MANHATTAN, New York -- Comic Relief US held their inaugural gala in New York City on Monday, all in an effort to raise funds and awareness for intergenerational poverty.
The event was held at Cipriani 25 Broadway in Manhattan's Financial District, where some of comedy's biggest entertainers and writers graced the red carpet, including Emmy Award-winning comedian and television host John Oliver and comedian and actor Roy Woods Jr.
Ana Navarro, co-host of 'The View,' also made an appearance and spoke to Eyewitness News.
"They've helped needy people for such a long time," Navarro said. "They've done a few things. One, they've made us laugh, and in the process of making us laugh they've helped a good cause and have been charitable and have helped those in need."
The gala supports Comic Relief US' mission to use the power of entertainment to raise money and awareness to break the cycle of intergeneration poverty through the investment of programs that address food insecurity, the education gap and access to housing and healthcare.
"Comic Relief US believes in the transformative power of entertainment to drive true social change," said Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US. "We've seen it unite communities, create understanding, and empower action to break the insidious cycle of poverty. Our inaugural gala is an opportunity for us to celebrate the reach and impact of Comic Relief US, which has raised over $421 million for children and families around the world."
The gala honored the owner and chairman of premier comedy studio Funny Or Die Henry Munoz III with his first-ever Visionary Award.
"I'm humbled by this honor; to me, being a visionary is simply being able to see what is overlooked, from underrepresented voices in the media to the needs of the underserved," Munoz said. "I join my colleagues at Funny Or Die in applauding Comic Relief US for spreading their vision of comedy as a healing and helpful social force, and we pledge our continued support of their work."
The entertaining program featured performances from Oliver, Phoebe Robinson, Denée Benton, Alex Edelman and the Brooklyn United Marching Band.