Larry Charles' Dangerous World of Comedy (2019) s01e03 Episode Script

Part 3: Race

1 Comedy in America has its own unique dangers.
Racism.
White supremacy.
Violence.
Drugs.
Just say no to drugs.
Poverty.
And injustice.
And especially hate.
So how does an African American, or a Native American, or an illegal alien, or any minority in this country laugh at their dire situation? How do you make comedy after decades of oppression? How do you make comedy when you can't pay your bills? How do you make comedy when you're under attack? I'm Larry Charles and this is the Dangerous World of Comedy.
It takes brave people to make dangerous comedy.
Meet Ms.
Pat.
Growing up in the hood, I've been through a lot in my life.
I have.
I've been shot two times and hit by a dump truck.
[audience laughs] Nobody gives a fuck who shot me.
They're like: "Who hit you with a dump truck?" [audience laughs and cheers] The same dude who shot me.
[audience laughs] We was in love.
[audience laughs] I wish this shit wasn't true.
[Larry] It's an ungodly hour for comedians, we know that.
- Not for moms.
- Yeah But for comedians, so thank you for being here.
So tell me about those early memories of your childhood.
Let's start with that.
My mama carried a .
22 pistol and she, For some reason, she used to like to shoot in the house.
All the time.
And if we didn't move fast enough, pow-pow, "Bitches, get in here!" Most people would come over and be scared but that was just normal life.
It was like, she didn't want shit, she just wants you to turn the TV.
I guess each bullet she shot, we knew what she wanted us to do.
"Come get me some water.
Pour me some gin.
Light my cigarette.
Light my weed.
" One day I forgot to wash the dishes, she busted my room like a sniper.
Pow-pow, "Bitches, didn't I tell y'all to wash them dishes.
" I'm thinking like, we poor as hell, where does she keep getting all these bullets from? So a lot of time young girls look for love in the wrong place.
And I was one of those young girls.
I never had anybody to tell me they loved me.
And - I met a man when I was 12.
- Right.
I went to a party with my sister and my cousin.
And my sister had said, you know: "If you don't give up no pussy, ain't nobody going to be your boyfriend.
" So I - I went along with it.
- Yeah.
And he, and he You know, one of the things my mama told me about a man, She said: "If a man don't hit you, he don't love you.
" So when the abuse started, I'm thinking the more he hit me, the more he love me.
"Oh, black my eye again.
I'm in love.
" [laughs] [Larry] Wow.
[Ms.
Pat] One day, he hit me in the head with a gun and, when he hit me, the gun went off and fucking took a big chunk of the back of my head out and I'm bleeding like a dog on the floor, he run off and leave me.
And I was still in love.
I was still in love.
I was like: "Oh, my God, he shot me.
I know he loves me.
" My mom, 'cause she had told me, if they don't hit you they don't love you.
I was like: "My mama has never been shot, so this motherfucker really loves me.
" You know, one thing he told me.
He said, "No matter how many hoes I fuck, you're number one.
" And there's nothing like being number one in anybody's life.
Wow, yeah.
And he fucked a lot of hoes.
[laughs] You should needlepoint that.
[Ms.
Pat laughs] Because when you're 16 years old in the hood and you got two kids, there's only two things you can do for a job.
Either sell drugs or sell your body.
So I did the one that paid the most.
It's going nationwide, especially among the young.
A drug so pure and so strong it might just as well be called crack of doom.
And the deals go down quickly.
You've just witnessed a buy.
Damn.
Crack.
Tell us about the second time you were shot.
Um, I was standing outside a car.
I had a Cadillac.
I think I'm 16 at the time.
I was standing there one night and I'm running inventory through my small business.
i [audience laughs in anticipation] And this guy ride up and he started shooting, so I started running.
Y'all, I ran through this alley and I jumped over this fence.
I know what y'all are thinking.
"Ms.
Pat.
your big ass ain't jumped over no fence.
" Fuck y'all.
That was 20 years ago.
Back when fences were really strong.
[audience laughs] I ran into my girl and she was like: "What's wrong?" I'm like: "They're out there shooting.
" She was like: "Why you got blood all over your shirt?" I looked down, my whole right side is full of blood.
So, you know ladies I'm thinking, you know, maybe I snagged my nipples on the fence.
Because they hang like that.
I'll give y'all a few minutes.
 I know this is some scary shit to white people.
Don't feel sorry for me.
If you're feeling sorry for me, write me a check.
I look at my shirt and I'm bleeding really bad.
I'm like: "Get me to the hospital.
" Y'all we get to the hospital and the doctor examined me.
He was like: "Ma'am, somebody blew your right nipple off.
" I'm like: "Like a bull's-eye?" He was like: "Yeah, but you're lucky, because if you was an A cup, you would have died.
" Those little titties would have got you killed, baby.
At this point, kids out of wedlock, dealing crack, shot twice, Ms.
Pat's life was spiralling out of control.
There was no shortage of the dangerous, just a conspicuous absence of comedy.
[Ms.
Pat] So then I ended up going to jail for over a year.
That's when my life really slowed down and I just started praying, dude.
I'm in this abusive relationship and I went to God.
