By Ken Tucker
Updated September 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Stand Up To Cancer was a model for the way television can be used to raise funds for a cause. The hour was filled with celebrities both soliciting donations for cancer research as well as performing. Interwoven throughout were taped pieces featuring doctors, scientists, and cancer patients that provided a lot of information about the states of research for many different forms of cancer.

Cameras panned across phone banks at which a slew of familiar faces were seen fielding calls, including Michael C. Hall, Seth MacFarlane, Sally Field, Christina Applegate, Marcia Cross, David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Rob Lowe, and Thomas Jane.

Stars such as Will Smith, Michael Douglas, and George Clooney appeared in taped messages.

The telethon was not without humor, as performers including Eric Stonestreet, Jim Parsons, Seth Rogan, Elizabeth Banks, and Ken Jeong managed to wring laughs from the subject with brisk amusement.

Performers included Lady Antebellum, Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, and Billie Joe Armstrong. Wonder, Martina McBride, Aaron Neville, Leona Lewis, and Natasha Bedingfield sang a particularly striking version of “Unchained Melody.”

Taking over all of the major networks (news anchors Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Brian Williams were the informal hosts) as well as numerous cable outlets, Stand Up To Cancer did exactly what it intended to do: It was simultaneously entertaining (to draw an audience), moving (to acknowledge the agony of the disease), and educative.

Donations can be made to or by calling 1-888-90-STAND