Trevor Noah: Lost in Translation (2015) Movie Script

[upbeat music]
[cheers and applause]
- Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
This is us.
Hello. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Nice to see you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Welcome. Welcome.
This is us.
Washington, D.C.
[cheers and applause]
Okay, you guys feeling good?
[cheers and applause]
That's good.
That's good, yeah.
Whoo-hoo, whoo-hoo to you too.
- Whoo!
- And that as well, ma'am.
And that as well.
I love that.
I love the sounds people make.
It's so much fun, yeah.
We're just--we're just throwing
language out of the window.
I like that.
I feel like we're devolving
as human beings now.
No, 'cause that was the thing
that separated us from the apes,
wasn't it?
The fact that we chose speech.
The monkeys used to run around
and screech.
And we were like, "No."
But now, we've started
to go back to that,
started to embrace our roots.
People get excited,
"Are you happy?"
"I'm real happy."
"How happy?"
"Whoo-hoo, whoo-hoo!
"Whoo! Whoo!
Whoo! Ow!"
That's one of
my favorite sounds.
It sounds like
someone's having so much fun
they hurt themselves.
Like you didn't plan
ahead of time.
Too much fun.
Such a weird sound.
I love it.
And you know what's crazy is
that we all know
what that sound means.
We don't agree on anything
in this world--
race, religion, politics--
but that sound, that "whoo-hoo,"
has united us all.
You can make that sound anywhere
and people accept it.
As long as there's alcohol
you can make that sound.
But there has to be alcohol.
You can't make that sound
anywhere else.
You can't make that sound
in the office.
It's unacceptable.
Your boss won't allow it.
You can't be like, "Final email.
"Sorry, sir. Sorry, sorry."
Can't make that sound in church.
"And that is why Jesus died
for our sins."
"Sorry, pastor."
"Go to hell."
You just can't do it,
but everyone knows it.
Everyone knows
what "whoo-hoo" means.
It means happiness, yeah.
The happiness of the people.
Strange, because no one asked me
to vote on it.
I didn't get to choose.
If I was to choose,
I don't know that I would pick
as the sound of happiness.
Strangely enough,
I think it may be more apt
as the sound of sadness.
I could see it,
at a funeral.
Family gathered around
the caskets.
Tears streaming down their face.
Pastor reading the eulogy.
"We'll always remember Mary
"as a loving mother,
"a caring friend,
"foodie, blogger,
"and wonderful sister.
"Before we lay her to rest,
"would you please join me now
as we observe a moment
of whoo-hoo."
Everyone's standing there
in tears.
[imitates sobbing]
There'll always be one big lady
in the corner,
[Amazing Grace melody]
Whoo-hoo, hoo-hoo
"Thank you very much, sister."
Such a fun sound.
The sound of happiness.
The sound of white happiness,
in particular.
I've tracked it.
I've searched for the source
of whoo-hoo
and I found it originated
with white people.
White--white woman
in particular.
Yeah, that's where
it comes from.
That is the sound
of a white woman's turnup.
That is the sound
of her getting into the game.
It's like,
"Tammy! Whoo-hoo!"
And that's where you know
it's on.
Yeah, 'cause everyone else
learned it from a white woman.
That's where it came from,
you know?
It spread through society
like a virus.
It's not the natural sound
anybody else makes.
White women make that sound
but everyone else
has learned it.
Like, white men were
the first ones to learn it,
because for them,
it's sort of like a mating call.
They know what it means.
They have to reciprocate,
like, "Whoo-hoo!"
But everyone else
had to learn it.
It's a natural sound for them
but for nobody else.
Like, black people whoo-hoo
but it's not the natural sound
black people make for fun,
you know?
Black people can whoo-hoo.
Black people often do whoo-hoo,
but it's not instinctively
a black sound of happiness.
And I think it's because
black people aren't comfortable
with the whoo-hoo.
Deep down inside there's
a certain moment in whoo-hoo
when every black person
stops enjoying it.
There's just--
there's just a moment
when--and maybe this is just
my personal experiences,
but I fear it sounds eerily
similar to a police siren.
There's just a moment
where it stops being fun.
[cheers and applause]
There's just that split second
where it's like,
"Whoo-hoo, whoo!
"Whoo, whoo, whoop-whoop, whoo.
Whoop. Whoop. Boop."
Put your hands in the air...
and keep them there.
It's not the sound of happiness
in my life, that's not--
Although, I guess that's why
white people do it.
'Cause white people
love calling the police,
so they're probably like,
"Oh, my God,
the cops are here!
"Party time!
Come on in.
I thought you'd never make it."
'Cause white people do,
white people have
a very different relationship
with the police.
I was trying to explain this
to my friend, Dave.
You know, when we're hanging out
he's like,
"Dude, what is it
with black people and police?"
I'm like, "It's not that black
people don't like the police
or hate the police,
it's just that--it's just that
we have a tumultuous history
with the police."
One day we were driving--
we're driving on the highway
and the police car
pulled up behind us
and I got tense.
I just got really tense.
And he's like,
"Dude, what's going on?"
I said, "The police.
The police are behind us."
He was like, "Yeah, and?
Did you do anything wrong?"
I said,
"That's not the point."
Because it really isn't.
For white people,
that is the point.
The police will send you to jail
if you do something wrong.
As a black person, you have
a different relationship.
The police may send you to jail
just because.
I know this because I was--
I was driving--
I got pulled over by the police
for the first time
in my life in America.
And already, I'm not
very comfortable when driving
in the United States, you know.
Not because it's the other side
of the road,
but because it's
the other side of the car.
I'm not used to that, you know.
Like--like, I always get into
the car on the wrong side.
I'll be shopping and I'll come
back to my car confidently,
and I'll jump inside
and put the things down,
and then I'm like, "Ah."
And then instead of getting out,
I sit there.
I always just sit there,
because I always think
somebody's watching me.
So I just sit there and I act
like I planned it all, like...
"Where is my driver?"
"Where is my--
He should have been here by now.
Where is my--Oh, well,
I guess I'll drive myself."
I don't know why I do that.
I'm not comfortable.
But you have to drive
in Los Angeles.
So I had a little rental car
and I'm driving on the freeway
and this police car
pulls up behind me.
And he drives behind me
for a little bit
and then he flashes his lights.
