Stars Join NBC to Raise Awareness on Red Nose Day
Elton John, Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Blake Shelton, Ellen DeGeneres, Jack Black, Tracy Morgan and Kobe Bryant are among the more than 65 stars who are coming together for the star-studded charity event, which helps raise awareness and money for kids in need here at home and around the world.
Paul Rudd, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Jay Leno, Celine Dion, Anna Kendrick, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Bono, Ellie Kemper, Blake Griffin, Connie Britton, Mel B, Bill Gates, Tyler Perry, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Vince Vaughn and Sarah Silverman appear in the FUN-raising special, along with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, Kristen Bell, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, Adam Devine and Ron Funches.
Also appearing are Jane Lynch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Goldblum, Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Dax Shepard, Mayim Bialik, Jay Pharoah and Trevor Noah, along with Iwan Rheon, Chris Hardwick, Yvette Nicole Brown, Retta, David Morrissey, Jon Daly, Margot Robbie, Kate Micucci, Malin Akerman, Tony Hale and Grace Helbig.
The special features Julia Roberts' recent trip to Phoenix to visit projects that take care of children facing serious health issues without the means to afford basic medical treatment. It also features Chris "Ludacris" Bridges making a special visit to an amazing food bank in Atlanta at a school where 50% of the students are living below the poverty line, and where one of the biggest problems is day-to-day hunger. Jack Black, who went to Uganda last year to shed light on the issue of children living in poverty, returns to "The Red Nose Day Special" to give a heartwarming update on Felix, a young boy he met there who had been living on the streets for three years. He reveals what life is like for Felix today after being helped by a program that aims to change the lives of homeless kids.
Music also takes center stage in "The Red Nose Day Special," with both Elton John and Blake Shelton performing very special songs. Paul Shaffer brings his signature brand of great music and high energy as the musical director with the Red Nose Orchestra. Elton's involvement with Red Nose Day goes back many years in the U.K., where he has performed songs as well participated in comedy sketches. In the U.K., Elton's AIDS Foundation has also partnered with Red Nose Day to raise awareness and provide over £5 million to support thousands of children living in extreme poverty in Africa who have lost their parents to AIDS. They have also ensured that more than 200,000 pregnant moms living with HIV get the medicine they need to make sure they have HIV-free babies.
"The Red Nose Day Special" also delivers a great night of comedy, from Tracy Morgan putting his own unique spin on the classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" while reading to kids, to Paul Rudd committing more money for Red Nose Day than he ever imagined when he promises to donate $5,000 for every three-pointer that basketball superstar Blake Griffin makes in three minutes. The fun continues with a comedy sketch featuring "The Walking Dead" cast - Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Ross Marquand, Josh McDermitt, Steven Yeun, Christian Serratos, Melissa McBride and Sonequa Martin-Green - as viewers have never seen them before.
Red Nose Day has become a cultural phenomenon in the U.K., and raised more than $1 billion globally in the last 25 years. Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015 as a special day to come together, have fun and make a difference for kids who are most in need. In its inaugural year in America, more than $23 million was raised for the Red Nose Day Fund, with the money now at work in all 50 states across America and 15 countries internationally through programs to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated.
The money raised by Red Nose Day in 2016 will help support projects in some of the neediest communities in the U.S. and some of the poorest communities in the world. People from all walks of life are encouraged to get involved, have fun and raise money by buying red noses sold exclusively at Walgreens stores nationwide, organizing fundraising events and watching and donating during the television special.
Created by Oscar nominee and Emmy Award-winning writer-director Richard Curtis ("Love Actually," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Notting Hill"), Red Nose Day was built upon the foundation that the power of entertainment and celebrities can help raise money and awareness of poverty to save and change millions of lives.
Richard Curtis is an executive producer for the live NBC telecast (a Universal Television production), along with John Irwin of Irwin Entertainment and Lily Sobhani.