Comedians, cocktails and carnival rides galore!
Stars like Bill Hader and Adam Devine joined Seth Rogen and wife Lauren Miller Rogen as they hosted the Hilarity for Charity County Fair Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, raising money for Alzheimer’s awareness — a cause that hits home for the Rogens.
“It has all the ingredients of a very good time,” Rogen, 37, told PEOPLE at the carnival. “And all in the name of something that is not at all a good time. I think that contrast is what has been interesting for people and it’s been a draw for people — to attack a subject that is decidedly not that fun with an approach that is as fun as we can make it.”
Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at 55 and for the Rogens, hosting a comedy-filled charity event was the perfect way for them to help an important cause.
“I think because I felt alone, it was important to create something where young people could feel a part of this disease and feel like they could have a hand in fighting against it,” she told PEOPLE. “That idea just led to, combined with the fact that Seth is a comedian and I’m kind of funny, it’s just what came naturally to us.”
The fundraising event featured celebrity guests — such as Busy Philipps, Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, Josh Gad, Regina Hall, Ilana Glazer, Hader and Devine — as they hosted classic carnival rides and fair games from drag races to Ferris wheels. The cannabis-friendly night also featured a puppy-kissing booth, a musical performance by Grammy-winning rapper Anderson .Paak and a half-pipe showcase from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.
The Rogens founded Hilarity for Charity back in 2012 and have hosted several variety shows and stand-up comedy performances over the years to raise money for the cause. Last year, Rogen hosted a star-studded comedy special on Netflix. This time, they wanted to change things up with the carnival.
“It’s very organic,” Seth adds. “I had gotten asked to get involved in a few charitable causes. I would lend my time as much as I could, but I didn’t feel much ownership or personal correlation to it in any way.”
“This was something where I found just by being honest and talking about my experience, having a mother-in-law going through what my mother-in-law’s going through and being married to someone whose mother is going through what she’s going through was very therapeutic and very helpful to people,” he added. “That was something I was more than happy to do.”
To end the evening, Rogen hopped in the Dunk Tank — all in the name of a charity, which has already raised more than $11 million since its inception.
Throughout the years, Rogen has been an advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness, even testifying before Congress in 2014.
“We get thank you notes from people who are getting care whose lives are drastically changed,” Lauren told PEOPLE in 2016. “And every time I get one of those notes … it’s like, ‘Wow, you’ve helped people.’”
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