Actions

Work Header

Richie Tozier: Personal Record

Work Text:

Hey, everyone! Thank you for coming out tonight. I'm really happy to be here. I'm really lucky to be here! I love not being dead!

 

Yeah, me living to the age of 43 was always a long shot. Statistically speaking, I always had a high chance of being murdered, because of the whole--you know, my personality. Plus I grew up in the child murder capital of the United States. Derry, Maine! We're number one! Yeah, I know, I’ve talked about this before. Sorry to keep coming back to it, but that shit just never stops being funny. Right? So many kids I knew died! If anyone from my hometown ever watched my shit, they'd be so horrified. Not even by how insensitive I am about the massive grief and trauma we all went through; they'd just be like "what the fuck, he still dresses like that?" Fortunately for me, they haven't heard about Netflix yet. They don't have the internet in Derry, Maine. Yeah, they can't even cyberbully people there. If someone back in Derry wanted to call me an ugly four-eyed faggot, they'd have to write that shit on a piece of paper and send it to me via the US postal service. And they do, sometimes, but I don't really mind, because Grandma always slips five bucks into the envelope.

 

Right, so the murder jokes. I went to school with a serial killer! And he--I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but he fucking hated me. Yeah! This is my biggest name-drop. My second biggest is, you know William Denbrough, the writer? I got that asshole high for the first time. Yeah, I smoked him up behind the gym in ninth grade, and if you read his books you know that he has not really progressed past that point, intellectually. "Dude, what if there was like… this spider… but it was really fuckin’ big, you know? Like just a big fuckin’ spider. From SPACE. And then you have to kill it by FUCKING." You can blame me for that shit, is what I'm saying. I introduced those ideas into his impressionable baby stoner mind.

 

Anyway, my biggest name-drop: Henry Bowers, the Derry serial killer. Yeah, I knew him, went to school with him, and he kicked my ass on--I don’t want to brag too much, but let’s just say multiple occasions. Yeah. If you’ve ever looked at me and thought, fuck, I kind of wanna punch that guy? Congratulations, you’ve just taken the first step toward putting on a clown costume and eating a child’s arm. It’s a slippery slope! If you hate me, you might be a psychopath! I’m not saying I have a guardian angel, but the first dude who ever gave me a wedgie did end up dying in an institution for the criminally insane, and he was buried with a fucking mullet. Just something to ponder.

 

I fought back, though. Don’t think I didn’t. I might not have been the toughest kid, or the most popular or heterosexual, but what I did have was a very special set of just being an insufferable little shit. You know what I did to Henry Bowers one time? Notorious serial killer and probable cannibal Henry Bowers? I’m just reminding you of that to make sure you’re thinking about how fucking scary he was and how brave and sexy I am, because one time I was sitting behind him in a movie theater and I dumped my whole Coke on his head. Yes. I have looked death in the face. Oh my God, I got fucking meat grindered. Before that day I had 20/20 vision. Try not to become too aroused by my incredible courage, because my husband has some anger issues.

 

It's great, actually, we have this system, my husband and me. So I'm really annoying, and then he likes to go to the gym when he's angry. Right? Long story short, he has a fucking insane body for a dude in his 40s. And it's all thanks to me! Yes! I am his personal trainer. I have a schedule, it's like, oh, leg day today, let me just… ta-da! Leave my toothbrush in the refrigerator. And then I wait. And within forty-five minutes, maximum, he comes into the living room like "RICHIE!" I'm doing a perfect impression of his voice, by the way, this is exactly what he sounds like. "RICHIE!" Like just constantly annoyed but in a hot way. Like, if Statler and Waldorf were sexy, that's my husband.

