Inside Seth Rogen's Adults-Only Carnival to Benefit Alzheimer's Research and Patients

Lauren Miller Rogen and Seth Rogen - Getty - H 2019
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The actor raised money for the disease by getting dunked in a dunk tank while Adam DeVine, Jeff Ross, Busy Philipps and Ben Feldman operated rides for guests.

The husband-and-wife fundraising duo Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen mixed things up on Saturday night during their annual Hilarity for Charity event and took over Skylight Row in Downtown Los Angeles. Their event, this year, was an adults-only carnival complete with open bar, food stations (like star-favored sandwich shop Uncle Paulie's Deli and pizza joint D' Amore's), rides and games operated by comedians Adam DeVine, Jeff Ross, Ben Feldman and Andrew Rannells, to name a few.

"We thought the idea of combining the afterparty and the event was perhaps an appealing one and that's what we tried to do," Rogen told The Hollywood Reporter about why this year they decided to host the first-ever Hilarity for Charity "County Fair."

After Lauren’s mother, Adele, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at 55 years old, Seth and Lauren sprung into action and in 2012, founded the nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and raising funds for Alzheimer’s research and caregiving. "It shows the need for people to talk about Alzheimer's and feel like they have allies out there in the world," Rogen shared with THR. "It's such an underserved area. It's one of the most deadly diseases in the world and it has no cure. If anything, we've created an outlet for people that we didn't realize how big a need for there was."

"I was 25 when my mom was diagnosed with this disease," Lauren Miller Rogen told THR. "I've come to learn that I was far from the youngest but I felt very young and very alone and a lot of stuff for Alzheimer's was formal and sad; it didn't feel like it spoke to me. We wanted to help in a way that spoke to us."

Feldman, who's known for his roles in Mad Men and more recently Superstore, has been coming to Hilarity for Charity events for several years and was on the planning commission for the charity as well. The cause is close to his heart because his mother also suffers from Alzheimer's. "My mom is in a memory care place here in Los Angeles, but when she was a little more functioning she'd come to these events with me," Feldman told THR. "I have a video of my mom in a mosh pit dancing with weed glasses on to Seth and Snoop Dog rapping onstage. It's the greatest video I've ever gotten of her."

In addition to carnival games being run by comedians, Tony Hawk participated by arriving in tow with a massive skate ramp and several skilled skateboarding pros to give a show to carnival-goers. "My mom's had Alzheimer's for 15 years now," Hawk said. "She's still alive but not really able to communicate anymore, has very vague glimpses of recognition. I've seen first-hand what it does to families and it's impossibly difficult."

Actor Busy Philipps heckled contestants on the rope ladder game as they tried to climb their way to the top. "The work that Lauren and Seth have done over the years with Hilarity for Charity is super impressive on so many levels, but one of the things I love best about it, and I'm involved with a ton of charities, is that they figure out a way to get everyone involved," Phillips said. "A lot of times charities leave off young people or leave off people who can't donate $5,000 to come to an event. They've been so inclusive and really thoughtful in the way they engage their peers in a thing that will affect everyone at some point in their life."

Comedian and actor DeVine has also been impacted by Alzheimer's disease. He took a break from hosting the water gun game to talk with THR. "I have family members that have Alzheimer's and it's just terrifying, it's the scariest thing to happen to someone you know and love, especially when they don't remember you and yell at you for things your dad did in 1974," DeVine said. "I really appreciate that Seth and Lauren put this together, every year it just gets bigger and better and this year seems to be the best so far."

When 9 p.m. rolled around, Hilarity for Charity attendees gathered around the main stage for a performance by Grammy award-winning artist Anderson .Paak. THR caught up with .Paak after the show. "I have a charity of my own called .Paak House and so I'm all for linking up with other charities and seeing how we can raise money for good causes," .Paak said.

As the Ferris wheel towered over the event and the smell of cannabis filled the air, Seth Rogen made his way toward the dunk tank, donning swimming trunks and a Hawaiian shirt to cap off the fun-filled evening. Guests took turns throwing balls toward a red target that dunked Rogen underwater. Comedy Central Roast Master Jeff Ross ripped his shirt off and missed all three throws. One contestant paid $500 to throw the balls from a closer distance and missed all her throws as well. Then for a thousand big ones, one carnival guest ditched the throwing contest and smacked the target with her hand.