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Anthony Jeselnik on Performing Stand Up at a Prison


GOOD TO SEE YOU.>>GREAT TO SEE YOU.>>Jimmy: HOW WAS YOUR FATHER’S DAY? DID YOU DO A BIG THING FOR D■AD HAVE A DEAL OR GIFTS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT?>>NO.>>Jimmy: NOTHING, HUH?>>I MIGHT HAVE CALLED HIM. I’M NOT SURE. BUT NO GIFT FOR GARTH’S FATHER’. WHAT I DID DO, HE’S TURNING 70 AT THE END OF THE SUMMER, AUGUST 31st. AND I GOT IN TOUCH WITH THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES. WE’RE IN PITTSBURGH. AND ON HIS 70th BIRTHDAY HE’S GOING TO THROW OUT THE FIRST PITCH AND I’M GOING TO CATCH IT.>>Jimmy: OH, WOW. NICE. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>YEAH.>>Jimmy: DOES HE KNOW THAT THIS IS HAPPENING OR IS HE JUST FINDING OUT ABOUT THIS?>>I THOUGHT ABOUT SURPRISING HIM. BUT THEN I’M LIKE HE’S GOING TO KILL HIMSELF. SO I WANTED TO GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO WARM UP. AND NOW I’M AFRAID I DID GIVE HIM TOO MUCH TIME.>>Jimmy: YOU DID GIVE HIM TOO MUCH TIME.>>HE’S GOING TO THROW OUT THE SHOULDER. HE’S RE EXCITED ABOUT IT.>>Jimmy: HAS HE REALLY BEEN WORKING ON IT?>>I JUST TOLD HIM ON FATHER’S DAY. HE’S STILL LOOKING FOR HIS MITT TO BE HONEST. BUT I THINK HE’LL BE READY. I’M VERY EXCITED FOR THAT.>>Jimmy: YOU AREN’T GOING TO THROW IN A MITT WITH THAT WHEN YOU — BECAUSE YOU DO NEED A MITT EVEN THOUGH HE’S NOT CATCHING ANY BALLS. HE’S JUST PITCHING.>>JIMMY, I’M NOT MADE OF MONEY. I’M NOT GOING TO GET HIM A MITT AND LET HIM THROW OUT THE FIRST PITCH.>>Jimmy: YEAH. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT. YOU MAY HAVE ACTUALLY DONE A TERRIBLE THING TO YOUR FATHER BY GIVING HMM A HEADS-UP.>>ORIGINALLY I WANTED HIM TO HAVE TO WEAR THE PARROT COSTUME AND RUN AROUND. BUT THEY SAID HE’S 70, IT’S TOO MUCH.>>Jimmy: IT’S TOO MUCH.>>YEAH.>>Jimmy: YOUR SPECIAL, YOUR STAND-UP COMEDY SPECIAL, IS VERY FUNNY.>>THANK YOU.>>Jimmy: AND ALSO REALLY — I MEAN, LIKE — YOU HAVE TO — IT’S OUTRAGEOUS IN MANY, MANY WAYS. AND I’M SURE YOU’RE AWARE OF THAT.>>I MEAN, IT’S CALLED “FIRE IN THE MATERNITY WARD.”>>Jimmy: YES. WELL TITLED.>>YES.>>Jimmy: DO YOU EVER HAVE PEOPLE — LIKE I KNOW PEOPLE, MOST OF YOUR AUDIENCE KNOWS WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT. BUT DO YOU HAVE PEOPLE THAT ARE JUST PLAIN SHOCKED WHEN THEY COME TO SEE YOU?>>EVERY TIME.>>Jimmy: EVERY TIME. AND YOU LIKE THAT.>>I LOVE IT. IT’S USUALLY — IT’S LIKE PEOPLE WHO REALLY LOVE ME AND LOVE MY COMEDY AND ARE THERE, THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO SEE. AND THEN THEIR DATES. [ LAUGHTER ]>>Jimmy: I SEE.>>AND THEIR DATES LEAVE PRETTY QUICKLY.