Last Thursday morning, Liza Dye was trapped under a B subway train in Manhattan. By Sunday night, Aziz Ansari was on stage at a well-attended comedy show to raise money for the young stand-up comic and improv performer’s massive medical bills.
Dye, a rising star in the New York comedy scene, briefly fainted while waiting in the Soho underground, which led to her falling off the platform, right in front of an oncoming train. She was fortunate to avoid the worst possible outcome of a head-on collision on the tracks, but the accident did leave her with severe leg injuries — and major medical bills.
She has tweeted from her hospital room, and her fellow comedians have used their own social media presences to spring into action to help cover her expenses. On Sunday night, the normal “If You Build It” comedy show at the East Village’s Upright Citizens Brigade theater was turned into a fundraiser on Dye’s behalf, with all proceeds going to a YouCaring page that is seeking to raise $50,000.
Ansari, the “Parks and Recreation” star and popular stand-up, was the special surprise guest at the packed show, where he workshopped new material and urged the audience to give extra to the effort; tickets were $5. Later, he tweeted a link to the fundraising page and asked his 3.6 million followers to donate, too.
Chelsea Peretti, a stand-up and now “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star who has long been an advocate of Dye’s comedy, also tweeted links and support to her friend. NYC staple Chris Gethard, who has a pilot at Comedy Central, tweeted a link to the page, as did “Broad City” co-creator and co-star Abbi Jacobson.
As of Tuesday morning, the fundraiser was over halfway to its goal, with nearly $30,000 in the bank. The drive will continue on March 5th, when a special show headlined by stand-up and “Broad City” star Hannibal Buress, Janeane Garofalo, and former “Daily Show” star Wyatt Cenac will take place at popular venue The Stand in support of the fundraising.