updated 12/03/2007 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/03/2007 AT 5:30 PM ET
What’s the glue that keeps Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollan together? A sense of humor.
“We both have the same appreciation for life,” Fox said Saturday night at a New York benefit for his foundation for Parkinson’s research. “We both love to laugh, and no matter how crazy things get, we both think: ‘Okay, what’s funny about this? What’s the upside?’ ”
Fox, 46, and Pollan, 47, – former Family Ties costars – married in 1988, just three years before Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease. (The couple has four children – including son Sam, 18, pictured here looking every bit his father’s son!)
“We just give each other the benefit of the doubt. We realize that we are lucky to have each other, and to have our family,” Fox told reporters on the red carpet.
Hosted by Stephen Colbert, Fox’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s benefit raised almost $5.5 million. It was a ’70s-themed night of comedy and music, with performances by Gavin DeGraw, Joan Osbourne and John Mayer. Mayer, ranked with Fox as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2007, played Jimi Hendrix classics “Red House” and “Hey Joe.”
“Any time Michael Fox needs me, I’m in the bullpen. He just calls me up and I’m happy to make it a part of my evening,” Mayer said to a round of applause at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan.
Fox joined the jam session to play guitar for the final three songs of the night: “Summertime Blues,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” and “Love the One You’re With.”
“That was unbelievable. This is a dream come true for him,” Pollan – wearing a metallic Carolina Herrera dress – gushed to PEOPLE after the show. “He lives in the moment so much, and I find that a real inspiration.”
Lance Armstrong, Rachael Ray, Masi Oka, Donna Karan, Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich were among the 1,000 guests at the benefit.
All proceeds went to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has raised close to $100 million for treatments and research since 2000.