 

So he's like, "RICHIE! Why the fuck is there a toothbrush in the vegetable crisper?" And this is crucial to my technique, I can't let him know that I'm trying to piss him off, I have to play it like I genuinely have no idea I'm being a fucking asshole. So I'm like "yeah, babe, to keep it from getting moldy, would you rather I put it in the cheese drawer?" And he's like "WHY THE FUCK--GOD DAMMIT--" and the smoke starts coming out of his ears, you know, in the normal way that happens when people talk to me, and then he's like "FUCK YOU I GOTTA DO SOME FUCKING LUNGES." Victory!

 

I'm so good at this. It's my calling. I don't do it for the money, I do it for the looks people give me like they're trying to figure out how I possibly landed a guy this hot. I love the confusion! Like, "maybe Richie has money? Netflix specials, they probably pay for those, right?" No, I don't have money. You've seen how I fucking dress. No, I've had money, for several fifteen-minute intervals in my adult life, but now I have a vintage Street Fighter machine in my bedroom. Yes, it's a sex thing! Of course it's a sex thing! Who has Street Fighter in the bedroom and it's not for sex? Whatever, I have no functional understanding of money as a concept. I know that money can be exchanged for things, and I like things, so I have things and no money. No, my husband is not a gold digger. If he were, good fucking luck with that. Try looking under the in-ground trampoline.

 

Actually, my husband is the one with money. He's a risk analyst, anyone know what that is? Oh, some cheers! Cool! So that's a no, then. No, if you're cheering you have no idea what a risk analyst does. That's fine, it's fine, I don't either. Not a clue what the love of my life does during business hours. He's tried to explain it to me, but it's like… it's really boring and he's hot? I can't focus on the words coming out of his mouth 'cause I'm just thinking about… Yeah, yeah, coming in his mouth, that one was too easy. I'd say it was beneath me but we all know I don't fucking top. Too easy! Fuck! Anyway, he's got a job, he wears suits, he has like a retirement account or whatever, so that's not why he's settling for me, it's not a money thing.

 

The truth is, he's not settling for me, he needs me. That perfectly sculpted little body is a living legacy to my amazing powers of irritation. Every one of his abs--he has a lot of abs--every one of them is directly attributable to some dumb shit that I did! It's like a family scrapbook on his torso. Oh, this is from the time I tried to clean a dildo in the washing machine and ruined the good towels! Remember this one? This was when I adopted a stray kitten I found in the alley, only it was actually a baby raccoon. God, the crunches he did that day. 

 

Oh, and then there's a whole bunch of abs on his shoulders--those ones are called abs, too, right? Up here on the--I don't know! Don't ask me! Is it not obvious from looking at me that I don't know what an ab is? Anyway, my husband has some really nice shoulder abs from the time we didn't get matching tattoos. We were going to--it was actually my idea, we should get matching tattoos, it'll be romantic. I wanted to get, there's this cute thing we say to each other, it's like our special way of saying "I love you." I know, we're so adorable! So we were going to get matching tattoos that say "I fucked your mom." That's not even the joke, that's something we were actually going to do. This is what my marriage is like.

 

We go to the tattoo place, and number one, I already know this is going to go badly for me because they're playing very heterosexual music in there. Like just straight people music, I don't know how else to describe it. Music by dudes who don't even touch their own dicks when they piss. I'm nervous, I'm like, here I am with my gay husband trying to get matching gay tattoos to commemorate our gay marriage, maybe today is the day we get murdered. Maybe it's today! You get to a certain age, you start to think maybe I missed my shot, maybe it's never gonna happen for me, but holy shit, this could be the moment. So I'm freaking out. And here's a fun fact about me, total non sequitur, just an interesting piece of Richie Tozier trivia that you might enjoy knowing: when I get nervous, a lot of times, I puke. Fun, right? Add that to your knowledge bank!