And I don't get on my knees much, but I got on my knees and this is the prayer I prayed.
I said: "Lord, I've asked you many times to change this man and make him be the father that I need him to be.
" I said: "But I come to you tonight and I say fuck that nigga, change me.
" And I woke up and I never desired him again.
[Larry] Wow.
Alright, so at what point Where do you from jail to stand-up, how does that work? Well, I get out of jail and I met a caseworker.
And I went there trying to run a scheme.
"Oh, I had such a hard life and da-da-da.
" And this lady would just laugh her ass off at these crazy stories.
[Larry laughs] She said: "Girl, you got stories like Richard Pryor.
" And I was like: "Who the hell is Richard Pryor?" And it seems fair they're killing my car to me, right? Because my wife was going to leave my ass.
I was like: "Not in this motherfucker, you ain't.
" And she was like: "I'm telling you, you should go and do stand-up.
" And she just kept pushing me and I went to open mic.
Hey, how y'all doing? I'm a mom, but the only thing I don't like about being a mom is having kids.
And I was like: "Wait a minute, they're gonna give me a job and not check my criminal background history? I can do this shit.
" [both laugh] But Richard was so honest and I was like: "Oh my God, you can just say all of this?" And the more I watched Richard, the more I just wanted to tell it all.
I don't hold anything back and Richard Pryor made me not be ashamed.
[Larry] I can understand that.
Tell us what the media gets wrong about black life.
Every fucking thing.
Hey, black people, stop having 72% of your babies out of wedlock and your kids won't be going won't be massly incarcerated and arrested.
Black Lives Matter is killing Americans.
The Irish got over it.
They don't run around going: "Irish lives matter.
" The reason Trayvon Martin died was because he looked a certain way Santa just is white.
Jesus was a white man too.
[Larry] And yet still, you still use humor as a weapon of survival.
- Yes.
- And as a weapon of healing.
And you know what's crazy? I take all that that fucking negative that I was handed in my life, and I make a good living off of it.
You know, I tell people every day on stage, "If you don't take nothing from my show, I hope you take one thing.
Learn how to laugh at the bullshit in your life.
" Because when you can laugh at the bullshit in your life, then you've got control of that.
We know about Eddie and Dave and Chris and the other male, post-Pryor African American comedians.
Ms.
Pat is a woman who carries that courageous legacy too.
But there's a new African American comedy that's not about standing on stage and telling jokes.
It's about disrupting the social order.
Know what it is.
This is Boonk.
His comedy is not talking about dangerous things.
It's about doing dangerous things.
This is comedy that scares white people.
This is comedy with balls.
[female voice]how many bands are on their claws.
So if there's three bands, it's three claws.
It's three pounds.
So how much is one? So one band would be one pound.
- One band would be one pound? - Yeah.
And it goes up by age per pound.
So one pound is seven years.
What's the actual price? [female voice] 31.
99 for a pound and a quarter.
Can I hold one? [female voice] Er okay, you're not supposed to be [Boonk] Holy shit, I've got a lobster! [female] You are, you've got to [Boonk] Ooh! Ooh! Lobster! I've got a fass-ass lobster, know what I'm saying? A whole lot of gang shit.
Holy shit, I've got a lobster.
Didn't know I was coming! John Hill Jr.
turned an online following into viral fame, recording stunts that have racked up millions of views on Instagram alone.
I call it Boonkin'.
Shit, I want the whole fucking thing, my nigga.
- Hey, boonking! - Hey! These cookies are good as a motherfucker, bro.
"Boonk," it means a blunt laced with coke.
Now it means taking somebody's shit.
[Larry] Who were you before you were making videos? What were you doing? Who were you? What was your life about before you discovered this? I wasn't doing shit.
I wasn't doing nothing.
But now Boonk is doing better.
Much better.
[rap music plays] Gang shit! - [rap music plays] - [screams] Hey, Boonk done a whole lot of gang shit! And Boonk got a whole lot of gang shit.
Know what I'm saying? A whole lot of gang shit.
Oh, my God! I was just on my Instagram Live one day and somebody said: "Hey, make your own chicken in Popeyes.
" So I went and made my own chicken in Popeyes and then it went viral.
Don't wait for them.
They take forever.
Know what I'm saying? Don't wait for them.
Boonk done a whole lot of gang shit.
Know what I'm saying? - So I kept doing it.
- [Larry]Right, right.
Tell me about the planning that goes into a video.
Er [Larry] Or the non-planning.
Right.
I don't plan.
- Okay.
- I just do them.
A whole lot of titties, bro.
Know what I'm saying? But, yeah, Dr.
Miami.
Look, bro.
Her tits right now are probably like this size.
- Know what I'm saying? - Like an A cup.
That's little.
A cup, yeah.
We need bigger than that, bro.
Bigger.
Way bigger than that.
Like right here is perfect.
- This.
- Those are Ds.
Ds? How much are deez nuts? These will run you about $8,000.
- 8,000? - 8,000.
For these, bro? - 8,000.
- Damn.
It's the gift that keeps on giving though.
It is, you're right.
You're absolutely right.
Okay.
So I'm gonna hold on to these and then a whole lot of gang shit, know what I'm saying? A whole lot of gang shit.
