Comic Relief back on track with troika

Crystal, Goldberg and Williams reunite

HBO will roll out its first Comic Relief benefit comedy show in some 2-1/2 years on June 14 with Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams set to return as hosts for the eighth fundraiser.

Event at Radio City Music Hall in New York will be telecast live over HBO to raise money for the nation’s homeless. Comic Relief co-executive producer and organizer Bob Zmuda said Wednesday that the nonprofit organization behind the shows has raised more than $40 million since the first benefit in 1986. Money has been distributed to 25 Health Care for the Homeless Projects in 23 American cities.

Comic Relief will unfold in New York for only the second time, the first time since 1990.

Besides Crystal, Goldberg and Williams, no other talent has been locked in as yet, Zmuda said. “However, we are talking with (President) Bill Clinton to see if we can utilize him in some fashion,” he added.

Zmuda is hopeful that following the June event — the first Comic Relief gathering since November 1995 — it will be possible to get it back on track as an annual event.

“The big problem is Robin, Whoopi and Billy’s schedules,” he said. “They’re very busy people. It wasn’t that way when they first started with us.”

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