Five things we learned at Stand Up for Heroes 2013 with Bill Cosby

Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Williams and many more helped out in this annual benefit for the Bob Woodruff Foundation

Bill Cosby at the The New York Comedy Festival And The Bob Woodruff Foundation Present The 7th Annual Stand Up For Heroes.

Bill Cosby at the The New York Comedy Festival And The Bob Woodruff Foundation Present The 7th Annual Stand Up For Heroes. Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

Bill Cosby’s still got it. Clad in a plum sweater, pale khakis and red-sequined shirt with black collar, for 25 minutes Cosby hemmed, hawed, strutted and even silenced an overzealous fan by boasting, “I don’t care what war you were in! I went to war before they had guns! We just had to dig holes and yell over at each other!”

Jim Gaffigan is fearless. “I’m going on after Bill Cosby?!?” the evening’s least-famous comic marveled up top. “That’s like following Jesus!” Ten minutes later, his love-hate relationships with bread, doughnuts and ice cream had handily won over 5,700 new fans.

Domesticity = a comedy gold mine for Jerry Seinfeld. “I thought it was a marriage! Apparently it’s a musical!” the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee star fretted over his wife suggesting he adjust his tone. Noting how kids’ nightly rituals have softened over time, “My bedtime story was darkness!”

Bruce Springsteen has a great sense of humor. The Boss followed Roger Waters’s 28-piece, service-vet-populated band—and its enthralling renditions of “Hallelujah,” “Imagine,” “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “Comfortably Numb”—with the astute observation, “A night of comedy for a soldiers’ audience, and no dirty jokes?” Between “Dancing in the Dark,” “If I Should Fall Behind” and “Dream Baby Dream,” he restored balance with a trio of groaners. Sample punch line: “Sir, do you know your fly is open and your dick is hanging out?” “Know it? I wrote it!”

So does Brian Williams. True, the NBC Nightly News anchor’s already proven as much on Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and fellow Stand Up for Heroes performer Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. But as Springsteen noodled away on a live-auction guitar, adding a personal lesson, recording session at his home studio and his mother’s homemade lasagna to up the bidding, Williams sweetened the pot with “My necktie, ladies and gentlemen!” When the winner was summoned to the stage to collect his $250,000 prize, Williams earnestly entreated, “Yes, make sure he gets his necktie!”

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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