And I was like, "Oh,
he probably wants to go past."
And so I moved over
to the middle lane
and then he came with me
and he flashed his lights again.
And I was like, "Oh, come on,
just go past me, man.
Just go past me, man."
And I went back to the fast
lane, he came back with me.
And he hit--flash the lights,
and this time it was like,
whoop, whoop, whoop,
whoop, whoop.
And I was like, "Yeah, go past.
You keep coming with me.
Go past." 'Cause I didn't think
he was stopping me.
I thought it was basically
the vehicular equivalent
of that moment on the sidewalk
when you both don't know
which way to go.
I thought we were doing that
with our cars,
like, "Oh, oh, yeah.
Oh, yeah, all right. Ahh."
I thought that was happening.
I thought that was happening.
And clearly he thought
that I was evading him
in the most polite manner ever,
because he gets irritated,
and he's like, "Pull over
to the side of the road, sir."
Whoop, whoop.
"Pull over
to the side of the road now."
Now, I couldn't hear
what the hell he was saying.
I'm not gonna--Which I think
is part of the problem.
I don't think it's fair
that police have speakers
on their cars and we don't.
I think this is
a recipe for disaster.
That's the first step
in mending relationships
is communication, people.
I don't know what the hell
that guy was saying,
but I couldn't tell him.
He was like,
"Pull over to the side of the
road [indistinct mumbling]."
If I had a speaker, I would have
had the ability to be like,
"Sir, I cannot hear
what you're saying.
"Enunciate your words, please.
Enunciate your words.
Speak clearly."
"I said, pull over [mumbles]."
Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop.
"No, no, use your words, buddy,
use your words.
Talk to me. Talk to me.
What do you need?"
"Pull over, pull over."
I'd be like,
"Okay, I will be pulling over
right now. Thank you very much."
Like, it would be more
effective, but I didn't know.
So I'm--and he's like,
"Pull over [mumbles]."
I'm like, "I don't know what
the hell you want."
"Pull over to the side
of the road [mumbles]."
I'm like,
"What are you talking about?"
He's like,
"Pull over! Pull over!"
And I panicked,
and so I stopped. I pulled over.
Right there where I was
on the freeway, which apparently
you're not supposed to do.
I didn't know this,
'cause I just know that police
tell me to do something,
I do it. So he said,
"Pull over," and then I stopped.
and then he was like,
"Don't pull over there."
Then I was like, "Well, you
should have been more specific.
You can't tell me to pull over
and then tell me not pull over.
You should've said pull over at
a time that is more appropriate.
You can't just tell--
Now I'm panicking.
He's like,
"Get back onto the road."
I'm like, "This guy does not
know what he wants. I'm--"
Now, I'm back on the road.
He's like,
"Take the next exit."
And now, we're driving
and now he's guiding me along.
It's like I had
a really angry GPS.
It was the weirdest thing ever.
And, so he's driving me like,
Make a right at the light.
Make a right."
It's like I chose angry cop
on my Waze.
That's what it felt like.
He was like, "Turn left.
No, I said left. Turn left."
No, recalculating.
When it is safe, Mickey."
And so finally--
finally we stopped.
We stop, I pull over
on the side of the road.
He pulls over behind me
and he gets out of the car,
and I'm shitting myself.
As he gets out, he goes,
"Keep your hands
where I can see them!"
I'm like, "I don't know
what you can see or not see.
"I don't know.
"These are very
vague instructions.
I don't know what you can't"--
So now, I'm doing this.
'Cause I don't know
what you can see or not.
I was--
Like, don't get me wrong.
I just--
You know what the thing is.
I just don't want to die.
That's all, I don't--
I just don't want to die.
And I know I don't look like--
but I'm not the dying type.
I really--I'm not.
Like, I'm a chill-out guy
who likes living.
I don't want to die,
and the worst thing is
I don't know how not to die.
That's the thing.
I don't know how not to die.
'Cause every day,
I turn on the TV it seems like
another black person
is being shot.
So I just want to know
how not to get shot, you know?
I try and learn, I really do.
I try and learn, you know?
It all started in the lower--
in the lower echelons
of enforcement, community watch,
George Zimmerman, shot Trayvon,
the young boy.
And the story started off
with "Man shoots boy."
Everyone was like,
"Yeah, this is horrible.
This is disgusting."
But then the news, for some
strange reason, the next day
they just forget and then they
start asking other questions.
"Well, why was he wearing
a hoodie?
What was he doing, and why
was he wearing a hoodie?"
I was like, "Oh, is that--so
that's--so don't wear a hoodie."
That's what it is, the hoodie.
It's very frightening.
You don't know
what's going on under there.
Yeah, we've all seen
"Star Wars."
It's the creepiest thing ever.
Yeah, yeah.
It's the dark side.
And so I was like,
oh, if I don't wear a hoodie
then I'm safe.
No one's gonna shoot me
if I don't wear a hoodie.
you cut forward,
and then the next thing you know
it's Mike Brown in Ferguson,
and he gets shot by the police.
Unarmed, gets shot.
You know, like a man was unarmed
and he got shot,
and I was like,
"Oh, this is disgusting."
And they said, "But also,
he approached the police officer
"apparently, and he may or may
not have scuffled with him.
We don't know,
but he approached him."
And I was like, okay, okay,
don't wear a hoodie
and don't approach the police.
Don't go towards the police.
You see police,
you go the other way.
You got the other way from--
Okay, cool. I got it.
So no hoodies,
no approaching the police.
This is it, I'm learning.
I'm learning. This is--
But then--but then the next guy
comes on the news,
Eric Garner
in New York City.
And there he is,
he's standing and the police,
they apprehend him
and they start choking him.
He doesn't go towards them.
He doesn't--
He's standing there
with his arms up,
and he gets choked to death
by six policemen.
And then they come on the news
and they say--and they go,
"Well, you gotta understand,
for these police, I mean,
"this was a--
this was a pretty big guy.
"He was a pretty big guy.
He was scary.
He was a really scary,
big black guy."
And I'm like, "Okay, cool.
So don't be a big black guy
"and then you should be fine.
Don't be a big black guy
and then I should"--
And every day I look in the
mirror and I'm like, "Good job."
And I'm like,
"Okay, fine, fine."
Okay, so don't wear a hoodie.
