Here, in Los Angeles, folks have whined about the lingering marine layer, which has, on many a day, kept the sun from shining until mid-afternoon. In New York, engineers are drafting plans for an ark.
This got me wondering: If I had to build a boat to save my lot, and I was asked by God, my conscience or my own modicum of taste to stow away a few good comedians (they make for excellent floaties on the journey to wherever) which comedians would I stow?
Noah’s lumbering barge contained, reportedly, approximately 100,000 square feet of floor space. Mine would, no doubt, be smaller since I would want to go green and use only repurposed materials. If I were to fasten together Birkenstock sandals, cork and used toothpicks, my ship would be the size of a river dinghy. I would have just enough room for a couple of close friends (via hat-draw, bribery or essay contest); two to three of my favorite family members (this is where past slights bite a few in the arse); Phil Jackson of the Lakers (I would surely need some winning words of motivational wisdom and someone to pull in the mint-floss jib); and ten to twelve comics, depending on their size.
Here are the twelve comedians I would probably (or possibly, depending on my mood/menstrual cycle/what I am told by a nearby snake) strive to rescue:
David Alan Grier – You have to love how David looks in a wetsuit or a dress or a cape. Because of his confidence in costume, I would employ him as the Captain. He would be in charge of steering us all out of disaster and toward wherever it is we would be moved to go by the Divine or the wind or gluten-free cracker-prices.
Bret Ernst – Bret is one of those up-and-comer stand-ups with a sitcom deal who is young enough to have a five- to ten-year show on the horizon but old enough to remember roller skating. I could use him to bridge any potential generation gaps, and then, when he becomes that version of Hollywood, thirty-something smug, I would grope him into testing the drinking water. Luckily, afterward, no matter his physical state, he would be game for a robust re-enactment with lots of accents and gesturing.
Jimmy Pardo – Jimmy does the audience warm-up for Conan’s Tonight Show, so he’s gifted at off-the-cuff tourist rubs (his résumé boasts of killer improvisational skills, which could be code for “doesn’t like to write or rehearse”) and he hosts, among other things, a monthly talk show at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Why only monthly? Because he doesn’t like to write or rehearse. He’s lazy. Brilliantly lazy, I must say; his improv is among the best I’ve seen. But, to keep him agile, I would place him next to Phil Jackson who would involve him in drills. Also, I would like to see their statures juxtaposed. Does this make me a tad mean? Perhaps, but remember: I am saving lives.
Greg from Comedy Traffic School – Greg’s not very funny, but his enunciation is terrific. It might be a toss-up between him and Kathy Griffin. Kathy’s enunciation isn’t as crisp, but her wigs are a dream. I might have Greg and Kathy vie for a spot with a Youtube cook-off. Not because either of them can cook, per se, but because watching two comics scramble egg whites to save their lives would make the diabolical side of me smile. Maybe I’d ask/force Greg to wear one of Kathy’s hair pieces – preferably a wildly curly one. Whoever didn’t win, I would toss back like a fish and have the Lord/Jonah/the Jonas Brothers take over from there.
Kathleen Madigan – Kathleen has a repertoire of clean material, which is important to house aboard a Biblical boat. If I wanted to go reality show and televise our trip to Wherever, I would push Kathleen in front of the camera to lure in the Midwestern demographic. They would surely, thereafter and henceforth, patronize our sponsor IKEA, which would make the whole Corn Belt pretty. So, I’d be saving lives and exterminating macramé throws.
Trish Suhr – Trish is another type of clean. She organizes messy people’s lives on the Style Network’s show “Clean House”. She would bring her label maker, which would render it easy to tell passengers apart after scurvy sets in. She, a self-professed make-up junkie, would also have an endless stash of concealer. If I needed to pretty-up for the cameras, Trish and her clutch of Revlon puffs would be at the Judgment-day ready.
Patton Oswalt – I have yet to see Patton perform live (crazy, I know – I hear he’s a hefty hoot) but I have seen his friend Brian Posehn. I was told as a child that you should always judge a man by his friends. I think Revelation 19:11 says something to that effect: “And I saw Heaven opened and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” OK, that’s not entirely the same, but it is close.
Andy Richter – Andy is physically sturdy, quick on the uptake and kind. He’s the kind of guy you’d want to proffer your wedding toast. His quiet good looks wouldn’t upstage the groom, and his self-deprecating charm wouldn’t embarrass the bride. He would get a gaggle of phone numbers afterward but no actual sex. Why? Because he is chaste. He would use the phone numbers to share with the ladies various psalms and Boy Scout mottos. And then he would get ironically drunk at the brunch.
Bob Saget or Brad Garrett – I wouldn’t be able to decide between these tall and handsome raunch-a-teers, so I would bring the two together, entwined, and let them know that the first to tell an off-color joke involving lude sex acts and off-track betting would be thrown overboard (because they're entwined, they'll fall together). They'd both be gone by the time the anchor hit the bow, and I’d be left to make all the questionable remarks. But I would have new jokes to tell and more room to spread my wares.
Kevin Pollak – Kevin is loyal (he hasn't yet divorced) and he is an intellectual (he dons a beret when he's not sporting a baseball cap). This means, then, according to my logic, that he can hold his liquor, and he is good at Scrabble. So, when the rainwater turns to wine, Kevin and his three-letter words starting with “q” would be all set to go. Also, more to the point, he is a shrewd poker player. Strategic gambling comes in very handy when surviving on a boat made of leftovers.
Tommy Davidson – Great six-pack. Inscrutable Sammy Davis impression. Healing hands. ‘Nuff said.
Eddie Izzard – Finally, but actually first, I would make room for Eddie Izzard. In fact, I would drown a few of the others, if I had to, so I would have room to fully explore Eddie’s unparalleled rhythm and cunning and knowledge of Medieval history. If Trish’s Revlon bag ran dry, I could rely on Eddie’s. And it is with Eddie that I would breed, assuming that I’m still able to and he is still swinging that way. If he isn’t, I would remind him of Leviticus. Actually, I would never. Unless it got me what I wanted.
The aforementioned is my list of comedians to pack away on a God-spun raft. They’re all performing somewhere soon, so witness their schtik and judge for yourself.
Plug their dates into your iPhone, lest you beget.