The special aired live on HBO on August 9, 1998 from the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jerry Seinfeld.
Thank you. Thank you. That was very, very nice. Thank you very much. Thank you. Standing ovation. Now I know there’s always a… Scuse me? Perfect start of the show. Thank you. I know it’s not easy for an audience to give standing ovation. There’s always a few people that don’t really wanna do it. I’ve seen those people. They’re always like… “Are we doing’ this now?”
So, anyway, I’m thrilled to be back here in New York. I love how certain things about New York never change. They’re always constant, they’re always there for you. The cabbies and the BO. What is with the BO and these guys? How long are these shifts? Can’t we get this man a ten minute break for a shower? You’re in the back and it’s coming through the glass. You’re just going: “What in the…” Not only they put that cherry puppet stuff on the dashboard so you get a cherry BO. I don’t know what that’s supposed to be… Even the fruit showers more often than this. The funny thing about being in these cabs is that when you’re in Manhattan for some reason you don’t get scared, no matter how fast the guy goes. Well, you know, he’s driving fast and recklessly… but he’s a professional. He’s got a cab driver’s license, I can see it right there. I don’t even know what it takes to get a cab driver’s license. I think all you need is a face. This seems to be their big qualification. No blank heads are allowed driving cabs in this town. Also helps to have a name with like 8 consonants in a row. Did you ever see some of the letters in these names? What is the “O” with a line through it, by the way? What planet is that from? You need a chart of the elements if you wanna report the guy. “Yes, officer, his name was Amal and then the symbol for Boron.” “No, it’s not Manganese. I had the periodic chart with me at the time.”
But I love to travel. I love it whether it’s a car or whether it’s a plane. I like to get out there, I like to keep it moving. I love airports. Feel safe in the airports thanks to the high caliber individuals we have working at X-ray security. How ’bout this crack squad of savvy motivated personnel? The way you wanna setup your airport’s security, is you want the short, heavy set women at the front with the skin tight uniform. That’s your first line of defense. You want those pants so tight the flap in front of the zipper has pulled itself open, you can see the metal tangs hanging on for dear life.
Then you put the bag on the conveyor belt. It goes through the little luggage car wash. Then you have the other genius, down at the other end, looking at the little X-ray TV screen. This Einstein was chosen to stand in front of X-rays 14 hours a day. It’s his profession. Looking in that thing… I have looked in that TV screen. I cannot make out one object. He’s standing there… “What is that? A hairdryer with a scope on it?” “That looks ok. Keep it moving.” “Some sort of bowling ball candle? Yeah, I got no problem with that, just…” “You know, we don’t wanna hold up the line.”
So, I go to the bathroom in the airport. What is the story on the sinks in airport bathrooms that they will not give us a twist-it-on twist-it-off, human-style faucet? Is that too risky for the general population? Too dangerous? We gotta install the one-handed, spring-loaded, pain-in-the-ass Alcatraz-style faucet. You know, those ones you gotta go: “Hey I got a little water there” “Hey I got a couple of drops.” What is it they think we would do with a faucet? Turn them all on full, run out into the parking lot, laughing, pushing each other into the bushes? “Come on, the water’s on, let’s go!” “I turned it on full blast.” “You idiot! We’re businessmen, we’re gonna miss our plane.” “Who cares! Water!” That’s how they think we’re gonna act.
Do the people that work in these shops in the airport have any idea what the prices are every place else in the world? “Yeah, $14 a tuna sandwich. We think that’s fair.” Then you get on the plane. The pilot of course always has to come on the PA system. This guy is so excited about being a pilot, he can’t even stand himself. “Well, I’m gonna take it up to about 20,000.” “Then I’m gonna make a left by Pittsburg.” “Then I’m gonna make a right by Chicago.” “And then I’m gonna bring it down to 15,000.” He’s giving the whole route, all his moves. We’re in the back going: “Yeah, fine.” “You know, just do whatever the hell you gotta do. I don’t know.” “Just end-up where it says on the ticket, really.” Do I bother him with what I’m doing? Knocking on the cockpit door: “I’m having the peanuts now.” “Yeah, that’s what we’re doing back here.” “I thought I’d keep you posted.” “I’m not gonna have them all now, I’m just gonna have a few.” “I don’t wanna finish it because it’s such a big bag.”
Then the stewardesses have to come out. They have to do their little emergency equipment show. You know, that thing they do. One of them reads it, the other one acts it out. “Hey, we have seatbelts and oxygen masks.” “Things for you to use.” They show you how to use the seatbelt, in case you haven’t been in a car since 1965. “Oh, you lift up on the buckle! Oh!” “I was trying to break the metal apart.” “I thought that’s how it works.” “I was gonna try and tear the fabric part of the belt.” “I thought if I could just get it started…” Then they’re always pointing out the emergency exits, always with that very vague point though, isn’t it? “Where the hell would these places be?”, would you say. The plane’s at a 90 degrees angle, your hair is on fire, you’re looking for this. How you think you’re gonna do there? She’s thinking: “I’m getting out before you’re getting out.” “You’re dead, you’re dead, I’m gone.”