Don't wear your hoodie
and don't approach the policemen
and don't be a big black man.
I think--I think
I've got it all down. I think--
And then I turn on the TV
and then I see Walter Scott.
A 50-something-year-old man
running away from a policeman
getting shot in the back.
Running away from the policeman.
And again, the media,
for some strange reason,
just seems to forget
what the main purpose
of--of the discussion is.
'Cause on day one they go,
"Unarmed man shot in the back."
Day two they're like,
"Who was Walter Scott?
"Let's find out about it.
Apparently he had a charge
of assault against him in 1987."
So he gets shot for it?
How hard did he punch the guy
that he gets shot for it
in 2015?
What, did he punch the guy
into the future
and then he came back to get
him? Is that what happened?
I mean, it was the '80s.
Everyone punched somebody
in the '80s.
I don't understand why
this is a big deal.
They were saying
the craziest things.
They were like, "Walter Scott,
I mean, this is--
"Everybody's talking about
the police officer.
Let's talk about him.
Why did he run? Why did he run?"
'Cause he didn't want
to go to jail.
Are we really
gonna live in a world
where police no longer
want to chase criminals?
Is that what we're saying?
Is that what we're saying?
Police no longer want
to chase criminals.
That's the whole point
of the game, isn't it?
We played it as kids,
cops and robbers, yeah?
You've seen the movies.
That's what makes it fun.
"You can't catch me, copper."
And then you run.
That's what makes it fun.
Now, police no longer want
to chase criminals.
We're gonna live in a world
where police--
Can you imagine what that's
gonna do to the movie industry?
It's gonna be horrible.
We're gonna be watching
"Bad Boys Five,"
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith,
End of movie. Done.
It would be
the worst movie ever.
This is the strangest thing.
They ask all the weird
questions that have nothing to
do with a man being shot
who is unarmed.
They come on and they go,
"Also--also noted
is that Walter Scott owed
$16,000 in child support."
To the cop?
No, no, I mean, like--
[cheers and applause]
To the--
'Cause--'cause that would be
a different story.
That would be like if that was
the mother of his children
that shot him,
then you know what?
I may--I may actually
be on her side.
You never know, yeah.
I might have been there like,
"You know what, sister,
"you shoot him in the back,
"That's right, you shoot him
"thinking he ain't gonna pay
after he play.
"You shoot him in the back
thinking he gonna run away
"from his responsibilities.
Shoot him dead."
But this has nothing
to do with it.
A policeman shoots
an unarmed man.
He's running away,
and they have the nerve--
They have the nerve,
the crazy nerve to say,
"This officer feared
for his life. He was afraid."
Afraid of what?
The man's running away.
There's nothing less frightening
than somebody
running away from you.
That is the definition of fear.
He's running away.
The only thing he could have
done to be less threatening
is to cluck like a chicken
as he--[clucking].
There's nothing less frightening
than a man
running away from you.
Like, what are you afraid of?
You can't say he was running--
"I was afraid."
Afraid of what?
He's running away from you.
That makes no sense.
You're seeing him from behind.
No one's threatening
from behind.
They're running away.
There's no one who's--
Like, maybe Kim Kardashian,
but nobody else is--
He's running away from you.
You shoot him in the back.
Like, yeah, "I was afraid."
Afraid of what?
What, do you have
abandonment issues?
Why would you shoot a man--
"My dad left when I was five."
Makes no sense.
So I don't know how not to die.
And here I am in my car
on the side of the road
in a random street
in Los Angeles,
and the whole time it was like,
"I don't want to die.
I don't want to die.
I don't want to die."
And the policeman
gets out of his car
and he starts walking
towards me
and his hand is by his side.
And it's doing this.
And I've watched westerns.
I know what this means.
This is never good.
This never turns into
So now, I'm starting to stress
and I'm looking at him
in the side mirror of my car
and I'm panicking,
because objects in the mirror
are closer than they appear.
So he's gonna get there
at any moment.
And I don't know why,
I don't know why I did this.
Like as soon as he--I panicked.
I completely panicked,
and I launched myself
out the window.
I took my body
and I threw it out the window,
and I fell under the side
of the car just like...
[imitated explosion]
and onto the side of the car.
I basically went back to nature.
I thought of a predator.
You don't make eye contact
and you play dead.
That's all I did, I just played
dead on the side of the car.
Which freaked him out.
He was completely--
He was just like, "What?
Hey, hey! Hey, what's going on?"
I said, "I'm sorry, officer.
I'm sorry."
He's like, "Sir,
what are you sorry for?"
I said, "Whatever it is that's
gonna make you shoot me,
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, officer."
He said, "Sir, get back in
the car. Get back in the car."
I said, "No! I don't wanna die.
"Please, I'm not falling
for that trick.
Please, officer, I'm sorry."
He's like, "Sir, I'm not--
I'm not gonna kill you.
Just get back in the car."
And I mean,
this guy was just as freaked out
as I was. I'm not gonna lie.
'Cause I mean, when I put myself
in his shoes, what does he do?
Imagine that, you're standing on
the side of the road,
a guy jumps out of his own car.
What doe he--
He can't even call for backup.
What does he say?
"10-4, I need backup."
"What do you need?"
"I got a black guy,
killed himself?"
"10-4, you gotta make something
up better than that.
We'll back you up, don't worry."
Like, you can't--
Like, what do you say?
It's just like a weird--
The guy's freaking out.
I'm freaking out,
and I'm lying there.
And this guy,
he--he approaches slowly.
He approaches, he finally gets
to me and lifts my arms,
and he's like, "Get back
in the car, sir, get back.
Get back in." And he stuffs--he
stuffs me back into my window.
"Get back there." I'm like,
"No, no, I'm not--
Please, I don't want to die."
He's like, "Sir, sir, calm down.
Calm down."
I go, "Okay. I'm sorry.
I'm sorry."
He's like,
"Sir, have you been drinking?"
I said, "No, sir,
I haven't been drinking."
He said, "Okay, calm down.
Do you know why
I pulled you over, sir?"
I said, "Is it because
I'm black?"
And now, I wasn't being an ass,
nor was I joking.
I'd just been informed that
as a black person in America,
if you drive a really nice car,
there's a good chance
you're gonna get pulled over
by the police.
Yeah, so in my world,
he was doing his job
as I had been told.
