Jack Black is best-known for rollicking comedies like "School of Rock" and the Kung Fu Panda films. So his fans were startled a year ago to see how he was affected by his encounter in Uganda with a homeless boy named Felix.
"People were very moved and also a little shocked to see me in that kind of context, because usually I'm just clowning around and making people laugh," Black told NBC's Joe Fryer in a segment that aired Wednesday on TODAY.
Black was back on TODAY for a good cause: Red Nose Day, a global movement to fight kids' poverty that has raised over $1 billion globally in the last 25 years. It launched in the U.S. last year, when TODAY's Matt Lauer cycled 226 grueling miles across four states in five days, raising more than $423,000 on his "Tour de Red Nose."
But this year, the whole TODAY gang is getting into the act, along with guests on the show and visitors to the plaza. With the help of SoulCycle, they'll rack up a total of 10,000 miles for Red Nose Day on May 26.
The same day, NBC will air "The Red Nose Day Special" at 9 p.m. ET. Craig Ferguson hosts the live two-hour extravaganza, which will feature such celebrities as Black, Ellen DeGeneres, Paul Rudd, Key and Peele, and many more.
Half the money raised by Red Nose Day helps kids in America, and half helps kids like Felix in some of the poorest countries in the world. Thanks to a program that benefits from Red Nose Day, Felix now lives with a foster family instead of the streets, and he's pursuing his dream of getting an education.
"It feels great to be a small part of, not just Felix's life, but a lot of kids that are feeling the recovery efforts of Red Nose Day," Black told Fryer. As a result, the comedian is going into his second Red Nose Day with a lighter heart: "I asked, can I be funny this year? No more tears, please."
TODAY viewers can get into the spirit of Red Nose Day too. Pick up your own red nose at Walgreens, take a selfie and share it with us using the hashtag #RedNose. We may use it on TODAY!
Most important, you can donate to Red Nose Day. For every dollar you contribute, the Gates Foundation will donate two dollars up to $500,000 — saving and changing the lives of even more kids like Felix here in America and around the world.