Happy Red Nose Day 2013, everyone!
As a long-time Anglophone and Catherine Tate fan, I’ve loved Red Nose Day skits for years. My favorite was performed for Comic Relief 2007 by Catherine Tate about Dr. Who.
It’s pretty hilarious. Obviously.
What is Red Nose Day, you ask?
Why does it involve a comedic sketch about Dr. Who and random British people?
Why do the “noses” have a face and feet?
Red Nose Day is a fundraising effort led by Comic Relief, a division of the BBC. (It takes place every other year, so I feel pretty privileged that I can take part in some small way.)
For the day (and leading up to it), Brits are encouraged to “do something funny for money“ – or bake, host a car wash, wax your chest for spectators, draw funny monsters with students or just write a check.
Before I delve into the fundraising miracle that is Red Nose Day, keep in mind: this event started as a comedy roast on BBC1, only takes place on one day, and is really for Londoners.
Going far beyond its TV roots 15 years ago, RND brings together groceries (like Sainsbury’s), OxFam, the BBC, stores like Ryman and Boots, pubs like the Wetherspoon’s chain, primary schools, white collar businesses, homeless shelters and initiatives for Ugandan refugees in one huge, funny effort.
According to the RND website, proceeds from the day go to those in need both in the UK and Africa. The UK campaign focuses on the young who experience homeless or domestic abuse. In Africa, the relief is more focused on treating and preventing malaria,giving vaccines and ensuring free water for residents.
The fundraising does, indeed, seem miraculous. However, what strikes me even more is how the entire community comes together with little complaint or questioning.
There was a fundraiser in my building: I donated a pound and my desk staff hand delivered my Amazon order to my room.
For one pound (and one pound only) anyone can buy one of the “dinosesaur”-themed red noses. Don’t want a nose? Buy a mug. Or a burger. Or anything from anywhere else sponsoring or participating.
The sheet magnitude of such a simple concept baffles me most because it works. People fundraising voluntarily together – unknowns and celebrities, dockmen and the Queen – it’; by ridiculous.
It’s an amazing effort, uniquely English and produces hilarious TV.
What’s not to like?