Yeah, I wasn't judging him.
In fact, I was--
I was a little flattered.
I was like, "Well, thank you
very much, Mr. Officer,
"for noticing this bad boy
right here.
That's right, 2015, baby."
I was really excited.
He was more freaked out, though,
'cause I--'cause I said to him,
I said, "Is it because
I'm black?"
And then he did this thing
that I've come to learn
is the reaction of white people
in America
who, when they hear information
they can't process fast enough,
have this--this thing
where they smile on the outside,
but on the inside, it's almost
as if they're short-circuiting.
Like, he looks at me and he
goes, "I'm--I'm sorry, what?"
I said, "Because I'm black,
that's why you pulled me over."
And he goes, "Uh, no.
Hey, no, no. Hey, we--
"No, that--that is not--that--
No. No. Hey, um, who--
I don't--I don't--No.
No, that is not why--"
[imitates explosion]
I felt so bad for him.
Yeah, I think we both
learned a lot that day.
The two of us grew
from that experience.
I was speeding,
that's why he pulled me over.
But he let me go.
I'm having a great time,
I really am.
I'm not getting speeding fines,
enjoying my time out here.
Some of you may or may not know,
I got a job.
This is fantastic for me.
[cheers and applause]
Thank you very much.
Thank you.
Thank you very much, yeah.
[cheers and applause]
That's--and that's--
That's how my grandmother
put it, funny enough.
I phoned my grandmother to tell
her that I'd be working
on "The Daily Show,"
and she was really excited.
She was like, "Whoo, Trevor!
"I'm so happy for you!
Well done. You got a job."
I said, "No, no, Granny,
I already had a job."
And she's like, "No, you didn't.
Did you have an office?"
I said, "No."
She's like,
"Then it wasn't a job."
That's all she cares about.
My mom was a bit better.
I called her to tell her
the news,
and to give you a bit
of a backstory,
I've got two younger brothers.
Right, so one brother
is nine years younger than me,
and then the youngest is
20 years younger than me, right.
And so the youngest just became
one of the student council
members in his school, right.
So he got onto
the student council.
So I phoned my mom
to tell her my good news.
I'm on the phone with her
and I'm like, "Oh, Mom,
I don't know if you heard, I'm
gonna be on 'The Daily Show.'"
And she's like, "Oh, my baby,
I'm so excited.
"Oh, praise Jesus,
this is wonderful.
"Well done, baby.
I'm so happy for you.
And did you hear what happened
to your brother?"
I'm like, "No, what happened?"
"Oh, he's on the student council
at his school.
"Oh, I'm so excited.
"Both my boys are doing
big things in the world.
I'm so happy. Oh!"
[cheers and applause]
And I was like, "Yeah, some
things are bigger than others."
She's like,
"No, it's all the same."
I was like, "You say that,
but I mean, you know.
Come on, you know."
She's like, "Okay, fine, fine.
You were never student council.
So let's cheer for him."
I'm like, "What?"
It was a wonderful experience.
Changed my life completely.
Come into the U.S., feel like
people are smiling at me more.
Might just be my imagination.
'Cause I noticed at the airports
when I've been flying in,
probably a combination
of--of my job
and the fact that
the Ebola crisis is now past.
That was probably the worst--
the worst time ever
is flying into America
as an African
during the Ebola crisis.
It was the craziest thing
I've ever seen in an airport.
You'd walk in,
there'd be tension.
They'd usher everybody
into a special quarantine area.
Ask you questions, questions
that they don't normally ask.
The number one question they
always asked was,
"Sir, have you been in contact
with Ebola?"
They'd always ask, "Sir, have
you been in contact with Ebola?"
I love--I love the sincerity
of the question.
Like there was a chance
my answer could be, "Yes.
And next stop, Disney World."
Like, what kind of person
do you think I am
that I'd still be embarking
on a journey
having knowingly been in contact
with the most deadly disease
on the planet?
Like, who do you think I am that
I'd be there like,
"I don't care!
" has
a zero refund policy.
"I'm going to Disney World
even if it kills me,
"Mickey Mouse,
and everybody else.
I'm going!"
"Have you been in contact
with Ebola?"
And they always say that
like Ebola was like
a distant relative.
I love the phrasing. "Have you
been in contact with Ebola?"
"Yeah, I spoke to him last week.
He's doing well, eh.
Thank you very much for asking."
Ebola made flying a nightmare.
One of the worst flights,
I was coming from
Johannesburg, South Africa,
going to San Francisco.
Flew and then because
the distance of the flight,
you have to stop over
in Washington,
and they change over
your flight,
so you go on to another plane,
and then that plane
takes you to San Francisco.
And when we were
changing planes,
when we were switching over,
the air hostess
on the second plane
tells the passengers that
Africans are coming on board.
Right, and so because of this,
they're gonna be spraying the
cabin with a light pesticide.
Right. No, I understand.
Like, when people are afraid,
they do stupid things.
I get it.
But what I didn't understand was
why she told them this
as we were boarding the plane.
Have the decency
to speak behind our backs.
'Cause we're walking
onto the aircraft
and she takes
her little microphone,
she goes, "Ladies and gentlemen,
"please note we have
some passengers joining us
"from the South African flight.
They're coming from Africa.
"If everybody could please
stay in their seats
"as these passengers
find their place.
"We're gonna be spraying the
cabin with a light pesticide
"due to the Ebola crisis.
"And feel free to cover your
nose, eyes, ears, and mouth.
"The pesticide shouldn't be
harmful, but it may be.
"So if everybody would
just cover up, and we'll be
"coming down shortly
as everybody takes their place.
Thank you very much."
She says this
as we board the plane.
This is our introduction,
"Ebola crisis."
And we're there like,
"Hello, hello, hello, hello.
Hello, hello, hi."
Do you know how hard it is
to find a seat in a plane
with people that think
you're bringing them death?
Do you know how hard it--
Like, you're sitting there
and everyone, you go--
It almost felt like that scene
from "Forrest Gump."
Like, as I'm walking
down the plane,
people were like, "Mnh-mnh.
You can't sit here, no space."
You're just walking down trying
to find your Jenny.
Finally, everyone's seated.
We take off,
plane heads out
to San Francisco.
And it was by far
the most tense flight
I have ever been on.
