A few comedy writers venture to pick up a microphone for a live performance to benefit striking scribes.
"The strike has been great for me. For the first time, I actually have an excuse not to write," comedian-writer and "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" creator Andy Borowitz joked to the audience.
About 100 people attended "Write-Aid: A Comedy Benefit for (Striking) Writers" at Comix comedy club in Manhattan's Meatpacking District on Tuesday night. A portion of proceeds from "Write-Aid" will go to the strike fund for the Writers Guild of America, East, according to event organizer Frank Santopadre.
"I was reading the paper the other day and it said that Carson Daly went back to work on his TV show," Borowitz later told the crowd. "I was shocked to hear that Carson Daly has a TV show. How is that allowed to happen? We should be striking over that."
Outside of Borowitz's barbs, most of the comedy material performed did not poke fun at the ongoing writer's strike. However, "Late Show with David Letterman" writer Bill Scheft did read select postings from LateShowWritersOnStrike.com, a Web site featuring material from - you guessed it - striking "Late Show" writers.
"CBS President Les Moonves told shareholders the network will make a billion dollars this year from the Internet," Scheft recited on stage. "Normally, to see that many zeroes together in one place, you have to watch `Big Brother."'
Laurie Kilmartin, who has written for "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and regularly appears as a panelist on VH1's "Best Week Ever," emceed the three-hour event.
Performers included Jim Gaffigan, Nick Griffin, "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" writer Brian Kiley, "Arliss" star Robert Wuhl and original "Saturday Night Live" writer Alan Zweibel. Both Wuhl and Zweibel said they had not performed stand-up in over a year.
"I'm not used to talking on stage," Zweibel told the crowd. "I'm a writer."
Members of The Writers Guild of America have been on strike for almost six weeks over compensation for DVDs and content streamed or downloaded over the Internet. Last month, "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" cast members staged one-time-only live performances of their shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre to benefit crew members affected by the writer's strike.
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