Ways with Words | Plays with Words || Radcliffe Institute

-Good evening, everyone What a great crowd we have tonight I’m thrilled I’m Liz Cohen I’m Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and I am so pleased to welcome you all here tonight for Plays With Words This night of comedy opens our conference, Ways With Words, exploring language and gender, which will continue here at the Knafel Center tomorrow Every year, the Radcliffe Institute hosts a conference to examine a timely issue through the lens of gender In so doing, we affirm our connection to the stark mission of Radcliffe College, but we also host a gender conference because the interdisciplinary environment of our Institute for Advanced Study is precisely the right place to grapple with the multiple dimensions of gender in society Where else would you find performers, poets, computer scientists, transgender rights advocates, political scientists, and more, deep in conversation? No such effort comes together all on its own So I am grateful to John Huth, our conference chair, co-director of our science program here at the Radcliffe Institute, and Donner Professor of Science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences here at Harvard Thank you also to everyone at the Radcliffe Institute And believe me, it took everyone, especially Rebecca Wasserman and her staff, who worked so hard to organize this ambitious event In recent years, our gender conferences have explored a wide array of prominent public issues, migration, public health, and violence, just to name a few And all of our gender conferences have begun with an arts event We choose art as our first encounter with critical social, political, and cultural topics for reasons that go beyond the aesthetic Art demands that we approach a subject in a new way, and we see it differently than we did before One year, a dramatic reading by Eve Ensler propelled our inquiry into gender and the public’s health At a conference on immigration, we launched it with a musical performance by Quetzal, a bilingual rock band from east Los Angeles This year, we open with performances by Aparna Nancherla and ImprovBoston I want to thank them all, as well as Professor Glenda Carpio, and local WBUR radio host Robin Young, who will be leading our discussion More arts programming accompanies this conference, and it surrounds us here at Radcliffe in general And I urge you to visit, in particular, an exhibit that has just gone up, “A Language to Hear Myself” Feminist Poets Speak, which is next door at the Schlesinger Library, and it will be open throughout the spring One week from tonight, just to mention one more event, on Thursday, March 10th, Luci Tapahonso, who is the poet laureate of the Navajo Nation, will be giving a poetry reading The calendar cards on your seats will list more upcoming events, and I hope you will join us for many of them Tonight’s evening of comedy has brought students and faculty, artists and alumni, social workers and CEOs, electrical engineers, medical practitioners, activists, and more, together here in the Knafel Center You represent nine different Harvard schools, nearly two dozen local universities, and several area public schools You have come from all over New England, and as far afield as the University of Notre Dame and the National Theater of Canada I know that others are watching our live webcast tonight, and that many more will watch the video on our website in the months and years to come The breadth and diversity of our audience tells us something about the genre of comedy The urge to laugh is universal Humor can soothe tensions, cross divides, and unite people through the medium of shared laughter But paradoxically, what makes people laugh is not universal at all A joke that is funny in one time, place, or culture, does not automatically translate across time, space, or context

And while the action of laughing can bring people together, the content of jokes can sometimes drive people apart, or divide them into groups of ridiculers and ridiculed Comedy then might make us feel light hearted, but it is no intellectual lightweight It does important social and cultural work, and activists of all kinds know that In 2014, for example, transgender advocates petitioned Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to, and I quote from their demands, “reject transphobia and respect gender identity.” The petitioners wanted support from Stewart and Colbert on transgender rights because they knew that the popularity of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report had contributed, in the words of their petition, to, and I quote, “the recent cultural shift toward support for equal rights for LGBT people.” In other words activists sought to recruit two popular humorists precisely because they understood how much comedy matters One reason why comedy matters is that it tells us a lot about the state of language Jokes are only funny if you understand them Frequently, understanding jokes requires understanding the words used to tell them But words are not stable Their meanings change over time New words come into existence, and then they fade away Ideas about gender change over time too The social roles assigned to individuals on the basis of sex and assumptions about relationships among and between sexes are in constant flux They also vary widely from place to place and culture to culture So comedy can reveal a lot about sex, gender, and sexuality in a particular historical moment It reveals even more about how we use language to discuss challenging issues So let me give you three examples We know that William Shakespeare played to the pit, so even the most serious history plays or catastrophic tragedies were peppered with jokes that would be funny to cheap seat audiences Take Henry the Fourth, where scenes featured the portly knight Falstaff and the barmaid Mistress Quickly Today, the humor in their dialogue is not immediately apparent, unless we have an Elizabethan dictionary by our side When Falstaff says to Mistress Quickly, and I quote, “there is no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune,” the phrase stewed prune sounds mildly entertaining to us, but we don’t split our sides laughing In contrast, 16th century audiences did laugh uproariously, because they, unlike us, all knew that Falstaff had just called Quickly as faithful as a prostitute Here’s another example In the spring of 1865, a comedy called Our American Cousins was playing at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC That play contained a line, “you sockdologizing old mantrap.” That line doesn’t mean very much to us today, but John Wilkes Booth was an accomplished actor who knew that script inside and out, and he knew that that line would get the most laughs in the entire play He shot Abraham Lincoln at that exact moment, when that line was delivered, because he assumed the audience would laugh so hard that nobody would hear the gunshot, and he would have precious time to get away It turned out he was right A more contemporary example comes from Seinfeld, the hit television comedy of the 1990s In one episode, Elaine agrees to pose as the girlfriend of a gay man who has a homophobic boss After a pleasant evening at the opera, Elaine decides that she will convert the man, that’s her language, and she asks him if he ever considered what she calls changing teams Now that we know about the pernicious phenomenon of subjecting boys to abuse of so-called conversion camps in efforts to cure them of their sexuality, we in 2016 have a very difficult time hearing that line as light or funny This last example is recent enough for many of us in this room to remember, which reminds us that there’s evolution of both language

and gender happens constantly It is happening now What is funny today may not be so amusing tomorrow Noticing when we laugh and when we don’t can provide valuable insight into the state of language and gender at this precise moment in time, which is the subject of our gender conference this year I said at the beginning of these remarks that the purpose of our gender conference is to look at an important topic through a lens of gender To return to that metaphor, comedy calibrates the prescription for that lens with exquisite delicacy By looking through it, we can see our own moment in our own cultural context with heightened clarity I can think of nobody more qualified to help us do so than the talented performers and insightful commentators we have with us this evening Your program contains informative biographies about all of them, and I encourage you to take a good look at it So here is how the evening will proceed First, Aparna will treat us to a stand up performance Next Robin Young, co-host of WBUR’s Here and Now will moderate a discussion between Aparna and Glenda Carpio, professor of English and African and African-American studies here at Harvard Then we will enjoy a performance by the improvisational comedy group ImprovBoston After their performance, ImprovBoston members will join in the conversation with Aparna and Glenda And finally, the floor will be open to you for your questions If you would like to ask a question, please form a line behind the microphone that will be put in the center aisle, identify yourself, and ask your question In closing, let me just say that I hope to see you all back here tomorrow for a day of continued discussion at our Ways of Words conference So please join me in welcoming Aparna Nancherla -Hello, thank you for having me What a warm up Give it up for you’re– I know Well I want to jump right into things I feel like we don’t have a lot of time left here on earth Things are ending, so it’s good to get to the point Well, I know this is an academic conference, and usually I perform in bars and various also classy locations, but I wanted to, in the spirit of the conference, put together my version of a lecture of just my experiences with comedy and language So I’ll just jump right into it OK, here it is You Had Me At YOLO, and it is a big exploration of how language exists in an ever evolving landscape And of course this title I just got through a Ted talk random title generator But I thought it sounded pretty official And you know, for laypeople, is basically pondering as on why does that detective emoji only come in one skin tone, but the blond man in emoji comes in all of them? And of course, that begs for pictures So there you go there There he is in all of his depth and then versus why? Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get an answer to this question, but it does seem like you would need like a multicultural sleuth on the case And unfortunately, all we have is a boy band to help us So just a disclaimer right off the top, because I can’t get sued again I just don’t have the time I have many naps to take So I just want to cover all my bases I know this is a conference on language, but I just wanted to say I cannot speak highly enough of images I’m a big image fiend, and I wanted it to not take any power away from images before delving into language Here is just a photo that I love that I’ve taken in New York City, where I live This is one of my favorite photos, because it kind of symbolizes everyone’s attempt to just make it work We’re all kind of doing the best we can I think that And of course, I don’t want to take anything away from Kimojis, which are the newest type of emoji that’s

