January 10th, 2011
That was amazing. Don’t believe me?
Somewhere in between when we decided to do this and when it actually happened, I started to get a little freaked out. It felt like maybe this time I had gone too far, asked for too much. What were we thinking setting up a thing like this? We talked a bunch of our professional entertainer friends into giving up a week of their time, and then suddenly people were plunking down large sums of money to attend, and the whole thing was a big unknown. Would it be fun? Would the ship lose power and need to be towed back to port while we all suffered from gastrointestinal distress? Would I be stabbed by a crazy fan? (yes, no and no). But the main source of my anxiety was wanting everyone to have a good time, and that anxiety disappeared the moment we were all together. That’s all because of you guys. I’ve said it before, and I need to say it again here: I have the greatest fans in the world.
For me the strongest illustration of your awesomeness was the JoCo Karaoke nights. Person after person got up there to sing their favorite song in front of me and everyone else. Some of them were great, some of them were, let’s just say, “not great,” but every single person without exception was strongly supported and loudly cheered. I’m pretty sure the worst singers got the biggest response.
That inclusiveness and enthusiasm covered everything like delicious buttercream frosting. The Paul F. Tompkins mustache formal was a ridiculous idea that everyone embraced wholeheartedly in a way that made me absolutely giddy. The gaming room was stuffed full whenever I saw it, and stayed active until the early morning hours. The swing dancing, the iPhone handbell concert, the Fancy Pants Parade – all the little unofficial things that came directly from you guys made the whole thing special in a way that I did not anticipate.
Of course all of the performers were wonderful, as I knew they would be. I was delighted to watch some of you hear and see a few of them for the first time, but it was even more exciting to watch them meet YOU. Everyone felt welcomed and loved, and I was not surprised, because that’s how you make me feel all the time no matter how much I suck (witness: you loudly applauded the very worst performance of The Presidents I have ever done). It’s a great pleasure to have such complete trust in an audience, and it makes me very happy to put some of my favorite performers and you in the same place together.
So thank you for everything. I hope you had as wonderful a time as I did. Too much to say. In no particular order:
Paul F. Tompkins: I hope you will not take offense to the various ways we joked about your absence on the ship, we were only trying to make ourselves feel better about missing out on your company and talent. His website is paulftompkins.com, his twitter is @PFTomkins, his podcast is pft.libsyn.com.
Paul and Storm: Thank you for all your hard work and anxiety sharing, I could not have done this without you. Their website is paulandstorm.com, their twitter is @PaulandStorm, their podcast is paulandstorm.com/archives/category/podcast.
John Hodgman: Thank you for your mustache, which is growing on me even more than it is growing on you. His website is areasofmyexpertise.com, his twitter is @Hodgman, his podcast is maximumfun.org/shows/judge-john-hodgman.
Wil Wheaton: You are an inspiration, and I hope you don’t take offense, but the main reason I’m glad you were there is that I finally got to meet the famous Nolan and Ryan. His website is wilwheaton.typepad.com, his twitter is @WilW.
Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy: You are as warm and fun as you are talented, I’m a bigger fanboy than would make you comfortable if you knew. Their website is rifftrax.com, their twitters are @kwmurphy and @BillCorbett.
Molly Lewis: You continue to kick ass in a way that makes the rest of us kind of hate you a little, in a good way. Her website is sweetafton23.com, her twitter is @Molly23, her YouTube channel is youtube.com/user/sweetafton23.
Mike Phirman: See above. You killed, as I suspected you might. His website is mikephirman.com, his twitter is @phirm, his amazing album is music.mikephirman.com and you should please give him money for it.
Stepto: Thank you for stepping in at the last minute and thanks for protecting us all from douchebags. His website is stepto.com, his twitter is @Stepto, his book is stepto.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=641.
John Roderick: And you thought you didn’t belong there. Thanks for letting us do Commander with you. His band is called “The Long Winters” (which I think I failed to mention even ONCE), their website is thelongwinters.com, his twitter is @johnroderick, and there is plenty more where that came from.
David Rees: Your enthusiasm is infectious, your talents are vast and difficult to describe, and your pencils are very sharp. His website is mnftiu.cc, his twitter is @letsgetshort, his many projects are to numerous for me to link to here but all wonderful.
Liz: I am speechless, and can only croak out “Thank you.” Her twitter is @Dammit_Liz, her skillz are mad.
Finally, I just want to link here to the winners of the video contest, which for technical reasons could not be shown onboard as planned. Thanks to everyone for spending time on this, your videos were all great.
The runners up:
ENOUGH! Thank you one and all, I hope to do this again, and I’ll let everyone know as soon as I know where and when and how.