[organ music playing] Welcome to Radio City Music Hall. It’s time. Any questions? No. Walk with me. [eerie organ music playing] [mechanical whirring] [audience applauding and cheering]
Good evening. Hi, I’m John Mulaney, nice to meet you. Jon Brion, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming to see me at Radio City Music Hall. I love to play venues where if the guy that built the venue could see me on the stage, he would be a little bit bummed about it. Look at this. This is so much nicer than what I’m about to do. It’s really… It’s really tragic. What a historic and beautiful and deeply haunted building this is. I keep walking through cold spots being like, “I wonder who that used to be.”
I’ve never seen a ghost, by the way. I asked my mom if she’d ever seen a ghost. That’s where we’re at conversation-wise in our relationship as a mother and son, because I’m 35 and I don’t have any children to talk about and she doesn’t understand my career. So I was home for Christmas and we were just eating Triscuits in silence and I was staring at the floor and I was like, “Well, here goes nothing. ‘You ever seen a ghost?'” And my mom said, “Yes.” Which is the best answer. She said, “I never told you this before but our house, when you were growing up, was haunted.” I said, “Say more right now!” She said, “Outside you and your brother’s room, I used to see the ghost of a little girl in a Victorian nightgown and then she would walk down the hallway and then she would evaporate.” And then my dad said, “Let’s change the subject!” And I think he was just doing that dad-thing of, like, “This is a weird topic and I want to talk about a book I read about World War II.” But the way it came off was that he definitely killed that little girl. “Let’s change the subject! Why are we even talking about Penelope… or whatever her name was? I didn’t kill her! Whoever did kill her only did it to protect her from this world.”
None of us really know our fathers. Anyway… My dad is so weird. I’d love to meet him someday. You know, my friend was telling me that his dad used to beat him with a belt and that’s just the setup to my story, so… Forget about that poor son of a bitch. Anyway… He was talking and I was waiting for him to be done so I could talk. So he’s “talk, talk, talk.” It’s my turn next! And… [audience laughing] I said, “My dad never hit us.” My dad is a lawyer and he was a debate team champion. So he would pick us apart psychologically. One time I was at the dinner table when I was like six, because I had to be. My dad goes, “How was school today?” I said, “It was good but someone pushed Tyler off the seesaw.” “And where were you?” “I was over on the bench.” “And what did you do?” “Nothing. I was over on the bench.” “But you saw what happened?” “Yeah, ’cause I was over on the bench.” “So you saw what happened and you did nothing?” “Yeah, ’cause I was sitting over on the bench.” “Let me ask you this. In Nazi Germany…” [audience laughing] “…when people saw what the Nazis were doing and did nothing, were those good people?” “No, those are bad people. You gotta stop the Nazis.” “But you saw what they were doing to Tyler and you did nothing!” “Because I was over on the bench.” And then my dad said, “Just explain to me this. How are you better than a Nazi?” And then my mom said, “I made a salad with Craisins!” And the conversation ended.
My dad’s a very weird, informal guy. A lot of people ask me if he gave me a sex talk. Yes. I think. I was like 12 years old and my dad walked up to me and he said, “Hello… [chuckles] Hello, I’m Chip Mulaney. I’m your father.” And then he said the following, “You know, Leonard Bernstein… was one of the great composers and conductors of the 20th century, but sometimes he would be gay. And according to a biography I read of him, when he was holding back the gay part, he did some of his best work.” [audience laughing] Now we don’t have time to unpack all of that. And I don’t know if he was discouraging me from being gay or encouraging me to be a classical composer. But that is how he thought to phrase it to a 12-year-old boy. How would that ever work? Like years later, I’d be in college about to go down on some rocking twink and I’d be like, “Wait a second… What would Leonard Bernstein do?” I’ve never talked to my dad about that, but I figured I would tell all of you. [audience laughing]
This is so great. Thank you for coming. You’re here. That’s great. You all showed up. -[audience cheering] -I appreciate it. And then we showed up so you got to see the things that you paid to see. That’s great. You don’t always get to see the things that you paid to see. Ever been to the goddamn zoo? Those guys are never where they’re supposed to be. Every time I go to the zoo I’m like, “Hey, where’s the jaguar?” And the zoo guy is like, “He must be in the inside part.” The inside part? Tell him we’re here. [audience laughing]
I love doing stand-up for crowds because this right here, this reminds me of assembly in grade school. And assembly was the only part of school I ever liked. Once you leave school, you don’t get to have assembly. This is the closest we get in adult life to assembly. ‘Cause look at you all, you’re just sitting there in chairs, looking at a guy with absolutely no expertise, who’s going to talk for a while. Although this is different than assembly because you bought tickets, you knew this was coming. Assembly you never knew was coming when you were a kid. You just showed up at 8:00 a.m. and they were like, “Put down your stuff. Go to the gym.” You’re like, “God, I guess they’re finally going to kill us all. All right. This is younger than I thought I would be but we are pretty big assholes.” You get to the gym and the whole school is sitting on the floor. You’re like, “What are we, about to graduate from Tuesday?” My principal would always come out to kick things off. She’d be like, “Children, rather than continue to teach you how to read, we have cleared the entire day for this random guy.” [imitating New York accent] “I used to smoke crack! As you seven and eight-year-olds probably know, freebasing is the greatest orgasm known to man. But I’m here to tell you there’s hope. I’ve been sober now two weeks. Well, weekdays, not weekends. Weekends, that’s Nunzio’s time.”
