11:28 a.m. | Updated
For American comedians like David Javerbaum, the former “Daily Show” producer, a misspent youth watching theSecret Policeman’s Ball on home video or HBO was a crucial part of their education: these British benefit shows helped to introduce them to pioneering British performers like John Cleese, Peter Cook, Rowan Atkinson and Billy Connolly and rock stars like Sting and Bob Geldof.
Now Mr. Javerbaum is getting to return that karmic debt by helping to organize what will be the first Secret Policeman’s Ball to be held in the United States, on March 4 at Radio City Music Hall. In the tradition of the event, this American edition will feature an eclectic lineup of comedians and musicians, including Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbertand Coldplay and, like the previous balls, will benefit the human-rights organization Amnesty International.
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Mr. Javerbaum said this Secret Policeman’s Ball would be “in the same spirit, for the same cause,” as its predecessors, “and we’re trying to do it with the same energy and élan.”
“But,” he added, “it’s for a different generation.”
Press representatives for the event said the lineup would also include the rock band Mumford & Sons; the actor and comedian Russell Brand; and Reggie Watts, the monologist and multi-instrumentalist.
Mr. Javerbaum said the show was planned to run from two to two-and-a-half hours and would include music, stand-up routines, comedy sketches and “wild fun and games in the audiences.” Additional performers and guests are expected to be announced, he said, including “people that are well-known actors that you might not associate with comedy.”
Andy Hackman, a spokesman for Amnesty International, said in a telephone interview that the event is almost surely “going to get blue,” but a few naughty words were not incompatible with the mission of his organization.
“The point is to have fun,” Mr. Hackman said. “Look how these people use their power and creativity to give us a good time. That’s not always the case in other places around the world. Not everyone is in a privileged position to use their free speech in that way.”