Then they always have to close that first class curtain, too. They always give you that little look. “Maybe if you would have worked a little harder…” I wouldn’t have to do this. It’s all a tiny world on the airplane, isn’t it? There’s always that little tiny table there, tiny computer, little cramped seats, tiny food, tiny utensils, tiny liquor bottles, tiny bathroom, tiny sink, tiny mirror, tiny faucet. So, there’s a small problem, there’s gonna be a slight delay, we’re gonna be a little late. I always go in the airplane’s bathroom, even if I don’t have to go, I gotta go in there. It’s nice. It’s like your own little apartment on the plane, isn’t it? You go in there, lock the door, the light comes on after second. It’s like a little surprise party. But I’m always impressed of the amount of equipment that they have in that place. I mean it’s little, but they got tissues, towels, closets, compartments, tiny slot for used razor blades. They always have that. Who is shaving on the plane? And shaving so much they’re using up razor blades? Is this what’s happening? What? Is the wolf man flying in there, for Christ’s sakes? Who could shave that much?
So, I’m supposed to go to Florida next week after we’re done here. That’s where my older relatives live. I don’t really wanna go. Florida… A lot of old people down there. You know, they live in those minimum security prisons. That’s where they put all the old people. What’s with all the security there? With the guard gate, with that arm coming down, the guy’s got a uniform, guns… Are the old people trying to escape? Or, are people stealing old people? What is the security problem? I just can’t drive around there. You know how these old people drive… They drive slow, they sit low. That is their motto. The state flag of Florida should be just a steering wheel with a hat and two knuckles on it. And they left that turn signal on since they left the house that morning. That’s a legal turn in Florida. It’s known as an eventual left. You can signal this week, turn any following year of your life. What is that age that old people reach when they decide when they back out of their driveway, they’re not looking anymore. You know how they do that? They just go: “Well, I’m old and I’m coming back.” “I survived. Let’s see if you can.”
One thing I like about being with my older relatives is it makes me feel like a kid again. You know, they’re feeding you. You’re trying to steal candy. Candy was my whole life when I was a kid. That was… First ten years of my life, I think the only clear thought I had was: “GET CANDY!” That was it. Family, friends, school, they were just obstacles in they way of the candy. I’m out for the candy here. I’m just thinking: “Get candy! Get candy!” That’s why you have to teach kids not to take candy from a stranger if they’re playing in the playground, because they’re such candy idiot moron brains… They’re just: “This man has candy, I’m going with him.” “Goodbye. Whatever happens to me. Get candy, get candy…” “Don’t go! They’ll torture you, they’ll kidnap you.” “It doesn’t matter, he has an ‘Old Henry’. I have to take that chance.” “Get candy, get candy…” So the first time you hear the concept of Halloween when you’re a kid your brain can’t even process the information. You’re like: “What is this? What did you say?” “What did you say about giving out candy? Who’s giving out candy?” “Everyone that we know is just giving out candy?” “Are you kidding me? When is this happening? Where? Why? Take me with you!” “I gotta be a part of this. I’ll do anything that they want.” “I can wear that.” “I’ll wear anything I have to wear.” “I’ll do anything I’ll have to do to get the candy from those fools” “that are so stupid they’re giving it away.”
So, the first couple of years I made my own costumes which of course sucked: the ghost, the hobo… Then, finally, the third year, begging the parents, I’ve got the Superman Halloween costume, not surprisingly. Cardboard box, self-made top, mask included. Remember the rubber band on the back of that mask? That was a quality item there, wasn’t it? That was good about 10 seconds before it snapped out of that cheap little staple they put it in there with. You go to your first house: “Trick or…” Snap! “It broke. I don’t believe it!” “Wait up, you guys! I gotta fix it!” “Hey, wait up! Wait up!” That’s what kids say. They don’t say: “Wait!” They say: “Wait up! Hey, wait up!” ‘Cause when you’re little, your life is up, the future is up, everything you want is up. “Wait up, hold up, shut up.” “Mamma, clean up”, “Let me stay up.” For parents, of course, everything is just the opposite. Everything is down. “Just calm down”, “Slow down”, “Come down here” “Sit down”, “Put that down” So I had my little costume, I was physically ready, I was preparing myself, I did not try on the costume prior to Halloween. Do you remember… This is an obscure one but… On the side of the box, I remember from my Superman costume, it actually said: “Do not attempt to fly!” They printed that as a warning ’cause