I was once in assembly listening to a guy talk about smoking crack. My social studies teacher yelled at me, “Sit up straight! Show some respect.” I was like, “He’s smoking cocaine.” “Sit up straight”? He’s standing on a 45-degree angle. Or, as junkies call it, first position. [audience laughing]
I always got yelled at at assembly. That’s right. There was always assembly and then, like, that second assembly to yell at you for how you behaved at the first assembly. They’d be like, “Get in here! Sit down. I want to talk about what happened yesterday.” You’re like eight years old, “What’s yesterday?” “We invite a woman here with homemade puppets to teach you about bullying through skits and you laugh at this woman? We noticed you had all been bullying each other and making fun of everything constantly. So we invite a woman with straight gray hair, in a denim dress, with a wrist-cast and homemade puppets that all have the same voice to teach you about bullying through skits, and you, ha-ha-ha, laugh it up. What was so funny about that woman? I want to know. What was so funny about when she couldn’t fit the box of puppets back into the trunk of her Dodge Neon? What was so hilarious that you all ran to the windows? Well, you all missed a valuable lesson on the danger of cliques.” “What’s a clique?” “It’s when a group of people hang out together.” “Oh, you mean like having friends?” “No, because these people make fun of other people.” “Oh, you mean like having friends?” [audience laughing]
The greatest assembly of them all, once a year, Stranger Danger. Yeah, the hottest ticket in town. The Bruno Mars of assemblies. You are gathered together as a school and you are told never to talk to an adult that you don’t know and you are told this by an adult that you don’t know. We had the same Stranger Danger speaker every year when I was a kid, his name was Detective JJ Bittenbinder. Go ahead and laugh. His name is ridiculous. That was his name. It was JJ Bittenbinder. He was from the Chicago Police Department. He was a child homicide expert and… -[audience is silent] -Oh, gee. [audience laughing] Very sorry, Radio City, did that make you uncomfortable? Well, guess what? You’re adults and he’s not even here. So try being seven years old and you’re sitting five feet away from him. He’s still got blood on his shoes. And he’s looking at you in the eye to tell you for the first time in your very young life that some adults find you incredibly attractive. [audience laughing] And they may just have to kill you over it. Okay, c’est la vie, go be kids, go have fun. Bittenbinder came every year. By the way, Detective JJ Bittenbinder wore three-piece suits. He also wore a pocket watch. Two years in a row, he wore a cowboy hat. He also had a huge handlebar mustache. None of that matters, but it’s important to me that you know that. He did not look like his job description. He looked like he should be the conductor on a locomotive powered by confetti. But, instead, he made his living in murder. He was the weirdest goddamn person I ever saw in my entire life. He was a man most acquainted with misery. He could look at a child and guess the price of their coffin. [audience laughing] That line never gets a laugh. But once you write it, it stays in the act forever.
So Bittenbinder came every year with a program to teach us about the violent world waiting for us outside the school gym, and that program was called Street Smarts! “Time for Street Smarts with Detective JJ Bittenbinder. Shut up! You’re all gonna die. Street Smarts!” That was the general tone. He would give us tips to deal with crime.
I will share some of the tips with you this evening. “Okay, tip number one. Street Smarts! Let’s say a guy pulls a knife on you to mug you.” You remember the scourge of muggings when you were in second and third grade. You know how a mugger thinks. “Man, I need cash for drugs right now. Hey, maybe that eight-year-old with the goddamn Aladdin wallet that only has blank photo laminate pages in it will be able to help.” “Let’s say a guy pulls a knife on you to mug you. What do you do? You go fumbling for your wallet. And you go fumbling for your wallet. Well, in that split-second, that’s when he’s going to stab you. So here’s what you do. You kids get yourselves a money clip. Okay, you can get these at any haberdashery. You put a $50 bill in the money clip then when a guy flashes a blade, you go, ‘You want my money, go get it!’ Then you run the other direction.” And our teachers were like, “Write that down.” [audience laughing] We’re like, “Buy a money clip. Engraved, question mark?” You go home to your parents. “Hey, Dad. Can I have a silver money clip with a $50 bill in it, please? Don’t worry. I’m only going to chuck it into the gutter and run away at the first sign of trouble. The man with the mustache told me to do it.”
“Tip number two. Street Smarts! Let’s say a kidnapper throws you in the back of a trunk…” This was at nine in the morning. [audience laughing] “Let’s say a kidnapper throws you in the back of a trunk. Don’t panic. [chuckles] Once you get your bearings… find the carpet that covers the taillight, peel back the carpet, make a fist, punch the taillight out the back of the car, thus creating a hole in the back of the automobile, then stick your little hand out and wave to oncoming motorists to let them know that something hinky is going on.” Can you imagine driving behind that? [imitating a thud] I think they’re turning left. [audience laughing]
“Tip number three. Street Smarts! You kids have no upper body strength.” And we were like, “We know but, hey.” “If some guy tries to grab you, you can’t fight him with fists. So here’s what you do. You kids fall down on your back and you kick upward at him. That’ll throw him off his rhythm.” That was a big thing with Bittenbinder, throwing pedophiles off their rhythm. “He’s not gonna know how to fight back with two little sneakers coming at him.” [audience laughing] “If the Lindbergh baby had steel-toe boots, he’d still be alive today. Street Smarts!”