out, which is a way to express your feelings through our Supreme leader Kim Kardashian And there’s really something for everyone You can blow gum or, see no evil, or even graduate I feel like that one is a little bit sarcastic, honestly I don’t know when you would ever use that And then lastly, of course, foremost keepers of words and language are authors, and even an author can’t resist a nice headshot The author photo is something that you can never take away from them This man seems to be floating in space, and this woman is coming out of a tree So I just wanted to cover my bases And then of course, I know, language is playing with words and very much about words, but I know there are a lot of people who are into numbers and hard data, and I just want to make sure to give you guys something to rest your eyes on for a second So there’s just some figures for you This is just a light smattering of research that I did So, yeah, so now let’s get into the real stuff So who am I? Like language as a whole, I think you can say that language is very much informed by who is speaking it Like, the identity of the speaker is big So a little bit about me and some of the lenses that I come from I’m a comedian I’m a daughter I’m a sister I’m a friend This is pretty much going to read like a really long Twitter bio I’m an anxious depressive I’m an introvert I’m a feminist I’m a heterosexual I’m a cis woman I’m a person of color And I gently-floating fuzzball That one is for tax purposes And then I’m a florfp I recently started identifying as a florfp I don’t know what it is, by definitely I am one, so that’s part of my identity now So we live in a very exciting time for language I feel like the internet has really opened up the gates in terms of just allowing people access to a variety of things For example, you can just slap a caption on a photo, and just give an animal a rich inner life that it didn’t have before Yeah that one’s pretty undeniable It’s doing the work for me But even just in interacting with people, like Facebook recently came out with a new set of reactions So instead of just liking things, you can also love, ha ha, yay, wow, sad, angry Which incidentally, this is also kind of a life cycle of me on Facebook Like at the top of my news feed versus how I’m feeling by the end But it’s interesting, after this came out, I made a tweet joke that was this, “why is there no Facebook reaction for razbliuto, the Russian word meaning the hollow feeling for someone you used to love but no longer do,” which I think applies to a lot of the posts I check on Facebook And then I learned, after posting that, that razbliuto is not a Russian word at all It was somehow incorrectly appropriated to the Russian language, and then spread so quickly on the internet that is has now become a word in its own right that is attributed to English, but it has fake Russian roots And I guess we’ve all been there We’ve all claimed to be Russian So I understand, but it was a funny little study in how quickly language can change And of course language is the key to accessing lots of things, like in the most literal sense, a Wi-Fi password gives you access to the internet Captcha is a word that proves that you’re not a robot So these are literal uses of language But then I want to spend the next part of the presentation just talking about how language and communicating with me and technology has sort of fallen into place recently in my life Does anyone, let me just poll the audience really quick, does anyone text with their parents and or children? Does anyone? Oh, very polite OK, great So you all will know that I texted my mother, and it’s not always easy It can be challenging Usually people don’t even cheer when you ask them Like if they text with their parents they’re just like, please respect my privacy

during this difficult time But I’ve been texting with my mom, and I feel like she went through a journey of learning to text Like this was one of her first texts It was pretty much like an email Like she would put my name in the subject, and then and then she’d put the message And this one was at the very beginning “hope Nashville was fun, when we got married dad would,” and that’s it We never learned what dad would do We never got closure on this message But then she got a little bit better, and she started using it as kind of a tracking device Like this is when we were, I believe, in the MOMA together She was like, “are you on level 4?” And then I tried to tell her where I was, and then she said, “already on ground floor and hungry please,” which really feels like a metaphor for the struggle in general And then, lastly, she just put my sister and I on the same text chain and was like, this is just what you’re going to get “I did what you guys suggested For the first time in my life I went to a movie by myself Gone Girl is a powerful movie I liked it.” So she’s just basically blogging in a very tight circle I’m really proud of her But then she did get very advanced She started sending photos Like one day she just sent the moon for some reason I guess she just clicked in her lunar cycle finally, “bigger and brighter moon today lovelies.” That was it That was the whole That’s all she wanted to say And then she actually reached an end point recently, a few months ago, where she just sent this, “texts are not satisfying,” which essentially just feels like she broke up with me So it feels like she really had a whole eat, pray, love adventure on her phone And then meanwhile to compare her to my dad, this is the range of my dad’s texts This is a classic That one’s a good one It’s either that, or it’s just very pointed questions that don’t– really, you don’t know what they’re in reference to But you know that it demands an answer immediately So family, that’s kind of communicating with my family And then I was like, OK, well what else? Love, people are looking for love Is anyone currently online looking for love? OK it’s fine No one ever cheers for that I have to find the right noise I have to be like, if you’re on there make a quiet hiss I don’t know what the noise is I haven’t found it yet But I’m on all the sites I’m on OkCupid I’m on Tinder I spent a few weeks on Yelp I just wanted to go through a couple of the messages I’ve gotten, because I feel like I stopped responding And it got to a point where I’m like, well these man, they’re putting themselves out there, and if they don’t have a voice here, then where are they going to find that in society, you know? So I just put together sort of an in memoriam montage of those we have lost in the past year This one’s a classic “Hello dear lady You’re appealing beauty, cute, sober, and captivating face has forced me to send a message to you Can we tread on the path of friendship together? I like you much.” So this is clearly a robot who somehow got an account I don’t know what happened But it doesn’t really improve even when you know they’re human, like this one “There, how are you?” It’s clearly a cut and paste gone wrong There, what happened to hi? Someone else got that one “There, how are you I enjoyed reading your profile I feel we have few things in common.” Oh, then I think we’re pretty much done, with the few things that we have in common This one is a profile of a man who messaged me “I’m a man looking for more than most men are, which is someone who wants the same, but wants to have fun getting there,” which is basically just a riddle from a bridge troll None of that makes sense And then he writes “I am a work alcoholic.” I think a work alcoholic is just a comedian, it’s just a fancy way to say it This one is to the point

“Come smoke weed.” But it’s more when it was sent, which is on Christmas Again, it’s like men communicate differently, you know? Clearly that was his gift for that year And then this man, not a man of many words He sent a frowny face But then, like a gentleman, followed up three months later with, “we should definitely talk.” He felt like he got off on the wrong foot with the frowny face three months ago “I can teach you how to golf.” And then this man and just straight up wrote a poem We don’t have to read it There’s no time But basically, the gist is that love is like a sword fight between your heart and these eyes So men clearly communicate differently I hope you garnered some of that distinction through some of those messages And if you’re not online, please get on there You’re missing out Another thing that happens a lot as a comedian is you get a lot of internet comments Mine pretty much range from hate, which is like this one, “what it is your problem,” which was really in reference to nothing, to just mild confusion of you entirely “That’s so true, Doug.” Who is Doug? This is never answered She just wrote this on my wall I think it’s someone’s aunt But basically, let’s see, how am I on time? OK, I have to wrap it up So I’ll skip this next– OK, well I just wanted to do real quick, these are some new words that I learned today, just to help you guys I was like, I need to learn some new slang words, so just that so everyone can learn with me Here’s some Netflix and chill, if you want to casually hook up with someone Snatched, on point, it’s the new fleek Fleek is done You heard it here first There’s extra, where you’re trying too hard or being over the top Ship is two people you want to be in a relationship together Like if you’re like, I ship Kevin and Tracy, then that means you want them to find true love Sleeved, someone with undeserved confidence And OTP, one true pairing, a couple you are emotionally invested in Clearly a lot of these are sort of female driven But here’s the twist, one of them I made up Care to wager a guess? -Sleeved -Sleeved, you’re right OK, I’ve got to go back to the drawing board with my attempts to influence language And then, basically, in conflusion, which is a word I made up that means confused conclusion, because I don’t think I really came to any true points here This is quote from Jay Z, known wordsmith and rapper, “remind yourself, nobody built like you, you design yourself.” And that can be about you, or it can be about language Think about it OK that’s going to be if for me Thanks guys Thanks a lot -OK, let’s do that again Aparna Nancherla, people I think what’s going to happen now is they’re going to bring up chairs and things, and we’re going to all sit here I’m not sure that’s a chair I believe that’s a stool, but I think we’re going to– -It is -84,000 Twitter followers I mean, again applause -Thank you Thank you -While we’re getting ready to sit down– -Yeah -Why is your Twitter handle aparnapkin? -Oh, aparnapkin? It’s because I was on Twitter before people were using it as a professional tool So I was still trying to be cute when I came up with my handle It still haunts me today -You define yourself as a crumpled napkin? -Yes -That’s sad -Is it? -I’m not sure We’ll discuss But first, I want to let people know who’s up here with us Glenda Carpio, professor of English and African and African-American Studies at Harvard, and she’s got a terrific book, Laughing Fit to Kill, in which she’s looked at comedy and through a very interesting filter of race And so we’re going to get started here Why a crumpled napkin? You’re not a crumpled napkin -No I think I just like it because it’s like something that you absorb things and ideas, and then you’re muddled, but you’re sifting through things

