Brain on Drugs

  • 01/22/2015

Keegan-Michael Key remembers driving around Detroit with a crackhead, Bobby Lee chats about his time on "MADtv," and Ari Shaffir describes smuggling pot gummy bears.

Mr. Keegan-Michael Key,everybody.

[cheers and applause]

I'm from Detroit.

[scattered applause]

Good night!

No, I'm kidding.

So one day in 1990,

I was driving my 1976Buick LeSabre down the street.

I had a 1976 Buick LeSabre.

It got 400 feetto the gallon.

And I was on the north sideof 8 Mile Road.

You guys saw 8 Mile with Eminem?

Okay, and there was a dudestanding in the parking lot,

and he comes up to my car,and this guy--

He's just looking rugged,like, looking rough.

He looked like a crossbetween, like, a--

like, a beaten golden retrieverand sad Gary Busey.

It was--

So anyway, something cameover me, like the angel.

There was an angelsitting on my shoulder,

and the angel spoke into my earand said,

"This is the day that you'regonna make a difference.

"You're not gonna just give hima dollar.

"You're gonna doonto others today.

Do it for this guy."I said, "Okay, all right.

"I'm north of 8 Mile.I'm good to go.

"I'm gonna helpthis mother[bleep].

I'm gonna help this guy."

And the guys comes up,and he's like,

"Hey, man,I swear, man,

"if you could just help me outfor a second.

"If you could just--there's a church,

"like, just a mile northof here,

"and I know some guysat the church.

"And if you couldjust drop me off,

"there's a shelter there, man.I really appreciate it.

That's all I'm asking you to do.God bless you, God bless you."

I'm like, "That's good.That's fine.

He's not asking for money."

Get in the car.

So we get in the car,

and I'm asking himabout himself,

and his name is "Jeff."

We're gonna call him Jeff.

And we were driving down,and all of a sudden,

we're driving,and I'm asking him,

"How did you fallon hard times?"

He's telling me his story.Da-da, da-da, da-da, da-da, da.

And then I realizedwe're driving south,

and I was just like,"That's another thing, Jeff--

Oh, [bleep],I'm south of 8 Mile!"

And so I got south of 8 Mile,and we pull over,

and he's like,"Just wait right here.

"Just wait right here.I'll be right back.

I promise.I'll be right back."

So Jeff gets out of the car,and for like a minute--

for, like, a minute,I just see him going,

and he's walkingaround the church

and back and back again.

He's like,"Just give me one second."

And then he's back around here,and he goes into a house, okay?

Right then, that's the momentI should've driven away

as fast as possible,

but that angeldeafeningly screamed in my ear,

"Just help someone,you [bleep] 19-year-old

"with your trench coat,

looking likeyou're in Lost Boys."

Right at that momentis when I should've driven away,

but I didn't.

I didn't.I'm gonna help this guy.

I'm gonna be a Good Samaritanif it kills me.

I get out of my car--me, Corey Feldman--

and I go, and I open upthe trunk of my car,

and I get out a tire iron,and then I close the trunk,

and I'm leaningagainst the trunk of the car

with my tire iron

like--like everybodywithin a two-mile square radius

doesn't have a handgun.

What am I gonna dowith my tire iron?

I'm gonna--

[imitating bullets ricocheting]

So he comes back.Jeff comes back.

And he's walkingtowards my car.

He's walking towards my carlike this,

and he's really in a hurry.

And he gets up to me,and he goes,

"Oh, man, what's going onwith the tire iron?"

I said, "Just, you know,protection for myself

just in case anything--any shit went down."

And he goes, "Oh, man, that's--Whoo, you had me nervous there

"for a second,'cause I was back there,

and things did not go well."

And so we got backin the car,

and we're drivingdown the street.

I said, "Did not go well.What happened, Jeff?"

And he goes, "Oh, yeah,I was in that house

"talking to a dude,and then he hit me

with an aluminumbaseball bat."

So I was like,"Oh, shit."

And so he's like,"Oh, no, no, stop here,

stop here, stop here,"and I'm like,

"Okay, this is the timewhen I'm gonna"--

"Okay, Jeff,I think it's time.

It's timeto get out of the car."

But we look across the street,and across the street,

there's this house,and there's a kid

standing on the house.

He's got one of these huge,

like, triple-fatgoose down jackets, a white one.

He looked likethe Michelin man,

like a black Michelin man.

And he was standing here,this kid,

and he comes upto the car.

He looks in my window,and he's like,

"What's going on, Jeff?What's up?"

And Jeff says--Jeff says,

"I'll be backin a couple of hours.

"If you could just help me outright now,

"I'll be backin a couple of hours.

I'll have four VCRs."

Now, here's me.I'm like, "Four V--What?"

So kid goes back upto the porch,

and he's on the porch like this,and he goes--

And then there'sa drain pipe here,

and my boyreaches down like this

and puts his handin the drain pipe, right,

takes his hand out, comes--

saunters backacross the street to my car,

presents crack cocaineto Jeff.

So, you know,crack cocaine's, like, here.

I'm like,"I've never seen that before."

And he goes,"So I'll be back

in about two hourswith four VCRs."

So, guys, if you ever finda time machine

and go back in time to 1990and you want to buy crack,

the ratio from crack rockto VCR is one to one, okay?

And as the kid backs upfrom my car,

he's like, "All right, Jeff.All right, Jeff."

