Seth Rogen is best known for playing pot-smoking slackers, but on Wednesday the actor took a more serious turn by testifying before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Alzheimer's disease.
Rogen appeared before the panel to describe the impact the degenerative illness has had on his family: His mother-in-law was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's almost a decade ago at age 55.
"After forgetting who she and her loved ones were," Rogen said, she "forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself, all by the age of 60."
That experience prompted Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller, to do something to change the situation. Rogen told the committee that "the situation is so dire that it caused me, a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child to start an entire charity organization."
The couple created "Hilarity for Charity," which aims "to get young people's heads out of their asses and aware of Alzheimer's disease by way of laughter, music, cool surprises, and of course, good food."
Rogen also told the committee that people need more help dealing with the disease and caring for loved ones suffering from it.
"I came here today for a few reasons. One, I'm a huge 'House of Cards' fan. Just marathoned the whole thing, had to be here," he quipped.
"Two, is to say, people need more help," he said. "I've personally seen the massive amount of financial strain this disease causes, and if the American people ever decide to reject genitalia-driven comedy, I will no longer be able to afford it. ... I can't begin to imagine how people with more limited incomes are dealing with this. ... The third reason I'm here, simply, is to show people that they are not alone, so few people share their personal stories."
After his testimony, the actor took to Twitter to share it – and also to call out senators for skipping the hearing.
"All those empty seats are senators who are not prioritizing Alzheimer's," he tweeted. "Unless more noise is made, it won't change."
All those empty seats are senators who are not prioritizing Alzheimer's. Unless more noise is made, it won't change. pic.twitter.com/xDW6tlMHmH
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