What do Seth MacFarlane and cancer have in common? On Nov. 17, Variety partnered with the Noreen Fraser Foundation and sponsor Bing to celebrate one and stamp out the other at the third annual Power of Comedy event, a nearly three-hour show of R-rated laughs that MacFarlane humbly described as “a reminder that laughter is the second best medicine, right behind medicine.”
Mere hours after “Ted” cleared the half-billion-dollar B.O. hurdle, the helmer (and soon-to-be Oscar host) was roasted by a lineup of 16 comics who included everyone from host Joel McHale (“The man we’re honoring tonight has enough money to single-handedly cure all kinds of cancer”) to “Family Guy” co-star Seth Green. “Not since the two Coreys have two people with the same name so completely dominated Hollywood,” Green said.
MacFarlane came prepared with barbs for Variety, past honorees Russell Brand and Amy Poehler, and the entire Hollywood community. “It’s gonna take generous contributions to beat this disease. … We’ve got to pull out our checkbooks and pretend that cancer research is a black guy running for president,” before accepting the award from surprise guest Adam West “with the sincere belief that in the past 10 minutes, I have Brett Ratner-ed myself out of the Oscars.”