In “I Love Everything,” Oswalt discusses finding love again and shares existential anecdotes about buying a house and entering his 50s. One of his discoveries about aging: Breakfast has become dull.
Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything (2020)

This is the full transcript of Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything (2020), released on Netflix on May 19, 2020. Patton Oswalt has seen extreme highs and lows in the last few years. The actor and comedian’s first wife, the true-crime writer Michelle McNamara, died in 2016. After that, Oswalt told The New York Times, “I’ll never be at 100 percent again.” A year later, he remarried and delivered a profound stand-up special, “Annihilation.” In “I Love Everything,” Oswalt takes a lighter approach. He discusses finding love again and shares existential anecdotes about buying a house and entering his 50s. One of his discoveries about aging: Breakfast has become dull. He mourns the vibrant cereal boxes displaying animal mascots that he has had to replace with “hospital white” boxes and sad beige bowls.

Filmed in September 2019

* * *

Denny’s is not the problem in this bit. All right? I love Denny’s.

Ladies and gentlemen, Patton Oswalt!

Guys, thank you. Thank you. Please, now just… Everyone. Okay. Oh. Pace yourselves. There’s gonna be some trouble spots later, you can’t just use it up now. I’m gonna need you to fake it hard about three-fourths of the way in. Thank you, guys. Thank you, Charlotte, so much for coming out. All of you guys, thank you. Oh, my God. Whoo! Ah. It’s what… You know, I turned 50 this year and it’s not… And it… You know, I’m not upset about it or… I can’t… Look, I can’t wait to be 90. It’s not that I’m sad that I’m 50. I’m just… This is… These next few decades… Let me just go to 90 now. I wanna be 90, and sit in a chair, and do crossword puzzles, and slowly become racist and die. Like that’s… This is all… I’ve done what I need to do, I’m done. You don’t get to sit down when you’re 50. Now, when you turn 50 in 2019, forget it. People are like,”You’re 50! Well, here’s your mountain bike, you silver fox. Let’s get you out there. We got goji berries and alkaline water. You’ll never die.” Like, let me just… Please, God, sit down. And I thought, “Oh, when I turn 50, there’s gonna be some emotional epiphany, or a physical upheaval, some huge change.” Nothing. You know what happened when I was 50? It was Sunday. That’s what happened, and I had to… go to work the next day. There was… Nothing changed. The one… There was one big change. I will give 50 this. There… The one big change for me was, all of a sudden, my breakfast cereal became deadly serious. Like I… Like, overnight. I remember… Recently, my breakfast cereal was fun. The boxes were bright and there words like “sugar” and “pow” and “crisp” in the name. And then there was, like, an animal mascot… screaming next to a bowl, full of colors insulting to nature. Nothing… Nothing in the visual spectrum went into my body in my 20s and 30s. And you turn the box over, and the fun didn’t stop! You turn the box over, and there was a word find or a maze. A maze! “Help Sugar Bat get to his insulin.” And now… all… of… All of my breakfast cereal… First off, the box… is white. Hospital… white. And there’s a beige bowl. A color of beige I like to call… “bargaining beige.” Like, how many bowls of this do I have to eat, so I can have… one Cool Ranch Dorito at three o’clock today? How many? That many? And inside the beige bowl, brown cereal. Not chocolaty brown. Not fudge brown. As brown as the dirt in the grave that awaits you! And there’s no “sugar” or “pow” or “crisp” in the name. The name is very serious. Sorghum Farms. Sorghum Farms… amaranth flakes. And you turn the box over. Is there a word find? Is there a maze? No. But… there is a short novel about the hippie organic cult farm where they’re growing my amaranth flakes. Paragraph after paragraph of everything you never wanted to know about Sorghum Farms. “At Sorghum Farms, we believe in three simple things: farm-to-table eating, locally sourced ingredients, and giving back to the earth three times what we take away. The idea for Sorghum Farms happened outside of a Phish concert in 1990. We were both… selling tie-dye in the parking lot, and we wondered out loud at the same time why our gorp couldn’t be tastier. And that’s when we both said, ‘Jinx, I owe you a kombucha.’ And we bought a little farm upstate that was built in 15…”

