NEW YORK (February 23, 2006) - Emmy award-winning comedian Dennis Miller announced today that he will headline a benefit comedy night to raise funds for Autism Speaks. All proceeds from the Sunday, April 2nd performance at The Improv in Irvine, California, will benefit Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research.
"The rising number of children being diagnosed with autism is simply staggering to me," said Miller. "All of us need to start paying attention to this problem and doing all we can to help find the cause and cure for autism."
"We're incredibly grateful to Dennis for his commitment to helping families affected by autism," said Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. "Autism is a national health crisis that demands a greater level of public awareness and increased funding for the scientific research that will ultimately give us the answers to our many questions about this disorder. Dennis' efforts are helping us to spread that critical message."
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 166 children, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of the growing autism epidemic and to raising money to fund scientists who are searching for a cure. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, General Electric and Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal. Autism Speaks and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) recently combined operations, bringing together two of the leading organizations dedicated to accelerating and funding biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism spectrum disorders; to increasing awareness of the nation's fastest growing developmental disorder; and to advocating for the needs of affected families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org
ABOUT DENNIS MILLER
Dennis Miller is a five-time Emmy award winner for his HBO talk show "Dennis Miller Live" which ran for nine years and 215 episodes. Most recently, Dennis hosted a topical interview talk show appropriately titled "Dennis Miller" which aired nightly aired on CNBC. This past January, Dennis starred in seventh one hour stand-up special for HBO called DENNIS MILLER – ALL IN. For two seasons, Miller called the plays alongside Al Michaels and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts on ABC's "Monday Night Football." He was also the "Weekend Update" correspondent on "Saturday Night Live" for six years, before exiting in 1991. He has yet to appear in a show with the words, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday in the title. Miller is the author of four books based on his ever popular rants: "The Rant Zone," "I Rant Therefore I Am," "Ranting Again" and "The Rants," all of which have been New York Times best sellers. The Hollywood Reporter has Dennis Miller "The Lenny Bruce of the new millennium" and The New York Times lauded him for his "uncommonly sharp eye."
ABOUT THE IMPROV
It's where many of today's stars were born and continue to shine. The World Famous Improv Comedy Showcase has been the career launching pad for dozens of the familiar faces of television and film. Before becoming a cast member on NBC's "Saturday Night Live", David Spade was a "local comedian" at the Improv, in Tempe, Arizona, hosting shows regularly. Improv alumni include Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Drew Carey and the list goes on. Established in New York in 1963 by Entertainment Entrepreneur Budd Friedman, the Improv continues to showcase performers well on their way to join the ranks of the Improv's famous veterans. Over the years, the Improv has also opened its doors to support a number of charity events. Many of the Improv high-profile performers have donated their time and talents to support such organizations as Project Angel Food, The Nicole Parker Foundation, Team In Training for Stroke Research, the American Cancer Foundation and Diabetes Research. Now the Improv and Dennis Miller team up to support the Autism Speaks organization.