Tuesday’s election results were not a good outcome for anyone concerned about the environment, according to Seth Meyers.
But at Wednesday’s Natural Resources Defense Council Night of Comedy fundraiser at 583 Park Avenue in New York City, host Seth Meyers managed to turn the Republican-controlled Senate into a guffaw-worthy night led by some of Hollywood’s funniest comedians.
“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 told the crowd during his opening monologue. “They’re also not OB/GYNs but they have a lot to say about vaginas!”
The crowd included event co-chairs Anna and Graydon Carter, Lorne Michaels, Richard Plepler and Lisa Plepler, David Zaslav and Pam Zaslav along with Jimmy Buffett and Megan Boone (“The Blacklist”).
President Selina Meyer (AKA Julia Louis-Dreyfus) opened the evening via video, thanking the crowd on behalf of her “Veep” administration for attending and urging “tree huggers” and those who are anti-environment to work together to find a solution.
“We can find a common ground because, after all, the earth is just ground,” she said. “The ground is common. Let’s fight to protect it and call it change.”
But Meyers stole the show with a monologue that covered everything from the real president to the environment. Although he was advocating for the environment, the late-night talk show host had to admit that he was enjoying Earth’s “mixed signals” when it came to weather.
“For instance, I know it’s like bad in the long game for it to be 65 degrees in November, but it’s also pretty fucking great,” he joked. “Like I know this means the earth is dying but also it was great not to wear a jacket to work today.”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Seinfeld” legend Larry David kicked off the comics’ evening, marking his first headlining performance in 35 years. He continued Meyers’ bit about the environment, recalling that while growing up in Brooklyn had its perks, nature wasn’t one of them.
“People took great pride in their artificial flowers and their artificial fruit,” he quipped. “The greatest compliment you could give somebody was to mistakenly pick up a piece of artificial fruit and try to take a bite of it.”
The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star continued to discuss ex-wife and NRDC board member Laurie David, a producer of “An Inconvenient Truth.” He said he assumed she was a “superficial woman from Long Island,” but she turned out to be something quite different – a staunch environmentalist.
“But her biggest obsession was the SUV,” he said. “She used to give out environmental tickets… For 15 minutes she would be putting tickets on windshields.”
Susie Essman, Amy Schumer and Jerry Seinfeld also performed for the popcorn-fed crowd, telling jokes about everything from the environment to their own lives. Seinfeld joked: “Talking is so antiquated I feel like a blacksmith up here sometimes. I could text you this whole thing and we could get the hell out of here.” But Essman also made quips about the election results, musing that Republicans might not like their kids or any future generations.
“Sometimes I agree,” Essman said, talking about her four stepchildren. “I acquired [my kids] like they were on sale.”
Towards the end of the evening, Meyers thanked the evening’s sponsors, who included Discovery Communications, and NRDC President Frances G. Beinecke. While talking about Beinecke following a promotional video voiced over by Sigourney Weaver, Meyers said, “A longtime friend said that [Weaver’s] portrayal of Ellen Ripley in ‘Alien’ was based on Frances. A lifetime of work to save the planet, but you will also be famous for being Ripley.”
“Welcome to show business!”