The Weirdest, Wildest, And Best Moments At Last Night's 12-12-12 Sandy Benefit



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Let us just start by saying this: Last night's 12-12-12 benefit at Madison Square Garden was a good thing. Superstorm Sandy was devastating, and there is still a huge amount of work to be done to get things back to normal in New Jersey, Staten Island, and The Rockaways, to name a few. Nearly two months after Sandy hit, people are still out of their homes, and in desperate need of volunteers and financial aid. The show raised $30 million in ticket sales alone, not to mention the money from call and text donations during the event, which is pretty amazing, no matter how you slice it. That said, 12-12-12 was also one of the more baffling mixtures of heart-melting and brain-melting moments we've seen on TV, with a bizarre mix of nostalgia, unintentional comedy, and truly great performances that only arise once every thousand years or so. Whenever you mix live TV with massive audiences and unscripted celebrities, odd faux pas and sheer instances of genius arise (often, you know, at the same time). Here's our breakdown of the night's best and worst moments:

Heart-melting
Steve Buscemi getting tackled by "greybeards." The Boardwalk Empire star held his own surrounded by loads of intoxicated retired firemen and police officers, who helped pitch in at The Rockwaways. Then they started hugging him, yelling, and generally giving him a hard time. He took it relatively well, all things considered, and it was generally hilarious.

Brain-melting
Brian Williams hosting the telethon. While we love BriWi as much as the next gal, the constant stream of #DadJokes coming from the NBC anchor was a bit much. "You can't swing a dead cat in here without hitting a celebrity," was a particularly bad whiff.

Heart-melting
Kanye's Givenchy kilt. The Internet may have freaked out about Yeezy rocking a leather-pleated skirt, but more power to him. Kanye's been wearing that ensemble for most of the Watch the Throne tour, and that the boomer audience was so fazed says a lot more about them than it does about 'Ye. It's 2012; let the dude do his thing.



Brain-melting
Paul McCartney and Nirvana's new song, "Cut Me Some Slack." Aside from the fact that Nirvana fans were up in arms about Paul replacing Kurt (which, c'mon guys, it's for charity ), the actual music itself sounded like what it was: a grunge song written in a week, with Paul McCartney attempting "heavy" vocals. No slack shall be cut here.




Heart-melting
Eddie Vedder and Roger Waters playing "Comfortably Numb." This night's other big grunge pairing faired a lot better than "Paulvana" (that's what we're calling it for now, unless you have a better suggestion). Pearl Jam may not be our favorite band these days, but their version was faithful, and Vedder's voice was typically soulful. Also, Waters kissing Vedder on the forehead is the very definition of heartwarming.

Brain-melting
Alicia Keys awkwardly singing, "Wave your cellphones in the aIr." While it wasn't the worst thing of the night, there's just something very unromantic about asking the audience to whip out their phones. The results were visual, though, with Madison Square garden alit with thousands of glowing LCDs.

Heart-melting
Bruce Springsteen doing "Born to Run." This is never a bad thing. Bruce is an American hero, and he could play this song at every concert for the next 30 years and we would be okay with it. Go Bruce.

Brain-melting
Bon Jovi joining the Boss for "Born to Run." That was not okay. We get it: you're both from New Jersey, and you were both big in the '80s. That's where the similarity ends. We'd rather have heard a straight-up version of "You Give Love a Bad Name" than awkward harmonizing on one of the greatest songs ever written.

Heart-melting
The videos of real people affected by Sandy. It was impossible not to feel for the residents interviewed during the show, as they relived the horrible things they went through during and after the storm. We had seen it before on the news, and in real life, but it was still a reminder that there's more work to do.




Brain-melting
The Who's Roger Daltrey getting naked. As The Who's performance wore on, lead singer Roger Daltrey's shirt became more and more unbuttoned, finally revealing the bronze belly of the extremely fit 68 year old. Kanye did his thing in leather pants and a hoody, you'd think Daltry could keep his clothes on at least.

Heart-melting
The Sopranos cast taking calls. Seeing all the guys from one of the best TV shows of all time back together to benefit Jersey relief was great, although it had to be a little bit disconcerting expecting to donate and getting Paulie Walnuts on the line.

Brain-melting
The Rolling Stones playing two songs. As one of the biggest name acts of the night, it would have been nice to see Keith and Mick on stage for more than two minutes. Maybe The Who could have played half as long, and given the Stones some more stage time.

Heart-melting
Alicia Keys ending the night with "Empire State of Mind, Part II." No better song could have capped things off, and it totally made up for the cell phone moment earlier. If only Jay-Z had been there to join her.



Heart-melting AND brain-melting
Adam Sandler covering Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as "Sandy, Screw You." In a night full of throwbacks, Adam Sandler was probably the guy we least expected. While his voice has always been comedic horror, this awkward song was met with cheers because of how true it is.

What were your favorite moments? Let us know in the comments.