-OK -Yeah, and that’s what you do I was noticing one of your tweets, you talk about emojis You sent one out, “why is there only one white snowman?” -I know It’s a real problem -Real problem, so the overarching conversation of the two days is how language changes over time, maybe because as issues of sexuality and gender maybe bend the language a bit When you’re doing your comedy, do you feel it evolve? I was thinking, for instance, might it be OK to do a joke now about Caitlyn Jenner, because she’s one and she’s powerful, but it might not have been OK a while back? -Yeah, I mean, I think comedy is very influenced by time I remember reading an article where it was someone was studying how soon after a tragedy, like a Twitter joke, became funny Like it wasn’t funny hours after this natural disaster happened But then it was like, he looked at it five weeks later and it was like, then it was popular So I do think there’s an arc of people’s emotional journey of being able to accept something as funny once they’ve sort of distanced themselves from the grief, or the tragedy, or the struggle of something -Well the struggle, and that brings to mind something I wanted to talk to you both about Glenda, I know you want to throw out some thoughts about this, the Oscars Did you all see Chris Rock do the Oscars? I mean, right in the opening monologue, Glenda, there he is saying, you might wonder why we weren’t protesting not enough blacks previously Well back in the day we were too busy getting raped and lynched to care who won best Oscar for documentary short I mean that was hilarious, but talk about that, well when it’s time for something -Well a statement people hear often about comedy is that comedy is tragedy plus time, but racial inequality in America is not over, right? So if there’s no time, so it’s constantly floating between tragedy and comedy, right? So the moment in which Chris Rock says that, it’s a moment that some feel the tragedy is still there, still so urgent It’s not ready for comedy, and others feel differently People laugh and out of synchronicity, right, from different vantage points But I think that’s one of the most powerful aspects about humor, is that it doesn’t always just entertain It makes you feel incredibly uncomfortable -Well he then kept going I mean after he talked about African-Americans getting raped and lynched, we’re too busy, uneasy laugh And then he says, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, you don’t care He just kept going and kept going all night -Yeah -In fact, you featured a skit of his in one of your books, I think -Yeah, I mean he was talking about when slaves go on vacation It’s like– -Should we laugh? -You go around to the well, and you meet the other slave who’s also taking a vacation by going around the well, you know? I mean one of the things about comedy, about races, and especially about labor, it’s like, again, the discussion of reparation is still very much alive, right? Wall Street was the place where that New York slave trade market was on Literally the geographical space, right? Wall Street itself, the wall, was built by slaves, right? Nearby there’s an African burial, right? So there’s the fact of America been built by slave labor is true, right? And so riffing on taking a vacation if you’re a slave in the now with Chris Rock, and this is partly one of the things I wanted to talk to you about, which is one of the things about Chris Rock that’s really amazing as a comedian is that he, like Richard Pryor, is this little body with this voice And the contrast between the lightness of his body, the things he says, and the voice itself, I think also makes for a very pungent kind of comedy, you know? -Do you think about your physicality when you’re– -Yeah, but I don’t think it’s as– it’s more of the thing of you’re being perceived sort of outside in, whereas when you’re performing you’re sort of thinking inside out So I don’t take it into consideration when I’m thinking through my act But I think often it’s put on you Like identifiers are put on you as a performer -Well you acknowledge that I think I just dinged, sorry Well you acknowledge– sorry -Are you texting someone? -I was tweeting your whole thing It was great But you had knowledge that, if I’m reading correctly, when you come out do your regular stand up,

you kind of say something like, I know -Yeah -What are you saying I know to? -Just because people have an expectation of what they think a stand up comedian should look like, or what a performer should look like And I think I had performed enough times that I sort of was like, OK well I’m just going to address that so I can move on to what I actually want to talk about And it’s like OK, I get it I don’t like what you think I should look like -I know, Mindy Kaling and me -Yeah -Right, that’s it But let’s find out about you The daughter of two doctors Did I understand, you actually chose between West Point and Amherst College? -Yeah -That’s funny -I know -That’s funny, isn’t it? -Really pushing the indecisiveness of myself to a bit -Which one, by the way? -Did I go? Amherst -Amherst, yeah -Yeah, yeah, I don’t think there would be here if I went to West Point -Well what did that tell us about you? Indecisive, but what more did the tell us about you? -I think just that I think I have distinct ideas of identities I want to inhabit I was interested in West Point as a kid because I was really interested in leadership and survival, and for some reason I was fixated on, if I was dropped in the middle of the woods, could I hack it? I had that, and then I had like, I want to lose myself in a book Like so I had these two sort of identities, and I think I just had trouble– -So you were basically a comedian from the get go -Yeah, I mean it all was in my head, too Because it is like it comes in a sort of unexpected package, so I think it surprises people -Yeah, I know Glenda, before, one of these you want to talk about is language and the most prominent women that we’re seeing right now, Hillary Clinton What are some of the questions that are being raised for you? -She’s so stiff, right? I mean, and so lacks a sense of self comedy I mean not that she has to have it, but what does it mean to hold the platform as a woman? I think you can become that stiff One of the things that was immediately funny to me by your set up was doing lecturing as a woman I mean, especially when I started here, when I was fresh out of grad school, I looked like a grad student, right? So getting up on the podium to lecture was already a kind of funny situation I had to perform the idea of a Harvard professor, right? And I didn’t look the part What I loved about your piece was how you did like the fake etymology The whole thing, the whole idea, of a genre of the lecture that people expect, and you twisted it around Thinking about Hillary Clinton, what kind of scripts does she have to follow, you know? What is as a political animal? How does she have to hold back? How does she have to– I mean you were saying, what if a woman was saying the same things that Drumpf is saying, you know? -Well yeah, I mean what if a woman came out and she was older, in her 70s, with wild graying hair, and she talked in exclamation points like that -We looked up at the mash up of Drumpf’s and Clinton’s face -You’ve seen it? -If you want to be terrorized, you go If you have the kind of perverse desire to– -They’ve mashed their faces together -Yeah, it’s horrible -But, I mean, did you feel this ever as a comedian? Because we were talking about how Hillary Clinton, in many ways– she comes out and it’s this wonderful moment And I’ve been privileged to meet her, personally, many times, and she’s loose and sweet and small And just the completely– but you feel as if she’s being forced into jackets, and pantsuits, and a certain– -Horrible pantsuits -Kind of thing, so that she’ll come out I mean, the first thing, if you win a primary, the first thing, you walk on the stage, and people are cheering Would you say, immediately, thank you, I am going to build a ladder Is that the first thing you’d say? No, you’d say, oh, isn’t this great or wow But if feels like she’s been robbed of that language -Yeah, I mean I also feel like women, in general, are fed so many contradictory messages At the end, it does drive you crazy And you’re like, I don’t know how to be I’m just going to be a robot I’ll just be a robot so no one can criticize -Well another thing we wanted to ask you about is, remember in August when Naomi Wolf wrote a piece in The Guardian about vocal fry? Some of you familiar with that? It was a criticism of young women in particular They show up a lot on This American Life, And they talk like that, and they have vocal fry And Naomi felt that this was just an affect, and that young women should get over it,

that it was demeaning to them And it was much like it wa– she said it was like a valley girl who had gone to a rave the night before and lost her voice Well I called a professor at Oxford, her name escapes me right now, but she’s a feminist and a linguistic professor in the UK And I thought she was going to say, yes it’s important, much like up talk at the end of sentences And instead she said, do not do this to young women, because it’s just like shaming them for the way they dress And don’t shame the way they talk And further, young women change language They’re some of the leaders in changing language You had some thoughts about that, that we– -This is a broad generalization, but it works for ethnic groups, racialized groups, there’s a standard way of speaking which is often connect to a standard race or class I mean the way that people in Europe have a sense of social difference is dialect and accents, right? The way we do it here is phenotype, right? And we do it phenotype and language, right? And so it’s gender, race We hear all of that in the way people speak -I realize I love to say, “and I’m all.” I love that He was all this and I was all that I love it That came from a young woman I interview Nobel Peace Prize winners and they begin their sentence with so You know, so your thoughts on that Speak more as this woman that I’m talking about -Yeah no, I agree with that I agree with not shaming women for how they talk And just language in itself is such a fluid changing thing that I think to put restrictions on how people talk, or how they sound, is such a way of holding people down or silencing them Of being like, oh well how you talk is really annoying to everyone, so maybe don’t talk as much That’s basically what you’re saying to women You’re like, don’t talk, we don’t like it I’m like, I thought we were past that We can vote, you know? -Well it’s like the perennial question that people often get asked, women get asked, in comedies Are women funny? It’s an insane question that keeps getting asked Really the under commentary is, are you human? -Yeah Its current now, or I guess we’re in the ebb of it, because it is like, Amy Schumer– -Tina Fey -Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, but it is like this argument that comes up like every 17 years, like cicadas or something, where it’s like, we have to solve this again It’s like nothing changed -I know, right? -What about physical humor, though? You were saying that it’s still hard– -I mean, think of Eddy Murphy, right? He got on stage He came out, and one of me students in Black Humor said that he looked like a human condom, right? Those leather outfits that he had, he was like a walking penis He would hold his penis, you know, and all that I mean, it’s the kind of stuff that, if you do that, you are, as a woman, and it’s a totally different scene, you know? I mean Wanda Sykes does a amazing bit about going to a titty bar in Florida, right? And she’s amazing in the physical comedy of it, but there are very few women who can risk that because it has– you’re sexualized anyway, right? But if you draw attention to it through comedy people are going to this stop at the sex and kind of let go of the humor somehow I mean, it’s crazy I mean, someone like Louis CK could make comedy out of his belly, right? But think about a fat woman coming out and doing comedy about a belly, right? There’s so much baggage around women and their physicalness, that I think people can’t even really even laugh at it, you know? -Yeah, well I think even between men and women, specifically in those I guess binary terms, I feel like there is a masculine sense of humor, and way of being, and then there’s like a more feminine sort of character driven and subtle nuanced way of joking And I do feel like both male and female comedians weave between the two, but I do think that it is often female comedians are expected to adapt more masculine traits and qualities, whereas more men don’t cross over Because I will see sometimes men in the audience check out during a female comedian’s set, but it’s only because her style is not the same like setup punch line, set up punch line, set up punch line And they’re just like, I don’t understand And they like sort of, this is not for me