kids would put it on and… going off the roofs. I love the idea of the kid who’s stupid enough to think he actually is Superman but smart enough to check that box before he goes off the roof. “Let me see if it says anything about me being Superman…” “Oh, wait a second here, I…” So, anyway, but if my hopes were up I was thinking that this is probably the same exact costume that Superman wears himself. When you put these things on, it’s not exactly the super-fit that you are hoping for. It looks more like Superman’s pyjamas, that’s what it looks like. It’s all kinda loose and flowing. The neck line kinda comes down about there… flimsy little ribbon string in the back. Plus my mother makes me wear my winter coat over the costume anyway. I don’t recall Superman wearing a jacket. Not like I had: cheap __quarteroid__, phony fur. “Boy, I’m Superman but it’s a little chilly out and I’m glad I have this cheap little 10 year old kids jacket.” So I’m going out trick-or-treating but the mask’s rubber band keeps breaking and keeps getting shorter. I’m fixing it, it’s getting tighter and tighter on my face. You know, when it starts slicing into your eyeballs there and you… you’re trying to breathe through that little hole… getting all sweaty. “I can’t see, I can’t breathe but we gotta keep going, we gotta get the candy.” And a half an hour into it you just take the mask: “Oh, the hell with it.” Bing-bong! “Yeah, it’s me, give me the candy.” “Yeah, I’m Superman, look at the pants legs, what do you care?” Looking at those last years of trick-or-treating you’re getting a little too old for it. Still out there, going through the motions. Bing-bong! “Come on lady, let’s go.” “Halloween, doorbells, candy, let’s pick it up and…” They come at the door… they always ask you the same stupid questions: “What are you supposed to be?” “I’m supposed to be done by now.” “You wanna move it along the three musketeers.” “I got 18 houses on this block, sweetheart.” “Just hit the bag, we hit the road. That’s the way it works.” Sometimes they have that little white bag twisted on the top… You know that’s gonna be some crap candy. Doesn’t have the official Halloween markings on it. “Hold it, lady. Wait a second. What is this? The orange marshmallow shaped like a peanut?” “Do me a favor, you keep that one.” “We have all the doorstops we need already. Thank you.” “We’re going for name candy only this year.”
Food is so complicated as an adult… You see people in the supermarket. They’re just sweating out. Nobody knows… “what do I eat… the proteins, the carbs, the fat content…” “Oh, my God, the fat content!” We’re just walking up to each other: “You look good. What do you eat? Maybe I’ll eat that.” The whole supermarket itself is designed to break down your sense of having any life It’s like a casino. There’s no clocks, no windows, no easily accessible exits… Did you ever not buy anything in a supermarket and try to get out of there? It’s impossible. There’s no way out. You can see what happens to people. When they walk up to the supermarket, they really have a whole sense of purpose. “I’m gonna get this, I’m gonna get that, I’m gonna pay for it, I’m gonna get out of here and get back to my normal life.” You see that same person 10 minutes later just… “What aisle is this?” “Why did I come up here?” Always noticing something new. “Oh, they got them in muskeet flavor now…” “What is ‘muskeet’?” “I wonder if it’s made from mosquitoes.” Produce section I always find challenging. There’s always some special thing you’re supposed to know. You know, about each fruit… “Summer time make sure your peaches are…” I don’t know, whatever it is. You gotta fake it… you know, I’m shaking stuff holding it up to the light. “Yeah, that’s a good one. I’m sure glad I found that one.” Cantalopes rolling down the aisle. “See the way that’s fading left, that one’s not ready.” “I don’t want that one.”
I’m very impressed with this seedless watermelon product that they have for us. They’ve done it. We now have seedless watermelon. Pretty amazing. What are they planting to grow the seedless watermelon, I wonder? The melons aren’t humping’, are they? They must be planting something. How does this work? And what kind of scientists do this type of work? I read this thing was 15 years in development. In the laboratories with gene splicing or, you know, whatever they do there… I mean, other scientists are working on AIDS, cancer, heart disease. These guys are going: “No, I’m going to devote myself to melon.” “I think that’s much more important.” “Sure thousands are dying needlessly but this… that’s gotta stop.” “Have you ever tried to pick a wet one off the floor, it’s almost impossible.” “I really think we should devote the money to these studies.”
Milk is a big problem for people in the supermarket. They’re never quite sure if they have it, if they need it. They bury it way in the back in the supermarket. You gotta find it, you gotta hack your way through all the displays. “Yeah, there it is. There’s the milk.” “Do we have any milk?”
