Jason Sudeikis Leads 'It's a Wonderful Life' Table Read Ahead of Christmas

The Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life is getting a bit of the Ted Lasso treatment care of actor Jason Sudeikis with the second annual virtual table read benefiting The Ed Asner Family Center (TEAFC). In a press release announced Tuesday morning, Sudeikis will lead an all-star cast including the likes of Jean Smart, Rosario Dawson, Mark Hamill, Martin Sheen, Mandy Patinkin, George Wendt, Lou Diamond Phillips, Phil Lamarr, Ben Mankiewicz, Ron Funches, Ed Harris and more.

Sudeikis, best known for playing the kind-hearted Ted Lasso on the Apple TV+ series of the same name, will be taking on George Bailey, a role made famous by James Stewart. He will be joined by Dawson presumably as Mary Hatch, formerly portrayed by Donna Reed; while Wendt — Sudeikis's real-life uncle — will play Uncle Billy, portrayed in the classic by Thomas Mitchell.

official2021iawlcast.jpg

The second annual virtual evening event, hosted by Tom Bergeron, will take place on Dec. 5 and pay tribute to the late Ed Asner and benefit his foundation, TEAFC, which promotes mental health and enrichment programs for children with special needs and their families. The virtual table read will also be produced in partnership with Turner Classic Movies and sponsored by MeTV.

"My father's passing has left an indescribable hole in my heart.  For our annual fundraising gala this year, I want to honor my father's legacy as both a legendary actor and a staunch advocate for people of all abilities. I would like to thank Turner Classic Movies for partnering to support our effort to raise much-needed funds for special needs families and I am eternally grateful for the support shown by our amazing cast. I would also like to thank MeTV for their generous sponsorship of this event," Matt Asner, son of Ed Asner & Co-Founder of The Ed Asner Family Center, said in the press release.

For a minimum donation of $25 this holiday season, your entire household can enjoy the exclusive experience. Audiences and fans of the event can also purchase commemorative holiday gift collections, including custom artwork and a limited edition T-shirt, all created specifically for this event. For superfans excited about the event, the collection will also include The Official Bailey Family Cookbook with recipes inspired by It's A Wonderful Life and a 75th Anniversary Blu-ray of the film. There will also be a silent auction with items perfect for the holiday season and a musical intermission.

Further to the Asner tribute, the virtual table read event will also honor Mike Darnell, President of Unscripted and Alternative Television at Warner Brothers, along with his family. The cast will include Darnell's daughter and Social Director of TEAFC, Chelsea Darnell, autistic actors Spencer Harte and Domonique Brown (Atypical) along with neurodivergent TEAFC members Ryan Booth and Lucas Salusky. Victor Nelli (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) will return to direct.

"As the parents of autistic children, Matt and I saw a desperate need to create a safe and welcoming community for Special Needs families," Navah Asner, Co-Founder, The Ed Asner Family Center, explains. "The Center provides arts and vocational enrichment and critical mental health services to these individuals and their families, creating a unique space to learn, interact and thrive.  My dear friends, the Darnell Family, are an extremely important part of our overall community and the Center. We are thrilled to be honoring them this year for their commitment and advocacy."

0comments

For tickets, sponsorship and event information visit the website for more details and how to watch.