And he brusheshis jacket back,

and there's nickel-plated.45 caliber in his pocket,

so I'm just like,

"I'm the dumbest personin the world."

And so--And thenI got really stern, guys,

and I said,"Jeff, this is it.

"I have to be at play practicein two hours.

"I'm stage managing Early One Evening

at the Rainbow Bar and Grill."

So he--So anyway,Jeff is rummaging around

on the floor of my car,grabs a soda can,

then rummages aroundon the floor of my car,

grabs a paper clip, okay?

Paper clip.

And he starts, like,doing a hole

in the topof the can, okay?

So he's making a holein the top of the can.

So I'm sitting here,and I'm just like,

"Oh, man, I can't--

"If I can getin this parking lot,

I can just get Jeffout of here."

I turn and look.

My man Jeffis scrooched down in my car,

just smoking crack,just smoking crack.

[smacking lips]

This guy looks at me and goes,"Hope you don't mind."

I get to Coolidge Road.It feels like it took six years.

And, guys, I only had two hours.I had to get to play practice.

And he gets out of the car,and he's like,

"Thanks so much, man.I really appreciate it, man.

Appreciate it so much.God bless."

I'm like, "Get--You really needto get out of the car, Jeff.

"I need to jettison youout of the vehicle.

I need you gone."

And he leaves,and I--

You know, I go onwith the rest of my life,

and I encountered him, you know,later in my life one time.

And I saw himwalking in my neighborhood,

and that little angelon my shoulder is like,

"Hey, there's Jeff.

Maybe we should give himone more try."

And I said,"Hey, angel, f--k off."

Thank you so much, everybody.Appreciate it.

[cheers and applause]

Mr. Bobby Lee,everybody!

I used to be on a showcalled MADtv.

[cheers and applause]

It was kind of like SNL but for Mexicans.

12 Mexicanswatched that show,

so if you're a fan, Hola, que tal?

So I was really excitedgetting booked on a TV show

because I'm a fatethnic guy, right?

I didn't thinkthat could happen,

and so maybe I'll get laid.

You know, who knows?You know?

So I show up to MADtv, and they didn't use me at all.

I'd play, like,Chinese Waiter Number Two.

They gave me one word to say,like, "Hello."

"Cut.Bobby, you're a wrap."

"Thank you so much.I'm gonna kill myself."

So over the months,I developed an eating disorder.

I couldn't stopeating Vicodin.

That shit is delicious.

And it started outwith, like, five a day, right?

I eventually took 40 a day,and I'm a small dude,

and the reasonwhy it didn't kill me,

because Asiansare evolved.

We have a stronger corethan all of you,

and we're smarter.

I've never met an Asian guywith Downs Syndrome,

but if I did, I bet you moneyhe's just as smart

as the average white guy.

Instead of straight As,he gets straight Bs.

He only knowsone instrument.

40 a day, and, you know,it was a disease,

and it got worseand worse.

Like, we would have table readsat 9:00 in the morning,

right, on Fox,

and I'd be in a strip clubin Tijuana,

like, onstage dancing like--

"[bleep] yeah."

And so afterabout two years of this,

they--like,it drove them crazy, right,

so they gave me an intervention,right, which they're nice.

They're nice,good people, right?

So I sat in an office.

They say, "You're doingtoo many drugs,

"and we want you to stop,

"and we'll give youone more shot.

"And we wrote youa Connie Chung sketch.

Can you do it?"I go, "[bleep] yeah.

I'm gonna [bleep] do it."

So that wason a Wednesday.

On a Thursday, a comedianby the name of Duncan Trussell--

he's very talented--came to my house.

Yeah, he's very talented.

He took all my Vicodinand just ran away.

What an ass[bleep].

And so all was finefor about five minutes,

but then all of a sudden,I got the shakes for 12 hours.

So on Friday, I show up,and I'm shaking,

but in front of the producers,I'm fine.

My face--completely fine,because I'm a good actor.

Would you not agree?Yeah.

So I'm in makeup, right?And I'm sitting in makeup.

And I'm sweating so badthe Connie Chung makeup

is dripping off my face.

So I'm sitting there,and all of a sudden,

I hear a noisein my stomach.

It went like this.

[slurping noise]

And then I told the makeup--"No, I just ate a banana.

I'm really hungry,you know?"

But it was really the Vicodin,the detox, right?

So I show up onstage.There's 400 people.

I'm sitting therewith the Connie Chung.

Now, I have three pagesof dialogue

I was supposed to memorize.

I knew six words,all right?

So I hear this:

"Five, four, three,two, one, action."

I said, "Good evening.I'm Connie Chung,"

and then I shit my pants.

Down my stockings.

The audience went...


Which is what you dowhen somebody shits their pants.

And I knewright then and there

my career was over.

From one night,it's over.

Ten years of hard work, okay?

But I was fine with it,'cause I wanted to get sober.

The producer Dick came upand goes,

"Pack your stuff,"so I went to the dressing room.

I packed all my stuff.

I was literally crying,and I was so sick, guys.

I was about to die.

And I went to a rehabthe next day,

and then a coupleof months later,

they found outthat I was sober, right,

so they hired me backon the show.

And I stayed on the show--thank you--

for six more years,

and I just celebrated12 years of sobriety.

Clap your [bleep] hands.Clap your hands.

[cheers and applause]

Thank you so much, guys.Thank you so much.