An Open Letter to the Sea Monkeys

ByJoCo January 10, 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, his twitter is @PFTomkins, his podcast is

Paul and Storm: Thank you for all your hard work and anxiety sharing, I could not have done this without you. Their website is, their twitter is @PaulandStorm, their podcast is

John Hodgman: Thank you for your mustache, which is growing on me even more than it is growing on you. His website is, his twitter is @Hodgman, his podcast is

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, 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, 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, her twitter is @Molly23, her YouTube channel is

Mike Phirman: See above. You killed, as I suspected you might. His website is, his twitter is @phirm, his amazing album is 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, his twitter is @Stepto, his book is

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, his twitter is @johnroderick, and there is plenty more where that came from.

Peter Sagal: Doing that quiz show with you reminded me that I am not quick-witted enough to ever do what you do – you have a superpower. His website is, his twitter is @petersagal.

David Rees: Your enthusiasm is infectious, your talents are vast and difficult to describe, and your pencils are very sharp. His website is, 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 winner:

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.


Gina says

I can't believe it happened, and I can't believe it's over. Thanks Jonathan and all the performers for the most wonderful time ever.

The V Man says

Wow, that sounds like one hell of a time. I'm sad to have missed it but it's great to hear that not only the fans, but also the performers had a great time.

Good on you all for being so awesome.

David Ritter says

Wow. I *so* wished I could have gone. I'm a big fan and it sounded really fun. I did write you a song instead though called "Jonathan Coulton's Beard". Hope it makes you smile:

Kristin Looney says

Thank you Jonathan for assembling such an amazing group of people together in one place - it was an AWESOME week!

Mary S says

Thank you thank you! It was beyond amazing.

Mike says

Thanks for the cruise! It was loads of fun. Thanks for doing Big Dick Farts A Polka!

Jason Roop says

Thank you first and foremost for "Dings Dong", the proper plural of "Ding Dong". It was a pleasure to be nervous and overwhelmed in your presence, only to be comforted by the fact that you are a normal guy with an enormous talent that shows no signs of slowing. Thanks for throwing the best party of 2011 and letting us crash it!

Enjoy my videos of you and your fellows' performances:

-That guy with the afro

Fata Morgana says

You're going to have another one?? Hurray, I MUST find some way to get the bones together for that one.

David Olsen says

So when's the next cruise for the people who missed this one?

SSteve says

I had no idea that all of the food was going to be on fire. Had I known, I would have quit my job and sold my car to be on that cruise.

Tailspin says

I agree with Jason about "Dings Dong". The other day someone said "Attorneys General", and I immediately thought, "ah, just like Dings Dong". So, SO many quotable moments that have had me giggling ever since.