The semi-annual Night Of Too Many Stars benefit to raise money in the battle against autism didn’t ignore other major problems, including the current wave of sexual harassment in Hollywood and politics.
The program, held Saturday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden and televised live by HBO, had already bounced comedian Louis C.K. from appearing as a result of his admitted sexual misconduct with several women.
Aware of the potential for distractions, host Jon Stewart feigned at keeping the focus of the HBO event on fundraising for the NEXT for Autism charity.
“Tonight is about unity,” Stewart said. “It’s about putting our petty differences aside and rallying around an important cause. Not as left and right. Not as blue and red. But as one people, just now finding out that Puerto Ricans are Americans.”
Late Show host Stephen Colbert emerged to chastise Stewart for his “divisive” jokes, joined by John Oliver, who brought his Last Week Tonight desk on stage to insult both of his former Daily Show co-workers.
“This is going very badly and you are at the helm,” Oliver said to Stewart. Colbert couldn’t escape, either. “You are doing more or less what I would expect for a man who serves up his nightly joke meatloaf to an audience full of unsuspecting tourists herded-in from Bubba Gump Times Square.”
“Let me save this shit show,” Oliver added, arguing that that what the audience really needed was a “27-minute, exhaustively researched, commercial free, properly enunciated truth bomb.”
Also appearing on the program were Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, J.J. Abrams, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Silverman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Samantha Bee.
Here are some other highlights: