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Come One, Comedy All

Robert Smigel's autism benefit -- How the writer convinced comedians Jon Stewart, Adam Sandler, and Jonah Hill to attend

Robert Smigel — the arm of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog — has nabbed an all-star lineup of Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, host Jon Stewart, and many more for his live charity event, Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Benefit for Autism Education (April 13, 8 p.m., Comedy Central). Getting them was easy, but, he tells EW, agonizing about it was hard work.

I'm always paranoid about asking people, because they're so incredibly busy. Some are old friends, and I have a sexual history with most of them, but still, this is our fourth annual show, and it's hard to keep asking. I think of things I could offer them for motivation. I know Adam is happy because it's a good cause, and I always let him wear the dog puppet in the shower. For others, it's not that obvious. Like, I don't really know Jonah Hill: He might want to wear a different puppet in the shower. I wish I could offer to have Triumph perform at their favorite fund-raiser, but most fund-raisers aren't like ours. An epilepsy dinner honoring Oliver Sacks somehow isn't the ideal setting for a puppet who closes by violating Ernie from Sesame Street. Fortunately, I'm dealing with very nice people, and they shock me by making it so easy. But it's good for them, too. Like, Jon Stewart's a fantastic guy. But up until now, people have only seen him as a really great guy. He needs this.

Originally posted Apr 03, 2008 Published in issue #986 Apr 11, 2008 Order article reprints
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