Stand-Up Citizens

11.01.18

Mo Amer Chats His Comedy Special, "Mo Amer: The Vagabond"

Mo Amer is an Arab­ American stand up comedian and writer of Palestinian descent, known for his iconic work with the comedy troupe “Allah Made Me Funny” – the longest ­running artistic collective of Muslim comic performers in the world. Amer recently debuted his first stand­ up special on Netflix, entitled “The Vagabond.” The special was filmed at the historic Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas and features a number of easter eggs, including a surprise appearance (off camera) by Amer’s longtime mentor Dave Chappelle, and original music by members of the legendary Roots crew (beat by Stro, lyrics by Black Thought). The special was directed by veteran comedy director/producer Stan Lathan.

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** As Captioned Live **

>>> THANKS, EVERYBODY. OUR NEXT HOST THAT A NEW SPECIAL ON NETFLIX, CALLED "THE VAGABOND.” LET'S LOOK AT THE TRAILER.

>> I TURNED THE CORNER AND SAID HOLY SHIT, IS THAT GUY DRUNK? I PUT UP MY BAG AND SAW HIS NAME ON A SWEATER. NO FURTHER INVESTIGATION NECESSARY. LET'S BE HONEST, THAT'S WHAT YOU DO WITH A SLOW KID IN YOUR FAMILY WHEN YOU GO TO A THEME PARK SO WHEN THEY GET LOST THEY KNOW HOW TO IDENTIFY HIMSELF. I SAT NEXT TO HIM, HOW'S IT GOING, MAN? EVERYTHING IS COOL. I'M JUST MESSING WITH YOU. MY NAME IS MUHAMMAD, I'M MUSLIM, ARAB, A COMEDIAN. I HAD TO MESS WITH YOU A LITTLE BIT. AND I'M A REFUGEE. TOO LATE, BITCH, I MADE IT. IT'S NICE. I SHIFTED GEARS ON HIM, I SAID, HEY, TELL YOUR DAD TO BUILD ALL THE DAMN WALLS YOU WANT. MY FAMILY FLEW IN. THERE IS NO PROBLEM. ONE $9 SPIRIT AIRLINES FLIGHT AND I'LL BE BACK IN BUSINESS. EVERYBODY, PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER!

>> HI.

>> HOW YOU DOING, BROTHER?

>> I'M GOOD.

>> LET'S START RIGHT AWAY WITH ERIC TRUMP.

>> THAT'S A VERY LARGE PICTURE OF ME RIGHT HERE. WHO IS THIS STARING AT ME? IT'S ME. GOOD TO SEE YOU, BROTHER.

>> YOU SIT NEXT TO HIM ON A FLIGHT?

>> YEAH.

>> WHAT WERE YOU THINKING AS SOON AS YOU SAT NEXT TO HIM? DID YOU WANT TO CONFRONT HIM ABOUT ANYTHING?

>> I WAS JUST HAPPY TO BE UPGRADED INTO FIRST CLASS. I JUST GOT OFF A FLIGHT FROM AUSTRALIA ALL THE WAY TO NEW YORK STARTING TO 25 CITY TOUR IN THE UK. I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW I WAS GOING TO GET UPGRADED MUCH LESS SIT NEXT TO ERIC TRUMP. THE LADY THAT UPGRADED ME WAS PROBABLY A CLINTON SUPPORTER. ERIC TRUMP IS ON MY FLIGHT, OKAY. I DON'T KNOW WHY THE HAD A MUSTACHE. LET'S LOOK AT THE UPGRADE LIST. MUHAMMAD MUSTAFA -- UPGRADE. I WAS SHOCKED, OF COURSE, DID A CARTOON THING. IS THAT REALLY HIM? IT WAS REALLY WILD TO EXPERIENCE THAT. I DIDN'T THINK IT WAS A BIG DEAL. THIS IS FUNNY. I WAS MORE EXCITED ABOUT THE UPGRADE AND FLATBED SITUATION SO I COULD SLEEP ON THE WAY TO SCOTLAND BEFORE I STARTED THE TOUR. I TOOK A PICTURE AND WHEN I LANDED IN GLASGOW, IT'S SOMETHING LIKE A CARTOON, ALL THESE NOTIFICATIONS YOU EVER COULD IMAGINE. EVERY PUBLICATION YOU EVER WANTED TO DO AN INTERVIEW WITH OR DIDN'T WANT TO DO AN INTERVIEW WITH GOT IN TOUCH WITH YOU.

>> WHAT DID THE CONSERVATIVE MEDIA SAY?

>> ASKED ME TO BE ON THEIR SHOW. I SAID, NO THANK YOU. I WAS GOING TO DO A GAG, SOMETHING THAT LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE HER BUT LIBERAL AND TALKED TRASH TO HER.

>> HOW DO YOU THINK THAT WOULD HAVE WENT IF YOU HAD GONE ON HER SHOW?

>> IT WOULD HAVE GONE BADLY. I THINK THOSE SHOWS SET YOU UP TO LOOK BAD.

>> ALL THOSE SHOWS DO TO GET YOU TO START TALKING TO PROVE YOUR ANSWER IS WRONG BEFORE YOU'VE GIVEN AN ANSWER.

>> EXACTLY. I'M NOT A FAN OF THOSE KIND OF BROADCASTS AND PROGRAMS AND DIDN'T GIVE IT THE TIME OF DAY. HE LOOKED AT ME AND ERIC LOOKED AT ME AND I LOOKED AT HIM, LIKE A BAD ONE NIGHT STAND. MAYBE I SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE THIS, MAN. I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'VE GOTTEN MYSELF INTO. I WAS WORRIED ABOUT IT. AS AN ARTIST AND COMEDIAN YOU WANT TO BE KNOWN FOR THE STAND-UP AND ART YOU PUT OUT IN THE WORLD NOT FOR WHAT HAPPENED. IT WAS SIGNIFICANT IN THE TIME IT HAPPENED. HIS FATHER WAS JUST ELECTED.

>> PRE-OR POST TRAVEL BAN?

>> THIS IS LIKE RIGHT BEFORE THE -- I LOOKED AT HIM AND THE FIRST THING I SAID, HEY, WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT MUSLIM ID CARD SHIT. HE'S LIKE? WHAT?

>> WHAT IS THIS, NAZI GERMANY? WE'RE NOT DOING THAT. HE SAID YOU SHOULDN'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ. I SAID THERE'S VIDEO FOOTAGE OF YOUR FATHER SAYING HE WILL DO THIS. YOU WANT ME TO PUT IT UP ON YOUTUBE.

>> YES, I GUESS I DO BELIEVE IT.

>> ACTUALLY, HE REALLY PLAYED IT OFF. I UNDERSTOOD THE WHOLE THING. I USED TO DO A JOKE BEFORE HIS DAD WAS ELECTED, HE'S A MASTER AT PLAYING THE MEDIA LIKE A FIDDLE. HE KNOWS WHAT THE TRIGGER WORDS ARE THAT CAN CREATE THE CHAOS AND HE KNOWS WHAT WILL WORK AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN DO FEEL THE WAY WHAT HE'S ARTICULATING AND EVENTUALLY SUPPORT WHAT THEY DO START YELLING SAVE AMERICA AND THE USA BUT HE'S ACTUALLY HELPING HIMSELF AND HIS LINEAGE AND THOSE AROUND HIM THAT HOLD THE WEALTH. THAT WASN'T THE CASE. IT WAS FRUSTRATING TO SEE THAT GOING ON HERE.

>> THAT HE MAY NOT BELIEVE ALL THIS STUFF THEY SPEW, AS YOU SAID, TO HOLD ONTO POWER AND THE ECONOMIC POWER.

>> YES. I TOLD HIS SON, YOU DAD GOT ELECTED FOR THAT. HE'S LIKE, YEAH. WHAT? EXCUSE ME, YOU CAN GET ELECTED IF YOU'RE THE LARGEST ASS-HOLE. SCARY.

>> YOU HEAR REPORTERS SAYING CNN SUCKS AND GO OVER AN ACRE SAYING NOTHING PERSONAL. THEY ALL REALIZE CREATING THIS AMOUNT OF NOISE IS HOLDING ONTO POWER, WHETHER FANTASTICAL POWER THEY THINK THEY WILL HAVE IF THEY SUPPORT HIM OR ACTUAL POWER THEY CAN GLIMPSE. SUPPORT HIM OR --

>> I AGREE WITH YOU. IT'S WEIRD. YOU'RE A DUCHE, NOT RULE, BUT YOU ARE. I SEE WHAT REALITY IS AND I THINK PEOPLE HAVE A PROBLEM WHAT REAL NEWS IS. FAKE NEWS, NOT FAKE NEWS, YES, THERE IS FAKE NEWS BUT REAL NEWS, PEOPLE STARVING AROUND THE WORLD. YEMEN IS A SITUATION, WHAT IS HAPPENING THERE IS DISGUSTING AND THE PALESTINIAN CONFLICT FOR YEARS AND ALL THE MISINFORMATION THAT GOES ON WITH THAT, DIFFICULT TO HAVE A REAL CONVERSATION WE CAN TALK TO EACH OTHER AS HUMAN BEINGS AND TRULY MAKE PROGRESS. IT'S ALL THESE LIKE RACIST RANTS AND JUST LIKE PUSHING A PARTICULAR AGENDA, ENRAGING THESE PEOPLE. WHEN YOU ENRAGE THEM, YOU CAN PURSUE WHATEVER YOU WANT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. IT'S TERRIFYING.

>> I AGREE 100%. SERIOUSLY. STAND-UP IS VERY FUNNY.

>> YOU TOOK ME INTO THIS --

>> BEFORE WE GET INTO THE OTHER SHIT, CAN WE SAY, GO VOTE ON TUESDAY?

>> DID ANYBODY EARLY VOTE HERE?

>> BUT EVERYBODY IS GOING TO VOTE, RIGHT? THANK YOU. EVERYBODY DOESN'T SOUND EXCITED.

>> IS IT BECAUSE THEY DON'T BELIEVE YOU PUT IN A PARTICULAR VOTE AND IT GOES IN AND CHANGES IT. THEY ACT LIKE IT'S ALL BULL SHIT, MAN, YOU PUSH THAT BUTTON AND YOU KNOW THEY CHANGE IT IN THE BACK, THE WAY YOU'RE NODDING YOUR HAND IS SHOWY.

>> YOU'RE NOT GOING TO VOTE?

>> YES.

>> HE'S JUST SAYING WHEN HE PUSHES THE BUTTON IT WON'T REALLY COUNT BUT HE WILL DO IT ANYWAY. I FEEL THE SAME WAY BUT I WILL DO IT ANYWAY.

>> IS THIS YOUR FIRST SPECIAL?

>> MY FIRST LONG FORM STAND-UP SPECIAL.

>> LONG FORM STAND-UP SPECIAL. AMAZING. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON THIS MATERIAL?

>> YEARS. I HAVE HOURS OF STANDUP MATERIAL AND WHAT ENDED UP IN THE SPECIAL IS 56 MINUTES OF THAT. IT TAKES YEARS TO HAVE THESE EXPERIENCES. I TRAVELED THE WORLD WITHOUT A PASSPORT, WELL OVER 20 COUNTRIES WITHOUT A PASSPORT, INCREDIBLY HARD TO DO, WONDERFUL INTERROGATIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD AND ALL KINDS OF EXPERIENCES THAT MADE THIS SPECIAL HAPPEN TODAY.

>> DO YOU STILL GET INTERROGATED WHEN YOU LAND IN THE STATES?

>> I HAVE A U.S. PASSPORT NOW. THIS IS WHAT'S SO GREAT FOR CAPITALISM, YOU CAN BE A TERRORIST, FOREVER YOU SIGN UP FOR GLOBAL ENTRY OR USA PRI, YOU'RE NOT A TERRORIST ANYMORE AS LONG AS YOU PAY A $100 OR $85 INITIATION FEE, YOU'RE ALLOWED IN.

>> PROVE YOU'RE PART OF THE FREE MARKET.

>> THAT WAS THE BEST INVESTMENT I EVER MADE AND WISH I DIDN'T TALK ABOUT IT SO EVERYBODY DOESN'T SIGN UP FOR IT.

>> HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU DECIDED YOU WANTED TO BE A COMEDIAN?

>> 10 YEARS OLD.

>> YOUR FAMILY CAME OVER FROM KUWAIT BEFORE OR AFTER THE FIRST GULF WAR?

>> DURING. I SPENT 2 1/2 MONTHS IN THE ACTUAL SITUATION BEFORE MY MOM GOT US OUT AND MY FAMILY WENT -- MY MOM, MY BROTHER, MY DAD WENT THROUGH THE WHOLE PROCESS. SHE GOT ME AND MY SISTER OUT OF THERE AND WE ENDED UP IN HOUSTON, TEXAS. A NATURAL PLACE FOR REFUGEES TO GO IS THE DEEP SOUTH. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED.

>> WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP IN HOUSTON? IT WAS GREAT. WE JUST HAD HALLOWEEN. I CAME TO THE STATES TWO DAYS BEFORE HALLOWEEN. I DIDN'T KNOW HALLOWEEN EVEN EXISTED, PRE-INTERNET OR ANYTHING. TWO DAYS LATER, I SEE PEOPLE BLEEDING FOR NO REASON AND WOMEN DRESSED LIKE -- YOU KNOW I WAS LIKE, WHAT IS THIS? TITTIES OUT, AND I WAS A LITTLE KID IN KUWAIT. WE DIDN'T HAVE THAT.

>> DID YOUR PARENTS KNOW ABOUT HALLOWEEN?

>> NOBODY KNEW. MY BROTHER KNEW. HE WAS IN HOUSTON ALREADY. HE KNEW. THERE WASN'T ANY CONVERSATION, HEY, MAN, WE JUST FLED WAR. HEY, BUDDY, TWO DAYS FROM NOW, IT WILL LOOK LIKE WAR. AMERICA IS CRAZY. AND GANG VIOLENCE IS SOMETHING I HAD TO NAVIGATE THROUGH AND UNDERSTAND.

>> REALLY?

>> DRUGS. IT WAS DIFFICULT, REALLY HARD. THE AREA I GREW UP IN WAS PHENOMENAL AND INCREDIBLE PEOPLE CAME OUT OF THERE, IT WAS A TOUGH NEIGHBORHOOD TO GROW UP IN.

>> WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU TOLD YOUR PARENTS YOU WANTED TO BE A COMEDIAN?

>> MY FATHER DIED WHEN I WAS 14 AND I KNEW WHEN I WAS 10 BUT NOBODY BELIEVED ME. BUT AFTER MY DAD DIED I STARTED DOING STANDUP.

>> HOUSTON COMEDY CLUBS?

>> I COULDN'T GET IN AND I DIDN'T CARE ABOUT SCHOOL ANYMORE. FOUR YEARS REMOVED FROM WAR, YOUR DAD PASSES AWAY, IT FEELS LIKE EVERYTHING IS OVER WITH. MY ENGLISH TEACHER TOLD ME, DON'T YOU WANT TO BE A COMEDIAN IN NINTH GRADE. FIRST, YOU NEED TO GRADUATE. HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR FATHER WOULD FEEL IF YOU DON'T GRADUATE? I STARTED TO TEAR UP. YOU'RE TOO SMART TO FAIL AND IF YOU WANT TO BE A COMEDIAN, BE SMART.

>> I SAID. YES.

>> SHE SAID, IF YOU GO UP FRONT AND DO A MONOLOGUE IN ENGLISH CLASS I'LL GIVE YOU THE SAME GRADE THE FIRST SEMESTER, A PASSING GRADE ANYBODY WOULD TAKE IN A SECOND AND I WILL LET YOU DO STANDUP EVERY FRIDAY. I WIPED OFF THE TEARS, TO BE OR NOT TO BE. EVERYBODY STARTED LAUGHING AND HAVING A GOOD TIME JUST LIKE THIS. DOING STANDUP. MY GOD, I DON'T HAVE ANY MATERIALS TOMORROW AND WRITING EVERY NIGHT AND COMING UP WITH MATERIALS ON A REGULAR BASIS AND MY TEACHER TOOK ME TO THE ARTS DEPARTMENT AND SAID THIS KID HAS ACCENTS AND COMPLETELY CHANGED MY LIFE.

>> I LOVE STORIES WHERE THE TEACHER HELPS THE TEACHER THAT NEEDS SOMEBODY ELSE AND BASICALLY BECOMES AN ANGEL AND HELPS SHEPHERD THEM THROUGH. WHEN YOU'RE GROWING UP YOU DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DO THESE THINGS OR APPLY YOURSELF TO THE ACADEMY AWARDS OR ANYTHING BECAUSE NO ONE AROUND YOU DOES IT.

>> IT COMES TO GUIDANCE WITH THE RIGHT TEACHERS IN THE RIGHT PLACE THAT ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT STUDENTS. SHE WAS THE ONLY TEACHER ABLE TO CONTROL ME IN NINTH GRADE. I WAS OUTGOING AND DEALING WITH A LOT AND DIDN'T CARE. BLURT CERTAIN THINGS I HAD NO CONTROL OVER. SHE WAS THE ONLY TEACHER WHO GOT IT RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE AND ABLE TO TAKE MY ENERGY AND USE IT TO HER BENEFIT. IT WAS ONE OF THE FUNNEST CLASSES I WAS EXCITED TO AND SOME KIDS WITH ME TO THIS DAY.

>> WHEN YOU GRADUATED, DID YOU DO STANDUP RIGHT AWAY?

>> ABSOLUTELY. I FAILED NINTH GRADE BECAUSE I SKIPPED SO MUCH. I MADE IT UP FAST AND I WAS 17 WHEN I GRADUATED. AND MOM WANTED ME TO GET A JOB. I WANTED TO BYPASS COLLEGE AND DO STANDUP. YOU'RE CRAZY. TAKE THIS JOB. I WORKED AT A FLAG PLACE, I LEARNED THE WHOLE COMPANY, IMPORT/EXPORT.

>> MOST AMERICAN FLAGS ARE MADE IN CHINA.

>> MOST AMERICAN FLAGS ARE MADE IN COMMON AND THE BEST SELLING FLAG IS THE CONFEDERATE FLAG. IT WAS DISGUSTING. AND NAZI FLAGS ARE WANTED IN MEXICO CITY FOR SOME REASON. IT'S REAL SHIT OUT THERE, GUY, WAKE UP. DON'T MATTER WHAT THE BLUE THING DOES. IT WAS REALLY WEIRD WORKING IN A SHOP BUT HAD A RIDICULOUS MEMORY OF FLAGS, A SIDE NOTE. I WAS READING THE HOUSTON PRESS THE FIRST WEEK I WAS WORKING THERE, THE BACK OF THE HOUSTON PRESS, A FREE PUBLICATION IN HOUSTON, SAID HOUSTON'S FUNNIEST PERSON COMPETITION, I WAS LIKE, THAT'S MY WAY INTO THE CLUBS. THAT'S WHAT I DID. I SIGNED UP -- THE DEADLINE WAS THE SAME DAY I WAS READING IT AND RAN STRAIGHT THERE. MY FRIEND, NICK, SAID, YOU READY, THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. HE WAS SO CORNY BUT HE WAS RIGHT AND THE REST IS HISTORY, OPEN MIKES AND DANNY MARTINEZ TOOK ME UNDER HIS WING AND ENDED UP MENTORING COMEDIANS WITH GREAT SUCCESSFUL CAREERS.

>> HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED TOURING?

>> IMMEDIATELY. I STARTED STANDING UP AT 17. STARTED TOURING AT 18 AND 19, GOING OVERSEAS.

>> THIS IS WHILE YOU WERE STILL RUNNING THE FLAG STORE?

>> I QUIT.

>> YOU RAN THE FLAG STORE FOR LIKE A YEAR?

>> YEAR AND A HALF. NOT EVEN, YEAH.

>> WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE CITY TO GO TO.

>> THAT'S LIKE PICKING A FAVORITE MOVIE. DOMESTICALLY IN THE STATES?

>> WORLDWIDE.

>> YOU CAN'T PICK THAT. THERE'S A TOP FIVE. CAN WE DO A TOP FIVE? IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

>> NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

>> CAPETOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, ONE OF THE MOST GLORIOUS PLACES ON EARTH, YOU SAY, GOD DOES EXIST, OH, MY GOD, WHO ETCHED THIS INTO STONE, INCREDIBLE. AMSTERDAM, FOR VARIOUS REASONS. NO, ITS HISTORY IS INCREDIBLE AND I REALLY LOVE THE MUSEUMS.

>> AND THE OTHER THING AMSTERDAM IS GREAT FOR MAKES THE MUSEUMS EVEN BETTER.

>> YOU'RE 100% RIGHT.

>> I HAD THAT EXPERIENCE. THE PAINTINGS BREATHE AND THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL.

>> WOW. THERE WERE MUSHROOMS. I NEVER SMOKED WEED THAT MADE ME DO THAT. VAN GOGH IS ALIVE, GUYS!

>> THAT HAPPENED TO ME.

>> I'M SORRY, I SHOULD INTERVIEW YOU. DID YOU EAT THE WHOLE THING? VAN GOGH, I GET IT NOW, NO! OH! WHAT IS IT? I DON'T WANT TO HAVE WHAT HE'S HAVING. IT REALLY IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE CITIES. JUST TO WALK AROUND AND GET LOST IN IS REALLY INCREDIBLE, LONDON. NEW YORK IS TOPS FOR ME, HONESTLY, I LOVE THIS CITY, JUST THE BEST DAMN CITY IN THE WORLD.

>> DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING IN THE WORK AS WELL AT THE COMEDY CLUBS?

>> HELL, YEAH. THE COMEDY SELLERS IS AN INSTITUTION. THAT PLACE IS WHERE YOU GO AND DO ALL YOUR HEAVY LIFTING BEFORE YOU GOT ON THE ROAD. THE SELLER WILL MAKE EVERYTHING ELSE LOOK REALLY EASY.

>> WHY IS THAT?

>> YOU GET TO DO ON SO MANY TIMES IN NEW YORK. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE A CAREER FOR YOURSELF, YOU CAN GO UP 10 TIMES A NIGHT IF YOU WANTED TO, WHICH I'VE DONE. SEVERAL TIMES.

>> HOW DO YOU FIND THAT THAT HELPS YOU EARLY ON? IS IT JUST CONSISTENTLY GETTING YOU COMFORTABLE BEING ON STAGE OR DO YOU ACTUALLY FIND YOU'RE REFINING THE MATERIAL?

>> ACTUALLY, CHAPEL HAS ONE OF THE BEST ANALOGIES, DAVE CHAPPELLE, HE TOLD ME THE MORE FLIGHT HOURS YOU HAVE THE BETTER PILOT YOU ARE. THE MORE TIME YOU HAVE ON STAGE, NATURALLY, THE BETTER YOU ARE. OBVIOUSLY, YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME ABILITY, YOU HAVE TO BE FUNNY, NATURAL ABILITY TO DO SO. I THINK SOMEBODY WHO LEARNS HOW TO WRITE JOKES AND LEARNS THE CRAFT ITSELF AND SPENDS ENOUGH TIME ON A STAGE CAN SURELY, YOU KNOW, MAKE A CAREER FOR HIMSELF.

>> EVENTUALLY, IT BECOMES ABOUT BEING ABLE TO SHOW YOUR NATURAL ABILITY ON STAGE. THE FUNNIEST COMEDIANS ARE THE ONES WE LOVE FOR THE MOST PART EVENTUALLY FEEL LIKE THEY'RE NOT PERFORMING OR TALKING, DOING THEIR OWN THING.

>> DANNY MARTINEZ TAUGHT ME THIS ONE, TOO, MANAGING A BRICK WALL IN FRONT OF -- IMAGINE A BRICK WALL IN FRONT OF YOU AND EVERY TIME YOU GO ON STAGE, MORE OF THAT BRICK WALL STARTS DISAPPEARING AND THE MORE YOU GO ON STAGE THAT WALL DISAPPEARS.

>> YOU'RE RIGHT.

>> 100%. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO ME.

>> DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN THAT WALL WASN'T THERE ANYMORE?

>> I THINK YOU JUST HIT TIMES IN YOUR CAREER, FIVE YEARS IN, I THINK I GOT IT. 10 YEARS IN, FIVE YEARS WAS SUCH AND IDIOT. 15 YEARS IN, THIS IS NOTHING, I'M STARTING TO HIT THE RHYTHM. I'M ALMOST 20 DOING STANDUP PROFESSIONALLY. THAT WAS ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO. MAN, SO MUCH MORE, THIS IS NOTHING. IT KEEPS -- IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER.

>> THAT'S INTERESTING. I DON'T REMEMBER WHO IT WAS, I WAS INTERVIEWING ANOTHER COMEDIAN WHO SAID THE EXACT SAME THING. YOU FEEL LIKE YOU KNEW EVERYTHING AT A CERTAIN POINT AND THEN YOU LOOK BACK AND SAY, I KNEW NOTHING. IT SEEMS TO BE A CAREER YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW TO DO IT.

>> ABSOLUTELY. THERE'S MASTERS OF THE CRAFT BUT MASTER THE CRAFT. I WOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT A SURGEON THAT SAYS, I KNOW EVERYTHING. HOLD ON, YOU SURE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING? EVERY YEAR IT CHANGES. NO, I KNOW EVERYTHING. HERE, YOU'RE DONE. I WOULD BE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT SOMEBODY THAT MAKES CLAIMS LIKE THAT. IF YOU ARE TRULY A MASTER OF IT, OTHER PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU BEFORE YOU HAVE TO SAY IT TO THE WORLD.

>> THAT'S WHY REAL STAND-UPS GET ADDICTED TO IT, I IMAGINE AND CONSISTENTLY DO. THERE ARE COMEDIANS WHO BECOME PROFESSIONAL ACTORS BASED OFF THEIR STANDUP AND NEVER GO BACK TO STANDUP. PEOPLE LIKE "SEINFELD" OR CHAPPELLE, THINK LIKE YOU, NO MATTER WHERE THEIR CAREER TAKES THEM WILL ALWAYS GO BACK TO STANDPOINT.

>> IT'S MY THERAPY. I DON'T KNOW HOW I SURVIVE WITHOUT IT.

>> WHAT IF YOU GO TWO DAYS WITHOUT DOING IT?

>> THAT'S FINE. YOU NEED BREAKS.

>> WHAT'S THE LONGEST YOU CAN GO?

>> EVEN ATHLETES, I HAVE TO TAKE A NAP. YOU CAN'T TAKE A BREAK. YOU CAN'T WEAR YOURSELF OUT. THERE'S THAT, TOO. I DID THAT BEFORE THE SPECIAL AT SOME POINT. MAN, I NEED TO CHILL FOR A LITTLE BIT. I WAS REALLY AGGRESSIVE, DAVE WAS LIKE, YOU'RE DOING A LOT, MAYBE TOO MUCH. MAYBE TAKE A BREAK. HE WAS RIGHT. IT'S IMPORTANT TO TAKE THOSE MOMENTS OF REFLECTION TO UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU'RE GOING NEXT. THOSE ARE EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT AS THE TIME ON STAGE, IN MY OPINION.

>> DO YOU GET ANCY IF YOU TAKE TOO MUCH TIME OFF?

>> FOR SURE. TWO WEEKS IN, I HAVE TO GET IN THERE AND BRUSH SOME STUFF OFF. WHAT'S UP, EVERYBODY? ONE OF THOSE THINGS YOU FALL RIGHT BACK INTO IT. NOT TO BE CLICHE BUT LIKE RIDING A BIKE.

>> LET'S GET QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.

>> HI.

>> HI. I WATCHED THE SPECIAL, IT WAS AMAZING, AS A NATIVE-AMERICAN, I RELATED TO MUCH OF WHAT WAS GOING ON. WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE SHOW YOU'VE EVER DONE. I KNOW YOU PERFORMED FOR THE TROOPS. WHAT WAS THE MOST INTERESTING ONE?

>> MOST MEMORABLE SHOWS. I DID DO SHOWS FOR THE TROOPS. THOSE ARE MEMORABLE AND FUN AND BELONGED IN THERE AND I DID THOSE MANY DIFFERENT REASONS. REALLY, WHAT HAPPENED THIS PAST WEEK WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE SHOWS. AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL, ONE OF THOSE YOU CAN BE PRESENT IN AND TO WATCH A SHOW, IT'S AMAZING. I WAS WORKING WITH CHAPPELLE, I HAVE TOURED WITH OVER 600 SHOWS AND WE DID A WHOLE TOUR THERE, LONDON SHOW, ROYAL ALBERT HALL, ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT KEEPS GOING. THERE'S SEVERAL MORE THANK GOD LAST YEAR, RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL. THAT RUN WITH DAVE THERE WAS UNBELIEVABLE. THE SHOWS I DID, FOLLOWED CHANCE THE RAPPER, THEN, LIKE CHILDISH GAMBINO AND 100% A DREAM COME TRUE.

>> THE SALON SHOW.

>> IT WAS AMAZING. INCREDIBLE.

>> I SAW HER FOUR TIMES THAT YEAR BECAUSE OF THAT SHOW, ONE OF THE GREATEST CONCERTS EVER.

>> THAT'S THE FIRST TIME I'VE SEEN HER LIFE, WOW, SALON KILLED IT RIGHT NOW WITH HER PINK PAJAMAS.

>> AND THE STAIRCASE?

>> SHE WAS KILLING IT. THOSE WERE INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCES THAT YOU CAN'T -- REALLY, THE ONES FROM THE BEGINNING, YOU NEVER FORGET. I NEVER FORGET BEING HECKLED OR HAVING THE WORST SHOW OF MY LIFE. EQUALLY MEMORABLE AS WELL.

>> WHAT WAS THE WORST SHOW OF YOUR LIFE?

>> I CAN'T, I CAN'T. I CAN'T. VERY SENSITIVE.

>> I WASN'T GOING TO ASK BECAUSE SO OFTEN COMEDIANS -- TELL ME ABOUT THE TIME YOU BOMBED.

>> I'LL TELL YOU.

>> WHAT HAPPENED.

>> I'LL TELL YOU ABOUT THE WORST ONE I EVER HAD. PEOPLE GET SO SENSITIVE ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT WAS SUCH A UNIQUE AND SPECIAL EXPERIENCE, I DON'T THINK ANY OTHER COMEDIAN OR PERFORMER WILL EVER HAVE.

>> WAS IT A DOWNER?

>> IT'S HILARIOUS. LET'S DO IT, IF YOU HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR AND UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION, IT'S GREAT. COMEDIANS, WE DO SHOWCASES TRY TO GO TO THESE COLLEGES, WHATEVER, I ENDED UP BOOKING ALL PENN STATE SCHOOLS, NOT EXAGGERATING, LIKE 20 SOME ODD PENN STATE SCHOOLS IN PENNSYLVANIA, DO A NOON SHOW AND 7:00 P.M. SHOW. A LOT OF DRIVING. I'M DOING A NOON SHOW, A COMMUTER CAMPUS, THOSE ARE REALLY HARD. YOU HAVE TO BE A GOOD COMIC TO GET THAT RIGHT. CAFETERIA SITUATION, 500 PEOPLE IN THE CAFETERIA EATING CHICKEN STRIPS, DAMN STUDENTS, HEY, YOU GOT TO GET THEM -- THE GUY INTRODUCING ME WAS TERRIBLE. CAN WE -- I'M NOT EXAGGERATING. WE HAVE A COMEDIAN. HIS NAME IS MO AMER. I WALK ON, GET OFF MY STAGE AND TAKE THE MIKE FROM HIM. WHAT'S UP MAN, I'M A BAD DUDE. YOU HAVE TO BE CONFIDENT. FIVE MINUTES IN, I'VE GOT THEM. EASY-PEASY, RIGHT? PUTTING ONE LEG OVER THE OTHER. AND THEN -- AND THEN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THERE'S ALWAYS AN AND THEN, A GROUP OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN WALKED IN, IS THE BEST WAY I COULD PUT IT, IN THEIR LATE TEENS. THEY ALL WALKED IN AT THE SAME TIME, WHICH IS FINE, OBVIOUSLY, IS FINE, NOBODY COULD HAVE ACCOUNTED FOR WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. I STARTED GETTING BOOED PRETTY BADLY BY THIS ONE KID WHO WAS WITH THIS GROUP, AND HE JUST GOES BOO! HE STARTS LAUGHING AT HIMSELF, I WAS LIKE, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? ALL THESE KIDS AT THE SCHOOL ARE TOO YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND, THIS IS HILARIOUS, AND I THINK HE LIKE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON. I KNEW FOR SURE IN MY HEAD, OH, EVERYBODY JUDGES ME BECAUSE I'M A SPECIAL NEEDS KID BUT I ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON, LET'S GO TO THIS COMEDY SHOW, I'M GOING TO BOO THIS COMEDIAN AND IT'S GOING TO BE THE FUNNIEST EXPERIENCE FOR ME AND EVERYBODY ELSE IS GOING TO FEEL AWKWARD. THIS HAPPENED FOR ANOTHER 45 MINUTES. THE REASON I KNOW IT HAPPENED FOR ANOTHER 45 MINUTES BECAUSE I WAS WATCHING THE CLOCK FOR 45 MINUTES AND I COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. AT ONE POINT I STARTED CRYING LAUGHING SO HARD BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING FUNNIER FOR A COMEDIAN TO WITNESS THAN ANOTHER COMEDIAN DIE ON STAGE. IT WAS SUCH A TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE FOR ME, I HAD AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE. I SAW MYSELF IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM JUST MELTING SLOWLY ON STAGE. IT WAS THE WORST AND BEST EXPERIENCES I EVER HAD AS A STANDUP COMEDIAN AND I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT DAMN LUNCHROOM.

>> I LOVE THAT KID. IF HE HAD NOT BOOED YOU, THIS WAS WONDERFUL.

>> I'M TELLING YOU, THE KIDS WERE TOO IMMATURE TO UNDERSTAND HOW FUN IT WAS. I WAS JUST PISSED AT THEM. WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE ME -- I'M IN THE WORST SITUATION POSSIBLE. I'M LAUGHING AT THIS. YOU CAN'T LAUGH WITH ME AND HIM, IT WAS REALLY FRUSTRATING.

>> THIS IS FUN, HE'S PARTICIPATING.

>> THE REASON WHY I KNOW HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING, EVERY TIME HE GAVE ME A MINUTE AND A HALF TO GET BACK GOING AND ABOUT TO GET TO THE PUNCHLINE, HE'D JUST GO, BOO, LIKE THAT, AH, YOU'RE GOOD YOU SON OF A -- I WANTED TO GRAB HIM SAID IN, I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND I WANTED TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH HIM. IT WAS A HORRIBLE COMEDIC EXPERIENCE.

>> COULD YOU IMAGINE YOU WALK OUT OF THE LUNCHROOM AND HE LOOKS BACK AND GOES --

>> GIVES ME A WINK.

>> GIVES YOU A WINKIE-WINK.

>> NEXT QUESTION. THANK YOU FOR BRINGING UP HARSH MEMORIES.

>> I WANT TO KNOW AS A COMEDIAN IN THE CURRENT SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CLIMATE, DO YOU FEEL ANY PRESSURE WALKING THAT FINE LINE BETWEEN BEING OFFENSIVE AND BEING FUNNY?

>> YEAH. I DON'T REALLY KNOW WHEN I'M BEING OFFENSIVE UNTIL PEOPLE TELL ME. AFTER THE SHOW. I JUST CONCERN MYSELF BEING FUNNY AND THOUGHT PROVOKING. YOU CAN'T REALLY WORRY ABOUT WHERE NE LINE IS, I TRY TO BE WELL-VERSED WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. IF ANYBODY WANTS TO TALK TO ME AFTER THE SHOW OR BRING UP SOMETHING DOESN'T REALLY HAPPEN OFTEN, BUT WHEN THEY DO, I JUST SMASH IT, YOU KNOW, WITH INTELLECT, NOT JUST WITH ARROGANCE AND BLIND ANGER, WHAT YOU GOT? OKAY. SOMETIMES, IT'S LIKE, OH, YOU'RE A MESSED UP PERSON YOURSELF, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. YOU NEED TO FIX THAT. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO FIX YOU.

>> I FEEL THE QUESTION HAS BECOME MORE COMMON IN THE LAST 10, 12 YEARS.

>> MORE IN THE LAST FIVE.

>> THIS IDEA COMEDIANS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INCREDIBLY RESPONSIBLE OF WHAT IS OFFENSIVE AND INOFFENSIVE IN OUR CULTURE, KIND OF WILD CONSIDERING OUR PRESIDENT AND DEBATES GOING ON FROM OUR ELECTED LEADERS, A COMEDIAN IS ALWAYS BEING ASKED THAT QUESTION, DO YOU WORRY ABOUT WALKING THAT LINE?

>> YOU ANSWERED IT 100%. OUR PRESIDENT -- MR. COMEDIAN, WHY ARE YOU SAYING X, Y AND Z? SHUT YOUR -- I'M HERE TO BE FUNNY. BOTTOM LINE, ARE YOU FUNNY OR NOT OR BEING THOUGHT PROVOKING? THAT'S IMPORTANT. FOR ME, I HAVE A TEST GROUP IN FRONT OF ME EVERY NIGHT. 100 OR 200 PEOPLE, WHATEVER THE ROOM IS FILLED WITH, THAT'S MY TEST GROUP. IF THE MAJORITY OF THE ROOM IS LAUGHING HAVING A GREAT TIME I'VE HIT SOMETHING AND NEED TO DIG DEEPER INTO THIS WELL. CHAPPELLE SAID IT BEST, YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE THAT LINE IS UNTIL YOU CROSS IT.

>> OFTEN IT IS CROSSED NOT BECAUSE IT'S OFFENSIVE BUT LAZY.

>> I REMEMBER BRUCE JENNER GOING TO THE COMEDY CELLAR AND SEEING FIVE COMEDIANS DO JOKES ABOUT HIS DAUGHTER. I COULD BE OFFENDED BY THIS BUT --

>> THERE'S LEEWAY, THE COMEDY CELLAR IS WHERE GUYS GO IN TO WORK OUT MATERIAL SOMETIMES, MOST OF THE TIMES, THE GUYS WORKING ON IT, GOING IN THERE, HONING ON WHAT THEY'RE WORKING ON ALREADY OR TRYING NEW MATERIAL. SOME CASES YOU MIGHT BE THERE IN THE INFANCY OF THAT PARTICULAR JOKE AND THEN SEE IT THREE MONTHS LATER, HE WORKED HARD ON THAT, IT WORKED WELL. WHEN IT COMES TO LAZY, A LOT OF GUYS GET LAZY AND SOUNDS INSENSITIVE. 100%. YOU HAVE TO FOCUS, ARE YOU BEING TRUE TO YOURSELF? ARE YOU BEING REAL? SOMETIMES IN MY CASE, GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH, BEING A MOHAMMED, WALKING INTO A CLUB IS OFFENSIVE ITSELF. JUST ME BEING ON STAGE, BEING WHO I AM, FUCK THIS DUDE, EXCUSE MY FRENCH.

>> YOU CAN CUSS. IT'S OKAY.

>> I WASN'T SURE. I FIGURED I COULD.

>> WE HAVE MORE QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE. FEEL FREE TO CURSE AS MUCH AS YOU WANT.

>> WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR COMIC COMEDIC INFLUENCES?

>> THERE'S A LOT. I'M A BIG FAN OF -- IT MAY SOUND FUNNY. I REALLY LOVE RODNEY DANGERFIELD, GEORGE CARLIN, RICHARD PRYOR. AND DAVE HAS BEEN A REALLY BIG INFLUENCE ON ME, ESPECIALLY THE LAST FIVE YEARS SEEING HIM PERFORM SO AFTERNOON. I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY SHOWS, HOURS I'VE SEEN. THIS MAN IS MASTERFUL AT THE CRAFT. JON STEWART I ADMIRE SO MUCH. SO MANY COMEDIANS, I FEEL TERRIBLE, LIKE I'M WINNING AN AWARD AND LEAVING OUT NAMES, MY GOD, SO MANY PEOPLE TO THANK. IT'S A LOT.

>> WHAT IS IT A LOT TO WATCH A STANDUP LIKE CHAPPELLE DO NOW? I FEEL LIKE HE DOES SOMETHING INTENTIONALLY DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER STANDUP FOR DOING THE FACT I CAN SIT ON STAGE FOR TWO HOURS AND WORK OUT MATERIAL. A WHOLE NIGHT, SIT ON STAGE AND PLAY, AND OFTENTIMES, IT'S HE'S OKAY RELEASING STUFF INFANCY MATERIAL RATHER THAN CONSISTENTLY BEATING IT OUT AND BEATING IT OUT.

>> YOU'RE WRONG ABOUT THAT ONE. HE WORKS VERY HARD. WHAT PARTICULAR MATERIAL YOU TALKING -- I THINK BIRD REVELATION, THE LATEST ONE HAD THAT ONE, WHERE HE SAT ON STAGE AND YOU GOT TO SEE A MAN FORMULATE THE JOKES SPONTANEOUSLY IN SOME CASES AND SOME THAT ALREADY EXISTED THAT HE PUT IN THERE. I SAW IT FIRSTHAND. IT WAS PRETTY AMAZING. HE RELEASED FOUR SPECIALS IN ONE YEAR, CRAZY. NOT FAIR. NOT FAIR. THE THREE OF THEM WERE HEAVILY WORKED ON MATERIAL AND LIKE YOU SAID, THIS IS INCREDIBLE HE WOULD DO THIS.

>> ABSOLUTELY. NO, ABSOLUTELY. BILL HICKS, A BIG INFLUENCE ON ME GROWING UP IN HOUSTON, SAM KENNISON WAS THAT GUY AS WELL, SO MANY. FOR SURE --

>> KENNISON IS ONE I'M WILLING TO BE LIKE, YEAH, HE STEPPED OVER THE LINE.

>> THAT'S WHAT HE DOES. THERE'S AN AUDIENCE FOR THAT, TOO, THAT COME IN AND SUPPORT HIM, THAT LOVE THAT. HE'S ONE OF HOPES TO GUYS, THOUGH, YOU HEARD STORIES ABOUT IN HOUSTON WHAT HE DID -- HE WAS SO OUTRAGEOUS, HE WAS LIKE THE ULTIMATE HIPSTER COMEDIAN BEFORE HIPSTER. HE WOULD PROBABLY HATE THAT TERM NOW, TALKING ABOUT SOMEBODY SO DIFFERENT FROM ANYONE ELSE YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE AND WHAT HE ENCOMPASSED.

>> THAT WAS THE CHARACTER.

>> ABSOLUTELY. THAT WAS HIM, TOO, ACTUALLY HIM. I DID A LOT OF SHOWS WITH CARL BOSE, INCREDIBLE COMEDIAN, PART OF THE TEXAS OUTLAWS AND TOURED WITH KENNISON MANY YEARS.

>> WHO ELSE WAS WITH THE TEXAS OUTLAWS?

>> A LOT. JIM PATTERSON WAS ONE, HUGGINS WAS ONE, PINEAPPLE. I DON'T THINK YOU KNOW -- AND HUGGINS WAS LIKE A HOUSTON LEGEND AND ON "AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" RECENTLY AND DID VERY VERY WELL, STILL OUT THERE DOING STANDUP. I REALLY WANT HIM TO DO LATE NIGHT, TRYING TO GET HIM ON. HE IS ONE OF THOSE GUYS, AN INCREDIBLE JOKE WRITER, YOU LOOK HIM UP, THIS GUY IS VERY VERY FUNNY.

>> MO, IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU. THE SPECIAL IS ON NETFLIX. PEOPLE CAN GO TO YOUR WEBSITE TO SEE WHEN YOU'RE TOURING OR SHOWS YOU CAN BUY TICKETS ON?

>> I WILL BE IN CAROLINE UNTIL NOVEMBER.

>> WILL YOU BE AT CAROLINE WEEK NIGHTS?

>> YES. ALL NOVEMBER.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH. [APPLAUSE]

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