are sharing with Comic Relief hasn’t been seen in 20 years and this is a great legacy to echo.

WORDS AND IDEAS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

mark twain quote2


About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Visit here to learn about
how to participate.

Comic Relief #2 ~ Opening with hosts & Elaine Boozler

Below is the opening scene from Comic Relief with Whoopie Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.  Even though Whoopie was not physically present, she had put ALOT of time and love into this project and found a creative way to “be” there.

The opening act was Elaine Boosler who after many unsuccessful waitressing jobs, worked as doorman at The Improvisation comedy club in New York for 2.5 years. While working there, she met comedian Andy Kaufman, a regular at the club, who convinced her she should do standup comedy. They remained close friends until Kaufman’s death. She later went on to PRODUCE many respected comedy shows on cable television, entertained dignitaries and became involved in liberal politics.

A beautiful moment in media history happened when a powerful media company chose to do something unprecedented that was very heartfelt.  HBO used their media power to help the weakest people in our society, the homeless.  ~ They gave a social voice and helped vulnerable people regain some dignity and respect.  ~ Thank you!

With hearts full of love and many years of hard work, Whoopie Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams hosted  many fundraising events for the homeless.  Much of what we are sharing with Comic Relief hasn’t been seen in 20 years and this is a great legacy to echo.

WORDS AND IDEAS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

mark twain quote2


About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Visit here to learn about
how to participate.

Comic Relief #1 ~ Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis is known for his slapstick humor. His long performance career began when he was paired up with Dean Martin in 1946, forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis.  Additionally for more than 40 years Lewis also hosted the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Labor Day Telethon, which as of May 1, 2015 is discontinued.

A beautiful moment in media history happened when a powerful media company chose to do something unprecedented that was very heartfelt.  HBO used their media power to help the weakest people in our society, the homeless.  ~ They gave a social voice and helped vulnerable people regain some dignity and respect.  ~ Thank you!

With hearts full of love and many years of hard work, Whoopie Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams hosted  many fundraising events for the homeless.  Much of what we are sharing with Comic Relief hasn’t been seen in 20 years and this is a great legacy to echo.

WORDS AND IDEAS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

mark twain quote2

 


About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Visit here to learn about
how to participate.

Comic Relief #1 ~ Billy Crystal & Robin Williams

Below a snip from the show with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams whose tights are so tight you can tell what religion he is.  WOW!  And he let it all hang out in The Fisher King.  If THAT doesn’t convince you how much he cared for the homeless then you weren’t paying attention!  LOL!

A beautiful moment in media history happened when a powerful media company chose to do something unprecedented that was very heartfelt.  HBO used their media power to help the weakest people in our society, the homeless.  ~ They gave a social voice and helped vulnerable people regain some dignity and respect.  ~ Thank you!

With hearts full of love and many years of hard work, Whoopie Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams hosted  many fundraising events for the homeless.  Much of what we are sharing with Comic Relief hasn’t been seen in 20 years and this is a great legacy to echo.

WORDS AND IDEAS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

mark twain quote2


About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Visit here to learn about
how to participate.

Comic Relief #1 ~ “Bobcat” Goldthwait

I never thought I would use freak and adorable in the same sentence… but that is “Bobcat”  Anyone that witnessed Bobcat in the 1980s persona can’t forget it.  (For many I think it reflects a side of us that is never expressed, no matter how much we think out loud!) 

Today he is a much calmer, refined spirit  and his pal, Barry Crimmins, calls him a “mellow punk” because you know that spunk is still in him somewhere!    In any case, Bobcat is a wiser man for unabashedly exploring the joys and depths of a life fully lived.  Now he makes films that are as equally daring in making us think about our relations with others.  Here is his latest project.

A beautiful moment in media history happened in 1986 when a powerful media company chose to do something unprecedented that was very heartfelt.  HBO used their media power to help the weakest people in our society, the homeless.  ~ They gave a social voice and helped vulnerable people regain some dignity and respect.  ~ Thank you!

This link gives you some idea of the depth of this legacy.

Most of the skits were created to entertain, but some were created to inform about the realities of the situation.  (That is the precious gift of the comedian; to bring attention to issues otherwise ignored.)

bcat

Words and ideas CAN change the world.(Choose wisely, please.)

 


About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Visit here to learn about
how to participate.

Comic Relief #1 ~ Billy Crystal & Whoopi Goldberg

Below with Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg in a sketch about about a homeless man with a bandana.  I loved it when Whoopi gave Billy a kiss on the forehead.  That wasn’t acting.  That was real love.

A beautiful moment in media history happened when a powerful media company chose to do something unprecedented that was very heartfelt.  HBO used their media power to help the weakest people in our society, the homeless.  ~ They gave a social voice and helped vulnerable people regain some dignity and respect.  ~ Thank you!

With hearts full of love and many years of hard work, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams hosted  many fundraising events for the homeless.  Much of what we are sharing with Comic Relief hasn’t been seen in 20 years and this is a great legacy to echo.

WORDS AND IDEAS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

mark twain quote2


I mis-spelled Whoopi’s name.  My apologies.  I don’t have bandwidth to edit and reload currently.  You no cry?  Please?  =)

cat

Words and ideas CAN change the world.(Choose wisely, please.)

 


About the project: Instead of “liking” Robin and all that he stood for, you are being invited to be Robin for someone else. Let’s echo an immense legacy and fill the world with MORE love.

Let’s rise to the occasion and show that all the love Robin has given to us mattered in imagining and creating a better world for us all.

own_voice

Visit here to learn about
how to participate.