Adam McKay uses Twitter prodigiously — to engage with fans about “Anchorman 2″ or Funny or Die clips, or just to write jokes as he did in his “SNL” days.
“I like Twitter, it’s accessible, it’s simple, yet you can make it dense. It’s political, it’s comedy, it’s entertainment, it’s a great mishmash. I also like it because I get to pass on information,” he told Variety at Tuesday’s Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence benefit at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “Some people would call it politics, I just call it information.”
Among his latest Twitter targets: Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling, the Clippers, gefilte fish, the Koch brothers and the National Rifle Assn.
McKay was honored at the Los Angeles benefit for his efforts to reduce gun violence.
“It’s been a deeply moving experience watching you work on our behalf,” Brady Center president Dan Gross told McKay. Among the Brady Center’s initiatives are petitioning Congress to require background checks on all guns sales and educating parents to ask if there are guns in homes where their children play, as nine kids are shot unintentionally every day, Gross said.
“We’re all here tonight because we all feel frustrated about what’s happening about gun violence in this country,” said McKay. “What the Brady Center does affects all of us.”
Thomas Lennon hosted the evening, at one point dressed as the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre in a bulletproof vest and gray streaks in his hair. “It seems I’m the only guy in Kevlar tonight,” the faux LaPierre said. On honoring McKay, he joked, “We are gonna agree to disagree … except that ‘Anchorman’ is a masterpiece.”
Zach Galifianakis performed his unique brand of stand-up, delivering one-liners with long pauses in between, complete with an advertisement for “The Other Woman,” starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton.
“I have to do these plugs … Funny or Die … They make me do advertisement,” he sighed before another long pause. “Squirt soft drink. Take a squirt, it feels good.”
Galifianakis joked about the Between Two Ferns interview with President Obama. “I still haven’t gotten paid for it,” he said.
David Koechner introduced McKay, whom he’s known since their Second City days in Chicago.
“Hollywood, I’m kind of proud of you,” he said. “Fried chicken? Onion rings? That’s hobo food,” he said of the evening’s menu.
“I don’t know how many of you in this room actually know Adam McKay, but if you do, you’d only want more,” Koechner said. “If he wanted to, he could probably convince me to give away one of my children. And I know exactly which one it would be. We have five.”
McKay told Variety that adapting Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short” for the bigscreen may be the project he’s most excited about. “Rather than knowing about Kim Kardashian and sports and who’s wearing what, the language of power is economics. Is there a way to make that as sexy and fun as it is? It’s a big challenge, I don’t know if I can do it or not. You’ll have to tell me if it sucks.”
The benefit also featured speakers Kelley Byrdsong and Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan died at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Will Ferrell’s wife, Viveca Paulin, led a spirited auction — a large conch shell signed by McKay and Ferrell went to “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ director Marc Webb for $2,000. Moby performed and also auctioned an at-home concert, which Paulin won for $14,000 (plus $5,000 that Moby pledged himself).
Other attendees included Steve Carell and wife Nancy Walls, Garry Shandling, Alex Kurtzman, Adam Goodman, Matt Tolmach and Laura Wasser.
(Pictured: Thomas Lennon, Adam McKay and Steve Carell at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence benefit)