On Oct. 17, Lauren Miller Rogen and Seth Rogen’s 3rd annual Hilarity for Charity Variety Show is going down — and this year, the hilarious couple is headed to prom to raise funds for families affected by Alzheimer’s.
They won’t be alone, either.
What’s prom without a few friends?
Performing on stage alongside the Rogens at the prom-themed fete will be a few of their famous friends. Like — oh, you know — Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sarah Silverman and Mayer Hawthorne, just to name a few.
“Basically, it’s just friends of ours,” Miller Rogen said when asked how they recruit such incredible talent. “And Seth is just the nicest person ever, and so fortunately people say yes to him when he asks things,” she said.
Still, she admits they hang with an inherently decent crowd.
“Comedians are really very generous, very nice people… even if they don’t come across that way on the stage,” she said, laughing. “So they really want to lend their time and come out and help, and I think it’s partly due to the fact that Seth is so wonderful and partly due to the fact that it is a really good cause.”
While Miller Rogen teases some really good surprise appearances, too, don’t count on one of them being James Franco just yet — naked or otherwise.
“With James, you never know,” she said. “[He] is the busiest person on the entire planet. But if there’s a way for him to be there, he will certainly be there, because on top of being the busiest person on the planet, he’s truly generous as well.”
Miller Rogen won’t just be sharing her sweet husband with the couple’s funny friends, though. As part of the promotion for the event, the duo created a unique contest. The cost for a ticket? Ten dollars. The prize? A date with Seth Rogen.
Win a date with Seth Rogen
And not just any date — a prom date. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles, California, and put up in a four-star hotel, from which they will ride in a limo with Rogen to the show, join him for selfies on the red carpet and then party it up with him in the VIP section.
“I don’t know her name yet, but I know she lives in Alabama,” Miller Rogen said. “I think Seth is Skyping with her this afternoon, and I’m sure she’s lovely.”
So does that mean she’s giving her husband free reign to enjoy the night with his new date?
Not quite. Miller Rogen won’t go so far as to say she’ll be chaperoning, but she does confess she’s hoping to at least tag along.
In all seriousness, Miller Rogen sounds pretty pumped to be sharing her husband with another woman for the night — but she has good reason to be.
The heartbreaking story behind the hilarity
The event, established with the Alzheimer’s Association, will not only raise awareness for Alzheimer’s research and education, but it will also raise funds to go toward helping families affected by the disease.
To date, Hilarity for Charity has raised more than $1.5 million through its various programs and efforts. Unfortunately, it’s a cause that is all too close to Miller Rogen’s heart.
When Miller Rogen was 12, her grandfather succumbed to Alzheimer’s. When she was 18, her grandmother passed away from dementia. And when she was 25, her mother — who was only 55 at the time — was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
“In the early years of my mom’s diagnosis, I felt very depressed and very angry, and very powerless,” she said. “With Alzheimer’s, there’s no cure, no treatment, nothing. Once you get it, it’s terminal, and there’s nowhere to go but down. And so I was feeling very hopeless.”
It was creating Hilarity for Charity that helped Miller Rogen gain a new perspective.
“Slowly, over time, that sort of hopelessness and anger and depression that I felt has been replaced by a lot of hope and a lot of comfort and connection with people who understand and who are going through the same thing, and who also want to make their hope return and create change as well.”
In addition to Hilarity for Charity, the couple has expanded by launching the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program and HFC U — the latter of which Miller Rogen calls her “pet project.”
A nationwide program that encourages college students to throw their own Hilarity for Charity events, HFC U raised over $128,000 in its inaugural semester. And this year, there is a special bonus for the top fundraising team.
“The team that raises the most money this year will win a visit from Seth to their school, and he’ll be doing a live commentary of Superbad,” Miller Rogen revealed, “and perhaps he’ll bring some friends along with him.”
Laughter is the best medicine, as they say
Clearly, the Rogens are working hard to raise much-needed awareness for a disease that afflicts 5 million people in the United States alone, and that is the sixth-leading cause of death in our country.
But this Friday, work-related though it may be, it will also be about blowing off some much-needed steam, laughing their asses off and… getting lucky?
Miller Rogen’s experiences with prom, thus far, haven’t exactly been what she’d hoped for.
Her junior year involved unrequited love (“it was a bit uncomfortable that night when I did not want to cuddle on the couch with him and etcetera, etcetera”) and her senior year she went with a friend after failing to nab an invitation from anyone she really liked.
“I’m hoping this Friday will rewrite that history in my brain, and I’ll have a prom night to remember,” she said. And since Rogen went to his prom with a platonic friend, too, Miller Rogen is banking on a memorable night.