People are never really sure if they have milk. You think you have milk, you might have. “I know there’s a carton in there, I don’t know how much is in it.” “Well, what shall we do?” ‘Cause you wanna be sure. There’s nothing worse than thinking you have milk and not having it. You know, you got the bowl setup, the cereal, the spoon, the napkin, the TV, the newspaper, everything’s ready to go. You lift up the carton and it’s too light. “Oh, no!” “Too light!” Sometimes you think you need milk: “Hey we’d better pick up some milk.” Like many of you are thinking right now. “You know, he’s right. Maybe we should pick up some milk.” So you pick up some milk on your way home. And then you discover you already have milk. And now you got way too much milk. That’s no good either. Now it’s a race against the clock with the expiration date. That freaky thing. Now your eating punchbowls of cereal, three meals a day. You’re washing your face with milk. Bringing cats in from all over the neighborhood. “Hurry up and drink it! Come on, it’s almost time!” “Get back over here…” How do they know that that is the definite exact day? You know, they don’t say like it’s in the vicinity, give or take, roughly… They brand it right into the side of the carton. “That’s your goddamn day right there.” “Oh, don’t screw with us.” “We know what day is the final day.” “And then it is so over.” Have you ever had milk the day after the date? Scares the hell out of you, doesn’t it? The spoon is trembling as it comes out of the bowl. “It’s after the day! I’m taking a big chance!” “I smelled it, you smelled it, what is it supposed to smell like?” “It smelled like milk to me.” I don’t know how they’re so definite, though. Maybe the cows tip them off when they’re milking them. “July 3rd”
To me the only thing tougher than the supermarket is the drugstore. The drugstore’s really challenging because you have no idea what they’re talking about. You’re just looking at the ingredients… I had a cold a couple of weeks ago. So I go in there and I’m looking… The entire wall is cold medication. And you can’t understand anything so you’re just reading ingredients. Did you ever catch yourself reading ingredients in the drugstore? “Oh, this has .03 tetrahydroziline! It’s a good amount of that.” But it’s so hard to figure out. Sometimes they have: this one’s quick acting, this one’s long lasting. “Hmm, when do I need to feel good?” “Now or later?” “I don’t know.” They always tell you how the medicine works on TV in the commercials. That’s my favorite part, with the guy that says: “Here’s the human body” and there’s always this guy… No face, mouth open, this is how drug companies see the public. He’s always got the tube coming down here and then the circle area. These are the complex inner workings of the human body, I assume. I’m sure, when you go to the medical school, they put that up on the board the first day “Ok, everyone, now remember, you got your tube coming down from the mouth” “and that goes into your circle area.” “That’s pretty much all we know.” “That’s it for today.” “Don’t miss tomorrow,” “we’re gonna practice making people waiting in the little room in their underwear” “and then you’ll all be doctors.” “That’s all there is to it.” Then they have to show you the pain… the part where they say: “Here’s where you hurt.” Pain is usually represented by some sort of lightning attacking the guy, glowing redness is popular, sometimes parts of the guys body will just burst into flames… Sometimes the whole guy is out of focus. I never had a doctor saying to me: “-Are you having any pain?” “-Yes, I am.” “Are you having any lightning with the pain?” “Have you been in a fun-house mirror at any time?” Then they tell you about the pain relieving ingredient. There’s always gotta be a lotta that. Nobody wants anything less than ‘extra-strength’. ‘Extra-strength’ is the absolute minimum. You can even get ‘strength’. ‘Strength’ is out now. It’s all ‘extra-strength’. Some people are not satisfied with ‘extra’, they want ‘maximum’. “Give me the ‘maximum-strength’.” “Give me the maximum allowable human dosis.” “Figure out what will kill me and then back it off a little bit.” Why does that pharmacist have to be two and a half feet higher than everybody else? Who the hell is this guy? “Clear out, everybody. I’m working with pills up here.” “I’m taking them from this big bottle and then I’m gonna put them in the little bottle.” “That’s my whole job.” “I can’t be down on the floor with you people.” “Yes, I’d like to get this prescription pills, please.” “All right, but you wait down there.” “No one come up here but me.” There’s a little bit of arrogance in the medical community, I think we can all live with that.
Like, when you go to see the doctor, you don’t see the actual doctor first. You must wait in the waiting room. There’s no chance of not waiting. That’s the name of the room. The doctors are all back there… “We can’t take them now, we’ve already got this room.” You sit there, you pretend you’re reading the little magazine, you’re actually looking at the other people. “I wonder what he’s got.” “That guy is a goner.” Then they call you… You get very excited when they call you ’cause you think now you’re gonna see the doctor. But you’re not. Now you’re going into the next, smaller, waiting room. Now you don’t even have your magazine. Now you got your pants around your ankles, you’re sitting on that butcher paper they pulled out over the table… Sometimes I bring a pickle with me and I put it next to me right there on the table… …in case the doctor wants to fold the whole thing up for a to-go order. “Get your pants off and get in there and I will tell you what I think.” Doctors always want your pants off. “Take your pants off. The doctor would like to see you with no pants.” “Just get them off.” “- It’s my head.” “- I said, take your pants off.” But I hate the extra wait, so I start screwing around with some of his stuff. “Maybe I’ll turn that thing up a little bit.” “Whatever the hell that does.” Take all the tongue depressors out, lick’em all, put’em all back in. I, too, can play at this waiting game. Just once I would like to say to the doctor: “You know what? I’m not ready for you yet.” “Why don’t you go back in your little office and I’ll be in in a minute.” “And get YOUR pants off.” “Then we’ll see what’s what.” Why is it doctors need that little office for, anyway? Little books, little stupid aquarium. I guess he doesn’t want people to see him looking stuff up: “What the hell was that?” “Jesus Christ!” “That was kinda gross.” “That wasn’t the tube or the circle.”
