THE BLOG
11/08/2014 04:04 pm ET Updated Jan 08, 2015

Lasagna at Bruce Springsteen's: Stand Up for Heroes/ Women in Comedy at Caroline's

You have to love this night for both maximum heart and entertainment: Stand Up for Heroes, Wednesday night. Sponsored by The Bob Woodruff Foundation and Caroline's Comedy Club, and kicking off the Comedy Festival, Jon Stewart, Jim Gaffigan, Louis C. K., John Oliver, headlined, and Brian Williams introduced the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, who channeled Frank Sinatra on a rousing "New York New York." After Bruce Springsteen sang ("Dancin' in the Dark," and more), and told some groan-worthy jokes, he did his thing, auctioning off his guitar. To sweeten the pot, he threw in a spin around the block in his motorcycle sidecar, guitar lesson, a lasagna dinner at his place, and the blue shirt off his back, his contribution raising $600,000. Fashion may soon help raise money too:

Lee Woodruff, an exceptional M.C. for this event every year, sported some trendy tattoo jewelry created by the wife of the doctor who made the plate for her husband Bob's skull. Expect to see the awesome gold and silver body art sold at next year's event.

Sure, the red carpet was for the celebrities who made their way into Madison Square Garden's theater. That included a mobility-dog-in-training, Lundy, named for a fallen soldier Brian K. Lundy, a beloved friend of Marshall Peters. Jake Young, 21 years in the navy, had suffered a grenade blast in 2011 in Afghanistan. The two men walked Lundy around for photographs and interviews. Essential to his own healing, Young was training Lundy to help other wounded servicemen in a program funded by this event. Young says training a warrior canine connection dog has given him "a renewed sense of purpose."

Standing up resonates on many levels: Louis C. K.'s act included a sequence led in with, here is the noise I make now when I pee, which sounded a lot like an orgasm. His orgasm noise was more terrifying and funny. Yes, you had to be there. But oddly, no one spoke about it the next night for a panel called "Women Aren't Funny: Debunking the Myth," hosted by New York Women in Film and Television at Caroline's. Joining in for laughs around the biases encountered by women in this industry, and a debate for a possible female word for "balls," moderator Bonnie McFarlane, and panelists Judy Gold, Lea DeLaria, and Marina Franklin, and one of Louis C. K.'s "Louie" producers, M. Blair Breard landed on "labia." Breard insisted on her great luck being so supported by her boss, "a true feminist." No one spoke about there being no women comedians featured at Stand Up for Heroes.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.