I coughed once.
The plane shook.
It wasn't even a bad cough.
It was just like
a little tickle.
I was just like,
The guy opposite me was like,
I was like, "Yo, dude,
calm down, man.
"Calm down. It's just AIDS.
You're safe, buddy.
"Calm down.
It's okay."
Everyone was so stressed.
The plane was tense.
No one wanted food nor snacks.
We finally land at the airport.
The plane is taxiing
to the gate,
and everyone,
everyone was waiting
for that seat belt sign
to go off. Everyone was just--
Like, it was more than normal,
'cause already--
I never understand why people
are in a hurry on a plane
to get out of their seat, like,
'cause you can't go anywhere.
Whenever a plane lands,
everyone's just in a--
"Come on. Come on. Come on."
You can't go--You're gonna go
there. That's where you--
You literally go there.
"Come on, come on."
You can't--I don't understand
why people are in a hurry to go.
You know who's even worse?
The people at the window.
You have no right
to be in a hurry.
You're sitting there like,
"Come on, come on.
Come on!"
Yeah. Oh, that's good. Yeah.
Yeah, pass me my luggage, pass
it to me now. Right now. Yeah.
I'm glad I didn't sit down
for two more minutes.
This is much more comfortable.
Just stay in your seat.
Just wait.
Ebola made it worse,
a hundred times worse, you know,
'cause now everyone wants to
get out of the plane.
Coughing, sneezing,
you can feel the tension.
And as we're about to leave,
the air hostess comes back on
the P.A., and she goes,
"Ladies and gentlemen,
back in your seats, please.
"Everybody back in your seats.
Unfortunately, right now,
"we have a health and safety
"that needs to come on board
just to make sure
"that everything is A-OK,
due to Ebola.
"We're just gonna make sure
that everything is fine.
"So please stay in your seats,
ladies and gentlemen.
Again, apologies for the delay."
She says this
and then this man comes on,
the health and safety official,
And he has with him a list
of all the African passengers
and a thermometer, right,
a digital laser thermometer.
And he comes on
and his job is to scan
all the African passengers
and get their temperature.
And I think the way it works
is, like, if you're very hot,
then you've got Ebola, right.
So he's got the list
and he walks around,
scans the passengers
and gets the thing,
walks down, takes their names
off the list,
gets the temperature,
gets the names,
temperature, names.
Finally gets to where I'm seated
and does the weirdest thing.
He scans the passenger
opposite me,
moves to my aisle,
looks at me, looks at my name,
looks back at me.
And then he just shrugs
and walks away.
Almost as if
I wasn't African enough.
I've never felt so conflicted
in my life.
You know, because
don't get me wrong, right.
I never want anyone to think
I have Ebola.
But I also don't want anyone to
that I can't have Ebola.
You don't know me.
You don't know
what I'm capable of.
I could have all the Ebola
in the world.
- I'm there
trying to cheer myself up.
Like, "Chin up, Trevor.
You could have Ebola.
"Chin up, kid, come on, come on.
Come on, you could have Ebola."
And he walks to the back
of the plane,
scans the rest of the
passengers, gets to the tail,
and he realizes
he's now missing a name.
So he looks back through
the plane,
can't figure out
what's going on.
I know it's me. I know it's me,
but I'm not gonna help him.
No. He had his chance.
He had a good Ebola man
and he let him go.
And so I watch him panic,
and as he panics,
the air hostess comes back
down the plane.
She goes, "Hey, what's going on?
I need to get the people out."
He goes, "Yeah, I know. I got
a problem with the Ebola list.
I can't figure out where the--
where the passenger is."
And she's like, "Yeah,
I gotta get the people out."
He's like, "Look, I know.
This is killing me as well,
but I just gotta figure out."
She's like, "Yeah, yeah,
"if I don't get them out,
I'm dead. I'm dead.
I gotta get the people going."
He's like, "Yeah, I know.
Just calm down.
Just give me a second,"
and now--
now you can feel the tension
building on the plane.
People start whispering,
there's murmurs going around,
'cause some people are hearing
pieces of the conversations.
Like broken telephone as it goes
down the plane,
all they're hearing is,
"Yeah, yeah, Ebola. Ebola.
Killing the people. Dead, dead,
everybody out of here. Dead."
You can feel the tension.
People start looking
at each other.
The guy opposite me
didn't even hide it.
He was like, "It's you.
It's you! Ebola, it's you!"
I was like, "Dude,
I do not have Ebola.
Stop saying that.
Stop saying that."
He's like, "It's you, damn it.
It's you with your coughing."
I was like, "If you don't
shut up, I'll cough on you.
I'll cough on you now."
He was like, "What?"
I was like, "I'll cough...
He was like,
"What, I'll kill you."
I was like, "I'll kill you
first. [coughs]"
Everyone on the plane
starts losing it.
The people are going crazy.
Everyone is stressed.
People want to leave,
and in the middle of the chaos,
in the midst of all of this,
I'll never forget.
A Middle Eastern man
maybe four rows behind me
dressed in very traditional
he stands up
and he sticks his head
into the conversation being had
between the air hostess
and the safety official,
and he goes,
"Excuse me. Pardon me.
Sorry to interrupt.
"I couldn't help noticing
what you are talking.
"I just want to say
maybe you want to check.
"I noticed that gentleman over
there was coughing little bit,
"and then he never liked
anything [indistinct].
"Yeah, I thought
he was wearing a hood.
"Something about him,
I don't know.
"Something just made me
a little bit uncomfortable.
"I thought maybe you want to
check. There, I said.
"You know--you know
what they say, see something,
"say something, yeah.
Just maybe you check there."
I'm like, "Really?
Et tu Ahmed."
[cheers and applause]
How the wheel has turned,
my friend.
You quickly forget
there was a time
when Muslims were
the black people of the sky.
And yet, now
you have deserted me.
'Cause I thought
he'd be on my side.
I thought if anyone understood
what it would be like
to be stigmatized,
it would be that man.
You know, I thought
we shared something.
I thought he'd look over and be
like, "Don't worry, brother.
I got your back."
Instead, he sold me
down the river,
threw me under the bus, like,
"Hey, it's your turn now.
I'm free, bitches."
And he was. I don't blame him.
He was.
