Desert Bus for Hope

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"You guys are the greatest idea. If you didn't exist I would have to invent you."

-Penn Jillette, co-creator of Desert Bus, November 20, 2010


The Challenge

The cast agreed to play for an hour for each increment of money donated - the amount necessary increased by seven percent each time the increment was reached. So the first hour would require one dollar to be donated, the second a dollar seven, and so on. The money earned went to the charity Child's Play which provides video games, toys and books to children's hospitals all over the world.

Desert Bus for Hope 1

22nd November 2007, 6:00 pm PST

James, Paul, Morgan and Bill played a total of 108 hours raising $22 805 dollars for Child's Play. Bussing ended at 6:35 am PST, on the 28th of November 2007.

The first annual Desert Bus marathon included several noteworthy events.

  • Penn, Teller, and Eddie Gorodetsky (one of the producers of Desert Bus) called the cast during the first evening of playing and donated $500 each.
  • Eddie Gorodetsky offered to donate $500 if James (the first player) would "take a dive" seventeen minutes into the first run. James accepted, and let the bus be towed back to Tuscon.
  • There were donations of Subway sandwiches, chocolates, and pizza from various general individuals including Teller himself.
  • The original donation goal of five thousand dollars was met before the first shift was complete.
  • In the "taking a dive" vein, several people made requests of the cast in exchange for a donation of a specified size - for example, Bill drank an entire carton of eggnog, and James played the game while upside down for nearly fifteen minutes. Matt raised $75 by drinking a "Nog Bomb", that being a shot glass of egg nog, dropped into half a pint of Colt 45. Paul offered to shave his beard in exchange for a single donation of $5,000.
  • Morgan stated that he would do a single Whatever Thing update for each $200 donation recieved for that purpose. None were made.
  • Three "upside-down girls" bussed a couple times for a grand total of $450 ($100 each the first time and $150 for TWO upside down girls and a PS3 the second)
  • James married Dark_Realm in an online wedding.

2007 Trivia

Penn, Teller, and Gorodetsky learned Paul's cellphone number by calling his mother earlier in the day.

During one of the calls, Teller had a brief conversation with a half-asleep Morgan, who told him to "Fuck off". Morgan did not realize that it was Teller.

Desert Bus for Hope 2

Desert Bus for Hope 2008 was formally announced at the gathering of LRR fans at PAX 2008, and to the world in the "'Movie' Movies Movie" podcast. However, it had been mentioned and informally announced on the forum, in the podcast, and on the Desert Bus website for many weeks previously. According to the information in the podcast, Desert Bus 2008 would have taken place in a Seattle hotel and feature several guest appearances and drivers.

On November 18, 2008 Desert Bus for Hope 2: Bus Harder was officially announced. James, Bill, Morgan and Jer started busing on November 28 at 6 pm PST inside their moonbase. They finished at 11:00 pm PST December 3rd, having bused for 5 days, 5 hours, and 5 minutes, and raised $70,423.79.

Let us repeat that. Seventy thousand, four hundred and twenty-three dollars and seventy nine cents. That's a lot of money.

The LRR Crew failed multiple times during the run. You can view the fails here.

2008 Trivia

Waypoint Challenges

  • Past the 2007 total = Paul would shave his beard. This challenge was met at 4 PM December 1st.
  • $30,000 = Several chat users stated they would shave their heads. Dogmeat00 met this challenge and posted pictures to the Desert Bus blog.
  • $35,000 = Penny Arcade would donate $10,000, as part of "Operation: Infinite Bus"
  • $50,000 = Morgan would shave all the hair on his body.

Driver Name Progression

  • LRR
  • JOCKO (5 minutes)
  • EVILJIM ($500 donation by Evil Jim) (In response this video was made: Eating a hat.)
  • EVILSAK ($1000 donation by Sakimori_X)
  • EVIL_SAK (Bus crashed, name maintained)
  • EVILSAKX (Bus crashed)

Desert Bus for Hope 3

Desert Bus for Hope 2009 was officially announced on March 26th, when the first update was posted on The countdown to the event began on August 25th 2009 with a challenge from James that if the site reached $10,000 by the event's starting date, November 20th, 2009, he would drive the bus for the first 12 hours of the event. The goal was met, and James did the 12 hours, becoming the only DPfH to do a complete run from Tuscon to Las Vegas. After 5 days, 16 hours, and large number of auctions, caramelldansen, surprise guest appearances, and other craziness, the final total was $140,449.68. The crew presented a novelty-size cheque Child's Play Charity Dinner for that approximate amount (the last few donations had yet to be tallied when the cheque had to be printed).


Desert Bus for Hope 2009 is the first Desert Bus event to have a host of official sponsors, who have donated prizes for auction during the event. Some of these sponsors include:

  • The Escapist
  • Oni Press
  • Hothead Games
  • Harmonix Games

Confirmed Guests

Desert Bus for Hope 2009 also has revealed a list of guests scheduled to appear via live appearance or call during the event. Some of these special guests include:

  • Penn and Teller (Call)
  • Wil Wheaton (Call)
  • Jonathan Coulton (Call)
  • Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw (Call)
  • Woody Tondorf (Live Appearance)
  • Kristin Lindsay (Live Appearance)

Desert Bus for Hope 4

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Desert Bus for Hope 5

Starting: November 18, 2011 at 18:00 Pacific time

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