For Boyle, who died of myeloma (the blood/bone marrow cancer) six years ago, was a comedic genius. Best known as Ray Romano's curmudgeonly dad on that nine-year hit television show, Boyle also gave the world one of the greatest characters in the history of movies, playing the Monster in "Young Frankenstein." So it is no wonder that six years after his death, the celebrity crowd forms at the Annual International Myeloma Foundation Comedy Celebration to have a good laugh in his honor.
The Saturday-night bash started early on October 27 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, with a lively VIP garden and indoor reception filled with music, cocktails, great food and a large silent auction (all proceeds, over $3.5 million in six years, go to the Peter Boyle Research Fund). Look across the room and there's handsome Peter Gallagher of "Covert Affairs" chatting with "American Horror Story" star Lily Rabe; "Veep" favorite Gary Cole joined Howard Hesseman in another spot. Blythe Danner nibbled on Ahi tuna and gave "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Doris Roberts a warm greeting.
Roberts joined Romano on stage as the fun began in the packed theater and reminisced about their favorite moments with Boyle on the show. Then as Roberts left the stage, Ray got in a zinger.
"She's a real drunk, but still great, just great!" he laughed.
Then many more jokes (some pretty filthy, others in seriously bad taste, but most absolutely hysterical) came flying, as Romano did a quick series of one-liners then handed the stage over for sets from Fred Willard, a hilarious Dom Irrera, Judy Gold, the completely insane Gilbert Gottfried and cranky Jeff Garlin.
Then the happy crowd got a real treat, as famed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Joe Walsh (from the Eagles and the James Gang) took to the stage with a tight band and belted out some of his best.
Finally, the crowd gathered again in the beautiful gardens for luscious desserts, which lured Ray Romano into a tough situation.
"Stop me!" laughed the still trim 54 year old. "I really don't want that brownie."
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