Seth Rogen tells PEOPLE Judd Apatow once threw a mock-charity party ten years ago in his honor: "The whole theme was that I was probably never going to do anything"
Alzheimer’s and dementia are no laughing matters, but if anyone knows how to find a smile in a serious situation, it’s Seth Rogen, which is exactly what he did at the Hilarity for Charity event this Wednesday in New York City.
The couple founded Hilarity for Charity in 2012, shortly after Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Throughout the year they throw events during which comedians and musicians entertain to help raise money to fight the disease.
Rogen, 34, a self-proclaimed lazy man-child, readily admits he’s the last person anyone would expect to run a charity organization.
When asked if he thought he’d start a charity when he was a young comedian trying to make it in Hollywood, Rogen laughed and bluntly said “no.”
“Like 10 years ago, Judd [Apatow] basically threw a charity event where the whole theme of it was that I would never do charity, basically,” Rogen told PEOPLE at the event. “And it was honoring me for charity work that I may one day do. I got the best intentions award. And it was a huge event and the whole theme of it was that I was probably never going to do anything. So, even I’m shocked that this has happened,” the writer and actor admitted.
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But the Neighbors 2 star proved the world wrong in 2014 when he testified in front of Congress to plead for Alzheimer’s funding.
“When Seth did his testimony to Congress, that was pretty amazing,” Miller told PEOPLE. “It was just an incredibly moving speech that he made and the response that it got was really overwhelming, so that was pretty great.
“We get thank you notes from people who are getting care whose lives are drastically changed and every time I get one of those notes … it’s like, ‘Wow, you’ve helped people,’ ” she added.
The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program, which they started a few months ago, provides in-home respite care for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
At the N.Y.C. event, the couple raised over $200,000 for this program with the help of comedians including Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che. Ghostbusters and SNL star Leslie Jones joined Rogen onstage to help and went out into the audience encouraging guests, including Laverne Cox, to donate. Bill Murray generously agreed to donate $10,000 to the cause.
Meanwhile, Rogen is most blown away by the way his wife has handled her mother’s diagnosis.
“Seeing Lauren talk about it is very impressive to me,” he told PEOPLE. “How much she talks about it, and how willing she is to talk about it. How open she is about talking about it and seeing how that has given her a lot of control over her situation – that’s been very good, because it wasn’t like that at first.”