In 1990, actor and comedian Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and a host of other people testified before a Senate panel chaired by Senator Edward Kennedy on preventing homelessness. Here’s some of what he had to say on the issue.
Throughout the presentations, something called Comic Relief is often brought up. Comic Relief USA is a non-profit charity organization whose mission is to raise funds to help those in need—particularly America’s homeless. It has raised and distributed nearly $50 million toward providing assistance—including health care services—to homeless people throughout the United States. Although Comic Relief’s charity work is continuous, its actual events are held and televised at irregular intervals—and primarily by Home Box Office (HBO), with comedians Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg as the hosts each time. They—along with many other comedians, celebrities, and occasional politicians—perform various segments—both general-purpose and specific to homelessness—of standup comedy, sketch comedy, speeches, live music, and impressions of persons and characters—all in order to entertain and enlighten. There are also documentary segments dealing with real-life problems of homeless people, in order to raise awareness of not only the grim realities but also how many hard-working “ordinary” people can wind up or grow up homeless.
R.I.P. Robin Williams. One Love man. One Love.