I’m 50! I can’t have coffee anymore. If you’re gonna make me read the saddest John Cheever short story first thing in the morning, could you put a couple of startling, disturbing sentences in it? They don’t need to be true, just something to jolt me awake, so I can start my day. ‘Cause I’m doing my part. I’m eating cereal that tastes like an unpopular teenager’s poetry. So please… give me… a couple of fucked-up sentences! Sitting there chewing this shit, reading the back of the box. “At Sorghum Farms we believe in three simple things.” Oh, sweetie, they have a manifesto, look at this. “Farm-to-table eating,” okay. “Locally sourced ingredients,” oh, okay. “And the idea that black people can walk through walls when it rains.” Holy shit! Did you… Oh, my God, they’re fucking crazy. Hang on. “Every field of buckwheat we grow is fed by the bodies of three drifters.” Oh, shit! Sweetie, it’s a… Yeah, it’s a murder farm. They’re murdering people. I… Oh, my God. Wow. I gotta go on a hike. I… I have a roomy, fertile torso. This could grow a lot of buckwheat. I don’t wanna end up in Sorghum Farms in the sharing silo. Um… That’s what I do now, by the way. I hike. That’s my thing now, I hike. Hiking is not… my exercise. It’s my activity. Because hiking is not exercise. Hiking is the segue between the actual exercise you did in your 20s and 30s, and then the gentle mall-walking that you’re gonna do… in your 70s and 80s. So that you’ll fit into the tuxedo at the funeral home, ’cause you don’t… You don’t want ’em splitting the back of the jacket open. That’s embarrassing, come on. Let’s die with some dignity. So, what I do everyday… I park my car at the base of a hiking trail, then I walk away from my car… until I eventually… turn around… and walk back to my car. And that’s… That’s what I do. There I am… out there with all the other 50-year-olds, doing our little doom ovals. And if you were to fly a helicopter low over the Earth, you know what you would see? You’d see… people in their 20s gobbling drugs, eating delicious food, having sex. People in their 30s with actual jobs making the world run. People in their 40s… trying to fuck the 20-year-olds. And then us… gentle, surrendered, 50-year-olds, on our little… futility ovals. We got our earbuds in, listening to podcasts. Which are done by… 20-year-olds that nobody wants to fuck. And then… …on the podcasts, 30-year-olds are selling boner pills to the 40-year-olds. And then, way off in the distance, are 60-year-olds vaguely afraid of Muslims.

And that’s the world we live in, so… don’t fight that cycle, folks. That’s just how it is. But, every now and then, on the hiking trail, a man or a woman will show up who doesn’t get the program. Hiking is for trudging defeatedly. All right? We’ve all agreed to it. It’s unspoken, but it’s there. But every now and then, somebody’s gotta show up, and they gotta do that weird, extra, show-off-y workout shit. It’s not enough that they’re hiking, they gotta do that urban workout where you turn the environment around you into your gym. You see a tree branch, you jump up and you fucking do pull-ups, yeah! Where you see a park bench, you drop, you do crunches. Grr! Grab a possum and curl it. Everything… Everything is your gym. And the men and women that do this are already gorgeous! I don’t know what… Like, there’s no… There’s not an ounce of fat on them, you see every rib and rivet. I don’t know what fitness level they’re going for. It’s like they’re trying to reach a fitness level I like to call “painful to fuck.” Like, it looks like… They look like it would hurt to fuck them. Like, you’d be so excited. Like, “Look at this physical specimen.” And then, five minutes into it, you’re like, “Oh, I’m basically lying naked on a floor covered in Legos.” I dunno know why I thought this was a… Wow, this is not a good idea. There’s a lot of edges, there’s a lot of… There’s a lot of jutting, things are jutting. Pelvic bones like cheese graters! It’s like I came, but I’m dented. Like, was it worth it? I don’t know. I am nowhere near physically fit, but a woman can look at me and go, “Look at that comfy, old beanbag chair. You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna pump that guy full of Cialis, climb on top, think of Idris Elba. No one has to get hurt here. No one’s feelings have to get hurt. Just doing my business.” I’m kidding, we would both think about Idris Elba. Have you seen him? Holy shit! Go for the beanbag chair, is what I’m saying. Ladies, you don’t want some ropy, fitness orc climbing all over you. Probably comes chia seeds and bee pollen. It’s just… Ugh. You know what I come? Fresh Twinkie filling. That’s right! Fresh Twinkie filling! Introduce me to your book club!

I can still have sex in my 50s. It happens. There’s more work to it, but it happens. It’s not like it was in… In my 20s, sex was thought and action. That was it. In my 50s, sex is like… my body… It’s like my body is like an understaffed McDonald’s during lunch rush, where there’s like a… There’s a manager, like, “I dunno how we’re gonna get through this. We’ll get through this. It’s not gonna be our proudest moment, okay? We’re not gonna like each other afterward, but it will happen, all right? We got… We have no fish fillets, corporate didn’t send us any milkshake lids, but we’re gonna fucking get through it. If any of you do meth, do it now. I need you to do it now, all right? We’re going to serve these people. There’s going to be some crying in the parking lot afterward.”

Know what I’m not doing? I’m not eating enough ancient grains. That’s the problem. I gotta eat ancient grains. All of my… All of my health food brags about ancient grains. They’ve got… Or biblical grains. That’s the other big one. Biblical grains! There’s a company… Food For Life, Ezequiel 4:9. Yeah! Breads and cereals. And their big bragging point is, “All the grains we use were mentioned in the Bible, specifically in Ezequiel 4:9.” That’s their big bragging point. Okay, a few things about… Ezekiel Breads and Cereals. First off, I have enjoyed Ezequiel Breads and Cereals. They’re delicious! They make amazing products. However… being mentioned in the Bible? Not that big of a deal. A lot of things get mentioned in the Bible. Also, I guarantee you those grains were not mentioned in a good context. I don’t know if you read the Bible, but it is torture a-go-go. Every other page it’s a Takashi Miike film going on in there. And I’m sure that something awful was happening near my healthy ancient grains. “And yea, though they pulled Isaac’s head from his body and showed it to his screaming family, the blood dripped from the roughly hewn stump… and landed on the freshly sprouted amaranth, which was… “Okay, you know what? Guys… I’m just trying to make lunch here. Why are we… “As the lusty Saracen soldiers dragged Judith from her wedding bed, their loins engorged with sinful blood, and laid her roughly in a field of buckwheat…” Like… Oh, no! Guys! Can my sandwich not be rape-adjacent? I just… I’m just trying to eat healthy. I don’t want to get subpoenaed.

