Look out Marty Walsh — your 2017 re-election bid just got a whole lot harder. Or weirder, at the very least.
Boston comedian Dicky J. Stock is known for his Internet-driven publicity stunts. You might remember him from the time he encouraged his fans to demand that the MBTA Police Department name its new K-9 officer “Mr. Spaghetti” (they went with “Hunter”), or the time he started a (to be clear, false) rumor that WCVB reporter Mike Beaudet drank his own pee.
But now the artful prankster is turning his eye to public service – in a way. Stock, in the spirit of performance artists like Andy Kaufman or Stephen Colbert before him, announced plans for one of his eccentric online characters to run for mayor this week.
Stock’s thousands of followers are well-acquainted with the antics of his characters Kimberly Strubell, her “open-relationship boyfriend” Leonard "Larry" Nabisco and son, Kent Strubell. Each have their own Facebook profile and play with the dynamic of Poe’s Law: the internet adage that bizarre parodies are often indistinguishable from the honest-to-God weirdos who also post online.
The comedian first started toying with fake Facebook profiles by creating Strubell, a play on a certain kind of Massachusetts stereotype. Her blunt, braggadocious, typo-laden posts are also meant to evoke that kind of uncomfortable Facebook friend we almost all assuredly have: someone from our distant past, or with whom we have an otherwise fleeting connection, whose car wreck of a life we can now actively follow online thanks to social media.
Then came her boyfriend Nabisco, who Stock said presents as more of a classically absurd character. His biography includes a stint in the Coast Guard, writing credits at Nickelodeon and Highlights magazines, and later climbing the ranks at Build-a-Bear Workshop to become a regional manager at the company.
“Kimberly Strubell is probably about 30 people I know,” Stock said. “Larry is just silly. “
Silly or not, Stock said Nabisco is “very serious” about his run for mayor, and Stock will be serving as his campaign manager. And, of course, as an official campaign spokesman, on account of Nabsico being a Facebook character.
“You probably won’t see much of him,” Stock explained. “He’s a very private person. … If Mayor Walsh would like to debate, he can debate me.”
“Mr. Nabisco decided to run for mayor because of the political climate in Boston right now,” Stock explained. “I think it really calls for someone with his style of leadership to pull us out of the gutter we’re in right now.”
One area he’d tackle? The T. Stock said Nabisco would usher in a “renaissance within the MBTA,” a feat his prospective administration would accomplish by “probably getting rid of everyone that works at the MBTA.”
“Kind of like in a dictator fashion, he’ll tell the trains where to go,” Stock said when pressed for specifics. “If they can’t do it, well — then that conductor gets fired.”
Stock said he has every intention of making a serious attempt to get on the ballot this year, even posting a video of himself calling Boston City Hall to inquire about the process. To the employee’s credit, he manages to keep it professional the whole time.