>>Jimmy: SO YOU END A LOT OF RELATIONSHIPS — IN FACT, IT’S PROBABLY A SERVICE IN A WAY THAT YOU’RE PROVIDING. Z>>I’VE ACTUALLY HEARD STORIES OF LIKE MY FIANCE LEFT ME BAYS TOOK HER TO YOUR SHOW AND WE GOT INTO A FIGHT AFTERWARDS. AND I SAID YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE’S DOING COMEDICALLY. AND THEY’RE LIKE NO, THIS IS OVER. AND I TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN THAT. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>Jimmy: IT’S GOOD. YOU SAVED THEM A LOT OF TIME. YOU REALLY HAVE. IN WHAT VENUES DOES YOUR ACT GO OVER LEAST WELL, LEAST SUCCESSFULLY?>>LATELY, PRISONS.>>Jimmy: OH, REALLY?>>YEAH.>>Jimmy: HAVE YOU BEEN LOCKED UP?>>NO, I’VE NOT BEEN LOCKED UP. I DRINK.>>Jimmy: YES.>>AND I’M FRIENDS WITH A BAND NAMED QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. A GREAT BAND.>>Jimmy: YEAH.>>AND THEY COME TO SEE ME DIE SHOW AND WE’RE DRINKING AFTERWARDS AND WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TOURING. WE’RE BOTH ALMOST DONE. WE SAY WE’RE GOING TO FINISH UP AND THEN WE’RE DOING ONE SHOW AT SAN QUENTIN STATE PENITENTIARY. THEY’RE LIKE WE’RE GOING TO DO A LIVE ALBUM, BE LIKE JOHNNY CASH, IT’S ALL EXCITING. AND I’M JUST DRUNK ENOUGH TO SAY DO YOU NEED AN OPENER? AND THEY’RE LIKE, YEAH, THAT WOULD BE GREAT. AND SO I FORGET ABOUT IT. A COUPLE OF WEEKS LATER THE PRISON SENDS ME THE RULES OF WHAT I’M NOT ALLOWED TO SAY.>>Jimmy: WHAT ARE THE RULES?>>NO SWEARING.>>Jimmy: REALLY?>>NO RELIGION. NO SEX. NO DRUGS. NO VIOLENCE. NOTHING THAT WILL RILE UP THE PRISONERS. BASICALLY, IT’S MY SET LIST WITH THE WORD “NO” IN FRONT OF EVERYTHING. [ LAUGHTER ] AND I’M LIKE, I DON’T KNOW HOW I’M GOING TO DO THIS. SO I CALLED THE BAND AND I’M LIKE, GUYS, I MIGHT HAVE TO BAIL. AND THEY’RE LIKE NO, NO, NO, YOU’RE COOL. IF THEY CUT YOUR MIKE OFF, WHATEVER, IT’S STILL PUNK ROCK, IT WILL BE FUN, YOU’LL DO A SHOW. SO I SAY OKAY, LET’S GO. AND MY CONCERN WHEN I GET THERE ARE THE PRISONERS. EVERYONE THERE IS A MURDERER.>>Jimmy: YEAH.>>AND WE GET OFF AND EVERYONE’S LOOKING AROUND THE DIFFERENT LIKE PRISONERS WERE LIKE — THEY’RE SIDE-EYEING US. I’M WAVING AT PEOPLE BUT THEY’RE GIVING ME THE FINGER. I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON. AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN I’M SURROUNDED BY FOUR GUYS WITH SHOTGUNS WHO WORK THERE. NOT PRISONERS. THEY WORK THERE. [ LAUGHTER ] AND THE WARDEN IS IN MY FACE. LIKE IN MY FACE. NOT LIKE THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. LIKE WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE KIND OF THING. AND I’M NOT USED TO THIS. AND HE SAYS, ANTHONY, YOU’RE MY FAVORITE COMEDIAN. YOU’RE MY WIFE’S FAVORITE COMEDIAN. AND THAT’S A LIE. PEOPLE SAY TO ME, BEFORE THEY GIVE ME BAD NEWS. AND HE SAYS, YOU KNOW, BUT I’VE WATCHED SOME OF YOUR STUFF ON YOUTUBE AND IT’S OFFENSIVE. BUT THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT FUNNY. WE LOVE IT. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT HERE. I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S GOING TO WORK. AND I REALIZE HE’S TRYING TO GET ME TO STEP DOWN.>>Jimmy: OH.>>BUT I’M NOT GOING TO DO THAT. [ LAUGHTER ]>>Jimmy: IT’S A LONG DRIVE, RIGHT?>>YEAH. AND I’VE GOT A PROBLEM WITH AUTHORITY. IT’S A WARDEN. I FEEL LIKE I’M IN “COOL HAND LUKE” ALL OF A SUDDEN. SO I’M LIKE, WELL, WARDEN, IF THE PROBLEM IS THE STUFF YOU’VE SEEN ON YOUTUBE, DON’T WORRY, GUYS, THIS IS GOING TO BE ALL NEW MATERIAL. NOBODY LAUGHS. THEN THE WARDEN’S LIKE I JUST DON’T KNOW, THINGS CAN GO SIDEWAYS WITH THESE PRISONERS. I’M LIKE, I’VE HAD THINGS GO SIDEWAYS ALL THE TIME. IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL FOR ME. AND HE’S LIKE I JUST DON’T KNOW. AND I GO, WELL, WARDEN, WHAT WE’VE GOT HERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE. [ LAUGHTER ] AND I THINK THIS IS GOING TO GET THEM TO CRACK. NOTHING.>>Jimmy: NO?>>NOTHING. NOT EVEN A SMILE.>>Jimmy: REALLY?>>HE’S LIKE I JUST DON’T KNOW. AND I SAID WARDEN, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO NOW THAT I’M HERE? YOU COULD HAVE MADE THIS PHONE CALL YESTERDAY AND I WOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN ON A PLANE. I’D BE HAPPILY SITTING AT HOME. I THINK THEY WERE AFRAID IF THEY SAID I COULDN’T COME THE BAND WOULDN’T COME. AND IF THEY TOLD THE BAND I WASN’T ALLOWED TO GO, THE AND WOULD HAVE SAID OKAY. NO ONE CACHES.>>Jimmy: THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO STAND TAKEN ON YOUR BEHALF.>>BUT NOW I’M HERE, I’M NOT GOING TO BACK DOWN. I SAY WARDEN, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO NOW THAT I’M HERE RIGHT NOW IN FRONT OF YOU? I MADE THE TRIP. AND THE WARDEN SAYS, WELL, I’M NOT INTIMIDATED BY YOU AT ALL.>>Jimmy: WHAT?>>IT’S ABOUT TO GET PHYSICAL WITH THE WARDEN. [ LAUGHTER ] I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY. AND HE’S LIKE, IT’S A PROBLEM. WE’VE GOT A NEW GOVERNOR. YOU KNOW, THIS IS NOVEMBER. WE’VE GOT A NEW GOVERNOR. I’VE GOT TO WORRY ABOUT EVERYTHING. I JUST DON’T KNOW. I DON’T KNOW. HE WALKS AWAY. I LOOK AT THE BAND. I’M LIKE, I’M GOING TO KILL ALL OF YOU FOR MAKING ME DO THIS. SO I’VE GOT TO GET ON STAGE SOMEHOW. THEY’RE NOT GOING TO LET ME PERFORM BUT I’M GOING TO DO SOMETHING. SO I GO UP TO THE WARDEN. HE’S SHOWING US AROUND. HE’S GOT HIS DAUGHTER WITH HIM, HIS 23-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER. THIS PLACE IS SO SAFE BECAUSE OF ME I CAN BRING MY DAUGHTER. AND I’M LIKE, BUT I CAN’T PERFORM?>>Jimmy: YEAH. YOU’D THINK A COUPLE OF JOKES WOULD BE ALL RIGHT.>>I PULL THE WARDEN ASIDE, I GO WARDEN, YOU’VE GOT A LOVELY DAUGHTER, THIS IS A GREAT PRISON. PLEASE, JUST LET ME BE A PART OF THIS.>>Jimmy: GREAT PRISON. [ LAUGHTER ]>>IT’S ONE OF THE BEST. [ LAUGHTER ] IF YOU EVER KILL SOMEBODY AND YOU GET YOUR SAY OF WHERE TO GO, GO TO SAN QUENTIN. AND I SAY WARDEN, JUST LET ME GO INTRODUCE THE BAND AND THEN I’LL LEAVE. AND HE SAYS, THANK YOU, AND SHAKES MY HAND. NOW, KEEP IN MIND, JIMMY, THAT IS NOT WHAT I’M GOING TO DO. [ LAUGHTER ]>>Jimmy: NO.