San Francisco, CA (September 22, 2022) – Last night, Co-chairs John Mayer, Kelly Rizzo, Jeff Ross, and SRF Board Member, Susan Feniger presented and curated Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine, raising more than $1.2M for the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) in a moving tribute to Bob Saget at the Beverly Wilshire. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer, and Jeff Ross, the signature fundraising event featured the biggest names in comedy and music to celebrate Saget’s work as a relentless champion for those affected by scleroderma.
Some of the world’s most talented performers generously donated their time to take to the stage to raise funds for the Scleroderma Research Foundation and to find a cure. Co-host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the event, as John Mayer and Jeff Ross continued the evening’s festivities. The audience went wild when Dave Chappelle took the stage for a surprise performance, which included a touching moment where he shared a final video message he received from Saget. Chappelle also welcomed Bill Burr to the stage for a few impromptu jokes, as they riffed off one another. Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine featured performances by Howie Mandel and Kevin Nealon, with Joel McHale leading the live auction. John Stamos and Mike Binder presented a special tribute video honoring Bob’s legacy, and SRF Board Member Regina Hall introduced an intimate music performance by John Mayer. Attendees enjoyed a sit-down dinner curated by celebrity chef Susan Feniger.
As a longtime supporter and board member of Scleroderma Research Foundation—the country’s first and leading nonprofit investor in medical research into scleroderma—Bob Saget spearheaded Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine for 30 years.
“The heart and soul of every event is to raise as much money as possible for research…while laughing. It’s just part of what Bob has always taught me and taught everybody—to get through the hard times, you have to laugh,” says Kelly Rizzo.
“This is Bob’s legacy,” adds Jeff Ross. “It’s important for me to be here to keep Bob’s name alive. And most importantly: scleroderma sucks and they need to find a cure. I volunteered to host this year and we wound up having this amazing, powerful, healing event.”
“It’s been a huge loss and tonight is a personification of that loss. This was his pride and joy, and we are going to make sure to carry it on in his honor. We hope to bring as good of a job as he did, bringing awareness to this organization,” said John Mayer.
“It’s great to be able to do something positive to honor your friend. Most of the time, that’s not the case. To have something that will really help save other people’s lives is a real blessing,” said Jimmy Kimmel.
“Bob’s presence can never be replaced. This meant so much to him, so [now] we can honor his work, his legacy, and his spirit,” says Regina Hall.
Having previously appeared on stage multiple times at Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine, Saget’s close friends Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer, and Jeff Ross are long-time supporters of the SRF. Susan Feniger, a founding board member of the SRF, has helped lead Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine from the beginning. This year, Saget’s wife Kelly Rizzo joined as co-chair.
Since 1987, the SRF has hosted Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine, featuring the biggest names in comedy, to raise critical funds for research and awareness. The SRF is the United States’ leading nonprofit investor in scleroderma research. Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine has been a cornerstone of the SRF’s fundraising efforts, raising over $28 million to fund vital research, so that one day, no one will have to suffer from scleroderma.
Saget passionately championed the Scleroderma Research Foundation since losing his sister Gay to the disease in 1994. Saget joined the Scleroderma Research Foundation Board of Directors in 2003, but he began his involvement in 1991 through the SRF’s annual signature event, Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine—as an attendee, then the next year as a performer, and ultimately as a key figure in organizing and producing the event. He brought together the best comedians, musicians, and more, raising over $25 million toward funding research. Saget actively contributed to the day-to-day operations of the SRF and played a pivotal role in its success. He met with patients, built lasting relationships through his gift of storytelling and laughter, and shared his own experience of the impact of scleroderma in his own family’s life. He passionately sought to find a cure and connected deeply with those affected by the disease.
Scleroderma, often misdiagnosed, is a rare and often life-threatening autoimmune disease that can cause fibrosis in the skin and other vital organs. In the most serious cases, complications can result in damage to the heart, lungs, and digestive system, sometimes with deadly consequences. The SRF funds and facilitates the most promising, highest-quality research aimed at improved therapies and, ultimately, a cure for scleroderma.
About Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF)
The Scleroderma Research Foundation is focused on bringing the best minds in science together to find a cure for scleroderma. The SRF was established in 1987 by patient-turned-activist Sharon Monsky, when research on this potentially life-threatening illness was nearly nonexistent. Sharon lost her battle to the disease in 2002, but her vision lives on today, as the SRF remains committed to funding the most promising research aimed at improved therapies and finding a cure. Through the generosity of donors and support from events like Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine, the SRF has raised more than $37 million dollars to fund and facilitate research at top universities such as Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Stanford University, and University of California, San Francisco, so that—one day—no one will suffer from scleroderma. Stay engaged with SRF at srfcure.org and via social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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