Run off with some titty implants.
Oh, titty implants! I got the titties, I got the titties.
[Larry] Okay, that's good.
But you spent a little time in jail.
Yeah, I was in there for two weeks.
- Two weeks? - I was in there two weeks.
And me going to jail helped me blow up.
[Larry] Exactly.
It had the opposite effect that the society wants really.
When everybody sees I went to jail for my videos, everybody's like: "Yo, his videos are real.
" - [Larry] Yeah, yeah.
- [Boonk] So.
Was it helpful for some people to know you? Was it helpful in jail? As soon as I walked in: "Oh, shit, Boonk gang! We're in here with Boonk gang! We're finna catch another case.
Boonk gang.
Oh, shit!" [Larry] Let me ask you a couple of serious questions.
One of the things I thought about when I was watching your videos, it's like a metaphor for race in America.
So you're like a crazy black man out of control.
- Right.
- And that scares people.
Show me your hands! Gun, gun! [sound of gunshots] Do you have any thoughts about that kind of stuff? I mean Not really.
See, I don't want people to look at me as a crazy black man.
Trying to imbue his pranks with racial or social or political significance was my issue.
My problem, not his.
He really didn't care.
I'd obviously thought about it way more than he had.
[Larry] Your fans get it and they love it and they want more.
But for the people that you're pranking, they don't get it really until too late.
[both laugh] So you see all these innocent black guys, your age, being killed.
- Right.
- You know? I mean, so do you think about that stuff at all? You just don't think about it? I don't.
Like I said, I don't think.
- [pop, splash] - Woo! Woo! - [Larry] Yeah, yeah.
- [Boonk] I'm making a statement.
Boonk gang! Being a white prankster is easy.
Think of Jackass or Borat.
People might get mad, but you probably won't get killed.
For the black prankster, that's a threat.
That sounds like a recipe for stand-your-ground.
Boonk's statement? He's still alive.
Hey, hey, where are you going? Some people call Boonk's comedy anti-comedy.
Comedy that you aren't sure is funny.
This idea began in the '60s, when everybody was anti something.
Anti-war, anti-Nixon, anti-communist, anti-American.
We had anti-heroes, anti-Semites, and, of course, the most of anti of all, the Antichrist.
Naturally, this gave rise to anti-comedy.
We want pigs! [pigs squealing] Sir, why did you decide to become a candidate? In a time when we were anti everything, a new genre of comedy emerged in the '60s.
Anti-comedy.
Comedy that no-one was really sure was indeed comedy.
Comedy that did not result in laughter, but in violence and confrontations.
This led to the absurdist theatre of professional wrestling, where everyone was part of the show and in on the joke and, finally and most dramatically, to Andy Kaufman.
Okay, now, just be quiet! A comedian who courted booze and walkouts, a conceptual artist who worked in nightclubs instead of art galleries.
Chapter 1.
Whether he was reading the entire Great Gatsby to a hostile audience or wrestling women, Andy was willing to risk hate and anger to explore his own dangerous world of comedy.
I had the pleasure of working with him and being inspired by him on my first TV job, Fridays.
- Look, I'm just trying to have fun.
- Bobby, go to commercial.
Everyone is so uptight around here.
I don't understand.
Bobby, go to commercial, man.
What? Why do you have to be such a What? [yells and whistles] Come on, man.
[more yells and whistles] This was the dangerous comedy of the time.
But rather than inspiring a new generation of leftist anarchists, this mantle of anti-comedy has instead, shockingly, been co-opted by the so-called Alt-Right.
How did that happen? How did white people get to take advantage of being the majority and then whine and complain about being the minority at the same time? Many people wanted to kick Andy Kaufman's ass, but he was doing performance art.
He was playing a role.
I'm not really a wrestler.
But what if the role you're playing is really you? Welcome, everybody.
Let's meet some trolls.
Weev, you call yourself a troll.
What do you do? Largely, I cause very large problems, social problems generally, for very powerful people.
We have new information this morning about racist flyers that were sent to several colleges.
[announcer] Now this man, 30-year-old Andrew Auernheimer, claims that he was able to find vulnerable web-connected devices in order to be able to print those flyers remotely.
I have with me Baked Alaska.
He's an alt-right activist This Baked Alaska guy, who's like a famous shit poster? I just woke up, my Twitter account doesn't work.
It says, "You're permanently suspended," even though I'm verified, even though I have 200,000 followers, even though I didn't break any rules.
Twitter suspended me for sending a gas chamber meme.
I thought it was funny, personally.
[male] It was funny! Yeah Baked Alaska We love our cops Our law enforcement We love our military They're important You would think, even hope, that these guys are confined to the fringes of society.
They're not.
They have more friends and followers than I do.
[Larry] Tell me about Baked Alaska as a comic persona.
Are you, is Tim Baked Alaska? Is Baked is Tim gone, you know? Well, it's a mixing bowl.
Baked Alaska is performance art.
Performance? Art? I don't think so.
[Larry] Do you use the N-word freely? Not especially freely.
You know, not on a day-to-day basis.
What is this organization that you You have, some kind of trolling organization.
Is that I was elected president of the Gay Nigger Association of America in 2010.
