The 22nd annual Comics Come Home, which took place on Saturday, is more than likely one that organizer and host Denis Leary wants to put behind him. The show, which over the years has raised well over $7 million for the Cam Neely Foundation, got ugly fast as comedians Wanda Sykes and Nick DiPaolo did more than raise eyebrows when their material turned political.
Sykes took the opportunity to criticize President-elect Donald Trump, stating, “I am certain this is not the first time we’ve elected a racist, sexist, homophobic president.” Sykes was vehemently booed by many in attendance, but stuck to her performance to finish her set — not before flipping the crowd off and showering them in expletives.
Danvers native Nick DiPaolo then took to supporting Trump in his set, reportedly bashing liberals and unleashing a barrage of comments on Jews, liberals, and even raping women. According to The Boston Herald, a woman who tried to rush the stage during DiPaolo’s performance was called a “Peabody Jew” by the comedian.
While many attendees walked out on the show, some felt that the backlash for Sykes was uncalled for, with DiPaolo seemingly having faced less criticism for his lewd comments.
In a statement to Boston Globe, Leary said comedians who perform at the benefit are “free to speak their mind.” On Saturday he attempted to quell an increasingly unruly crowd.
“For 22 years, we have never censored any performer at Comics Come Home,” Leary said in the statement. “This has resulted in the longest running stand up charity event in America. Even this past weekend, six of the eight comics received big laughs and rapturous applause.”
Leary added: “As I say each time we do this concert, the Boston audiences are the best in the country and their support of the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care has been absolutely exceptional. We look forward to Comics Come Home 23 next November.”
Watch out-of-touch elitist comedian Wanda Sykes get booed by an arena for calling a #Trump racist/sexist, then tell the crowd to F itself. pic.twitter.com/ax7qUVdtNT