Stars from television, film and music have joined Malaria No More to use their talent (and their funny bone) to shine a bright light on the malaria crisis and get people talking about malaria. Of course, there’s nothing funny about malaria—but comedy can be a powerful tool for bringing the issue to a new audience. Although malaria was eradicated in the United States nearly 60 years ago, many Americans do not know that this preventable and treatable disease continues to claim the lives of more that 850,000 people every year—most of them children under the age of 5 in Africa.
Comedy Fights Malaria takes a brand-new approach to an age-old health issue. Rather than the traditional method of earnest appeals for aid, Comedy Fights Malaria focuses first and foremost on providing entertaining content—in the form of web videos, public service announcements and character sketches—to educate and engage a new audience in the fight against malaria.
“Comedy Fights Malaria is a fresh, different, and truly funny way to get people thinking about a serious opportunity to save lives,” said B.J. Novak, co-executive producer of The Office and a creative force behind the campaign.
The content for Comedy Fights Malaria—including character sketches filmed on-location in Senegal—was written predominantly by the stars themselves, donating their time, talent and improvisational skills to do what they do best. The result is always amusing, often absurd and sometimes downright shocking messages from a broad range of stars.
“The great thing about using comedy is that we’re able to entertain and surprise people while showing them how they can contribute to the fight against malaria,” said Elizabeth Banks. “Since malaria is not a problem in the U.S., it’s easy to forget about it. But by keeping malaria in the spotlight, we can make malaria no more.”
Viewers can engage in the fight against malaria by making it part of their online conversation. Simply “like” Malaria No More on Facebook or follow @MalariaNoMore on Twitter to get updates and new content and news about Comedy Fights Malaria. The clips will be available starting today, October 18th.
“The race to end malaria deaths needs all the help it can get—including the power of laughter,” said Scott Case, CEO of Malaria No More. “Malaria No More constantly looks for new ways to get people to sit up and pay attention to a disease that needlessly kills more than 2,000 children every day. Comedy Fights Malaria brings that message home in an entirely new way that will amuse and shock people into taking action against the disease.”
Malaria kills a child in Africa every 45 seconds, but the world is making incredible progress toward ending malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Thanks to new tools like mosquito nets, safe indoor spraying and effective medicines, the world is better prepared to defeat the disease than ever before. Malaria No More works to keep malaria in the public eye to show how every person can help win the race to save lives from malaria.
The artists involved in Comedy Fights Malaria include: Aziz Ansari, Will Arnett, Lake Bell, Orlando Bloom, Elizabeth Banks, Ted Danson, Lisa Edelstein, Sarah Gilbert, Elliott Gould, Josh Groban, Rachel Harris, Ed Helms, Rob Huebel, Ellie Kemper, Nick Kroll, Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, John Mayer, B.J. Novak, Jeremy Piven, Jeff Probst, Rob Riggle, Paul Scheer, Jason Schwartzman and Scott Wolf.
Original scoring for the PSAs was provided by Theodore Shapiro, in memory of Leonard Shapiro, and additional music made available by John Mayer.
Malarity ensues at Facebook.com/MalariaNoMore.