Jono and Ben go crazy for the kids

By Scott Kara

They set off from Bluff on their bikes, headed for Cape Reinga with a mission to raise funds for children's charity Cure Kids. But comedians Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce, with faithful sidekick Guy Williams, mostly raised hell as they made their way up the country.

"I think throughout our fundraising journey for Cure Kids we might have ended up in negative dollars," jokes Pryor.

There was the small matter of "causing more devastation than the earthquake did" during a race around the Rebel Sport store in Christchurch, and causing a kerfuffle playing "In the Buff in Bluff" which "involved us having to kiss and hug salty and surly-looking fishermen and for each failed attempt we had to remove an item of clothing".

But if there's one thing TV3's resident class clowns are good at, it's putting their bodies on the line for a good cause like Cure Kids and Red Nose Day, which is tomorrow.

During their 10-day bike ride - although there have been questions raised about how much they actually rode their bikes - they also played bullrush in Whangarei with the Northland rugby team ("Luckily we didn't get tackled by Rene [Ranger] because his shoulder was injured") and raced their bikes up Baldwin St in Dunedin, the world's steepest street.

The Jono and Ben travelling road show forms the main thread of tomorrow night's TV3 special Comedy For Cure Kids: Good Sports, a kind of mini-telethon being broadcast live from Q Theatre in Auckland. Hosted by Paul Ego and Jeremy Corbett, it features appearances by musicians Stan Walker and Guy Sebastian, top New Zealand comedians and sports people, including members of some team called "the All Blacks". Super City star and fame-seeker Pasha (aka Madeleine Sami) is in Los Angeles with Kiwi music stars Kimbra and Ladyhawke and actresses Anna Hutchison, Lucy Lawless and Zoe Bell.

Last year the show raised $1.3 million for Cure Kids - and spawned No 1 song Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That) performed by the Flight of the Conchords-led Kiwi supergroup.

The success of the 2012 event has meant the big challenge tomorrow night for organiser Brooke Howard-Smith is following it up.

"Last year we had no expectations. We knew we had a really cool show that everyone thought would make a good Friday night on telly. But it ended up being so successful and the expectation is for it to be as good as last year."

He says this year the main push has been to give it a New Zealand-wide focus - and it's already working with nearly 700 schools fundraising for the charity, up from 20 schools two years ago.

"The whole idea [behind Comedy For Cure Kids] was always about building a national endeavour, and finding something that linked communities together for a single cause. So the most exciting thing for me this year is the national engagement, and over the last six months we've been out there around schools, talking to the kids - the people at the heart of this really - and getting them involved."

COMEDY FOR CURE KIDS: GOOD SPORTS

When: Tomorrow night, 7.30pm, TV3
What is Cure Kids?: Raises funds for medical research into finding cures for diseases affecting children including leukaemia and other cancers, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Type 1 diabetes and asthma
How to donate: Txt CURE to 933 to donate $3. Also online at rednoseday.co.nz

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