Story – Robert McKee's Creative Storytelling Magazine Issue 005 – Drew Carey - Page 64

MCKEE INTERVIEWS DREW CAREY good that can go right to that point, get the tension built up really big, as long as you’re not hurting anybody, and then you can let it go. I did a benefit once that was for some kind of thing. There was a bunch of handicapped people in the crowd. There must’ve been 20 dudes in wheelchairs, a bunch of blind people. Half the crowd must’ve been handicapped. Nobody was saying a thing, like they weren’t handicapped. I got up on stage and said, “You know what’s a bitch? Like the one day you really need a handicap spot.” RM: Did they get it? DC: I don’t know, they laughed really hard. But you know, somebody has got to say something. RM: Right, there’s an elephant in the room. DC: Yeah, you’ve got to talk about the elephant in the room. RM: When you’re building a joke, where do you put the most creative effort—into the setup, into creating a situation? You just did a great joke in a room full of handicapped people and everybody is ignoring it. So you’ve already got our energy right now. DC: Yeah, I’m just… RM: Having set that up… DC: The tension is, “Isn’t it a bitch, the one time you need a handicapped space?” First of all, you can’t believe people are saying that. It’s all in one thing, so if you need to break it down, the tension is that I’m talking about it. If you see somebody handicapped, the thing is you just don’t mention it. The polite thing is to not say a thing. I have a friend named Kip Addotta. He doesn’t do stand-up anymore, but he was funny. He said, “I think that when you see a handicap person, you should walk right up to them and say, ‘What the fuck happened to you?’ You know, totally don’t ignore it.” RM: Well, I’ve always thought that those handicap parking places should be at the farthest end of the parking lot possible, because what these people need is exercise. DC: Yeah, right? RM: You’re right up at the door. I mean, that’s ridiculous. They need to walk, you know. DC: The fact that you’re talking about it is the tension part. RM: When you’ve got a great setup, like an audience full of handicapped people and nobody is talking, don’t you think you could punch that 15 differ- Story Magazine // Issue 005 ent ways? DC: Yeah, I could’ve ruined that tons of ways. RM: No, no, not ruined it. Don’t you think that’s such a hot setup that once you’ve got that, you could do a whole routine? DC: Yeah, you could act it out. There’s ways to do the joke. For stand-up, you can tell the joke, act out the joke. I could’ve told it and then done a thing, “Excuse me, I can’t get a parking spot.” Whatever, I can’t think of a thing right now, but you could definitely act. There’s a lot of comics that have that rhythm—they tell the joke and then they act it out. Or they just act it out, and some guys just tell it and you have the vision in your head. When I told that joke, I had a vision in my head of 10 handicapped guys with cars looking for that one space but having to walk because the other handicapped guy got it before they did. Argue about if you are more handicapped than I am. Argue over who is the most handicapped and who deserves the space more. There’s ways you can go to get it going. RM: I’m suggesting that the real creative act is the setup. DC: Yeah. The toughest part about writing the joke, is coming