Hurricane Harvey devastated southeastern Texas after it made landfall late last month, leading to catastrophic flooding in the Houston metropolitan area, destroying thousands of homes and causing a total of 70 deaths.
During the show, Stephen Colbert said Apple Inc had donated $5 million, which the comedian quipped, "is also the price of the new iPhone".
Jokes aside, though, Stewart and others took a moment offset at ABC Studios in Times Square to reflect on their participation in the telethon, which was broadcast on more than a dozen networks from simultaneous shows in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. The NBA Players Association contributed $500,000 and pledged to match any professional basketball player's personal donation up to $20,000.
A star-studded list of actors, musicians, athletes, TV personalities and other celebrities will make appearances on the "Hand in Hand" telethon for hurricane relief. "So tonight we come together in a collective effort to raise our voices, to help our communities, to life our spirits, and heal".
"I think we all kind of look for a place where we can come together when there's a tragedy", Julianne Moore said.
Though it was first announced amid the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, the telethon has been expanded to raise money for victims of Irma, which struck parts of Florida. "That's a gift." "When a tragedy like this happens, and it's a natural disaster, you don't want to feel alone", said actress Marcia Gay Harden.
Usher, Demi Lovato, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Chris Stapleton and Darius Rucker also performed at the event. The organization Comic Relief USA will distribute all the telethon donations to charities like the Rebuild Texas Fund, the United Way, and Habitat for Humanity.