A friend of mine is going in for a nose job next week. Guy. You know what the technical term for a nose job is? Of course you do… It’s New York. Everybody… Rhinoplasty! Rhino! This guy is aware he has a bit of a problem… he’s obviously sensitive about it, that’s why he made the appointment. Do we need to compare him to a rhinoceros? When you go for a hair transplant you don’t say: “We’re going to perform a cue-ball-ectomy on you, mister Johnson.” “We feel the chrome-dome-ia has advanced…” “to a level we term skin-head-ia.” “These are all medical terms, if you don’t understand.” Of course, everybody wants to look their best, they’re all out there, everybody wants to look good, guys, gals, sexuality. I’m a single guy, by the way, there are no other guys attached to me. Thank you very much. Thank you.
I love you, too. But I do feel the need to see other people. I was kinda engaged about 10 or so years ago. Didn’t wanna get married, that was the closest I got. I can tell you this: if you’re engaged and you don’t wanna get married it’s a little tense. It’s like you’re on that first hill of the roller-coaster but you don’t really wanna go on the ride… going click-click, click-click… I was best man at a wedding one time and that was pretty good. Pretty good title, I thought… ‘Best man’ I thought it was a bit much. I thought we had the groom and the ‘pretty good man’. That’s more than enough. If I am the best man, why is she marrying him? I had to wear the tuxedo which, I am convinced, was invented by a woman. “Well, they’re all the same, we might as well dress them all the same.” The tuxedo also functions as a wedding safety device for the bride… …in case the groom chickens out, everybody could just take one step over and the ceremony continues. That’s why they don’t say: “Do you take David Williams to be your faithfully wedded husband?” They say: “Do you take THIS MAN?” But, men and women will never understand each other, we all know that. It’s just not gonna happen, just forget it.
I know I will not understand women. I know I will never be able to understand how a woman can take boiling hot wax pour it on her upper thigh and rip the hair out by the root and still be afraid of a spider. I’m not spending anymore time working on that. And I know women don’t understand men. I know there are women looking at me right now wondering: “what goes on in that little brain of his?” “I bethca I could manipulate that brain.” I betcha you could. I betcha women would like to know what men really think… the truth, the honest truth. You wanna know what men are really thinking? ‘Cause I could tell you. Would you like to know? Alright, I’ll tell you. Nothing. We’re not thinking anything. We’re just walking around, looking around. This is the only natural inclination of men. To just kinda check stuff out. We work because they force us to, but other than that, this is really the only thing we wanna do. We like women, we want women. But that’s pretty much as far as we’ve thought. That’s why we’re honking car horns, yelling from construction sites… These are the best ideas we’ve had so far.
Honking the car horn amazes me! This is gotta be just the last living brain cell in this guys skull that comes up with this idea. She’s on the street, he’s in the car. Beep-beep. “I think I made my point.” What is she supposed to do? Kick off the heel, start running after the car? Grab on to the bumper? The car comes to a stop… “It’s a good thing you honked.” “I had no idea how you felt.” Why do men behave in these ways? Why are we rude, obnoxious, getting drunk, falling down, peeling rubber, making kissing Why are we like this? I know what you ladies are thinking… “No, no, not my guy. I’m working with him, he’s coming along.” No, he’s not. He’s not coming anywhere.
We, men, know: no matter how poorly we behave, it seems we will somehow end up with women anyway. Look around this room. Look at all the men you see with lovely women. Do you think these are special men? Gifted men? One of a kind men? They’re the same jerks as any of the ones that I’m talking about. They’re doing just fine. Men, as an organization, are getting more women than any other group working anywhere in the world today. Wherever women are, we have men looking into the situation right now. We explored the Earth looking for women. We even went to the Moon just to see if there were any women there. That’s why we brought that little car. Why would you bring a car, unless there’s some chance of going on a date? What the hell were they doing with a car on the goddamn Moon? You’re on the Moon already! Isn’t that far enough? There is no more male idea in the history of the universe than: “why don’t we fly up to the Moon and drive around?” That is the essence of male thinking right there. All men kinda think of themselves like low-level super-heroes in their own world. I’m not even supposed to be telling you this. But when men are growing up and are reading about Batman, Spiderman, Superman… these aren’t fantasies. These are options. This is the deep inner secret truth of the male mind.
I’ll give you a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Did you ever see a guy, out on the highway, moving a mattress tied to the roof of the car? Without fail, he’s got the arm out of the window holding the mattress. This is classic male idiot super-hero thinking. This moron believes that if the wind catches this huge rectangle at 70 mph… “I got it! I got it!” “Don’t worry about it.” “I’m using my arm!” But I’m sure there’re many dates going on in this room right now… Dating is not easy. What is a date really but a job interview that lasts all night? The only difference between a date and a job interview is in not many job interviews is there a chance you’ll end up naked at the end of it. “Well, Bill, the boss thinks you’re the man for the position,” “why don’t you strip down and meet some of the people you’ll be working with.” Sex doesn’t make anything any easier. It only makes it more complicated.
Women have two types of orgasms: the actual ones and the ones that they make up on their own. And I can give you the male point of view on this. Which is: we’re fine with it. “You do whatever the hell it is you gotta do.” To a man, sex is like a car accident anyway. And determining a female orgasm is like being asked: “What did you see after the car went out of control?” “Well, I remember I heard a lot of screeching noises…” “I was facing the wrong way at one point…” “and in the end, my body was thrown clear.”