Yeah, he was not a “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” kind of guy. He was more like, “Brush your teeth. Now, boom, orange juice. That’s life.” Bittenbinder, he didn’t want us to not get kidnapped. He wanted us to almost get kidnapped and then fight the guy off using weird, psych-out, back-room Chicago violence. Like here’s what he wanted to see on the news. “We’re here with seven-year-old John Mulaney who fended off a kidnapper earlier today. How did you do it, John?” [imitating heavy Chicago accent] “Well, thank ya for askin’. I used the Bittenbinder method. When I saw the perp approachin’, I chewed up a tab of Alka-Seltzer I carry with me at all times. This created a foaming-at-the-mouth appearance that made it look like I had rabies. Now I’ve thrown him off his rhythm. Then I reach into his jacket pocket where I had planted a gram of coke and I went, ‘Whoa! What the fuck is this?’ And he goes, ‘That’s not mine. I never seen that before.’ I go, ‘Boo-hoo, it’s in your jacket. You’re doing two to ten and your kids are going into Social Services.’ Now he’s cryin’! Then I grab a telephone book and I beat him on the torso with it. ‘Cause as any Chicago cop will tell ya, a phone book doesn’t leave bruises.” “Well, that was seven-year-old John Mulaney, currently being sued for police brutality.” [audience laughing]
Bittenbinder told me things that haunt me to this day. He came one year for assembly. He goes, “Okay, when you get kidnapped…” Not if, when. [audience laughing] “Okay, so when you get kidnapped, the place where the guy grabs ya, in the biz we call that the primary location. Okay. Your odds of coming back alive from the primary location, about 60%. But if you are taken to a secondary location, your odds of coming back alive are slim to none.” I am 35 years old and I am still terrified of secondary locations. If I’m at a place, I never want to go to another place. I’ll be at a wedding reception and someone’ll be like, “You coming to the hotel bar after? We’re all gonna get drinks and keep the party going.” I’m like, “Nah, sister. You’re not getting me to no secondary location. You want it? Go get it!” Street Smarts! Stay alert out there. I thought I was going to be murdered my entire childhood. In high school people were like, “What are your top three colleges?” I was like, “Top three colleges? I thought I would be dead in a trunk with my hand hanging out of the taillight by now.”
I went to college. For the whole time. Holy shit, right? I just got a letter from my college, which was fun ’cause mail, you know? So I open up the letter and they said, “Hey, John, it’s college. You remember?” I say, “Yes, of course.” And they said… How did they phrase it? They said, “Give us some money!” [audience laughing] “As a gift! We want a gift! But only if it’s money.” I found this peculiar. You see, what had happened, New York, was that when I was a student, I had paid them tuition money. Every semester, two semesters a year, for four years. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but rounding up, back in 1999 dollars, it was about $15,000 a semester, two semesters a year, for four years. So it was about $30,000 a year for four years. So it was about $120,000, okay? So roughly speaking, I gave my college about $120,000. Okay, so you might say that I already gave them $120,000 and now you have the audacity to ask me for more money. What kind of a cokehead relative… [audience cheering] What kind of a cokehead relative is my college? You spent it already? I gave you more money than the Civil War cost and you fucking spent it already? Where’s my money? I felt like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life when he’s screaming at his uncle Billy. [as Jimmy Stewart] “Where’s the money? Where’s that money, you fat motherfucker? Where’s my money? Stay down on the ground, you motherfucker!” That’s not the dialogue. But do you remember that scene from It’s a Wonderful Life? Great movie, Frank Capra, 1946. A hundred and twenty thousand dollars! I have friends I went to college with and they’re like, “You should donate and be a good alumnus.” And they wear shirts that say “school” and it’s like, look… if you’re an adult still giving money to your college, college is a $120,000 hooker and you are an idiot who fell in love with her. She’s not going to do anything else for you. It’s done. In their letter they were like, “Hey, it’s been a while since you’ve given us money.” I was like, “Hey, it’s been a while since you’ve housed and taught me. I thought our transaction was over. I gave you $120,000 and you gave me a weird cinder block room with a Reservoir Dogs poster on it and the first real heartbreak of my life, and probably HPV, and then we called it a day.” Probably. [audience laughing]
Also, what did I get for my money? What is college? [babbles] [audience laughing] Stop going until we figure it out. Because I went to college, I have no idea what it was. I went to college, I was 18 years old, I looked like I was 11. I lived like a goddamn Ninja Turtle. I didn’t drink water the entire time. I lived on cigarettes and alcohol and Adderall. College was like a four-year game show called Do My Friends Hate Me or Do I Just Need to Go to Sleep? But instead of winning money, you lose $120,000. By the way, I agreed to give them $120,000 when I was 17 years old. With no attorney present. That’s illegal. They tricked me. They tricked me like Brendan Dassey on Making a Murderer. They tricked me like poor Brendan. They pulled me out of high school. I was in sweatpants, all confused. Two guys in clip-on ties are like, “Come on, son, do the right thing. Sign here and be an English major.” And I was like, “Okay.” Yes, you heard me, an English major. -I paid $120,000. -[audience cheering] How dare you clap? How dare you clap for the worst financial decision I ever made in my life? I paid $120,000 for someone to tell me to go read Jane Austen and then I didn’t. [audience laughing] That’s the worst use of 120 grand I can possibly fathom. Other than if you, like, bought a duffel bag of fake cocaine. No, I take it back. That’s a better use of the money, ’cause I know you’d be disappointed when you open up the duffel bag and you realize it’s not real cocaine, it’s like powdered baby aspirin or whatever they do. But at least you have baby aspirin. And maybe you have a baby and one day your baby goes, “Oh, my head,” and you go, “Hey, I’ve got something for you! Come here, little guy.” And you dump it out on a mirror. You make it nice for the baby. You make it nice. You cut it up into lines with your laundry card or whatever and you make it nice, and your baby takes his sippy-cup straw and he holds it in his little ravioli-sized baby fist and he leans over– [snorts] and he snorts up the baby aspirin, and he gets rid of his baby headache, plus you get a duffel bag! [audience laughing] That is way better than walking across a stage at graduation, hungover, in a gown, to accept a certificate for reading books that I didn’t read. [audience laughing] Strolling across a stage, the sun in my eyes, my family watching as I sweat vodka and ecstasy, to receive a four-year degree in a language that I already spoke. [audience cheering]
