Comic Relief US Goes “Next-Gen Telethon” For Red Nose Day

Comic Relief US’s 2021 Red Nose Day campaign, which provides support for younger people facing poverty, has raised more than $32 million. This year’s festivities, “Red Nose Day LIVE,” were held across multiple platforms on May 27.

Since Red Nose Day’s launch in the United Kingdom in 1988, it has raised more than $1 billion. Red Nose Day USA, which began in 2015, has generated more than $240 million.

The fundraiser was billed as a “Next-Gen Telethon,” with programming jumping across a variety of creator channels and streams, including TikTok, Twitch and YouTube. It culminated with a special broadcast of NBC’s game show The Wall. NBC also hosted programming across a variety of channels throughout the event. 

Featured entertainment included a four-song performance by Coldplay, along with appearances by Jason Alexander, Jack Black, Jennifer Garner, Tony Hale, Justin Long and Joel McHale. Other guests included a wide spectrum of game creators and players who participated in a variety of game show-themed activities, Viewers influenced game actions through their donations, as well as earning chances to receive rewards for their largesse.

“The team at Comic Relief US are amazed and deeply grateful by the level of support and generosity from our partners and the public,” Comic Relief US CEO Alison Moore said via a statement. “Children have been especially vulnerable to the widespread effects of the pandemic and many lived through an indescribable year. We can’t slow down now. We must continue our important work throughout the year, because until there is an end to child poverty, every day is Red Nose Day.”

Longtime Red Nose Day supporter Walgreens is offering a digital version of the event’s iconic soft, squeezable red nose in return for an online donation through June 11. Between that and a variety of in-store activities, the drugstore chain has so far contributed $20 million to the 2021 fundraising effort.

“This year Red Nose Day is an urgent call to action to support children who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and to help drive meaningful change in our communities,” Walgreens Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Pat McLean said via a statement. “Walgreens is honored to be a longstanding partner of Comic Relief US, as we continue to innovate together to extend Red Nose Day from inside our 9,000 stores to a dynamic online movement that allows customers to support such an important cause however they prefer.”