LOS ANGELES (AP) – Kevin Hart says hosting a revamped online fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association is “an important level for me.”
“It’s unlike anything you’ve actually seen me do. And there’s a good reason behind that, ”said the comic and actor, who runs the MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon online Saturday.
It is the first telethon in six years for the MDA, once known for its popular hour-long broadcast of Labor Day, hosted for decades by famed comedian and actor Jerry Lewis. Lewis was last hosted in 2010 and passed away in 2017.
Hart says he is honored to fill Lewis’s shoes. “There is no way not to acknowledge the works he has done,” he said. “What he has done for so many and the money he has raised is just astronomical.”
Hart is joined by a star-studded group of friends including Gabrielle Union Wade, Usain Bolt and Jack Black. The 41-year-old comic, who suffered serious back injuries in a car accident last year, says he hopes his charity work will help “plant a flag of the reason for my existence.”
“At this point in my life and my career, it’s been finding other things to stick to,” said Hart. Entertainment and comedy – it’s been one thing, it’s what I’m known for, and I’ve worked hard to be successful at it. If I can match that energy and change gears and do things for others do and bring awareness and a high level of positivity to the world and hopefully bring people together, put a smile on the faces, heal some, can do for some, I will feel like I’ve done my job while I was here. “
The two-hour event will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Hart’s Help From the Hart Charity. It is streamed on LOL network platforms including YouTube and PlutoTV.