I don’t mean to sound down on donating. [chuckles] It’s good to give to charities, you know. My wife and I just gave a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. We were moving apartments, we had a bunch of clothes and furniture, so we made a whole day out of it. We made these big piles of clothes, we put the piles into these big boxes, then we put the boxes into the back of my car, and then they stayed there for four months. And then one day my wife said, “Hey, you took that stuff to Goodwill, right?” And I said, “Of course I did! On an unrelated note, I’m going to walk out the front door right now.” So then I had to speed to Goodwill really fast. It was charitable, but it was also fast and violent, because I was throwing boxes at people. The boxes were so heavy I couldn’t even say what was in them. I was like, “This one’s shirts. I got a bunch of shirts! Take ’em away!” The guy tried to give me a big receipt. He’s like, “Take this receipt for the clothing for your taxes.” How do I write that on my taxes? “Dear IRS, please deduct from my federal income tax one XXL Billabong T-shirt from youth. It was too big. My mom said it could be a sleep shirt. Please deduct this from my 2017 income.” That sleep shirt bullshit. “Well, if it’s too big you can just wear it as a sleep shirt.” No, I get that, Mom, but why don’t we just tell our relatives that I’m a four-year-old boy and I don’t wear a man’s XXL T-shirt? “Because we don’t say that when someone gives us a gift because that would not be polite.” Oh, I get it. So rather than violate these meaningless politeness rules, I’ll just go to bed in a smock like goddamn Ebenezer Scrooge. Why don’t you give me a candle for looking in the mirror and a floppy hat and I’ll tremble off to bed in my long Victorian nightgown? Was there ever even a ghost, Mother, or was the dead Victorian girl you saw just me all along? [audience cheering] So that’s why you can’t give to charity. I’m kidding.
I like to throw an “I’m kidding” at the ends of jokes now, in case the jokes are ever played in court. You ever heard a joke played in court? Never goes well. They’re like, “‘And that’s why you shouldn’t give… to charity.’ Is that something you find funny, Mr. Mulaney?” Um… at the time. [chuckles] I found out recently that jokes don’t do well in court. So, some friends of mine were sued in college for property damage. And they were guilty. And the lawsuit dragged on for years and years and eventually I got a call when I was 28 years old. It was my friend from college, he said, “Hey, that lawsuit with my neighbor is still dragging on and my neighbor just subpoenaed all my emails from college that mention him or the lawsuit.” And I said, “That’s crazy. But why are you calling me?” And he said, “Because you should be concerned.” [audience laughing] He said, “I have an email here from junior year where I wrote, ‘Hey, guys, I’m going to miss practice tonight because I have to meet with my neighbor about that lawsuit thing.’ And you replied, ‘Hey, do you want me to kill that guy for you? Because it sounds like he sucks and I will totally kill that guy for you. Okay. See you at improv practice.'” [audience laughing] Of all the sentences in that email I would be ashamed to have read out loud in a court of law, I think the top one is “See you at improv practice.”
Strange, the passage of time. I’m not that old. I’m 35, that is not old. But I am in a new phase right before old called “gross.” [audience laughing] I never knew about this, but I am now gross. I am damp all the time. I am damp now and I will be damp later. [chuckles] Like the back of a dolphin, my back. I am slick. The butt part of my pants is a little damp a lot and I don’t think it’s anything serious… but isn’t it, though? And… I’ll be sitting at a restaurant and I’ll get up and I’ll be like, “What did I sit in?” And it was me. I’m gross now. I’ve been talking through burps. I never used to do this. When I was a kid and I wanted to burp, I’d be like, “Silence!” Blagh! Now I’m trying to push ’em down and muscle through ’em. I’ll be at dinner, just doing the bread and the seltzer, filling up like a hot air balloon, and then I’m like… [belches] “Did you say you were going to Italy? Because we have a travel– She has a travel agent if– [exhales] I’m going to the kitchen, does anyone need anything? From the… [belches] Anyone need anything?” Just take a pause, John! I’m gross. I have hair on my shoulders now. I don’t even have a joke for that. That’s how much I hate that shit. [audience laughing] I was sitting up in bed a few weeks ago like… [groans] You know, life. And my wife was rubbing my shoulders, which was very nice of her, but then she started singing to herself. “Monkey, monkey, monkey man.” [audience laughing] “Monkey, monkey, monkey man.” Not at me. Not to be mean. This was a song from deep in her subconscious. I don’t even think she was aware she was singing it. But it was certainly not the first time she had sung it. I don’t know what my body is for other than just taking my head from room to room. [audience laughing] And it’s not getting any better. I’m 35, but I’m still like, “Hey, when am I going to get big and strong?” This is it. It’s just going to be this. I’m like an iPhone, it’s going to be worse versions of this every year, plus I get super hot in the middle of the afternoon for no reason. As I get older, it’s tough to not get grumpy. It’s tempting. I get grumpy about some things. Like, I can’t listen to any new songs because every new song is about how tonight is the night and how we only have tonight. That is such 19-year-old horseshit. I want to write songs for people in their 30s called “Tonight’s No Good, How About Wednesday? Oh, You’re in Dallas on Wednesday? Okay. Well, Let’s Just Not See Each Other for Eight Months And It Doesn’t Matter at All.” [audience cheering]
I’m trying to stay nice though, because when I was a kid, I was raised that you should be nice to everyone in every situation because you never know their story. But now, at the end of my life, I don’t know, because a lot of people don’t seem that nice and they seem to be doing fine in the world. Or maybe they have different definitions of what it means to be nice. That’s something you figure out as you get older and meet new people. Not everyone thinks the same things are nice. You learn that especially when you get jobs. I had a very weird job in my mid-20s for about four and a half years. I was a writer right across the street over at Saturday Night Live. -It was very exciting. Yeah. -[audience cheering] It was great. I loved it. If you haven’t seen the show, you gotta check it out.
They have a host and a musical guest. Oh, my God, you’re going to love it. Real quick tangent. Okay, my favorite host ever introducing a musical guest was this. The host was Sir Patrick Stewart, the great Sir Patrick Stewart, and this is how he introduced the musical guest. “Ladies and gentlemen, Salt-N-Pepa!” [audience laughing] Like he was surprised by Pepa. Like minutes before they’d been, “Sir Patrick, we can’t find Pepa anywhere.” And he’s like, “If we must go on with Salt alone, we will go on with Salt alone!” And they were like, “Three, two, one,” and Pepa burst through the door and he’s like, “Ladies and gentlemen, Salt and… what’s this? Pepa!”
Famous people are weird as shit. They’re all weird. Your suspicions are correct. And they would all come in to Saturday Night Live and they’d have to meet with me because I was a little rat writer and they’d have to talk about the sketches. They’d sit on my office couch that had like bed bugs and stuff. It was great. Like, they were famous, but it was my couch. It’d be like if you went into your childhood bedroom and Joe DiMaggio was sitting there. Yeah, he’s Joe DiMaggio, he’s a legend, he had sex with Marilyn Monroe, but only you know where the bathroom is. [audience laughing]
Everyone always wants to know if famous people are nice. Like Mick Jagger. He came in to host the show. My friends were all like, “Is he nice?” No! Or maybe he is… for his version of life. Because he has a very different life. He’s Mick Jagger. That’s his name. He’s played to stadiums of 20,000 people cheering for him like he’s a god for 50 years. That must change you as a person. If you do that for 50 years, you’re never again going to be like, “Um, does anyone have a laptop charger I could borrow?” None of that bullshit way we all have to talk to get through life. [in plaintive voice] “Hi. Knock, knock. Sorry.” That’s how I walk into rooms. I am 35 years old, I am six feet tall. I lower myself, I go, “Hi. Knock, knock.” I say “knock, knock” out loud. Mick Jagger didn’t talk like that. Mick Jagger talked like this. He’d go, “Yes! No! Yes!” I pitched him a joke and he went, “Not funny!” [audience laughing] I mean, people say that on the internet, but never to your face does a British billionaire in leather pants go, “Not funny!” I spent two hours alone with Mick Jagger that week. We were writing song lyrics, it was for a fake song in a comedy sketch. And he was sitting there, and we came to one point and he goes, “All right, ‘Let’s all go to the picnic, let’s all have a drink.’ Let’s see, what rhymes with drink?” And I said… “Think?” And Mick Jagger said, “No!” [audience laughing] And then I said, “Sink?” And Mick Jagger said… “Yeah!” And I was like, “Motherfucker, is this how you write songs? Just one word at a time with verbal abuse?” “All right, ‘I can’t get no…'” -Happiness? -“No!” -Satisfaction? -“Yeah! All right! Next sentence! Space bar. Indent. Space bar.” Mick Jagger would go like this, “Diet Coke!” And one would appear in his hand. Now that’s not nice, right? The way I was raised, you’re supposed to say, “May I please have a Diet Coke, please?” And then maybe you will get one. And I bet all of you were taught to say please and thank you. But if all of us could go, “Diet Coke!” and one would appear in our hand, we’d do it all day long. Even if you don’t like Diet Coke, you’d just summon ’em so you could chuck ’em at oncoming cars.
