John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show
Season 3

Mike Lawrence, Andy Zaltzman, Kurt Braunohler, David O'Doherty

  • Season 3, Ep 4
  • 08/10/2012

Mike Lawrence knows that there are actually only three New York stories, Kurt Braunohler adds some flavor to his home decor, and David O'Doherty sings a love song.

an airport recently.

I took... fly out of NewarkAirport on the 23rd of December

which was a very bad idea.

Too many people in too smalla space.

Angry without being able toproperly articulate why.

Just a whole atmosphereof aggression

and hatred everywhere.

People staring at the floorand I joined them.

I was staring at thefloor too, angrily.

And then, right in front of myfeet... a pigeon walks past.

Somehow a pigeon had gotinside the departure gates

and was just walkingaround, just...

with absolute confidence.

Not flying. At no pointdid that pigeon fly.

Just walking with completeconfidence.

So confident, it was makingother people look away first.

It just...

So confident, part of me waswondering whether

it was aboutto try and catch a flight.

I wouldn't have been thatsurprised if he just waddled

over to a desk and said,

"any news on the440 to Cleveland?"

"Delayed again?[bleep] Delta!

"Why do I do this to myself?

"I can fly.

This makes no sense."

But then, slowly, a miracletook place because

people started looking atthis pigeon and smiling.

And they're laughing andthey're talking to strangers

saying, "have you seen thepigeon yet?

"There's a pigeon inside!It's not flying...

"You've got to see the pigeon.Make sure you see the pigeon!"

They were filming it on theircell phones and texting

the footage to their loved ones

and all of a sudden theatmosphere everywhere

was warm and loving andinviting and I thought,

is this how close we are togetting along as a species?

A pigeon being somewhere it'snot supposed to be.

Have we always been thattantalizingly close

to everything being okay?

I think we might have beenand it's gotta be worth a go.

Next time there's a Middle EastPeace Summit at the U.N.,

let's get Netanyahuand Abbas in a room,

shove a pigeon in there, slamthe door behind it and

have it just walk around.

"Oi, oi...

"guess who's somewhere they'renot supposed to be, huh?"

It's gotta be a two-statesolution, chaps, doesn't it?

It just has to be.

Seems like the only workableway forward at this stage.

"Hey, which one of you wantsto see me peck a Dorito?

[AUDIENCE LAUGHS]

"Which one of you liked that?Exactly! You both did.

"You're not that different.That's what I'm saying."

I know things seem bad inAmerica at the moment.

It is a great city.

We are a progressive city.

We have eliminated both carsand English. It's great.

But I hate when peopledo this, when they go,

"New York City, eight millionpeople, eight million stories.

There's three New Yorkstories, all right?

There's "I moved here," "I livedhere all my life"

and "Ghostbusters."

[LAUGHTER]

I worked at McDonald'sfor seven years and...

please don't clap at that.

If you clap at that, theywon.

Well, I worked there forseven years and I remember

someone was like, "you know,that job is designed for

someone that'll only bethere for two months."

I was like, "yeah, I beatthe [bleep] system."

I remember one time, one of myfriends was like, "hey, man,

"could you put in a good wordfor me over at the McDonald's?"

I was like, "I couldtell them you're alive...

"if that's what you want."

My mom wants to manage mycomedy career now and

I was like, "all right, Mom, whydon't you give me some notes?"

And one of her notes was"you should smile more.

"You have an angel's mouth."

I feel I should manage mymom at helping her write

pickup lines for pedophiles...

[LAUGHTER]

in the wooing phase.

"Come on, angel mouth.

"Keep lookin' at me withthem rainbow eyes."

Did I get you with that?I'm sorry.

I don't know how to aim.

I am in a relationship. It'sbeen going pretty well.

Even my wife doesn't like methat much.

So, um...

what do you guys likedoing here?

Do you, uh, do you like theworld?

Pretty ambivalent. Notreally my thing, either.

To be honest, I prefer, I prefersports.

What about, are you democracyfans?

Actually, let's do this by vote.

Raise your hands if you dolike democracy.

[AUDIENCE HOOTS]

Okay, and raise your hands ifyou don't like democracy.

