Louis C.K. dry-humped a motorcycle at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night … for a good cause: the 10th annual Stand Up for Heroes event, which kicks off the New York Comedy Festival and raises money for the Bob Woodruff Foundation to support veterans and their families.
Woodruff, who was wounded in Iraq, and his wife, Lee, explained the foundation’s work — bolstered by videos and veterans who took the stage. Oh, and there was comedy, too.
Jon Stewart talked about the honor of being here “on the eve of the last American election. … We lasted 240 years, we gave it a shot.” The former “Daily Show” host also took a shot at Donald Trump’s comments about a rigged electoral process. “Dude, you live in a tower with your name on it in gold,” Stewart said. “How well would you be doing if the man wasn’t keeping you down?”
“I thought we were done three weeks ago when a guy comes off a bus and says, ‘Grab her by the p—-,'” he said. “I thought, ‘OK, we’re done! The election is over!’ Usually that is a signifier that we don’t have to pay attention anymore. One of the people in the race said they were going to grab somebody by the p—-! And so we don’t have to watch anymore. Obviously, everyone thought that Truman was going to lose to Dewey until the finger-banging video came out.”
Stewart also recounted a Twitter war started by Trump against him in 2013, reading Trump’s anti-Semitic remarks and his retorts, and culminating in the classic Trumpian riposte, “Little Jon Stewart is a p—-.”
Jim Gaffigan joked about getting so fat he needed a new belt because his old one “looked like it had been tortured on ‘Game of Thrones.'” C.K. recounted the story of Achilles as a hilarious parable of parent-child dysfunction, and Jerry Seinfeld declared the postal service “should just open our letters, read them and email us what they say.”
But Bruce Springsteen, who told dirty jokes between his four acoustic songs, earned some of the biggest laughs with his groaners about “an old couple screwing in an alley” and three men, three dreams, and one ski-related sex act. Woodruff quipped in an interview that Springsteen’s annual jokes could become a comedy album while Gaffigan contemplated singing “Thunder Road” to balance out the idea of a rock star playing comedian.
Springsteen’s electric guitar was auctioned off, along with a car ride with “The Boss” for burgers and dogs, plus his mother’s lasagna, all for $280,000. (An earlier paddle raise reaped $770,000.) Springsteen then rode a motorcycle on stage while it was auctioned off and the comics riffed about it (and in C.K.’s case, made love to it); threw in a dinner (“we will chew up your food and spit it in your mouth,” Stewart offered); and made a group pledge of $200,000 to drive the final bidder up to $150,000. “And Bruce is going to donate his house,” deadpanned Gaffigan, earning one final laugh for a noble cause.
To date, the Stand Up for Heroes events have raised the Bob Woodruff Foundation more than $33 million.