‘Telethon for America’ adds Amy Schumer, Jane Fonda, Charlize Theron to gather pledges to vote


A bevy of celebrities and social-media influencers will be taking part in “The Telethon for America,” which will be streaming online next week. But they’re not trying to raise money.

Instead, the participating stars — including Amy Schumer, Jane Fonda, Charlize Theron, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Judd Apatow, Chelsea Handler, Alyssa Milano and Jessica Alba, among many others — are taking pledges to vote in attempt to boost turnout for the upcoming midterm elections.

Announced Wednesday, the nonpartisan, get-out-the-vote initiative will stream live on YouTube, Facebook Live and Comedy Central Online on Nov. 5, the day before the midterms, from 6 to 8 p.m. Pacific.


The telethon, backed by former First Lady Michelle Obama’s nonpartisan campaign When We All Vote, “flips the traditional telethon on its head,” said comedian Ben Gleib, who created and is executive producing the telethon, in a statement.

“Young Americans are more motivated than ever before and the ‘Telethon for America’ is working to build on that momentum to make sure an even higher percentage of young people get out and vote,” he added.

The telethon will take place in YouTube’s Playa Vista creative studio space and feature live comedy and musical performances, pre-taped segments and extensive interaction with the celebrity phone bank, which will call out to fans and potential voters encouraging them to head to the polls on Nov. 6.

Celebrities involved in the telethon range from Emmy Award winners to YouTube stars. Debra Messing, Lil Rel, Ashley Benson, Connie Britton, Adam DeVine, Whitney Cummings, Russell Peters, Jeff Ross, Sophia Bush, Tom Arnold, Aisha Tyler, Minnie Driver, Erik Griffin, Jackie Tohn, Wyatt Cenac, Natasha Leggero, Tone Bell, Iliza Shlesinger, Rory Scovel, Mary McCormack, Jim Jefferies, Lilly Singh, Olga Kay, DJ Samantha Ronson, Brad Williams, Zoe Lister-Jones, Jade Tailor, Milana Vayntrub and Quddus are slated to participate so far.

Performers will also be streaming the entire program live on their platforms, essentially simulcasting the telethon across dozens of influential accounts.


“This is a great opportunity to reach millions of voters the day before one of the most important elections of our lifetime to remind them that their vote is their voice and their vote is their power,” said Kyle Lierman, CEO of When We All Vote.

The telethon will be produced by Gleib’s Neurotic Gangster Productions, BC Live, Mandt Bros. Productions, Barry Katz Entertainment and YouTube.

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10 a.m.: A previous version of this story said that Tiffany Haddish and Allison Janney would be participating. The actresses have since dropped out of the event.