Irrideable Ed: The Musical is a concept for a two-man off-Broadway holiday musical written by Winston Cook-Wilson with reluctant contributions from Nick Fesette and starring Nick Fesette as Ed and Winston Cook-Wilson as Santa Claus. This title is a Cloverspeak play on the title of "Evil Dead: The Musical.”
The show’s concept was originally created by Cook-Wilson during a seemingly interminable bus ride from the Port Authority bus terminal in New York City to Crivram’s house in Montclair, New Jersey in October 2006. The title was developed before any of the plot elements for the script, based on a complex and irritation free sound-association Shivni exercise Cook-Wilson engaged in while Fesette fumed and periodically begged him to stop. Eventually, though, Fesette begrudgingly participated in the game once the concept of “Irrideable Ed” had been arrived upon. Fesette viewed this as superior to Cook-Wilson’s original favored scenario, “Cheadle Dead,” a Shaun-of-the-Dead-style zombie comedy about an undead Don Cheadle starring someone else, in which Fesette could not in good conscience involve himself. Fesette erroneously assumed that engaging in the “Irrideable Ed”-related discourse for a brief time would cause Cook-Wilson to stop the game. Instead, it prolonged it for several years. Fesette and Cook-Wilson collaborated on improvised scenes and preliminary songwriting for the hypothetical show throughout the trip and at intervals throughout their college career. Any rough plot elements that have hitherto been sketched for the work are completely derived from trying to determine what plot could go along with the words “Irrideable Ed,” which fundamentally have no meaning. The implied meaning arrived upon by Cook-Wilson was that the Shivni term “irrideable” is a pun on “irritable” and “ride” (i.e. riding Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve).
The musical stars Ed, an unshaven, foul-mouthed and ornery elf, the most disliked and lazy of Santa’s Little Helpers. However, one Christmas Eve, an unspecified freak situation occurs in which Santa Claus is unable to conduct his normal business and needs Ed to take over to make sure children all over the world get their presents on time. Ed, who would prefer to stay home and smoke a few of his trademark Cuban cigars (which either chews on or smokes throughout the entire show) is extremely reluctant to do this. At in the first act of the show, Ed berates Santa for refusing to “get off his fat ol’ ass” and “do his fucking job” (“Hey Fat Ass”) and insults him in a long medley of songs (“Father Dickmas,” “Smelly Nowell, “Ed Cool, Santa Drool,” “My Cigars,” etc.) At the end of Act I, Santa reveals he is dying and the lights fade immediately to black.
The second act is another long argument between a slightly more subdued Ed and Santa. Ed’s songs in Act II are whiny rather than mocking and incendiary. The show-stopping “I Don’t Want to Ride the Sleigh, Santy” softshoe occurs in the middle of the act. Fesette has stated on several occasions that the entire plot for Act II could be summed up by this song and that the act “could essentially only be that song because nothing happens in it.” (Fesette, 2006 verbal testimonal) This is the only song from Irrideable Ed that has been fully drafted. The end of the show has not yet been determined. An open-ended ending has been proposed by Cook-Wilson, in which Santa sobs out a final ballad (“The End of Christmas”) and Irrideable Ed looks out of the window of Santa’s Workshop with a glimmer in his eye, which could either be perceived as evil and vindictive or as a sign of softening after seeing Santa cry. Fesette has offered the suggestion that “there is no possible way to end it because the whole [musical] shouldn’t exist and also doesn’t actually exist and also, stop this.” (Fesette, ibid.)
The stated target audience of the musical is “fans of ‘Elf’” (Cook-Wilson, Facebook message, 2006) but, because of the pervasive foul language and pungent cigar smoke that would create a haze throughout the entire theater during the show, “the Avenue Q crowd” has been mentioned as the other important demographic to take into consideration (Cook-Wilson, ibid.)
Irrideable Ed has gained a reputation as a Cloverspeak-related “atrocity” and as “one of the worst things Winston has ever done” (Fesette, 2006-2011).