>>SO WE’RE ABOUT TO GO. I’M IN THE WINGS OF THE — SIDE OF THE STAGE WITH THE BAND. AND THEN — GOOD LUCK, MAN. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T WORRY ABOUT US. DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY. WE’RE GOING TO BE FINE. AND THIS WOMAN GOES, GETS UP, THIS OLD LADY WHO KIND OF LIKE PUT IT ALL TOGETHER. SHE STANDS UP AND SAYS I WANT TO THANK THE CREW. AND THEN SHE SAYS, NOW I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE AND THEN LOOKS OVER AT ME, LOOKS ME RIGHT IN THE EYES, AND SAYS, I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE A VERY NICE YOUNG MAN. [ LAUGHTER ] ANTHONY. THAT IS THE WORST WAY YOU CAN INTRODUCE SOMEONE AT A PRISON, IS A VERY NICE YOUNG MAN. SO I’M JUST LIKE, ALL RIGHT. I WALK UP. THE CROWD IS SCREAMING. THEY’RE JUST LIKE, WHOO. CATCALLING. I GRAB THE MIKE. [ LAUGHTER ] AND I SAY, LISTEN, GUYS. I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 17 YEARS. I’M A FAMOUS COMEDIAN. SO IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD OF ME, YOU MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING PRETTY [ BLEEP ]. [ LAUGHTER ] THE CROWD GOES CRAZY. EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANTED. THE BAND IS LIKE — THE BAND’S LAUGHING. EVERYONE’S LAUGHING. MY MICROPHONE HAS BEEN CUT OFF.>>Jimmy: OH.>>SO I DROP THE MIKE AND I GO TO INTRODUCE THE BAND. RIGHT AS I’M ABOUT TO INTRODUCE THE BAND I SEE THE WARDEN AND HIS DAUGHTER. AND I THINK, OH, THIS IS TOO GOOD AN OPPORTUNITY TO PASS UP. SO I YELL, AND I’D LIKE TO THANK THE WARDEN FOR BRINGING US HIS DAUGHTER. [ LAUGHTER ] NOW, AT THIS POINT — AT THIS POINT, JIMMY, NO ONE LAUGHS.>>Jimmy: EVEN THE PRISONERS — >>THE PRISONERS ARE LIKE, WHOA. I MAY HAVE KILLED A GUY BUT I WOULDN’T DO THAT. [ LAUGHTER ] THIS GUY’S NUTS. THANK GOD HE’S LEAVING AFTER THIS. AND I WALK OFF. THE BAND IS LOOKING AT ME LIKE I CAN’T BELIEVE — YOU SHOULD HAVE SET SOME LIMITS. THEY GO ON AND PLAY FOR AN HOUR. I’M WATCHING FROM THE SIDE. SOMEONE TAPS ME ON THE SHOULDER AND SAYS, THE WARDEN WOULD LIKE YOU TO COME WATCH THE SHOW WITH HIM. I’M NOT FALLING FOR THAT. I’M GOOD RIGHT HERE. THE SHOW ENDS, THE BAND’S LIKE LET’S GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE NOW. WE GO TO RUN INTO THE VAN TO LEAVE. SOMEONE TAPS ME ON THE SHOULDER. I TURN AROUND, IT’S THE WARDEN.>>Jimmy: OH.>>HE SHAKES MY HAND AND SAYS NEXT TIME YOU COME TO TOWN MY WIFE AND I ARE GOING TO HAVE TO COME TO SEE YOU. I SAID WARDEN, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME I’LL BE HUMILIATING YOU ON TELEVISION. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>Jimmy: WELL, HI, WARDEN.

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