As it has for the last five years, the New York Comedy Festival begins with a star-studded benefit for the Bob Woodruff Foundation called "Stand Up for Heroes." The show, which features Ricky Gervais, Seth Meyers, Jon Stewart and Bruce Springsteen, raises money to help injured veterans.
amNewYork spoke with Woodruff and festival co-producer Andrew Fox.
How did "Stand Up for Heroes" start?
AF: [Co-producer] Caroline Hirsch and I were watching a documentary about Bob and were moved by his story. [Woodruff was seriously injured by an explosive device while reporting from Iraq for ABC News.] We approached him and his wife with an idea to bring more awareness to injured servicemen and women.
Who was the first big name to get on board?
BW: Bruce Springsteen. And Conan O'Brien volunteered to be our first emcee.
Who are you looking forward to seeing this year?
BW: They're all wonderful acts, but what I like to see the most is the reaction from the troops in the first three rows.
If you go: The "Stand Up for Heroes" benefit show is Wednesday night at 8 at the Beacon Theatre. 2124 Broadway, 212-465-6500, $254.50-$2,504.50. For a schedule of N.Y. Comedy Festival events, go to nycomedyfestival.com