5 Comedians Who Use Their Funny to Support Worthy Causes
The jokesters who take raising money for charity very seriously
In honor of International Day of Charity, here are 5 comedians who use their humor to raise money for charity and awareness of important issues.
1. SETH ROGEN
THE COMEDIAN: Starting out doing stand-up comedy as a teen, Seth Rogen has since forged a successful career as a talented actor and writer.
THE GOOD CAUSE: Led by Rogen and his wife Lauren, Hilarity for Charity (HFC) sets out to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation. For two years, the successful HFC Variety Show - an evening filled with music and comedy - has managed to raise close to $1 million to support research grants focused on early-onset and detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
THE FUNNY FACTOR: Mixing humor with a heartfelt message, Rogen delivers a speech to members of Congress about his charity work.
2. AMY POEHLER
THE COMEDIAN: The hilarious actress and comedienne Amy Poehler is well known for her acting chops, from Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation, to her Golden Globes performance with pal Tina Fey.
THE GOOD CAUSE: Poehler is a huge advocate for young women and is the co-founder of Smart Girls at the Party - a platform to encourage girls to be their authentic selves. True to Poehler’s signature style, the website - which highlights the life, problems and accomplishments of young women - is direct while also being lively and jovial. The website is also home to Girls of the World, where ladies hailing from all parts of the globe give viewers a taste of their local culture.
THE FUNNY FACTOR: The Smart Girls’ YouTube channel runs videos featuring Poehler interviewing interesting young women and giving advice on Ask Amy. Here is a montage of her best intros to the segment.
3. RICKY GERVAIS
THE COMEDIAN: Known for his dry sense of honor and successful mockumentary style shows, this British funny man has universal appeal.
THE CAUSE: Founded in 1985 by a group of British comedians to provide much needed food aid in Ethiopia, Comic Relief has raised millions of pounds for charity. The much anticipated bi-annual event Red Nose Day sees top comedians making people laugh while highlighting very important causes in Africa and beyond.
THE FUNNY FACTOR: Created for Comic Relief 2007, this hilarious video appears to show Ricky Gervais visiting Africa for a special report from the field. See what happens when it soon turns out that it’s been setup in the BBC studios.
4. STEPHEN COLBERT
THE COMEDIAN: A renowned political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor, Colbert is the host of Comedy Central's popular The Colbert Report.
THE CAUSE: DonorsChoose.org is an online platform where people can help fund local classrooms in America. Public school teachers from across the country can post classroom project requests on the site, and donors can give any amount to the project that most inspires them. Colbert has given the non-profit air time on his show, asking his followers and fans to help contribute.
THE FUNNY FACTOR: Colbert moderated a panel for the organization, which featured his signature humor as well as a very important message.
5. JOAN RIVERS
THE COMEDIAN: Her satirical style of humor may have been hard to handle for some, but there is no denying that the late Joan Rivers knew how to make people laugh. She is best known for her biting stand up routines and candid opinions on celebrity fashion.
THE CAUSE: The comedienne won more than $500,000 for NY-based charity God’s Love We Deliver during her time on The Celebrity Apprentice. The charity provides nutritious, individually tailored meals to people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves.
THE FUNNY FACTOR: Even when trying to be serious, the outrageous funny woman managed to slip in bits of her own unique humor. This is her acceptance speech after being honored at the 2010 Golden Heart Awards for her service and dedication to the food and nutrition non-profit.