'Cause Ebola was one of the
craziest things I've ever seen
in terms of the human condition,
how quickly we're taught
to panic.
You know, one minute
I'll be flying
and I'll see people
of Middle Eastern descent
getting pulled, you know,
random selections
beeping through the machine.
And then Ebola happened,
and all of a sudden
the focus shift--
The focus shifted,
and now it was Africans
being pulled aside,
Africans waiting.
Middle Easterners were cruising
through security.
And then almost as quickly
as it started,
it flipped back overnight.
And I'll never forget
when it happened.
Right after the "Charlie Hebdo"
attack in Paris.
That attack happened,
and almost the next day
Ebola wasn't a thing anymore.
Middle Easterners were back
in the spotlight.
Normal service had been resumed.
'Cause after "Charlie Hebdo,"
I would walk through airports
and no one gave a damn.
They didn't care about me,
where I was from,
nor the bananas in my bag.
I just--I just cruised
through security.
"Charlie Hebdo."
"Terrorist attack in France."
Everyone led with it.
CNN, "Breaking news.
Terrorists have attacked
'Charlie Hebdo' headquarters."
BBC, "And in breaking news,
unconfirmed report says--saying
12 people have been killed by
terrorists who've attacked"--
Everyone said
they were terrorists.
It was weird to me
'cause we didn't know
that they were terrorists.
We just knew that
they were Middle Eastern.
But immediately
we went to terrorist,
because if you're Middle Eastern
that's a terrorist.
That's the world we live in now.
Yeah, if you're Middle Eastern,
terrorism is your trademark.
It's so crazy how easy it is
to get people
to hate a group of people,
'cause that's what happened.
"Charlie Hebdo," and then
everyone started saying things
about Muslims.
"These damn Muslims. These
damn--We gotta stop Islam.
"That's what we gotta do.
We gotta stop these Islamists.
"These Muslims.
"Now, I'm not saying all Muslims
are terrorists,
but all terrorists are Muslims."
It sounds really smart,
doesn't it?
Sounds really smart,
but it's not.
It's stupid
and it's hate speech.
That's what it is. It really is.
[cheers and applause]
Terrorism is not a race,
it's an act.
It evolved over time.
Yes, right now we're dealing
with extremism,
Islamic terror in some parts
of the world.
But if you go to other parts
of the world
and ask them
what a terrorist is,
they'll show you
a different face.
You go to England 20 years ago
and you said,
"What's a terrorist?"
They'd show you
a drunk Irishman, right.
I didn't need to say drunk.
I could have just said Irishman.
[laughter and applause]
There was a time when--
when Nelson Mandela
was labeled a terrorist.
Like, terrorism is an act,
it's not a face.
People say these things,
"Well, these Muslims,
"you gotta admit,
there's an awful lot of them.
Awful lot of them
doing the same thing."
I'm like, "Yeah, but you know
who's not terrorists?
Most Muslims."
Yeah, most Muslims
are not terrorists.
I'm not even Muslim,
but it gets to me,
because I'm like most Muslim
people are not terrorists.
You know how you know this?
Because we're still alive, yeah.
They've had ample opportunity
to take us out, people.
There's a billion Muslim people
on the planet.
They've had every chance.
They could have killed us
using those falafels
they sell us after midnight
when we come out of the club.
They could have
wiped us all out
with their killer kebabs.
They've had the means.
It's so weird to see
our prejudices, you know,
the way people are labeled
in the media, in society.
It's not just Muslim people.
You see it with black people
as well, you know.
People saying these things like,
you know, I remember
when the--when the riots
were happening in Baltimore.
People quickly jumped,
"These thugs.
"These are a bunch of thugs
running around. These thugs.
"You know, I'm starting to think
that black people like crime.
"That's what I'm starting
to think.
"Is that the only way
they can deal with it?
Black people like crime."
No, no, black people
don't like crime,
because you know
who's not a criminal?
Most black people.
Yeah, most black people
are not criminals.
[cheers and applause]
Black people hate crime
just like everybody else.
It's not like black people
are cheering crime on.
It's not like they're watching
a black guy do some shit.
Like, "Yeah, Darnell,
you steal that shit, man.
You steal that shit. Yeah!"
When black people see
a black person doing a crime,
they're also looking
at the person like,
"That nigger crazy!"
You gotta fight the act,
not the face,
not a face that you put the--
It's not the--
It's not the same thing,
and everybody has it, you know.
If you're Middle Eastern
and you do something,
if you're a black person--
black person gets shot
in a bad neighborhood, the first
story they always lead with--
Always lead with the same thing.
"And today in Compton, a man was
shot in what is suspected
to be gang-related violence."
It's always
gang-related violence.
It never says anything else.
They were just two guys.
probably gang-related.
"Why do you say that?"
"Well, because, you know,
in this area there's...
Why is it gang-related?
It's always gang--
It doesn't matter who it is.
Could be two kids,
someone got shot,
"A three-year-old was shot today
by a four-year-old
in what is suspected to be
gang-related violence."
"But they're kids."
"Yeah, they recruit very young."
"It wasn't a mistake?"
"No, it's not a mistake.
It's never a mistake."
But if it's in a rich
neighborhood, the story changes,
'cause you'll never hear them
reporting the same thing
about the Hamptons.
"And today in the Hamptons,
a man was shot
"in what is suspected to be
gang-related violence.
"The Burberry gang have been
known to operate
around these parts
and recently"--
They never say those things.
In fact, you're more likely
to see the police commissioner
going, "A lot--We've just
conducted an investigation.
"We found out that a firearm was
discharged earlier today
"and the bullet left
the--the weapon...
"penetrating a victim,
and we're gonna investigate
it was misfired or"--
"I'm sorry, did you say--
Did someone shoot the gun?"
"Well, we're not--we're not
ruling anything out right now,
"but--but we're checking to see
if there was a mechanism failure
"What about the person?"
"Well, we--we don't think that
this was intentional.
We don't"--
"So wait, we live in a world
"where you investigate a gun
before you investigate
a rich white man,
is that what you're saying?"
"No, no, no. No, that--
That's not what we're saying.
"But I mean, you must remember,
the gun is black,
"but that's not the point.
The point is"--
[cheers and applause]
It's so weird
how our prejudices
have given everyone their lane.
Middle Easterner does something,
they're a terrorist.
