Help for Haiti Now is a great way for entertainers to get involved with the greatest of causes. But just ask Jerry Seinfeld (or, better yet, Bob Dylan): Entertainers getting involved with TV pledge drives, can also be pretty entertaining. As Mr. Feel Good hosts his telethon, look back at the must-give-TV moments when other stars of various wattages helped out causes of, well, various levels of merit. Head to Esquire.com for video clips of all these telethons, and five more must-see moments.
(PLUS: Here's Why George Clooney Is One of the 75 Best People in the World)
Kanye's Dirty Hurricane Mouth
Speking of easy targets, anyone on George Clooney's latest effort has George Bush's legacy to compete with - even Dubya himself. After all, footage of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina - and the utter ineptitude of the Bush's response - left a nation outraged, depressed, and just baffled that it was happening. Somehow Kanye managed to articulate all these feelings in ninety barely coherent seconds, while simultaneously raising money and giving Mike Myers the chance to do a double-take for the ages as he realizes Mr. West has utterly abandoned the teleprompter.
Sometimes telethons don't work out as planned. In Season Six, Jerry was working on a public-television fundraiser and hoped to exploit George's Yankee gig to get a player on the air. Sure enough, George came through, and not with just any Yankee but a star: Danny Tartabull. (Note: The Yanks were less star-studded in the pre-Jeter/Rivera era.) Kramer answering phones from grandmothers and a live cameo from Uncle Leo ensued. The DVD outtakes don't even begin to explain the episode, which TBS is scheduled to re-run on February 8, but click here to watch the video.
It started in 1996 on a single New York City station and just kept getting bigger. Lewis's twenty hour-plus annual efforts have done undeniable good, earning the Muscular Dystrophy Association well over a billion dollars. That said, it's hard to watch Jerry belt out "You'll Never Walk Alone" and not think, "Yes, he's helping... but at what price?"