Given the spirited bidding between guests Ryan Gosling and Dana Delany for a 10-person dinner at their own homes with “Top Chef Masters” Traci Des Jardins and Mary Sue Milliken, the host of Friday evening’s Cool Comedy Hot Cuisine charity event, Bob Saget, joked that the auction was “like a celebrity death match.”
As chef Susan Feniger, on hand to oversee the event’s “hot cuisine,” considered whether to offer a second private dinner, Delany piped up with a possible solution. “Can I have the dinner with Ryan Gosling?” quipped the “Hand of God” actress.
In the end, however, the actors shelled out $40,000 each for separate dinners with the famous TV chefs, and the audience gave them a standing ovation.
Celebrating 30 years of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, the Friday evening affair at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel raised about $1.5 million, a record for the charity. The evening featured four gourmet courses of soba noodle salad, nori-crusted Asian sea bass, yakitori pork and yuzu lime pie.
As part of the evening, a lineup of comedy stars — Zach Galifianakis, Ray Romano, Jeff Garlin and Bill Burr — performed, while Jimmy Kimmel and Jeff Ross helped Saget with the live auction. Also, Counting Crows had a musical performance.
Not only the night’s host, Saget was also the honoree, having spearheaded the event for 25 years after having lost a close friend and later a sister to the autoimmune disease. “I’m very embarrassed but really honored,” said the “Fuller House” star with characteristic humor. “They said, ‘We’d love to honor you if you also co-produce [the event] and book all the talent.’”
Just as dinner was about to be served, Gosling told us that he knew someone who suffered from the disease and he came because “it’s a wonderful event.”
Guests also included Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, producer Norman Lear, comedy great Bob Newhart, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, actors Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Dave Coulier, Justin Baldoni, Scott Bakula and Ben Feldman, SRF board Chair Luke Evnin and Bob Smith, a vice president at Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, the event’s sponsor.
Although many of the laughs came from jokes not printable here, Garlin offered one-liners, while Romano talked of choosing friends according to one’s age, suggesting that people like himself in their 50s “stock up on doctor friends,” while both teenagers and octogenarians should seek out “the kid with the car.”
Burr’s routine ran the gamut, from Islamic State and robots to wondering, “What do you think Hillary Clinton is doing right now?”
“I don’t want to get political, but after the election, I told my wife, ‘We’re moving,’” said Galifianakis, before adding, “and we’ve been living in Trump Tower now for months.”
The “Baskets” star noted that he wasn’t offering jokes. “They’re just future tweets,” he said.
Proceeds from tickets sales for the 650 guests, which began at $250 with table sponsorships ranging up to $75,000, the auction and additional contributions will go toward discovering improved therapies and, ultimately, finding a cure for the disease.
Ellen Olivier is the founder of Society News LA.
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