Picks and Pans Review: Comic Relief 2

updated 07/25/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/25/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Comic Relief 2, which appeared last November on HBO, was the second annual mini-telethon for National Health Care for the Homeless Projects. This tape, pared down to two hours from the original four, includes at least snippets of material by most of the program's major performers (much of what was cut came from documentary footage on the homeless). It moves fast and is entertaining despite an inordinate amount of pointless, look-what-a-rough-type-l-am obscenity-most obnoxiously by Robin Williams, who hardly needs to resort to that kind of stupidity, and Marsha Warfield. Elayne Boosler talks about Roman Catholic dictates against surrogate motherhood: "Good thing they didn't make this rule before Jesus was born." Richard Lewis relates that he had to go to a penis-awareness clinic after having trouble with his girlfriend: "I would get into bed. She would mentally dress me." Dudley Moore and Peter Cook reprise their classic sketch in which a one-legged actor shows up to audition for the lead role in a Tarzan film. And Paul Rodriguez muses about how Michael Jackson decided he wanted to try to buy the body of the Elephant Man: "Is Michael Jackson walking around his palace, and he goes, That corner, I just don't know—a palm tree, a couch, an end table. Naaah. A dead guy! Yeah!'" A few billed performers—among them Justine Bateman, Michael J. Fox, Alan Thicke and Dabney Coleman—only make brief speeches encouraging donations. Whoopi Goldberg, who with Williams and Billy Crystal originated the first Comic Relief in 1986, makes only a token appearance. The tape's distributors promise to donate a portion of its proceeds to the homeless program but don't say how big a portion. Why is that? The tape itself includes an address for contributions to be sent direct: Post Office Box 22008, Los Angeles, Calif. 90040. (Axon, $59.95)

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