Writer: Yerelyn Cortez Hidalgo

Comedians and actors united to raise funds at the annual Night of Too Many Stars on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden and aired live at 8PM EST on HBO for the first time. The show was presented in partnership with NEXT for AUTISM. The Host of the event was Jon Stewart and participants of the night included: J.J. Abrams, Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Abbi Jacobson, Ellie Kemper, Jordan Klepper, Howie Mandel, Hasan Minhaj, John Mulaney, Olivia Munn, Chris Rock, John Oliver, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Edie Falco, Will Forte, Rob Funches, Ilana Glazer, Gilbert Gottfried, Gayle King, Kumail Nanjiani, Cynthia Erivo, Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman, Kate Upton, Justin Verlander, and Michelle Wolfe. The Roots performed as house band for the show which the crowd was excited to experience.

The special live show could be seen on HBO as well as live-stream via HBO NOW and HBO GO and subsequently will be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals. The 2-hour show included stand-up performances, sketches and short films. 

There's an estimated 1 in 68 children whom are currently affected by autism, NIGHT OF TOO MANY STARS was created by comedy writer and performer Robert Smigel to support autism schools, programs and services and has raised more than $24 million dollars to date. The benefit was originally presented on Comedy Central ans has been hosted by Jon Stewart since 2005. 

There are three different types of Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Autistic Disorder (also called "classic" autism) - This is what most people think of when hearing the word "autism."
Asperger Syndrome - Generally considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also called "atypical autism")

The show began with the live auction which included the following opportunities to partake and experience a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

  • Lot #1 How Do You Get To Sesame Street? Sesame Street Set Visit with behind-the-scenes access to Sesame Street's re-imagined set during production of Sesame Street's 50th Season. The package good for 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children.
  • Lot #2 Curb Your Appetite lunch with Larry David. 2 people to enjoy what will likely be a stressful and neurotic lunch with the Curb Your Enthusiasm star. 
  • Lot #3 Crocs and Cartoons, Dinner with The New Yorker Editor, David Remnick and cooked for you by Chef Mario Batali. 10 people join editor extraordinaire David Remnick at his apartment for a meal personally prepared by the greatest chef ever to cook in Crocs. Mario will serve a meal of the ages and David will reveal insights and tales from his incredible career as a journalist, author and editor of the magazine with the best or favorite cartoons. 
  • Lot #4 Night On The Town with John Stewart - There were 2 winners each bidding $40,000 for this particular occasion and their night of the town happened that night live to be seen via HBO. The two women began their night on the town starting off by visiting a hot dog cart, walk a Citi-Bike, and meet Pizza Rat. The sweet moment was probably when Jon Stewart led them through the tunnels of MSG to find Billy Joel on stage playing “Just The Way You Are.” The three of them went onstage and crashed his live performance bringing both auction winners on stage to sing along with Jon Stewart and Billy Joel. The crowd at the concert seemed to love the impromptu appearance by Jon Stewart posting videos and photos on social media. Jon was excellent to deliver the message of the event taking place live via HBO and the entire audience was made aware of the auctions taking place by OMAZE in order for them to also contribute and raise money for autism awareness.

Although the show is over, you still have an opportunity to support NEXT for Autism by visiting omaze.com/stars. Some of the experiences to bid include:

  • 2019 premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones and meeting the cast
  • Having dinner with Sarah Jessica Parker  and taking home a pair of her shoes, but hopefully not the ones she'll wear that night.
  • Being Conan O'Brien's co-host for an episode. The winner will have their own podium, interview the guests and participate in musical performance. For one night only, the show will be renamed to include the winner's name.
  • Getting styled in matching blazers with Samantha Bee as well as be backstage at Full Frontal and then sitting VIP at the show.
  • ​​Have Jon Stewart Get Lin-Manuel Miranda to record your personalized voicemail greeting. Have a custom outgoing voicemail message written and performed (for you and about you!) by Jon Stewart’s friend, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Be immortalized in your very own piece of hip hop gold.

Part of the show included a segment with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger who launched Tommy Adaptive, a line of adaptive clothing for adults with disabilities. The collection follows Hilfiger’s line of adaptive clothes for kids with disabilities which was released in 2016 in partnership with Runway of Dreams. To learn more about Tommy Adaptive click here. 

Check out some photographs from the evening below.


The show was very entertaining and a success raising a lot of money for NEXT For Autism. VIP guests didn't end the evening at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. VIP's attended the official after-party at Marriott Marquis Grand Ballroom to continue to experience a phenomenal evening. Transportation from the theater to Marriott Marquis was provided for the guests.

NEXT FOR AUTISM (formerly New York Collaborates for Autism) is a non-profit organization that strategically designs, launches and supports innovative programs to improve the lives of people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Over the past 14 years, it has built five model programs, aiming to address the needs of the autism community, including opening the NYC Autism Charter School in Harlem and building the Center of Autism and the Developing Brain, a state-of-the-art clinical center at New York Presbyterian Hospital. To learn more or to volunteer, visit NEXTforAutism.org​

#HBO #NightOfTooManyStars #NOTMS #jonstewart #nextforautism #autismawareness #autism #charity #comedians 

Photo credits: Peter Kramer/HBO, David Russell/HBO, StarPix/HBO

Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs Live Benefit at The Theater at 
Madison Square Garden