 

Anyway, so my husband is chatting with the artist, making friends with him, he has this special voice he uses to talk to straight men and it's super effective. He's like "dude, fuck yeah, bro, I fucking lift," because he fucking lifts, and straight men respect that. They love him. I'm sitting here just, like, vibrating with terror, and my husband goes ahead and gets his tattoo first, no big deal. This maybe goes back to the whole "grew up in a murder town" thing, because Henry Bowers actually stabbed my husband through his face one time, so getting written on with a small angry pen is just--he can handle it, you know? He gets his tattoo, and he's like bleeding in a very manly and attractive way, like there's blood but it's tasteful, you know, and they wrap his arm up in plastic like it's leftovers, and then it's my turn. And I make it about three-quarters of a millimeter through the first line before I just… barf all over everything. Yes! Just the full Yellowstone experience.

 

And I learned something important that day, which is--tattoo artists have rules about barfing. Oh yeah, there is a detailed puke policy. It's in writing! It's all in the paperwork I signed before we got started. It says right there, black and white, if I puke my tattoo is cancelled and I lose my deposit and I have to pay them an additional $300 cleaning fee. Yeah! They were prepared for this eventuality. Tattoo artists know about all the different ways fluids can leave your body, there's a precedent, there's case law, they can direct you to the relevant paragraph. Don't fuck with a tattoo artist. They have seen it all before. They have a piss policy, too, in case you're wondering. The cleaning fee is lower for piss. I should have saved a hundred bucks and just peed my pants.

 

So that's--astute listeners will have figured out by this point that I did not get a tattoo. But think back to the beginning of this story and remember that my husband did. Yeah, so he has a tattoo by himself, unique in all the world, that says--this is really true--that says "I fucked your mom." And because, as I've said, he likes to work out when he's angry, this is also the story of how my husband set his personal record on the bench press. That's it! That's my secret, the Richie Tozier Method for marrying a guy who's incredibly out of your league. Infuriate him into achieving his goals, and also, make him get terrible tattoos, because if he ever does break up with me and he gets back on the dating apps, I want to make sure no one fucking swipes right.

 

No! Not even after I die! I’m for sure going to die before him, because he knows where his abs are and I have a very murderable personality, but even after I die I don’t want him fucking other dudes. No! People are like "I would want my spouse to find love again," but like, fuck that! I am deeply insecure, obviously, why else would I do comedy, and I am not okay with the idea of my husband defiling our marriage bed with someone else. That's for me! We defile it together! That's our thing! So I put that in our wedding vows. I promise to love you and honor you and if I die first I'm gonna haunt our house and make loud ghostly fart noises any time you bring a date home. Oh, fuck yeah, I'd do it, too. Cock-blocked from beyond the grave. I'd write spooky shit on the mirrors, maybe some clown imagery, just--I'm super fucking dead and I'm taking your boner with me. Again, these are direct quotes from my wedding vows.

 

Yeah, my wedding was fucking awesome. I mean, Jesus, can we talk about gay marriage? Not the laws and rights and shit, that's old news. Like obviously my husband and I should have the right to a legal union. He should be the one to inherit all my stuff when I die, because he's been waiting years to burn this shirt. He deserves that! He's earned it. There is no one who deserves to burn this shirt more than my husband does. But that's--like, we've been over that, it's fine. It's fine! We won that one. We have successfully ruined traditional marriage for straight people. Oh, I actually agree with them about that. Gay people getting married ruins it for straight people in the same way that having Abby Wambach in a soccer game can ruin it for your eight-year-old. Because we're better at it! Yeah, that's the joke. Gay people are better at getting married. We're not better at relationships, everyone's a fuckshow where that's concerned, but weddings, oh my God, we kill at weddings.

