Showbiz Solidarity for House Sit-In: Funny or Die Stages Stand-Up Marathon

Funny or Die marathon
Courtesy: Funny or Die/Facebook

As Democrats continued their sit-in on the floor of the House on Thursday, showbiz figures lined up in solidarity, with Funny or Die staging a marathon of standup comics that ran for about 10 hours until almost 4:30 a.m.

Showbiz figures have become increasingly vocal in calling for gun control, as groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence have tapped figures such as Julianne Moore, and have worked with shows like “House of Cards” and “The Good Wife” on storylines that delve into gun safety issues.

The House sit-in, led by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), galvanized a new round of activity.

The Funny or Die marathon, which was shown live on Facebook, was shot at the site’s offices and featured a mix of comics and even an accountant who took part in the open mike.

“I just flew in from the South and boy are my firearms tired of killing innocent people,” said comic Alex Duong, to kick off the jokefest.

Owen Burke, Funny or Die’s editor in chief of content, said that they “just decided to do it and at Funny or Die we always try to be nimble especially with topical issues. So we called everybody we knew to come down and luckily people obliged.”

The comics appeared before a TV monitor displaying stars and stripes.

A spokeswoman for Funny or Die said that the marathon drew more than 200,000 views as of 10 p.m.

Julianne Moore, who leads a council of creative and entertainment figures for Everytown for Gun Safety, tweeted out messages reacting to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Ill.), who adjourned the House for an Independence Day break before there could be any vote on gun legislation.

“It’s a new day in the People’s House. We’ve now begun work on additional funding in the fight against the #Zika threat,” Ryan wrote.

Moore tweeted back, “Gun violence claims 91 American lives a day, @SpeakerRyan.”

Amy Schumer also tweeted out support for the sit-in. After the shooting in Louisiana last summer at a theater showing her movie “Trainwreck,” she teamed up with one of her relatives, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), to urge passage of expanded background checks.


Her show “Inside Amy Schemer” featured an episode in April that satirized the gun lobby.

The House sit-in ran nearly all day on Wednesday and ran into Thursday, as Democrats sought to force a debate on two gun control bills following the June 12 shootings in Orlando. Nearly fifty people were killed in the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

As the sit-in proceeded, Ryan ordered the House cameras shut off because the chamber was not in session. But Democratic lawmakers turned on their phones and laptops to offer live-streaming coverage on Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope. C-SPAN, which usually carries the House live feed, at times switched to the social media coverage.

A Twitter spokesman said that in the past 24 hours, there have been 1.4 million tweets with the hashtags #NoBillNoBreak and #HoldTheFloor, tied to the sit in.