Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg Praise New Jersey Spirit in "Jersey 4 Jersey" Fundraiser

Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg -Split-Getty-H 2020
Michael Reaves/Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

With New Jersey recognized as one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus, stars such as Jon Bon Jovi, Chris Rock, Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Colbert and more hoped to give the Garden State a "virtual hug" through their benefit fundraiser on Wednesday: "Love and kindness are making us strong."

With New Jersey recognized as one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus ever since it landed on U.S. shores — it has over 88,000 reported cases and 4,000 deaths — stars such as Jon Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi, Whoopi Goldberg and more hoped to give the Garden State a "virtual hug" through their "Jersey 4 Jersey" Benefit fundraiser. 

On Wednesday, stars with ties to the state including Bruce Springsteen, Chris Rock and more raised money for efforts dedicated to help minimize the spread of the deadly virus.

Throughout the fundraiser, organized by the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, Springsteen, Bon Jovi, SZA, Halsey and Charlie Puth were among the musicians who performed to raise funds for New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund ( and support front line workers. 

"I've been in quarantine for 30 days and I already look like Doc Brown from Back to the Future," Stewart quipped. "I hope you guys are staying safe and sane and taking care of each other. We're all coming together and we're going to get through this thing together."

He continued: "I'm always proud of Jersey, but I'm never more proud of this state then when we have our backs up against the wall. We all come together and we all show the unity and the 'can do' spirit that I know we have. It's unbelievable." 

Stewart later encouraged everyone to express thanks to the "quiet heroes" doing their part in helping those struggling during the pandemic. "These are the kinds of people that are going to get us through this." "I've never been prouder to live in this state," he emotionally said. 

Goldberg also paid tribute to New Jersey's resilience. "What I figured out since I started living in New Jersey is that it's not just a state. It's a family, and too many of us are hurting right now," she said before encouraging audiences to donate. "After you do that, do not waste a single second and make sure you tell the people in your family and your friends that you love them."

Tony Bennett, Danny DeVito and Chelsea Handler also made appearances during the fundraiser. 

DeVito, who says "it stinks" to be sequestered, took a trip down memory lane as he reflected growing up on Second Avenue in Asbury Park and riding his bike throughout the city. 

Meanwhile, Handler joked that she's been "doing a lot of self-medicating" ever since cannabis was legalized in California, but she's had to "up it lately after seeing images of our front line workers without the right protective gear that we need." She also recommended using a bra, "preferably a large one," as a face mask replacement. "Edison, Einstein and Handler," Handler said of her creation. 

Late night host Stephen Colbert also made an appearance to pay tribute to New Jersey, explaining that "love and kindness are making us strong." He urged, "Stay Strong, be brave and stay the course."

Later on, Rock joined the benefit to offer motivating words for his fellow residents of the state. "New Jersey is going to make it," he said. "We will overcome all of this. We got to beat this thing." The comedian said donations given could help give New Jersey a "fighting chance."

Bon Jovi concluded the event by singing a "New Jersey lullaby," his classic "Living on a Prayer."