November 9th, 2013: Laughter rocked the house Saturday night at the International Myeloma Foundation’s 7th Annual Comedy Celebration benefiting the Peter Boyle Research Fund and supporting the Black Swan Research Initiative™. Nearly 1,100 guests gathered at Los Angeles’s Wilshire Ebell Theatre to honor the late actor, who died in 2006 after a four-year battle with myeloma.
The Annual Comedy Celebration began in 2007, when event Chair Loraine Boyle, IMF Board member and wife of the late actor Peter Boyle, reached out to IMF co-founders Susie Novis and Dr. Brian Durie with a profound desire to make a difference in the lives of people coping with multiple myeloma. Loraine established the Peter Boyle Research Fund, calling upon her and Peter’s friends to join her in raising awareness and money to find a cure. They answered her call without hesitation, and have been donating their time and talents to our cause ever since.
Ray Romano, the evening’s host, set the comic tone for Saturday night’s show with observations about growing old. “I will be your friend if you’re a doctor,” he said. “I’m at a party and they introduce me to an orthopedic doctor, oh forget it. I’m going to invite him camping right there.” He was joined onstage by his Everybody Loves Raymond co-star, Patricia Heaton, Monica Horan, another Raymond alum, and the show’s creator, Phil Rosenthal, who reminisced about working with Peter Boyle. CBS president Les Moonves suggested casting the film star – someone Rosenthal said he never imagined would consider acting in a television comedy.
Romano offered non-stop patter in between a slate of comedians offering distinctively different, but equally hilarious, brands of comedy. Deon Cole, Jackie Hoffman, Andy Kindler, Larry Miller, Bruce Vilanch, and Justin Willman had guests laughing for two hours straight. Rock icon David Crosby closed the show with a spine-tingling performance that filled the auditorium with acoustical bliss.
The event – complete with red carpet and paparazzi - also featured a dazzling silent auction with more than 100 items including a guitar autographed by Pete Townshend of The Who, fantastic travel packages, an assortment of Hollywood and sports memorabilia, and gift baskets from high-end boutiques and restaurants.
After the show, the main dining room of the 1920’s style Ebell Club was transformed into a lounge-chic after-party for VIP guests, who sipped champagne and sampled desserts while chatting and schmoozing with friends, colleagues, and members of the cast and other celebrity guests.
In only seven years, the Annual Comedy Celebration has raised over $4 million for the Peter Boyle Research Fund. Loraine’s efforts and the generosity of our presenting sponsors Celgene Corporation, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, as well as many other corporate and individual sponsors, haves supported numerous IMF ground breaking research initiatives. This year, the event’s proceeds support The Black Swan Research Initiative (BSRI™), an ambitious venture to develop a definitive cure for multiple myeloma.
On behalf of the International Myeloma Foundation, our esteemed Board of Directors, Scientific Advisors, and— most importantly— the patients we serve, thank you all for supporting this wonderful event!