Then at Kabin the other week I saw him reframe it. He talked about he's always irrationally in a rush and desperately trying to get places faster. And then he threw in that line while talking about how he gets pissed while riding the subway. And there was other stuff in the bit that tied into the whole "in a rush" thing.
It completely changed the context of the joke. Before it was a quick, random, observational joke that made fun of someone else. Now it's transformed into a longer bit that's more introspective and personally revealing. It examines Kumail's own worldview instead of just mocking someone else for moving too slow. A subtle change, yet it really elevates the whole bit.
I emailed Kumail and asked him if I was on point with this theory or just talking out my ass. His response:
yeah that's a pretty good assessment of the change in that joke. Its always very satisfying to me when ideas i think are funny or interesting end up in other contexts and suddenly, now they seem to work better. I have some ideas i've been carrying around for 5 years that are only now finding their way into bits. I like to go back every now and then look up older bits or ideas i don't do anymore. Sometimes you figure out the angle 5 years after you think of an idea.
Sift through the junkyard and occasionally ya find some real gems.
Permalink | 1/25/2010