‘Funniest Celebrity in Washington’: VIPs still rally to fundraiser despite little aid to charity
Actress Elisabeth Shue is 50. Singer-songwriter Matthew Sweet is 49. Country singer Tim Rushlow (Little Texas) is 47. Bassist Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Guns N Roses) is 47. Actress Amy Jo Johnson (Felicity, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) is 43. Actor Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four, Horatio Hornblower) is 40. Actor Jeremy Sisto is 39. Singer Melinda Doolittle (American Idol) is 36. Actor Wes Ramsey (CSI: Miami) is 36. Oct. 7: TV personality Joy Behar is 71. Drummer Kevin Godley of 10cc is 68. Country singer Kieran Kane of The OKanes is 64. Musician John Mellencamp is 62.
We caught up with organizer Richard Siegel after Wednesdays show at D.C.s Improv where anti-tax activist Grover Norquist triumphed with a comic riff on his French vacation (but headlines were stolen by pro comedian Dan Nainans arrest for punching a journalist who dissed his act on Twitter). As he did in 2009 , Siegel said the events beneficiaries have fallen short in promoting Funniest Celebritys sale of tickets (which cost $200 this year) or tables ($2,500). Were really a pass-through charity, he said. We create the event, we sell a little bit more and we give a vehicle for the charity to make some money. Yet under tax law, Funniest Celebrity is no mere event planner: Its an official tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit. But to the eye of charity experts, its ratio of expenses vs. donations is out of whack. In 2009, when White House economist Austan Goolsbee was crowned the Funniest , the show netted more than $14,000, after some $12,000 in event costs, according to the groups tax filings for that year which cite $0 in charitable donations. (Reps for the events beneficiary, Stand Up for Kids, did not respond to a request for comment.) Jon Lovett in 2011. (Marvin Joseph / The Washington Post) In 2010, when President Obamas speechwriter Jon Lovett bested ABC reporter John Hendren, the show also cost about $12,000 but netted nearly $19,000. Tax records indicate that Fisher House, which provides lodging for wounded vets and their families, saw $1,710 of that. (The charitys reps confirmed that they received a donation but would not disclose the amount.) And in 2011, when then-Sen. Scott Brown and then-Rep.