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An array of comedic talent fired up their webcams on Friday to support the latest fundraiser to benefit front line workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Steve Carell; Elizabeth Banks; Ike Barinholtz; Jack Black and Tenacious D; Will Ferrell; Bryan Cranston; Gal Gadot; Mark Duplass; and Sia were among just some of the names to join Americares’ “COVID Is No Joke” event on Friday to raise funds for the nonprofit’s coronavirus-targeted health programs. Mindy Kaling, Patton Oswalt, Chelsea Handler, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Wayne Brady and Kristin Chenoweth, among others, also took part, while Tony Goldwyn hosted.
In between “thank yous” to first responders delivered by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Hamilton, Gadot, Davis, Chenoweth, Kaling and others, several stars performed short coronavirus-themed comedic routines. Handler demonstrated how to make substitute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the absence of the real thing by utilizing alcohol as hand sanitizer, doggie bags as gloves and bras as masks. In a brief reunion of castmembers on the ABC show Scandal, Bellamy Young and Kerry Washington Zoom-bombed Goldwyn just after he had launched into a weak comedic monologue about dogs and pasta.
“We’ll save him from himself, Kerry,” Young said.
“Tony, it’s terrible,” Washington offered. “You should introduce people and no more jokes.”
Added Young, “Just be handsome.”
Later, Black and Tenacious D performed a song called “The Five Needs,” which specified those requirements as the planet, the air, water, love and “to rock your world” (the latter one “comes before food,” the song argued). D’Arcy Carden taught a “virtual kindergarten class,” where she played a teacher frustrated by children’s poorly illustrated drawings. And Stephanie Beatriz hosted a segment called “The Joy of Painting at Home,” a Bob Ross-like lesson that nevertheless saw the host get frustrated with her work, poke a hole through her canvas and subsequently paint drunk.
Carell iterated on the now-stereotypical segment of a Hollywood star showing quarantined audiences how they bake bread by “baking” dough without yeast and in a microwave. When the bread came out, it was still raw, but Carell slapped a pat of butter on the creation and took a bite anyway. Duplass sang a song dedicated to first responders, while Ferrell also tried to sing a song with a guitar but then revealed he didn’t know how to play the instrument. Banks taught viewers a made-up card game and Cranston attempted to eat pasta with a white mask on. And Oswalt cut in briefly to sing a lyric of “Baby Got Back.”
In the last sketch of the event, Ike and Jon Barinholtz and Adam Scott brainstormed a routine for the Americares event, finally landing on a “mask-Inception hybrid.” In the final moments of their group chat, a rousing, Hans Zimmer-esque score played behind them and video effects contorted their webcam images. Sia then closed out the night by performing a song with the refrain “save my life” while her face (which she often hides in performances, in music videos and on album covers) was hidden behind a hanging lamp.
Americares is currently delivering PPE — 45 tons in the U.S. alone, including in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — and organizing support groups and skills workshops for health care workers. It is also operating clinics in Colombia, Connecticut and El Salvador.
Watch the fundraiser in full, below.
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