You’ve got to love comedians. The good ones make you think, lift your spirits, cause hysterics. One belly laugh after another.
Jerry Seinfeld, Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, George Carlin and Joan Rivers. Hilarious.
Until this week, we didn’t know Stephen Curry was a comic. We knew he was a fabulous basketball player, a Splash Brother, the centerpiece of multiple NBA championship teams and, just recently, named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsperson of the Year.”
But we didn’t know until just the other day that he could tell a joke. He couldn’t have been serious when he said he didn’t believe man landed on the moon?
That’s like stupid, you know. It’s like saying LeBron James never landed in Cleveland.
Well, it turns out he really didn’t mean it. It was a straight line, not a punch line, Abbott not Costello, Rowan not Martin, Curry not Rodman.
Cue the laugh track.
“I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law,” Curry told ESPN on Wednesday. “‘Oh my God, he’s a fake moon landing truther,’ whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada. So I was silently protesting that part about it, how the story took a life of its own.”
Yada, Yada, Yada? Oh my God, now he stealing lines from Elaine Benes.
Curry has had a lot of time on his hands lately. He had been injured for a couple of weeks and away from his teammates on the Golden State Warriors. We assume he was been taking care of kids and watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Now we know he was been contemplating the known – and unknown.
Just the other day, Steph was a guest on a podcast, “Winging It,” that’s hosted by Vince Carter, Kent Bazemore and Annie Finberg, who does digital magic for the Atlanta Hawks. Andre Iguodala, Curry’s teammates on the Dubs, was there, too.
So, everybody starts riffing, having a few chuckles, keeping it light, imagining what kinds of sounds a dinosaur might make when Curry, wondering way outside his three-point range, suddenly asked the panel a question.
“We ever been to the moon?” asked Curry.
If you thought the response would be no, a million times no, you were wrong. Everybody said no.
That’s one small step for satire, one giant step for laughs.
“They’re going to come get us,” Curry replied. “Sorry, I don’t want to start conspiracies.”
So he started an online debate instead.
Finberg immediately stepped in and tried to help a fella out, asking Curry to be a little clearer. Curry complied, reasserting his belief that man had never stepped foot on the moon.
Curry theorized that Stanley Kubrick, the director of bizarre cult films like “Clockwork Orange” and “2001: Space Odyssey” had put the whole thing together in grainy black and white.
Ground control to Major Curry: Imagine what Walter Cronkite and Jules Bergman (look them up, millennials) must be thinking about all of this.
We immediately found out what everyone else was thinking. Curry must have moon rocks in his head. Twitter took off. It was not kind.
This is what the rest of us on earth were thinking: All Curry needed to do was search moon travel. Page 1 reads, “Beginning with Neil Armstrong in 1969, a dozen astronauts kicked up dirt on the moon over the next four years. Alan Shepard even hit golf ball, likely into the largest bunker anyone has ever imagined.”
Not the Russians. Not the North Koreans. Not Elon Musk.
Of course, when we say “everyone” was thinking Curry was out in space, we don’t mean J.J. Redick, who once pranked us by saying he didn’t believe in dinosaurs or Kyrie Irving, who hypothesized the world was flat.
And those guys went to Duke!
NASA didn’t lose its mind about what Curry said. It kindly offered an invitation to come visit the next time the Dubs come to Houston.
“We’d love for Mr. Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets,” said Allard Beutel, a NASA spokesman. “We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there, and the Apollo mission control. During his visit, he can see firsthand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay.”
Curry gladly accepted. They will give him a pamphlet, maybe introduce him to a modern-day astronaut – the USA has nearly 40 – and, if he’s lucky, give him a model of the Saturn V to build.
“I am going to educate myself firsthand on everything that NASA has done and shine a light on their tremendous work over the years,” said Curry. “And hopefully people understand that education is power, informing yourself is power.
“For kids out there that hang on every word that we say, which is important, understand that you should not believe something just because somebody says it. “You should do your homework and understand what you actually believe.”
In situations such as this, we like to imagine what Ralph Kramden would have said: “One of these days, one of these days, Steph, ‘Bang, zoom, you’re going to the moon.”