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New York Giants' David Diehl pokes fun at Brett Favre in comedy club debut
by Mike Garafolo/The Star-Ledger
Thursday May 21, 2009, 5:12 PM
John Munson/The Star-Ledger
The New York Giants' David Diehl got a lot of laughs posing as Brett Favre during his sketch comedy act Wednesday night at Comix Comedy Club in Manhattan.
NEW YORK - I'm an objective football writer, so I don't sit in the press box before a game and think, "Wow, I hope David Diehl doesn't embarrass himself on the field." It's nothing against Diehl; he's a great guy and I hope he does well for himself. Same for a lot of guys on the Giants. It's just that I don't ever find myself worrying whether a player is going to do poorly. It's a game and someone has to lose, right?
But Wednesday night, as I was sitting in Comix Comedy Club in Manhattan's Meatpacking District and waiting for a sketch comedy show called "12 Angry Mascots" to begin, I was unabashedly nervous for Diehl, who was about to make his comedy debut. I had a feeling he would do well, but doing comedy is about as tough as it gets. And watching someone bomb is as difficult for me to watch as some of the most horrific sports injuries of all-time. (Which, unbeknownst to the audience, we were soon to see.)
However, like the concerns about his switching to left tackle that proved to be unfounded, my anxiety over Diehl's performance was apparently baseless as well.
As they say in comedy, Diehl killed. (That's good.)
The six-year veteran took part in two skits - one in which he played Brett Favre and one in which he was supposed to play Brett Favre.
For the first one, Diehl sat in the audience and placed a dinner order - as Favre, of course. Wearing a Packers hat, he asked for cheese ravioli. And then, he switched to a bacon cheeseburger. But he went back to the ravioli. Then, back to the burger. Then, back to the ravioli. The next thing I knew, he was telling the waitress to forget about his order because he wasn't even hungry, then sobbing, then wearing a Jets hat and finally ordering pizza. Good stuff.
Later, Diehl interrupted a segment with the show's host, Scott Rogowsky, and Nick Stevens, who was playing a character called Fitzy, an obnoxious Boston fan sent to the stage to irritate the New York audience.
Diehl, now wearing a Vikings hat, was supposed to be Favre in his current dilemma of whether to return to play for Minnesota. But Fitzy started "breaking the fourth wall," as Rogowsky put it, and began heckling Diehl, calling him "the left tackle who held Adalius Thomas' facemask so that he could not sack Eli Manning" before David Tyree's catch on the winning drive of the Giants' upset over the Patriots.
"Dude you have no idea how difficult it was for me to go through Super Bowl XLII," Fitzy told Diehl. "Ralph Fiennes carrying a dead Kristen Scott Thomas at the end of 'The English Patient' was not as upset as I was coming out of my drunk uncle's house after watching Super Bowl XLII. Hey, Diehl, guess what - You ruined everything!"
Diehl took it in stride, saying, "I never thought I'd see this - an obnoxious, self-conscious Boston fan." He later went on to take a shot at Bill Belichick's cut-off sweatshirts: "Either he's going to Venice Beach or he's going to Suzanne Summers' '80s (workouts). We need to get him in some leggings."
Diehl and Fitzy went back and forth until Rogowsky told them to take the conversation outside.
"What are we going to talk about, the ketchup sock?" Diehl quipped in reference to Curt Schilling's allegedly bloody sock in the 2004 ALCS.
"I was going to chip in to your foundation," Fitzy shot back. "Now I'm going to get everybody out here to chip in to the Fitzy went Gillooly on Dave Diehl Foundation."
Again, great stuff.
By the way, the foundation Fitzy mentioned is Project Sunshine, a charity to help children with cancer, AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. Diehl endorses Project Sunshine and helps raise money for the organization. Wednesday night, a portion of the proceeds went to the charity.
So not only was it great entertainment, it was for a great cause. And Diehl's performance was outstanding - all the way up to the final interview session when he told a hysterical story about how he was the world's biggest jockey for Halloween this past year. He actually went to the jockeys' locker room at the Meadowlands Racetrack, where he (not the undersized jockeys) felt like the freak. Apparently, the jockeys were laughing at him, pointing in his direction and a few were saying stuff in Spanish he couldn't understand.
It was great, great stuff. In a locker room of plenty of other guys who consider themselves funny (particularly a few of Diehl's fellow linemen), one of them got up on stage at a New York club and didn't disappoint.
Bravo, David Diehl.
Diehl is a gamer, so he didn't miss a beat when he was asked to do that final interview in place of the Knicks' Nate Robinson, who cancelled because of a personal issue. During that interview, he also talked about his durability and how he's never missed a game. That was ironic because one of the skits that had just taken place was a "blooper" video the hosts claimed was put together by the guards at Abu Ghraib prison.
It was a bunch of clips of some of the worst sports injuries ever. I'm talking Joe Theismann's broken leg (which actually got an ovation from the Giants fans in attendance - that's cold, man), Napoleon McCallum's dislocated knee (still the worst I've ever seen) and the kickboxer who broke his leg on a kick then tried to stand on it (you know what I'm talking about if you've ever seen it). If you have a sick sense of humor, you would have found this skit - complete with the cutaways to strange mascots dancing - funny. If not, you could have just watched some of the people in the audience getting squeamish.
And there were plenty of other highlights from the show, including a funny opener of Selena Roberts pitching another A-Rod book (alleging he was involved in some South American drug cartels), a nice little skit of Roger Federer making his stand-up comedy debut (Rob Lathan nailed the impression and Neil Janowitz playing Rafael Nadal as a heckler was awesome) and Greg Johnson as Dr. James Naismith being asked about the NBA playoffs (to which he looked bewildered and answered by reading his original rules: "Basketball ... is a game to be played ... by nine Christian men...").
"12 Angry Mascots" was created by Rogowsky and Janowitz and they do a new show at Comix roughly every month. Their next one is scheduled for June 29 at 8 p.m.