 

It's because our parents are ashamed of us, so we don't have to worry about doing whatever boring traditional wedding shit so they won't be offended. They're not coming! We're already out of the will! They have no power over us. We can do whatever the fuck we want. So we had--this is true--we had these absolutely amazing designer suits, Bev Marsh originals, nicer clothes than I should be allowed to touch. We had these incredible outfits custom-made, took some fucking killer photos, and then we had our friends come over with Thai food and we got married in our living room. Yeah, our buddy got ordained. We put on our thousand-dollar suits, said our vows, got pronounced husbands by the First Church of Mike, and that was it. Then we all got stoned and watched horror movies and discussed the sociopolitical ramifications of wanting to get railed by '90s Skeet Ulrich. It was so great! Be honest, does that sound better than the last five weddings you've been to? Yeah, it fucking does! There were no party favors! There were no synchronized dance numbers! There was no fucking theme! There was pad Thai and weed, and Bill Denbrough on the couch going "dude, what if spring rolls fucking… ate people? Like, from the inside?" So that'll be out in paperback next year, sorry.

 

It was so good! It was the best wedding, because we just did whatever the fuck we felt like. That's what's great about being gay, is just doing whatever the fuck you feel like, because what are straight people going to do, hate us extra? Your contempt only fuels me! This is the secret to my happy marriage!

 

I mean, actually the secret is that we met as kids and we were terrified and closeted and also this fucking lunatic kept trying to murder us, so he, like, imprinted on me instead of developing a normal healthy sex drive. Thank God, right? There’s nothing like a shared childhood trauma for getting laid! Yeah, it really works, the only downside is that you have to spend puberty being literally hunted for sport first. One time my friends and I decided to break into this abandoned house, like, whatever, we didn't have cable, and it turned out that it was a fucking psycho killer's lair, just like writing in blood on the walls and shit. This cute boy I had a thing for, he fell through the second floor and broke his arm, and I had to actually reset it for him, so we could get out of there before anything made chandeliers out of our ribs. Can you imagine? You know when you were a kid and you'd get all stressed out about what if you fuck something up when your crush can see you? Multiply that by "I have to reattach his fucking humerus while a fucking flesh-eating monster is chasing us. Oh my God, I hope I don't embarrass myself!" You don't want to know what my fucking stress dreams are like. But if you get through that, and repress it for several decades, and then reconnect with that cute boy with the slightly asymmetrical arms, something about the onslaught of incredibly fucked-up memories that you’ve never properly dealt with--it’s hot. That shit is hot! You fucking face down your inner demons, you bitch-slap the monster in the closet, and then you go and you fuck like you’ve never fucked before.

 

Look, near-death experiences make people horny. This is true! They’ve done studies and shit! Look at you all nodding like I know what the fuck I’m talking about. There’s this phenomenon, I don’t know why--if a comedian says “this is true,” everyone is immediately like, oh look, a credible source. That man talks utter bullshit for a living, but this one thing he said isn’t bullshit, and I know because he told me so. This is true: eight out of ten people believe anything anyone tells them if it’s prefaced with “this is true.” Go home and fucking Google it. You won’t find anything, because I made that shit up.

 

But my point is, when you get chased by a serial killer with someone, you develop a bond that is intense and also deeply sexual. It's Freudian, I think, it's like I got all worked up about possibly getting stabbed--like, fucking impaled--and then if I don't die I have all this, like, penetration energy to work off. Just gotta like-- unnfff. Slasher movies, I love them but they have it so backward, they're always like, sex and then getting run through with a chainsaw. No, you do the chainsaw part first and then it makes the sex so much better! It’s a great first date activity. This is why all my friends that I grew up with are married to each other. Yeah, there’s seven of us in our little group and three couples. Six out of seven of us survived our murder town childhood, went out into the world, met normal people, and went, nope, fuck that. We can’t--no. Because then you have to explain shit.

