John Mulaney
Too Big Too Fast
[Audience Applause]

[John Mulaney]
Hello. Hello, Chicago. [Applause Intensifies] Nice to see you again. Thank you. That was very nice. Thank you. [Applause Fades] Look, now, you’re a wonderful crowd, but I need you to keep your energy up the entire show, okay? Because… [Applause] No, no, no. Thank you.

Some crowds… [Applause Fades] some crowds, they have big energy in the beginning and then they run out of places to go. So… I don’t judge those crowds, by the way, okay? We’ve all gone too big too fast and then run out of room. We’ve all made a “Happy Birthday” sign…

[Audience Laughter] Wait. [Laughter Fades]

You get that poster board up, and you’re like, “I don’t need to trace it. I know how big letters should be. To begin with, a big-ass ‘H’. Hahahahaha! Followed by a big-ass ‘A’ and—Oh, no! Oh, God! Okay, all right. Real skinny ‘P’ with a high hump—with a high hump, and then we’ll put the second ‘P’ below the hump of that first ‘P’, sort of like a motorcycle sidecar situation. And now I have no room for the ‘Y’, so I’ll do a kind of curled-up noodle ‘Y’. Block letters and cursive look good together.”

And then you go to write “Birthday” and you totally forget the lesson you just learned with “Happy.” You’re like, “Yeah, but the past is the past. Big-ass ‘B’. Surely more letters will fit in the same space.”