Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller Rogen know how to throw an epic party.
So, it was only fitting that as the couple celebrated their 7th annual Hilarity for Charity variety show, they do it in a new way, with a star-studded, next-level carnival for adults at Skylight at The Row in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
“People always almost kind of felt like they liked the after party to our events more than the events itself at times,” Rogen told Variety, chuckling with his infectious laugh. “And we were like, well what if we combine the event and the after party. So, it’s kind of just a party with comedians operating games.”
Josh Gad, Ben Feldman, Jeff Garlin, Nick Kroll, Jeffrey Ross and Adam DeVine were just a few of the couple’s comedic friends who took on game-operating duties at the event, which raised money and awareness for Alzhiemer’s disease. Seth and Lauren started the Hilarity for Charity movement back in 2012, after Lauren’s mother, Adele, developed early-onset Alzheimer’s when she was only 55. The non-profit is dedicated to “raising awareness, inspiring change, and accelerating progress in Alzheimer’s care, research, and support,” according to its website.
“We’re really just focused on having a fun night that changes the attitude towards the disease, which is that it’s sad and depressing, and we like to throw fun events,” Lauren told Variety. “It just seemed like a really happy, fun way to bring everyone together and like in a unique kind of way, which is what we like to do at Hilarity for Charity.”
In previous years, Hilarity for Charity was a variety show, filled with celeb performances. This year, after a suggestion from Seth’s writing partner, Evan Goldberg, their new carnival concept, the Hilarity for Charity County Fair, was born. “At [Evan’s] wedding, they had a carnival and he was like, ‘Everyone loved it. It was fun, and you can have comedians operate the games and everyone would probably enjoy that.’ And we were like, ‘Yeah, that’s good!”
And that’s exactly what they did. The event came complete with premium open bars, complimentary food trucks from the likes of Shake Shack, D’Amore’s Pizza and more, entertaining experiential stations, and carnival games and rides at every turn, including a puppy kissing booth and a massive skateboard ramp where Tony Hawk and friends hit eye-popping trick after trick.
Clowns hopped on the swings as Nyle Dimarco took his second ride between sips of champagne. Ali Larter hung out with friends near the jam-packed basketball shooting game, which Regina Hall was manning, and Busy Phillips was on the mic at the Rope Ladder station, giving some encouragement to those who dared to try it. “Use that core girl. Just engage those muscles,” she quipped.
Over at Drag Race, Gad cracked jokes and cheered on fellow players, saying, “I am just as bad at this as I am all athletics,” as he held a mic, rolled a ball, and missed. Meanwhile, Andrew Rannells and DeVine were just two of the thesps who brought on the laughs at the water gun squirting station. “What a good game to play in California when we’re in the middle of a drought,” DeVine joked.
“This is a curated carnival,” Rogen told Variety, adding that he and his wife handpicked all of the games and rides for it. Seth was excited to ride the bumper cars, adding with a laugh, “That spinning chair thing looks fun. The older I get, the more nauseous I get more easily. So, yeah, we’ll see what happens.”
As if the ideas, games, and Tony Hawk skate sesh weren’t enough, Anderson Paak popped up on stage to perform “Come Down.” “We thought it would be fun to give people alcohol and then have them ride and play games designed for children operated by your favorite comedians,” Seth said as he hit the stage with Lauren to introduce Paak. “No one has thrown up so far, so that’s good.”
But, the biggest splash of the night came from Seth, as he got dunked in a tank of water at a dunking booth to wrap up the unforgettable night and raise even more funds for Hilarity for Charity.