I was not the first president and I was not the last president, but I was the most notable president.
I get along with everybody.
I don't care.
It doesn't matter who you are, what race you are, you know, what religion you are.
I get along with everybody.
Oh, really? I guess it's everybody else's fault.
No racism in Charlottesville? Then maybe you should get the fuck out of here.
Later.
Every time you call me a Nazi, I get more powerful, so keep it up.
- You're a cuck.
- You're a faggot.
Get the fuck out of here.
This guy's stalking me.
He's been following me.
Yeah, yeah.
Look at him.
He lost his hat.
Who's the cuck now, bitch boy? Whoa, whoa! Charlottesville was crazy.
I mean it's a you know, life-changing experience in a way that you can't really describe, being there.
I know the media, all of the media goes: "This was a white supremacist Nazi rally.
" And all that.
That is completely false.
It was not a Nazi rally.
That is ridiculous.
Jews will not replace us! Jews will not replace us! We show up and You know, I got attacked.
I got sprayed in the face with a chemical.
I need milk.
I need milk! Mace to the eye! Straight to the eye.
Do you think that outraging the opposition, making people angry Is that part of the goal of this sort of, quote, comedy? I'm a big believer in data.
I approach what I do in a very professional manner and when it became clear When it became clear that comedy accomplished what I did better than anything else, that's when I decided that would be my primary tactic.
I'm going to prison for arithmetic.
I added one to a (BLEEP) number on a public web server and I aggregated this data and gave it to a (BLEEP) journalist at that man's publication.
[Larry] With all the reading I've done about you, it never mentions anything about your childhood.
I'm curious, would you talk about your childhood, where you grew up, what your parents were like, what kind of kid you were? You know, it's been a long time.
I don't know.
I don't remember that well.
- [Larry] Yeah? - Yeah, it's You can tell you can be honest and say, "Hey, I don't want to talk about that.
" Because I don't believe you when you say you can't remember it.
When I was growing up, my dad was never proud of me.
He never I don't think he ever said he loved me until like late into my, or like Yeah, probably not until college.
He never told me he loved me.
And I thought that my parents might never understand what I'm doing, my comedy and my vision.
They might never get it, because it is a complex art.
Twitter is fucking gay Twitter is fucking gay You failed to catch three spies.
Blow out your brains! But mein Fuhrer, we are Nazis, we have no brains.
There's a lot of in-fighting in the Alt-Right community.
Milo doesn't like Richard, who doesn't like Mike.
And, of course, no-one likes Steve.
I wondered how Weev felt about some of these alt-right personalities.
[Larry] How do you feel about Alex Jones? Everywhere, it's: "Kill the whites!" Haiti is a literal crap hole.
White people aborted all their babies basically.
[Larry] Do you think that he's a useful, helpful No, I think he's a fucking He married a Jewess.
He's got a fucking Jew mongrel kid.
He says that Arabs run Hollywood.
You and I know that it's a joke to say that Arabs run Hollywood, right? Even Jews know that Jews run Hollywood.
That's, he's such a goddamn shill.
[Larry] Well, we have to run something, man.
I mean, there's not that many things we're allowed to run.
No, the banks, the media.
Just the most powerful institutions in the country.
You've got to run something, so run the most lucrative things that you can possibly run.
The things that control everything else.
[laughs] That's what that's what I love about the explanations, right? Where they're like: "Oh, yeah, the Jews were oppressed and that's why they had to take to banking.
" It's like: "Yes, the poor, oppressed guy in the middle ages counting Well, this is going well.
everybody else slaves away in the fields.
Do you fucking buy this shit? Coming out of the The king grants somebody a fucking, A fucking monopoly on This stuff must kill at the Nazi rallies.
think that dude's oppressed? It's the same shit with, they were like, "Oh, Harvard had a quota of Jews at 25%.
That's proof that it was a bigoted institution.
" It's like Jews are fucking 2% of the population and you're complaining that you get a fuck That reminds me, I've got to pick up bagels.
You guys are so fucking spoied.
So fucking rotten and spoiled.
And you fucking know it.
Okay.
Well, maybe so.
I mean I do enjoy pissing people off, for sure.
I can see, I'm good at finding people's buttons and pressing them.
You can't touch my property or me.
I'm pretty sure I can.
No, you've got to learn the law, man.
No, you've got to get your fucking camera out of my face.
- Whoa! - Get it out of my face.
- What the fuck? - I asked you to get it out of my face.
You just broke my phone.
I know you like to bully little people, right, with your Borat, with your bringing the fat, black prostitute to nice people [Larry] I was going to accuse you of the same thing, but go ahead.
Can I bring a guest to dinner? - This is my friend Lanelle.
- Hi.
Oh, okay.
Um - I apologise - Can she come for dessert? Absolutely not.
And neither can you.
I was like: "Wait.
 Borat was Back in 2013.
" I listed that as one of my biggest influences to my character.
And so I'm like, if anyone's going to get me, it's going to be you.
Oh, shit.
Really? [Borat] What is this man? This is a Yemenite Jew and he's working on a piece of jewelry.
The Yemenites were also jewelers.
Why do you have a picture of a Jew? Because I'm Jewish.
