Red Nose Day kicks off around the country

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Matt cycles through rain (and wine country!) on third day of Red Nose ride.

The TV season is now officially over — but don’t worry: TV still goes on. In the U.K., Red Nose Day has been a tradition for 30 years and is an inspiring cultural phenomenon that unites people from all walks of life in the interest of saving and changing lives across the globe.

Put on your best red nose, sit back and enjoy the fun for a great cause as NBC airs “Red Nose Day” at 8 p.m. to raise funds for 12 charities in the U.S. and elsewhere that combat abuse and exploitation of children, work to help lift them out of poverty and educate them, and ensure that they are healthy by providing them with clean water, sanitation and access to health care. And the non-profit organization behind the venture – Comic Relief Inc. – is hoping to transform the way benefit telethons and charity fundraising is done in the United States. The project began in Great Britain and expands to the U.S. with the three-hour special featuring, among others, Christina Aguilera, Elizabeth Banks, Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Carson Daly, Billy Eichner, Will Ferrell, Adam Levine, Laura Linney, Blake Shelton, Martin Short, Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams, Richard Gere, One Direction, Jimmy Fallon, Keith Urban and John Mellencamp.

But after a quick repair, she and Matt got back to cycling, finishing up in Port Jefferson, where Matt got a warm (and sunny!) welcome from the Boys & Girls Club of America. With increasing frequency, the broadcast networks are joining the summer stream, including NBC, which starts the summer off with this three-hour, American version of a popular British fundraiser.

Comic Relief encourages the public to do lots of fun, silly things to raise money for charity ahead of a big, live, star-studded TV show in which celebrities also do lots of fun, silly things. Will Ferrell, Jennifer Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Smith, Nick Offerman, Elizabeth Banks and Anna Kendrick are among those slated to take part in the event, which was created by writer-director Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral) 30 years ago to benefit children in need. How about Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Julianne Moore, Jodie Foster, Neil Patrick Harris, Reese Witherspoon, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne?

You know it’s as old as comedy, that red nose, and yet it still has some magic in it, unlike the pie to the face, which really seems to have faded over the decades. The red nose still somehow has survived the years of ridicule.” “I just was most blown away by the tragedy of the potential, you know, and these amazing people that I could see growing up and having amazing contributions to the world,” he said. “And that’s what really gave me the deep sense of urgency, you know is that these kids have magic in them and they need to be, not just rescued, but you know, inspired. Roughly one-half will be pre-recorded sketches and other comedy pieces, allowing for slick production techniques and involvement by a wider range of stars than would be possible on show night. Or if you prefer real horror, or at least creepiness, Fox has the second episode of Wayward Pines — and the first one to provide a truly unsettling jolt. Netflix streams the new drama “Between” at 11:30 p.m., the first of six one-hour episodes about a town beset by a mysterious disease that has killed everyone over the age of 21.

Curtis mentions one intriguing spoof: a mockumentary of the rock group Coldplay as it creates a musical version of “Game of Thrones,” with original songs by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin performed by the group and participation by a dozen “Game of Thrones” cast members. Diddy” Combs, John Legend, Keith Urban, John Mellencamp, One Direction and “Voice” coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams. It involves an extraordinary number of partnerships: a major non-profit (Comic Relief) working on behalf of other charities (both national and international), major corporate sponsors who cover operating costs, sell merchandise and help build awareness and a broadcaster willing to clear its evening schedule. Five million Red Noses have been purchased by customers of participating retailers. “Today Show” host Matt Lauer set off on a 230-mile bike ride from Boston to New York to spur donations.

Short, powerful appeal films featured comedians, actors, singers and TV presenters visiting rural Africa, meeting those in dire need and discovering where money has been well-spent. Back at the Hammerstein, Curtis, who describes himself as “quite a cheerful human,” radiates optimism as he tackles countless details of the broadcast only days away.

Some feel it’s been too political, at times (in 2009 Comic Relief supported a financial transaction levy, a so-called “Robin Hood” tax on banks). The charity had invested in shares in the alcohol industry despite a mission statement saying it is “working to reduce alcohol misuse and minimize alcohol related harm.” And now U.S. organizers, with the help of A-list superstars, will be hoping to kick-start a similarly strong, ongoing relationship with the American public this week.

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