‘SNL’ staff make ’em laugh

Comedians answer the Love Call

A who’s who of Gotham comic talent performed at the Beacon Theater Monday night for Comedy Love Call, a benefit for the McCarton Foundation and Autism Speaks.

The latter was co-founded by NBC Universal topper Bob Wright and his wife, Suzanne, who opened the proceedings with a moving speech about their grandson who has autism.

But the gravity of the cause did not quell the humor for long.

Stephen Colbert competed with “Dateline” anchor Stone Phillips to see who could more convincingly recite fake TV news lines such as, “We invited Mother Theresa to respond to these charges.” Amy Poehler impersonated Sharon Stone. Maya Rudolph did her Diana Ross. And Al Franken impersonated Henry Kissinger while co-hosting the live auction.

Other performers included Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, Will Forte, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Fred Armisen, Horatio Sanz, singer Nellie McKay and puppet Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Wright thanked Triumph’s handler, “Saturday Night Live” writer Robert Smigel, who has a child with autism.

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