I bought a house. Yeah, I got a new house. You know, anyone who buys a house knows the second you sign that title deed, somebody presses an invisible “everything’s broken” button. Like, the minute… I crossed the “T” in “Oswalt,” it was like, “No hot water! Enjoy.” Fuck. And you gotta get a contractor. A contractor is a man or woman who’s there to fix your shit. They know what to do, they know who to call. But they are also your gateway… to a netherworld… of subcontractors. And subcontractors are men and women who are so beyond damaged… and unable to function in society. And what they’ve done to compensate is, they’ve taken one skill and honed it to superhuman level, so that you have to work with them. It’s like a Suicide Squad for your house. So, you just… You have no choice. Your contractor will come to you and go, “Look, I’m not happy about this either, all right? But we… This guy is the best he is at what he does. We’ve gotta work with him, okay? And before we go any further, I see it, too. There’s a swastika tattoo on his cheek, okay? We all see it. Let me ask you a question. Do you want your wall sconces looking like shit? ‘Cause he’s the best wall sconce guy in the valley. So we gotta use him.” We had to have wallpaper hung, and my contractor said, “I have a wallpaper guy. This dude is Michelangelo. With wallpaper. He’s amazing. He’s a little sketchy. But your wallpaper’s gonna look amazing.” I go, “Okay, well let’s hire him.”

So the day came. I go down to the kitchen in the morning, there’s a guy in my kitchen. He’s got two wooden sawhorses, and draped over them, big pieces of wallpaper. He’s putting paste on them. And the guy putting up the wallpaper… I can’t see him, but I can hear him. He’s in the room where the wallpaper is going up. And he’s yelling at the guy with the sawhorses. And he’s going, “Kirby! You got too much paste near the seams, It’s bubbling up. I gotta scrape it. Goddammit, Kirby!” I look at the guy with the sawhorses, and I say, “I assume you’re Kirby.” And the guy at the sawhorses said, “There’s no Kirby.” “My name is Daniel. He’s gonna yell at Kirby all day. But your wallpaper’s gonna look amazing.” Okay. And sure enough, every time I went down, that dude was yelling at Kirby about everything, the glue on the wallpaper, the sizes of the pieces of wallpaper, but, a couple of times, I went down, and he was yelling at Kirby about… existential cosmic shit that nobody could control. Like, I went downstairs at one point, and he was saying, “Two Fleetwood Mac songs in a row on the radio? Goddammit, Kirby!” Like, I couldn’t fi… Is Kirby his assistant? Or God? Like, I don’t know… And the day ended, Daniel packed up his stuff. The wallpaper guy came out of the room for a second and then bolted out of the house. Like, I feel like if I tried to take a picture of him, he either wouldn’t have shown up on my phone… or there would have been a picture of one of those Asian ghost girls, like, pointing at the… You know. I went into the room where the wallpaper was being put up, and the wallpaper looks fucking amazing! So… thank you, Kirby, first off. Thank you.

Secondly, we have to have tile put around the fireplace. I can’t wait to meet the tile guy. I just want to hear his story. I’m waiting for the contractor to come by. “All right, dude, I have… a tile guy. This guy is the Da Vinci of wall tiles. He is a… He lives in a bucket in the forest. You have to tie a note to a raven at midnight and let it loose. He’ll eventually get it. When he shows up, let him start working, and don’t say the word ‘celery’ to him or he turns into a murder tornado, okay? But your wall tiles are gonna look amazing.”

So… I, uh… Oh, please! I just realized I could totally brag about, like, I made Netflix build me this oval for my hiking bit. Like that… I demanded it. They didn’t. This is what the stage already looked like, but I could go, “Yeah, that’s the kinda power I have. When I have… If I’m doing… They’ll build… I call them up. Yeah, you rolled the red carpet out for Chappelle. I need a fucking oval!” My God, it’s so sad. Oh.

I got married again. I got married again. It’s… Not to bum you guys out, but I was very, very resigned to living in the gray. I was… After what I went through a couple of years ago, I was just going to… I’m gonna live in the gray, and I’m just gonna raise my daughter alone and try to put… Focus all the joy and adventure in life on her, and give her that life. I will merely exist. I’m not gonna hit joy again, but that’s fine, I can still exist. That’s okay. And then, I met this poem of a woman who relit the sky, and I just said, “I’m going to run at love again.” If you see love, run at it! Run at love if you see it! Trust me, run at love! But… the one thing that was weird was I was very, very tense and nervous during the wedding. And the reason was… ’cause nothing went wrong. The wedding was perfect, and that made me very… The reason that made me tense and nervous was because, when I was teenager, I worked as a wedding DJ on the weekends. In Northern Virginia, I worked for the last DJ company that still used cassette tapes. Well into the ’90s. Long after CDs had taken over the landscape. Our boss was like, “These tapes sound great. They sound as great as…” These tapes were ten years old. They’d been played 700 times apiece. And he’s like, “It sounds like the band is playing right there.” Yeah, it sure does. It does sound like the band is playing right there, if right there is “they’ve been buried under a mile of rubble.” Yes, it does sound just like they’re right there. But we were the cheapest game in town, so we could underbid everybody. So we got all the shittiest gigs. All of our gigs were shotgun weddings and forced retirements. We were the ambient music… for rage and despair. That is what… we really were. “Hey, did your daughter’s boss at Sam Goody knock her up, and now you want her first dance at your wedding to be ‘Almost Paradise’ sounding like…”

