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  • This was not a, what you would consider a TV friendly set.

  • Yeah, I would agree with you there.

  • I'm not a TV friendly person on average. (laughs)

  • You've got racism, homophobia,

  • sexual assault, imperialism,

  • critiquing your founding fathers,

  • attacking the Disney corporation (laughs)

  • And then he tags these three genocides.

  • They didn't bring that up.

  • (upbeat music)

  • [JP] A lot of work

  • goes into a short late night stand-up set.

  • Join me, JP Buck as I spotlight the comedians

  • who came up with some of my favorite point sets.

  • This is, "The Set Up".

  • Please welcome the very funny Solomon Georgio.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Usually I have a story of like

  • the first time I saw this comedian,

  • and I don't really have that for you because for me,

  • it was the first time I heard the reaction to this comedian.

  • Let's tell the story from the beginning JP,

  • you were in the bathroom while I was on stage.

  • Back up a step, let's back it up a step.

  • So, the meltdown County, meltdown comics was a comedy,

  • it was a was a comic book store

  • that Kumail Nanjiani and Jonah Ray

  • used to host a show every Wednesday

  • in the back storage room,

  • and it became the best comedy night in Los Angeles.

  • And it ran like that for number of years.

  • Yes.

  • Whatever I had seen, I was like,

  • I was going to take a break,

  • and so I stepped out to use the restroom,

  • and as it wasn't even 10 seconds after I closed the door

  • behind me that the audience lost it.

  • And I just thought I've got to get back out there

  • and see what the heck is going on.

  • And I come out and it's you destroying onstage.

  • I got off the stage and I think I went to the bathroom,

  • came back and Emily Gordon,

  • who also one of the producers of the show at the time,

  • she was like, Hey Solomon, by the way,

  • the booker from Conan was here,

  • I'm like, uh-huh..

  • and he asked me for your email.

  • And she asked me if that was okay,

  • I was like, oh yeah,

  • am I going to be the first I'm going to be that comic

  • that's like, sorry, who try to talk to you?

  • The booker for what show? (JP laughs)

  • Because I was like, eight, nine years in and it wasn't easy,

  • and like I was like barely making any money,

  • and like that, that's the thing is like,

  • as a comic, there's a lot of ability

  • to being as a black gay comic at that time,

  • specifically, like I wasn't being featured for anybody.

  • I was getting college shows and they were very sporadic,

  • but I was like, I'm like nine years, almost 10 years in.

  • You just kind of get in your own head about whether or not

  • you should be doing this.

  • And especially if you're working as a server

  • with a college degree, and you're like,

  • what am I doing with my life?

  • And this was just a quintessential moment

  • that made me understand that I am doing the right thing.

  • I'm good at what I'm doing,

  • and I don't have to be a server forever. (chuckles)

  • (audience cheering)

  • Thank you.

  • Hey everybody.

  • (clapping continues)

  • I'll give you a moment to adjust.

  • That was me going, "Holy, this is going-

  • this is happening right now."

  • (JP laughs)

  • Like that walk from the green room to the curtain,

  • I feel should be at least 20 minutes long of like people

  • in my life coming to me and letting me know

  • it's going to be okay,

  • but it's all a 10 seconds (laughs)

  • It is.

  • (JP laughs)

  • Me running out was like,

  • feels like I look prepared,

  • but it was more along the lines of like,

  • I'll give you a moment, which is like,

  • Oh, give me a second. I think I'm going to die (chuckles)

  • My name is Solomon Georgio. That is my real name.

  • It's a very beautiful name for a very beautiful man.

  • (audience laughs)

  • My last name Gorgio is Italian, I am Ethiopian.

  • (audience laughs)

  • Some people wonder

  • how does an African get a European last name?

  • Well, (audience laughing)

  • it's a lot like a fairytale,

  • except in this fairytale,

  • there happens to be an Italian army occupation,

  • a brutal civil war,

  • a few decades of famine and no happy endings.

  • (audience laughing)

  • But my first name-

  • Can you hear that right there?

  • Yes. It's my favorite part of it (laughing)

  • It is Andy's laugh.

  • Did you hear that when you were on stage

  • actually performing?

  • I turned to him, I think,

  • cause specifically,

  • I heard a groan in the audience,

  • that was the boost of confidence I got

  • for the rest of the set was Andy's

  • approving laughter where I was like, all right,

  • I guess yeah.

  • Cause it is-

  • Yeah, that joke, it is definitely a hit or miss sometimes.

  • It hit more than a miss,

  • but when people were just like..

  • right off the top,

  • you're already getting into (indistinct).

