- Last Updated: 12:31 AM, September 24, 2012
- Posted: 11:56 PM, September 23, 2012
Soldiers, meet the stooges!
An impressive lineup of comedy heroes — Robin Williams, Jon Stewart and Ricky Gervais among them — are gearing up to perform for real-life heroes: troops who’ve returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
And the Boss himself — Bruce Springsteen — will add a dose of Jersey to the jokes in a short set he’ll perform at the sixth annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit Nov. 8 at the Beacon Theatre.
“Bruce has been a part of the show since our first year,” says Caroline Hirsch, the benefit’s producer and the owner of the comedy club Carolines on Broadway.
“A few years ago, I was in the wings watching Bruce play. Jon [Stewart] and Jerry [Seinfeld] were in awe and kept nudging each other saying, ‘Why can’t we go onstage and rock like that?’ ”
Tickets for the show, part of the New York Comedy Festival, aren’t cheap — $250 to $5,000 — with proceeds benefiting the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Some 150 free tickets will go to injured veterans and their caregivers.
“This show raises close to $3 million a year,” Hirsch says. “We have a low overhead, so almost every cent goes to the foundation.”
Woodruff, the ABC News reporter injured in 2006 while embedded with troops in Iraq, has been instrumental in raising money for vets with physical and psychological wounds.
“Comedy is a great way to provide relief for these service members who face incredible challenges when they come home from combat,” Woodruff tells The Post. “We always reserve the first three rows for men and women in uniform. We pay for them to come. For many of them, it’s their first time in the city.”
This year’s all-star bill also includes Patton Oswalt, best known for “Young Adult” and “Big Fan,” and Mike Birbiglia of “Sleepwalk With Me.” And surprises are guaranteed:
“At our first show, Bruce rode his motorcycle onstage, revved the engine and auctioned it off,” Hirsch says. “And last year, Bill Clinton made an unannounced appearance. You never know who’s going to show up.”
Tickets for Stand Up for Heroes go on sale today at nycomedyfestival.com and remind.org.