Black person does something,
they're gang-related,
they're a thug.
But if a white guy walks into a
church killing nine people dead,
what do they lead with
on the news?
"And today
in an isolated incident
"a lone gunman
walked into a church,
opening fire
and killing nine people."
It's always a lone gunman, yeah.
"A lone gunman with no ties
to society whatsoever."
They always separate him
as quickly as possible.
I love how they do that.
"He kept to himself
and was notoriously unfriendly.
He had no friends whatsoever."
No, no friends, really?
No, no friends?
Not even one?
Not even one?
[cheers and applause]
No friends?
Not even on Facebook?
No, everyone has friends
on Facebook, come on.
You're telling me
the guy had no friends.
It's almost like as the shooting
happens, everyone's like,
"What? Dillon? Unfriend,
unfriend, unfriend, unfriend,
unfriend, unfriend, unfriend,
unfriend, unfriend."
It's the weirdest thing ever.
And the first thing they always
go to is mental instability.
That's what they go to,
the first thing.
They never go with terrorism.
"What happened? Are we--are we
saying this was terrorism?"
"Whoa, wait. We're not gonna
jump to that conclusion.
"This was a young man who was
really mentally--
He was unstable.
He was a troubled young man."
But he was a terrorist 'cause he
committed a terrorist act.
He walked into a building,
shot a bunch of people
to try to spread a message
of hatred, right.
He was trying to pass something.
He was trying to do something.
That's an act of terror.
"Now, well--well, look.
No, not necessarily.
He was a troubled young man."
"Yes, and a terrorist."
"Yeah, but he was
mentally unstable."
"Just like terrorists."
That's exactly
what a terrorist is.
There's no normal reason
to blow yourself up.
That is ridiculous as shit.
You're crazy.
[cheers and applause]
You're crazy,
but you're still a terrorist.
It's weird. It's almost like
without realizing it,
what they're saying
on the news is,
"You know, this young white man
"is clearly struggling
with something.
"I mean, because why would you
forgo all that privilege?
Why would you"--
"I mean,
he was a young white man.
"Why would you throw that
all away by--
"I mean, if he was a minority, I
get it, 'cause that shit sucks.
But I mean, why would you
throw it--He must be crazy."
This is madness.
I refuse to be part of this.
I refuse to live in a world
who will deny white people,
the moniker of terrorist.
That's racism, people,
that's what that is.
If a white man, through hard
work and determination,
commits an act of terror,
he deserves to be called
a terrorist.
He worked for it, damn it.
You don't deprive him of that
because of the color
of his skin.
You give it to him
and you put him up there.
Bin Waleed and Charlie.
It's terrorism.
We all--we all have our
prejudices, don't get me wrong.
It's not like I--
You know, I try to be better.
I really do.
I realize every now and again
I do things that I'm not
particularly proud of, you know.
Like, for instance,
whenever I fly into America,
if I've been out of the country
and flying back into America,
I always try to fly
on Middle Eastern airlines
So I'll fly on Emirates or Qatar
or Etihad or one of those.
And the reason I do this
is because I feel
there's less chance...
That somebody--
That some--And this may sound a
little bit racist,
You have every right
to be offended, you really--
But I feel like there's less
chance that somebody
will attack one of those planes,
for--for a few reasons.
Number one, because they're
not proving a point.
The plane's already
Muslim owned, Muslim run.
They're not converting anybody.
And secondly,
and more importantly on my side,
I think there's a small chance
somebody could defuse
the situation.
Someone could talk them down
just because they speak
the same language, yeah.
That's--that's half of terror
for me
is the fact that you don't
understand what the person says.
The guy's speaking Arabic.
Arabic, it puts fear
in the hearts of all men.
[imitating Arabic]
You never think good things
when you hear Arabic.
Yeah, we watch--we watch
too many movies and TV shows.
Like, you--whenever
you hear Arabic,
then some bad shit happens
That's always what happens.
[imitating Arabic]
[imitates explosion]
It's never something cool
or sexy.
It's never like,
[imitating Arabic]
It's never that.
And so it makes you think, it
makes you think a certain way.
I know--I know
I'm not any different.
I was on a flight,
my first Middle Eastern flight,
flying on an Emirates plane,
and this man emerged
from the galley.
He had a long beard
and he was carrying a box,
and he just went off,
he was like,
[imitating Arabic]
And I was like, "Aah!"
[scream fades]
Chicken, please.
Sorry, I--
I get really excited
with chicken.
I'm--I'm sorry for that.
"That, my friend, excited?
You looked petrified."
I said, "I am, of the flavor.
"Chicken, wah!
I love chicken.
I love chicken so much."
He's like, "Oh, is that the--
is that the black thing?"
I said, "That's racist."
It's just--
it's just a little thing
that makes me think
there's a chance
that if someone understands
the language
they may be able
to talk the guy down.
You--there could be. There could
be a terrorist on the plane.
Guy with a suicide vest.
We'll be flying
40,000 feet in the sky.
Man jumps off, losing his head.
There he is,
[imitating Arabic]
And just maybe, maybe some guy
will be opposite him like,
What are you doing?"
"I'm going to blow up this plane
to show everybody
that Allah is great!"
"Yeah, but...
we know this."
"Everybody here knows this.
So what are you doing?"
"I wanted to show all of you
the power of--"
"What are you showing us
if we already know, huh?
"What are you showing us?
Are you saying
"we are not good Muslims, is
that what you are saying, huh?
"Are you saying we do not know
the power of Allah?
"Is that what you are saying?
You are saying we are bad
Muslims. What are you saying?"
"No, my friend, please, I was
not trying to offend you.
"I was just trying to kill you.
Listen to what I
wanted to show you."
"What are you showing me, huh?
"Are you saying I do not pray,
is that what you are saying?
"You're a better Muslim than me?
"You think I'm not good Muslim
just because
"I'm watching "Cloudy with
a Chance of Meatballs,
is that what you think, huh?
What are you saying?"
"No, I'm not saying that.
I wanted to--"
"What are you show--You show
nothing. You make us look bad.
"Why don't you preach? Why
don't you talk to people, huh?
"This is not Islam. What are you
doing with your stupid dress?
Blah blah blah, blah blah blah.
You make us all look bad."
"No, no, I was not--"
"No, you're not trying nothing.