So I have lots of pictures of Jews.
[Larry] What are your religious beliefs? Do you have any? I I follow this belief system.
I follow Wotan.
But I don't literally believe that, you know, any of it's true.
[Larry] Right, right.
What do you think about Thor? Oh, I like I like Thor.
He's a great god.
Thor, God of Thunder.
I have his hammer on my arm actually.
In this part of the world, he would be called Perun.
How much of what you're saying to me, In your own mind, how much is serious and how much is a goof? Or is there a very definite distinction? What have I said that's like a goof? You know, you're asking me questions, I'm giving you honest answers.
[Larry] People can't tell if you're serious, being funny, or not.
I can hit things in a way where I'm making fun of stuff, but it's also It's got Integrity.
I'm keeping taste in there.
Twitter's really gay Oh yeah, fucking gay It's gay! I didn't do nothing but I paid the I needed some help to make sense of all this.
Maybe someone from someplace other than America with a unique perspective on race.
Someone who understood the black point of view, but also understood the white point of view.
A black comedian? A white comedian? I had an idea.
I grew up in South Africa during a time known as Apartheid.
For those who don't know, Apartheid was a law that made it illegal for black and white people to mix.
Which was awkward for me, because I grew up in a mixed family.
With me being the mixed one in the family.
My mother's a black woman, South African, and my father's Swiss, from Switzerland.
So he was a white man.
Well, he still is.
It's not like he changed.
I say that, like through hard work and determination, he became black.
No, that that did not happen.
Sir, you're fine.
I see the white guy going: - Is that poss - No, it's not possible.
White people don't realize they're white.
- Does that make sense? - Yes.
I see why a white person would be like: "What are you talking about, privilege? You're mad.
" And you're like: "Yeah, but you don't realize it's happening to you, because you are constantly living within it.
" And so what happens is a policeman doesn't pull you over and you think that is the normal world, because it should be the normal world, because it's the world you live in.
So they got together during this time, which was against the law, but they didn't care.
They were mavericks.
My mom was like: "Woo, I don't care! I want a white man.
Woo!" She was crazy.
And my dad was also like, well, you know how the Swiss love chocolate, so Like, I didn't know You know, you learn these things reading, travelling, going to museums etc.
I didn't know that really, fundamentally, the idea of whites started around the slave trade.
Before that period, everyone was culturally broken down.
And the slave trade once people started trafficking in human beings there needed to be some sort of agreement of who could or could not be a slave.
Hey, what country are you from? Ethiopia.
What part? 125th Street.
And through that, through the powers, the colonial powers, and the people who were really You know, the Portuguese and the French and the Spanish and the Italians and the English.
That, through that whole world, that definition came to be.
And, in America, that was an implicit agreement.
I think it was explicit at some point, where they said "Okay, fine, we can't guarantee you money and fame and all of these ideas.
What we can guarantee you is that you will never be a slave because of the color of your skin.
- This is something we can agree on.
" - Right.
And so I think, in many ways, that agreement has continued to happen.
You know, we can guarantee you that you won't be treated as harshly by our criminal justice system.
We can guarantee you that you will be treated more favorably by a financial institution.
We can guarantee you There are certain privileges we can guarantee you.
[Larry] You will be better than other groups.
We guarantee you'll be better than certain groups.
Why would people want to deconstruct a club - when that club is giving you benefits? - Yes.
My mom could walk with me, but if the police showed up, she'd have to let go of my hand and drop me and act like I wasn't hers.
Every single time.
Because we weren't supposed to exist as a family.
So my mom would let go.
It was like a little game we played.
Police would show up, she'd be like, "I don't know, I don't know.
No, it's not mine.
It's not mine.
No, I don't know.
" It was horrible for me.
I felt like a bag of weed.
It was a tough time.
[Larry] You were often mistaken for white, I understand.
So what is that like? How was that experience? What's it like to be mistaken for white? It depends on who's mistaking you.
Be yourself.
What am I then? You tell me.
You're the ones that set the standards, you whites.
The only person who didn't treat me different was my mom.
She was like: "I'm going to beat that white ass of yours.
" You know? She didn't care and so We only have time for one more very quick question.
- [Larry] Really? Oh my god.
- [assistant] Yeah.
How long have we [assistant] It was 30 minutes you were supposed to give.
[Larry] I thought we had an hour.
No? Okay.
Alright.
Um, I can't possibly get through all the questions.
Maybe let me jump to the end.
Um, was Jon Stewart a prick to you? That was one of my questions.
Trevor Noah was an outsider in his own country.
He came from a land where the people that had always been there, people of color, were rounded up, placed in special restricted areas and treated like second-class citizens.
by white people who had just gotten there.
Sound familiar? Many moons ago, tribe leave Massachusetts because pilgrims ruin neighborhood.
Tribe travel west.
Then come big day! Tribe fall over cliff.
That's when Hekawi get name.
Medicine man say to my ancestor "I think we're lost.
where the heck are we?" I watched a lot of cowboys and Indians on TV and at the movies when I was a kid.
Why? There was a lot of cowboys and Indians on TV and at the movies when I was a kid.
It was everywhere, all the time.