I’ll tell you what I like about Chinese people… They’re hanging in there with the chop sticks, aren’t they? You know they’ve seen the fork. They’re staying with the sticks. I’m impressed by that. I don’t know how they missed it. A Chinese farmer, gets up, works in the field with the shovel all day… Shovel… Spoon… Come on… There it is. You’re not ploughing 40 acres with a couple of pool cues…
And why is McDonald’s still counting? This is really insecure, isn’t it? 40 gillion, 80 million, zillion, billion, killion, tillion… What is this? Does it mean anything to anyone? 89 billion sold. “Ok. I’ll have one.” I would love to meet the chairman of the board of McDonald’s… Just to say to him: “Look, we all get it.” “You have sold a lotta hamburgers.” “Whatever the hell the number is.” “Just put up a sign: ‘McDonald’s, we’re doing very well!'” “I don’t need to hear about every goddamn one of them.” What is their ultimate goal? To have cows just surrendering voluntarily? Showing up at the door: “We’d like to turn ourselves in.” “We see the sign… we realize we have very little chance out there.” “We’d like to be a ‘Happy Meal’ if that’s at all possible.”
I was in London about a month ago, the World Cup was going on. I enjoy any sporting event where nations get involved. I find that the most exciting. The Olympics is really my favorite sporting event, although I think I have a problem with that silver medal. I think, if I was an Olympic athlete, I would rather come in last then win the silver. If you think about it… if you win the gold, you feel good. If you win in the bronze, you think: “Well, at least I got something.” But if you win that silver, it’s like: “Congratulations! You… almost won.” “Of all the losers, you came in first of that group.” “You’re the number one… loser.” “No one lost… ahead of you.” And they don’t loose by much. These short races… Three hundredths of a second, two hundredths of a second… I don’t know how they live with that the rest of their lives. ‘Cause they gotta tell the story. Everyone wants to hear the story. “Wow! Congratulations! Silver medal!” “Did you trip? Did you not hear the gun go off? Tell us what happened.” It’s a hundredth of a second. People say: “What was the difference in the margin there?” Eh, uh, that was it. I trained, I worked out, I exercised my entire life, I never had a date, I never had a drink, I never had a beer, I was doing push-ups since I was fetus, I flew halfway around the world, everybody I knew in my whole life was there, the gun was shot… Eh, ooh! And they always have that photo finish… That photo finish is always: silver, gold. This is the whole race. Gold, silver, bronze. Dead last. Greatest guy in the world… never heard of him. The guy’s gotta be thinking: “If I had a pimple, I would have won!” Some of the events in the Olympics don’t make sense to me. I don’t understand the connection to any reality… Like in the Winter Olympics they have that biathlon. That combines cross-country skiing with shooting a gun. How many alpine snipers are into this? Ski, shoot a gun… ski, bang, bang, bang… It’s like combining swimming and strangle a guy. Why don’t we have that? That makes absolutely as much sense to me. Just put people in the pool at the end of each lane for the swimmers… And that other one that I love is the looge When the guy wears this slick suit… This is on the bob-sledge run, but it’s not even a sledge. It’s just Bob. It’s just a human being hanging on for their life. This is the whole sport. “Oh, he pointed his toes. Oh, this guy’s a tremendous athlete.” The looge is the only sport that I’ve ever seen that you could have people competing in it against their will If they were just grabbing people off the street… “Hey, hey, hey… what is this?” “I don’t wanna be in the looge.” You put the helmet on, you wouldn’t really hear them screaming… You’d just… “You’re in the looge buddy.” World record. Didn’t even wanna do it. I wanna see that event next year: ‘the involuntary looge.’
I consider myself something of a sportsman. I like sporty type things. Scooba-diving. Did that in Australia… that was a lotta fun. A great activity where your main goal is to… not die. It’s really all I was thinking about the entire day. “Don’t die, don’t die, don’t die…” “There’s a fish. There’s a rock. Who cares? Don’t die…” “Let’s swim, and breathe, and live…” “Because living is good” “and dying… not as good.” So I go with this guy… Mister Scooba-Guy. He takes me to the store, makes sure I buy everything I need… I had the waterproof wallet… nylon… in case we run into a sea turtle that can break a 50. Waterproof watch… That’s important, gee… “You’re completely out of oxygen and look at the time.” “Geez, now I’m dead and I’m late.” I like these somewhat high risk things: the scooba…
I’ve gone hand gliding, I’ve gone skydiving, I like a little bit of risk… I don’t know, maybe that’s why I do this… I saw a thing, actually a study that said: speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number one fear of the average person. I found that amazing. Number two, was death. Death is number two? This means, to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy. Skydiving was definitely the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Let me ask you this question in regards to the skydiving: what is the point of the helmet in the skydiving? Can you kinda make it? You jump out of that plane and that chute doesn’t open, the helmet is now wearing you for protection. Later on, the helmet’s talking with the other helmets: “It’s a good thing he was there or I would have hit the ground directly.” “You never jump out of a plane unless you got a human being strapped underneath you.” “That’s basic safety.”