But it’s like, it shouldn’t be like female comedy is like a niche thing We’re all human, so it’s like it’s all one spectrum, but it is like that is what stand up started as chiefly, so that’s what like people think stand up is -But it’s crazy though, because if you really think about comedies, let’s just take the example of American culture, some of was minstrel stage, and so much of it was like people crossdressing, right? -Yeah -So it was like white men playing black and playing female, right? And so it’s all of this getting very close to all these taboos that are then all be constantly alive, right? And so when you have to stand up without the minstrel set up, it’s interesting that we can’t go to those taboos, or that they’re alive on stage in a very different way -Right -I just had a couple questions, because again we’re going to have a performance from ImprovBoston, which we can’t wait And I think, I don’t know if I’ve got this right, but I think that they’re actually going to be playing off some of the things we’ve said up here Oh joy -I somehow am thinking parody -And also we’re going to get your questions But I just had one, every word that you spoke, you may not want to let us inside your process, but every word that you spoke when you did this was perfect It was -Whoa -It was It was, wasn’t it? -I’m going to really have to dig into that therapy exercising, accepting a complement -Breathe No but it was And so is it is not because you spent hours making sure that– do you craft it that way? -I mean, I feel like stand ups have– someone come to it from a more sort of organic of like talking their ideas out on stage I think I have a more writerly mind and sort of control issues where I have to know what I’m going to say for the most part ahead of time So I think I do latch on to like phrases and I like love language and I love word play, so I think I sort of build my jokes and ideas around just like a set of words, or a set of phrases So I think that sort of runs through what I do -And this was a language lecture But I just loved how you seem to love words What’s that one that’s over, because I didn’t know that it– -Fleek -I’m sorry? -I’m fleek -What? What is it? -It’s OK I was, when I made that slide, I was like I don’t know if you’re reading the room right -No, I’m not the room What does it mean? -On fleek is like on point Like if you’re like– -Tom Ashbrook I’m sorry That’s a Boston– sorry Go ahead -But yeah, it look like it’s spot on -Oh, but if I start using it now, it’s– -It’s usually more about someone’s appearance or something -But it’s over That word is over -Yeah, apparently it’s snatched -And one last thing, do either of you, you work with words, you work with words, I work with news, and work with words that way We had a crazy day today I don’t know if you know Mitt Romney’s got up and excoriated Donald Trump Unbelievable, and then Donald Trump got up and excoriated him back And I was working, trying to, because we update for different time zones, and we’re trying to listen And I looked up at one point, and you know how CNN has the banner that goes across the bottom, and it said, Trump colon, and I ruined my carpet endorsing Romney.” I know, and apparently he had a fundraiser for Mitt Romney, and people come with muddy shoes, and ruined his carpet And so he’d got a whole screen about how he should bill Mitt Romney for his carpet from the time he’d helped And then you could tell someone at CNN was just like lost their mind So Trump, I ruined my carpet endorsing Romney Do you ever find it’s like too hard to be funny, because real life’s so funny? -It’s like a joke on a joke -What do you do with that? That, he really said -I know I know I mean, it’s funny With all of that going on right now, it is like, as a comedian, it’s interesting Part of it is almost like we are living in a fever dream And like do you make jokes about it, or you just like let’s us put cold towels on our faces? But I still think we can make a joke on– as a comedian your goal is to heighten

whatever the reality is So I think if he said that about his carpet, what else would he say it about There’s always some direction to go -Well that is just the set up for a sexual joke -Yeah -Like, I ruined my carpet -Yeah there’s something distasteful there -So weird -What? -OK let’s stop there Glenda Carpio, Aparna Nancherla, wonderful So want we’re going to do is, we’re going to take our seats, and we’re going to invite members of ImprovBoston to come on up And guys, why don’t we start making the transition? We’ll move the chairs ImprovBoston, ladies and gentlemen, have you been to Central Square? One of the great shining jewels of Boston over there in Porter Square, and they also visit hospitals in different places, taking their fun stuff to places where it really lands But I have a feeling, now they’re going to skewer us And so, ImprovBoston -Thank you so much Thank you so much, Robin We are ImprovBoston My name is Deana -I’m Kelly -Hey, I’m Greg -My name is Corey -I’m Sara -Rosena -And I’m Mike -Thank you so much for your smattering of applause So Aparna is a brilliant stand up and a writer, and as Robin said, her words were perfection So Aparna spent a lot of time making sure that every word she says up here was going to be exactly right We do a different style of comedy called improvisation, where we haven’t prepared anything at all, and we have no idea what’s going to come out of our mouths -However, it’s still perfect -Oh well, we’ll let them be the judge, Corey We hope that’s the case, and we assume it will be, but the audience is ultimately the judge of that So what we’re going to do is an improvised set And as Robin mentioned, we’re going to take our inspiration tonight from what we have all just experienced So we’re going to use what Aparna had to say We’re going to use what Glenda and Robin had to say, and other information about the conference And we’re going to be completely making everything up on the spot So what you’re about to see has never happened before I assure you it will never happen again Everything is going to be improvised just for you, and that means we may need your help So throughout our 23 minutes and 45 seconds, we might be coming to you all for some suggestions We’ve got some microphones We can run right out to the audience All of you look afraid right now It’s fine I promise, it will be completely fine So let’s just get a little bit warmed up, right? So just for everyone, I’ll just ask what your name And on the count of three, you’ll yell it out It’ll be very easy What is your, one, two, three? All of you are name Jennifer I don’t know That was a terrible question I couldn’t hear any of it You’re all named Glenda now So we’re going to start our set tonight We just heard some really inspiring things by Glenda and Aparna and Robin What is, from someone in the audience, something that you heard in their discussion, one word that stuck out to you? This is the language conference after all -Carpet -Carpet -Carpet -Great -Thank you -Thank you -Carpet -It’s just, it’s ruined The carpet is completely ruined right now -I feel like this is like the time that I spilled coffee on my pant suit and no one told me And– -Do you know how many pant suits I have ruined endorsing political candidates? -You’ve got blond hair -Yeah -I got blond hair -Yeah, you want start a boy band -I also have blond hair, just saying -I’m just going to rest this joke here for a second In five hours, it’ll be funny -Hello, my name is Sara I will be playing the part of your professor today I might not look like your professor, but that’s who I will be playing today, because I am a performer -Hello, my name is Deana I will be playing the part of a student today -OK, quiet It’s my turn Professor Ship is– did you have a question? -I just wanted to say that I actually went to Emerson, so it’s a miracle they’re letting me in this building right now -Yes -You guys, several times I was telling you about things that I wanted to tell you about -Hey, excuse me– -I just wanted to say– -Sometimes– -Can you please not You’re literally shaming me right now -I ordered a coffee and it only came as a latte soy upside down frappuccino -I was thinking that it would be good if we all were to just get– -Freeze, Corey and Sara, switch characters -So you were saying in a normal human speech pattern–

-Right -Right -My thesis is about several things that have to do with comedy– -As the head of– -Freeze Kelly and Sara switch character –[INAUDIBLE] I didn’t get a piece of corn -So what you’re saying is– -Freeze Greg and Dina, switch characters -It’s OK -Are you upset? I’m having a hard time What the emotion? Do you need– do you feel– -Mrs. Clinton, I just need you to understand, as our country’s first major contender to be president, who is a woman, we are so honored to have you bring– -I’m sorry, I have Mrs Clinton’s update ready -It’s just, we want you to be warm -Enjoy version 2.3 -OK -Freeze, every time Miss Clinton speaks, she can only speak in a certain number of words between one and 30 How many words? -Five -I heard five Every time Miss Clinton speaks, it’s in five words No more, no less Continue -Mrs. Clinton, we need you to be warm and also cold And we need you to be hard, and we need to be soft And we need you to be strong and weak, all at the same time We need to be vulnerable but impenetrable, and we need you to be an achiever, but also an underachiever We want you to be successful and unsuccessful all at once We don’t want you to have too much experience, but we need you to have all the experience -How are you all doing out– -Do we have another update for Mrs. Clinton, or is this– -That was unfortunately the last one -OK -This is Clinton 4.0 -OK, well I’m sure the people would love to hear what you have to say So I know I have some questions for Mrs. Clinton -Mrs. Clinton, excuse me, in as many words as you possibly can, what is your vision for America? -America is a place -That is true America is a place Does anyone have a question for Mrs. Clinton, from the audience here? Would like to ask Mrs Clinton a question? -Question? Any question at all? Any Question at all? -I’ve got one -Yeah, we’ve go one here -Yeah, so what would be the first thing you do when you get into office? -Very good question -Great question, more Ellen Show Woot Woot -Finger on the pulse of America -Woot Woot Woot -Great, I think we’ve got another question here -Oh good, because she’ll woot for rest of the hour -Who will your first cabinet appointment be? -Great question Cabinet appointment -Cabinet appointment, first cabinet appointment -My husband, Bill, of course -Mixed reaction from the room, not sure that’s a good idea -If we’re going to be fielding questions here, I only think it’s appropriate that we have everybody involved It’s me, Donald You didn’t recognize it? -Oh, I mean the– -It’s spot on -It’s spot on Spot on Well, does anyone have a question for Mr. Drumpf, today? Who has a question for Mr. Drumpf? No one wants to talk to– right here -You said earlier that you were upset about your rug, could you tell us a little more about that? -I had a perfectly nice finished basement Beautiful, beautiful finished basement Had a corner bar and everything Muddy feets all over place -Only rug I see on head -Yep -Oh my goodness, face is on fleek -You must be Tom Ashbrook -You’re so snatched -Are you two ship? Shipping -OTC is what we are We’re trying to get together at this party -Guys, what about your sleeved? -Nice try, nice try, that was mad extra though -I’m not sure about the Halloween costume I got I mean, it was the last one at the store It’s a walking penis -Fix the hat Switch it around Put it around on the other side Put it around to the other side Yep, I like it This is less aggressive, I feel like