That in itself was racist.
Tribes of the north, meet at River Rock to once and forever wipe out all whites.
The cowboys always won.
The Indians always lost.
Manifest destiny was really a euphemism for white supremacy.
Frankly, if it wasn't for Marlon Brando, we'd still not know the truth.
Everything we are taught about the American Indian is wrong.
Although he didn't always practice what he preached.
And I didn't know that these so-called Indians were actually played by Jews and Italians and Burt Reynolds.
[gunshots] How do you face that ugly legacy and smile? How do you make jokes about your own genocide? History is tragedy for Native Americans, but it's also comedy.
Talk about spirit.
No, not that kind of spirit.
We came to the Leech Lake Reservation to meet comedians who happen to be Native American, to ask them these very questions.
My name is Tito Ybarra.
And I am a dude.
I don't want you guys going home and saying: "Oh, that fat lesbian was funny, wasn't she?" - I am Native American.
- Woo! So don't laugh at any of my jokes, because I'm easily offended.
[audience laughs] Just kidding.
Don't listen to that.
You guys never listen anyway, [Larry] So that first time on stage, was that Tell me about that, because it was kind of an accident, was it not? It was summertime and I was also a Pow Wow singer.
So, I was getting ready to hit the trail and, while we were down there, this gentleman seen me from the things I used to do at the Pow Wows called Clown Dance.
And each year, I won it for five or six years in a row and each year, I came up with a different gimmick.
And he loved those and was like: "Hey man, my comedian can't make it tonight.
Do you think you could tell some jokes?" I'm staying out at Mystic Lake Casino.
Yes, I had to pay for my room.
It wasn't free because I'm Native.
Seen a white man crying in the casino earlier.
I went up to him and I put my arm around him.
I said, "What's the matter, white man?" He said: "I lost everything.
" I said: "Good.
" [shouts of laughter] "How does it feel?" [laughter] [Larry] Let me ask you about You've been using the term "Indian".
I've been trying not to use the term "Indian.
" I've been saying "Native American.
" Help me through that a little bit.
I use "Native" when I'm not in an interview and kind of nervous, you know what I mean? But, you know, a lot of Indians say "Indian" and sometimes it just rolls off smoother, I guess.
I don't know.
I don't like to say "Native American," because we can't be something that we're older than.
[Larry] And what about a word like "reservation"? Because I know that's obviously used or people say "the res" or, you know, It's become so accepted at this point.
Yeah, yeah.
I, um If you think about it, what an actual reservation is, you know it's a euphemism for You know, it's a damn prison camp.
That's the way I believe.
I just got married.
I just got married.
[audience claps] But it's not that serious, so if you guys I'm just kidding.
I'm just kidding.
He's here, so [audience laughs] No, I did and it was very special.
We did it the traditional way.
We did it the Native American traditional way of marriage.
In other words, we had two kids first and we waited for five years.
[laughs] We did a show, we won't say where, but they were like: "Yeah, this is our first comedy show here for our community.
" And we were like: "Okay" I feel like we get that sometimes, where they're just testing things out and we're the tester.
[Larry] Right.
What I don't like about that is, if we don't do well, they're not gonna bring in any other Native comedians, because they're gonna assume, "This is Native comedy.
" And we're like: "No, no, this isn't Native comedy.
This is our comedy.
" - [Larry] Just us.
- Yeah, yeah.
Have you guys noticed anything different about my figure? Well, do you or not? It got better, huh? I was looking at myself right there and I was like: "Gee, they should have let me perform behind the little shadow thing.
" [squeals of laughter] Like that.
Your Auntie.
They shouldn't have put that bar up there, because now I'm just nasty.
I bet some of you are like your auntie.
As soon as you drink, you're just nasty.
You sit like this, but all the time, you sit like this.
And your energy is just going.
I don't know if it's just Native women not feeling like we're there yet to talk about or sexualize anything.
But I feel like, since we've been, it's a bit like, the crowd kind of cringes a little bit or holds onto their seat.
When we start going into anything sexual, they're like: "Wait a minute.
We're all virgins in the crowd.
" You know? "These are none of our kids running around.
" You know? Because, when you think about it, our centuries of ceremonial dancing, what did we do? We didn't have the moves that were developing the hips and ass.
No, no.
It was all about that footwork.
It seems like the more your titties is bouncing the more traditional you're being.
[squeals of laughter] I kind of get annoyed when you're getting asked things like, "Oh, what's Native humor? What's unique about it?" It's human.
It's a human experience.
Why do I know so much about Jews? I've never met a fucking practicing jew in my entire life, but I grew up watching things like The Nanny.
You really do talk like that.
Who would make this up? And Transparent.
There's a lot of Judaism in Transparent.
Don't kick me out, but I'm not Jewish.
I am Jew-curious.
And then, you know, you think about Hispanic comedians or black comedians and so I think there's definitely, there's no reason for Native comedians to not be in that mainstream sphere, because of the fact it's a human fucking experience.
[Larry] Do you have any feelings about cultural appropriation? Like the Cleveland Indians or the Kansas City Chiefs or the Atlanta Braves and Chief Noc-a-Homa? I mean, where do you guys I think our body language [Larry] So true, so true.
