Quarantine Diaries: Rob Huebel
It's Nice to Laugh

Quarantine Diaries: Rob Huebel

Intro by Abby Schreiber / Illustrations by Taylor Roberts

If anyone can make 24 mind-numbing hours of a life in quarantine funny, it's the comics we've asked to share a daily snapshot of what they're eating, doing, watching, thinking and Googling while under lockdown.

By now, it's almost de rigueur for any bio or profile of comedian Rob Huebel to describe him as an actor who often "plays charismatic, but otherwise loud, ignorant and obnoxious jerks." Whether as Tevin Downey, the fake-baked, bleached-tipped real estate agent in I Love You, Man to doofy Dr. Owen Maestro on Children's Hospital, Huebel has carved a career out of playing the kind of guy you'd swipe left on if you saw him on a dating app but also wouldn't mind having on your company kickball team. In other words, the kind of character whose antics might be grating one-on-one but are amusing so long as you're not on the receiving end.

Even with the lockdown, 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for Huebel: He has a new series, Medical Police, out now on Netflix. A spin-off of Children's Hospital, the show sees Huebel and co-star Erinn Hayes reprising their original roles but this time finding themselves leaving the hospital and becoming covert government agents looking to stop a global virus (an eerily prescient premise). Meanwhile, over on HBO, he can be seen in I Know This Much Is True, a limited mini-series that debuted Sunday starring Mark Ruffalo as two twin brothers, one of whom is battling paranoid schizophrenia. You can also catch him in this year's remake of '80s cult favorite, Valley Girl, as well as a new Netflix doc, Have a Good Trip, the latter of which finds Huebel and fellow comics and actors describing their experiences with psychedelics. It's a vibe.

We have been locked down in my house since 3/11. Me and my wife and 3 year old daughter and our pitbull. This is what my days look like:

7:45 AM  

Wake up to my 3-year-old daughter singing "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen down the hallway in her room. It's loud and it's bad. Make a note to get her singing lessons. Throw that note in the garbage.

8:30 AM 

I change her diaper and think about how bad diapers are for the earth. Then I remember that the Earth is trying to kill us all right now with a virus. Screw you, Earth!

8:45 AM 

Walk the pitbull. I swear it seems like he's pooping way more these days just to watch me pick it up. Do they make diapers for pitbulls?

9:00 AM

My wife makes us all breakfast. She is cooking a lot these days and it is so comforting. We are very lucky. I offer to cook sometimes but she rolls her eyes. I would never tell her but I miss restaurants so much. I bet a lot of Yelpers who wrote shitty reviews feel pretty bad about it now.

9:15 AM

After breakfast I stop to think about how easy it would be for my wife to kill me. She could slowly poison my food. I wonder if she thinks about it. Cops are too busy to investigate. It would go unsolved. Come to think of it, my eggs did taste like anti-freeze.

9:30 AM 

Think about ordering something off Amazon. Something that will distract us from this hell. Maybe something fun for my daughter? Did they make any merch from Frozen? JK. Oh damn, just remembered Amazon treats their employees like crap. I should hold off using them.

9:40 AM

Buy underwear off Amazon. But at least I will be nice to the delivery guy and put a treat on the front porch for him. A bowl of soup?

10:00 AM

Wave goodbye as my wife takes our daughter for a walk. Slam the front door. A moment alone! I quickly jump back on the internet. Think about looking at porn but worried it will broadcast thru the Sonos system on the patio and upset the joggers.

10:05 AM

Click over to Washington Post. Get sad. Jared Kushner is a fucking psychopath. Look at his glossy face. If we ever get out of quarantine, I would love to get stuck in an elevator with him. I would start acting weird and pee myself. He'd cram himself into the corner of the elevator and start checking his phone. I want to eat his face like in Silence of the Lambs. Can I go to jail for writing this? I don't think so because he's not an official member of the cabinet.

10:30 AM

Go on Instagram. See what everyone else is doing. Everyone else seems like they're doing way better than me. Who bakes their own bread? Kumail is still ripped? You reshot La La Land with squirrels?