-Does it– oh there we go -You don’t have to be sexy for Halloween -You don’t have to be sexy at all -I’m just trying to have a costume It’s the only costume they had -Freeze Greg, let’s hear your Oscar winning moment -There’s a lot of people at this party I want to impress I don’t have a lot of friends and well it’s a costume party, and you can’t go to a costume party not in a costume So I said, what costumes do you got? And he said, well it’s the day of Halloween, not much, man He said, I got one for you, my friend I got one It’s a walking penis costume I said, how much? And he said, the deposit was $350 I said, I only got 250, will it work? He said, sure but you don’t get the balls -Back to the scene -Son, you’ve always been what we’ve wanted You don’t need a costume -Proud of you just the way you are I would ditch that dick outfit, and I would move on to something else Like being just you, perfect you -No costume at all -None -Except the one that I wear every day You know, the way society views me It’s the costume that I wear -Right, your mask -Right, it’s the mask that I put on -How they make you -There’s really no way to remove it, right, it’s the way that I’m viewed -Most people don’t understand it anyways -A lot of people are unfamiliar with semiotics I definitely am Went to Harvard -And they’re making assumptions about you all the time -Right -People make assumptions about you all the time -Freeze Kelly, let’s hear your Oscar winning moment -Just want my child to feel empowered, to be whoever they want to be I want ze to grow up and feel happy about the person that they’ve become I feel like it just takes a little bit of courage, and just the basic common sense to be the human that you are, and that I know you can be -Just takes a bit of courage? -Just a little bit -Back to the scene -Now clean this up, because mommy doesn’t like a messy floor -Sweetie, please don’t go see Fifty Shades of Nonsense Send -I just got the weirdest text from my mom -Dot send -Oh she means it She put a period in there -Whoa -Yeah, Yeah, I know -Does that say I just acted out Fifty Shades of Grey with dad? -Yes that’s exactly what it says -That can’t be what she meant to type -Is that what you meant? -Space, space, space, space, space -She’s typing -My thoughts are very loud Send -Tell her I like chicken pot pie -Send -I don’t know if they’re asking me to dinner, or what is happening here -Take a picture of my earlobe It’s gotten bigger than the other -Oh God, what is that body part? -I don’t know I don’t know -What is that -I don’t know -I feel like we’re really communicating, right? -No, no, no, no, no, no, you guys, it’s fine We just got dropped in the middle of the woods Go read your books I’m just going to build this fire by myself, OK? -Would it help you to know that I’m reading a book in the Little House on the Prairie series, and there might be some valuable information about– -That would help– -How to live in the wilderness -Would it help, or just be more ironic, if I burned this copy of Fahrenheit 451? -That would be both ironic and hopeful, Chad, yes -Look -What? -We didn’t all apply to West Point together for no reason, OK? -Hey, I have a safety school of Amherst college -Again, I just really want to go to Emerson -West Point was our dream That’s why we’re here -Sometimes dreams change -Say it again, Chad -Sometimes dreams change -One more time -Sometimes dreams change (SINGING) When I look all around, I think that this used to be my joy -(SINGING) His joy His joy His joy -(SINGING) But now I know with you by my side, I don’t need to go to West Point -(SINGING) West Point West Point West Point -(SINGING) Sometimes changes happen

Sometimes we change Sometimes changes happen Sometimes we change -(SINGING) I’m a bookworm reading Little House -(SINGING) Little House Little House -(SINGING) Just a little house, and it’s on a Prairie This particular book in the series isn’t helpful, because it’s mostly about my sister, Mary Things change -(SINGING) Things change -(SINGING) Things can change -(SINGING) Things can change -(SINGING) Sometimes, sometimes things can change -(SINGING) On this trip, I brought not one, two but three joints It was my goal to get into West Point -(SINGING) West Point West Point -(SINGING) With you clowns, me, you, you, and you All of us, and looking around, there’s no way out, no car, train, or bus Sometimes things change -(SINGING) Sometimes -(SINGING) Things change -(SINGING) Things change -(SINGING) Things change (SPEAKING) Thank you, Judy Thank you -You’re welcome -(SINGING) Sometimes things, sometimes people, sometimes the world, things– -(ALL SINGING) Change -All right, if you guys will just have a seat Thank you so much for joining me Just going to ask you a few– oop, sorry, that’s my phone -Verily Verily she is a saucy pomegranate I swear is a spruced plum Well I’ve forgotten the line, but you get it -Play to the pit, sir Play to the pit -Well poops and fun and beavers and chuckles -Well done, Miss -Yes, word from the king’s come down Everyone on the court has died It’s very tragic, very sad And my wife is still a sprickly– -Geoffry, come in here please, Geoffry Your offending a lot of people when you’re saying these– -It’s the script It’s the script -The script says stewed prune -Well thank you, I’ve been calling for line all freaking night -Do you understand the sort of people that you’ve offended thus far? -What? Who? Who’s offended by– -Tell me the last thing you said -It was, I believe it was something about pears -You’ve offended all blonde haired men Think about it -I will I apologize One more time What’s the line? Hit me with the line One more time, I’ve forgotten again -You’ve got it deep down -Nope, I’ve already forgotten it -Whenceforth– -Oh, you’ve forgotten it too Oh yes Yes -No -Yes -Never -Blood hell, it’s kumquat serve spot Is that it? -We’re all trying We’re all trying to gain an understanding of the language and how it works today I get this But we have to be true Now say the line -Very well It’s not soggy plums, but I think it’s soggy plums -It’s not It sounds like– -Seat belt. Cut it I’m so sorry -I just want to say, I just want to say, your words are perfection -Thank you Take the compliment -It just keeps going It just keeps going Keep going More Yes Yes, that’s it It’s perfect thing after perfect thing -Keep this going, I’m just going to change the recording That’s my laptop -Play to the pit -OK

-Pumpkin spice lattes and all good rubbish I don’t know -How are these now for the fellow What are you this here burnt marshmallow? -Corey, take the couplet back -Oh my -What must I say there sitting on this lap, for you are just one extra salty hot dog -Corey, take that couplet back -Sure, When I said you must have been the lob, I want to skewer you, you piece of shish kabob -Corey, take that couplet back, but this time rap it -All right, yeah, yo I’m looking at you, but I don’t want to make you cry, because you a nice piece of fluffy apple pie Yeah, I’m saying it’s a dream, and you’re just some piece of nice vanilla ice cream [INAUDIBLE] I’m saying they are true, And I just know that you are different kinds of food I’m going to tell you, I’ll tell you this quick, pour up a nice glass of that little liqu- or It gets you in a funk -What’s this I hear? Oh is this guy a rapper Shakespeare? -To the pit I say, I’m just a portly milk maid -From whence from the belt and I jam, I’m still saying princess of Bellingham And I don’t even say that I’m not gentry, oh, but I’m just helping Oh what has happened to me, I think I’m dying I think I might be, drowning in the ocean What is this [INAUDIBLE] I feel like a basket of dried up figgy pudding -I got, I got expelled -You did? Is it because your label fell off? -Maybe, but they said it– one of the teachers told me to man up, and I told him– -What? -Yeah, so I told him to woman up -Yes -Yes -That is how I raised my daughter -Thank you -Man up? -Right -We push children out -Yeah, that’s what women do -That’s power -Thank you -So woman up -So that’s what I said I got right in his face, and I was like, you’ve never pushed a baby out of your parts, buddy Who’s tough now? And then I started naming the parts, which may be while I got expelled -That was a little far, but I’m proud of you -Thank you -Because that’s really nice, but I think I need to have a meeting with your principal -Oh -We need to have a conversation -I know what’s going to happen He’s going to cry -Thank you for joining me -Welcome -What is the meaning of expelling my child? -What is the meaning of anything really? What does expelled mean? -She’s a third grader and she said labia -You should be proud that I know what that is -That’s right This is America -Go on -It is the land of free speech And my daughter had something to say, and she– -This is a common misinterpretation Free speech means that you can say whatever you want, but you need to face the repercussions of what you do inevitably say -What? -What? That’s the definition of– that’s literally what free speech is That’s how it’s defined -Excuse me -Wait -I will not stand in America that will not let my daughter– -Well than, have a seat -Good point My point is, I raised her to speak her mind -Yeah -I raised her to be a strong lady -Yeah -OK, and she’s going to come here tomorrow -Yeah -Because you’re going to revoke that expulsion -I’m here right now -And she is going to speak her mind all day, all day Matter of fact, she should have your job, Mr. Principal -Yeah -Again, she’s a third grader I don’t think that would be wise And I respect your fervor here, but can we agree that you’re mad that I said man up, which arguably is me exercising my own free speech? -Wait a minute -I’m just saying is all I’m just saying, it’s a kid phrase that I like to use, just saying -Hey, Rosena? -Yes -I just wanted to say, you said expulsion earlier Your words are perfection -Oh my gosh, thank you, Sara -Hey Rosena, I wanted to call that out too, but I didn’t know if it was appropriate -Totally appropriate -But you’re perfect -Thank you, Corey -You’re welcome -Hey, Kelly? -Hey, Sara

