Christina Aguilera in an ad for the upcoming Red Nose Day telethon. Photo by Trae Patton/NBC
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- NBC is following a 30-year-old, British television tradition and planning its own Red Nose Day telethon.
The three-hour, U.S. special is to air May 21. It will be taped in front of a live audience and will include stand-up performances, sketch comedy, parodies and music performances from A-list artists. The 2015 U.K. edition took place last Friday.
The money raised during NBC's Red Nose Day telecast will be used to fund programs that address the immediate needs of children and young people living in poverty in the United States, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The money will be split between domestic and international poverty issues. The pre-selected charity partners include Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Children's Health Fund; Feeding America; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund; Lift; National Council of La Raza; National Urban League; Oxfam America; Save the Children and United Way.
"It is a distinct honor to have our Red Nose Day efforts aimed toward assisting these exceptionally worthwhile charities," Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late night programing for NBC Entertainment, said in a statement Wednesday. "Our goal is to create an extraordinary broadcast that is entertaining while inspiring a level of goodwill and giving that will dramatically change the lives of those with the most immediate need."
The U.K. version of Red Nose Day has raised more than $1 billion in donations over the years for organizations addressing poverty.
"For many years I've dreamt of bringing Red Nose Day to the United States, and I'm so excited that we've teamed up with NBC, who will do such a brilliant job on this," the event's creator Richard Curtis said. "Experience has taught me how extraordinarily compassionate and generous Americans can be, and I've lived my life in awe of American comedy talent. So, putting those two things together will, I hope, create an amazing event that will make a massive difference to the lives of millions of children and their families in the U.S. and in the poorest countries around the world."
Curtis will serve as an executive producer for the NBC telecast. Funny Or Die, the award-winning comedy website, will partner with the television network to create original content for the special. Guest stars will be announced at a later date. Christina Aguilera is pictured wearing a red clown's nose in the first promo for the show.