On April 20th, 1986, the first-ever “Comic Relief” event was held at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, California. This star-studded charity event brought together some of the biggest names in comedy to raise money for the homeless in the United States.
The brainchild of comedians Bob Zmuda and Lenny Bruce’s daughter, Kitty, “Comic Relief” featured performances by comedy legends such as Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robin Williams, among many others. The event was broadcast on HBO and featured sketches, stand-up routines, and musical performances.
The event was a massive success, raising over $2.5 million for the homeless and drawing attention to the issue of homelessness in the United States. In the years that followed, “Comic Relief” became an annual event, raising millions of dollars for various charitable causes.
In addition to its charitable impact, “Comic Relief” also had a profound impact on the world of comedy. The event provided a platform for new and emerging comedians to showcase their talents alongside established veterans, and it helped to cement the careers of many up-and-coming performers.
Perhaps most importantly, “Comic Relief” demonstrated the power of comedy to bring people together and make a difference in the world. The event showed that comedy could be used not just for entertainment, but also as a force for good, shining a light on important social issues and raising awareness and funds for those in need.
Today, the legacy of “Comic Relief” lives on through the countless comedians and performers who have been inspired by the event over the years. From the countless benefit shows and charity events that have followed in its wake to the ongoing efforts of comedians to use their platforms for good, the impact of “Comic Relief” can be felt throughout the world of comedy and beyond.
As we celebrate the legacy of “Comic Relief” on this April 20th, it’s clear that the event’s impact on the world of comedy and charitable giving will continue to be felt for generations to come. By bringing together some of the biggest names in comedy and using their talents to make a difference in the world, “Comic Relief” showed us all just how powerful and transformative comedy can truly be.