The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is absolutely everywhere right now. There are segments about it on the evening news, people I barely knew in high school are posting videos on their Facebook pages and calling out their friends, and, of course, loads of celebrities are getting in on the act. We’ve reached the point where there has become a backlash, and that backlash has even gotten big enough that there’s a backlash against the backlash. How quickly the whole phenomenon has grown and spread, and the way it’s evolved, is fascinating. So we have to write about this at least once, and who better to get us to do that than Star Trek: The Next Generation lead, and Professor X himself, Patrick Stewart, who has one of the best videos yet. But he’s not the only member of team sci-fi doing this.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is not the only celebrity to try to get out of dousing himself with cold, cold water, though it looks like he’s going to make a sizeable donation. At least we hope that’s why he’s got his checkbook out, otherwise he’s just kind of a dick, and he’s never come across as one before, so why start now?
Charlie Sheen took a similar approach, dumping a bucket full of $10,000 on his head, money that he intended to donate to ALS research, and calling out some of his former costars to do the same. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt tried to avoid it in his own clever way, though someone else lent him a helping hand when it came to the soaking himself with ice water part.
And not to be outdone, Ian McKellen, Magneto to Stewart’s Professor X, also delivered one hell of a video. More in line with the actual rules of the thing, McKellen soaks himself, but also brings along dozens and dozens of dancers just for the hell of it.
If you’re not familiar with the ALS Challenge, it goes a little like this, though there are variations. Someone challenges you. You have 24 hours to respond to the challenge by either dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and filming it, or donating to ALS research (ALS is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, motor neurone disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). You then call out three people, who, in turn, have 24 hours to complete the challenge or give money. Like I said, there are small tweaks and variations, but that’s the general gist of it.