The Knocked Up star took a break from parodying Kanye West videos to attend a meeting of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday to testify in favor of increased federal funding for Alzheimer's research. The actor runs a charity event, Hilarity for Charity, that raises money for the National Alzheimer's Foundation.
Mixing quips and compassion, the actor pleaded with Congress to do more in the fight against the disease.
"I've personally seen the massive amount of financial strain this disease causes, and if the American people ever decide to reject genitalia-driven comedy, I will no longer be able to afford it," he said. "I can't begin to imagine how people with more limited incomes are dealing with this ... I'm here, simply, to show people that they are not alone."
The famously schlubby star became an advocate for the cause after his future mother-in-law was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at age 55.
"I thought it was something only really, really old people got, and I thought the way the disease primarily showed itself was in the form of forgotten keys, wearing mismatched shoes and being asked the same question over and over," Rogen testified.
As the disease progressed, however, he saw the true face of Alzheimer's.
"After forgetting who she and her loved ones were," Rogen said his mother-in-law "forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself, all by the age of 60."
Alongside experts from the National Institutes of Health, the actor made the case for more federal support in the fight against the neurological disorder: Unlike other common causes of death in America, he said, "There is no way to prevent, cure or even slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease."
"Americans whisper about Alzheimer's because our government whispers about Alzheimer's," Rogen testified. "And although a whisper is better than the silence the Alzheimer's community has been facing for decades, it's still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and funding that it deserves."
After his appearance, the This Is the End star took to Twitter to share his disappointment that more senators didn't attend the subcommittee meeting.
Not sure why only two senators were at the hearing. Very symbolic of how the Government views Alzheimer's. Seems to be a low priority.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 26, 2014
.@SenatorKirk pleasure meeting you. Why did you leave before my speech? Just curious.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 26, 2014
All those empty seats are senators who are not prioritizing Alzheimer's. Unless more noise is made, it won't change. pic.twitter.com/xDW6tlMHmH— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 26, 2014
Watch Rogen's opening statement below: