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An Open Letter to the Sea Monkeys

That was amazing. Don’t believe me?

Somewhere in between when we decided to do this and when it actually happened, I started to get a little freaked out. It felt like maybe this time I had gone too far, asked for too much. What were we thinking setting up a thing like this? We talked a bunch of our professional entertainer friends into giving up a week of their time, and then suddenly people were plunking down large sums of money to attend, and the whole thing was a big unknown. Would it be fun? Would the ship lose power and need to be towed back to port while we all suffered from gastrointestinal distress? Would I be stabbed by a crazy fan? (yes, no and no). But the main source of my anxiety was wanting everyone to have a good time, and that anxiety disappeared the moment we were all together. That’s all because of you guys. I’ve said it before, and I need to say it again here: I have the greatest fans in the world.

For me the strongest illustration of your awesomeness was the JoCo Karaoke nights. Person after person got up there to sing their favorite song in front of me and everyone else. Some of them were great, some of them were, let’s just say, “not great,” but every single person without exception was strongly supported and loudly cheered. I’m pretty sure the worst singers got the biggest response.

That inclusiveness and enthusiasm covered everything like delicious buttercream frosting. The Paul F. Tompkins mustache formal was a ridiculous idea that everyone embraced wholeheartedly in a way that made me absolutely giddy. The gaming room was stuffed full whenever I saw it, and stayed active until the early morning hours. The swing dancing, the iPhone handbell concert, the Fancy Pants Parade – all the little unofficial things that came directly from you guys made the whole thing special in a way that I did not anticipate.

Of course all of the performers were wonderful, as I knew they would be. I was delighted to watch some of you hear and see a few of them for the first time, but it was even more exciting to watch them meet YOU. Everyone felt welcomed and loved, and I was not surprised, because that’s how you make me feel all the time no matter how much I suck (witness: you loudly applauded the very worst performance of The Presidents I have ever done). It’s a great pleasure to have such complete trust in an audience, and it makes me very happy to put some of my favorite performers and you in the same place together.

So thank you for everything. I hope you had as wonderful a time as I did. Too much to say. In no particular order:

Paul F. Tompkins: I hope you will not take offense to the various ways we joked about your absence on the ship, we were only trying to make ourselves feel better about missing out on your company and talent. His website is paulftompkins.com, his twitter is @PFTomkins, his podcast is pft.libsyn.com.

Paul and Storm: Thank you for all your hard work and anxiety sharing, I could not have done this without you. Their website is paulandstorm.com, their twitter is @PaulandStorm, their podcast is paulandstorm.com/archives/category/podcast.

John Hodgman: Thank you for your mustache, which is growing on me even more than it is growing on you. His website is areasofmyexpertise.com, his twitter is @Hodgman, his podcast is maximumfun.org/shows/judge-john-hodgman.

Wil Wheaton: You are an inspiration, and I hope you don’t take offense, but the main reason I’m glad you were there is that I finally got to meet the famous Nolan and Ryan. His website is wilwheaton.typepad.com, his twitter is @WilW.

Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy: You are as warm and fun as you are talented, I’m a bigger fanboy than would make you comfortable if you knew. Their website is rifftrax.com, their twitters are @kwmurphy and @BillCorbett.

Molly Lewis: You continue to kick ass in a way that makes the rest of us kind of hate you a little, in a good way. Her website is sweetafton23.com, her twitter is @Molly23, her YouTube channel is youtube.com/user/sweetafton23.

Mike Phirman: See above. You killed, as I suspected you might. His website is mikephirman.com, his twitter is @phirm, his amazing album is music.mikephirman.com and you should please give him money for it.

Stepto: Thank you for stepping in at the last minute and thanks for protecting us all from douchebags. His website is stepto.com, his twitter is @Stepto, his book is stepto.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=641.

John Roderick: And you thought you didn’t belong there. Thanks for letting us do Commander with you. His band is called “The Long Winters” (which I think I failed to mention even ONCE), their website is thelongwinters.com, his twitter is @johnroderick, and there is plenty more where that came from.

