On Tuesday August 9, 2016 I graduated from Push Comedy Theater‘s Stand Up 101. For our commencement exercises, we had to write and perform five minutes of stand up. Because I don’t follow directions well, I wrote eight minutes of comedy and I had a really good time doing it. It was great fun to make light of my strict extended family and this crazy neighbor I have who’s always saying weird stuff to me (he recently asked me if my neutered dog was now a homosexual).
On the daily now I hear these questions:
When did you want to become a comedian? Where did this come from, Marrissa?
My answer is simple enough: writing and humor are both of my passions. Stand up comedy puts the two together and you have no idea what validation feels like until a room of people guffaw at your witticisms. So basically I feel like Tracy does…
In November 2015, I joined Genius.com, a site where members can sign up and immediately start annotating their favorite song lyrics and television scripts and even the
Bible entire transcript of Beyonce’s Lemonade visual. And within a few weeks, this really cool moderator, known to the community as “ewok”, promoted me from feeble Whitehat to powerful Editor of Genius.com (I’m one of many editors, but it sounds much cooler when I capitalize the E).
And because I’m a part of this wonderful community of writers who envision a world wide web where people can learn what’s important or cool or funny or wack about every website there is, I’m posting my stand up transcript.
That’s right: I want to give the Genius annotaters a head start before I blow up too much. So here’s the video again of my first time on stage, if you missed it:
And the full transcript is below. Enjoy taters and friends:
Hey, give it up for your MC, Hatton, let him hear it! Yeah!
That’s great, now let’s talk about me. My family is super religious. Anyone else come from a religious family?
Yeah? You do. Fellow zealots? Welcome.
Let’s take Christmas, for example. A holiday, right? A day off for some people. A celebration for others. It’s 5 AM, the house is packed with people, kids are skipping about, there’s presents under the tree, Christmas music is playing, “Shigga-hand, shigga-hand.” And then, it’s inevitable. There’s gonna be that one person that says, “Okay, let’s start the prayer circle everyone!” (sighs) Oh God. “What did you say?” “Oh God, thank you for this day…”
And don’t let “outsiders” come over. That’s a thing in my family, called “outsiders”. They won’t even bother to learn their names. “So Marrissa, is this your little friend?” “No, aunt ‘Nay, this is my husband, Danny, of 7 years. He comes here every Christmas?” Doesn’t matter. Outsiders are always little friends.
My family’s religious to the point that Scientologists are taking notes on us. John Travolta’s asking about my next family function like, “Tell me more, tell me more! Do you walk in the light?/Tell me more, tell me more! Are your aliens white?”
Like even Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t come to my grandma’s house. They’re standing in the street like, “Billy! Connor! Russell! Huddle up. All right, everybody, our quota for souls today is 60 people. Fix your tie, Billy, Jiminy Cricket! You look like Jiminy Cricket! And whatever you do today, promise me you won’t even go near the Patterson house! Connor, I don’t care if we miss quota, okay? The Watch Tower will get over it! Last week, she almost converted you!” Connor’s in the huddle like, “Oh happy day! Oh happy day!” And that’s a joke about the most popular gospel song ever written!
Even if we tried to play perfectly wholesome games, like Monopoly. And when you ask somebody, why not, we’d get shut down. My uncle Ted would say, “Jesus didn’t play with dice, baby, so neither do we.”
My family was so serious about religion, not only were we forbidden to swear, we couldn’t even say the word “swear”, it was that serious. Like we would always have to substitute it with “promise”. One time, we were sneaking in a game of Monopoly in my grandma’s front room and I kept landing on my cousin’s property. I said to my cousin, “Day-day, doggone it! If you charge me one more time, I’m about to go bankrupt! And you know Jesus says we’re not supposed to borrow! Ugh, I promise.” It just doesn’t have the same effect, at all!
My uncle Ted, especially, was good for a lecture. One time, I’m at the house and I accidentally said “Shit!” My uncle Ted starts in immediately with, “Now baby, Jesus wouldn’t want you promisin’ like that? You know better!” And I’m like, “Okay, uncle, but can you get out of the bathroom now? I have to stand up to flush it.”
So my dog, Roscoe, he has to poop, too. (pause) And that was called a transition. I didn’t say it was a very good one. Like the other day, I’m walking Roscoe and he’s doing his business, as expected. And so this guy who lives in the neighborhood, who I’m 100% sure is a drug dealer, is walking on the other side of the street. And I don’t want to talk to people. So I get real busy taking out the poopie bag (make plastic bag sound effects). But this doesn’t deter my local dope peddler and he comes across the street towards us like, “Hey! Why are you picking that up? You can just leave it on the ground, it’s all natural!” And I should preface here that this is a walking side effect billboard that we’re talking about here for the anti-drug campaign. Like the Crypt Keeper got out of his coffin. And when he gets to us, he says, “That’s organic, baby!” Like, he roots for the “Oakland Organics” or something…and they just scored a touchdown, yeah.
And so now that he’s gotten closer to me, I realize he’s here, not for chat, but to give me his sales pitch. He says, “Ayo, sis! I got some excellent dope for you to try. It’ that ‘Pressure’, just for you!” And I’ve already confirmed within myself that I will never be purchasing any drugs from this man. Like sir, the amount of flesh on your bones signifies that your drugs equal death. I want no parts. And so I play dumb, I’m like, “Pressure? I don’t need any pressure right now, man, I just got these new tires, so I’m cool.” And so he switches it up like, “Aye, sis, I got that fire, for real! Come holla at me.” And I say, “Fire? But fire and pressure make an explosion, sir. I want none of that!” Now he starts to get mad and he’s turning into Nino Brown. He’s like, “Aye, I’ve got a eighth for a dub, you down or what?” And I don’t really know anything about prices or amounts or anything, so I’m like, “Well…I’ve only got five dollars man,” and Nino shouts, “Sit your five dollar ass down before I make change!” And I start to panic like, “Holy shit, Nino, I swear I’ll buy your drugs!” And he’s like, “No need to swear!” and I’m like, “Holy shit, okay, I promise I’ll buy your drugs!”
It’s not over. In that moment, Roscoe, who’s been all pent up with anxiety over the exchange, just drops a terd nugget right on his shoe. And we’re just both shocked. It happened so quick. But now I have my out. I’m like, “Oh no! Roscoe’s not feeling good. We’re just gonna go home.” And as I run away, the guy’s behind me like, “Hey! You’re just gonna leave this here?” And I turn around to yell back, “That’s organic, baby!” and then I hightail it home.
Hey that’s my time, I’m Marrissa!