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Jerry Seinfeld to Headline 'Laugh for Sight' Comedy Benefit in Chelsea

By Alan Neuhauser | October 3, 2013 2:23pm
 Comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Robert Klein are set to headline the Laugh for Sight comedy benefit Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, a stand-up show also featuring Craig Carton, Sue Costello, Hiram Kasten and "Blind Comedian" Brian Fischler and his guide-dog, Nash.
Laugh for Sight at Gotham Comedy Club
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MANHATTAN — Jerry Seinfeld is set to headline a benefit show at Gotham Comedy Club in Chelsea later this month.

The longtime comedy legend, who more often plays theaters instead of intimate comedy clubs, will be raising money for Laugh for Sight, a twice-yearly benefit for blindness research organized by Brian Fischler, a blind comedian who has struggled to find work and affordable housing in New York City.

At the show, comedians Seinfeld and Robert Klein will be joined by Craig Carton, Sue Costello, Hiram Kasten, as well as Fischler and his guide-dog, Nash.

"We put together a night of all-star comedy that you'll rarely get to see in one power-packed night," Fischler said. "We always get a great response to Laugh for Sight, but it's unbelievable the difference having Jerry on board. People are flying in from all over to come to the benefit."

The comedians and the venue are not being paid, and proceeds will go toward the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

"On this night, there's no egos, the comedians are all so gracious with their time," Fischler said. "We're pretty excited about it."

Fischler, 40, has been involved in comedy since his 20s, performing stand-up and improv. He made a name for himself as "The Blind Comedian" as he gradually lost his sight to a degenerative disease called retinitis pigmentosa. His vision completely went in 2009 — the same year he lost his job as a headhunter on Wall Street, a casualty of the stock market crash of 2008.

With little income and fewer job prospects, forcing to trade his former six-figure salary for Social Security, he ultimately found himself moving from the Upper East Side to Jamaica, Queens, miles from the nearest subway station and city services. He lives there with Nash, and has since had trouble landing work or finding a home that's more centrally located in New York City.

"It's very hard for me to get anywhere," he said in a June interview with DNAinfo.com New York.

Even so, Fischler has continued his work with Laugh for Sight, organizing twice-yearly benefits that have raised more than $100,000 for research.

"Laugh For Sight probably would not exist if I had a full-time job, because Laugh for Sight is a full-time job," he said with a chuckle. "I really enjoy the work."

Doors open at 7 p.m. for a silent auction, and the show is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $75 for regular admission plus a two-drink minimum, and $150 for VIP seating and an open bar. To buy tickets, visit the Gotham Comedy Club website