Peter Sagal: Doing that quiz show with you reminded me that I am not quick-witted enough to ever do what you do – you have a superpower. His website is petersagal.com, his twitter is @petersagal.

David Rees: Your enthusiasm is infectious, your talents are vast and difficult to describe, and your pencils are very sharp. His website is mnftiu.cc, his twitter is @letsgetshort, his many projects are to numerous for me to link to here but all wonderful.

Liz: I am speechless, and can only croak out “Thank you.” Her twitter is @Dammit_Liz, her skillz are mad.

Finally, I just want to link here to the winners of the video contest, which for technical reasons could not be shown onboard as planned. Thanks to everyone for spending time on this, your videos were all great.

The winner:

The runners up:

ENOUGH! Thank you one and all, I hope to do this again, and I’ll let everyone know as soon as I know where and when and how.

23 Comments

  1. Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe this experience could have been improved upon in any way. Perhaps if you keep this up long enough we can fill the boat!

    Thanks for assembling all these amazing guests and amazing fans in one place. I’ve never experienced so much wonderfulness in once place. I hurt from all the laughing and am still enveloped in the warm fuzzy glow.

    I would like to write thank you notes to the performers – what’s the best way to get them passed on?

    -JodyTheBad

  2. Angela
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s true; you do have the greatest fans in the world, and just meeting and hanging out with them was enough to make the cruise awesome. Then on top of that were the entertainers, making it awesome squared. And as if that weren’t enough, there was the food and the sea and the islands, which made it awesome squared plus a constant. Thanks everyone for organising this and/or coming.

  3. Graham Gemmell
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    This made me tear up just a little. OK, just as much as “Commander” did the first time I heard it on the cruise.

    Thank you Jonathon for doing what you do, and bringing together the people that have come to orbit you like an enormous planet somehow composed of equal parts talent, kindness and humour.

    I know I’m not being hyperbolic when I say I miss everyone I had a chance to meet in our group very very much, and that this was easily the best full week of my life. To be surrounded by a group of people filled with so much enthusiasm and creativity and support for one another is something that I can never hope to surpass, but only replicate in the future.

    Thanks again, to you and everyone you mentioned in the above post for making the past week incredibly special for everyone there.

    -Graham

  4. JohnnyFlash
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I agree with what Jody said, except that we should never have more Monkeys than can fit in the auditorium. JoCo Cruise Crazy is only awesome because of how much it was a shared experience for everyone there.

  5. Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    BEST VACATION EVER!!!

    Thanks for inviting us all aboard, I’ll remember this forever!

    Alex

  6. Dan Shookowsky
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I keep describing the week as a “crescendo of awesomeness” because that’s what it was. From the first nervous wave to JoCo on the back of the boat to having Mike Phirman sit down at our dinner table to do an improvised hand-fart concert; things just kept getting better and better. I left each performance with tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard.

    in short: Great Cruise! A+++++++. Would Cruise Again!

  7. Joel R
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree with @ JohnnyFlash… If we had so many people that we would more than fill the performance venue, two things would happen:

    1. People would not be able to see the show. Tragic and pointless.

    2. The performers would never get a break from being surrounded by fans. At least they can try to blend with the non-attendees (norms) if the fans haven’t taken over the entire trip. We want them to continue doing this, and not have to remain locked in their rooms all week.

    And a corollary to #2, it’s REALLY funny to see the norms try to figure out what this “Jock-o” Crazy Cruise is all about.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for everyone who made this happen. I had the best time I’ve had in almost five years!

    –Joel

  8. Armand
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Note to Joel,

    The capacity of the theater was always our top limit of cruisers. Although we didn’t get to fill it this time, after word of this joyful communal experience permeates the nooks and crannies of the interwebs, no telling what might happen in the future! Thank you all for making the immense effort to attend.

