Why so serious? William Shatner is a little too solemn in the latest promo for NBC's new charity initiative, Red Nose Day. In Us Weekly's exclusive preview of the 30-second spot, Captain Kirk doesn't seem to understand that the comedy-themed telethon isn't the place for Charles Dickens.

In the sneak peek above, watch the Canadian actor, 84, recite A Tale of Two Cities while he figures out what to do with the charity's trademark red clown nose. As the promo's helpful voiceover guy later explains, Red Nose Day is "a night of fun and laughs to raise money for children worldwide."

The event, which has been a successful fundraiser in the UK for three decades, is moving across the pond for a live telecast at 8 p.m. ET on May 21. Stars John Legend, Sam Smith, Christina Aguilera, Sienna Miller, and Jon Hamm have already pledged their support.

Red Nose Day's three-hour broadcast will include standup and sketch comedy bits, musical performances, and plenty more famous guests as it raises funds for children in extreme poverty across the globe. The 12 charities that will receive 2015's money include Boys & Girls Clubs of America; charity: water; Children's Health Fund; Feeding America; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund; Lift; National Council of La Raza; National Urban League; Oxfam America; Save the Children and United Way.

"Red Nose Day is almost like a national holiday in the UK. It's a day of real excitement as everyone looks forward to it and the entire country gets involved in some way," Miller previously told Us Weekly in a statement. "I'm thrilled it’s coming to the U.S.!"