On May 16th, 2023, Hollywood Food Coalition (HoFoCo) hosted its 2nd annual comedy fundraising show at The Groundlings Theatre, to support its efforts to fight food insecurity and food waste throughout Los Angeles County. The “All Star Improv Event” provided a rare opportunity for an evening of hilarity while supporting a very serious mission – to feed and serve the immediate needs of the hungry every day of the year so they can build better lives.
The event was hosted and directed by comedian David Hoffman, a veteran of LA’s comedy scene who had played the same role for HoFoCo’s 1st comedy fundraiser the year before. “When (HoFoCo) first invited me to come take a more in depth tour of the programs, I wasn’t sure if it was because they wanted to meet the guy who plays Doug in the “Limu Emu & Doug'' commercials,” Hoffman joked.
In fact, the HoFoCo staff was impressed by Hoffman’s commitment to their mission, and his willingness to share his talent and impressive connections to help support their cause. For this 2nd annual All-Star show, Hoffman assembled a stellar cast of Improv actors that included Jordan Black (Community), Andrew Friedman (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Michael Hitchcock (The Resort), Oscar Nunez (The Office), Emily Pendergast (Veep), Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers trilogy), and Michaela Watkins (Casual). Also joining the proceedings via pre-recorded video was former SNL cast member, Will Forte (The Last Man On Earth).
Forte delivered one of the evening’s early laughs with a pre-recorded video of one side of an improv sketch, while Mindy Sterling tried hilariously to interject during his unpredictable pauses. The rest of the evening consisted of a series of improv sketches, made up on the spot, based on random and often hilarious suggestions from the audience. Another highlight included Nunez and Hitchcock acting out the first date of a longtime couple in the audience – with the couple interjecting by ringing a bell when the actors got a detail right and, more often, honking a horn when they got something wrong.
Throughout the entire performance, the infectious laugh of H4WRD Board member, Louis Abramson, could be heard booming from the back of the theater. When the last sketch had concluded, Hoffman took the stage to inform the audience that the evening had raised over $78K to support HoFoCo’s efforts.
HoFoCo’s Executive Director, Arnali Ray (also an H4WRD board member), could not have been more grateful. “What a blessing”, Ray beamed afterwards. “To have so many talented comedians show up to provide entertainment and laughs to a theater full of generous people supporting our cause. How lucky are we?”
Judging from the post-show smiles on the audience and performers’ faces, everyone at The Groundlings Theater on Tuesday night felt the same way.
To learn more about HoFoCo and support their mission, please visit their website at: https://hofoco.org/