"No, you even got
your vest backward.
You don't even know
what you are doing here."
"Sorry, it's my first time.
I never done this before."
"Yeah, yes, story, story. Sit
down, shut up, eat something."
"I don't know if I can--"
"No, it's all challah.
"You can eat it.
Don't worry, you can eat it.
"You can eat it.
There's a small chance
that could happen.
And that's why I do it.
[cheers and applause]
I'll do anything
that makes my flying experience
a little bit more comfortable.
Ah, you guys are fun, man.
You really are.
Thank you very much
for coming out.
Thank you. I appreciate it.
[cheers and applause]
I really appreciate it.
It means the world to me.
And I mean that, literally,
it means the world to me.
Stand-up comedy changed my life
I don't think I would have ever
had the opportunity to travel.
Grew up in Soweto
in South Africa.
[cheers and applause]
Oh, thank you. Thank you.
I didn't choose it,
but thank you.
I don't say it in like a--
like a sob story way, you know.
'Cause everyone was poor
in Soweto,
which was cool, you know.
Like, when everyone's poor
together, it's cool.
It's fine, yeah.
'Cause you don't feel it
as much.
It's not like anyone can tease
you and be like,
"Ha ha, you are poor."
"Yeah, so are you."
"Ah, this sucks."
But I would--I probably never
would have traveled the world
were it not for stand-up comedy,
you know.
I'm the first person
in my family
to ever board an airplane.
First person in my family to
ever get kicked off an airplane.
I would have never--I would have
never learned about America.
I would have never come out to
places like Washington, D.C.
I would have never learned
to travel
on the other side of the road.
I would have never learned about
charming racism
had I not come to
this beautiful country, yeah.
Probably something
that changed my life forever,
charming racism.
Classic American
charming racism.
I never knew there was
such a thing, growing up.
And I thought
I knew all about racism.
I was, you know,
coming from the home
of some of the best racism
in the world.
No, and I don't mean to brag,
but South Africa is, by far--
Like--like we've got--we've got
top quality racism out there.
Like, it's handcrafted.
You don't get racism like that
Like, I've seen racism
all over the world.
To be honest,
the standards have dropped.
It's not what it used to be.
Like, I'm--I'm talking about
quality racism, you know.
Now, it's cheap
and mass-produced,
probably made in China now.
I'm talking about real racism.
And America showed me,
showed me a wonderful, new type.
You know, I've always considered
myself a racism connoisseur.
I appreciate the finer racisms
in life.
Not all racisms,
don't get me wrong.
I have my favorites.
I have my not-so-favorites.
You know, like, blatant racism,
I love.
I love blatant racism.
You know exactly where you stand
with the person.
It's often old people that
exhibit blatant racism.
Yeah, they tell you
exactly how they feel.
"This is what I think
about you."
And you're like, "Yeah,
and you're gonna die soon."
I love this.
We shared.
There's racisms I don't
particularly care for,
like subtle racism I don't like.
Really don't like subtle--
You know where people don't tell
you they're racists.
They just leave a series
of clues,
hope you'll figure it out
for yourself.
I hate that,
who'll say things like,
"We don't need your people
around here."
"Your people."
"Tall people?"
"No, damn it, your people."
"Friendly people?"
"No, I'm talking about your--"
"Well, I'm not gonna help you.
Say it.
"If you believe it so much,
say it.
"Have the balls, stand behind
your convictions. Say it.
"Don't leave a series of clues,
and now I'm working this out.
"What is this, racism sudoku?
Are you serious?
Just--just say it. Be proud."
But don't justify it.
Rather embrace it, be blatant.
Or be American and be charming.
I discovered charming racism
in a place called
Lexington, Kentucky.
I don't know if you've ever
been, but you really need to go.
It's a beautiful place.
Old-school charming racism
with a smile
and the tip of a hat.
Everyone in Lexington had
this vibe, this smile,
the charm, the drawl--
Oh, the Southern drawl,
I love it so much, the way
they would speak out there.
The grammar's horrible,
but it's still beautiful.
Well, 'cause the sentences
don't really make sense.
They'd be like, "Y'all ain't
never done gone see none
of them out"--and it's like,
That's not English.
Your autocorrect is broken.
I don't know what that is,
but it's--but it's beautiful.
You know, in fact,
when they speak really fast,
sometimes it sounds like
somebody's playing a banjo
inside their mouths, that's--
That's what it sounds like
to me.
I asked two men for directions,
and this--They started arguing.
It was the most beautiful sound
I've ever heard in my life.
The guy was like,
"Where you goin', boy?"
I said, "I'm going to the--to
the theater. Can you direct me?"
He said, "Y'all get on the
[indecipherable accent] road.
[indecipherable accent]
that way."
The friend was like,
"No, [indecipherable accent]."
"[indecipherable accent]."
"[indecipherable accent]."
It was almost--
[cheers and applause]
It sounded like someone started
a Mumford & Sons concert
in their mouth, 'cause one
minute they were talking
and then they got into it
and the guy was like,
"[indecipherable accent]."
"[indecipherable accent]."
" [indecipherable]"
" [indecipherable]"
" [indecipherable]"
[continues singsong
indecipherable speech]
[indecipherable] that way
[cheers and applause]
The reason I'll never forget
Lexington, though,
is because I met a woman
out there.
A gorgeous, gorgeous woman.
I'll never forget her
till the day I die.
She walks into the lobby
of the theater
where I was standing
with some friends,
and she was absolutely stunning.
A classic Southern belle.
She had long, big blond hair,
giant boobs.
She strutted her stuff
into the lobby,
pushing people out of the way.
She made her way straight
for me, straight for me.
Came to me, pointed me
in the face, and she was like,
"Excuse me, baby.
Excuse me, honey.
May I chat to you for a moment,
I said, "Yes, of course.
Hi, hi. How are you?
How are you, ma'am?"
She said, "Honey,
I just want to let you know
"that you are by far
the funniest
and handsomest nigger
I done ever seen!"
And I was like, "What?"
I was so shocked.
'Cause isn't it "most handsome,"
not "handsomest"?
Their grammar
is just crazy, man.
No, you guys have been
too much fun.
Thank you so much
for coming out tonight.
I had a great time with you.
Thank you very much.
[cheers and applause]
[jazz music]
[cheers and applause]