♪ Almost paradise ♪

“That’s right. Our songs’ll match the sound of the scream trapped in your throat, Dad!” So, every weekend was just this parade of horrors. And the other DJs I worked with, these guys in their 30s and 40s who were trying to justify the cul-de-sac that their live was… would lay their bullshit justifications on me, the dipshit teenager in the Chess King suit. They would dump it all on me. And they would say shit like, “You know, Patton, a little bit of, uh, DJ wisdom. A little bit of DJ lore. You might not know this… but, uh… if something goes wrong with the wedding, that means that marriage is solid. A little bit of DJ lore. You might not know that, so… When you think about it, we’re kind of doing a beautiful thing here.” “We’re building the foundations for lifelong romances. That’s what we… That’s what we do here. You could almost say we’re love wizards. We’re love wizards.” And I bought that hook, line, and sinker! So, now I’m at my wedding and nothing’s going wrong. It’s beautiful, and I’m the one guy going, “Should I punch somebody or… I wanna be with her. Should I take my dick out? Or… I don’t know what to do. Like… something should go wrong.” It took me till the reception to go, “What the fuck were they telling me? That was bullshit! There’s no DJ lore! They were just trying to justify the fucking horrible shit that we had to witness every weekend.” All those marriages were… Those marriages didn’t last a month after we did those gigs. We were not love wizards. We were divorce necromancers. That’s what we were. Yeah. We brought fucking acrimony and separation everywhere we went. Oh, the shit I saw at those gigs. I’ve seen… I saw two separate weddings where a groom punched out a best man. Two different ones. I saw a mom projectile vomit during a spotlight dance with her son, at the reception. Projectile vomit! It ruined Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through the Night” for me. I can’t listen to that song. I love that song. She ruined it!

And… our caterer was amazing. At our wedding, our caterer was incredible. This little company, Heirloom LA, and he was such an amazing chef. And we were trying all of his food and talking with him about his life story, and then he was like, “I really like you guys, you’re great. You know what I’m gonna do? I wanna talk to you guys and get your story, and then, at the reception, I’m gonna have two specialty cocktails that I will name for each of you, after I hear your life story.” So we talked for a bit, and, sure enough, at the reception, two handcrafted specialty cocktails named for each of us. One of them… was called the Malibu. Because my wife was born and raised in Malibu, California. And the other one was called the Sterling. ‘Cause I grew up in Sterling, Virginia. Now… the Malibu… was a complex flavor palate of light and dark… salty and sweet… bitter and tangy… as mysterious and unknowable… as the sea itself. And the Sterling… was lemonade with vodka in it. I don’t know if you’ve been to Sterling. He nailed it. Oh, my God. Absolutely nailed my hometown. “Hey, how can we get drunk quickly in this Roy Rogers parking lot before school starts?” “I stole some vodka from my dad’s garage. Is that Country Time Lemonade? That’ll kill the taste. Let’s do this.” Let’s do it! Mwah! And now I’m just… Being married is the best! I love it. Although, anyone here, no matter how good of a marriage is that you’re in… You know this. …you will have fucking fights. You will have huge, knock-down, drag-out fights. And a couple of months ago, we had one of those blowouts. And I mean a blowout where the fight ended with both of us… “I don’t wanna listen to your shit anymore! Oh, my God, you’re such a fucking idiot!” And me going, “I don’t wanna listen to your shit!” I’m going on a hike.” That was my… That was my mic drop. “I’m going on a hike.” And she’s like, “Yeah, go on your stupid hike, I don’t care.” Off I went on my hike. “Fucking goddammit, she’s such a fucking idiot.” And then halfway to my hike, it hits me. “Oh, my God. What the fuck are we doing? We blew this up over nothing. This is over nothing. Oh, my God, I gotta go back and apologize. Jesus Christ.” And little did I know that she was home going, “Oh, we blew this up. Oh, my God, I gotta apologize to that dude.” What are we doing?” Now… before I tell you the rest of the story, please keep in mind… that the thing she did next was done with love… and was meant as a romantic gesture. Please, keep those in mind. I’m begging you. She went to where I hike, ’cause she knows where I go hiking, parked her car where I couldn’t see it, wrote a note, left it on my windshield… for me to find when the hike was over. Finished my hike, went, “Oh, there’s a note on my windshield. I open it up. Here’s the note. Verbatim. First line: “Stop.” Space. Second line: “Get out of your car.” Space. Third line: “Walk to the park bench in front of you.” Space. Last line: “I love you.” Now, okay, yes, yes, it ended with “I love you.” That’s very nice. But that was a long, terrifying walk… to “I love you.” Holy shit! That is what a demented hit man leaves on a windshield. I’m reading this thing like, “Oh, God, who did I fight with on Twitter today? Goddammnit! One of these fucking alt-right MAGA assholes found me!” Like looking down at my shirt, with that little red dotthat, like, started creeping up, and…

Then I look up and she’s sitting on a park bench 20 yards away from me. I’m like, “Okay, you wrote this.” Ahh! Fucking terrified. And you know what? Just the pacing, forget the words. The pacing is terrifying! That’s the same pacing like when a loved one gets kidnapped. And you get that call, and they’re using the voice changer. That’s the same pacing and syntax they use. Which, in that case… The “I love you” is the scariest part. With the voice changer? You’re like, “Hello?” “Stop.” “Get out of your car. Walk to the park bench in front of you. I love you.” Like, “Oh, what the fuck?”