-You know what you’re reminding me of right now? -What? -That Kim K graduation emoji -You know what that makes me feel like doing? -What? -The Kim K cry emoji -You know what that makes me feel like doing? That Kim K highlighting emoji that exists for some reason, where you see all of the makeup on my face, but in different parts -I think that’s actually a contouring emoji, which implies that her face is fat in some way -I thought it was a kitty cat emoji, and those were stripes -I think it’s just another way for people to make people feel bad about themselves -You know what, I think it’s just another way people change -I’m not clear on emojis -Hey, Sara -Yeah? -Say that again -I will People change -Say it one more time -One more time -(SINGING) People change -(ALL SINGING) People change -(SINGING) People change -(ALL SINGING) People change -(SINGING) You might think they’re going to say one thing but they don’t -(SINGING) People change -(ALL SINGING) People change -(SINGING) People change -(ALL SINGING) People change -(SINGING) You want to say one thing, but you– -(SINGING) People change -(RAPPING) Yeah, we’ve got something to teach Please express your freedom to all free speech It doesn’t matter what you say or what you will recover, just know that there’s repercussions that you must suffer -(SINGING) People change -(SINGING) People change -Thank you so much We are ImprovBoston Come see us at our home theater in Central Square, Cambridge We’re going to kick it back over to Robin, and enjoy the rest of the evening -How scary is that? I was starting to sweat -People do tell us that a lot, that they sweat watching us, that they’re nervous for us That because we don’t know what we’re going to say, a lot of people cringe when we first start They’re rooting for us to succeed, which is great We do a lot of kids classes, and the thing we tell the kids when they’re getting nervous before they come out to do their shows is, nerves and excitement are actually the same chemical in the body So just convince yourself that you’re actually really excited, and then let that propel you on to the stage So we are nervous, but mostly we’re just fooling ourselves that it’s going to be a good time And then it is -Well it’s also probably because, if there’s no script, who knows what’s going to come out, which means that who knows what you’re thinking I mean it’s also a reflection, and the audience knows that there’s chaos It’s entropy, right? That’s what humor does, it allows entropy And improv is all about that, right, letting the unconscious out as well So you sign up for the unexpected, both from the side of the stage, but also from the side of the audience -I personally find that to be a great relief Tonight, I get to moonlight as the pianist, but my full time job is artistic director of the theater So we think a lot about this idea of being in the moment And for me, I was trained as a traditional actor, and having a script is terrifying because there’s a right answer, there’s a wrong answer You either do it right or you don’t And in improvisation, there is no right answer There is no wrong answer There’s only what we create together So that sense of, oh we’re going to go out on stage and we’re going to have a dialogue That’s simple enough You’re always prepared to do that -Well there’s also going– you open up yourself for a flop -Yeah -Richard Pryor did a lot of improved before he became Richard Pryor, right? He found his voice by doing improv, which is a way of kind of failing and finding the voice, and doing that, right? But it takes a lot of courage to fail in front of everybody -Not that you did Ever -Thank you, Robin -We probably did a little bit -I’m sweating now -I do think that’s important, though, the idea of failure being something that we actually strive toward The idea that we’re not taking risks as comedians, then we’re not actually doing our job And particularly in a setting like this, where we know that there’s this big overarching theme, and it’s really important, and what everyone is here to do tonight and tomorrow is to talk about something so serious, and so important to what’s happening in society right now There’s a lot of pressure on us walking into tonight We don’t want to offend anyone What if we say the wrong words? What if we get it all wrong? And the thing that we try to keep in mind tonight is, the second we’re in our heads about getting it wrong and saying the wrong thing, we won’t be able to say anything

-You won’t be funny either -Right, so just see what happens, and hope that, if we’ve offended someone, they understand that it was unintentional, and come talk to us after, and we’ll apologize And we’ll have a beer or something -Or they’ll punch you -Or that, yeah, maybe -You seem very angry at us Do you want to talk about something? -I was thinking too, that we were talking about physicality and women, and here we had a woman being a penis Halloween costume Beautifully, I might say -Thank you so much -You’re welcome -It was my best work -Your best work, right So a lot of the things we were talking about just, in comedy I just want, Aparna, do you do improv too? -Yeah, when I started, I took improv classes too, and did that alongside stand up for a long time -What did it do for your– -I mean, for me, it was really helpful in, like you guys were saying, just letting go the control as much, and sort of just exploring where things go That’s, I think, the beauty of improv is you never know where you’re going to end up And you sort of trust the people around you, and yourself, to know you’ll land on your feet -Or not -Yeah -Don’t forget that we’re going to ask you, if you have questions for anybody you up here, to be gathering them so that we can do that in just a few minutes So you didn’t take any notes, and you remembered more about our talk than I remembered about our talk -Well here’s the great thing, improvisation is a team sport So it wasn’t on any one of us to remember all of it Each one of us grabs something that resonates with them, something that speaks to them So if we all have a handful of things, there’s seven of us, so it will feel like we all remembered all of it Yeah that’s our secret -Another part of the improv training is active listening Most of us go through our lives and have the experience of waiting to talk, which is different than actually listening And so you are, if you do this year in and year out, you’re learning to really hone in on, what is the person next to me or across from me saying? How can I listen to that idea? How can I incorporate that idea? In improvisation, we’re also interested in the idea of owning that idea, so your idea becomes my idea The idea of a cell phone going off in the middle of moderating is may be terrifying to you, but to us it’s gold Oh there’s a piece we can pick up on, and then we can own it -That’s what that was -And then all of us have our cell phones going off So now we have this owned concept that comes through just really listening as closely as possible -And we also have a notion that every single word, as improvisers, is a gift Every single word our scene partner uses is important One word can change the meaning of an entire sentence Improvisation is founded on the idea of a concept called, yes and We say yes to our scene partners idea, and we add to it And the difference between, yes and, and yes but is night and day There’s a huge distance between yes and, and yes but So for us, every single word matters Which is why, for us to be at a conference like this when we’re talking about the actual evolution of language in real time, is fascinating Because as improvisers, we’re having to key into all of those changes People are coming to our theater, and we’re asking for suggestions, and they’re yelling out words that we may have never even heard before, but they’re words They’re real words that people are using So it’s important for us to be actively involved in the listening and the conversation -With the theater, we serve the community through laughter That’s part of our mission statement in ImprovBoston I can tell you, everybody that performed for you tonight, the performers, we actually work a lot with children Corey O’Rourke, our wonderful rap master MC, he and I both do a lot of the summer comedy camps And last summer, we would break for lunch, and have to meet and say, they said this, this, and this I don’t know what those things are Did you google them I did They still don’t make sense to me I feel like they’re very inappropriate and we should be writing letters home to parents -I’m not the only one -It’s just, it’s moving so quickly, and keeping up with it can be very challenging -Well that’s what you were talking I mean, do you feel you have to do that as a stand up comedian, with 84, 86, probably 90,000 followers by now Do you feel you have to be on top of that? -Well, I think you sort of find the middle ground of your point of view and the world around you, and your space in it And I think sticking to that is sort of like your guiding light of where you land Because if I only wanted to play to teens, then yeah I probably would be more linked in to slang But you sort of learn from your audiences, too You see what works and what doesn’t, and you sort of adjust accordingly -Because it is a real divide I mean, I remember when all the texting and everything started For the longest time I thought LOL meant lots of love So I’d been writing my nieces and nephews like,

oh I really hope you do well in school today LOL I mean, I’m wondering if you feel that divide in comedy too? Like, oh there is somebody out there who really is not getting what we’re doing, because we are in a language divide I mean, there’s a whole language that’s been created -I mean, I think that you have to present yourself as a person And I think that was funny watching the panel before I’ve know Aparna for a while, and follow her work, and that question always does come up, are women funny? Nope, they’re just people They wear pants sometimes Be a human first I think, be a person, be relatable, and find your voice, choose what you want your voice to be, and I think that that’s what we should be doing in life as well I think comedians are gifted and lucky And I was talking with a few of the guests prior to this event, and I said, it’s not lost on me how lucky we are that we get to use words and we get to present our ideas And things inspire us We get to share them And we get to also flip them on their side and find the funny part of it -I think the piece of what Kelly is saying, about the storytelling component, is so important Before I got to ImprovBoston, I was with The Second City in Chicago for about a decade And when you get hired to The Second City, you get a salary, and you get a subscription to the Chicago Tribune And your goal is to be as on top of all of the news and current events as humanly possible And the time I was there, the newest timeline was speeding up so quickly What Glenda was saying about the tragedy plus time equals comedy, well time gets shorter and shorter and shorter every year And what we were struggling with at Second City, in those days, was actually finding the humanity behind the news story You can’t just regurgitate the facts, because now it takes three months to produce a Second City review By the time that three months has elapsed, the news cycle is old, old, old So what you’re looking for is, what is the humanity behind the news? How do you create characters and relationships that will stand the test of at least six months, if not the test of time? And I think on some level, even in improvisation, that’s what we’re looking for What is the humanity? What is the story? What is the real human interest behind this? And when you can expose that and explore that, the audience is going to be on your side, even if you’re dealing with a really touchy, edgy material that maybe not everyone in the audience is on board with If you present humans interacting, you have this empathy and this connection And I think it was true for what Aparna was doing too She’s just so relatable She could say literally almost anything and I’m, oh yeah Oh that’s great Oh good point, right? She just draws you I think that’s really important as opposed to– sorry? -People change -People change So maybe tomorrow, it’s not the case -It changed right now Aparna, we’re going to have to ask you to step down -I just think too, that when you start thinking about words, and we were before we came here, is everything starts to just– if you can see the humor in it, like I was tweeting your last name, which is Carpio, and it kept coming up carpool -Yeah -And so it’s like, OK -Professor Carpool -You’re Glenda Carpool I mean, just going with it, and going with where the words, whatever they are, where they take you We’ve got just a few minutes I know you all want to race back and see the Republican debate First time Trump faces Megyn Kelly, come on But what we’d like you to do, we can put a microphone somewhere -Middle aisle -Yes middle aisle here The great people who are, by the way, taping this This entire event is going to be able to– yeah, so it’s going to be, all of it Thank you so much Going to be running So come on on questions for anybody Maybe you’ve read Glenda’s terrific books, Laughing Fit to Kill, about comedy through an African-American prism Or if you’re a Twitter follower of Aparna, or you want to leave Fleeing from the microphone Oh my god, they’re racing Witness protection– -This is that improv fear everyone has I didn’t plan a question I should go They’re all sneaking out Thank you -Here comes the pity question -Thank you for saving us -Hi -Hi, I’m a premed student at MCPHS University and I just happened to see this talk on my news feed, very relatable So back to the serious question of, how would you, I guess, ask a woman to take off the couple of layers that society kind of places on them and show their real selves? -Good question -That’s tough That a tough question -Or like, what do you think of Trump’s hair too?

