The first Celebrity Dodgeball event came to be in 2002 and was sponsored by Barry Poznick’s Zoo Prods., and hosted by the veteran actress, Courtney Cox Arquette and her then husband, David Arquette. The event saw an encouraging participation from across the television and film industry. All the proceeds from the event were meant to be donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. It was heartening to see so many celebrities supporting a noble cause.
The event was held at the Toluca Lake Sports Centre, behind the Warner Bros. Studios. The Celebrity Dodgeball was just swarmed with celebrities with many of them recollecting their sweet and sour memories attached to the game. Brendan Fraser, the Canadian-American actor, known for his performance in the Mummy Trilogy quipped, “In Toronto, we had an awful name for it: ‘Murderball”.
Courtney Thorne-Smith, the star of According to Jim, who preferred to stay out of the action, made an amusing remark stating, “It just brings back horrible memories, I’m rooting for nobody to die.” There were also other stars like her, including Just Shoot Me headliner, David Spade and the famous Jeff Timmons from 98 degrees, all of who came only to support the cause as well as their friends and kept away from the game.
The actual roster of players for the Celebrity Dodgeball was quite impressive. It included Snoopy Doggy Dogg, creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Seth Greene of Austin Powers fame, and Michael Rapaport from Bustin Public, among others. You can watch Celebrity Dodgeball online with a subscription to a reliable Internet service provider.
Matthew Perry, Courtney’s co-star from the hugely popular series, Friends, was one of the players too. Then there was the host of the iconic MTV series, Survivor – Jeff Probst. He kicked in some competitive spirit into the game when he said that he wanted to beat the Friends team because they had beaten him at the ratings. The game became real fast and like in any sport, it came with a fair share of injuries. Kevin Richardson, who had a reconstructive knee surgery, could not stand against the cut throat competition. Matthew Perry could not take his team to a win either and was out of the field early on in the game.
At the end, Jeff Probst, along with other team members from the series like Ethan Zohn, powered through the game and won the prestigious first place. Their exceptional performance was appreciated by everyone. David Arquette had even said, “Even in a rematch, the ‘Survivors’ were still the survivors. It’s like reality TV meets reality. It’s frightening.”
Some players were happy with their performance, while some others were downright disappointed. As they finished second, the team from the movie ‘Sorority Boys’ was especially ecstatic. They jibed saying, “We may dress like women in the movies, but we’re all men on the dodge-ball court”. Matthew Perry was not so happy with his performance and commented, “I was too aggressive. It’s all for charity, but it’s really about winning and losing, and I lost. “
The event was a roaring success. It aimed at collecting $50,000 in donations, but ended up collecting about $90,000. The CEO of Zoo Prods, Barry Poznick also made a statement to make people understand the sponsorship to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. He said, “This foundation helps kids who were born into a situation way beyond their control. And those of us who were blessed with loving, caring, generous families should share the wealth, figuratively and literally. Living and working in Hollywood, it’s easy to forget that we are all human and tragedy even strikes us. This organization is a very real reminder of that.”