Comic Relief US is working to create a just world free from poverty, and full of opportunity

By powering inspiring campaigns like Red Nose Day and Hand in Hand: a Benefit for Hurricane Relief, Comic Relief US raises money and awareness to address the needs of the most vulnerable communities here in America, and around the world.

This critical work is only possible with your support. Thanks to the unwavering generosity of the public and our partners through the power of entertainment, together we are changing lives.

Donate today to stand with Comic Relief US. Your gift is 100% tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Giving monthly is a powerful way to stand with Comic Relief all year long.

By powering inspiring campaigns like Red Nose Day and Hand in Hand: a Benefit for Hurricane Relief, Comic Relief US raises money and awareness to address the needs of the most vulnerable communities here in America, and around the world.

Even when the unpredictable happens, your ongoing support helps Comic Relief US respond swiftly and sustain its critical work.

Your donations are 100% tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Complete your gift to make a difference.

 

Our History

Where did we come from? How did we get here? Here’s a little history lesson from your good friends at Comic Relief US.

Timeline

1985

  • December 25

    Comic Relief comes to life
    We have lift off!

    During the devastating famine in the Horn of Africa, Richard Curtis, Jane Tewson and friends come up with the idea to use comedy to raise money and change lives of those most in need. On Christmas Day, Comic Relief is launched live on BBC One from the Safawa refugee camp in Sudan.

1988

  • February 5

    First Red Nose Day
    First Red Nose Day

    Lenny Henry and a group of children in Ethiopia celebrate the first ever Red Nose Day, run by Comic Relief UK. Over 150 celebrities and comedians take part as 30 million viewers watch a huge night of TV on the BBC and raise over £15 million.

1995

  • March 17

    Comic Relief in the 1990s
    Comic Relief in the 1990s

    Throughout the 90s, Comic Relief UK celebrates five Red Nose Days, develops a partnership with supermarket chain Sainsbury’s – one that has sold over 50 million Red Noses, and sees hundreds of celebrities helping to raise money to save and change lives. You can learn more at Comic Relief UK.

2007

  • April 8

    Idol Gives Back
    Idol Gives Back

    After making a difference in the UK for over 20 years, Comic Relief teams up with American Idol to create Idol Gives Back in the US. This two hour TV spectacular raises more than $75 million to help children and young people living in poverty in the US and abroad. Learn more.

2014

  • November 10

    Across the pond
    Across the pond

    Comic Relief Co-founder Richard Curtis once said, “For many years, I have dreamt of bringing Red Nose Day to the US.” And in 2015, the dream becomes a reality. After years of planning, Comic Relief officially moves across the pond to create Comic Relief US, a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Comic Relief US is an independent sister organization of Comic Relief UK, but they are joined by a shared mission to drive positive change through the power of entertainment.

2015

  • March 2

    British Airways Flying Start
    British Airways Flying Start

    After a successful partnership with Comic Relief in the UK, British Airways joins forces with Comic Relief US to make an even bigger difference around the world. Funds raised through the British Airways Flying Start program goes to projects supporting kids and young people at risk within the US.

  • May 21

    Red Nose Day launches in the USA
    Red Nose Day launches in the USA

    The first Red Nose Day in America makes a big red splash, raising over $23 million for children in need, both in the US and some of the poorest communities internationally. NBC hosts a three-hour live special on NBC, and Hollywood's biggest stars get on board to support. Game of Thrones gets musical. M&M’S joins the fun as a national partner. The Empire State Building lights up in honor of Red Nose Day. And five million Red Noses sell out from Walgreens, the official retailer, in 10 days.

2016

  • May 26

    Red Nose Day 2016
    Red Nose Day 2016

    Red Nose Day returns to the USA in 2016 better and bigger than ever. NBC hosts their second live television event, Walgreens sells over 10 million Red Noses, an estimated 20 million Americans support the campaign, and Red Nose Day in School launches. In its second year on American soil, Red Nose Day raises over $36 million to help children in need.

2017

  • May 25

    Red Nose Day 2017: Noses On!
    Red Nose Day 2017: Noses On!

    Red Nose Day returns in 2017 with a brand new look and call out: Noses On! Celebrating the third annual event in the US, the campaign brings millions of Americans together to help end child poverty — one nose at a time. NBC airs a special night of primetime TV, including the Red Nose Day Special, the first-ever celebrity-edition of American Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day, and Running Wild with Bear Grylls for Red Nose Day, which features Julia Roberts and Bear Grylls delivering live-saving vaccines to children in rural Kenya. Walgreens, the exclusive retailer of the now-iconic Red Noses, sell another 10 million of them. A partnership between The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Red Nose Day helps to reach millions on Facebook and raise a million more dollars for the campaign. By the end of May, Red Nose Day raises over $38 million.

  • September 12

    Hand in Hand
    Hand in Hand

    After the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Comic Relief US joined SB Projects for Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief, a television event to raise funds and help those affected by the recent hurricanes. The one-hour special is broadcast live across multiple networks and streamed internationally on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Some of the nation’s biggest stars joined to help encourage the nation to help out, including Beyoncé, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Barbra Streisand, Reese Witherspoon, Ellen Degeneres and Robert DeNiro to name a few. Comic Relief US manages the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund, distributing grants to a number of grantee partners working in impacted areas. Learn more.

2018

  • May 24

    Red Nose Day 2018
    Even The Simpsons got involved!

    For Red Nose Day's fourth annual campaign in America, towns across the country came together to support and millions more tuned in for a special night celebrating Red Nose Day on NBC. Together, we raised more than $42 million to help end child poverty.

2019

  • May 23

    5 years. $200 million raised.
    The Every Day Hero Red Noses

    Celebrating five years of bringing the nation together, Red Nose Day introduced The Everyday Hero Red Noses and the #HeroHighFive at Walgreens locations nationwide, launched our first-ever live streaming campaign with celebrity friends like Jack Black and Stephen Colbert and social influencers like Jacksepticeye and CriticalRole, held the world's  biggest Joke-Ha-Thon in Schools across America and on social media platform Tik Tok, said "Good Morning" with Alexa in millions of homes, and much more! All in all, Red Nose Day 2019 raised more than $50 million.

2020

  • May 21

    The First Ever Digital Red Nose
    The Red Nose went digital!

    For the sixth annual Red Nose Day, the Red Nose went digital for the first time ever in response to COVID-19. Thanks to countless Americans showing their support and the continued efforts of our partners Walgreens, NBC, Mars Wrigley, and more Red Nose Day 2020 has raised more than $37 million – and counting – for the world's most vulnerable children affected by the COVID-19 crisis.