John Mulaney
I Didn’t Drink the Water the Entire Time
I went to college. For the whole time. Holy shit, right? I just got a letter from my college, which was fun ’cause mail, you know? So I open up the letter and they said, “Hey, John, it’s college. You remember?” I say, “Yes, of course.” And they said… how did they phrase it? They said, “Give us some money! As a gift! We want a gift! But only if it’s money.” I found this peculiar. You see, what had happened, New York, was that when I was a student, I had paid them tuition money. Every semester, two semesters a year, for four years. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but rounding up, back in 1999 dollars, it was about $15,000 a semester, two semesters a year, for four years. So it was about $30,000 a year for four years. So it was about $120,000, okay? So roughly speaking, I gave my college about $120,000. Okay, so you might say that I already gave them $120,000 and now you have the audacity to ask me for more money. What kind of a cokehead relative… What kind of a cokehead relative is my college? You spent it already? I gave you more money than the Civil War cost and you fucking spent it already? Where’s my money? I felt like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life when he’s screaming at his uncle Billy. [imitates Jimmy Stewart] “Where’s the money? Where’s that money, you fat motherfucker? Where’s my money? Stay down on the ground, you motherfucker!” That’s not the dialogue. But do you remember that scene from It’s a Wonderful Life? Great movie, Frank Capra, 1946. A hundred and twenty thousand dollars! I have friends I went to college with and they’re like, “You should donate and be a good alumnus.” And they wear shirts that say “school” and it’s like, look, if you’re an adult still giving money to your college, college is a $120,000 hooker and you are an idiot who fell in love with her. She’s not going to do anything else for you. It’s done. In their letter they were like, “Hey, it’s been a while since you’ve given us money.” I was like, “Hey, it’s been a while since you’ve housed and taught me. I thought our transaction was over. I gave you $120,000 and you gave me a weird cinder block room with a Reservoir Dogs poster on it and the first real heartbreak of my life, and probably HPV, and then we called it a day.” Probably.

Also, what did I get for my money? What is college? Stop going until we figure it out. Because I went to college, I have no idea what it was. I went to college, I was 18 years old, I looked like I was 11. I lived like a goddamn Ninja Turtle. I didn’t drink water the entire time. I lived on cigarettes and alcohol and Adderall. College was like a four-year game show called Do My Friends Hate Me or Do I Just Need to Go to Sleep? But instead of winning money, you lose $120,000. By the way, I agreed to give them $120,000 when I was 17 years old. With no attorney present. That’s illegal. They tricked me. They tricked me like Brendan Dassey on Making a Murderer. They tricked me like poor Brendan. They pulled me out of high school. I was in sweatpants, all confused. Two guys in clip-on ties are like, “Come on, son, do the right thing. Sign here and be an English major.” And I was like, “Okay.” Yes, you heard me, an English major. I paid $120,000. How dare you clap? How dare you clap for the worst financial decision I ever made in my life? I paid $120,000 for someone to tell me to go read Jane Austen and then I didn’t. That’s the worst use of 120 grand I can possibly fathom. Other than if you, like, bought a duffel bag of fake cocaine. No, I take it back. That’s a better use of the money, ’cause I know you’d be disappointed when you open up the duffel bag and you realize it’s not real cocaine, it’s like powdered baby aspirin or whatever they do. But at least you have baby aspirin. And maybe you have a baby and one day your baby goes, “Oh, my head,” and you go, “Hey, I’ve got something for you! Come here, little guy.” And you dump it out on a mirror. You make it nice for the baby. You make it nice. You cut it up into lines with your laundry card or whatever and you make it nice, and your baby takes his sippy-cup straw and he holds it in his little ravioli-sized baby fist and he leans over– [snorts] and he snorts up the baby aspirin, and he gets rid of his baby headache, plus you get a duffel bag! [audience laughing] That is way better than walking across a stage at graduation, hungover, in a gown, to accept a certificate for reading books that I didn’t read. Strolling across a stage, the sun in my eyes, my family watching as I sweat vodka and ecstasy, to receive a four-year degree in a language that I already spoke.

[Audience Cheers]