Day 16: Sam Morril

Day 16. I’ve been sharing one stand up comedy set I really like each day this month. Today’s set is a recent appearance on The Late Late Show by Sam Morril. Here’s some reasons I laugh at it and think it’s great:

• PARALLEL PLAYERS. For multiple jokes in this set, Sam creates one character (singing homeless man, horrible best friend, and judgy comic watching stand up) and then a parallel character who plays off the first comedically (regular homeless man, woke best friend, and judgy murderer watching true crime). In the case of the movie friends and judgy TV watchers, he also gives the first characters dialogue. Since I now have those lines for context, his parallel characters’ dialogue gets me laughing that much more.

• EXTREME FACTS. To show the extent to which something is true, Sam points out some radical observations. That’s how tough it is to be in New York City: even if you’re homeless, you need a talent. That’s how low the bar is to be considered a great guy: you just have to not commit rape. That’s how long ago the founding fathers existed: they thought a powdered wig was a good look. I laugh because these are such extreme facts and yet, despite being so large and obvious, I hadn’t even considered them before.

• ANACHRONISM. I think fads are funny because they were serious when they happened, but silly in hindsight. Sam doesn’t just talk about the wig fad, though. He places them in the present by suggesting gun owners should still have to wear them. Since we take the current moment seriously and guns very seriously, the silliness of the fad becomes heightened. This anachronistic image causes me to laugh and also allows Sam to make the subtle point that gun carriers should be identifiable. Capped with a callback, this bit closes out a great set.

Sam’s got a ton of funny late night sets, plus his own half hour special and hour special on Comedy Central. To see more, follow @sammorril.