Netflix original raises awareness through stand-up special

By Andrew Ayala

“Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity” is an entertaining and interesting Netflix original with the purpose to raise money and awareness for the research and cure of Alzheimer’s.

The annual event hosted by Seth Rogen always includes some of the biggest names in comedy and entertainment.

The stand-up is filled with a star- studded cast of famous and well known comedians, special guests and artists such as Michael Che, Sarah Silverman, Justin Roiland, Tiffany Haddish, Jeff Goldblum, Post Malone, The Muppets and many more.

The special begins as a show until the shot reveals the scene  is in front of a live audience with the camera crew in full action.

At first there is a plethora of penis and stoner jokes between Rogen and the creator of “Big Mouth” Nick Kroll that will either make viewers laugh or be uncomfortable.

Nonetheless, it’s the perfect tone for the rest of the touchy and raunchy jokes throughout the special.

The next skit shows Rogen going to hell after a crash from tweeting and driving which lands him right in the devil’s lair.

After some short conversation about Rogen’s selfishness, he devises a plan and tells the devil, played by Ike Barinholtz, that he will make up for his wrongdoing by creating a charity.

As Rogen wakes up and realizes it was a dream, he is then shown leaving the set and actually walking up to the stage to begin the introduction.

The skits are recorded in a “Saturday Night Live” fashion. Viewers hear the audience and see the comedians being recorded in front of them.

Rogen explains that he is raising money for Alzheimer’s in a very serious manner and then introduces the comedians and artists that will be performing that night.

The comedians chosen are well recognized from shows or other stand-ups and the guests included are there to solve what Rogen called the “Netflix algorithm,”  the equation to get the special on several genres across the streaming platform.

A meaningful segment in the show, is when Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen not only explain their own family battles with the disease, but also give facts and pieces of information that aren’t typically shared unless a person is dealing with it themselves.

Phone calls and personal anecdotes of their successes over the 6-year period their charity has been running add an emotional feel to the stand-up that isn’t typical, especially in anything that is categorized as comedy.

Some of the jokes touch upon sensitive subjects such as sexual harassment, racism and even Alzheimer’s itself, but are executed properly and perfectly.

One thing that’s interesting throughout the whole special is that during or after their stand-ups, the comedians would urge to donate for Alzheimer’s or speak of their own family struggles with it and incorporate it in their time on stage.

This did add a bit of a serious tone, but then once the punchlines hit, it returns to its original.

Justin Roiland, the creator of the very famous pop-culture television show “Rick and Morty” even includes an animated short that was quite a surprise, but managed to show the website with the donation link at the end.

The live band and musical performances by The Muppets, Post Malone and Craig Robinson & The Nasty Delicious are executed at the perfect time, and are overall fun to hear and watch.

It is different to see Craig Robinson as a musical artist on the keyboard since he usually plays a comedic role in films and shows such as “The Office” and “Pineapple Express,” but nonetheless, he plays well and proved to be a man with many talents.

This comedy special is an innovative but overall successful way to spread Alzheimer’s awareness and the messages of care and compassion to a larger audience than those who attended the live showing at the Hollywood Palladium.

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