On Saturday, November 15, more than 1,100 guests congregated at Los Angeles’ historic and elegant Wilshire Ebell Theatre & Club for the IMF’s 2nd Annual Comedy Celebration benefiting the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund. The event raised over $630,000 in support of the IMF’s cutting-edge research programs.
The beautiful Wilshire Ebell Theater.
The evening began on the red carpet where reporters camped out to speak with the celebration’s star-studded performers. Entertainment Tonight and Extra cameras rolled as Ray Romano, the night’s host, spoke fondly of Peter Boyle, his co-star from Everybody Loves Raymond.
Reporters at the ready as celebrities arrived for the event.
Ray Romano, Patrica Heaton and Doris Roberts on the red carpet.
IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie and IMF President Susie Novis being interviewed for Fox News.
At the cocktail party before the show, guests mingled while bidding on the items in the silent auction, including a custom alligator-covered guitar autographed by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.
The custom guitar signed by Keith Richards went for over ten thousand dollars to the lucky bidder.
At the close of the auction, the guests filed into the theater for the main event, a comedy show hosted by Ray Romano and featuring appearances by Jeff Garlin, Patricia Heaton, Kevin James, Robert Klein, and Doris Roberts, with a special musical performance by Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi as The Blues Brothers with The Sacred Hearts.
Filling the seats before the show.
Les Moonves, Dr. Durie, Dr. Howard Urnovitz, and Dr. Montagnier
Leslie Moonves, President & CEO of the CBS Corporation, introduced the evening by professing his own affection for Peter Boyle, then passing the microphone to Susie Novis, IMF President, and Dr. Brian Durie, Chairman of the Board. They used the celebratory occasion to share early word of the IMF’s newest groundbreaking research project in partnership with Dr. Howard Urnovitz and Dr. Luc Montagnier, who discovered the HIV virus and is a 2008 recipient of the Nobel Prize. Dr. Montagnier was in the audience and stood up to receive rousing acknowledgment from the rest of the crowd. Susie and Dr. Durie also introduced a short video that updated the audience on the progress being made with Bank On A Cure® and other research programs, with the support of the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund.
Les Moonves, Julie Chen, and Ted Danson
Loraine Alterman Boyle with her daughters, Amy and Lucy
Chair of the IMF Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Robert Kyle, with Susie Novis and Dr. Durie
Staff from presenting sponsor Celgene Corporation
Staff from presenting sponsor Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
Ted Danson, noted actor and conservationist, spoke eloquently about the connection between environmental pollutants, their effects on sea life, and myeloma as he introduced a video by Hardy Jones. “To celebrate the life of Peter Boyle to raise money and awareness tonight is a great joy to me,” Danson told the audience.
And then, the heart of the show: Ray Romano made the audience laugh throughout, sharing stories about his family, the price of fame, and the pitfalls of having a very distinctive voice. Jeff Garlin and Kevin James both brought the house down with hilarious sets while Patricia Heaton and Doris Roberts shared their favorite memories of Peter. And after a series of funny political observations, Robert Klein declared, “I knew Peter for 38 years. He was a joyful guy. I spent a lot of time with him at the end of his life, and it would be nice to know what the hell got him, so it doesn’t get others.” He concluded his time on stage by playing an impressive version of Ode To Joy on his harmonica.
Kevin James imitating Ray Romano.
But the harmonica playing didn’t end there. As The Blues Brothers, Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi tore up the stage with The Sacred Hearts, treating the audience to a set of rousing blues standards. By the time they were done, the sold-out theater was on its feet.
The Blues Brothers rocked the house.
Loraine Alterman Boyle, Peter’s wife, with her daughters Lucy and Amy, closed the performances by graciously thanking the audience for joining them in celebrating Peter by supporting the IMF research.
Loraine Boyle and her daughters closing the event with their thanks.
A VIP champagne and dessert reception served as the evening’s perfect coda to a great celebration of a well-lived life.
Delicious end to a delightful event.
Photographs by Craig Rucker. Additional photographs by Jesse Grant and Jim Needham.