You know what's interesting about that clip to me? It's really about me, it's not about other people. Like the story I tell Conan about the guy sitting next to me on the airplane when the Internet shuts down suddenly, and he says, "This is bulls---," and I go,"How can you be angry? People owe you something that existed a minute ago?" There wasn't anybody next to me on the plane, that was me. People don't talk to me on airplanes. [Laughs] Anytime you see a bit where some stranger does something to me, it's me.
The fact is, I was really upset that the Internet shut down. I was livid. Then I caught myself — wait a minute, what are you upset about? This was incredible that it was possible even. It was like an epiphany to me, I started seeing things differently. "Take a breath and calm down, this is as good as they make these right now. This is as good as it is, and it's pretty goddamn great." And the same thing with the planes, they're hurling tons of metal with people in it all over the earth, all day, every day, 24 hours a day, safely. It's because these people are dedicated geniuses that we're all landing safely but somehow it doesn't make us happy. Too bad.
Interesting that he changed the perspective that way. The rage he feels is what makes the bit sing. It'd be a totally different joke if he said, "I'm an idiot because I felt..."
Also noteworthy that the original incident was years ago. Sometimes jokes come in a flash and sometimes they take months/years of marinading before they hit. I just finished the ending to a bit that I first started doing over two years ago. I had no idea where to take it back then. After a long period of subconscious stewing, helpful advice from others, and plain 'ol getting better at standup, I think it's finally there. Better late than never.
Permalink | 4/20/2009