So… I got invited… to the pre… Hang on, let me do that again. Oh, you’ll get to see the behind the scenes making of this. Watch this. Go right back to my starting thing. You ready? Watch this? Okay. I got invited… Holy shit! No, I did get invited to the premiere… of the Han Solo Star Wars movie. I got invited. And not only did I get invited, at the premiere, on Hollywood Boulevard, they built a full-scale Millennium Falcon. Yeah. You could go inside, walk around, get your picture taken sitting in the cockpit. Holy shit. And I got invited. Me! And I couldn’t go. Because it was the same night as my daughter’s second grade art show. And, as if to add insult to injury, her art project… was the shittiest robot I’ve ever seen. It looked like a silver scrotum with a box on top. And it, like… And the expression on the face, I swear to God, was like, “Yeah, it sucks, I know. That’s… Yeah. Dunno what to tell… You’re 2 miles away from the Millennium Falcon, you gotta look at me. Yeah. Yeah, life blows. What are you gonna do?” You know what I did? I did Academy Award-level acting that night. I was like, “Sweetie, this is… this is amazing. You made this? Oh, my God! Is he gonna get up and walk? This is a real robot. Did you make a real robot? Sweetie, wow! This is… Ah! You’re a genius. You really are. You’re blowing me away, sweetie. You really do. You blow me away. Yeah.” I know. I know. If you went back to the summer of 1977, walked up to eight-year-old me, just came out of Star Wars, mind blown, and you were like, “Patton, someday, they’re going to make a movie just about Han Solo, and you’re gonna be invited to the premiere. And, at the premiere, there’s gonna be a full-size Millennium Falcon. You’ll be able to walk around inside of it, sit in the cockpit, get your picture taken. But you’re not gonna be able to go. ‘Cause you’ll have to go to your daughter’s second grade art show.” I know for a fact that I would have said, “I get to fuck a lady someday?” Like, I would have been… so cool with it. “Yeah, great!” I’ll see you later. I don’t give a shit. Look, I’m just… I don’t really have any current event stuff or…

I don’t have any Trump material is what I’m saying. I don’t… There’s no… What is the… What is the point at this point? What is the point? The people… The people that hate Trump, hate him. The people that still like him, they’re lost. So, what is… What happens… if I do a bit that no one’s gonna… “Oh, okay.” Doing a bit about Trump thinking you’re gonna effect change is like doing a bit, like, to the Manson followers, basically. Like, just… And hoping that they’ll go, “Oh, that was a clever joke. Yeah, he is kinda crazy, huh?” All my friends who told me, “Oh, man, you comedians… If Trump gets elected, it’s going to be Christmas everyday for you guys.”

Let me tell you what it’s like… being a comedian… while Trump is the president. The Trump presidency… is an 18-wheeler… full of monkeys and PCP. And… it has crashed… into a train full of diarrhea. And now… there’s diarrhea-covered monkeys on PCP running around. And everyone’s watching it like, “Holy shit, look at this.” And then you, as a comedian, walk up and go, “Hey, wanna hear a joke I wrote about this?” You’re like, “No, we’re good, dude. I’m fine. I mean, Jesus, look at all this. You can take a break. Oh, my God. Wow.”

I mean, I wanna be socially conscious, but… Right now, being a comedian is like being the MC in Cabaret, if you know what I mean. Not a lot of bright spots. Although I will say, for me, one of the bright spots for me is the whole #MeToo movement. That is a big bright spot, and the reason is, um… Actually, this shouldn’t be the reason, but it is. It’s ’cause I’m the father of a daughter. Although it should be ’cause I’m a fucking human being, but I’m still happy that it’s happening. The one… The one thing that’s kinda shitty about Me, Too, for me, is it’s really put into perspective what an amateur perv I am. Like, I… always thought that I was on the bleeding edge of depravity and… And then I’m reading all these Me, Too reports, and I’m just like, “I’m just a fucking bowl of vanilla ice cream.” Like, this is… No toppings! And apparently… A lot of these reports… It’s not just one or two guys. There’s a lot of guys whose very specific kink is jerking off to women that openly don’t want them jerking off to them. Which… That level of self-esteem and confidence I can only dream of, because you know, like… You know how shitty you’re going to look doing it. Like, even if you… And I’ve had… I’ve literally had friends of mine that are not my friends anymore that have said, “These guys all got consent, man.” Okay, maybe they did get consent. First off, I guarantee you the consent didn’t look like, “Yeah!” It… If they got consent, it looked like, “Just… Make it quick, right? It’ll be quick? You’ll be done quick, right?” But then, even if you get consent, you know… There’s no cool way to jerk off in front of… There’s no Fonzie way to, like, jerk… Like, “Are you… Is that consent? Are you okay? Great. Let me just lean in this doorway, with the city skyline behind me at sunset, cigarette in my mouth. I’m just going to put Roxy Music’s “Avalon” on, and then… just Jimi Hendrix my way to climax.” Like, no, you… You’re not gonna look like that. You’re going to look like an orangutan hunched over in a blizzard. Just, “Ahh!” Like, there’s no, like… You will look terrible. Like, she’s not… There’s not gonna be an Anaïs Nin diary entry about you afterward. “And then when I saw his come dribble across his sad knuckles, I knew I had met my matador.” Like, no, it’s just… It’s gonna be… But they fucking… They go ahead and do it. What the fuck?