Okay.

So strongly thought, but even inthat vote

when all you had to doto express your opinion

was go to the trouble oflifting a single limb,

we still only managed aroundabout a 55% turnout which

shows quite how deep therivers of apathy are coursing

through this proud democraticnation.

I heard this, uh, amazingstory a while ago about a guy

on the New York subway.

Not too many people thinkthis is a brave thing to do

'cause this man had faintedand fallen onto the tracks in

front of an oncoming train.

And another passenger jumpedoff the platforms and hauled

this guy to safety, risking hisown life to save someone else.

Do you think that is a bravething to do, New Yorkers?

Yeah. Well, it sounds it.Hold the round of applause

because wait until you hear

how he explained himself tothe media in which he said,

"I thought to myself,if that guy gets hit,

"I can't get to work.

[LAUGHTER]

"It's... it's Sunday, it istime-and-a-half day.

"I am not missing out for him!"

This is not bravery,

it was bottom line economicpracticality.

Do not judge the man.

He was mirroring the actionsof your government and

my government in decidingwhether or not to intervene

in international crises.

"Rwanda? I think I'll stay onthe platform for this one."

Squelch. Well, I couldlearn to live with that.

So, um, but we all makedifficult choices.

Not just politicians have tomake these difficult choices.

We all have to make ourpersonal...

even when we go shopping.

You have to make difficultchoices 'cause,

uh, you know, I don't like, Idon't like child labor.

I think, um, sorry if Ioffend any children watching

tonight when I say that.

But I don't like... I thinkchild labor is naughty, at best.

But on the other hand, Ido like a bargain, and...

and I also like my childrento wear stuff made

by their peer group.

I just...it shows themwhat they can achieve if

they really focus andput their minds to it.

"Well, yes, darling, thatis an absolutely lovely

"potato print pictureyou've just done there

"but is it as good as thisfully functioning shoe?"

"No, it is not.

"Buck your [bleep] ideas up."

It's in all the parentingmanuals if you read them

backwards, I think.

So, um....

so I better wrap up.

I'm afraid, likea badly-managed

French restaurant, I'mrunning out of time.

But, um, before... I'm here allweek.

Before I go... thank you verymuch.

Before... before I go, I do havea little bit of admin to do.

I realize you didn't really payto see me do paperwork but

I'm not actually qualifiedas a standup comedian and,

uh, I keep failing myobservational comedy module.

And, uh, it's a new assignmentand until I pass it,

I only get gigs when oldfriends from home book me

to do them.

[LAUGHTER]

So, um, so they keep, theykeep sending me new bits of,

uh, new assignments.

I've got to finish thissentence of my observational

assignment this week.

"I'll tell you anotherthing women don't like,

"dot, dot, dot..." so I'm gonnago with "the menopause and

"the slow, inevitable declineinto the inescapable chasm

"of death...

"that it soominously foreshadows."

It's funny 'cause it's true.

It's been a pleasure talkingto you. See you all again.

Thank you very much.

I've been writing all of my stand-up

on these giant, poster-sizedpost-it notes.

They're, like, big, and so,uh,

when you come into the firstroom of my apartment,

it is literally covered in mywriting.

And my friend Albertinacame over the other dayand she was like...

"you can't bring a womanback here because

you look like the Uni-bomber."

And I was like, "theseare all funny jokes!"

And she said, "it just sayshere,

'do bad decisionsexist' question mark."

And I was like, "that'sa funny joke."

And she's like, "that's a[bleep] crazy person thought."

But this was her idea.

She said, "what you should do isyou should write on your wall

'List of People I Need ToKill' and then have,

"like, eight names with thefirst one crossed off."

I was like, "that is funny."

So I did that and then I thoughtit would be even funnier

if the last namejust said "random."

[LAUGHTER]

So then flash-forward, like,three months and I have finally

convinced a young lady tocome back to my apartment

with me and as I'm putting thekey in the door, I remember

that I have a list of peopleI need to kill on my wall

that needs some explaining.

The door opens, she sees it,she freezes.

I kind of go into repairmode.