-Thank you -I mean, I think, I’ll just say in all seriousness, I think it starts with not imposing those on women in the first place So it’s being more aware as parents, as educators, that our young children don’t have to grow up with one or the other They don’t have to grow up with things put on them Let them be the kids they want to be And I’m not a hippy parent who’s like, don’t give them rules I have two kids They have some rules But I have tried to let them be the people that they want to be And I know that’s difficult once they leave the safety of my house And I was the mom who walked into preschool and said, he does not have to be what you’re telling him to be He does not have to play sports He does not have to do that Let him sing That’s what he wants to do Let him be the kid he wants to be And Then doing the same thing for my daughter, and teaching her that she should have a voice, and she should be a self advocate, and she should stand up and say, I don’t want that You can’t do that Don’t do that to me And it’s something that our schools don’t often encourage in kids But I argue that is the way to raise adults that are going to take action and be great citizens I heard a quote once that, in school we tell kids to sit down and be quiet, and no one has ever changed the world by sitting down and being quiet We need to teach them to stand up and say what’s on their minds, and say what they believe, which is a very long answer to your question I don’t know the answer to your question, but that’s how I would start -I mean, it’s a powerful question that goes pretty deep, and we’re grappling with it on our own level at ImprovBoston We have about a year long course, if you want to study improvisation, with a bunch of different levels And we’ve begun to actually bake some of that into the curriculum itself, so when you walk through the door, one of the first things you’re going to hear is, you can be anyone you want to be here This is a safe space We’re all kids on the playground playing pretend Ultimately, what we did up here tonight is to play make believe for 25 minutes, and get paid a little bit for it, right? It’s pretty impressive to make a career out of that The extension, for the many comedians or aspiring comedians who come through our doors, is this idea that, for at least three hours, this day, this week, you can be absolutely anyone you want to be, and no one in your class is going to tell you can’t be that And on top of that, you’ve got a little taste of it tonight, where we did the switch characters, and then Greg jumped in and he was doing the vocal fry at the end So we’ll do a lot of that sort of switching role play in classes to expand the horizons, not just of the ensemble, but of individual players who can step out of their comfort zone, and maybe try on a role that it would never occur to them to play The only stipulation is that, any role you step into, you’re playing with integrity, and you’re playing to the top of your intelligence So you’re never punching down, and you’re never scoring a laugh at, isn’t funny that a woman might be playing the president? Or isn’t it funny that a guy might be playing a woman in the scene? That’s never where the humor comes Does that make sense? -Just, if I may, as a performer So I came to ImprovBoston to do improv late in life And prior to that, and still now, I do stand up comedy I think it’s important to get out there and perform and set an example to people to be exactly who you are, no apologies This is who I am This is the body I have This is the person I am This is the voice I have It’s sassy It’s Kelly And I’m going to say what inspires me I’m going to talk about the things I want to talk about I’m going to play my belly in front of a roomful of people, because it was appropriate to what we were doing And that I was inspired by that through the conversation Set an example to be who you are, and it will set an example for other people to be accepting of it And it will inspire people to want to do the same Thank you so much -Trump’s hair is ridiculous, by the way -Yeah, how is that? It’s not hair -So this isn’t actually my question, but you were talking about going to school, and telling them saying, let my child be creative I just want to let you know that there is a study that shows, this is true, they can tell with 99% accuracy whom you’re going to vote for, Republican or a Democrat, based on whether you feel your child should be creative or obedient So when you’re going to certain states, I would say don’t tell that story But my question is, Aparna I spent many years in India, and I don’t know if you go, but I’m just wondering, when you do– because the humor there is, in some ways similar, but in some ways very different I just wondered if you ever go to India,

and whether you change the way you do humor based on that difference in the audience? -Well I actually haven’t performed there I have family there still, so I’ve visited, but not in that context, so unfortunately I can’t speak to that But I know that stand up is now a thing there, and it’s sort of burgeoning, but it’s still sort of in a initial phase So I am very curious to go and try to do comedy there -Where is your family from? -Hyderabad Yep, you’re welcome -Hi, I’m Sarah I’m a local documentary video producer I was thinking about what I believe Robin said at the beginning about, or actually I remember it was that said it, but talking about I think the transgender rights group that had asked Stephen Colbert– -It was Elizabeth -Yeah, it was Elizabeth, wasn’t it? Asked Colbert and Jon Stewart to openly work with them on influencing, because humor has power And I just wanted to kind of hear your guys’ thoughts about the potential power of humor as– somebody asked Neil Gaiman once, I think, what he said people always think the opposite of funny is serious, but it’s actually not funny And I just want to hear your guy’s thoughts about, especially in this very politically charged time, about kind of the role of humor in challenging existing power structures, whatever that might be -Yeah well I think we’ve seen Jon Stewart and his show has been a huge, huge cause, a huge sort of lightning rod for so much change in the last few years And most young people getting their news, when he was still running The Daily Show, from The Daily Show than any other source, I think, is pretty powerful I think satire and parody can be hugely powerful, and nothing changes society faster than holding a mirror up to it and saying, can you see how ridiculous this is? Do you see it right here? I have a friend right now who is touring the country in a satirical Trump Sanders debate It’s called Trump versus Sanders It’s touring the country right now He’s playing the Wilbur in a few weeks This is a guy I went to college with He is a staunch Sanders supporter, and he’s playing Trump And the reason why he’s doing it is not for laughs, although it’s hilarious He’s doing it because he feels like there is such a short distance between actual Trump and something really bad that’s about to happen, that he’s taking the character to its logical satirical conclusions You can go online and look at transcripts of the show, and it is so powerful And the audience is laughing, and they’re uncomfortable, and they’re not sure what to make of it But they walk out either loving the show or hating it, but they walk out knowing that they were delivered a message, whether they intended to get one or not And I think one of the great things about comedy is, we get away with saying a lot of things that other people can’t So we’re not standing up and saying, come hear us preach about politics, or come learn this valuable lesson We’re saying come laugh with us And then we’re sneaking the other stuff in Because when you are laughing, you’re more open to hearing a message -Yeah, I worked on this show called Totally Biased, that’s no longer in the air, but– -Just a little show Just a little show -It’s a little mom and pop show No, it was on FX, but it was in the spirit of The Daily Show Is like a late night talk show, but addressing sort of the intersection of comedy and social justice And the host was like this liberal, San Francisco comic named W Kamau Bell And I think it was just really amazing in that it brought voices to TV that hadn’t had a place there before And just the fact that someone was delivering these viewpoints who had not traditionally inhabited that space is huge So I think it’s also, it’s not just bringing social justice and comedy together, but it’s also like, who are we giving a platform to do that? -I do think you have to take into consideration the context of the human rights The Jon Stewart show is gone, and so is The Dave Chapelle Show, so there’s a kind of limited span in which comedy can be effective before it gets commodified, even before time blunts its edges, right? So you do have to think about the longevity of social justice

and humor It can happen in a flash before it actually goes into feed the very thing that it’s critiquing So that’s a complicated thing about social justice and comedy -And I think it’s important, also, to keep in mind that, for everyone in this room, we’re talking about comedy’s power to speak to social justice or to speak truth to power, but comedy is just a vehicle, and that vehicle can carry pretty much anything So when you look at, what is the mass American consumption of comedy right now, it’s not actually The Daily Show, as much as we’d like it to be, or Samantha Bee’s incredible new show, Full Frontal, which if you’re not watching you need to It’s Two and a Half Men, it’s Jeff Dunham, it’s Blue Collar TV, right? It’s comedy that doesn’t seek to inform or enlighten or elevate the conversation, it’s comedy that seeks to score a laugh at whatever expense And it sounds like I’m talking down to it, and I don’t mean to, because that is a very large swath of the comedy industry right now So it has the power to do a lot more than that It also has the power to punch down and just derive a laugh at any means necessary -I think we’re going to take– what do we have three more questions, I think? I’m trying to gauge the line Yeah, so let’s make that the next three -Thanks, so my name is Tina, and I’m here at Radcliffe this year doing a fellowship, but in my regular life I’m in profession where I’m almost always the only woman in the room I’m a neurosurgeon And I’m kind of humorless, but I think that there are many situations where people are uncomfortable with you where humor really is helpful Can people learn it? -Yes -Yes -Oh thank you for the softball -You should take a class -I just coached– this is so funny, because I just, through ImprovBoston, had a one-on-one coaching opportunity last year for a lovely woman who had gone through our stand up program And she needed one-on-one coaching and, similar to you– many degrees, I’m assuming you have, to be a neurosurgeon That seems pretty big Very intelligent, super intelligent woman, and we basically sat and had sessions where I was helping her just tap– she was hilarious And she just didn’t quite know how to flip a switch That’s the only difference between someone who says that they don’t have humor and this group, basically, is that we know how to flip a switch, right? We can turn it on a little bit, and we’re not afraid to fine the words And yes, you can be taught, is I’m telling you Please see us after -And I’ll just say that I came to this work through classes I was a teacher and wanted something that was going to be fun for two hours a week And I googled it and found ImprovBoston And thought, I’ll sign up and take a class That’ll be fun I’ll never perform I’m just going to do that and go home to my kids, and that’ll be great And what I found by week three of my first eight week class was, oh this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing And this is going to changed my life forever And it wasn’t because they were specifically telling me to be funny It’s because they were telling me to be myself and find the truth in myself, and then the comedy will come from there So I cannot say enough about improv classes They completely changed my life We do have the largest comedy school in New England so please visit us online at improvboston.com And again we’re not teaching you to be funny We’re teaching you to tap into what it is in you that’s already funny And I would argue, just based on the timing of how you delivered I’m not funny, brilliantly funny This room laughed, right? -You know what you did -You got a huge laugh from this room -You know what you did -You’re fine -She’s walking out -Hi -Hi, my question kind of falls off of that question My name’s Dana, and I’m a perennial student, a bit of an intellectual magpie But right now I’m home with my 13-month-old baby -Yay, congratulations -Thank you We were at a mom and baby group, because they’re mom and baby groups, not parent and baby groups -Right -And my baby was wearing lots of blue, blue diaper bag, blue water bottle And one of the other moms with a baby dressed in frilly pink says, what your child’s name? And I said, her name’s Evangeline And she said, oh so she has an older brother And I said, no we just like all the colors And then turned to the other woman the other side and said, I thought, because of the blue, I thought it was a boy And I find what you’re saying about comedy holding a mirror, I always struggle to come up with a response to that How do you find a balance between being comedic enough to hold up a mirror and not being

