Canadian-born actor Seth Rogen is known primarily for his offbeat brand of humor and on-camera association with marijuana.
So it was quite a contrast to see a youtube video of the 31-year-old Jewish comedian appropriately dressed in a suit while addressing the U.S. Senate on Feb. 26 as an advocate for research on Alzheimer’s disease.
“Thank you for giving me an opportunity to be called an expert on something, because that’s pretty cool,” Rogen quipped for an introduction.
Though he continued to slip in similar light-hearted jokes throughout his speech, mixing in occasional Yiddish lingo such as ‘oy’ and 'mensch,’ Rogen displayed an impressive wealth of knowledge on the subject — a fact that he attributes to his mother-in-law’s struggle with Alzheimer's.
“I saw the real ugly truth of the disease,” Rogen said. “My mother-in-law, a teacher for 35 years, forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself, all by the age of 60.”
Rogen explained that the lack of public dialogue on the disease prompted him to become an advocate.
"So few people share their personal stories, so few people have something to relate to, I know that if me and my wife saw somebody like me talking about this, we would feel less alone," he said.
During his speech, he also promoted his charity for Alzheimer’s research: Hilarity for Charity.
“The situation is so dire,” Rogen declared, “that it caused me — a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child — to start an entire charity organization.”
The actor’s Senate address incidentally came as the sixth annual Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month drew to a close.
To watch a video of his address, click on the video icon on the top right of the screen.