I'm like, "uh, I'm acomedian, this is a joke."

And I calm her down... but thenI just can't help myself.

And I slowly crossoff "random."

I grew up, I grew up in, inIreland.

In 1981, Ireland was... yeah,hold your fire there, everyone.

[LAUGHTER AND CHEERS]

Someone's about to be prettysassy about Ireland.

It is an, an interestingobservation that here

in particular, NewYork City, people,

when they find out you'reIrish,

love to come up and theylove to do their hilarious

impersonation ofthis accent to me.

Please don't do that.

'Cause it's always mildlyoffensive, borderline racist.

"Oh, you're Irish? Be-jesus!

"Dere's a bomb in mepotato to be sure!"

You've no idea howmono-cultural

the Ireland that Igrew up in was.

In 1982, Ireland was 96%white Catholic.

That is a nightmare.

It was the only country inthe world where parsley was

regarded as a spice...

where someone would take amouthful of vegetable soup

and be like, "whoa,no, no, no, no.

"That is burning, send thatback.

"A foreigner has made that."

This'll give you an idea ofhow mono-cultural it was.

We knew of one Protestant wholived on our road and she was

called The Protestant.

And she lived in a house calledThe Protestant's House.

And she had a gooseberry bushin her front garden.

'Course she did, Protestant!

But people were coming homefrom school,

they used to pick thegooseberries and throw them

at her window and go, "youProtestant!" and run off.

And one day The Protestantcaught one of my friends.

I think she must have been onthe roof and she flew down.

"[screeches] Got his heart!"

And my mother found out andmy mother was furious.

And I was like, "Mom, it'sfine, she's Protestant!"

And Mom said, "David,I'm Protestant.

"We're pretty much aProtestant family."

"No! Beelzebub!"

I... uh... I went to... I wentto an all-boys' school and

I'm not sure you everreally get over that.

You know, on some level forthe rest of my life,

every time I walk in toa room like, "hey!

"Oh, girls, oh, what doyou do, what do you do?

"Uh... draw a penis on their...

"No, you don't draw a penis."

That's... single-sex schoolsare so weird.

They're almost... like, I findsomething sort of barbaric

about them, you know?

It annoys me a lot whenpeople go,

"yeah, but academically, boysand girls do much better when

"they're kept apart."

"Oh, yeah, what's moreimportant:

"getting a C in history or beingable to relate to 50%

"of the world's population?"

[LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE]

[KEYBOARD PLAYS]

I'll leave you with a song.

This is, uh, this is a lovesong.

You can take it right down.

♪ I just heard about himtoday from your friend ♪

♪ Who thought I knew

♪ And, you know, yeah, it'sgreat that you've been able ♪

♪ To move on so fast,but I have ♪

♪ Another question for you

♪ What has this prick got thatI haven't got? ♪

♪ Oh, he works in a book shop,does he? ♪

♪ Well, roop-de-doo!

♪ I've got millions of books and ♪

♪ I let people readthem for free ♪

♪ Oh, he's got a Vespa!

♪ He's got one of those fancy,imported Italian scooters! ♪

♪ I've got a car!

♪ At least, I think he's got aVespa ♪

♪ He's sitting on one inthe picture of him ♪

♪ I found on the internet

♪ I've got a few questionsabout him ♪

♪ Does he have conversationalFrench? ♪

♪ Non! ♪

♪ Neither do I, butI have the accent ♪

♪ And that's the hard part

♪ How's his parking?

♪ You know how good my parkingis: in from the front ♪

♪ In through the back, makes noodds ♪

♪ Why would you throw all ofthis away? ♪

♪ Has he ever written you asong? ♪

♪ I've written you millions ofthe pricks! ♪

♪ This one's a bad example

♪ You just can't see thatI've changed ♪

♪ I'm basically acompletely different guy ♪

♪ Who just happensto look the same ♪

♪ With the same voiceand the same name ♪

♪ But there, the similarityends ♪

♪ I'm into new things now,like dancing and salad ♪

♪ And tidying and feelings

♪ The only thing he has that Idon't have... ♪

♪ Is you.

[MUSIC ENDS]

Thank you very much.

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