 

Have you ever been on a first date, it's going okay, you're maybe gonna get some over-the-pants action, and then they ask where you're from? Normal first date question, right, after "top or bottom" but before "do you hog the blankets?" Where are you from? And I can lie, or I can do the coin flip. Here's the coin flip. "I'm from Derry, Maine." And the coin goes up in the air. Either it's going to land on "oh, that sounds boring, moving on" or it comes down on "wait, Derry? Like from the Murdertown podcast?" Yeah, oh my God, let's talk about the literal worst thing ever in my life and how entertaining it was to listen to on your last road trip! Did you like the part where I found a pile of dismembered bodies in the sewer? Yeah? I did not like that part so much! And I know you're thinking, but Richie, you're making jokes about this right now, so it can't have fucked you up that badly. But just so you know, I cried and puked before I came onstage tonight. That's not an ad lib, that's in the script for this show, but it is also always true! Every time I say it, it is true. So that's why my friends and I, with one exception, we can't date regular people, so we all had to hook up amongst ourselves. We all make really cute couples because of our matching PTSD.

 

We’re all fucking gay, too! That’s not from the trauma, we just got lucky. Okay, so there’s seven of us, we met before puberty, we’ve got two gay dudes, two bisexual dudes, one pansexual woman, the token straight guy, and a nonbinary lesbian. Does that sound improbable to you? Make some noise if you think that’s fucking weird! Okay, I found all the straight people in the audience. That was them. You know where they are now.

 

Yeah, straight people think the gays are like, distributed evenly throughout the population. It’s like US Representatives, you get a certain amount based on your census data. Like, if there are ten people in a room and one of them’s gay, straight people are like, oh, there he is, I found the gay one. But actually, if there are ten people in a room and one of them’s gay, that's a fucking gay room! That's ours now! The decorator is on the way. We travel in herds. If you think you’ve spotted a lone gay, you are not looking hard enough, and we already have you surrounded.

 

Straight people love a gay! They love one gay person at a time. They are so into that, conceptually, the idea of one gay person. It shows up constantly in movies and books and shit, the friends group with exactly one homosexual. Right? Representation! Here's a normal group of people, and statistically speaking, one of them should be gay. 'Cause if there's less than that it seems like we don't care about gay people, but if there's more than that--ew. They might start doing something gay. Like, we can't have that, right? This is for general audiences! Nobody wants to see you perverts--organizing an anti-bullying workshop or arguing about who should have won Drag Race 5 or whatever freaky shit you do together. Comparing your favorite farm-to-table brunch restaurants. Keep it in the bedroom, pal. So what they do is they give us the one gay person. They're great, they probably have an unrequited crush on one of their straight friends, so we can all feel kinda sad about it but also we don't have to think about them fucking. Okay, so that's our gay representation, we've got that covered!

 

This is--they really do us a disservice. Every movie and TV show, now, they have their one gay person. You get a gay, and you get a gay, and everyone gets a gay! Okay, but this is not a real thing! One gay person is a stereotype being spread by the homophobic media. And it has consequences! There are impressionable youth watching this stuff, and they're learning that the only option available for their lives is being friends with straight people. And that's just wrong. To all the impressionable kids in the audience tonight, number one, where the fuck are your parents, this shit is so inappropriate. You should not be here! Listening to the words that come out of my mouth will stunt your vocabulary and your fashion sense for the rest of your life. And also, since you're here, let me just tell you from the bottom of my garbage heart that the world is so much gayer than people want you to think. I grew up in East Fuckshit, Maine, population trees, and there were still enough homos in my graduating class to make a basketball team. You do not have to be the one gay person! There are so many of us!

 

I promise, okay? That's a promise from me to you. There are queers absolutely fucking everywhere, and especially right here, in this room right now, but also everywhere else, too. If there's anyone out there who's like me as a kid, if you're a little scared gay kid and you have horrible glasses, number one, those glasses are actually going to come into style one day. Intentional ugliness! It's a whole thing! Hipsters will commodify your shame. But this is more important, so everyone shut the fuck up and pay attention. There are gay people fucking everywhere! You are not one gay person alone in the world. You are one gay person in a room, a city, a universe full of us, and you can do and be whatever you want. And any time you doubt yourself, just remember that if Richie Tozier can do it, you can do it too, and by "it" I mean regularly have sex with a much more attractive person.

 

Thank you very much, everyone, that's my show! Thank you and goodnight!