“This is the only time I ever see Bob Saget cry in public,” Jeff Ross said as he walked into the reception.
It was a full house at the Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine auction for the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) as Bob Saget and other celebrity guests joined for a night of fundraising at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles on Friday.
The night started off with tearful remarks from host and honoree Saget as well as VP of national sales for Actelion Pharmaceuticals Bob Smith. Saget and Smith both eulogized their loved ones whose lives were taken by scleroderma. Friends and family then gathered to pay tribute to Saget with a passionate highlight video, featuring pals like John Stamos, Jack Black, Queen Latifah, Ross, and others congratulating him on his work with the foundation. Bob Newhart and Flea also made a surprising appearance at the benefit auction for Saget.
A thankful Saget said, “To be honored is a little embarrassing. ‘Bob, we’re honoring you but can you also host it and co-produce it, do you mind?'”
Jimmy Kimmel and Saget then kicked off the live auction with some dark banter.
“You know, listening to you talk about Gay, your sister, Sharon [Smith’s wife who died from scleroderma], and our friends Don [Rickles] and Brad … it makes me realize that everything you touch dies,” Kimmel quipped.
The banquet hall echoed with laughter as Jeff Garlin continued to roast Saget’s emotional condition. Zach Galifianakis came in with his trademark deadpan humor before Bill Burr took the stage to rant, leaving Ray Romano to rev up the audience. Adam Duritz from Counting Crows closed the night. Jodie Sweetin, Ryan Gosling, Norman Lear, and Ben Feldman were also in attendance.
Saget will maintain his position on the SRF board and continue to host the benefit auction. He hopes that in the future, comedy can be used to relieve the stress of this disease. “Comedy is how you deal with something this painful,” he told Variety.
The event raised $1.5 million for scleroderma research, and Saget added that $40 million has been raised in the past 25 years.