NBC’s yearly Red Nose Day specials, a campaign to end child poverty, have gotten better each and this year just might be the best. Partnering once again with Comic Relief US, the night begins with a completely new special, Celebrity Escape Room followed by the traditional two-hour Red Nose Day special.
During the three-hour block, the network will be raising money for millions of children living in poverty across America and around the world. But don’t worry, even though they will be asking for money, it is done in a very low-key way.
The night begins with Ben Stiller and Jack Black’s creation of Celebrity Escape Room. Not only do the two serve as executive producers of the show, they are also participating in it as well along with Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Adam Scott. Black serves as the host and “Game Master” for the self-described “hilariously high-energy, no-holds-barred escape.” Just like the escape rooms that you have probably have tried out yourself, these stars have to work together unlocking a series of puzzle rooms under an hour. When they are stumped, they can ask the Game Master for extra clues, but they can only ask him for help three times. The more rooms the players complete, the more money they earn for Red Nose Day. There is no mention if Escape Room will become a new show or if this is just a one-time special, but it sure looks like a lot of fun.
Then, the Red Nose Day special will follow with music, comedy and poignant films sharing stories of children and young people who have been affected by poverty and how Red Nose Day funds have helped change their story for good. The special features Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, One Republic, Milo Ventimiglia, Bryan Cranston, Ray Romano, James Taylor, Megan Trainor, Jim Gaffigan, Ellie Goulding, Tony Hale, Noah Jupe, Mario Lopez, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Lilly Singh, Sam Smith, Adrienne Warren and others.
Funds raised through Red Nose Day are split evenly between domestic and international programs that ensure children in need are safe, healthy and educated. The goal is to address the short-term needs of children living in poverty and also foster long-term change to break the poverty cycle and provide hope for a better future. Children and young people who benefit from Red Nose Day-supported programs span all 50 states, Puerto Rico and some of the poorest communities across Latin America, Africa and Asia. Since launching in the U.S. in 2015, Red Nose Day has raised $200 million and positively impacted the lives of nearly 25 million children.
Celebrity Escape Room airs on Thursday, May 21 at 8 p.m. followed by the Red Nose Day special at 9 p.m.; both on NBC.
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.