Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weird Al Yankovic, Jodi Di Piazza Sing ‘Yoda’ For Autism Awareness & Fund Raising

On Saturday, February 28th, 2015, celebrities in New York gathered to raise money and awareness about autism with the taping of The Night Of Too Many Stars: American Comes Together For Autism airing on Comedy Central. The star studded show was held at New York City’s Beacon Theater with Jon Stewart hosting the gala event.

Other celebrity appearances included: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Louis C.K., Larry David, John Oliver, Amy Schumer, Martin Short, Larry Wilmore, Sarah Silverman, Bill Burr, Steve Buscemi, Andy Cohen, Ilana Glazer, Gilbert Gottfried, Abbi Jacobson, Maya Rudolph, Chris Rock, Seth Meyers, Adam Sandler, Jim Gaffigan, Jon Bon Jovi, Susan Sarandon and many more.

One of the more memorable performances of the evening was an appearance by outrageous comedian “Weird Al” Yankovic who along with 14-year-old Jodi Di Piazza at piano, and who has autism, sang his “Yoda” parody of the Kinks’ “Lola” with back up – coming on stage towards the end of the duet – of the Actionplay Chorus who are also young people with autism. The “Yoda” parody tells a tale of Star Wars Luke Skywalkers first meeting with the guru-like teacher Yoda.

Weird Al wore a Jedi Masters robe, which he signed and was later auctioned with proceeds going to the New York Collaborates For Autism. This non-profit organization creates and implements many programs designed to improve the lives of people living with autism.

Jodi Di Piazza, who stole the hearts of viewers in the 2012 Night Of Too Many Stars with an amazing duet with Katy Perry, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. Her parents were told by experts not to ‘expect too much’ in terms of Jodi achieving a remarkable life. With dedication of loving parents and incredible support groups, Jodi has proven the experts wrong and is growing into an amazing young lady, who studies piano, voice, music theory, composition, jazz piano, guitar and songwriting and has attended the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division in New York. When Jodi was nine years old she wrote the song ‘Hero’s Of Autism” for Toys R Us which raised over three million dollars.

It is events like the Night Of Too Many Stars, and the generous contributions of celebrities, that help raise awareness and funds to continue providing people living with autism the services they need to reach their own goals and potential. Since 2006, The Night Of Too Many Stars has raised over eight million dollars in funds that go to help autism programs across the USA.

The Night Of Too Many Stars is a special event that is put on every two years. People watching the event can send text messages via cell phone into the show with each message donating ten dollars, or bid on extravagant items such has being drawn into an episode of The Simpsons, various celebrity autographed items, as well as one-of-a-kind backstage passes for Comedy Central shows.

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