I’ve been jerking off, and I’ve caught myself in the mirror and gone, “Oh, fuck! I’m sorry! Oh!” Ahh! Ahh! Write an email to myself later. “I want to apologize for that. That is not who I am. I need to…” That’s their thing! And the other thing that confuses me is… there’s porn for everything. So was there porn for this… and I just missed it? Like, was there porn for jerking off to the unwilling all these years… and it just was off my radar? Like, were there 900 numbers where it’s like, “Our hottest operators… are just trying to get to the copier machine.” “Ooh, but you’re blocking the hallway, aren’t you, stud?” “Call 1-900-Just-Finish-Already.” Or videotape series in the ’80s… “Faces of disapproval, one through nine.” “Asian faces of disapproval.” “Barely legal faces of disapproval.” There are hipsters who are like, “I’m old school, man. I like the print magazine. That’s my thing. Did you see the latest issue of Nope? Ahh. Mwah. The centerfold, she’s checking her e-mail and rolling her eyes. I came twice before I got my pants off, man. I subscribe to Nope, Fine, Whatever, and I used to subscribe to… but… They went a little neocon in the ’80s. I had to cancel my subscription.”

I have a theory about Jesus. I… I’ve tried so hard to think of a segue for that. There’s just nothing. There’s no… Trust me, I tried. Yeah, can you… “You know who didn’t jerk off in front of people?” No, there’s no… It does not work. I’m still an atheist, but… I think that Jesus existed. And I have a theory about him, which I absolutely cannot support. My theory is… Jesus existed, but he was also about 15 or 20 different people. Then, over the centuries, it got boiled down to one person when people told stories about it: Jesus. And one of the things I have to back this theory up is… I’m 30 years outside of high school at this point. And the five or six cool guys I knew in high school, I had boiled down into one guy… named Craig because… when I’m telling a story about high school, no one gives a shit about… I’m just making a point about something. So I boil it all down to Craig. Craig had great weed, Craig played me Pink Floyd’s The Wall for the first time. It doesn’t… No one gives a shit. Just… “Fine, Craig, got it.” The person is not important, it’s the story. Now, Jesus… This is thousands of years. And people also forget biblical times were horrible. Way worse than medieval times, way worse than the Dark Ages. Biblical times were a frigging nightmare. It was the… Might makes right, no rule of law. People just… You fell down the street, people hit you with a rock and took your stuff. Other people watched it and went, “Yeah, you shouldn’t have fallen down, I guess. Yeah. Life’s horrible. There you go.” And then… just as an evolutionary leap, which, to me, is just as amazing as miracles and magic, random people… more enlightened, advanced people, just started going, “Hey, what if I wasn’t a raging douchebag all the time? Like, what would happen?” And the first time they did that to people, it melted their minds! They had no frame of reference for it, they had no way to describe it, and that turned into stories of superpowers and miracles. They had no other way to describe it. Somebody’s starving to death… Back then, someone would starve to death, you’d stand in front of him, with food. “Wow, I have food, and you’re starving. What are you gonna do, you know?” And then feed the rest to an animal and watch the guy die, and then… But some random person went, “I can’t finish this. How about you have it so you don’t die?” And the person you gave it to… Like… no way to describe. He’d never seen anything like that before, and that turned into… “You… You’re not… There was, like, 5,000 people, and one piece of bread and fish. And everyone had food. It was crazy!” Or, like, Jesus was always driving demons out of people. Well, that was… Somebody was sad or depressed, and, back then, if someone was sad or depressed, you threw rocks at ’em until they jumped off a cliff and died. And you went, “He was sad, now he’s dead.” And then you look at the camera and go, “Biblical times. What are you gonna do?” And, instead, somebody came up and was like, “Hey, what’s wrong? I’ll listen to you. Talk to me. Maybe we can work this out.” “I was full of demons, and all these demons… The guy chased all the demons away.” A guy made you feel better. Which, better… But, look, there’s been… I’ve had sessions with my therapist where I have been so fucking depressed and horrible, and he’s talked me off the ledge. If he told me afterwards, “There were actually 3 demons in you and I scared ’em away.” I’m like, “Fine, whatever works. I’ll take it. That’s great, yeah. Demons, got it. Thanks, doc.” And raising people from the dead? That was immediate… I mean, there was… A guy fell down. In the street. Another guy starts walking towards him, the guy on the street was like, “Well, here comes my murder. I shouldn’t have fallen down. Time for me to get murdered.” That happened. Everyone was used to that. “I fell. Gonna get hit with a rock. He’s gonna take my stuff.” Instead the guy who walked up was like, “Give me your arm. I’ll help you up.” And the guy, as he pulled him up, he was like… That one, he just immediately turned to his friends and was like, “I was just dead. I was just dead.” Technically, he was. In his mind, he was dead. That’s what happened. You fall down, you die. “I was just dead, and I’m lying in the street. This guy starts walking up to me. I’m like, ‘I’m just gonna get murdered near this amaranth, ‘ and, instead, he… grabbed my arm and he pulled me up, and he brought me back from the dead. He already left. I forget his name. It’s Jesus, or Kirby, or something. I don’t know, but…” “…it was amazing.'”