  9. Jennifer
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    What a fun, crazy trip! Thank you Jonathan and all the other performers and organizers for making it happen. Every mainstage show felt more like a party than a concert, it’s been a long time since I’ve laughed that hard. And without a doubt, singing I’m a Mason Now in a near-empty ship lounge, with Jonathan sitting right there next to me, was one of the coolest and most surreal experiences of my life. I’ll never forget it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. Tim
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    This trip is easily the coolest event I’ve ever taken part in. This experience of meeting and interacting with so many of the people I’ve been a fan of has only served to enhance my admiration for all of you. Thank You All, so much for your hard work, and this opportunity.

    It was also a great pleasure to meet all of the Sea Monkeys, many of whom I will miss getting the chance to know-Jonathan is right in saying you all are terrific people.

    Thank you again, for your considerable talents, but mostly your friendliness and devotion to the fans.

    Tim

  11. Posted January 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow, @letsgetshort is David Rees? I was wondering what his Twitter username was, and now when I click on it I discover I’d already been following him because of urlshorteningservicefortwitter.com. That man has many talents.

  12. Posted January 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s a lot of great pictures, and I bet that’s not even a quarter of them! Thanks for uploading, everyone! Laura and I will most likely upload ours this week.
    Thanks to all the celebrities and the incredible fans for such a great time! Let’s do this again soon!

  13. Posted January 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I didn’t know one could cram so many great memories into six days.

    Sincere thanks to all of the performers and their families.

    Thank you, Mr. Coulton.

  14. @technologytoni
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Not sure there’s much left to say here, but I wanted to also extend my appreciation for JoCo and friends for making it an awesome week for me and my mom. She is now one of your biggest fans (maybe with the exception of Hodgman… She just didn’t “get” you man)! It was an amazing week with an even more amazing bunch of people (celebs and sea monkeys alike)! I will do whatever possible to be part of the next one!

    And also a big thanks to Neil and Randall who seemed to be enjoying themselves more than actually working… How did you guys get such awesome jobs?

    Thanks to everyone for everything! Please keep in touch!

  15. Posted January 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Already said my piece on Jonathan’s main site, but thanks again to all of my my fellow Crazies who made the whole thing worthwhile. Can’t wait to meet you all again, and if it is not to be, let us always remember this amazing time that we had together. Such a unique experience, one that I do not for a minute regret . . . and then I remembered Ocho Rios . . .

  16. Posted January 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    “And also a big thanks to Neil and Randall who seemed to be enjoying themselves more than actually working… How did you guys get such awesome jobs?”

    It all started when I learned to program at the age of 9… :)

  17. Marleigh Norton
    Posted January 11, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    My one regret is that I didn’t get to spend as much time with everyone as I’d like. It seemed like everybody had a cool story to tell.

    Cheers, everybody. And standing invite to all and sundry to look me up if you’re ever in Boston.

  18. Posted January 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Can we live on JoCo Cruise Crazy? I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event that was so well run and so brilliantly human and funny and lovely.

  19. Tracy
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    The experience was so amazing that I foresee a future in which demand for the next JoCo Cruise is so high, the booking server crashes the day tickets go on sale.

  20. Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    “The experience was so amazing that I foresee a future in which demand for the next JoCo Cruise is so high, the booking server crashes the day tickets go on sale.”

    It’s my job to see that doesn’t happen, so thanks for the challenge!

  21. Kimberly
    Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    This was such a great experience. Thank you so much for organizing it! Best. Vacation. Ever.

  22. Melisa
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I share everyone’s above sentiments and all I’d like to add is when’s the next one?!!! We be there!

  23. Earthling
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    While I love your music and applaud your ventures into alternative venues, I’d like to point out that cruise ships are pretty bad for the environment. Here’s a link (with a cited white paper): mindfultourist.com/2009/05/01/cruise-ship-waste-is-literally-crappy/

    Just something to think about. Keep up the great music!

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