Conan O'Brien, Max Greenfield Host Comedy Show Fundraiser
The show, dubbed "In Stitches, a Night of Laughs," aimed to increase awareness and fundraising for hydrocephalus, a chronic brain condition that affects 1 million Americans.
Conan O'Brien used his comedic chops for good Thursday, headlining a Los Angeles comedy show that raised money for an incurable brain condition.
The show, dubbed "In Stitches, a Night of Laughs," aimed to increase awareness and fundraising to find a cure for hydrocephalus, a chronic brain condition that affects 1 million Americans. O'Brien has a personal connection to the cause, as his friend Brett Weitz — general manager of TNT and TBS, which airs Conan — has a young daughter affected by the illness.
"He asked me if I would lend a hand and the answer is yes," O'Brien told The Hollywood Reporter backstage at the show. "Literally, I think I only got here 10 minutes ago and in that time I've talked to three or four people who have sons or daughters that are affected with the disease. And then they show you, their faces are on big posters and they say, 'Well, that's my son right there,' so it's hard not to get involved."
The late-night host brought two younger comedians, Taylor Tomlinson and Moses Storm, to perform with him at the show, after they had previously joined him on tour. He said the mentality for doing a comedy benefit is different than for TV and stand-up, which was something he tried to impart on Tomlinson and Storm before the show.
"They were doing what comics do, which is worrying, 'How's my set going to go?' and I said, 'Well, also try to remember that unlike most times, when you do something like this, it's a mitzvah,'" he said. "Try not to get too consumed with how your set goes, just try to have fun and remember you're doing a good thing."
"I think people really appreciate it when they can be doing some good but also enjoying themselves at the same time, and that's a tricky thing to manage sometimes. That's always foremost in my mind," O'Brien added.
During the set, O'Brien mocked Donald Trump for his recent fundraiser in Beverly Hills, noting how no celebrity guests were in attendance, joking, "that's impossible, you can't go to a Quiznos in Beverly Hills and not see George Clooney." He also told stories from his life, including an awkward interaction with Arnold Schwarzenegger and discovering through a DNA test that his family line is inbred.
Later, Max Greenfield took the stage to give a speech about hydrocephalus, as Weitz is a close personal friend of his as well, and even served as officiant for his wedding.
The New Girl star said that the condition was "something [he and his wife] had never heard of in the beginning and we've been with them through this process. The fact that they've pushed so hard and created all of this, it's a no brainer" for him to be a part of it.
Seth Green also stopped by to support the cause, saying, "raising some money to try and support research and figure out how to stop this, that's something I can get behind."
Put on by the Hydrocephalus Association, the sold-out event was held at the Avalon Hollywood and also honored Dr. J. Gordon McComb of Children's Hospital Los Angeles with the Lifetime Achievement Award. "In Stitches, a Night of Laughs," sponsored by Hulu and TBS, raised $300,000 for the cause.