Weirdly endearing comedy of Chris Bosh
May, 2, 2013
By Steve Etheridge | ESPN.com
Chris Bosh is a funny man.
He’s a world-class videobomber. He takes ridiculous photos with mariachi bands. He moonlights as a vigilante meter maid. The guy knows how to get a laugh.
He’s also somewhat of an enigma. Just when we think we’ve got a finger on him, he slinks beyond our understanding and leaves us scratching our heads.
Like, did you know that he’s bilingual? Or that as a teenager he was part of an after-school computer coding crew called The Whiz Kids? Or that he’s really into art, or that he hosts Moroccan-themed birthday parties where a camel named Henri greets everyone at the door?
He’s equal parts funny and perplexing, and perhaps as a result, irrational comedy made at his expense can feel oddly rational.
If that sounds confusing, a recent short film called "Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse" makes a psychedelically riveting case for the strange comedic potential of Bosh. Billed as a docudrama, it posits that Bosh was banished to Earth from his home planet of Zorg-nok 7 in 1984, and was later charged with the task of saving the human race from an evil space sorceress named Jillian.
As insane as that description seems, the film itself is infinitely more preposterous, erupting with thousands upon thousands of ludicrous drug-fueled details. But for something so devoid of rhyme or reason, the element that seems to make the most sense is Bosh. The film is wildly imaginative and relentlessly entertaining, but if Bosh hadn’t been there to anchor the concept, it would’ve felt like little more than the frenzied fruits of a weeklong mescaline bender. Instead, it’s face-meltingly funny.
Bosh just has this distinct yet intangible kind of humor radiating off of him, something keenly funny that’s impossible to pinpoint but somehow still clicks in the right contexts.
Comedian Aubrey Plaza, who plays April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation," has frequently used her Twitter account to conduct a hilariously twisted one-way relationship with Bosh.
BOSSSSSHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Aubrey Plaza (@evilhag) April 1, 2013
Chris boshhhhh stop ignoring meeee— Aubrey Plaza (@evilhag) February 10, 2013
HAPPYBIRTHDAY @chrisbosh!!! Never forget that I BIRTHED YOU— Aubrey Plaza (@evilhag) March 25, 2013
BOSHHHHHH!!!! I AM YOUR MOTHERRRRRRRR— Aubrey Plaza (@evilhag) April 1, 2013
I reached out to her to get a sense of where she’s coming from, to get a professional funny person’s insight on what it is that makes Bosh so compelling.
You tweet about Chris Bosh all the time. How come? What got you started on it?
Well, there are no professional teams from Delaware … and I started watching the Heat and just sensed something unique about Bosh. He is like a special prince.
Seems like you might have developed some special romantic feelings for him. If so, what is it that makes you so attracted to him?
He is intelligent and cultured. He attends fashion shows, drinks fine wine and is well read. Most importantly, he descends from the untainted Zalrythian bloodline through his ancestors Ajaqq The Merciless and Bilimu The Enslaver Of All Lizard Peoples.
Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesChris Bosh may not resonate with everyone, but he does have one admirer in Aubrey Plaza.
Have you ever heard anything, directly or indirectly, from Bosh or his people?
Only in my dreams.
In one tweet you say, “BOSHH I KNOW YOU DID ITTTT #chrisbosh”. What, exactly, did he do? Are you aware of something the rest of us aren’t?
Bosh hit a game-winning jump shot against the Spurs. He was playing without LeBron and Wade and proved how clutch he is. I was showing my appreciation for his heroics.
Say you’re given five minutes alone with him. What would you say? What would you like for him to know?
"Bosh, look at me. No, look me straight in the eye. Yes, like that. Now listen … never change. Be true to yourself and know that every night I send fireballs of strength and victory across the country, straight from my bedroom to yours. Now go to sleep."
These responses would feel utterly incompatible with any other player in the NBA, yet they seem perfectly suited to Bosh. And that’s because he’s of an entirely different ilk than anyone in the league. The typical set of metrics we use to understand basketball players isn't enough to help us fathom Bosh.
Perhaps, then, it’s no coincidence that he’s always been a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches -- you just can’t put him in a box. He’s a positionless big man both on the court and off, and just when you think you can trap him in the paint, he goes ahead and stings you from the arch.
Years ago, on an episode of "Jim Rome Is Burning," Dennis Rodman claimed that he had coached a rookie Bosh on how to cope with the media and life in the public eye. If there’s any truth to this, then (A) that’s incredible, and (B) maybe it partially explains the indefinable persona that Bosh has developed throughout his career. And, considering Rodman’s recent bro-down with the world’s most spherical dictator, perhaps it’s an indicator that Bosh will become even less predictable with age.
The human brain is a marvelously complex organ, capable of solving the very equations that govern our universe, and yet it still struggles to comprehend things that should be relatively straightforward. Such as Ikea instructions, for instance, or how to competently spread butter on a waffle. Or a professional basketball player whom we've closely watched, game in and game out, for nearly a decade, whose peers have long since grown calculable in their antics.
Yet Bosh remains a mystery. And the more his aura manifests itself, whether in far-out niches of comedy or in the confines of his own decidedly un-baller pursuits (coding, anyone?), the more we’ll appreciate his endearing absurdity.
Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that one day he will heed the lessons of Sensei Rodman and let his freak flag fly.