NOT IN MY TEPEE Institutionalized racism like this is so second nature to us we don't even notice it.
Can you imagine a stadium filled with people wearing souvenir yarmulkes and chanting, "Oy vey, oy vey, oy vey!"? Or painting their faces black and wearing fake Afros? Or having an Asian day where they give out team chopsticks? [Larry] There was a moment when it was very in the news and in people's minds.
I was there.
I flew to Washington, D.
C.
to be in some people's faces.
- Really? - Yeah.
As far as the Redskins go, I mean, it's a dictionary-defined racial slur.
It dehumanizes us.
If anybody called me that, I don't know if I'd deck them, but I'd definitely educate them, you know what I mean? It's not an honor to mimic someone's culture.
Basically, we see it as grossly misusing our culture.
With the headdress, for instance.
I'm a Plains Native.
In my tribe, If you are not a veteran, if you did not serve in war, you don't have the right to wear a headdress, and - [Larry] It's not like an Easter bonnet.
- No, no.
So every single time I see this headdress on these women, or on anyone, I'm like, "Do you realize that you are not a veteran who died in war? You don't have a relative who died in war.
" That's what you're doing right now.
And I wouldn't go grab a Purple Heart and be like, "Look at me, I'm so cute.
It's purple.
" [Larry] Yeah, yeah.
"Look at my Purple Heart.
You know, it's so fashionable.
" - It's just so disrespectful, and so - [baby cries] - I think I might have to nurse my child.
- Okay.
There's a skit that Fred Armisen did and his character is a Native American comedian.
Boy, it sure is cold here in this island of square mountains and yellow horses.
It is so cold that I feel as if I have frozen off my wacaca! And I really love adult cartoons and South Park is one of those great ones too.
They throw in Natives sometimes.
Bear walked into a bar.
Bear said to deer, "May I please have a drink?" And so deer said to bear: "Why the big paws?" [sound of drums] Ha ha! Ha ha, yeah! So that's the kind of shit we're dealing with and it's like, It's because we're not fucking visible in our own country.
You know, some people know about Charlie Hill, 'cause he made it on Leno and had all those friends, but, the majority of the time, most people don't even - [Larry] He was very isolated.
- Yeah, very isolated.
[Larry] I remember his opening, if I may.
Do you guys know his opening? It was: "Hi, how are ya?" Hi, how are ya? Hi, how are ya? I've met people from like, Europe, and they don't think that we're real.
- They think we died a long time ago.
- Right.
That's what we're dealing with, even being recognized for existing as a cultural group.
That's a fucking whole other thing that - [Larry] That's a tough one.
- Yeah.
Nobody else is dealing with.
Are you guys aware of the Germans' weird fetish about the Native Americans? - Oh, yeah.
We make fun of it all the time.
- Oh, my gosh.
So there's an element of anger to it.
We're like, "What the hell are they doing?" But then it's hilarious.
They're dancing around.
We watch them, these Germans, and, honestly, sometimes I will laugh for hours.
[Larry] Talk about Ralphie May for a minute.
Okay.
Well - RIP, first of all.
- Yes.
Ralphie May was a popular American comedian, who crossed the line when he went off on a rant about Native Americans and someone recorded it.
Fuck a bunch of Indians.
I'm sick of hearing about We're supposed to boohoo over goddamn Indians.
This shit was 120 years ago.
Fucking get over it.
Nobody fucking 150 years ago is making you drink now.
Fucking dry up, you fucking bunch of alcoholics and go get a real fucking job.
Cut that fucking hair.
Bon Jovi cut his.
You should cut yours.
This shit is done, son.
I'm sorry they, as a group, never made it to the Bronze Age.
I'm sorry they never invented the motherfucking wheel.
I'm sorry, boo fucking hoo.
Maybe if they had done some of that shit, we wouldn't have taken their country with three smallpox blankets and a bag of beads.
Fuck a bunch of Indians! Fuck 'em.
I will do a genocide joke, but it will be hopefully well-crafted and not actually trying to imply that people You get what you deserve type of thing.
[Larry] And you're telling it versus Ralphie May.
A comic making a stop in Sioux Falls finds himself in hot water after audio surfaced of him making anti-Native American jokes.
Ralphie May said the audio was taken out of context.
But then he just really opened his mind and opened his heart and I had so much respect for him for doing that, because he said: "Let me help educate my audience.
" And so he gave me the opportunity to perform with him a couple of times.
That's what I love too.
He put his money where his mouth is.
You know, he was like: "Okay, you know what, I messed up.
Let me try to make a real impact on this community and and he did.
[Larry] Are there any taboos in the Native American community now, or things that you have taboos about? In indigenous communities in North America, there is a huge crisis and epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women.
The governments are not addressing this issue.
We seem to be a very disposable population.
And 90% of this is happening by non-Natives.
I mean, I just pulled that out of my ass, that statistic.
- It sounds good.
- But it sounds about right.
And one of the comedians in our group came up with a joke.
"Yeah, it was really beautiful outside and I wanted to go for a walk and I was like: 'Shit, I can't go for a walk here, I'll end up in the woods somewhere and go missing.
