Comic moments at Stand Up for Choice show

By Rebecca Traister
Published August 31, 2004 12:25PM (EDT)

At the Beacon Theatre on Monday night, Planned Parenthood was at it again. After Saturday's March for Women's Lives, the organization held a Stand Up for Choice "big-tent variety show" -- and they weren't kidding about the variety show part. Think "Mighty Wind" duo Michael "Lenny" McKean and Annette O'Toole performing "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow."

The rest of the roster of usual suspects, who made their way past a scrum of antiabortion protesters in front of the theater, included singers Nellie McKay and Lou Reed, actors Kathleen Turner and Patricia Clarkson, and Moby. Moby recently told the New York Times that ousting President Bush from office was worth risking overexposure. Memo to Moby: That's sweet. Memo to publicists: We would be more eager to attend your events if you could promise that Moby will not be there.

The funniest moments of the night came during a stand-up routine by Comedy Central comic Patrice O'Neal, who talked about Gov. Jim McGreevey's wife's calm reaction to the governor's announcement that he was "a gay American."

"That couldn't have been a black governor," said O'Neal, imagining a press conference interrupted by breaking news: "The governor's wife is burning up his clothes, shooting his dog, keyin' his car, calling up his mom, saying 'Bitch! You knew he was gay?'"

O'Neal, who said he'd been warned not to talk presidential politics, couldn't resist the allure of Teresa Heinz Kerry. "That bitch owns ketchup!" he said, impressed. "I can't believe he got her to add Kerry! That must have been a goddamn argument. 'I'm Heinz, you motherfucker! I own ketchup!' That is the longest hyphen in the history of hyphens. It's like Heinz ... Kerry."

Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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