UPDATED with more information throughout: Scruffy Jon Stewart admitted he was looking rabbinical just a few months after going of the air from the Daily Show and riffed on Donald Trump, while Seth Meyers feinted with a few riffs on his newlywed status that would have fit comfortably in a 1950s nightclub act. But while the stand-up portion of Tuesday night’s ninth annual Stand Up for Heroes fundraiser (which also featured Ray Romano talking about masturbation and John Oliver’s reminiscence of inadvertently exposing himself during a high school race) was amiably Old School, it was Bruce Springsteen who walked off with the honors.
After a 20-minute solo set on acoustic guitar (including a beautiful version of “Darlington County” complete with off-key whistling), he was followed by an auction of his autographed Fender Stratocaster. When the heated bidding stalled at an astounding $370,000, Bruce agreed to throw in a second signed ax, along with a portion of his mother’s lasagna and house seats to his next concert, so both bidders could win. That reeled in a cool $740,000 to benefit the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
The organization, founded by Bob and Lee Woodruff after the ABC Newsman was severely injured by an IED blast in Iraq in 2006, works with other charities to support wounded veterans who need physical and psychological services. Stand Up for Heroes is presented by the New York Comedy Festival and Bob Woodruff Foundation.
The auction also included a new-model Harley-Davidson motorcycle, to which the comedians added their own personal touches: Romano threw in round-trip tickets to his Las Vegas show; Meyers offered drinks in his dressing room at Late Night; Stewart, having no show, offered an afternoon of hanging out on his front lawn; and Oliver offered a bottle of Purell and a lens cleaner. The Hog package went for $100,000.