Comics Spell Relief for the Homeless with Laughter
updated 11/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST
Billy Crystal and Robin Williams, dressed in basic bum, opened the show with a yuppie-bashing rendition of "Swing Up, Sweet Dow Jones," sung to the tune of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." That set the tone for an evening of often topical humor. ("Wouldn't it be great," asked Elayne Booster, "if we found you could only get AIDS from giving money to TV preachers?") The take topped $3 million, compared with last year's $2.6 million—the money to be distributed to homeless shelters in 23 cities. Louie Anderson, one of 11 kids raised in a Minneapolis housing project, confessed a personal interest in the homeless issue: His brother, Bill, is missing and may be out there somewhere on the streets. Anderson also summed up the evening's special appeal for his comrades in comedy. "Any comic could be homeless," he said. "But for a stroke of good luck, we could be talking to someone on a street corner instead of people."