Byron Allen has gathered some of the world’s biggest comedians for an event that he’s created called the “Feeding America Comedy Festival” that will lend support to the Feeding America organization.
Allen, a former comedian who now owns and runs the media conglomerate Entertainment Studios, told TMZ some of what viewers can expect on the telecast and some of the people who are scheduled to participate, like Eddie Murphy, Tiffany Haddish and Chris Rock.
Allen said the idea for the event came to him while he was at home, tired of seeing people in the United States struggle to get food.
“I was sitting around the house in the backyard here about a couple of weeks ago, and I just said I cannot handle watching human beings worry about their next meal,” he explained.
“Food insecurity in this country is completely unacceptable, and I’m watching families in their cars for eight hours trying to get a box of food, and I just said this is ridiculous,” Allen continued. “I can’t sit here and watch this. We have to do something about it.”
Allen said he then got on the phone and called Kevin Hart, who was the first comedian he reached out to. He called other famous comedians after that, and they all agreed to sign on.
Everyone will be performing in two- to three-minute pre-recorded segments, and many will do sketch comedy instead of stand-up routines.
The comedy festival will air on NBC, the Allen-owned Weather Channel, Comedy TV and the Local Now app, as Variety reports, and will air on May 10 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
The Feed America organization is a network of 200 food banks throughout the United States. Its CEO, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, praised Allen for his efforts and said COVID-19 is showing just how close many households are to going hungry.
“The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has created is shining a light on the fragile nature of people’s household budgets,” said Babineaux-Fontenot in a statement. “Millions more of our neighbors are turning to food banks for help and we cannot thank Byron Allen and Allen Media Group enough for their support to raise funds and awareness of our work.”
Other comedians scheduled to participate are Marlon Wayans, JB Smoove and Whoopi Goldberg.
Haddish was one of the first comedians to promote the event on her social media page. Many thanked her in the comments sections afterward for joining and helping people in need.
“I appreciate your support for the community @tiffanyhaddish thank you 🙏🏽 💙💙💙💙💙💙🤩💪🏽,” wrote someone on Instagram.