Red Nose Day Highlights: Game of Thrones Musicals and a Gwyneth High-Wire Mishap
TV imports can be a tricky business. Sometimes, you get a gem like The Office or Jane the Virgin. Other times, you get Kath & Kim. Fundraising-palooza Red Nose Day has worked in Britain for 30 years now, though, so America decided to get in on that sweet, sweet charity action with our own version. NBC aired its three-hour mashup of live bits and pre-recorded segments last night, all chock full of celebrity appearances: the Game of Thrones crew, Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Nick Offerman, Olivia Wilde. (Similar to Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars, the autism awareness fundraiser that airs every spring, but a little less funny.)
The final total hasn't been released, but at the two-hour mark, $10.7 million had been collected for various charities whose goal is to help impoverished children (50 percent of the funds for domestic organizations, 50 for overseas), so really, any disparagement means you hate poor kids, and that will be your epitaph unless you donate here.
Since NBC had Seth Meyers, David Duchovny, and Jane Krakowski each host an hour, let's break down the highlights by block.
Hour 1: Seth Meyers
Kellan Lutz sat on a platform in a tub, allegedly naked. The deal was that he'd be raised up three inches for every $5,000 donated. After some trickeration with a harness during commercial break, we were deprived of any real goods. NBC, you are a tease.
Gwyneth Paltrow also suffered from some wire harness shenanigans.
Hour 2: David Duchovny
Nick Offerman fake-bombed on The Voice: Celebrity Appeal Edition. Jeff Goldblum kindly mentored him into appeal-enough shape to battle Will Ferrell ("The Original Pharfell").
Nick Cannon had some fly kicks on at the end of his 24-hour danceathon, Jimmy Fallon ziplined across Rockefeller Plaza, and of course it's not a charity gig without Bono, and so U2 came out to sing "Song for Someone." And Billy Eichner inverted his usual "For a Dollar" segment with Martin Short. It's truly disheartening to see how many people didn't have time to give a dollar to Martin Short and a large man screaming at them.
Stephen Merchant wrote a short play for him and Rose Byrne and Gwyneth Paltrow. Merchant wore a cowboy hat. Luckily, Byrne is so charming she can carry an entire bit on her own.
Hour 3: Jane Krakowski
"I am so excited to be here hosting the 16th hour of the Today Show," Krakowski—the best host of the evening—began. "…Sorry, I'm so excited to be here hosting the fifth hour of The Voice. …Sorry. I'm so excited to be here hosting the third hour of Red Nose Day."
The (new) tradition of remaking movies with male leads into female-led films continued: Pitch Perfect's Anna Kendrick continued her charm offensive as Indianna Jones (get it?).
Leslie Mann stepped in for husband Steve Carell in The 39-Year-Old Virgin; January Jones and Anna Camp were two of Three Women and a Baby. Amy Schumer already did the most perfect 12 Angry Men parody that will ever exist, but 12 Hangry Women with Retta, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Laura Linney was fun.
The cast of Orange Is the New Black remade Reservoir Dogs into Reservoir Bitches, natch.
And of course, for parity's sake, there was Paul Rudd as Danny Hall.
It was a good night for SNLers: Jay Pharaoh read a missive from Kevin Hart (on his knees, for realism's sake), and if there were any doubts that Pharaoh is one of the best impressionists of our day, they should be laid to rest after this. And Weekend Update Anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che got to introduce the first part of Game of Thrones: The Musical.
Yes, Game of Thrones: The Musical, a collaboration between Coldplay and various Thrones stars (Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, etc.). Not only does Harington swing a mean mic, and Iwan Rheon do a great country scream, it's narrated by Liam Neeson. (Spoilers for those who haven't seen through at least Season 3.) Here, the extended version Coldplay shared on YouTube: