Wednesday night’s Very Good+ Night of Comedy benefit for Jessica Seinfeld’s Good+ Foundation was primarily an evening of laughter, delivered by stand-up sets from comedians Amy Schumer, Kevin Hart, Ronny Chieng, Jim Gaffigan and Jerry Seinfeld.
But Jessica Seinfeld took time at the top of the event to speak about the Israel-Hamas war that has dominated the news since Hamas’ deadly, surprise terrorist attack on October 7.
“I want to take a moment to acknowledge the suffering of Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza and Israel,” she said to applause from a packed audience at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
For me, one light in the midst of all this darkness is being here with all of you,” she said, “to quote the great Pete Davidson about (Saturday evening live) last weekend: ‘Sometimes comedy is a helpful way to get through tragedy.’”
And in addition to raising money for the Good+ Foundation, most of the evening was about making people laugh.
Schumer delivered an extended set in which she joked about the challenges of being a woman, her TV viewing habits, how she once became attached to the Barbie film, and her husband and son. But it seemed that faith was not far from her thoughts. She spoke about growing up Jewish and joked about some inherent problems with the word used to describe her religion, including the fact that it includes “ew” and the uncertain-sounding “ish.”
And midway through her set, Schumer, who, like Jessica Seinfeld, has regularly posted on social media about the situation in Israel, mused that she “really started working hard on this last week and then something happened.” She and the audience shared a nervous laugh.
Chieng took the stage after Schumer and joked about his experience helping his wife freeze her eggs, marveling at how he was entrusted to administer the shots she needed.
Gaffigan spoke self-deprecatingly about his life as a father of five children who are teenagers or about to become teenagers, and about everyday annoyances like selecting email passwords.
Hart, who insisted he couldn’t say no to Jerry Seinfeld when he asked him to participate in the event, humorously talked about the accident that recently left him in a wheelchair and going on a gorilla trek in Rwanda with his family .
Seinfeld closed out the evening by joking about his lack of fun on vacation, his marriage and his upcoming Pop-Tarts movie, among other things. Immature.
The event also included a surprise opening speech from New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who spoke about the importance of helping families in need like the one he grew up in. And D-Nice served as announcer and DJ, along with Good+ board member Ali Wentworth encouraging attendees to donate to the nonprofit.
Founded by Jessica Seinfeld in 2001, the Good+ Foundation provides tangible goods and innovative services to low-income fathers, mothers and caregivers in an effort to dismantle multigenerational poverty. The organization aims to encourage parental participation in counseling, health care, employment assistance, financial literacy, co-parenting classes and more.