An interesting thing happened when Seth Rogen went to Washington DC to testify on Alzheimer’s before Congress: No one showed up.
“I don’t think the average person like me knew that the Government could just not show up for work,” the “Superbad” actor told Maria Shriver during an Architects of Change Live conversation with his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen on Thursday night at UCLA’s Anderson School. The pair founded Hilarity for Charity after Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, and the conversation explored their activism as well as the newly released Web MD and Shriver Report Snapshot: Insight into Alzheimer’s Attitudes and Behaviors.
“Not a lot of Pineapple Express fans in Congress apparently,” Seth joked of Congress’ no-show. “What’s funny is several of them showed up in a small room beforehand and took pictures with me. And then they didn’t bother coming to [my hearing], and they tweeted out the pictures and stuff and so I tweeted at them ‘You didn’t come to the thing!’ and then I tweeted photos of all the empty chairs, like ‘Where is everybody?’ I flew to D.C., what happened?”
The duo admitted it wasn’t just Congress who didn’t seem to care about Alzheimer’s, in their first year of Hilarity for Charity, they basically didn’t mention Alzheimer’s at all.
“The first year we had a hard time,” Seth said of booking celebrity guests at Hilarity for Charity, but joked that he has a specific caveat he pays attention to when deciding to book. “Bruno Mars performed the first year…I think he had some community service he was working off. That’s always something I look for, is celebrities getting arrested that I’m a fan of. I think of how I can exploit that for charitable purposes. I’m praying Kanye gets arrested, it’d be great to have him,” he joked. Watch the video:
But now the event is happening on college campuses across the nation. When asked about getting Millennials to go from idea to action, Lauren and Seth said they use incentive. “For our college program, the reward is to meet Seth,” Lauren revealed. “With our event, we’ve literally had to make it as desirable an event as humanly possible, to get literally the best comedians and musicians on the planet. And that’s the only way we can make people listen to us talk about Alzheimer’s for 45 seconds,” Seth said. “It’s really hard. With these college students, I’m literally flying to Vermont to hang out with these people.” And Lauren admitted they are willing to try anything, watch:
And their success has allowed them to offer real help to people suffering from Alzheimer’s and their loved ones. “We saw from our personal experiences that in-home care is the only thing that makes the situation remotely liveable and so we have a grant program, where if you’re not a rich actor, you can apply to our grant program and we will pay to provide in-home care,” said Seth.
“We’ve given away, I should say, over 24,000 hours of care,” Lauren revealed. Watch:
[ Photo Credit Andrew Baxter]