offensive that it causes someone to double down and not listen? -That’s a great question I don’t know that I always do that successfully, especially in moments like that I was yelled at by a woman in her 70s at the grocery store once, because my child, my baby, was wearing yellow And the woman came up and said, your daughter’s beautiful? And I said, thank you, this is my son Jackson, and she yelled at me You shouldn’t put him in yellow What? That makes no sense And my retort to her in that moment was not very clever I think I said something to the effective of, you should wear yellow Like it wasn’t funny at all But I don’t have, in those moments, a lot of impulse control -I’ve realized that I need to have a repertoire of something I can say so I’m not just doubling down and– -Yeah, I think they’re the ones bringing their own stuff to it So hold up a mirror to them You said her child was in like all this ridiculous pink stuff Make fun of her baby is my advice I’m sorry I shouldn’t– I don’ know Don’t make fun of her baby I don’t know -But that occurred to me, but I didn’t want to make her get even more defensive -Well I think you’re right So your original question, before I told you to make fun of another infant, was how do you– -My baby’s got teeth What’s your baby got? -Yes, just turn it into a game of who’s got the better baby You would win, obviously But you very seriously asked, how do you not provoke people? How do you use humor and then not just provoke the beast and the situation becomes worse, right? And I think all of us, as humans, have to figure out where that line is of where it’s not worth it My job as an improviser and a comedian and an entertainer is ultimately to entertain My job as a person is to be true to myself and have integrity And those two have to align As an improviser, I’m not going to purposely get up on stage and offend anyone But if you’re making fun of my baby, I’m probably going to say something -But I wonder if you didn’t handle that beautifully -Yeah -Yeah -Yeah, because I feel like you did, right? -Thank you -We really like blue We like all the colors I guarantee you she was standing at Starbucks later being like, my baby can wear all the colors -Yeah -I hope so I hope so -Like, I think you did exactly what you were supposed to do You were lovely and pleasant, and you didn’t have to like, well my baby wears blue, and your baby’s wrong I think you just gave the answer It was the honest– -That was my best answer yet -Yeah I mean I have a stepson And as soon as people find out that I’m a step-mom they go, oh -What is that? -You know what I mean? But it’s the same type of thing where they’ve got these buckets that they think everybody belongs in, right? Like oh you’re just his stepmother You know what I mean? So I always correct them And I’ve actually, I fell like I’m getting off topic, but I want to give you the example He’s 10 and a half, and I’ve been with him a long time And he even knows now what to say, because I say at home, and we believe it and mean it, right? Whether he was my stepson or adopted or whatever the situation is, my birth child or whatever, he will now say to people, she’s my mom by love, not by blood So, I know right? Literally, I think you’re handling– why can’t we say in a nice way, exactly what we think? -That is better advice than making fun of her baby -Although I would love– you seem so nice, I would love to see her throw down about babies Your baby so bald I would love to see it -Maybe one day -Come take a class, and we’ll teach you how to make fun of other people’s babies -Thank you Thank you I think we have time for one last question Thank you -All right, I’ve been standing up here trying to think about how to make this concise -OK -My name is Amelia, and I work for The Theater Offensive, and a lot of what you all have been talking has been stirring and firing connections in my brain, and one thing I was thinking about is this idea of people change, language change, stuff changes And then we sort of talked about people creating that change And one play that– I’m a theater artist, and one play that came into my mind around this

is Brahman/i by Aditi Kapil, where Brahman, who is a trans, intersex young person plays with, messes up, throws in our face our ideas of binary gender, and does it sort of through the stand up lens So the whole show is in stand up I watched that show about a year ago, and it’s against the backdrop of so many trans women of color being murdered, and the real deep danger and risk in truly being yourself, in showing your true colors, and in participating in that radical self creation So I’m curious how, either as scholars, solo artists, or as a group, you can kind of balance risk and locate yourself in the skin you’re in, in the body you’re in, in the space you’re in, to be that agent, making that change through language? Kind of a complex question, but anyone go for it -I will put in a plug for The Theater Offensive If you’re not familiar with their work, go online and look them up They do amazing, amazing work I can’t thank you enough for the work you guys do It’s fantastic stuff Yeah -All right, I’ll take a stab at it I think improvisers have it easier than in some other art forms, because all you have to do is show up and be brave enough to trust your own voice in an ensemble of other voices with people also trusting their voice And then whatever weird casserole we make on stage together is what it is in that moment It’s certainly, I think, trickier for playwrights or performance artists who have to get every word right -Or professors -Or professors, who have to deliver a lecture that has to be spot on You know you’re going to get challenged by every student in your class With improvisers, once you learn to trust yourself, and trust the ensemble, you know that whatever experiences you have that lead you in your life up to this point are going to be respected and celebrated on stage And ideally, with the kinds of crowds we get in improvisation, the audience is going to connect with you and celebrate right along with you We don’t get a lot of laughs with derogatory or scapegoating or punching down sorts of humor The art form in that sense makes it a little bit more supportive for us What’s most interesting is, when we step outside of our improv bubble, we do a lot of anti-bullying workshops in schools across New England, social inclusion workshops, and that’s where we’re trying to take the principles of improvisation, support, trust, saying yes to yourself, saying yes to everyone else, and then seeing that play out in a real world seventh grade, eighth grade, 11th grade, 12th grade scenario where those principals are not necessarily agreed on, not just by the students, but dare I say the teachers and some of the higher level management as well That’s where the rubber meets the road And it is not easy, but we keep fighting the good fight in trying to change minds one at a time -I think one thing that I’ve found tricky as a stand up and an improviser, and just a comedian in general, I mean if you’re a stand up, you’re just bringing yourself to stage, and really just you being authentic to whatever you believe and who you identify as is being honest as a performer But I think, sometimes, in both stand up and improv, and comedy in general, people– sometimes in improv, it would come up where it was like some person playing a character of a different race, or a different sexuality, and it’s like, where is the line of appropriateness between them playing it authentically and them sort of doing a caricature just based on their frame of reference, and not intended to be harmful? But I think sometimes the audience will tell you where that line is But there’s definitely– I’ve seen failure of like, don’t do that accent of don’t walk like Comedy involves a lot of failure, unfortunately, and making people uncomfortable, and finding those lines, societally, where we’re at -Well, at the highest level, it really involved literally being willing to get burned, as you probably know if you know the work of Richard Pryor, who I’ve been invoking throughout He literally set himself on fire But one of the ways in which you can read that is that he talked so much about the toxic mix of American racism that he bitterly burned up through it I mean the comedian is someone– comedy is a ritual People gather to ritualize all kinds of aggressiveness, right? And laughter is the cathartic means

by which we get rid of some of that aggression, right? And I think that, in his case is a really intense example that speaks to your question, what does it take to be able to speak to your truest self, right? In his case, it was really a willingness to walk this fire line, right? And he fell, right? And I mean, in terms of who we are as performers of every different kind, you know Robin is a performer, improvised, as comedians, as just the everyday performance of the self, right, it requires that you know how far you can go, want to go, right? One of the things that I find most, it’s going to sound like a really weird non-sequitur, but one of the things that I found most interesting about teaching at Harvard when I first got here is that, with principal fear in students is their fear to fail, right? But you’re never going to learn if you don’t know how to get off the horse and get back on it, right? So I think in every kind of performance is that playing with a fire of failure Will it get you to learn and go to a higher place, or mean that you’re just burned, and you’re done, right? And that playing with that line is where a lot of humor comes from, I think -Thank you What a great evening with great questions Thank you so much I’m just going to thank you, again I think that Dean Cohen has some thanks as well, and here she comes -Well I just want to ask you all to join me in thanking everybody who participated tonight in giving us a wonderful, wonderful evening, and showing us, I think, that they have an incredible way with words I hope you will join us tomorrow, when we go deeper into these topics But once again, let’s give them a great round of applause