Stargazing

Watch Al Roker’s behind-the-scenes look at Big Slick on NBC’s ‘Today’

Kansas City-area natives and actors David Koechner (from left), Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis laughed during a press conference on June 17 at Children’s Mercy Hospital in advance of the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend fundraiser.
Kansas City-area natives and actors David Koechner (from left), Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis laughed during a press conference on June 17 at Children’s Mercy Hospital in advance of the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend fundraiser. deulitt@kcstar.com

Big Slick may be a household name in Kansas City, but the celebrity charity weekend is now familiar to households around the nation, thanks to a segment on NBC’s “Today.”

Wednesday morning’s show aired video and interviews from the annual event, which Al Roker attended on June 17. Roker got a behind-the-scenes look at Big Slick by playing games with patients at Children’s Mercy and even getting a makeover from a young girl named Elli.

Hometown hosts Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis (all from Overland Park), Eric Stonestreet of KCK and David Koechner of Tipton, Mo., sat down with Roker to talk about the charity weekend, the idea of which originally came from Riggle.

“I remember thinking, ‘These guys are from my hometown,’ so it was very exciting and very inspirational,” Riggle told Roker. “I was the genesis.”

During the visits to Children’s Mercy, Roker and the hosts met a 3-year-old patient named Nora, who enthusiastically read her favorite book to her star-studded audience.

“She blew me away,” Riggle said. “It was all I could do not to cry.”

This was the seventh annual weekend benefiting the Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy, whose patients were able to bowl with the celebrities as well as meet them at the hospital.

“It’s a pretty exceptional place,” Rudd said. “They don’t turn anyone away.”

Twenty-five celebrities joined the hosts this year to raise $1.3 million. In addition to visiting patients at Children’s Mercy, they played softball at The K, bowled in Overland Park and held an auction and victory party, where guests bidded on trips to the “Modern Family” set and movie premieres.

Last week, Sudeikis and Will Forte appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to talk about this year’s Big Slick. They also sang a reprise of REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” which they had performed at the auction party on June 18.

Watch the full segment with Roker here:

Kate Miller: 816-234-4077, @_Kate_Miller_

Crows gathered outside Pinstripes in Overland Park on Saturday morning for a chance to see their favorite celebrity guests in action. The guests included James Marsden, Olivia Wilde and Judy Greer who waved to fans before heading inside for a char

Big Slick hosts Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner kick off the 2016 Big Slick weekend with a press conference and meet-and-greet with Children's Mercy patients.

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