RAMER, Alabama — In the world of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney portray characters often driven by selfishness, egocentrism and morally questionable acts. Yet, away from the chaos of Paddy’s Pub, these talented actors and creators are involved in a different narrative altogether — one marked by compassion, generosity and a commitment to giving back.
Supporting Charitable Causes
While their on-screen personas may engage in outlandish schemes for personal gain, in the real lives of Howerton, Day and McElhenney they use their success and influence to support various charitable causes, revealing a side of them that fans of their hit show might find surprising. Though the three have individually done their own charity work, this article will focus on the work that Howerton, Day and McElhenney have done with each other or with other It’s Always Sunny cast or crew members.
In 2013, the It’s Always Sunny cast teamed up with Omaze, offering one fan and a friend the chance to be flown to LA to meet the cast. Every entry helped the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps wounded veterans. In 2014, the cast did something similar for the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. One lucky winner got to meet and hang out with the cast, while all proceeds supported the foundation’s mission of supporting women filmmakers.
With the increasing success of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia as well as their other projects, Howerton, Day and McElhenney have done a number of charitable acts in recent years as well. In 2020, Rob McElhenney and wife Kaitlin Olson, another co-star on It’s Always Sunny, set up a GoFundMe to help raise money for Philabundance, a charity that works to end hunger in America. With every dollar raised, the spouses vowed to match the amount.
Episode About Donating
That same year, on Mythic Quest, Rob McElhenney and Megan Ganz, co-creator of Mythic Quest and writer on Sunny, wrote an episode about donating to charity, which they took to doing in real life. With $300,000 raised from the cast and crew, McElhenney and Olson matched the amount, raising $600,000 for the NGO Mercy Corps’ COVID-19 relief program. About the episode, Ganz has said: “I think because we’d seen a few shows that had done amazing work getting the audience to donate, we just thought that’s so awesome. But people have done that now, and part of the reason we wanted to make the episode was because it brought joy to our lives and we wanted to give some joy to the audience. And it just felt like asking them to pay for that defeated the purpose. So we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we made this whole story about a donation and then at the end of the episode it was like, ‘That money has been donated,’?’ And that’s it — there’s no ask.”
2022 was another year full of charitable giving for the Sunny creators, as they announced their Four Walls Whiskey collection. 100% of profits benefit the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association’s charity Hospitality Assistance Response of Pennsylvania (HARP), an organization that aids restaurants and bars affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The collection offers the $89.95 “Bartenders Blend” rye mix as well as the $999, 15-year-old whiskey, a nod to the 15 years that Sunny has been on the air. The latter was limited to 755 bottles, including a mirrored and engraved box and signed by Howerton, McElhenney and Day.
On and Off Screen
The contrast between the unapologetically selfish characters Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day portray on-screen and their real-life efforts to give back is both inspiring and instructive. Whether teaming up for fundraising initiatives or venturing into unique philanthropic endeavors, their collective and individual efforts underscore the positive impact that creativity, collaboration and compassion can have. Far from the chaos of Paddy’s Pub, these talented creators have crafted a legacy of empathy and support that resonates well beyond the confines of their television roles, leaving a lasting impression on the lives they’ve touched and the causes they’ve championed.
– Mari Caitlin Riggles