Comic Relief 2006, Live Three-Hour All-Star Comedy Event to Help Families in the Rebirth of New Orleans, to Be Seen on HBO and TBS
September 06, 2006
The live all-star comedy event Comic Relief 2006 will be seen Saturday, Nov. 18 (9:00 p.m.-midnight live ET/tape-delayed PT) on HBO and TBS, it was announced today by Bob Zmuda, president and founder of Comic Relief, Carolyn Strauss, president, HBO Entertainment, and Steve Koonin, executive vice president and COO, TBS and sister network TNT. To be presented from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas as part of the second annual edition of The Comedy Festival, the special will be hosted by Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, who also hosted the first eight Comic Relief events on HBO. They will be joined by Zmuda, and the telecast will include a live remote from Harrah's Fulton Street in New Orleans and showcase the work of New Orleans filmmaker Kenny Morrison. Other performers will be announced as they are confirmed.
With Comic Relief's mission to unite the comedy community behind some of society's most relevant causes and pressing needs, the Comic Relief 2006 concert will help families affected by Hurricane Katrina in the rebirth of New Orleans, raising funds to help them rebuild their homes and tangibly address causes that kept victims from escaping.
"1,836 people perished in Katrina and, a year later, more than 200,000 are still displaced because they lack the resources to rebuild their lives and homes, and the comedy community wants to help," said Zmuda, the spokesperson for the charity. "Disasters like Katrina devastate the environment and cause suffering for all forms of life, both human and animal. Comic Relief is determined to address these tragedies by benefiting everyone from the elderly to children, and pets."
"I am proud to welcome Comic Relief and its tradition of helping people who are often forgotten back to HBO," said Strauss. "I'm thrilled that we are to able team up with TBS to present this important event to a broad audience. Katrina hit the Gulf a year ago, and we want to remind viewers that there are still many people who need help."
"For two decades, Comic Relief has used the art of comedy to help people in need," said Koonin. "As television's 'very funny' network, we at TBS are proud to take part in bringing the best comedy talent in the industry together for what is certain to be an extraordinary television event for a very worthy cause."
Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005. According to cnn.com, the storm flooded 80% of the city and destroyed the lives of thousands of people throughout the Gulf Coast. Today, the population of New Orleans is estimated to be just half its pre-storm total of 465,000. Beyond the flood damage, surveys reveal that a major factor among those who died was that they chose not to leave their homes because they did not want to abandon their pets. Funds raised will go to Katrina-related charities that help both humans and pets.
The executive producers of Comic Relief 2006 are John Moffitt, Pat Tourk Lee, Bob Zmuda and Bob Crestani; director, Walter C. Miller.
For 20 years Comic Relief has been one of the major homes of activism among the comedy community. The Comic Relief organization has produced more than 80 shows, including the first eight major Comic Relief events seen on HBO from 1986 to 1998, which raised more than $50 million for programs aiding the homeless throughout the U.S. In 1992, Comic Relief mounted the first major benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Andrew, which raised $2 million in one night.