My Think Again column is called “Our Trivial Political Media, Continued…” and it’s here
I’ve been very lucky in the live shows I’ve seen lately.
Last night… Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters and John Mayer, Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Ricky Gervais, Patton Oswalt, Max Weinberg (and band) and Mike Birbiglia paid tribute to wounded warriors care of the Bob Woodruff foundation and the New York Comedy Festival. Bruce, you’ll be happy to know, was quite sweet. He played solo—I guess he didn’t have time to rehearse with Max because he’s been kinda busy travelling of late—except for one (beautiful) song with Patti. He also told one bad joke and one terrible joke. Here was his set:
We Take Care of our Own
Bad joke about a dick injury and a wedding night
Working on the Highway
Tougher than the Rest (with Patti)
Another bad joke, but not a dirty one
Hope and Dreams
Auctions off the guitar and harmonica for and a personal tour of the backstage for $110K
He followed John Mayer playing “The Long and Winding Road” which was pretty interesting and a really moving—shockingly, it must be said—set by Roger Waters who, together with G.E. Smith, (whom we like and admire, but will never forgive for agreeing to be Mitt Romney’s band leader), pulled together a band from the folk at Walter Reade hospital and they did an incredible version of “Wish You Were Here.” They also did a nice “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and a song from Levon Helm’s wonderful “Dirt Farmer” album, which replaced a Pink Floyd song we never heard, but was pretty great nevertheless. Because the audience was also filled with wounded warriors, the whole thing brought tears to lotta eyes.
The rest of the evening was all comedy. Jon Stewart was just fine and extremely respectful of the soldiers. Robin Williams was just terrific. Absolutely horrible, I am sorry to have to report, was Ricky Gervais. He was horrible last year when he did a bunch of old material from his HBO special, the balance of which was mocking overweight people (in a Republican science-denying fashion) and making fun of gay, anti-AIDS sex advice, (well, ok, but still). It was ten times as unfunny when he did the exact same material as before. I don’t have any obese people in my life but I still think it’s terrible that they are the only people whom it is socially acceptable to attack for who and what they are. Gervais insists that all of them suffer from a lack of will-power. HE is a socially regressive and ignorant jerk.
Though, it must be added that the audience loved it. And I’m glad the soldiers had a good time. And they did. So thanks to the Woodruff Foundation and the NY Comedy Festival for raising the money to help these guys out and doing it in such a fun and moving way.