WASHINGTON — Ever the comedian, actor Seth Rogen peppered in jokes while delivering a prepared statement at a United States Senate hearing on Alzheimer’s disease Wednesday.
“Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and for the opportunity for me to be called an expert in something, because that’s cool,” he began. “I don’t know if you know who I am at all. You told me you never saw ‘Knocked Up,’ chairman, so, it’s a little insulting.”
The chairmen then interjected with a joke of his own.
“I want the record to note this is the first time — I will wager — this is the first time in any Congressional hearing in history that the words “knocked up” have ever been spoken,” he said.
Rogen responded by saying, “you’re not going to like the rest of this then.”
He then acknowledged — in a joking manner — that he was well-aware that the hearing had nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana, at which point he received many chuckles — both from the chairman and others present.
But the mood wasn’t completely lighthearted. After his speech was over, Rogen tweeted a photo showing a mostly-absent Senate panel and criticized the members of the committee who didn’t show up.
And the speech itself was also dripping with heartfelt sentiment about Rogen’s mother-in-law, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. He described the early onset of the disease when she was just 54, and then he described how he came to know the “real ugly truth” about it.
“After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher for 35 years then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself — all by the age of 60,” he said.
Rogen also touched on the stigma and shame that is associated with the disease, hoping that he, his wife and a group of friends could somehow change that.
“We started Hilarity for Charity,” he said. “Hilarity for Charity is a fund we have a part of the Alzheimer’s Association to raise money to help families struggling with Alzheimer’s and support cutting-edge research.”
But again, ever the comedian, Rogen chose to end with a joke.
“The situation is so dire, it caused me, a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicating man child to start an entire charity organization,” he said.