It has been heartening to see the comedy community come together and help in the fund-raising efforts in Haiti following the devastating 7.0 earthquake that hit the already-impoverished island nation earlier this week.
Amid all of the late-night TV hullaba-uh-ohs, Conan O'Brien made sure to point out how comedic actor Ben Stiller already had launched a great service for Haiti in StillerStrong. Following in the steps of other major catastrophes, there will be a nationwide televised telethon on Jan. 22 shown on multiple stations, and co-hosted by Haitian-American Wyclef Jean, George Clooney and Anderson Cooper.
I caught up with Haitian-American stand-up comedian Wil Sylvince last night at the Comedy Cellar. Sylvince has written comedy material for Wyclef and The Fugees. Good news from him: Sylvince told me most of his family already has immigrated to the States, and he managed to catch up with all of his friends who still live in Haiti. But there are so many people who need help there. Here is a short video message from Wil we shot outside the Cellar last night:
Most of all, the relief effort needs money. Mercy Corps has set up a Comedians For Haiti fund-raising site, and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre here in New York City will bring out some of its biggest celebrities from Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and 30 Rock to participate in two special performances of ASSSSCAT called MercyCAT on Sunday, Jan. 31. Tickets are $30, with every dollar going to Mercy Corps.
Elsewhere in NYC, Comix comedy club has announced The I'm With Coco Benefit For Haiti on Jan. 28, with a lineup still in the works (so far, Todd Barry already has signed on, and Sylvince is likely to to be there, too) along with artist Mike Mitchell, the man who designed the popular "I'm With Coco" poster. UPDATED! Hosted by Seth Herzog with Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Wyatt Cenac, John Mulaney, Wil Sylvince, Anthony Jeselnik, Jeff Kreisler, writers from The Onion and more.
Comedian Liam McEneaney and his "Tell Your Friends!" show will host The Haiti Benefit Relief Show at Lolita bar in the Lower East Side (upstairs, not the basement) on Jan. 25, with a lineup that includes Janeane Garofalo, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, Todd Barry, Victor Varnado, McEneaney and music from Tracy Bonham and A Brief View of the Hudson. Tickets: $10 UPDATED! Lewis Black added to that bill.
I'm also hearing that Carolines On Broadway is putting something together for Jan. 20, but waiting on details for that. UPDATED! “Stand-Up for Haiti” will take place on Wednesday, January 27, beginning at 8:00 p.m.,1626 Broadway, between 49th and 50th Streets, in Times Square. Power 105.1 FM’s Ed Lover, who hosts the station’s top rated morning drive program, “The Ed Lover Show” weekdays from 5:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., will host “Stand-Up for Haiti,” which will include performances by comedians Kevin Hart, Jeffrey Ross and Dave Attell, with more names to be added to the line-up. Tickets to “Stand-Up for Haiti” are $35 each and can be purchased online at www.carolines.com. For more information call 212.757.4100. One hundred percent of the ticket sales from the event will benefit Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (www.doctorswithoutborders.org) and the William J. Clinton Foundation (www.clintonfoundation.org).
In Los Angeles, Tim and Eric are putting on their very own For Your Haiti benefit screening and panel discussion on Jan. 26 with them along with John C. Reilly and more. I hear it's already sold out?
If there are other comedy efforts for Haiti -- either in NYC or elsewhere -- please let me know and I'll include them on this post.