Red Nose Day is upon us and this year there’s a special treat, Celebrity Escape Room. It’s pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, but that won’t really prepare you for this surprisingly fun theory of donating money to a wonderful charity.
Ben Stiller and Jack Black serve as executive producers, and Black is also the game master, controlling (sort of) the action as our group of celebrities try to make their way through a series of themed rooms. For each puzzle they get past, money goes into the pot.
Bringing an escape room to this level, and making it something interesting to watch other people do, is no small feat actually, and this is a serious escape room our celebrities will be trying to maneuver through. Not only is this a complex and, let’s say “budgeted,” set of rooms to get through, they are themed and specific to our cast. For example, the first room they go to has an ’80s theme, and small bits in the room relate to the celebrities, such as a few odds and ends from Friends.
As you might expect, this is not simply a matter of setting a clock and watching celebrities stare blankly at rooms that give little indication what’s intended. Soundbites are edited in, as the celebrities talk about what was happening during the adventure – Stiller gives us his thoughts on Scott riding an exercise bike while other people are trying to solve clues – and Jack Black is never absent for long. The celebrities have the opportunity to get clues if they need them, and Black is frequently taunting/encouraging them.
Let’s face it, this is a goofy premise, but it’s one that gives some funny, and good-hearted, people the chance to mess with each other for your amusement, and while serving a bigger purpose. Black may be a little too invested in his persona, but it’s a fun ride, and celebrity or not, watching people in an escape room is more fun than you might imagine. There are laughs and surprises well worth tuning in for, and it’s hard not to champion celebrities willing to potentially look rather foolish. It may seem like the ultimate in “fun and games,” but things get pretty serious once they start really thinking about the clock.
The special airs as part of three hours of Red Nose Day programming, and the funds raised in the Red Nose Day campaign will be directed to address the impact of COVID-19 on children living in poverty, helping ensure they have access to food, housing, medical care, and more.