Laughter is the Best Medicine

Mean Dave On Humor and Disability.

[laughter] DAVE: I forgot about that!
And I don’t smoke weed anymore. So I’m no longer
the Zig Zag guy. So that’s the laundry
list of what I have. I’m just a simple,
simple man named Mean Dave. It’s mainly because I’m
three and a half years clean and sober. That’s pretty much
where the name came from. I’ve been, yeah, sober
for three and a half years. [applause, cheers]
Thank you. I really appreciate
that ’cause it’s been a BORING three
and a half years. [laughter] And no, about three
and a half years ago, I got a second DUI. I got pulled over with
a .18 alcohol level, and I’ve got a DUI. I feel if you get pulled
over with a .18 alcohol level, and you get a DUI,
you deserve extra credit for pulling over successfully. [laughter, applause]
Not bragging. Drunk driving is wrong,
but I was driving pretty good with a .18, you know? Just weaving inside the lines. Like a kid in a coloring book. I was just coloring. I was an artist on the road. That’s what I told
the police officer. [laughter]
I will say I never got better customer service
than I did from the California Highway Patrol
in Dublin, California. Highly recommend them
for any and all DUIs, if anybody needs one.
[laughter] I gave five starts
on Yelp for my DUI. Solid customer service from the
California Highway Patrol ’cause they let me sit in the
front seat of the squad car after they arrested me,
with no handcuffs on. Right next to the
shot gun. [chuckles] That’s trust.
I was one of the guys. It was pretty cool. And then they were driving
me in to Santa Rita Jail, and they’re like, “This guy
deserves some entertainment.” They played a movie
on the dashboard. It was a movie about somebody
who was weaving all over the freeway, and I was like,”There’s
a guy who deserves a DUI.” And they’re like,
“That’s you, asshole.” I said, “Oh!”
[laughter] “I’m in a movie.
Nobody told me.” So yeah. So I decided
that enough was enough. JIM: So I’m gonna open this
up to the audience in a sec. I have one other question. Dave, can you just
like…why are you up here? What’s that about?
NINA G: [chuckles] JIM: Why do you
fit in with us? DAVE: You were really
hoping for a bigger laugh for that, weren’t you?
[laughter] JIM: Yeah. I worked
on that one all night. DAVE: Ah. That is a
good question, actually. And that question’s also part
of the literature in addressing yeah, why am I here? That’s because I learned, after
hosting a show for Nina where I brought up a point about being
a recovering addict and kinda making the parallel between
that and mental illness, Nina decided to
do what she does best, and that’s research, and found out that
being a recovering addict actually falls under the ADA. And I still don’t under–
What is the ADA again? [laughter] MIKE: American Dental
Association. [laughter] DAVE: Well, in meth
terms, that makes sense. But anyway, what is it? NINA: The Americans
with Disabilities Act. DAVE: With Disabilities Act.
There it is. NINA: That thing, Dave.
DAVE: Yeah. See, I don’t pay attention. But no, when she explained
that, it made a lotta sense. And it’s also one of
the things that she– It’s true, ’cause I even
talk about it with some of my friends in recovery
that are unaware of that. And some people, I’m sure,
it’s one of those things that’s kind of–
What am I saying? I’m sure there’s people that
have their thoughts on it, whether they agree or disagree. And Nina just wanted to shed
light on this aspect of it because it’s something that
I’m more than willing to help address, and I help
her with some of these events that she does. And somebody who is involved
with people with disabilities who also have addiction–suffer
from the disease of addiction– they asked me
to speak at something. So there’s room to
kind of find that bridge and see what’s there.
So just trying to help people. NINA: I also think it’s
important that the disability community starts to look at
recovery as part of one of the sub-groups, and I’m so glad that
Dave agreed to do the show so that we could get that
conversation going too. Mike, you had something to add? MIKE: Yeah, just I know
there’s been pushback on Dave and other people, like there’s
some kind of casting couch where we have to
prove our disability to be a part of this show.
[laughter] NINA: And there is.
Believe me! [laughter] DAVE: And
I’m Mike Beers. MIKE: I’m more than
happy to do the legwork. [laughter] MIKE: But no, it is the…
Comics with Disabilities Act, and it’s a play on the
Americans with Disabilities Act. I ask this of the crowd.
You know, this is San Francisco. You guys took over the Health
and Welfare Office in ’77– [applause cheers]
MIKE: –to get 504. You’ve been groundbreaking. Was it only people with
disabilities that helped us get that act passed? JIM: No.
MIKE: No! So why do we exclude
anyone from laughing with us? So before you pass
judgment on who’s on the show, our goal is to be a
part of the community.

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