Jimmy Kimmel is mounting what’s being dubbed a livestream-a-thon for autism.
The three-hour event, which the late-night comic will co-host with former NASA engineer and current YouTuber Mark Rober, will raise money for NEXT for Autism. The virtual benefit is set for April 30th, and will unspool exclusively on Rober’s popular YouTube channel.
Kimmel, being Kimmel, has already lured a list of heavy-hitters to appear, including other past and present late night hosts Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert. Among the others set to turn up over the course of the evening: Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Jack Black, Andy Samberg, Paul Rudd, Mark Hamill and Sarah Silverman, among others.
The event is expected to feature a mix of musical performances, skits and science stunts, all designed to benefit autism programs across the country. In an attempt to innovate within the virtual format, viewers will be able to engage in real-time with the show’s hosts and guests as well.
The star-studded event will be produced by Kimmel’s team along with Robert and Michelle Smigel, who were also behind the Stewart-fronted Night of Too Many Stars benefit. In fact, the latter, a televised telethon that also raised money for autism, is what inspired Rober to mount the late April event.
For the Smigels, the decision to continue to devote their time and energy to the cause — specifically, the lack of services and schools for people with autism — stemmed from their own experience raising their autistic son, Daniel. For Rober and his family, autism awareness is personal as well.
“It is inspiring to team up with Jimmy and Robert and create this unprecedented opportunity to bring together traditional entertainment stars with some of the world’s biggest YouTube creators,” said Rober in a statement. “I don’t think we have ever seen these worlds unite on a scale like this before. The best part is that this is all being done for people in need and who are so deserving.”
Added Smigel: “It’s been a year since we had to cancel our Night of Too Many Stars benefit and many of the programs and schools we support are hurting greatly. So we’re beyond grateful to Mark and Jimmy for making this happen for NEXT for Autism.”