  • (chuckles)

  • (upbeat music)

  • I recently watched the Disney animated feature Pocahontas,

  • because I'm a grown man and no one can stop me

  • from doing whatever I want.

  • (audience laughing)

  • However, I feel that movie should come

  • with a written apology.

  • Firstly, the native Americans as a people

  • have some of the worst genocide in human history.

  • Some may say, "Hey Solomon, what about the Holocaust?"

  • And I wouldn't take that away from anyone,

  • the Holocaust was a terrible, terrible tragedy.

  • However, I have seen 10 or more Jewish people

  • in the same room.

  • (audience laughing)

  • I haven't seen tentative Americans in my life.

  • (audience laughing and clapping)

  • You're threading a needle there.

  • Yes.

  • When you're basically trying to qualify the difference

  • and quantify there between both multiple holocausts here.

  • I think for me there was sort of like

  • a need of comprehension of the weight

  • of what happened in this country.

  • Sometimes I feel like whenever

  • we talk about native Americans or in general,

  • whatever happens in this country,

  • we always find a way, some say it's worse than other places,

  • and I'm like, no, it's not worse than other places.

  • It is just as bad here.

  • And I don't, I never expected to do it with comedy,

  • but it's also, yeah,

  • it's always very weird to me whenever anyone

  • talks about what goes on in this country historically

  • as if it's always just like a less,

  • less than aspect, and I kind of-

  • I do like talking about American history

  • in that way of like,

  • we should be deeply ashamed of this. (laughs)

  • I definitely want the joke to exist,

  • but I also want a better joke

  • to have nice little layer of like,

  • you should not be happy this ever happened.

  • There's a national reckoning of history

  • and what, you know,

  • how white people have been benefited

  • from the persecution of a lot of others

  • and I think that's, you were in.

  • This has been going on for a long time,

  • but just to see you in a short five minutes said

  • being able to sort of hold up a mirror and say like,

  • and the jokes have a way of being a little bit silly

  • at times and you tag your joke,

  • there's a tag in here,

  • but it comes after the applause break.

  • So you didn't even need it,

  • but yet it's still so great that you had that built in.

  • Yeah, I can't help it.

  • Sometimes I'm too strict on the writing.

  • (audience clapping)

  • I used to live right her.

  • I know what I'm saying,

  • sometimes there's always just a lot for people,

  • so I kind of have to be like, well,

  • here's a nice little down (indistinct),

  • be it's- I kind of had to lift the weight a little bit.

  • I can't just have people walking out morose

  • every time I do a bit.

  • Secondly, Pocahontas was a real person

  • in this nation's history.

  • She looked nothing like the Disney character

  • because she was hella busy being 12.

  • (audience laughing)

  • She was sold to John Smith and his men,

  • suffered years of sexual assault,

  • witnessed the death of most of her tribe

  • and then shipped off to England

  • to die young death due to the smallpox.

  • Now someone at the Disney corporation

  • caught wind of this tale.

  • (audience laughing)

  • A complete 180,

  • like you're going down such a dark road

  • and yet so quickly turn and run around.

  • Probably like the most benefit I've ever had

  • doing comedy ever was doing it.

  • There was like an understanding of where people can be,

  • go away and not be okay with you doing a bit,

  • and where you have to be a certain amount of silly

  • and a certain amount of serious,

  • and it's-

  • This joke has benefited me the remainder of my career sense,

  • cause it's the best conversation I ever had

  • of my salad coffee.

  • And they thought, "Hey,

  • how do we make this family friendly?"

  • (audience laughing)

  • "I got it,

  • get rid of that part where white people look bad

  • cause that is just gross."

  • (audience laughing)

  • "Then we'll throw in some singing,

  • some dancing and a raccoon, huh."

  • (audience laughing and clapping)

  • I apologize the only impersonation I can do

  • is a blacker voice.

  • (audience laughing)

  • Another moment where you're just being a little silly.

  • Yes. But also that moment is because of you.

  • I've never really listened to myself,

  • I never listen to recorded versions of myself,

  • and because of the recordings that I sent to you,

  • I would have to listen to this impersonation

  • of this fake self like, (JB laughs)

  • each person and I'm like, why is,

  • why do you sound blacker at this moment?

  • And I'm like, oh, that's cause the only voice

  • that I ever, ever attempted to impersonate,

  • and it's like, oh yeah,

  • that's that's all I got. I don't really have-

  • (JP laughing)

  • And then I realized, oh yeah,

  • my speaking voice is the whiter voice,

  • I forgot that. (both laughing)

  • Let's not forget the fact that I forgot my own joke

  • halfway through.

  • My cue cards are right in front of me,

  • with my actual joke to tell me what I'm going to say.

  • And for some weird reason,

  • there's a point in time during my set,