11:00 AM

My turn to entertain our kiddo. And give my wife some time alone. She better not watch porn because of Sonos. I pack up a picnic. We do a thing called "trunk picnics." I drive us to a nice spot somewhere and we park and eat snacks and drink juice boxes. I throw in a bunch of books to read to her. I intentionally forget any books about Frozen. I also make a playlist of Prince and The Beatles. Also David Bowie. She says that David Bowie sounds like the crab in Moana (Jemaine Clement). Almost.

1:00 PM

When I get home I make a joke to my wife: "How's Brad?" "Who?" she says. "Brad, the guy you're probably having an affair with while we go on trunk picnics." "I don't know what you're talking about," she says. She seems legit. But I'm not convinced. "Haha. Just kidding. That would be so funny if you were having an affair during the quarantine!" I say. She doesn't laugh. Is she not laughing because it's not funny or is she not laughing because she is having an affair and I busted her. Fuck you Brad if you're reading this.

1:30 PM

My wife does a Zoom music class with the kid. I stand off to the side and watch. The lady doing the music class is trying so hard I feel bad for her. She's in this one box singing and acting silly and the other 12 boxes are just little eyeballs and noses. They watch for a second, then walk out of the room. The lady tries to call them back but she's yelling at cats on speed. Some of the other parents crawl by looking exhausted. I wonder how many of those other parents fantasize about eating Jared Kushner's face off.

1:50 PM

Music class is over. I bet the music lady is smoking a huge joint right about now and enjoying a box of wine.

2:00 PM

I go into the bathroom and check my hair turning gray. My hair has been almost solid gray since I was like 26. I had to color it once for an SNL audition (I didn't get it). I've kept the color up since then, but now I wonder "what's the point?" I also admit my quarantine wardrobe has been the same three t-shirts and two pairs of shorts. Why bother? My neighbors are lucky I don't walk the pitbull nude. The only reason I don't is because I don't want to get a dog bite on my penis again.

2:30 PM

I'm worried about the single people out there. I'm so glad I'm married. How are you going to meet someone? I should make an app. Like Zoom but you're in a room alone sitting there naked and sad. Nothing but a facemask. I doubt this already exists. Don't steal this idea.

2:40 PM

Think about my dentist. Like what's my dentist going to do? People don't want to have somebody's fingers in their mouth, breathing all over them. Can he go on Zoom and show people how to fix their own teeth? He should wear clothes though.

3:00 PM

Time for the pool. We don't have a real pool. Our backyard is too small. We have an inflatable one from Target. She loves it. I set up her tiny, plastic slide so she can slide down into the water. She yells "I'm peeing!" Grab her out of pool.

3:15 PM

Try to do some writing. All my ideas for movies are suddenly pretty bleak. A family stranded alone. A couple stranded alone. A guy stuck in an elevator with Jared Kushner.

3:30 PM

What time can we start drinking? No, but seriously.

4:00 PM

Somebody in the neighborhood is writing inspirational things on the sidewalk in chalk. "Hang in there!" "We will get by!" "Comb your hair!" If I find out who it is, I'm calling the cops.

4:30 PM

Walk the pitbull. I heard tons of dogs got rescued at the shelter because people didn't want to be alone in the Quar. That makes me happy. Step in poop. Dammit dogs, pick up your poop.

5:00 PM

Daughter is cranking Frozen on Sonos. I step into the garage and think about starting a trash fire just so the family would scream and there would be a diversion and I could change the music.

5:30 PM 

Build a fort out of couch cushions. Hide inside until they come for me. This would be a great place to drink.

6:00 PM

This child is getting tired. I can tell by the way she yells at us. It's the way a drunk lady yells at a cop during a DWI test. We put on a movie. I'm at the point where I'm now scouring the background art in Frozen to look for continuity errors.

7:00 PM

She falls asleep. We have two hours to stare at our phones in silence. Or maybe watch something light like Dateline or a murder-documentary to make us forget about the horror we're living through.

9:00 PM

Check the internet one more time to see if anything horrible happened, before trying to sleep. Found a funny t-shirt on Amazon that says: "The mayor in Jaws is still the mayor in Jaws 2. It is so important to vote in your local elections." I gotta buy this.

Illustration: Taylor Roberts


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