I’m going to leave you guys with this. Holy shit. What a fucking great crowd you are. Oh, my God, thank you! Thanks, guys. So… I still travel sometimes, on the weekends, to do stand-up. I love doing this. But I’m torn because I also love hanging out with my daughter. She’s ten, she’s awesome. I wanna have as many daddy-daughter days as I can before she’s a teenager and is like, “Your music sucks.” So, I want to hang out with her. And I was home a few weekends ago, and I was like, “Hey, I’m gonna be home. Tomorrow, when you wake up, it’s daddy-daughter day. You call the day. Anything you want, we’re gonna do. Daddy-daughter day.” So, next morning, she wakes up, wakes me, “Daddy, it’s daddy-daughter day.” I go, “What do you wanna do?” “Let’s make breakfast.” I made her breakfast. “What do you wanna do?” “I wanna go on the trampoline.” We went on the trampoline. “What do you wanna do now?” “I wanna do a jigsaw puzzle.” We did a jigsaw puzzle. “What do you wanna do now?” “I wanna read Harry Potter”. We read a chapter of Harry Potter. Now, it’s getting to be near noon. And I go, “Are you hungry? Do you want some lunch?” She goes, “Yeah, I want some lunch.” I said, “How about we go out to lunch?” She went, “Oh, my God!” I said, “Where do you wanna go?” And she immediately said, “Denny’s!”

Because Denny’s is a destination restaurant when you’re 10 years old. Kids love Denny’s. Now, hang on. Stop. I know a lot of you are going, “Oh, he’s gonna make fun of Denny’s now for ten minutes.” Denny’s is not the problem in this bit, all right? I love Denny’s. Denny’s knows who they are, they know the space they take up in the universe. They are more self-actualized than any of us will ever be. They know what they are. I am the problem in this bit. ‘Cause I’m about to make a huge fuck-up. See if you can catch it. My daughter and I are driving to Denny’s. I go, “Sweetie, we’ll go to Denny’s, we’ll pop in, we’ll grab some lunch, we’ll pop back out, we’ll go play basketball at Beaman Park.” Oh, did you catch my fuck-up? You do not… pop into Denny’s, grab food, and then pop back out because you have someplace to be. Denny’s is where you end up… after a series… of bad decisions… and catastrophic twists of fate. That’s why Denny’s is there. And the whole operating procedure of Denny’s fits that event. You walk into Denny’s. Hostess meets you. No words are exchanged. She takes you to your booth, leaves you a glass of iced water, ’cause this could be day three. Gotta hydrate. She walks away for 20 minutes, leaves you alone. You appreciate that 20 minutes. You’re sitting there going, “Okay, well… not being chased right now, so let’s go through this. How many moves do I have left? Oh, my God, how did you fuck this up? Oh, my God.” Twenty minutes later, she comes back with a cup of coffee. You didn’t order it. She knows you need it. ‘Cause you’re hydrated. Now, it’s time to caffeinate. And plan your revenge. Sitting there and… “Tell me I’m extraneous. I’ll fucking burn that whole goddamn building down, I’ll show you who’s fucking extraneous. Bunch of assholes.”