Famous people are often rude because they’re used to getting things really quickly. I bet a lot of us are pretty polite. But as soon as we get things quickly, we start to get ruder and ruder. Look at technology, it’s faster than ever and we’re ruder than ever. People walk around on the phone now, “Hello? You still there? Lost him.” And that’s it. No follow-through with that guy. Fifty years ago, if you were on the telephone with your friend and suddenly the line just went dead, that meant your friend was murdered. The phone used to be a big deal. It was a long, polite process. Back in the 1940s, the phone was like a wood box… with a thing on it. I don’t know. It had its own room. You’d go, “That’s the phone’s room!” And it was expensive. You’d wait all week to make your call. “It’s almost Tuesday!” And then you’d take the cup on the string or whatever… There weren’t even numbers. You’d just go, “Hello? Anyone? [yells] Anyone in the world?” Then you’d go, “Operator, ring me Neptune 5-117.” And the operator was a real person that you had to be nice to. She’d be like, “One moment, please. I’m putting wires into a board filled with holes to move the voices around, ’cause it is the ’40s.” And it took like 90 minutes. Now people just drive around screaming at their phones like… -Call home! -“Calling the mobile for Tom.” Not fucking Tom! [imitating Mick Jagger] Not funny! [audience laughing]
Everything was slower back in the old days ’cause they didn’t have enough to do, so they had to slow things down to fill the time. I don’t know if you read history, but back then people would wake up and go, “God, it’s the old times.” [audience laughing] “Shit, I gotta wear all those layers. There’s no Zyrtec or nothing. Okay, we gotta… We gotta think of some weird slow activities to fill the day.” And they did. Have you ever seen old film from the past of people just waving at a ship? [audience laughing] What if I called you now to do that? Hey, what are you doing Monday at 10:00 a.m.? All right, there’s a Norwegian Cruise Line leaving for Martinique. Here’s my plan, you and me get very dressed up, including hats, and then we wave handkerchiefs at it until it disappears over the horizon. No, I don’t know anyone on the ship. [audience laughing]
Everything is too fast now and totally unreasonable. The world is run by computers, the world is run by robots and we spend most of our day telling them that we’re not a robot just to log on and look at our own stuff. All day long. May I see my stuff, please? [grumbles] “I smell a robot. Prove, prove, prove. Prove to me you’re not a robot. Look at these curvy letters. Much curvier than most letters, wouldn’t you say? No robot could ever read these. You look, mortal, if ye be. You look and then you type what you think you see. Is it an “E” or is it a “3”? That’s up to ye. The passwords of past you’ve correctly guessed, but now it’s time for the robot test! I’ve devised a question no robot could ever answer. Which of these pictures does not have a stop sign in it?” Fucking what? [audience cheering] You spend most of your day telling a robot that you’re not a robot. Think about that for two minutes and tell me you don’t want to walk into the ocean.
I just like old-fashioned things. I was in Connecticut recently, doing white people stuff. [audience cheering] Yeah. One day… Well, it doesn’t matter why, but I was sitting in a gazebo, and… [audience laughing] there was a plaque on the gazebo and it said, “This gazebo was built by the town in 1863.” That is in the middle of the Civil War. And the whole town built a gazebo. What was that town meeting like? “All right, everyone, first order of business, we have all the telegrams from Gettysburg with the war dead. Let’s see here. Okay, everyone’s husband and brother and… everyone died. Okay. Josiah, you had something?” “Yes, I do. How’d you like to be indoors and out of doors all at once? Ever walk into the park with your betrothed and it starts to rain, but you still want to hold hands? Well, may I introduce you to, and my condolences again to everyone, the gazebo!” [audience laughing] Building a gazebo during the Civil War, that’d be like doing stand-up comedy now. [audience laughing and applauding] Yes. Thank you for clapping at my political gazebo material. I’m very brave.
I’ve never really cared about politics. Never talked about ’em much. But then, last November, the strangest thing happened. [audience laughing] Now, I don’t know if you’ve been following the news, but I’ve been keeping my ears open and it seems like everyone everywhere is super-mad about everything all the time. I try to stay a little optimistic, even though I will admit, things are getting pretty sticky.
Here’s how I try to look at it, and this is just me, this guy being the president, it’s like there’s a horse loose in a hospital. It’s like there’s a horse loose in a hospital. I think eventually everything’s going to be okay, but I have no idea what’s going to happen next. And neither do any of you, and neither do your parents, because there’s a horse loose in the hospital. It’s never happened before, no one knows what the horse is going to do next, least of all the horse. He’s never been in a hospital before, he’s as confused as you are. There’s no experts. [audience cheering] They try to find experts on the news. They’re like, “We’re joined now by a man that once saw a bird in the airport.” Get out of here with that shit! We’ve all seen a bird in the airport. This is a horse loose in a hospital.
When a horse is loose in a hospital, you got to stay updated. So all day long you walk around, “What’d the horse do?” The updates, they’re not always bad. Sometimes they’re just odd. It’ll be like, “The horse used the elevator?” [audience laughing] I didn’t know he knew how to do that. [audience laughing] The creepiest days are when you don’t hear from the horse at all. [audience laughing] You’re down in the operating room like, “Hey, has anyone…” [audience laughing] “Has anyone heard–” [imitates clopping hooves] Those are those quiet days when people are like, “It looks like the horse has finally calmed down.” And then ten seconds later the horse is like, “I’m gonna run towards the baby incubators and smash ’em with my hooves. I’ve got nice hooves and a long tail, I’m a horse!” That’s what I thought you’d say, you dumb fucking horse.
