Jimmy Kimmel co-hosted a virtual benefit for autism on Friday along with former NASA engineer and current YouTuber Mark Rober that raised over $3 million for NEXT for Autism.
Color the Spectrum’s three-hour benefit included a mix of Kimmel’s late-night cohorts — Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert — as well a list of famous pals and previous Jimmy Kimmel Live! guests including Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Paul Rudd, Charlize Theron, and Sarah Silverman, among others.
Jack Black appeared to offer some ASMR services, mostly by eating food and whispering softly into a mic. Kenan Thompson popped up in a pre-recorded video doing a bit where he was given a sketch meant for O’Brien, angrily reading out lines meant for a “six-foot-five red-headed talk show host” who sunburns easily at the beach. O’Brien’s appearance revolved around his infamous Clueless Gamer segment, playing Street Fighter V against gamer MatPat (Matthew Patrick) for the benefit. Charlize Theron also virtually appeared for the fundraiser, showing off her 2004 Oscar award for her role in Monster to Kimmel and Rober.
The event featured a mix of musical performances, skits and science stunts, all designed to benefit autism programs across the country. American Rubik’s Cube speedsolver Max Park, who is featured in the Netflix documentary Speed Cubers, competed against Kimmel and Robert at several speed tests, such as Park doing a one-handed cube solve while the hosts tried to quickly drink sodas. America’s Got Talent season 14 winner Kodi Lee also took the stage to perform “Tennessee Whiskey.”
The star-studded event was produced by Kimmel’s team along with Robert and Michelle Smigel, who were also behind the Stewart-fronted Night of Too Many Stars benefit. That televised telethon, which also raised money for autism, 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.”