Twenty minutes later, she comes back. So, now, it’s been 40 minutes. But she comes back now with the menu. And everything on the Denny’s menu… There’s a picture of the food next to the description. That way you can order like this: “Fucking people are just riding me every goddamn… That. I’ll fucking kill… these fucking assholes… Motherfuckers.” Meanwhile, over at my table, I came in like an asshole. “Hey, she’s gonna get mac and cheese, steamed broccoli and some apple slices. I’m gonna get the Fit Slam breakfast and a cup of decaf, thanks.” And the waitress looked at me, like, “I don’t know what is going on here, I don’t know if you know where you are. Maybe this is, like, a weird custody thing going on and you’re… you’re trying to get to the state line or something. Maybe you better sit, have your iced water, think it through. You’ll appreciate it later. Everyone we’ve ever served quickly goes down in a hail of bullets. Just take time, think this shit through, all right? Sit, have your water, have your coffee.” So, I’m sitting there for 20 minutes with my water, my daughter’s happy as a clam. She has the kids menu. There’s word finds and mazes on it. She’s having a lot of fun. And I had time to look at the kids menu and see that… even the kids menu is all about preparing kids for that desperate 3:00 a.m., no-sleep-for-a-week Nick Cave-murder-song life… that we’re all heading for. Because they have these four little kiddie characters. They’re called the Grand Slams. These are real characters that Denny’s has on their kids menu. Little anthropomorphic breakfast foods. There’s a fried egg, there’s a pancake, there’s a strip of bacon, and there’s a sausage link. The fried egg, and I’m not making any kind of judgment… is a prostitute. Sorry. She’s a prostitute. She has way too much eye makeup on, her mouth is this kind of brave, broken little smile. Like, “I’m just… I’m out here. I’m trying, goddamnit. Okay? I didn’t ask for this. I was a golden yolk, and they dropped me into the skillet of life. And you know what? I’m proud of what I am, and I’m doing my best, okay? Don’t goddamn judge me.” And I, again… I had 40 minutes with these characters. I worked out back stories, and… relationships for all of them. The fried egg is a prostitute. The pancake is her son, and… I’m not going to put a name to it. But something’s wrong with the pancake, all right? I’m not gonna say what it is, but his eyes are a little close together. Go look at him. His eyes are close together, his smile is way too big, like he’s just not aware of a lot of the horror around him. You know what? How do I put this? Um… God gave him a curse and a gift. Does that make sense? All right. So… So, that’s her son. She’s doing what she can to raise him. All right? The bacon is the pancake’s dad. He’s not married to the fried egg. He doesn’t hate her. They’re just not married. And the economy, it’s all post-capitalism. Everything’s collapsing. He has to go wherever the work is. So, he’s like, “I got a job on an oil rig for eight months. It’s high-risk pay. I’ll send back whatever I can. They’re gonna take a big chunk out of my room and board, You know, but just do what you can while I’m gone to raise the kid. Okay? Do what you can.” When he says that to her, “Do what you can,” he knows she’s hooking. All right? And he’s not judging her, okay? They’re all struggling. He’s out in the North Atlantic… getting the last of the crude oil out of the earth. It’s all… It’s all gonna collapse. But, goddamnit, he’s gonna try to help that pancake. And the sausage… is the fried egg’s regular customer, okay? They… He… He… and the… Look… he and the strip of bacon served together in Desert Storm, and they’re kinda… It’s sort of… And he’s in the… Look… He’s in a shitty marriage, okay? He’s not… He married some hash browns. They’re not part of the Grand Slams. She didn’t wanna be a part of it. She’s got a lot of problems. And you look at him, like… He’s very sweaty and, like, “Hey.” You know what I mean? He always looks like he’s kinda going, “Come on. My wife is at her Zumba class for the next hour. We have an hour. Can I come by for, like, an hour and…” And then she’s gotta tell the pancake, like, “Hey, Mommy’s friend’s gonna come over, and, uh… why don’t you go… go play with your PAW Patrol toys for a while. Can you do that? Can you play with your PAW… Oh, go work on your spelling. Go do a couple of your spelling sheets, okay? Mommy’s gonna be with her friend and then, afterward, how about we’ll go get some ice cream? Okay? I’ll have money to get some ice cream. You wanna go do that? But you gotta go… You gotta play with your PAW Patrol toys, do your spelling. Go work on your spelling, and don’t bother Mommy for the next hour, okay? Okay? Go work on your spelling. Go do your spelling. Okay.” The pancake is 32 years old, by the way. I don’t know if I mentioned that. It’s… Look, there’s a lot… They’re… She’s doing her best, god damn it!

Denny’s has to put the calorie amounts on all their food. And God bless Denny’s. They’re like, “I don’t think you wanna hear this, but we’ll tell you. I’m not gonna… I got nothing to hide, but do you wanna hear… You gonna… You’re not gonna leave this alone, huh? Okay. Ready? Healthy grain pancakes, 1,200 calories. That’s right. Day and a half worth of calories on one plate. I dunno what to tell you. Yes, that’s before syrup and butter.” The Denny’s menu is the caloric equivalent of going, “Fine, I fucked your brother, okay? Is that what you want to hear? I fucked your brother. There. Did everyone hear that? I fucked his brother. All right? Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.” And, on the kids menu, the mac and cheese… You know what the picture for the mac and cheese is? A box of Kraft macaroni and cheese! They’re not even hiding it. “Yeah, we’ll go make… We’ll open a box of Kraft mac and cheese for you and make it. Yeah, it’s 89 cents if you made it at home, four bucks here. There you go. And we’ll charge you four dollars. Eighty-nine cents if you had it at home. But you probably can’t go home, can you? Mmm, no. Probably can’t. There’s people there waiting to talk to you, right? A lot of shit missing around the office? Okay. How about you have some carbs and get your story straight? You’ll… You’ll thank us later.” They brought my cup of decaf out. On the cup, Denny’s logo… and the Denny’s slogan. And the slogan was… “It’s always sunny at Denny’s.” Period. Not exclamation point. Not “It’s always sunny at Denny’s!” Nope, that’s the wrong read. You’re not going to get the part. Look at the script again. This is the right read. It’s always sunny at Denny’s. I wanna do a commercial for Denny’s… so badly. I wanna… I wanna direct it, I wanna star in it. I have the perfect commercial. It will land with their demographic so hard. Thirty-second commercial, all right? I’m sitting in a booth, got my coffee cup, staring out the window. Right? It’s raining. And from the light coming in, it’s either dawn… or dusk. I’ve either been up all night, or I’m about to be up all night. Thirty-second commercial. First 28 seconds, I don’t say anything. I just stare out the window. Then, in the last two seconds, I bring my cup up, and you can barely hear me say, “It’s always sunny at Denny’s.” Thank you, Charlotte! Thank you so much! Oh, my God! Thank you, guys. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you so much, all of you. Good night! Thank you so much for watching. And, as a little bonus, my friend, Bob Rubin, huge influence on me, huge influence on a lot of comedians you love, has shot a special, and I’ve added it to mine. So, if you just stay where you are, his special is about to start. He is a genius. He’s crazy. Watch the first five minutes of his special. I guarantee, you are going to be hooked. Bob Rubin. It’s starting in a second. Thank you, guys, so much. And thank you, Charlotte!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Access Our Archive
of Stand-Up Transcripts

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!