Skip to main content

If comedians were tchotchkes


 Pineapple candle by China. Photo by Andrea Kittelson.

If Gabriel Iglesias were a tchotchke, he would be an ironic, finely whittled, birchbark bottle opener with black vinyl ears. He’d be underutilized at my house because I open bottles with my teeth, but nonetheless he would be admired because he is so whimsical and pleasing to the touch.

If Greg Proops were a tchotchke, he’d be a Day of the Dead bobble skeleton. You know that bouncy, wiry, Halloweeny thing with papier-mâché chunks painted to look like bones that you place in remembrance of the deceased on an altar alongside a guitar, a cactus and a flask of homemade mezcál? It smacks of intellect, diversity and the pallor and rancor of decay – not because Proops is decaying, or even biodegradable, but because underneath all that flesh and dapper dress, he is über white.

Alonzo Bodden would be an 11-inch mermaid dagger. He’s long. He’s cutting. He’s half woman. Not the physical bits –they’re all man – just ask Lisa Lampanelli, but the bits that dig fashion and hate camping.

Or he’d be a Movado Ono, and I would wear him to parties.

Kristen Key would be a moose that poops candy. Chocolate-covered, peanut candy. She’d be a moose that poops peanut candy because she is moose-like in that she’s quick to pounce (have you seen her catch a wave?) and she is nut-like (have you seen her catch a wave?). She’d be placed in the den window between the bonsai and the ceramic pumpkin so as to attract small and furry forest mice.

Erin Foley would be a sand candle that was crafted at summer camp. She would be well-lit on special occasions, such as any day there’s a football game (see her sports blog) and she would illuminate the souls of even non-Christian campers. She would fit nicely into a brown paper bag, which would keep her 40 ounce PBR company, and she would shine like a star.

Dom Irrera would be chattering teeth, giant plastic glasses and elephant pants. He’s too relentless to be just one piece of kitsch, he’s got glossy eyes and he’s from the seventies. He is also right now in somebody’s attic between the Lite Brite set and the interracial marriage debate. Please, somebody, unearth him and dust off his material. (And, yes, you can polish mine, too, while you're at it.)

Jill Michelle-Meleán would be a shot glass from the Wisconsin Dells. She’s perky, Mid-western-esque (in a Latina sort of way) and, if her online dating profile is any indication, comfortable in both bars and the grip of sailors.

Michael Batts would be a hand-carved Guatemalan boat. A chiseled and compact Guatemalan boat with sails of high-grade cardboard. Why cardboard? Because he is both frugal and limp when wet. How do I know this? You tube.

Jon Lovitz would be a porcelain pineapple vase with coconut candle stuck deep inside. Porcelain because of his smooth lines, pineapple because of his shape and his love for being coupled with ham, and coconut because when he hangs around howler monkeys, he oozes milk. He would be placed atop a radiator, which would cause a lesser pineapple do-dad to melt, but not him, and he would glow in the dark, even when only partially aflame.

Adam Carolla would be a hand-sewn Mexican mule stuffed with newspapers from the Ford years. For a more in-depth explanation, talk to Bald Bryan who dutifully did both the stuffing and the stitching.

Bald Bryan, himself, would be a baseball card. He would be a rare and highly coveted card like a Buck Ewing, but he would be trapped in the flap of a hat that is jammed under the seat of an ex-girlfriend’s towed-away Subaru. But don’t worry; he will one day be both discovered and worth a mint.

Jay London would be a box within a box within a box within a box, not simply because he has hair beneath his hair or hands underneath his jacket or Aramaic erotica in the folds of his mattress, but because of the following joke within a joke:

"I work at Bed Bath and Beyond. I work in the Beyond section. When someone asks me where the Bath section is, I say, “It’s beyond me.” - Jay London

Joe Rogan would be a blanched maple ball massager used to rub sore feet (and the small of your neck) in order to take away the sordid memories of a painful day or to break apart scar tissue from a previous run-in. Because Joe, himself, is a tad bit bad, his healing powers are all the more potent. He is the kind of knickknack that is shared among friends and is often on backorder.

Speaking of potency and mail that is on backorder (make that “male”) Eddie Izzard would be “The Tingler” because when he traverses my scalp, I groan, and because he’s astoundingly bendy. He is also available on certain director’s cut editions of The Secret.

Doug Benson would be a Weeble. Or a Shrinky Dink. A Weeble because of his physical attributes and a Shrinky Dink because of his political beliefs (or is it the other way around?). See his riff on pigs and decide for yourself. Or not. He certainly won’t notice. He’s been thoroughly baked.

Ben Bailey would be a fire poker. Hot and sharp.

Dane Cook would be a piece of tape.

Pauly Shore would be a diaphragm. A diaphragm is not a "tchotchke " per se, and Pauly Shore is certainly not welcome in my euphemistic garden, but considering that Pauly Shore is baby repellent and is also pretty close to an ass, well, then it all makes perfect sense in the end.

If I were a tchotchke, I would be a paperweight, preferably painted, because I don’t like it when things swirl around in the wind or are ugly. Also, then, I could double as a doorstop, bookend or not-very-clever murder weapon.

If you or someone you love (or once loved) were a tchotchke, or the arguably less correct but still acceptable “chotchky”, what would you or they be? A ceramic ballerina? A piñata? A stuffed freshwater trout? Explore your personal truth, or simply kill precious, porcelain time, in the comment field below:

For further purposeful reading, or to simply keep occupied while your tchochkes are being shined, visit:


Christine Bevins LA Couples Travel.
Stacie Hunt Wine.


  • John Marshall 5 years ago

    If I were a tchotchke, I would be a little policeman named "Officer Tchotchke." Or a plastic iPhone with feet that you would wind up, and by the time it was done walking, it would be out of date and time to buy a new tchotchke.

  • akittelson 5 years ago

    And you could then find a grateful home in the Christmas stocking of a Third-world rickets patient.

  • Chris Bevins 5 years ago

    Fantastic article Andrea. Had me rolling. Doug Benson as a weeble is perfect.
    If I were a tchochke, I'd be a wine charm that changes form so I could be incognito at parties, oh and I'd also have to be able to hang from a rear view mirror as I always have to go places.

  • akittelson 5 years ago

    Well, Chris, you are charming, so that is certainly fitting. And you do twinkle in the sun when dangling. How about the charm on the bracelet of a politician's mistress? That could be interesting. Or the swizzle stick in the cocktail of an earl. Or of Eddie Izzard. I wouldn't mind being in his quippy grip...