‘Vax Live’ Stadium Show and TV Taping Adds David Letterman, Gayle King, Ben Affleck, Sean Penn and More

Chris Willman
·3-min read

A full complement of actors and TV hosts has been added to the lineup for May 2’s “Vax Live” taping at So-Fi Stadium, for a Global Citizen special that will air on major networks and online platforms the following Saturday, May 8.

David Letterman, Gayle King, Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, Jimmy Kimmel, Sean Penn, Nomzamo Mbatha and Olivia Munn are the non-musical additions expected to be appearing in person at the Inglewood stadium for the taping this Sunday.

More from Variety

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have also just been announced as Vax Live’s campaign co-chairs and “will be delivering an important global message for vaccine equity during the event.”

Also newly added for the vaccination awareness special — appearing remotely with pre-recorded messages — are world leaders and cultural figures including President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, President Macron of France, Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Plenković of Croatia.

Selena Gomez was previously revealed as the show’s host. Also already announced were the show’s musical performers: fresh-off-the-Oscars H.E.R., Jennifer Lopez, J Balvin, Eddie Vedder and Foo Fighters.

The size of the audience for Sunday’s So-Fi Stadium show has not been announced, but Global Citizen has said it will consist of fully vaccinated frontline workers.

As is typical with Global Citizen’s events, the show is not a telethon per se but designed more as a consciousness-raiser than a fundraiser as far as the viewing audience is concerned. But also typically for Global Citizen, it is designed to raise money — primarily in advance of the actual airing — through reaching out to corporations to step up in the interest of philanthropy. In this case, the goal is to collect funds to distribute the COVID vaccine to healthcare workers and other frontline personnel who are in the most danger in countries around the world where the jabs now taken for granted in the U.S. are still a precious scarcity.

Global Citizen announced that, with five days still to go until the special is recorded, $11.5 million has already been raised to purchase roughly 2.3 million vaccine doses for health workers. Of that, Cisco donated $5 million, which was matched “by a Swiss Foundation who prefers to remain anonymous.” Additionally, the Analog Devices Foundation contributed $1 million, and the Coca-Cola Foundation has earmarked $500,000 to support the Gavi COVAX AMC.

That’s not nearly the sum of what Global Citizen is asking for. The org says it is asking governments to step up with $19 billion, which is what it says is needed to provide 1.8 billion vaccine doses and treatments to the poorest countries in the world by the end of this year.

“Vax Live” will air at 8 p.m ET May 8 on ABC, CBS, YouTube and iHeartMedia’s radio stations app, with a delayed airing that night on Fox outlets as well.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.