There are many things we can point to as proof that the human being is not smart. The helmet is my personal favorite. The fact that we had to invent the helmet… Why did we invent the helmet? Well, because we were participating in many activities that were cracking our heads. We looked at the situation… We chose not to avoid these activities but to just make little plastic hats so that we can continue our head cracking lifestyles. The only thing dumber than the helmet, is the helmet law, the point of which is to protect a brain that is functioning so poorly it’s not even trying to stop the cracking of the head that it’s in. At least the helmet is functional clothing. I appreciate that. Clothing to me, for the most part, is just such a tremendous pain in the ass. If you think of the amount of time, mental effort, physical energy, that goes into your clothes: picking’em, buying’em, does that go with that I don’t think I can wear that, I’m missing a button, this is dirty, I gotta get something new, that’s up my ass, can’t wear this… I think we should all wear the same exact clothes. Because it seems to be what happens eventually, anyway. Anytime you see a movie or a TV-show where there’s people from the future or another planet they’re all wearing the same outfit. I think the decision just gets made: “All right, everyone, from now on, it’s just gonna be the one piece silver suit” “with the V stripe and the boots.” “That’s the outfit.” “We’re gonna be visiting other planets, we wanna look like a team here.” “The individuality thing is over.”
The dry cleaner I can’t stand. ‘Cause I don’t think he’s doing it. I don’t know what goes on back there but I cannot conceive such a thing as actual dry cleaning. We all accept it ’cause we see the stores everywhere. But, think about it. Dry? What is dry? You can’t clean something dry. What do they do? Tap it, shake it, blow on it? There’s gotta be some kind of a liquid back there. Did you ever get something on your clothes and get it off with your fingernail? That’s dry cleaning. That is the only dry cleaning. I brought this guy a suede jacket… got spots on it ’cause I was in the rain. He says: “there’s nothing we can do.” “Water ruins leather.” Aren’t cows outdoors a lot of the time? What? If it rains do the cows go up to the farmhouse “Hey, let us in. We’re all wearing leather out here.” “Hey, open up, man. I’m suede.” “I’m living suede.” ‘Dry clean only’ is definitely the only warning label that human beings actually respect. They look at cigarettes: “This will give you cancer, kill you an the kids.” “It’s good, I’ll do whatever the hell I want.” “Don’t drink this medicine and operate heavy machinery.” “Who cares. That’s for people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing.” “I’m a pro.” But if you have something that’s dry clean only and somebody goes to put it in the washing machine “Don’t put it in the washing machine! It’s dry clean only!” “Are you crazy, are you out of your mind?” It is amazing what people will believe.
I watch these infomercials late at night… If it gets late enough the products start to look good to me. I have actually found myself sitting there thinking “I don’t think I have a knife that can cut through the shoe.” “I don’t think any of my knives are good enough to cut through shoes.” “I’m gonna get this knife and cut my shoes off.” “That seems pretty good.” I think the dumbest thing you can do late at night is “I’m gonna get this thing and get in shape.” It’s 3 in the morning, you got potato chip crumbs on your shirt, you got one eye open, one sock hanging of the foot. “I’m gonna start working out with this thing.” “I’m gonna order this thing.” “This is all I need to get in shape.” “This is a fantastic device.” Rip-off.
We can’t stop getting ripped-off. We’re gonna get ripped off. We think we’re not, we think we’re very clever, we think we’re gonna foil the crooks. We go to the beach, go in the water, put you wallet in the sneaker, who’s gonna know? What criminal mind could penetrate this fortress of security? “I put it down by the toe. They never look there.” “They check the heels, they move on.”
When you have a TV set in the back of your car and you gotta leave the car in the street for a few minutes so you put a sweater over the TV. “It’s a couple of sweaters, that’s all.” “One of them is square with an antenna coming out of it.” So feeble the things we come up with to foil the crooks! The ‘Wanted’ posters at the post office… You’re there, you got your package, you’re trying to mail something, this guy’s wanted in 12 states. Yeah, now what? Ok. I check the guy standing in line behind me… if it’s not him, that’s pretty much all I can do. Why don’t they just hold on to this guy when they’re taking his picture. “The guy’s there with you!” “Come out from behind the camera and grab him!” “No, we don’t do that. We take their picture, we let them go.” “That’s how we get the front and side shot.” “The front is his face, the side is him leaving.” Why don’t they put the pictures of the criminals on the postage stamps? Let the postman look for’em. He’s out there walking around all day. He’s got the uniform on. Can’t he do something? “We got another letter for you, mister Jon…” “I think that’s him…”
So we really had a good time… This is the end of a long tour. When you’re on the road you always have to do whatever anyone suggests that day. Because you have nothing to do and you have no ideas so you do whatever anyone suggests. So, a couple of weeks we go to the track. I did that a couple of times in my life. Betting on the horses… you can’t possibly win. I don’t understand what we’re betting on… Do the horses know that it’s a race? Are they aware? What is going on here? After the race are the horses walking back to the stable: “I was third, I was first, I was ninth.” I think they’re thinking: “Oat bag, I get my oat bag now!” “Oat bag time.” I gotta bet on this idiot? I mean, I’m sure the horses have some idea that the jockey is in a big hurry. I mean, he’s on him, he’s hitting him with this thing. He’s going: “Come on, come on” Obviously he’s in a hurry, the jockey’s in a hurry. But the horse must get to the end and go: “We were just here! What was the point of that?” “This is where we were.” “That was the longest possible route you could take.” “Why didn’t we just stay here? We would have been first!” I’ll tell you one thing the horses definitely do not know. They do not know that if you should accidentally trip and break your leg at any point during the race we blow your brains out. I think they’re missing that little tidbit of information. I think if they knew that you’d see some mighty careful stepping coming down that home stretch. “Take it easy, take it easy.” “You win, I’ll place… whatever.” “The important thing is your health.”
