It’s Dave Chappelle and John Mayer. The Scleroderma Research Foundation Will Host a Benefit in Bob Saget’s Honor
To honor Saget’s 30 years of service to the charity, Mayer, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jeff Ross hosted the annual benefit in his honor.
On Wednesday, longtime friends and supporters of the late comedian Bob Saget, including John Mayer, Jeff Ross, Jimmy Kimmel, and Dave Chappelle, gathered to remember him and the cause he had been dedicated to for the past 30 years.
Saget, who passed away in January at the age of 65 after suffering an accidental blow to the head, was honored at the annual “Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine” fundraising event hosted by Mayer, Ross, and Kimmel for the Scleroderma Research Foundation in Beverly Hills.
Since his sister Gay passed away in 1994 from Scleroderma, a rare and often fatal autoimmune condition that can cause fibrosis in the skin and other vital organs, the Full House actor has been a fervent supporter of the Scleroderma Research Foundation.
Although Saget did not become a member of the Scleroderma Research Foundation’s board of directors until 2003, he first became involved with the organization in 1991 through “Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine,” first as an audience member and later as a performer and organizer.
Kimmel opened the night of sentimentality and dark humor in his place this year, saying, “these bookings have really improved vastly since Bob passed away,” referring to the fact that Bill Burr, Rosie O’Donnell, and Kathy Griffin were among the stand-ups in attendance.
Mayer said, “this is the first time I’ve come to a Scleroderma benefit where Bob hasn’t, as Jimmy said, asked me to do this event and then profusely apologized while asking me to do this event.” Mayer and Ross followed Kimmel out.
He elaborated, saying, “The best part about tonight—the only good part about tonight—is that we get to prove to Bob that we wanted to do this, that we always wanted to do this.” In his own words, Ross pledged, “I’m going to try to keep this as festive as possible.”
Everyone needs a friend like Bob Saget, and tonight is a celebration of the fact that we all had the good fortune to meet and be influenced by him. Hosting a dinner for Scleroderma Research revealed the real Bob Saget. Aside from when he was acting on Broadway or something, that was the most moved and genuine he’d ever been on stage.
Kelly Rizzo, Saget’s wife, was a co-chair for the event, and in attendance were not only Saget’s children and extended family but also Regina Hall, chef Susan Feniger, Norman Lear, Joel McHale, Kevin Nealon, Seth Green, and Howie Mandel, all of whom serve on the SRF board. Saget’s co-stars on Full House, John Stamos, Lori Loughlin, and Jodie Sweetin, were also present.
Feniger oversaw the “Hot Cuisine” portion of the evening, and the evening concluded with an auction that raised more than $1 million for the foundation (and included two of Mayer’s personal guitars). As he introduced a video tribute to Saget, Stamos joked, “I’ve spoken so much about him, written so much about him, and I just love him so dearly I would give anything to have him back.”
Saget’s filthy humor was also a recurring theme, with McHale declaring, “Bob was the most empathetic and dirtiest person on the planet… Saget sent him some R-rated texts over the years, and he said, “There was no successful dirty person who was more beloved.”
Short sets from Nealon and Mandel kicked off the night’s comedy before Saget’s longtime friend and fellow comic Dave Chappelle made an appearance. Chappelle, who performed after the audience’s phones were hidden, said, “Tonight I got drunk because I love Bob so much. I know you’re here with me tonight, Bob.
Chappelle convinced Burr to join him onstage by showing him his recent stand-up material, which included a video of his on-stage attack at the Hollywood Bowl in May. Chappelle toasted Saget with a drink onstage and showed the audience a video message Saget had sent him in the months before his death, in which Saget spoke fondly of his friend.
Chappelle exclaimed, “What a fantastic human being,” and recalled how Saget had repeatedly mentioned the Scleroderma benefit over the years, eventually bringing him to tears when Chappelle showed up one year. Even though he felt he was bombing throughout his set, the comedian said it was an honor to be there and that he would forevermore do favors for Saget.
Mayer ended the night on an emotional note, telling several stories and commenting on how he still can’t believe Saget is dead despite it being nine months since his death. Mayer revealed that he was using the guitar that Saget had used during his final Florida performance, explaining that Rizzo had tracked it down, purchased it, and given it to him as a gift. He proceeded to play what he called “Bob’s favorite songs.”
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