Seth Meyers, Susie Essman Lament Election Results, Climate Change at NRDC Night of Comedy
Larry David joked of previously being married to an environmentalist: "By the way, the first thing I did when she told me she wanted a divorce was turn on all the lights"
"Let's be honest — if you love the environment, not a great election result," said host Seth Meyers at the Natural Resources Defense Council's Night of Comedy on Wednesday evening in New York City, a day after the Republican party claimed control of the U.S. Senate. "At this point, a giant tornado could form and just start whipping its way across America, and in that wind it could grab every single handgun in this country, and then the tornado would start firing those handguns indiscriminately upon the citizenship of this great nation. But when it was over, you would say to those people, 'Will you admit now, after the gun tornado, that we have a gun control issue and a climate change issue?' They would say, 'No, that all happened because you let gays get married.' That's what you're up against, NRDC. You have to educate people like this.
"We have politicians, politicians who won yesterday, politicians who when you ask them about climate change and present them with science, they say, 'I'm not a scientist,' " Meyers continued in his opening monologue in front of a 583 Park Avenue audience that included Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter and his wife, Anna, and HBO's Richard Plepler and his wife, Lisa — who co-chaired the event — as well as Lorne Michaels, Jimmy Buffett, Aasif Mandvi, Bryant Gumbel, Suze Orman, The Blacklist's Megan Boone, and Discovery Communications' David Zaslav, among others. "Based on the work they do, they're barely congressmen. ... They're also not OB/GYNs but they have a lot to say about vaginas!" Yet he also joked of climate change's benefits: "I know [New York City's oddly fair November weather] means the Earth is dying, but it was also great not to wear a jacket to work. The Earth has to figure out a better way to punish us! ... I live on 8th Avenue, I'm two hurricanes away from having waterfront property!"
Before Amy Schumer and Jerry Seinfeld each took the stage, Susie Essman also took a few jabs at the previous day's election results. "Everybody says, 'Maybe they don't care about the future generation,' and I thought, 'Maybe they don't like their kids. Maybe that's what it's about: Maybe Republicans don't like their kids,' and having raised four children, I understand that! Sometimes I'm borderline!" She also commented that Sen. Mitch McConnell "looks like an old lesbian. …. I don't want to be superficial that I'm judging him on the outside because he's really, really ugly, but he's ugly on the inside too."
Larry David noted that he was obligated to do the Discovery-supported New York Comedy Festival kickoff gig because of his ex-wife, NRDC board member and An Inconvenient Truth producer Laurie David. "By the way, the first thing I did when she told me she wanted a divorce was turn on all the lights," he said of being married to an environmentalist, joking that "cancer" and "wasteful" were too commonly said in their home, where flushing toilets and taking long showers were prohibited. "I wasn't allowed to plug anything in — all the plugs were on the floor or dangling form tables. If I wanted to watch TV, I had to move a cabinet! … I begged her to get help, or at least go back to her maiden name!" He added of his nature-less upbringing, "Of all the wonders and pleasures that exist in nature, none of them can be found in Brooklyn. The only grass I ever saw was on the divider of the Belt Parkway."
A video greeting from a very presidential Julia Louis-Dreyfus kicked off the charity event with her Veep administration's pledge of support to the NRDC, as well as to its opposition, or those "who would call them tree-huggers or enviro-Nazis, ... because we know that together, we can find common ground. Because isn't what the Earth is — ground? And isn't that ultimately what we, those of us who respect said science, and those who respectfully deny what has been proved, are all standing on — ground? And isn't that what businesses, small and large, all across America, want to build up from — the ground? And under which our friends in the thriving energy sector are even now responsibly drilling, mining and clean fracking — the ground? ... I pledge to be a clear and consistent voice on this issue."