The 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes—presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival—took the city by storm on November 1st at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Featured comedians included: Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, and Jon Stewart.
Stand Up for Heroes is dedicated to recognizing and supporting wounded veterans and their families. Rock stars of comedy came together for the 10th time on Tuesday evening to raise awareness and donations, and to induce some well-deserved laughter for our veterans and their loved ones.
The Knockturnal had the pleasure of talking to retired Staff Sergeant Michael Kacer and Caroline Hirsh, the founder of New York Comedy club Carolines on Broadway and the New York Comedy Festival.
Hi SSG Kacer, how does it feel like to be here tonight, what does it mean for you?
SSG Kacer: This is about my third time coming to this venue—and every time I come, it’s such an amazing and welcoming experience. The events they have, and what we get from not only the community but from the Foundation itself—it’s completely amazing. How they support the troops and everything they do is phenomenal, both in terms of the atmosphere and the event (itself).
Do you have a favorite performer you’re looking forward to seeing tonight?
SSG Kacer: I’d have to go with Bruce Springsteen; I’m a big fan of him in general and every time I’ve seen him, it’s been an amazing show. I also love Jon Stewart—I’m a big fan of him and I’ve seen him a couple of times in person. The support he shows, on and off scene (is incredible). He’s just a great human being and I love him as a performer.
Hi Caroline, can you talk to us about your hopes for the direction of NYCF?
CH: Every year we try to add more and more layers—so this year we’re doing an art installation at Storefront for Art and Architecture with two new artists, Jonah Freeman and Justine Lowe. It’s a wonderful installation and we’re recreating the Rat Fink Room, the first stand up comedy room from the 60s. We try to do our best at building more and more things.
What has the past two weeks looked like, leading up to the festival?
CH: It’s chaos! Even today we were adding new things. We’ve added a number of podcasts, and we were still programming that today. It’s very hectic—but after tomorrow night, everything kind of winds down. It pretty much runs like a machine after that.
Are you looking forward to seeing a particular show?
CH: I’m just happy to see some of New York’s funniest! But Thursday night I’m going to see Pat Oswalt and Tim Minchin, which I’m very excited about.