'" I thought it was the funniest fucking thing and I was like: "Say it on stage!" And she was like: "No.
" [Larry] It's a challenge.
And you're right, you have to find a funny, disarming sort of way It's gotta be a good joke.
It's gotta be a good joke, exactly.
If you're going to go there, you'd better go there all the way and do a good job.
I really, really do believe, at least for my tribe, my people, that comedy is what kept us alive through a genocide.
You know what's great about America? We treat the people who have always been here like shit, but we also treat the people who just got here like shit too.
[Trump] Zero tolerance for criminal aliens.
Zero.
Zero.
US immigration officers arrested nearly 700 undocumented immigrants in a series of recent raids.
Everybody's who's not a Native American is an immigrant.
Remember that.
And while there's always been a level of hostility directed at immigrants, it's perhaps no more intense than it is today.
There will be no amnesty.
Not exactly fodder for humor.
I mean, what's so funny about living in hiding, keeping your identity secret, keeping yourself from being arrested, living in constant fear? Dangerous comedy is getting on stage and talking about that.
I'm an undocumented immigrant with DACA protection, which ten state attorney generals are trying to repeal.
Which, if they're successful, would mean I would lose my driver's license, work permit and be vulnerable to deportation.
That's my new Tinder bio right now.
I remember, when DACA got passed, people were nervous.
They were like: "I don't know if I can trust the government with my information.
" And I personally was the one telling people: "No, just do it.
They won't just do it.
Don't worry.
The more of us that sign up, the less likely they're gonna do anything with it.
" And now, looking back, if they end up rounding us up, I'm wrong.
I was wrong in that instance to tell people to trust the government.
I was born in Lima, Peru.
Moved out to California when I was three.
With my family.
I wasn't like an ambitious-ass baby.
[audience laughs and claps] "See you later, Mama.
I got dreams.
" [Johan] We left in, I think it was June of '92 and the context of what was happening in Peru, there was a terrorist group called the Shining Path.
- Right.
- And they were kidnapping people and killing people and like, - just killing a lot of people.
- Yeah.
And the president at that time, President Fujimori, he kind of used that as an opportunity to do a self-coup where he like dissolved congress and kind of just decided to rule as an autocrat.
And then he started sending out death squads, - and killing people.
- [Larry] So everybody's got death squads.
So everybody's got, yeah, innocent people were dying left and right.
[Larry] A good reason to leave.
Any time I hear a debate on immigration, something I always hear is: "Well What about legal immigrants? You know, they waited their turn.
Why should illegal immigrants get to cut in line?" Which is a fair point, but I like to make the argument that illegal immigrants are more American than legal immigrants.
Let's put it in perspective.
What's more American? Fucking waiting in line? Like a Commie? Just like [audience laughs] Grovelling for your rations.
Or just being a badass American going where you're not supposed to go? There's nothing more American than taking what's not yours.
[audience claps and cheers] Isn't that why we celebrate Thanksgiving? So, if anything, all I'm trying to do through my comedy is show you that I'm just a regular ass guy.
Right, right.
I just want to get back to doing bits about dumb shit.
Really that's all I want to do.
He just wants to be a regular ass guy.
Maybe someday, but, until then, he's an illegal alien doing comedy in public, and in constant danger of being arrested or deported.
You don't have to be committing crimes or living a life on the edge or on the fringes to make dangerous comedy.
Sometimes, dangerous comedy can be encompassed in an idea.
Racism, sexism, anti-Semitism.
And also love.
Yes, love.
Perhaps the most dangerous word in the dangerous world of comedy.
This is kind of crazy.
I grew up in Brooklyn in the mid-sixties in a place called Trump Village.
It wasn't build by Donald, but by his father, Fred.
When you grew up in Brooklyn, you grew up with an awareness of differentness and otherness.
That's an Irish neighborhood.
That's an Italian neighborhood.
That neighborhood is black.
That neighborhood is Puerto Rican.
And they all hate the Jews.
I left Trump Village in the early '70s, believing that the days of bullying and belittling the weak, of abusing and disrespecting oppressed minorities or making fun of the less fortunate were gone.
Replaced by a new era of love and acceptance.
But as I've told you, like so much I believed when I started this journey, I was wrong.
so help me God.
Man, was I wrong.
[Larry] Tell us about meeting Jimmy Carter.
So I'm working at McDonald's and I'm stealing out of the register here and there, every now and then.
You know, they don't pay shit.
I had just stolen $100 y'all and in walked this white dude with a suit on, with a plug in his ear, so I'm thinking: "Holy shit! They caught me stealing.
I'm going back to jail.
" Two seconds later, he's saying: "It's clear, send him in.
" In walked President Jimmy Carter.
Now, at this time, I'm just now coming out of my hoodrat stage.
I don't fucking know much about presidents.
And he walked up to my register with his pants all jacked up and shit, like an old white man, and I'm looking at his nut sack hanging over to the side And I remembered Jimmy Carter's face from my social studies book, but I couldn't remember his name for shit.
He gets to my register and I do the most ghetto shit ever.
I looked at Jimmy Carter, I'm like: "Nigga, where the fuck do I know you from?" [audience screams and claps] Subtitle translation by Metia Bethell