And then… [audience cheering] Then… Then you go to brunch with people and they’re like, “There shouldn’t be a horse in the hospital.” And it’s like, “We’re well past that.” Then other people are like, “If there’s gonna be a horse in the hospital, I’m going to say the N-word on TV.” And those don’t match up at all. And then, for a second, it seemed like maybe we could survive the horse, and then, 5,000 miles away, a hippo was like, “I have a nuclear bomb and I’m going to blow up the hospital!” And before we could say anything, the horse was like, “If you even fucking look at the hospital, I will stomp you to death with my hooves. I dare you to do it. I want you to do it. I want you to do it so I can stomp you with my hooves, I’m so fucking crazy.” “You think you’re fucking crazy, I’m a fucking hippopotamus. I live in a fucking lake of mud. I’m fucking crazy.” And all of us are like, “Okay.” Like poor Andy Cohen at those goddamn reunions. “Okay.” And then, for a second, we were like, “Maybe the horse-catcher will catch the horse.” And then the horse is like, “I have fired the horse-catcher.” [audience laughing] He can do that? That shouldn’t be allowed no matter who the horse is. I don’t remember that in Hamilton. [audience laughing]
Sometimes, if you make fun of the horse, people will get upset. These are the people that opened the door for the horse. I don’t judge anyone. But sometimes I ask people. I go, “Hey, how come you opened the door for the horse?” And they go, “Well, the hospital was inefficient!” [audience laughing] Or sometimes they go, “If you’re so mad at the horse, how come you weren’t mad when the last guy did this three and a half years ago? You’re beating up on the horse when the last guy essentially did the same thing five years ago.” First off, get out of here with your facts. You’re like the kid at the sleepover who, after midnight, is like, “It’s tomorrow now!” Get the fuck out of here with your technicalities. Just ’cause you’re accurate does not mean you’re interesting. That was fun when we watched Beetlejuice tonight. “Don’t you mean last night? It’s after midnight.” Why don’t you get your sleeping bag and get out of my house! Take your EpiPen, take your goddamn EpiPen and get out of my house!
But when people say, “How come you were never mad at the last guy?” I say, “Because I wasn’t paying attention.” I used to pay less attention before it was a horse. Also, I thought the last guy was pretty smart, and he seemed good at his job, and I’m lazy by nature. [audience cheering] I’m lazy by nature too. So I don’t check up on people when they seem okay at their job. You may think that’s an ignorant answer but it’s not, it’s a great answer. If you left your baby with your mother tonight, you’re not going to race home and check the nanny cam. But if you leave your baby with Gary Busey… [audience laughing]
And now there’s Nazis again. [audience laughing] When I was a kid Nazis was just an analogy you would use to decimate your child during an argument at the dinner table. [audience laughing] Now there’s new Nazis. I don’t care for these new Nazis and you may quote me on that. These new Nazis, “Jews are the worst, Jews ruin everything, and Jews try to take over your life.” It’s like, “You know what, motherfucker? My wife is Jewish. I know all that, how do you know all that?” [audience laughing] I’m allowed to make fun of my wife. I asked her and she said yes. [audience laughing] I’ve been married for about three and a half years now -and I was going out on tour… -[cheering] Thank you very much. And I love and respect my wife very much. So I said to her, “We’ve been married for three and a half years.” And she knew that. I said, “Do you mind if I still make fun of you on stage? And my wife said, “Yeah, you can make fun of me. But just don’t say that I’m a bitch and that you don’t like me.” I was like, “The bar is so much lower than I ever imagined. That’s it?” Also, I wouldn’t say that. What kind of show would that even be? Hello. My wife is a bitch! And I don’t like her! That’s like a support group for men in crisis, with keynote speakers Jon Voight and Alec Baldwin. [audience laughing] Also, I would never say that, not even as a joke, that my wife is a bitch and I don’t like her. That is not true. My wife is a bitch and I like her so much. [audience cheering] She is a dynamite, five-foot, Jewish bitch and she’s the best. She and I have totally different styles. When my wife walks down the street, she does not give a shit what anyone thinks of her in any situation. She’s my hero. When I walk down the street, I need everybody, all day long, to like me so much. It’s exhausting. My wife said that walking around with me is like walking around with someone who’s running for mayor of nothing. [audience laughing] My wife and I went to Best Buy to get a TV. We didn’t end up getting the TV. I was afraid that the Best Buy guy was going to be mad at me, so I bought an HDMI cable. [audience laughing] I go to the register with Anna, my wife’s name Anna, she’s standing next to me, I hand the guy the HDMI cable. He takes it, he scans it, he says, “Do you have a Best Buy Rewards card?” And I said, “No, I wish!” [audience laughing] And then my wife said, “Jesus Christ!” And fully walked away from me. Walked all the way to the laser printers and just stood there, Blair Witch style. And I’m still up at the register like… [audience laughing] And the guy goes, “Do you want a Best Buy Rewards card?” And I said, “No.” Even though I had just said it was my greatest wish in life. I was hoping he’d believe me, that it was secretly my great wish but that I’m in an abusive marriage with little Miss Jesus Christ over here so I can’t ask for the things I want in public but at home, at night, we argue about it and I’m like, “You’ll see! One day I’m going to leave you and I’m going to get that Best Buy Rewards card.” She’s like, “Jesus Christ, you’re never going to get that Best Buy Rewards card!”
