Universal City : Riordan to Test Comic Skills in Benefit

Just how funny is Mayor Richard Riordan?

We’ll know tonight when he pits his best jokes against those of seven other big-city mayors as part of the seventh annual “Comic Relief” benefit for the homeless at the Universal Amphitheatre.

The mayors will tell their funniest jokes to raise money for local organizations participating in the National Health Care for the Homeless program.

“The other mayors don’t stand a chance against my comic abilities,” Riordan blustered. “Let’s face it, you can’t beat the Angeleno sense of humor when it comes to funny stories.”


“Comic Relief” will be televised live at 5 p.m. on HBO with hosts Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams. Since 1986, it has raised more than $27 million to provide direct services to the homeless nationwide, according to the mayor’s press office.

Each of the competing mayors has been videotaped telling a favorite joke, story or one-liner. The winner, chosen during the telecast by the Universal Amphitheatre audience, will have $7,500 contributed to the National Health Care for the Homeless project in his or her city.

Riordan’s competition includes Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Kansas City Mayor Emmanuel Cleaver, Miami Mayor Steve Clark, San Antonio Mayor Bill Thornton and Seattle Mayor Norman Rice.