Reynolds gets some voice help from Rogen for latest SickKids fundraiser

For the fourth year in a row, Ryan Reynolds and his ugly sweater are raising money for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, although this time they have some help from another famous Canadian.

In a new call for donations video released Thursday, Reynolds’ sweater comes to life thanks to the instantly recognizable voice of actor, writer and producer Seth Rogen.

After Reynolds opens the spot, the sweater interrupts to say he’s grown tired of Reynold’s “self-deprecating deadpan jokes.”

“What are we gonna do next? We gonna cut to NHL superstar Auston Matthews for a special message?” he asks. Matthews—who previously appeared in a 2020 fundraising ad— appears for an instant before he’s cut off by the sweater, which instead wants viewers to “revel in the wonder” of a talking sweater as they make a donation to SickKids.

Reynolds has a long history with the hospital, and the sweater campaign was inspired by a 2018 prank by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, who invited Reynolds to an ugly Christmas sweater party, although nobody else wore ugly sweaters.

In 2020, SickKids recreated the sweater with more than 5,000 LED lights and hung it outside the hospital, while last year a number of other well-known Canadians posted photos of themselves wearing the sweater on social media.

SickKids Foundation said it is working with influencers again this year, but the video is also being promoted through Reynolds’ and Rogen’s own channels, supported by paid Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat ads. Reynolds’ agency Maximum Effort produced the spot.

Last year’s campaign raised more than $640,000, taking the three-year ugly sweater campaign to $1.7 million raised for the hospital.

David Brown