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Update: Watch ‘Today’ show showing a little love to KC’s Big Slick

Highlights from the Big Slick auction stage: Singing, dancing, joking, celebrating

Big Slick Celebrity Weekend hosts Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet, Rob Riggle and David Koechner, along with their famous guests including comedian Seth Herzog and singer David Cook, entertained the Midland crowd.
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Big Slick Celebrity Weekend hosts Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet, Rob Riggle and David Koechner, along with their famous guests including comedian Seth Herzog and singer David Cook, entertained the Midland crowd.

Love for Big Slick Celebrity Weekend just won’t go away.

A week removed from the record-setting fundraiser hosted by local celebs Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner, the “Today” show featured Big Slick during its “Around the Country” segment Friday morning.

“I’m a Yankees fan, but I’m all in on this team,” “Today” personality Jill Martin said at the beginning of the segment, wearing a Royals jersey emblazoned with “Team Today” on the back. Martin herself was a Big Slick guest and played in the celebrity softball game at Kauffman Stadium last Friday.

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Big Slick hosts (clockwise from top left) Eric Stonestreet, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Rob Riggle sat down with Jill Martin of the “Today” show at Kauffman Stadium. NBC

Before the game, Martin interviewed the Big Slick hosts (minus Sudeikis, who was traveling in from New York after supporting fiancee Olivia Wilde’s new Broadway play, “1984”). She asked the guys to share their favorite movies starring their fellow hosts: Riggle loves Koechner and Rudd in “Anchorman.” Rudd says “Modern Family” is on in his house “all the time, every day,” and Stonestreet, who plays Cam on the show, reminded her that Riggle has an occasional guest role on the show as jerk real estate agent Gil Thorpe.

They also spoke about the importance of the weekend, a fundraiser for the Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy:

“The thing that’s incredible about this hospital, it doesn’t just serve Kansas City,” Rudd said. “It’s the entire Midwest. They really rely on contributions because they never turn anybody away.”

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Children’s Mercy patient Ryleigh Gifford of Wichita was wowed by a card trick performed by magician Blake Vogt, who made his first appearance at this year’s Big Slick Celebrity Weekend. David Eulitt deulitt@kcstar.com

Rudd and Koechner also took time to shout out a particular Children’s Mercy patient, Ryleigh Gifford, whom they’d met that morning at the hospital after a news conference. Ryleigh, Rudd said, is “so lovely and sweet and she just turned 14 this week.”

Koechner said he was chatting with her when Rudd, best known to kids as Ant-Man, headed over. “She lights up in such a beautiful and honest way. It was so pure, wasn’t it?”

“She was incredible,” Rudd added. Watch their encounter and the full “Today” show segment in the videos below:

This is the second year in a row that “Today” has covered Big Slick. Last year, show personality Al Roker interviewed the hosts and some Children’s Mercy patients.

And this is the second time this week that Big Slick received national attention. Stonestreet spoke about the fundraising weekend Tuesday night as a guest on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

Big Slick raised a record $1.75 million this year for the Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy, bringing the total to more than $6 million since the fundraiser began in 2010. It was the end result of a jam-packed few days:

On Thursday, fellow hosts Koechner, Rudd and Riggle stopped in at the hospital to entertain some of the staff with stand-up comedy and a lively Q&A session, where they revealed some of their favorite spots around Kansas City.

Friday was the hospital visit and softball game. Saturday morning, before heading in to their bowling tournament at Pinstripes in Overland Park, they greeted fans along a red carpet. One of Rudd’s biggest fans there was 12-year-old Reese Davis, a former Children’s Mercy patient whose wheelchair was decked out as an Ant-Man costume.

That night was the star-studded auction at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.

“Big Slick raises big money for the Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy,” Roker said during Friday’s segment.

You could sure say that again.

Donations are still being accepted at bigslickkc.org.

Aaron Randle: 816-234-4060, @aaronronel

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