Hilarity for Charity
Bruno Mars dedicated his final number at HILARITY FOR CHARITY to Seth Rogen, prime organizer of the Jan. 13 blockbuster comedy and entertainment fest to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The song was “Just the Way You Are,” a.k.a. “You’re Amazing.” (Check out the gallery below to see 25 event photos)
Star of the films “Knocked Up,” “Pineapple Express” and “Green Hornet,” Rogen co-chaired the event with his new bride, Lauren Miller. And by the time guests laughed their way through the show, the musical compliment from Mars to Rogen seemed well-deserved.
Along with Mars, the star-studded line-up at Vibiana LA, formerly the Cathedral of St. Vibiana in Los Angeles, included Jack Black and Tenacious D, Aziz Ansari of “Parks and Recreation,” Brian Posehn of “Sym-Bionic Titan,” Patton Oswalt of “The King of Queens,” Kumail Nanjiani of “Franklin & Bash,” Justin Willman of “Cupcake Wars,“ Charlyne Yi of “Paper Heart,” Hannibal Buress of “Saturday Night Live,” and recording artists The Wavves.
Pauly DelVecchio, best known as Pauly D of “Jersey Shore” acted as deejay; producer Judd Apatow conducted the auction; and Rogen provided an unseen “voice from above.” Ty Burrell of “Modern Family,” Paul Rudd of “Role Models” and David Krumholtz of “The Playboy Club” shared hosting duties – but not easily, as evidenced by their running battle throughout the evening. At one point, Rudd and Krumholtz made up with a kiss; at another, all the co-hosts hugged.
Talent filled the room, too, with the 600 guests including Simon Pegg of “Shaun of the Dead,” Sophia Bush of “One Tree Hill,” Eva LaRue of “CSI: Miami,” Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad,” Kate Flannery of “The Office,” Donald Faison of “Scrubs,” Chris Lowell of “Private Practice,” Ben Gleib of “Chelsea Lately,” Julianna Guill of “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” and NFL player Terrell Owens.
Midway through Act One, when Rogen asked Pauly D for his opinion, DelVecchio replied, “Conceptually I’m with you, but ultimately I’m concerned that, overall, the comedic take on this evening won’t resonate without a story that the audience can connect with on an emotional level.”
Pauly D’s take aside, the audience connected quite well, all throughout the evening and well before. All tickets sold, with a waiting list.
“At first, after we made the announcement, it was a slow build,” said Lauren Miller. “Then everyone wanted to come and the event sold out.”
Rogen and Miller designed the evening to attract a generation younger than the usual gala crowd. Instead of a seated dinner, there were food trucks with tacos, burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches. The directive was “dress to impress,” and while most dressed up, some came casual – a perfectly OK choice for the fun and exhilarating evening.
Yet the mix was so evident that after their set, Jack Black in suit and tie called out Kyle Gass, his partner in Tenacious D, for wearing sweat pants. “What the **** are you wearing?” he asked Gass onstage.
Producer Suzi Dietz called the event the “anti-Sardi’s,” referring to another Los Angeles benefit, “A Night At Sardi’s,” that Rogen has hosted for the Alzheimer’s Association, which last year featured a seated dinner, cocktail attire as a dress code, yet more A-list stars and Cole Porter tunes. (Another great event, just different.) Click here to read my story about this gala, which took place in March, in the Los Angeles Times Image section.)
With HILARITY FOR CHARITY tickets priced from $150 to $2,500 each, the auction and sponsorship opportunities, the evening raised $300,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Auctioneer Judd Apatow boosted proceeds by enlisting celebrities to donate their services, offering among other things: a day with Paul Rudd, 90 minutes with Seth Rogen and a chance to hang out with Pauly D. Sophia Bush bought the day with Rudd.
Along with co-chairs Rogen and Miller, committee members were Matthew Bass, Tum Cohl, Raffi Adlan, Vanessa Britting, Jonah Garb, David Krumholtz, Michael Mohr, Ben Nemlin, Ahna O’Reilly, Stefanie Paletz, Van Robichaux, Nick Theodorakis, Sari Tuschman, Lisa Yadavaia and Jennifer Zaborowski.
Top Photo: Seth Rogen giving a thumbs up following a successful first-ever HILARITY FOR CHARITY benefit
Second Photo: Bruno Mars started his set by singing the “Titanic” theme and ended with “Just the Way You Are” at the HILARITY FOR CHARITY benefit (photo: Jeff Vespa/ WireImage)
Third Photo: Co-chair Lauren Miller, Rogen’s new bride at the HILARITY FOR CHARITY benefit
Fourth photo: Pauly D of “Jersey Shore” as DJ, in diamond earrings, nearly 3-karats each at the HILARITY FOR CHARITY benefit
Check out the gallery below for 25 more photos
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HILARITY FOR CHARITY
Published Jan. 14, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA