TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: End of Year 2019 Comedy Special

The Bullseye team has taken on the terrible task of finding the best of the best comedy albums and bringing them to you in a nice little end of year package. Our team pored through hours of comedy specials, hundreds of set-ups and dozens upon dozens of punchlines to come up with this list. Enjoy, and Seasons Greetings from all of us at Bullseye!

Transcript

jesse thorn

Hey, folks! It’s Jesse. We’re getting close to the end of the year. Maybe you’re thinking about gifts you’re getting your friends and family, maybe you’re thinking about what causes you can support. I wanna take a second to talk to you about supporting your local public radio station. I’m literally a life-long listener to public radio. Shoutout to KQED and KALW, in the Bay Area. Now, you might be thinking, “If I listen to Bullseye on my phone, why should I donate to a radio station?” Well, it’s pretty straightforward. Bullseye is part of a public radio network, because all those stations give money to NPR, NPR is able to pay us to make shows like Bullseye. And, bonus: when you support public radio, you’re helping build curiosity, conversation, and community right in your backyard. That’s why I support my local NPR Member Station and why you should too. This year, we’re making it really easy. Just go to donate.NPR.org/bullseye to support your local NPR Member Station. And again, that is donate.NPR.org/bullseye. And thanks!

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Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

jesse

I’m Jesse Thorn. It’s Bullseye.

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“Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team plays. A fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

jesse

It’s that time of year, again! The end! Of the year. Instead of interviews, we’re gonna wrap up 2019 by playing you some of our favorite stand-up comedy records that came out this year. That means comedy from Cristela Alonzo, Pete Holmes, Ron Funches, Erica Rose, Roy Wood Jr., so many more! We can’t wait to share them with you. It’s all coming up on Bullseye. Let’s go! [Music comes to an end with a chorus of cheers.]

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jesse

Let’s kick off this year’s End of Year Stand-Up Comedy Special with a favorite of our program: Roy Wood Jr. Roy is, of course, one of the funniest correspondents on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Basically, any segment he is on is an all-timer. Before that, he was a successful radio DJ in Florida and Alabama. We talked a lot about that during his Bullseye interview, a couple years back. Anyway, Roy’s main bread and butter is stand-up comedy. His stand-up album from this year is called No One Loves You.

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[Audience applauding.] Roy Wood Jr: I don’t know what they’re gonna do, between us and the police. This [censored] is getting hard. Every day, the police might get called on you while you’re trying to get coffee. [A murmur and some laughter ripples through the crowd.] Roy: Police might get called on you while you’re trying to barbeque. [Scattered laughter. The audience laughs repeatedly as Roy continues.] Roy: Police might get called on you while you’re trying to mow the yard, take a nap, sell some water. At this point, if you black, the safest thing you can do every day is just call the police on yourself! I mean, the white people gonna anyway, so you may as well take the power back. Control the narrative! [Uproarious laughter.] Roy: That’s what Imma do every day. Call the police and compliment. Say something nice about yourself! Change the perception! “911, what’s your emergency?” “Ain’t no emergency, it’s just a smooth [censored] headed to Walgreens. Just checking in.” [The audience cheers and applauds as they laugh.] Roy: “Red jacket, white pants. Don’t shoot me!” [In a nasal voice.] “All units be advised: male, black, Walgreens, fine, cut dick [makes clicking sounds].” [The audience hollers.]

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Roy: I don’t know! I don’t know what the—what—I don’t know what you do. Move too slow, you might get shot. Move too fast, you might get shot. Don’t move, you weren’t obeying commands, you might get shot. [A member of the audience calls, “Yeah.”] Roy: I under—yo, at this point, like, I ain’t gonna tell y’all how to dress everyday so you can feel safe, but Imma start wearing a cap and gown everywhere I go. Until things cool off, for a little while. You ain’t never felt threatened by somebody in a cap and gown. Not never. Cap and gown is like a wedding dress. You see somebody wearing it, it make you happy. It change your mood. So that’s what Imma do. Until we get some real police reform, I’m wearing a cap and gown every day with a—with a middle school diploma in my back pocket. A middle school diploma and an engagement ring. It’s gonna be the saddest story. But you ain’t gonna sweep me under the rug. ‘Cause this was crazy. We live in a time, now, where if you get shot on the wrong day, you might not even make it in the news! They’ll sweep your story all the way to the back page. Damn that. I’m gonna be on the front—yo, if the police shot a 40-year-old eighth grader, I promise you— [He pauses as the audience laughs.] Roy: It’s gonna be a conversation about me. Y’all better riot for my [censored]. [The audience guffaws.] Roy: “And in other news, today, police shot a 40-year-old eighth grader. He’s survived by his three ex-wives and six children. Send a prayer up for Mr. Charles.” [The audience howls with laughter.] Roy: Pay cops more money. Money is part of the solution. It ain’t the only solution. [Scattered applause.]

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Roy: But it’s part of it. Here’s the thing, we love to act like all these good cops just gonna all step up and do the right thing, together. Please. Most people don’t do the right thing for the right reason! They do the right thing for the right price! It’s about the money! And don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of good cops out there, man. But not enough to affect change. You gotta do something to incentivize. You gotta break bread! And don’t—and don’t tell me you ain’t got the money to pay cops more. Every time somebody get hit over the head, you gotta pay a settlement. So, take the money you would have paid for a settlement, and just put that in the cop’s pockets. [The audience cheers and applauds.] Roy: And they might care a little more. At minimum, just set up a snitch fund. Can we do that? Okay, don’t pay every cop more, just the cops who snitch on the other cops. That’s who you pay. 100,000. 100,000 per snitch.

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jesse

Roy Wood Jr. His new album, No One Loves You, is out now. You can catch him on The Daily Show, on Comedy Central. He’s also got a handful of live performances all over the country this winter and spring. We’ll have a link to that on the Bullseye page at MaximumFun.org.

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. Sara Schaefer is a comic based in New York. She wrote on Moshe Kasher’s show, Problematic, and on Nikki Glaser’s Not Safe. She called her latest album Live, Laugh, Love. Like the inspirational quote that is probably written on a rock in your aunt’s garden. There’s actually a whole bit about that, on the record. Anyway, here is a bit of Sara Schaefer from Live, Laugh, Love.

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Sara Schaefer: Society is crumbling. [The audience laughs. They continue to laugh repeatedly as Sara goes on.] Sara: Yeah. And a lot of people wanna know why. You know, you can actually google “why?” and a lot of articles will come up. But I don’t need to look it up. Because I already know why. I know. I have identified the culprit. There is one source for the decay of human civilization. And it is… a particular trend in home décor. [The audience laughs in surprise.] Sara: Now, some of you probably have this stuff up in your house right now. What it is, is inspirational quotes on rustic pieces of driftwood in multiple fonts. You know exactly what I’m talking about. [The audience gives scattered applause as they laugh.] Sara: Now… for the quote to go on a piece of driftwood, it has to have one of the key words in the quote. If it does not contain one of these words, it is not inspirational enough. Do not put it on wood. Don’t waste our time. Those words include: journey, faith, hope, sister, live, laugh. [Several members of the audience shout “love” to complete the quote.] Sara: Love. You know what I’m talking about. Oftentimes, those three are featured as a triptych, as we know. Kitchen. The whole set is me just listing the words. Wine. [Chuckles.] [A beat as the audience laughs.]

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Sara: [Intensely.] Believe! BELIEEEEVE! Believe is so powerful. It’s so potent. It can live by itself on wood. Some people don’t even put it on wood. They just tattoo it on the front of their neck, and that’s a choice. [Stage whispering.] Dream. Home. Dance. It’ll be a quote like, “Why walk when you can dance?” And that’ll be in Times New Roman and Lucida Handwriting and Garamond, ‘cause I’m not gonna be limited to one font, you jerk. I’m whimsical as [censored]. [The audience laughs.] Sara: How does it work, you know? If you need a sign to remind you to laugh? Are you alright?! You go through your house and you see it and you’re like, “Oh! I almost forgot! [forcefully] Ha-HA-ha-ha-ha!” Like, talk to someone. You’re not okay. [Beat.] Oh. I always feel a little bit bad telling that joke. ‘Cause there’s always one woman’s face, at least, in the audience just dissolving off her head. [The audience cackles.] Sara: So, I’m just—I’m just poking fun. The signs are fine. As long as you don’t have too many of them. You know what I mean? And it’s very—there’s actually a really easy way to figure out if you have too many inspirational quotes on rustic pieces of driftwood. So, all you have to do is close your eyes. Everybody here, close your eyes. Got them closed? Now, imagine your house. You gotta go through each room of the house, right now, and we’re gonna count them up. Alright? Bedroom. Count them up. Get the number in your head. [Beat.] Living room. [Beat.] Bathroom. Hallway. Foyer. Or foy-ay, depending. [Beat.] Kitchen. Maybe got a little, “You had me at merlot.” Maybe you got one of those, in there. Count that up. Add it in. Now don’t forget the outside of the house. Your front porch. You know, maybe you got a little, “This porch was made for rocking.” Like, maybe you got one of those, out there. That counts as two. Add it in. Now you got your total, okay? Everybody got their total in their head? If the number is bigger than zero, you have too many. [The audience laughs.] Sara: You have too many. [Chuckles.]

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jesse

Sara Schaefer. Live, Laugh, Love is her album. It’s available now. She’s one of my favorites. Check her out.

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jesse

If you know Pete Holmes, it’s probably from his HBO show, Crashing. That show tells the story of an aspiring comedian who abandons his life as a straight-laced evangelical Christian living in upstate New York to give comedy a shot—leaving almost his entire life behind him as he goes out to the city. All of it based on Pete Holmes’ real life story and made only very slightly weirder. The show wrapped up its third and final season, this year. Pete also, this year, released a record—Dirty Clean. Here’s a bit from it.

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Pete Holmes: Getting a dog—I never had a dog, my whole life. Getting a dog, honestly, was more confusing than getting a baby—[Interrupts himself to make fun of his own phrasing.] Getting a baby. [In a deep, bumbling voice.] “We got a baby.” [The audience laughs. They laugh intermittently as Pete continues.] Pete: Honestly, getting a dog was different! ‘Cause a [censored] dog—it’s not even your species. It’s just a wild animal. You’re like, [in a deep voice], “You wanna—you wanna be in here?! Hey, you, eating the pigeon bones. You wanna be in here?” Like, your baby—when your baby cries, it’s a human. I have a human baby. When it cries, you have a guess. You’re like, [deeply] “It’s probably hungry. It’s hot. Or it’s cold. Has gas.” These are the problems that I have! So, you’re like, “I got it.” I have no idea what my dog wants. My best guess? Never-ending eye contact. I’m trying to watch Great British Bake Off, but he’s just down there, just like, “Hey, Dad!” [The audience laughs for a long time, getting louder as they go.] Pete: “Over heeeere.” [Censored] do you WANT?! I don’t know what he wants! I was raised with cats. You can kind of tell. You can kinda tell. I was raised with cats. [The audience laughs.] Pete: That’s the worst heckle you can give me, is laughing at that. [The audience laughs with scattered applause.] Pete: You can tell I was raised with cats, ‘cause the command I most often give my dog is, “Go live your life.” I don’t know what he wants! They’re—they’re needy! I just didn’t know how needy a dog is. I’ve been out of the house for two days. If my dog had a cell phone, I’d have 4022 missed calls. 4022 texts of the bone emoji and the wok (walk) emoji. He’d be Face-Timing me right now, just like, [in a deep, growly voice], “Look at these baby browns, Dad!” You look for your cat. You hide from your dog. Does that make sense? [The audience laughs.]

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Pete: You don’t know where your [censored] cat is! Like, people say cats are evil—and they are—but they’re also all set, you know what I mean? They’re fine. They’re off learning to [censored] meditate or some [censored]. They’re rolling their own cigarettes. When I left the house, with my dog, I had to—like—toss a tuna steak and do a barrel roll out the window, just so he wouldn’t be like, [screaming gutturally], “Is this foreveeer?!” But if you have a cat and you see your cat? You’re excited. You’re like—it’s like a B-List celebrity sighting. It’s like seeing John Stamos napping in a sunbeam, in your kitchen. “Oh my god! We have a cat?!” Scoop it up. “I knew I wasn’t crazy!” Take pictures with the cat. Selfies with the cat. Proof you have a cat. Put the cat down. It’s like, [in a low, droning voice] “Don’t tag me. Don’t tag me.” I’m being real with you. I don’t know how smart animals are. I know they’re different levels, right? They’re different levels of smartness? Like, my neighbor—he has two dogs. He was telling me, the other day—he has a big dog and he has a little dog—and when he goes out of town, he has to tape newspaper to the reflective glass of his fireplace. Otherwise—listen to this—the little dog will see his reflection and think there’s a second little dog stuck in the place that he’s only ever seen burst into flames. [The audience guffaws.] Pete: So, he’s just like, [screeching, voice pitched higher] “Heeeey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Heeeeey! I ain’t going nowhere, brother!” ‘Cause he’s a [censored] damn hero. But when my neighbor told me that his little dog doesn’t understand reflections, all I heard was: the big dog… does? Like, I’m a human being. I don’t understand reflections. You’re telling me a slightly larger dog is like, “I get it.” [The audience goes wild.] Pete: “That ain’t me. I’m me. That looks like me. I know what I look like, but that’s a trick of the eye. Light. Ha! It’s a mystery. It’s a particle and a wave. It’s both. Some of the particles go through the glass—that’s why we can see what’s illuminated inside the fireplace. But then a rather arbitrary amount bounce back and frame me in light. Ha! Ha! Ha! I love science!” [The audience cheers and applauds.] Pete: “I love science.”

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jesse

Pete Holmes, from his album Dirty Clean. I talked with Pete when his show, Crashing, had just debuted. You can find that interview on the Bullseye page at MaximumFun.org.

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jesse

Next up on the Bullseye End of Year Best Stand-Up Comedy Special, Erica Rhodes. Fun little bit of trivia about Erica: she might be the closest thing we have to public radio royalty. She started working on A Prairie Home Companion when she was ten years old. Ten years old! Her album, Sad Lemon, hit number one on the iTunes comedy charts. You’re about to hear a bit from it. Here’s Erica Rhodes.

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Erica Rhodes: Went through a breakup a couple months ago. Which I think is good, ‘cause it means it was a real relationship, finally. [The audience laughs. They continue to laugh repeatedly as Erica goes on.] Erica: I usually—I’m like, “It’s over!” And he’s like, “Who’s this? I don’t know this phone number.” [Beat.] I really miss breakups before the internet ruined our lives. Remember that? Remember when we could just be like, “Listen, I’m sorry we didn’t work out. Have a nice life. Go away.” Right? It was so simple. Now it’s like, “Sorry it didn’t work out. I will see you online forever.” [The audience laughs.] Erica: Or, if it was a messy breakup, you’d be like, “I’m just gonna block your phone number. It’s easier that way.” One step. Right now, it’s like, “I’m gonna block your phone number. Then I’m gonna de-friend you on Facebook, unfollow you on Twitter, take you off my Instagram. Do whatever it is to get rid of the Snapchat. And get my mom to do the same thing!” [Scattered applause as the audience laughs.] Erica: It’s so complicated. There were so many clues he wasn’t the guy for me. You know? I feel like there’s often clues… we ignore for four to five years. Right? One clue is we had very little in common, except we both really loved him. This is—this is a direct quote, okay. It sounds crazy, but he really said these words to me, once. Okay, he was like, “I love you more than you love me, because I love myself so much.” [Disbelieving laughter from the crowd.] Erica: “You need to love yourself more, so that you can love me more.” And I was like, “Actually, I think we both need to love you less. ‘Cause the more I love you, the more I hate myself for loving a guy who loves himself so much.” [The audience laughs and then erupts into applause and cheers.]

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Erica: Thank you! [A beat as the applause dies down.] I’m getting a little older. I’m in my 30’s, now. Which—who’s in that age range? [A significant amount of the crowd cheers.] Erica: Wow! Good! You all had your nap, today! [Laughs.] I can tell! 30’s is a strange age, because it’s not old, but the second you turn 30, you start saying you’re old. You’re like, “That’s it! I’m old, now! I’m old.” And then for ten years, you just keep saying it. You’re like, “I’m old, I’m old, I’m old, I’m old!” And then you turn 40 and you’re like, “Now I’m old! Like, I could have been young for an extra ten years! But I wasted it saying I was old, now I’ve lost ten extra years where I could have been young!” Then you turn 80, you’re like, “Now I’m really old. I could have been just kind of old. Now I’m really old.” Then you die and you’re like, “I could have been alive for 82 and a half years! Now I’m dead! I can’t even have this brilliant thought!” [The audience laughs for a long time.] Erica: So, my point is none of us are old ‘cause we’re still here. [The audience cheers and whistles.] Erica: Now… still enjoying life. 20’s, anyone in their 20’s? [A smaller portion of the crowd cheers, but very loudly.] Erica: Yeah, that’s good! That should be your energy! You should be drunk right now! You should be! It’s a good age. I just don’t relate to it, ‘cause I’m like—you guys are so cute ‘cause you still think you matter. [The crowd goes wild.]

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Erica: The rest of your life is just this long journey where you find out you matter less and less. And less, every day. And then you die. Not to give it away, but that’s… what you have to look forward to. Keep drinking! Keep drinking. [The crowd laughs for a long time.] Erica: I feel like you spend your 20’s sort of waiting for your life to start. You know, you’re like, “Next year, I’m gonna get that big job! And my life is gonna start!” And then another year goes by and you’re like, “Next year, I’m gonna fall madly in love and my life is gonna get started!” And another year goes by and you’re like, “Next year, I’m gonna… get a headboard! And my life is gonna start!” And then you turn 30 and you’re like, “[Censored], it started! This is my life!” Like waiting for the bus to come, but you’re already on the bus. You’re like, “When’s the bus getting here?! When is it getting here?!” And they’re like, “You are on it! You’re on the bus.” [Music fades in.] Erica: And you’re like, “Why am I riding a bus?!” [The audience cackles.]

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jesse

Erica Rhodes, from her album, Sad Lemon. She’s on tour now, with dates in the US and Canada. You can find out about that on our website. Visit the Bullseye page at MaximumFun.org. We’re just getting started with this year’s Best of Stand-Up Comedy Special. So much more, back after a quick break. Stay with us. It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

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Trilling music.

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Music: Upbeat rock plays in the background. Announcer: Dead Pilots Society brings you exclusive readings of comedy pilots that were never made, featuring actors like Patton Oswalt— Patton Oswalt: So, the vampire from the future sleeps in the dude’s studio during the day, and they hunt monsters at night. It’s Blade meets The Odd Couple! [Audience laughs] Announcer: —Adam Scott and Jane Levy— Jane Levy: Come on, Cory. She’s too serious, too business-y. She doesn’t know the hokey-pokey. Adam Scott: Well, she’ll learn what it’s all about. [Audience laughs.] Announcer: —Busy Philipps and Dave Koechner.  Dave Koechner: Maybe this is family. Busy Philipps: My Uncle Tal, who showed his wiener to Cinderella at Disneyland, is family. Do you want him staying with us? [Light audience laughter.] Dave: He did stay with us, for three months. Busy: And he was a delight! [Audience laughs harder.] Announcer: A new pilot every month, only on Dead Pilots Society from Maximum Fun.

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Music: The kind of classic, rousing music you’d expect from a musical. Mindy Thomas: Hey, Mindy here, from NPR’s Wow in the World. Join Guy Raz and me for our special, 100th episode: a musical! Science! Laughs! Melodies! Speaker 1: [Singing.] Melodies! Speaker 2”: [Harmonizing high.] Mel-o-dies! Speaker 1: [Harmonizing low.] Mel-o-dies! Speaker 2: [Moving up an octave.] La-de-daaa! Speaker 1: [Operatically.] Mel-o-dies! Speaker 2: [Bouncing along the scale.] Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-OH! Speaker 1: [Deeply.] La-la-la-la. [Switching to falsetto.] Mel-o-dies! Mindy: It’s Wow in the World, from Tinkercast and NPR. Listen now and share with your kids!

jesse

Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. This week, we’re playing some of the best stand-up comedy albums of 2019. Next up, Marcella Arguello! She’s a comic based here, in Los Angeles. Her work often tackles a lot of things head-on that might make people uncomfortable: things like race, sexuality, gender, and politics. All of those subjects are on her debut album, The Woke Bully. Another thing she talks about? Well, she is super tall, and she loves it. Let’s listen in.

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Marcella Arguello: Thank you. My name is Marcella. I’m very tall for a woman, let’s talk about it. [The audience laughs repeatedly as Marcella continues.] Marcella: Let’s get it out of the way, real quick. I’m 6’2”. [Someone in the crowd yells, “Alright!” smugly.] Marcella: Thank you! Wow, I appreciate that, sir. I’m very proud of my height, really comfortable with my height, but ever since I was kid, I’ve been called a giraffe. Yeah, it really offends me as a proud Giraffrican [cracks into a laugh before she can finish the word] American. That was a freebie. Yeah, I’m really tall. I’m wearing flats, right now, ‘cause I got a bad knee. But I’m usually in heels, ‘cause [censored] it, right? I’m already up here. And women are always very supportive of me wearing heels. They’re always like, “Yes, girl. Work it. Rock that [censored]. Rock that high, work it, mommy. Yes, queen. Yes. Do it. Rock it. Do it. Yes. Rock it. Yes. Get it. Yes. Girl. [Says “okay”, trilling the word at the end.][Audience laughs in surprise.] Marcella: But straight dudes, straight dudes are always like, [gutturally, slurring a little and never stopping for breath] “Why are you wearing heels? Why!? You don’t need high heels. Why are you wearing high heels if you don’t need them? Do you need high heels? Why do you wear high heels if you don’t need them? You don’t need high heels. Why do you wear them if you don’t need them? You don’t even need them. Why are you wearing them if you don’t need them? You don’t need them. Why do you wear them?” And it’s like, “Dude! If you could add two inches to your [censored], you would!” [The audience cheers and applauds.]

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Marcella: Leave me alooone. I get mistaken for a man all the time. I actually have a friend who recently began identifying as nonbinary and they told me they did so because, on any given day, they can be referred to as “sir” and “madam” on the same day. Sir and madam. And I was like, “That happens to me, too, but I identify as perfect.” To each their own. Yeah, but I get mistaken—this little girl came up to me—now I was just, actually, pretty similar to this but, like, baggier shirt, no makeup, glasses. This little girl runs up to me. She’s like, [voice pitched high] “Are you a boy!? Or a girl!? Are you a boy or a girl!?” [Whispering.] I didn’t know what to say. [Speaking normally again.] I didn’t know what to say! So, I looked at her mother to, like, correct, interject, just be a fucking parent, right? [The audience laughs, and one person voices their disappointed agreement.] Marcella: And the mother looked at me like, “Well? Are you a boy or a girl?” So, I looked back at the little girl and I said, “Honey. Sweetheart. I’m just like you and your mom: a rude piece of [censored].” [The audience laughs, clapping and cheering.]

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Marcella: Grow up. I didn’t say that. I pushed her. I pushed her. I really hate when people think I’m a man. Unless it benefits me, right? Like if the women’s restroom line is too long, I’m a man that day. Proud man. Confident man. Or, you’re ever out in public and a complete stranger sees something that they wanna comment loudly on, they just assume—because you’re near them—you’re gonna agree with what they’re saying? Do you know what I’m talking about? [Various members of the audience offer up agreements.] Marcella: Here’s what happened. I was at the grocery store, buying some fruits, buying some vegetables, minding my business. Two Muslim women walk in. The Muslim women are covered head-to-toe. Only their eyes are exposed. Now, I don’t give a [censored], but this older woman—she sees them, she scoffs, she looks at me. She’s like, [whispering] “Can you believe that? Can you believe that?” I was like, [gasps] “You think that’s crazy? I used to be a man! Aha.” [The audience laughs.] Marcella: What do you do?

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Marcella: I am mixed. I don’t know if you guys can tell by looking at me, but I am mixed with colonialism and oppression. Anybody else? [The audience cheers.] Marcella: Yeah, I see a few familiar faces. I always thought, “what are you?” was the rudest thing someone could ask me, ‘cause I get it all the time. As soon as people meet me, [brutishly] “What are you? What are you? What is that?” It’s not the rudest thing. The rudest thing I ever got—some guy started yelling countries at my face. Soon as he met me. He jumped the gun. He’s like, “Woah, woah, woah! Where are you from? Argentina? What are you, Afghani? What are you, from Brazil? What are you Costa Rican?” I was like, “Are you going in alphabetical order?! ‘Cause I’m from Zimbabwe.” A little alphabet humor for the alphabet-heads. A little something for everybody. No, I’m Latina. I’m a proud Latina. Any Latinos in the house, tonight? [A large cheer from the audience.] Marcella: Oh, hell yeah! Is it two for one, what the [censored]? So many. I’m proud Latina. My parents, actually, achieved Latino American dream, a few years ago, when they hired a white gardener. [The audience laughs and hollers.] Marcella: Good. Good. Good, I’m glad you guys found it funny. Usually white people are like, “That’s not a thing! That’s a landscaper!”

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jesse

Marcella Arguello. You can follow her on Twitter @MarcellaComedy. If you’re in Los Angeles, you can catch her weekly comedy show, Women Crush Wednesdays, at The Hollywood Improv Lab. She’ll take the show to SF Sketchfest, in January.

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jesse

We’ve been listening to a lot of stand-up comedy albums. I wanna play you something a little different. Something very special. We recorded it at MaxFunCon—a retreat that we organize in the Lake Arrowhead area, in California. At MaxFunCon, there are classes and live podcast recordings—all kinds of stuff. And we also have a stand-up comedy showcase in an outdoor amphitheater, in the mountains. Our headliner, this past year, was the one and only Cristela Alonzo. Cristela is an actor who has appeared in Cars 3, in His Dark Materials, and had her own show on ABC, for a while. It was called Cristela. She’s also an activist who tours regularly with Dolores Huerta. Anyway. She is so great. She’s a total hero of mine. And if you didn’t know how great she was, you’re about to find out. Here’s Cristela Alonzo, live on stage at MaxFunCon 2019.

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[Audience applauds and cheers.] Cristela Alonzo: How you guys doing? Oh, I am excited to be here, in nature. Uh, I am a brown woman, though. So, I’m scared of everything. It reminds me of a scary movie, and we all know we’re the first ones to die. [The audience laughs repeatedly as Cristela continues.] Cristela: I had to walk to my car, last night. Isn’t it weird how, when you’re in the woods, everything [censored] scares you? I was, like, walking with my spotlight on my phone and I’m like, “Aah! [censored]—tree.” Like, you know what I mean? Like… but I am excited to be here, ‘cause I’m originally from Texas. [Someone in the crowd hollers.] Cristela: And uh—thank you. My family, we’re from south Texas. [The member of the crowd cheers again, shorter this time.] Cristela: We’re from Mexico. And it’s really cool. I don’t wanna brag, but I come from a border town, in the south, called McAllen, and Trump wants to build a wall there. So, it’s really cool. I say, [censored] build your wall. We use tunnels now. It’s stupid. And did you guys see that tunnel that Chapo had when he got arrested? That [censored] looked like a Disneyland ride. I was like, “What the?” Like—there was, like, electricity. There was a two hour wait. There was a Starbucks. I’m like, “Wow.” I mean, I’ll have the Chapoccino, I guess.” [The audience laughs. Jesse’s laugh is distinctly audible in the crowd.]

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Cristela: I’m a first generation Mexican American. My—I come from a mixed status family. That means that half of us were undocumented, half of us were born here, and your—it’s your job to guess! Guess what?! We look alike! And, uh, my first language is actually Spanish. I learned English later on in life. I learned English by watching TV shows like The Price is Right. And white people, you [censored] with me. [The audience laughs loudly.] Cristela: Plinko’s not a real word. Fuck you. I loved that word! I wanted to name my kid Plinko! Like, “Then buck up, Plinko!” But then it’s not real. But I had to learn English by hearing the dialects and the accents I would hear on TV. So, I’m the only one in my family that doesn’t have a super thick accent. Like, my older brother—my oldest brother, he was born in Mexico. And he’s got, like, a—like, a stereotypical accent. Like, this [censored] got a pinata accent, you know what I mean? Like, [doing an exaggerated Mexican accent] “Hey, sister—you wanna go get something to eat?” I’m like, [in an exaggeratedly precise transatlantic accent] “Well, we could do that… or would you like to see what’s behind door number three? Come on down!” [Laughter and scattered applause from the audience.] Cristela: But now, as an adult, I speak three languages. I speak Spanish, English, and Caucasian. Caucasian is like English, but I have to use fancy words I don’t normally use like organic and deductible. So… let me give you an example. Like, in my everyday life, when my friends mess up, I’m like, “[Censored], you messed up.” But in Caucasian I’m like, “Ma’am, that is unacceptable.” [The audience hollers and guffaws.]

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Cristela: Right? Right? “I will [censored] you up!” “Let me speak to a manger.” You know, like that? It’s really cool. [Chuckles.] But I actually—I was born in the border town, and I grew up in a tiny town. So, I grew up in a bubble. I think that a lot of us that grew up in the middle of nowhere, we grew up in bubbles. And we grew up thinking that the whole world is like our little town, you know? So, growing up, we didn’t have diversity in my town. We were all Latino. We didn’t have black people, white people, Asians. So, growing up, I thought everyone in the world was Latino. And then I went to college in St. Louis and I was like, “Oh [censored]! I’m a minority!” Right? And then white people started calling me exotic, right? Like, “You’re exotic!” And I was saying, like, “Oh my god! I’m a Lamborghini!” Right? Like! 2019 has been a good year for me. January, I had a big birthday. I turned 40. And I love it. [The audience cheers.] Cristela: Right? Yes! It’s awesome! ‘Cause I realized, at 40, you’re not old and you’re not young. You’re, like, right in the middle. I kind of feel like I’m an iPhone 6. You know? Like I know I’m missing some of the features the newer models have, but I’m affordable and I get the job done. You know what I mean? I love that. You know? But I like it, ‘cause at 40—like, every year I get older, I have a better sense of who I am, you know? ‘Cause when I was younger, I tried to fight it. ‘Cause I’m a homebody. I’m an introvert. I don’t like going out. But, you know, when you’re younger, people make you go out. Like, [in a high, airy voice][Censored], let’s go crazy!” You know? [Scattered laughter.] Cristela: I—like, for my 30th birthday, they wanted me to go to Vegas, my friends, right? I don’t do Vegas, right? But I went, ‘cause I thought that’s what you had to do. So, my 30th I’m like, [hesitantly] “Ooh, let’s party! What do you do in Vegas?” Right? Then I—when I turned 40, I’m like, “[Censored] this noise.” I’m like—for my 40th birthday, I’m like, [yelling] “I’m going to Home Depot! I’m buying plants!” [The audience cheers and laughs.] Cristela: And that—like, that’s what I did!

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jesse

Cristela Alonzo—live, at MaxFunCon 2019. Cristela also just wrote a book. It’s called Music to My Years. It’s kind of a personal history told through music. And Cristela’s life story is so extraordinary. She—Cristela—sincerely, this is totally real—grew up in a border town, in Texas, with her mother and siblings squatting in an abandoned diner. She’s really an amazing person and a great comic. The book is wonderful. Music to My Years. You can get it now.

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. Here’s another comic who killed at MaxFunCon 2019: DJ Demers. DJ was born and raised in Canada. His 2018 album, Indistinct Chatter, was nominated for Comedy Album of the Year at the Juno Awards—which is sort of like the Canadian Grammys. Maybe you’ve seen him on America’s Got Talent, on Conan, or on stand-up stages across this great nation—and the one to our north. DJ is hilarious. We were so lucky to get to see him at MaxFunCon. Here’s a little bit of DJ Demers.

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DJ Demers: I am from—I am from Can—I live in California, now, though. I live in LA, but I moved a couple—two and a half years ago, from Canada. And I love it here, but it is—it’s different. You know? When you live in Canada, you think the countries are very similar. And then you move here and you’re like, [flatly] “Oh god, no.” [The audience laughs intermittently as he continues.] DJ: “Have I—” Even little things. Like Amber Alerts? When a child goes missing, they send a text to you? They didn’t do that when I lived in Canada. So, the first one I got, when I moved here, scared the [censored] out of me. I thought they were contacting me directly. I was like, “I don’t know nothing, man.” I feel like I belong, though. It’s been almost three years. Two and half years. And I asked a friend when I moved here, I said, “How will I know when I belong in the United States of America?” And he said, “You’ll know when you have your first American thought. First—” Yeah. I didn’t know what that meant. No idea. Until I had my first American thought. Just a couple months ago—I knew, right away. It was so beautiful. So pure. I was playing basketball, right? And the guy I was guarding, he went to shoot. So, I jumped up to block him, but he was only faking. So, he went down. I went up. Completely flipped over him, like [censored] over teakettle. I was about to smash my head off the pavement, and my first thought was, “Oh no! I don’t have health insurance!” [The crowd goes wild with laughter, eventually melting into sad, “aww”s.] DJ: Mm-hm. I know. I know. I’m home. [The audience laughs in surprise.]

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DJ: That joke doesn’t land in Canada. They don’t understand. They’re like, “Heh, yeah right you don’t have health insurance. That’s funny. Of course you have health insurance.” They don’t understand. You don’t know until you get here. You have to shop for health insurance. Like, we know that in Canada, but you don’t fully—like when I moved here and I had to shop for health insurance? That’s the craziest purchasing decision to have to make. To have to decide how much is my life worth to me? [The audience erupts with uneasy laughter.] DJ: On a monthly basis. Let me crunch some numbers on that one. I shopped around. The best quote I got was $400 a month. [Several audience members make quiet sounds of pain.] DJ: 400 a month. I was like, “[Beat.] I’ve had a good run. I’ll be careful.” It’s scary. Every day I leave the house now, I’m just, “Everybody take it easy. Let’s all get to where we’re going.” [Beat.] I wear hearing aids, too. We all do in Canada. [The audience laughs.] DJ: Free healthcare. You’d be a fool not to, you know? It’s a fashion thing, up there. But, uh, no I do—I wear hearing aids. I’ve had them since I was four years old. I’m deaf. Like, I’m really deaf. Not full deaf. I’m hard of hearing. I’ve had, like, full on deaf people get mad at me for using the word deaf. I’ve had them talk to me, you know, and come up to me after shows with friends, say, “You’re not deaf. You’re hard of hearing. We’re deaf. You’re not.” I’m like, “Okay. I don’t—I don’t want no trouble here. I’m—I’m just a couple dead batteries away from being on your side, you know? We gotta stick together!” I didn’t realize there was, like, a beef between the deaf and hard of hearing communities. A quiet beef. But, uh… [The audience laughs.]

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DJ: No, I didn’t—I’m all for, you know, accessibility. Having hearing aids is really—it’s… you learn a lot, you know? I… I don’t know. There’s certain things—I don’t like the way disability’s portrayed, sometimes. Like, I was on America’s Got Talent a couple years ago and—‘cause I wear hearing aids—and um… [The audience laughs.] DJ: [Laughing.] They love that shit, man. Oh god. You show up with a disability, they’re like, “Get in here!” I was like, “Yeah, I do comedy, too!” They were like, “Yeah, just bring the hearing aids. We’ll figure it out.” [The audience laughs loudly.] DJ: But, no, I was—it was a good—it was fun, you know? It was a cool experience. Every comedian always wonders what Heidi Klum thinks about their comedy. And, uh… to finally get that answer is so satisfying. I lost to a juggler. For real. That doesn’t get any easier to say. It’s a tough one. I didn’t play the game, you know. They wanted me to cry. They explicitly asked me. They were like, “If you could cry during the interview, that would really help us out.” And, uh, I was like, “I’m not gonna cry! I’m happy! Life’s great!” And they were like, “We’ll see.”

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jesse

DJ Demers. Live on stage at MaxFunCon 2019. DJ is the host of a couple of podcasts. He has an interview show called Definitely DJ and he also cohosts a show called Reviewing Reviews—it’s a show where, you guessed it, he and another comic critique reviews they read on the internet.

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jesse

I’m Jesse Thorn. You’re listening to Bullseye. Next up on our Stand-Up Comedy Special: Shalewa Sharpe. She’s a new comic, born and raised in Atlanta, living in New York. She’s been on HBO’s Two Dope Queens and Comedy Central’s The New Negroes. Her new album is called So You Just Out Here?. It’s a stone-cold classic. Here’s a bit of Shalewa Sharpe.

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Shalewa Sharpe: How many of us have hiding spots at the job to keep from talking to coworkers? [The audience laughs with scattered applause. They laugh repeatedly as Shalewa continues.] Shalewa: Yeah? What are we doing? Are we just, like, ducking under tables? [Laughing.] Are we—we just ladies, so we have a favorite stall? How are we [laughs] hiding from them? If you work in an office, tell me if you do this: do you sit at your desk… and make yourself… very small? [Groaning.] Uuuuugh. Just in the hopes that they don’t see you over the monitor and then say something to you? That’s normally what I do. That’s my tactic. [A single member of the audience laughs loudly.] Shalewa: The only issue with that is that I work the front desk. And it is literally my [laughing] job to speak to everyone that’s coming in. And I am bad at it. Ugh! So bad at my job, everybody! Very bad at my jooob! Oh, man. My coworkers just come up, all the time, like, “Aah, how ‘bout this weather? Did you see the—” And I’m like, [deflated] “Buuuh.” You can cut that chitting and chatting out. That is not why I’m here. I am here for the Wi-Fi. So. If you could shut it up a little bit, I got a spinning wheel I’ve gotta attend to. Oh, man. They’re fine, at my job. The—most of my coworkers are, um… well-meaning white women. Which is my favorite kind of white woman. Because they mean well. [The audience laughs. One person claps slowly.]

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Shalewa: We’re almost there. [Laughs.] Uh, but I—[laughs] this job. Man. Okay. My first day of work, at this job, was election day 2016. [A chorus of “boo”s run through the crowd, eventually replaced with laughter.] Shalewa: And. Mm. Did you feel that in your soul? Buh. Yes. But. Again, it was election day and I gotta tell you: those well-meaning white women were lit. Do you remember? Do you remember how election day 2016 felt while the sun was up? And there was all this, like, just—hope in the air? Oh my gosh. They were all just, like, saying things to me like, “Hey, girl. I know you did the right thing, girl. I know you’re with her, right girl?” And I’m like, “It’s pronounced Shalewa. I’ll let you know when we get to ‘girl’! It’s only been a few hours. Kind of leapfrogging over some things, you know?” There was a cake in the break room. No reason. I was like, “Well, I like how we celebrate here. Okay. That’s great.” So that was my first day of work. My second day of work… [The audience laughs and yells.] Shalewa: Was the day after the [laughing] election. And I gotta tell you, those well-meaning white women were weeping! Yo. First they were crying in Sarah’s office. And then Rachel came in and they were like, “Well, we gotta take this show on the road.” And then they went into—they spent the whole day crying in each other’s offices! A literal trail of tears! Crying in each other’s offices. [The audience laughs.]

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Shalewa: And I was like, “Is anyone going to show me how to work the phones? [Beat.] You must have some messages by now. It’s been two days. Help me help you.” There was another cake in the break room. No reason. I was like, “Well, I like how y’all grieve. We’re gonna have a good time.”

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jesse

Shalewa Sharpe. Her album, So You Just Out Here?, is out now.

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jesse

We’re getting close to the end of our special episode of Bullseye, counting down some of our favorite comedy of 2019. But don’t fear! We’ve got more coming up when we get back from a quick break. It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

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jesse

This message come from NPR sponsor: Smartwater. Smartwater is for the curious drinkers—the ones who are always looking for ways to make things a little bit better. That’s why Smartwater created two new ways to hydrate: Smartwater Alkaline with 9+pH, and Smartwater Antioxidant with added selenium. And now, you can order Smartwater by saying, “Alexa! Order Smartwater.” Smartwater: that’s pretty smart! [Music fades out.]

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Music: Percussive music plays. Meghan Keane: NPR’s Life Kit wants to help you make changes that actually stick, this new year: from how to do dry January to how to start a creative habit. We’ve got new episodes all month to help you start the year off right. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. Listen and subscribe to Life Kit. [Music fades out.]

jesse

Hey, it’s Jesse. The year is drawing to a close and remember that now is the perfect time to give to your local NPR Member Station. You can make a difference in your community, keep public radio going, by giving at donate.npr.org/bullseye. Again, that’s donate.npr.org/bullseye. And thanks!

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Music: Gentle, rhythmic music underscores the dialogue. Janet Varney: We are so thrilled at your interest in attending Hieronymous Wiggenstaff’s School for Heroism and Villainy! Wiggenstaff’s beautiful campus boasts state-of-the-art facilities and instructors with real-world experience! We are also proud to say that our alumni have gone on to be professional heroes and villains in the most renowned kingdoms in the world! But of course, you are not applying to the main school, are you? You’re applying for our sidekick and henchperson annex! You will still benefit from the school’s amazing campus, and! You’ll have a lifetime of steady employment. Of course… there’s no guarantee how long that lifetime will be. Travis McElroy: Join the McElroys as they return to Dungeons and Dragons with The Adventure Zone: Graduation. Every other Thursday on Maximum Fun, or wherever podcasts are found. [Music ends.]

jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. We’re bringing you, this week, some of the best stand-up comedy of 2019. Up next, we’ve got Emmy Blotnick. Emmy Blotnick put out her debut album, this year. She’s a comic based in New York City. She’s written for The Late Show, At Midnight, and more. Her new album is called Party Nights. It’s hilarious. She hits the ground running, on this one, so we’re just gonna start with the opening track. Here’s Emmy Blotnick.

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Emmy Blotnick: Do you guys wanna hear about my favorite Wheel of Fortune clip? [The audience cheers and applauds. They laugh intermittently as Emmy continues.] Emmy: Alright, good. Okay. So, the puzzle is mostly solved. Most of the letters are there. You can tell the answer is “self-portrait” and this lady buzzes in and goes, “Oh. Self-potato?” [Beat.] Right? [Laughing softly.] I’m like— The guy next to her is like, “Lady, it’s self-portrait.” And she’s just like, [deeply] “Oh nooo.” And it’s so good, because self-potato means nothing. It means nothing at all. But I love it so much. I just want it to mean something, you know? So, I think this is it: you all know what a couch potato is. A self-potato’s just when you don’t need the couch for that to be who you are. [The audience laughs.] Emmy: It’s just taking that couch potato mentality to-go, right? ‘Cause you don’t need a couch if you got you. I don’t know if that lady knew, when she got that puzzle wrong, that she was gonna give me a name for my lifestyle. Oh. I am a self-potato through-and-through. Yeah. In case it wasn’t clear, it’s basically high-functioning depression. Alright, yeah, I think we’re on the same page. [Laughs.] I’ll give you an example. Like, earlier tonight, I spent about two hours in a wet towel. That is a classic self-potato move. Ooh. Yeah, you guys ever do—you ever stay in a wet towel until it’s bad? [The audience laughs loudly.]

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Emmy: You know, like, it starts out good. You’re like, “Aw, this is good.” And then you’re not happy anymore. I like to take that train to the last stop. I used to be more of a party person. Yeah, I used to go out. I used to get drunk. I’d stay out late and have party nights and—no, you know it’s not true, ‘cause no one calls them party nights. Blown my cover. These days, I just—I stay in and I just read Amazon reviews of things I already own. I think I’m just looking for a sense of community, you know? I’m like, “I wonder who else out there is mad about my blender.” [The audience laughs.] Emmy: It’s like, “Aw yeah, this guy Rick F. from Iowa is right! The puree setting really is more of a fine chop! What is up, Rick? That was helpful. Yeah.” These days, I’ve been—I’ve been on a weird kick, these days. I’ve been buying a lot of vitamins and supplements, on Amazon. I think it’s ‘cause I don’t like to admit when I’m depressed. I go like, “Well, the problem is I’m not taking fish oil. See? I know how to fix this. I just need to buy five to seven bottles of unregulated supplements that are probably full of cat litter! That’ll fix it. That’s gonna fix it.” And, I mean, I don’t know what I’m supposed to take, so I take recommendations from anybody. The bar is so low, for me. I go on Amazon. I read the reviews. I just go with the wind. [The audience laughs, one member laughing loudly above the rest.] Emmy: Like, I was looking at a page for magnesium powder, and this guy wrote, “This stuff made my dog’s hips feel better.” I was just like, “Yeah. Yeah, add to cart. Let’s see what this can do.”

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jesse

Emmy Blotnick, from her debut stand-up album, Party Nights. She’s got a ton of live shows coming up in 2020. We’ll link to them on the Bullseye page, at MaximumFun.org.

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It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. Next up, Ron Funches. He’s one of our favorites, here at Bullseye. Ron was featured on our stand-up special back in 2015 for his debut album, The Funches of Us. He’s written for The Eric Andre Show and Kroll Show. He’s also lent his voice to animated shows like Bob’s Burgers and BoJack Horseman. If you have kids, you might have heard him, recently, on Netflix’s Trolls: The Beat Goes On. He plays a giraffe-like troll named Cooper. Anyway, here’s a bit of Ron Funches from his latest album, Giggle Fit.

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[The audience applauds.] Ron Funches: I have goals. Sometimes they come true. The literal dream come true is that I was able to buy a house for me and my son with stand-up comedy [dropping into a low whisper] moooney. [The audience cheers and applauds.] Ron: And I get to live next-door to people who actually work! [Giggles delightedly.] Oooh, we took way different paths to get to the same destination! Oooh, I feel so bad sometimes. I try to be active in my community. You know, I get up early. Get my son on the school bus. I see everybody going off to work and I’m just like, [shouting] “Byeee! You can do iiit!” [The audience laughs repeatedly as he continues.] Ron: They come back at six o’clock. I’m still in my PJs, in the front yard. Just like, [stage whispering] “Welcome baaack! What was it like todaaay?! Did you make it in time for bagels or did Deborah get to them first?” And I live in a pretty nice neighborhood. I see people going to work in their suits and ties, so I tried to copy them today. [Laughs brightly.] I’m just like, [voice high and airy] “Oooh! You’re so fancy! You must be so important at your job! What do you do? [Beat. His voice drops back into a lower register.] Oh. I don’t really know what most of those words mean. But it sounds very stressful. Oh, me? Aw, let’s not compare. [Pitching his voice high again.] Ooh, I just kinda get high and then mumble into a microphone. Did you know that was a lucrative profession?” [The audience applauds and cheers.]

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Ron: “Guess I just had a better guidance counselor than you. She really pushed me into this line of work! I planned on working in finance. She was like, ‘Take this bong and watch Naked and Afraid all day!’ [Beat.] That’s good advice! I love Naked and Afraid.” If you haven’t seen it, Naked and Afraid is a reality competition show on Discovery Channel where they take two people—and I wanna say normal but trust me. [The audience guffaws.] Ron: They are not. They take two people with some type of mental deficiency and they remove them from their friends and family and put them someplace [conspiratorially] deep, dark, and dangerousss. Like Hondurasss. Or Gainesville, Floridaaa.

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jesse

Ron Funches, from his latest comedy album, Giggle Fit. Ron hosts a weekly podcast called Getting Better. He also does stand-up across the country. Definitely recommended. Great comic.

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. Next up, Jackie Pirico. Her debut album is called Dream Phone. She’s based in Toronto and her comedy’s kind of off-beat. She’s very energetic, very animated. Extremely intense. You can hear what I mean in this bit from her new album.

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Jackie Pirico: I’m in my 30’s now. Hear that key phrasing: in my 30’s. It’s no longer the case of, like, “Oh, I’m 30 just.” [Gutturally.] I’m in them, now! I’m in them, now! I’m getting further into them! ‘Cause it used to be, [innocently] “Oh, I’m 30 only!” [Dropping back to a growl.] Now I’m in them! And I’m trench-crawling my way into them more! Deeper into them like this: [letting out a strangled cry]. I’m like, “No! No! Take me back! [Gives another strained cry.][The audience laughs repeatedly as she continues.] Jackie: That’s how it is and feels. But it’s okay. All those gal-pals of mine are all in their 30’s too. Actually, some of them are even a few months older than me. [Makes a loud “blech” noise.] Old and ugly alert! Wouldn’t wanna be them! But being in their 30’s, they always come to me with, like, the same problem. They’re all experiencing the same problem that goes along with the territory of being in your 30’s. And they come to me with their problem. They say this, “Oh, Jackie!” They say, “We’re fretting! We fret!” Because they feel pressured to have a baby. That’s the trouble in the that age. “We feel pressured to have a baby!” They say. And the pressure’s coming from all sides. “Oh! My husband wishes for me to start to have babies! Oh, my mother-in-law’s pressuring me ‘cause she wants to be a grandma. And everybody says I should start—take time off work and have babies and all. And I don’t know if I’m ready, but everyone think’s I should and the clock’s ticking down and I’m getting to be a raisin in my belly, and it won’t work anymore! And I have to do it now or never! And I feel pressured and everyone thinks I should! We fret!” They say. [The audience laughs.]

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Jackie: And they come to me with the—for advice. And I tell them, “[Laughing.] I have nooo advice for you, because I have the exact, 180 degree opposite problem—where nobody at all that knows me in my life, at all, thinks that I should have a baby. [Snarling.] Except for me! I think I should have one of those! I don’t know why everyone else gets one and I don’t—why everybody’s so worried about—because I would be nice to it! I would be kind and just! To the baby. [Chuckles.] Like, I wouldn’t leave it in the car or nothing! ‘Cause I am no longer permitted to drive one of those. So. That’s off the table! I just want to make a person who’s forced to join me on my many errands about town. Ooh! Wouldn’t that be nice?! An errand-mate. An errand-mate to finally join you. No longer are you alone on your errands. You have an errand-slave who has to be there with you! They have to come! ‘Cause what else are they gonna do? Languish at home?! [Scoffs.] Possibly perish?! I don’t think so. They’re there with you! Finally! And! The best part is, they’re made out of you. So, it’s you—up here—[chuckles pointedly] and then another of you down here like this, [voice small] “Hehehe.” Going around! Together! And because they’re a genetic copy of you, they probably share many of your same opinions on the various wares that you encounter at the shops and the marts! [The audience laughs with several audience members laughing loudly above the rest.]

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Jackie: Right?! Finally! Someone who agrees. So, I’d be like, “Oh, I like this item.” And they’d be like, [doing a gravelly, childish voice] “Me too! ‘Cause I’m like you!” I’m like, damn right! My mom says, [in a pinched, nasal voice] “They’re not like that, you know. I’m telling you.” And she was like, “You, for example, you had a mind of your own!” And I said, “Mine would also have a mind of my own, as well!” [The audience laughs.] Jackie: Oh, guess this! My very best friend actually just went and had a baby! She went and had and did it and had one. She did it. Aaaah, I care not for the baby. I’ll try and, like, go out on their errands—‘cause you gotta have errand-mates wherever you can get them. So, I’m on their errands with them and I’m trying to talk to her. “Hi. Like—this and that about me and my day.” And she’s not even listening to one word I say! ‘Cause she’s talking to him and his precious buggy! And she’s talking to him nonstop. “Oh, who’s Mommy baby, in there? Who’s Mommy’s best baby? Who’s the baby Mommy loves?” And all that. And she’s talking, talking, talking. She can’t see him from where she is, like, behind the buggy. But I can see him from where I am, beside the buggy, and nine times out of ten, she’s talking to him and he’s just like this: [makes vomiting “blegh” noises]. Like, [continues the noises]. Or like this. [Beat.]

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Jackie: I’m like, “He doesn’t know.” I tell her, “Save your breath. This guy’s not picking up what you’re putting down. Light’s on, nobody’s home. You might as well chat it up to a tulip or a beehive.” He doesn’t know talking! He doesn’t know talking! I know so much talking! Talk to me! [The audience laughs.] Jackie: If he knew talking, I would tell him this. I’d say, “Oh, hi baby. Heh-heh. You think you and your mom are such good friends? Well guess what? Me and her are best friends. And before you came along, we used to do drinking and smoking and drugs and hitchhiking and swearing. And one time, we seen a guy die at the beach. [The audience hollers.]

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jesse

Jackie Pirico, from her debut comedy album, Dream Phone. You can find out what she’s up to on Twitter, @JackiePirico. That’s J-A-C-K-I-E P-I-R-I-C-O. And if you liked what you heard and you want some homework, she reviews boardgames on YouTube! Sometimes she makes instructional videos on how to play them. Things like Pick-Up-Sticks and Blindfolded Pictionary. If you can find them, those videos could fill hours of your life.

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jesse

It’s the Bullseye End of Year Stand-Up Special. I’m Jesse Thorn. We’ve got time for one more: J Elvis Weinstein. J Elvis was one of the original writers for Mystery Science Theater 3000. He also played the voice of Tom Servo, on the show. He’s a veteran stand-up comedian, who’s written material for people like Garry Shandling, Roseanne Barr, and Louie Anderson. This bit from his latest album, Chunks, doesn’t need a lot of setup. We’ll just go straight to the stand-up stage and J Elvis Weinstein.

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J Elvis Weinstein: I had a kidney taken out. [Someone in the audience cheerfully calls out, “Me too!”] J Elvis: Woah! Did I hear them? You said, [pitching his voice high] “Me too!” [The audience chuckles, laughing repeatedly as he continues.] J Elvis: We should have traded. Nah, I had a kidney taken out because, uh—a bet’s a bet. [Laughing.] No, I’m just kidding. Um. No, I had kidney cancer. I did. And I don’t—I don’t have cancer anymore. It’s gone. [The audience claps and cheers.] J Elvis: It’s, uh—thank you very much. The only lingering effect is occasional pity-applause. [A member of the audience says, “It could be worse!”] J Elvis: I was lucky, obviously. Very lucky. What happened was, my colon ruptured. That wasn’t the lucky part. That hurts. Don’t get that. So, they put me into the CAT scan machine to look at my colon. And then my kidney, like, photobombed my colon. [The audience cackles.]

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J Elvis: And they’re like, “You might wanna have that looked at! [Laughing.] Once we fix your colon! Your kidney’s giving us the finger. It looks aggressive.” So, I go to another doctor and he looks at the scan and he’s like, “Uh, yeah. You have cancer. We’re gonna have to take your kidney out. I’m like, “Okay.” He’s like, “But don’t worry, it’s not urgent.” He’s like, “Yeah! We can wait a week.” [Laughs disbelievingly.] Like, what?! Doctor “urgent” and comic “urgent” are not the same thing. [The audience laughs.] J Elvis: It takes me a week to go to the bank. So, I had a week with my kidney left. It wasn’t, like, a fun week. It wasn’t like I could take my kidney out for one last blast, or anything. Run all the finest bottled waters in Europe through it or anything. You know. [Beat.] No, I had to fill out forms. And I to [droning unintelligibly]. Depressing questions like, “If something happens during surgery, do you want us to take heroic measures?” [Scattered laughter.] J Elvis: Well. I want you to save me. If you need to be all self-aggrandizing about it, hero, that’s… cool. But how about you just do your job? And we’re done! But then they clarified, “What we really mean is, uh… what would you like us to do if you end up braindead from the operation?” Like, woah. That… sounds like more of my wife’s problem. [Uproarious laughter.]

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J Elvis: [Laughing.] Please, when you ask her—give her a yogurt or something, first. ‘Cause she’s a huge [censored] when she’s hungry, you know? I don’t need a situation where she’s—they’re like, “Mrs. Weinstein, we need to—” And she’s like, “Pull the plug!” “Okay, I was gonna say give him a bath, but… we do need the bed.” [Beat.] So, I don’t know. I handled the uh, the whole cancer part of it okay, I think. But I was—what I was really worried about was just the surgery and going to the hospital and being messed with and handled by people. And, you know, that’s what they do at the hospital. That’s their gig. But it’s not fun. It’s not what I wanted. I remember, they wheeled me into the operating room. There’s like nine people over in the corner. And none of them are talking to me. I guess for the same reason you don’t name the lobster in the tank at the restaurant. [The audience howls with laughter.] J Elvis: And, eventually, a doctor comes over to me and gives me a shot and says, “I’m Dr. Jensen. You know, in a few minutes you’re gonna feel a little [makes a wavering, dizzy sound].” And out I went. And, of course, they moved in and started messing with me, you know? Shaved half my belly. Stuck a tube up my dick. Yeah, it’s worse than passing out at a frat party. It’s… wouldn’t have been surprised to wake up with a [censored] scrawled on my forehead in sharpie, or something. But I did wake up. It was all successful. Moved on. I talk about it, now. I didn’t talk about it very much, when it was happening, ‘cause I didn’t really wanna hear what people had to say to me. People I don’t like giving—the way people talk about cancer is—if you have cancer, it’s like a lot pressure. ‘Cause it’s always about how brave you are, and you’re battle cancer and you’re a warrior. And I’m like, “Just wanna be a victim, here.” [Laughing.] It just is all I want.

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J Elvis: “No, you’re battling cancer! Damn it!” I’m like, “I’m not battling cancer. The doctors are battling cancer. I’m the battlefield.” So, when people say to me, “You beat cancer,” I’m like, “Woah, that is way too cocky. I feel like I met cancer in a dark alley, threw my kidney on the ground, and backed away slowly. That’s… [The audience laughs and applauds.] J Elvis: That’s as brave as I had to be.

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jesse

J Elvis Weinstein, from his comedy album, Chunks. You can find him on Twitter, @JElvisWeinstein to get the latest from him. He has a weekly podcast he’s been hosting for the last couple years with past Bullseye guest and one of my five favorite comedians in the world, Andy Kindler. It’s called Thought Spiral. Check it out, wherever you get your podcasts.

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jesse

That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is produced at MaximumFun.org world headquarters, overlooking MacArthur park in beautiful Los Angeles, California—where, this year, we only saw the fish truck, the truck with a canon in the back that shoots fish into the lake, two times. Our resolution for 2020 is to see it more than two times. The show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our producer is Kevin Ferguson. Jesus Ambrosio is our associate producer. We get help from Casey O’Brien. Our production fellows are Jordan Kauwling and Melissa Dueñas. Our interstitial music is by Dan Wally, also known as DJW. Our theme song is by The Go! Team. Our thanks to The Go! Team and their label, Memphis Industries, for letting us use it. And! There are many, many years of Best Stand-Up Comedy Specials on our website and in our podcast feed. So, if you need more comedy, you wanna learn about more great comics, just—you know—scroll back. Subscribe on the podcast feed or go to the Bullseye page at MaximumFun.org or search Bullseye Comedy Special and you will find many, many year—I mean, we’ve been doing this for, like, ten years. So, it’s one of my favorite things, every year. It’s always our most popular show, too. Which, I don’t know what that says about our interviews. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Just search for Bullseye with Jesse Thorn, @Bullseye on Twitter. And I think that’s about it. Just remember: all great radio hosts have a signature sign off.

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Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

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