OK, so on Wednesday night, I was on stage at the DC Improv, along with consumer advocate Ralph Nader, American for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page, and Josh Gotbaum, appearing in his personal capacity. What were we doing? We were all part of the Funniest Celebrity Contest. Yes, this was a contest in Washington not to see who was smarter – but who was FUNNIEST.
I wasn’t competing – thank God – but I was there because the Pension Rights Center was chosen to be a beneficiary of this year’s contest (the other being the Foundation for the Education and Rebirth of Haiti). I told the crowd of 200 people about the Center’s good work to protect people’s retirement security and I even tried my hand at a few actuary jokes. I said, “The American Academy of Actuaries is having an after-party tonight and they’ll be serving orange Fanta and playing Pin the Tail on the Mortality Table.” A joke ONLY actuaries could love.
After everyone performed, the judges chose the winners: Ralph Nader came in third, National Journal reporter (and part-time comedian) Elahe Izadi came in second, and Grover Norquist came in first.
The organizations sponsoring the event for the Pension Rights Center were AARP, the American Academy of Actuaries, the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, the Machinists’ Union, IAMAW, Pensions & Investments, and TTerry Consulting.
Despite a minor disruption, everyone had a terrific time, and it was a revelation to see our old friend Ralph let his hair down.
Brett Leake, who calls himself a “sit-down, stand-up comedian,” because he is wheel chair-bound, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Funniest Celebrity organization. Leake ended the show on a lovely note, reminding everyone that, “everything in life changes,” and humor is a way of bringing everybody together and finding purpose.