My wife is Jewish, as I said, I was raised Catholic. We have differences in our religious upbringings and we realized this recently. Not with our kids, because we don’t have any kids. People always ask us, “Are you going to have kids?” and we say no. And then they go, “Never? You’re never going to have kids?” Look, I don’t know “never.” Fourteen years ago, I smoked cocaine the night before my college graduation. Now I’m afraid to get a flu shot. People change. [audience laughing]
But we don’t have any kids now and it’s great. We have a dog though. We have a four-year-old French bulldog. Her name is Petunia. [audience cheering] The idea of people applauding for that little monster. Just… I mean, I would never tell her that you applauded. It would go right to her ego, that little monster who just rubs her vulva on the carpet while staring at me in the eye. [imitates dog snarling] I know her vulva itches and she needs to rub it, but the thumping of the back paws… It’s upsetting. I’m just kidding. I love Petunia very much. She’s one of my most favorite people I’ve ever met in my life. Petunia likes to be very social but she can’t walk very far because she has a flat face, so she can’t breathe by design. But she wants to go out and meet people but we can’t walk her for that long. Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that we bought a stroller for our dog. [audience laughing] My wife and I walk around New York City pushing Petunia the French bulldog in a stroller, and it’s a big stroller and it has a big black hood. And people lean in to see the baby. [audience laughing] And instead they see a gargoyle breathing like Chris Christie. [imitates dog snarling] Her paws are sweating. We’re like, “He’s sick.” [chuckles]
But religion came up with Petunia recently. My wife and I were talking about cute things that Petunia could be involved in. And I said, “What if we got like a Biblical painting done with Petunia in it?” And my wife is like, “That would be so cute. We should do like The Last Supper.” And I was like, “Oh, my God, that would be so cute. We should do all different French Bulldogs as the different Apostles.” And my wife was like, “We should have Petunia in the middle where Jesus is, in front of the turkey.” And I was like, “Wait, what did you just say?” [audience laughing] “Did you say the turkey?” And my wife said, “Yeah, why?” And I said… I said, “Would you just answer me one question? Do you think that in da Vinci’s The Last Supper that Jesus of Nazareth is sitting in front of a turkey?” [audience laughing] And my wife said, “Yes, I do,” and I said, “Thank you for your honesty. Would you just– Just one more follow-up question. So then what do you think they’re celebrating?” [audience laughing] “What do you think… those guys are celebrating?” She said, “Okay, I don’t get this shit because I wasn’t raised Catholic and I’m fucking glad I wasn’t because it’s a fucked-up organization.” I said, “No. We all know that.” [audience laughing] “But what do you think those guys are celebrating?” And my wife looked at the floor. And then she looked at me and said, “Thanksgiving.” [audience laughing]
My family went to church every Sunday when I was a kid. My wife cannot believe this. She’s like, “You went every Sunday?” -“Yes.” -“What if you were out of town?” I was like, “They have them out of town.” I don’t know if you grew up going to church and now you don’t, but it can be a weird existence. Because I like to make fun of it all day long, but then if someone like Bill Maher says, “Who would believe in a man up in the sky?” I’m like, “My mommy, so shut the fuck up!” [audience cheering] “Stop calling my mommy dumb.” If you grew up going to church and you have adult friends that didn’t, they have a lot of questions. “Wait, so they forced you to go?” Yeah, I was five, I was forced to go everywhere. No kid is just going to church. Riding by on his Huffy, like, “Whoa! What’s this place? A weird Byzantine temple with green carpeting where everyone has bad breath and I wear clothes that I hate on one of the mornings of my two days off? Let’s do this.” [audience laughing] But people get very suspicious. They’re like, “What did they say in there? What do they do? What did they tell you?” I don’t know, it was an hour. That should be the slogan for the Catholic church. “It’s an hour!” It’s a few stories, normally about a guy with a crazy name whose wife has a normal name. “In that town lives Zepheriuses and his wife Rachel.” How come she gets to be Rachel? “On their way to Galilee, Jesus met Enos and Barak and their wives, Kylie and Lauren.” And you’re like, “What? That’s the same joke twice.” [audience laughing]
Then there’s the homily. If you’re not Catholic, the homily is when the priest does a book report that is also stand-up comedy. [audience laughing] It normally begins with a charming anecdote that is fake and never happened. “A woman was at a shopping mall with her young son.” What was the woman’s name? Hey, Father, what was the name of the shopping mall? Your story doesn’t have a lot of details. You only had a week to work on it and you’ve had the book for 2,000 years. [audience laughing] And then there’s some songs normally sung by an usher. One of these ushers that opens the door for you and gives you the pamphlet and they all look like Marco Rubio. [audience laughing] That guy will get up and sing into the microphone. He’s not a singer… ’cause he’s not good at it. But he tries. He sings the Psalms. Remember the Psalms? They’re not songs ’cause they don’t rhyme and they’re not good. They’re perfectly named, they’re not quite songs, they’re Psalms. It’s a word you’re meant to mishear. “I’m gonna sing a Psalm today.” What’s that? You’re gonna sing a song? “Yeah. It’s a Psalm.” And then these guys get up in front of everyone and they’re like… ♪ The bread of God is bread ♪ ♪ He will bring us bread ♪ ♪ No one but the one from Jericho ♪ ♪ Can bring bread to bread ♪ And then the guy goes like this. [audience laughing] And that means we’re supposed to sing our lines, except we don’t know our lines for shit. Where’s that pamphlet? Where’s that pamphlet they gave us? Move the jackets. Ah-ha-ha! ♪ The bread of bread is bread ♪ ♪ Bread is God is bread ♪ It’s just dads singing so loud, thinking that’ll somehow get their kids to sing. ♪ Bread is God is bread ♪ ♪ Is God is bread ♪ ♪ Is God is bread… ♪ “Sing, goddamn it!” My dad once grabbed me by the shirt and lifted me up during church and said, “God can’t hear you.” [audience laughing]
Goodnight, New York. Thank you very much. [audience cheering] [“Lithium” playing on organ] [organist and audience singing “Lithium” chorus] [audience cheering]