I’ve gone horseback riding. I can’t do that. They don’t give you the really good horses when you’re not good at it, I found out. The guy says: “What level rider would you say that you are?” I say: “I don’t know… Zero, nothing, whatever the system is.” “I can’t do it. Is that clear enough for you?” “I’m going where the horse wants to go.” “That’s my level.” After they hear that, they start looking around: “All right, is Glue Stick back yet?” “How ’bout Almost Dead? Why don’t you saddle him up?” So I get on this U-shaped lightning-quick steed… I got the only horse you could put your feet flat on the ground while you’re riding it. “I’m riding a hammock here.” Looking up at my friends: “I don’t think that we all got the same kind of horse here.” It’s kind of a secure feeling. I could walk along with him if I wanted. And the horse wasn’t too thrilled with having me either. ‘Cause I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. So he takes control. Going this way, going that way… Then they just stop. “What? What is it?” And they look up at you… “Chill-out hop-along. I know the trail.” “I’m here every goddamn day, ok?” “And I really appreciate the kicking while I’m taking a leak, too.” “Thanks a lot. That really improves the already wonderful life that I have.” “People either sitting on me or kicking me while I’m peeing.” “I’m living in a paradise here at the ranch.” I get out of a car that has 300 horsepower so I can sit on an animal that has one. Why do we even use the term ‘horsepower’? Is that to further humiliate horses? The space-shuttle rockets have 20 million horsepower. Is there any point in still comparing it… to the horses? Any chance of going back to using rockets with horses, trying to keep track of how many we’re gonna need? “Hey, horse. There’s a rocket engine that broke down.” “Can you get 20 million friends together really fast?” “20 million? That’s a lot.”
They make glue out of horses. I don’t know who started that. Who saw that potential? That’s pretty amazing to me. Working in a stationery store, a horse walks by: “Hey, wait a minute!” “I think he could be glue.” “How do we pick out the really sticky ones?” “You leave that to me.” “What about that one over there?” “He’s weaving around. He looks like he’s out of his mind.” “He’ll be ‘crazy glue’.” To me the toughest part of that horse life is that trailer. Why do they make the horse trailer like that? Is that the best way to move a horse out on the highway? With their huge fat disgusting rear ends right in my face? Do the horses like it? They’re probably standing in the back, going: “Do you feel a draft, Bill?” “I can’t see anything back there, but it’s awfully breezy, isn’t it?” “You don’t think our huge fat asses are hanging out the back of this truck, do you.” “Why the hell would they do that to us?” “They already ride us around and kick us while we’re peeing, why would they stick our ass out of a truck?” But I have fully adjusted to the road.
I like hotels. I enjoy tiny soap. I pretend that it’s normal soap and my muscles are huge. And you can always tell when you’re in a fine quality luxury hotel when the TV is bolted to a solid steel beam and welded into the wall. Is this a big problem in the hotel business? People coming up to the desk: “I’d like to check out.” The main thing is the bathroom, the shower, that’s gotta be good. That’s why I don’t like to stay with people on the road. I don’t want to be in other people’s showers. I don’t know how to operate them. You can never get the ratios right on the dials. Sometimes a 16th of an inch is a thousand degrees. You gotta get out of the way of the water. There’s always that little hair stuck on the wall, too. And you wanna get rid of it but you don’t wanna touch it. I don’t know how it got up that high in the first place. Maybe it’s got a life of its own. So you gotta aim the shower head at the hair… That never works. You gotta get a pool of water from under the shower and over to the hair. Get it down a foot at a time like this. The hair is hanging on. But… we have to fight these battles. We’re all alone in the bathroom. Whatever goes wrong you have to handle it. Did you ever go to a big party, go into the bathroom, flush the toilet, the water starts coming up… This is the most frightening moment in the life of a human being. You’ll do anything to stop this. You’ll loose your mind, start talking to the toilet: “No, please, don’t do this to me!” “No, come on, you know this is not my responsibility.” “I didn’t make this happen.” “I’ll get you the blue thing, the man in the boat, just let me off the hook this one time.” Thank you very much. You’ve been a wonderful audience. Thank you for coming.