Jump Out or Get Pushed? (with Roy Wood Jr.)

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When Roy Wood Jr. was arrested for stealing a credit card at 19 years old, he thought his life was over. While awaiting his sentencing and with nothing to lose, he decided to finally try standup comedy. He was a natural, and when the judge decided to give him probation over prison, he decided to pursue comedy for real. Roy talks about learning how to perform in the South, why he’d rather jump out of a window than be pushed, and his big decision to leave The Daily Show.

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Transcript

SPEAKERS

Roy Wood Jr., Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee  00:00

I think reading the signs around you is a serious skill. It’s important to understand that to everything there is a season. Sometimes you just need to hit the road, Jack. Let’s see how many more songs can I possibly fit into this? No, actually, that is, that’s plenty. Because this is about knowing the limit of something. Sometimes life is actually about jumping out of the window before someone pushes you out of it, proverbially, of course, no real D. fenestration here, please. The thing about jumping out of windows is unless they’re on the first floor or above a bed of puppies, it’s really scary to stare out of him worry about the dangers of where you’re going to land, especially if behind the window, you’re standing in a really nice room. I definitely have sat in beautiful, cushy windows seats. I often think about one particular window that I probably should have leaped out of when I started to feel like the time was right. I could have packed a lunch, my air pods and a big trusty parachute and jumped right out of it, but it is easy to be comfortable. If you’ve been listening to this show, then, you know, we’ve heard a lot about how it’s hard to make decisions that uproot us from the well known the well wait, so you know, I waited and yeah, I did I got pushed instead. I wouldn’t quite say that I landed in a bed of puppies, but I’m very happy with where things are now. I often think about whether I should have jumped when I had the opportunity, I think it might have felt pretty good.

 

Samantha Bee  01:48

This is Choice Words, I’m Samantha Bee, my guest today is comedian Roy Wood Jr. and I love we talked about jumping out of the window before your push something he took seriously before deciding to leave the Daily Show last year. He’s so thoughtful and so funny, and I can’t wait to see where he lands. You can find him on tour now in a city near us. So check out his tour dates online, see if he’s in your neighborhood. Until then, take a listen and make good choices.

 

Samantha Bee  02:16

Roy, I’m so happy to be talking to you today. Thank you for saying yes to this.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  02:32

Why would I not? You affirmed something I suspected that I did not know but I always wondered. And it was like thenight we met was Trevor’s first night at The Daily Show. And you came to the taping. And it was like hugs and Kumbayas and all of this shit. And I was like all […] the people who have worked at this show still like each other and like there’s a weird fraternal sorority societal. You are one of us now, hello, welcome to the League of League of Shadows, whatever. And it was like I don’t know I’ve always told people that anytime I’ve run into daily show alum. who graduated before me it’s like running into someone I went to the same high school issue, and just like in this like instant love and like, between Colbert and I, the first time I met John Oliver was walking past a fucking sushi spot. It’s like year two of the day, which he calls me over. And I want to talk to you about a few things and then.

 

Samantha Bee  03:56

Okay, I’m gonna give you a little context for this podcast before we like kick it off, which is that we always start the conversation by talking about like, the way that you make choices and like big decisions in your life. And I know you’ve had a few big decisions that you’ve been making recently. We will definitely talk about that in earnest for sure to to the level that you wish, but can I.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  04:23

Have an open book? I don’t just ask me anything.

 

Samantha Bee  04:27

Well, let me start here. Let me start by asking you how you make big decisions in your life?

 

Roy Wood Jr.  04:33

I have always operated from a place of I do not have a light at the end of the tunnel. I have a light in the tunnel, but it is the train coming to run you over.

 

Samantha Bee  04:51

First light is terrifying.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  04:53

So therefore there go continue to run in the dark at night, the entirety of my career from 1998, at age 19, until now, has been calculated decisions in dense fog, of varying degrees of visibility. There’s times where I have good, decent visibility, but it’s still overall, still driving in fog, I really don’t know, this is the first time in my career where I feel like I have a plan beyond a year or two, right? It’s laid out like a three year arc of, okay, this this initially to this, and after five years, we shouldn’t know where we are. And if not, then we’ll move back to the south into radio, and I will just work the road and get a house and co-parent and it’ll be fine. Like, I have those steps laid out. So the majority of my decisions in my life that have been cataclysmic, were made out of fear or force, it’s not bold. It’s not some sort of, you know, life decisions involving me or pretty swift involving other people is where I become hesitant or anxious, avoidant, if you want to get into personality therapy, you know, mumbo jumbo. But if it’s about having a tough conversation with someone, that takes a while for me to do. But if we’re talking about major life decisions more often than not, they’re done pretty swiftly. And that’s usually when I’m in a position where I feel like I have no choice. The only difference over the over the decades, when I’ve made those decisions, is that I feel less fear and uncertainty on the backside. I’m finally at a place where I trust myself to be able to. Okay, I know how to navigate this. At least I like okay, I’m falling down the side of the building, but I get it fine. It’s Batman fall okay, where’s your grapple gun? grapple gun, June. I’m not screaming horrifically, as I go down the building anymore. So that has changed, but it’s still driving and fucking fall.

 

Samantha Bee  07:09

Right, for aren’t we all truly driving in fog? It’s just like, very.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  07:13

Semi that comes out of nowhere, in front of like.

 

Samantha Bee  07:17

In a career that is no, there’s no, there’s no, like, clear picture of what its gonna look like. Like there’s no.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  07:25

Even the rules change.

 

Samantha Bee  07:26

Yes, they really do.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  07:28

It’s, you’re literally playing a game where they go. Okay, alright, now this basket is worth one point that baskets were five points. Okay, nevermind. This is now out of bounds, that’s inbounds. You now have two more teammates. So what, and now the baskets are on the sidelines, they’re no longer at both the other ends of the industry. That’s entertaining, being an entertainer is literally playing a game where the rules constantly shift and slide on. And you have to anticipate it.

 

Samantha Bee  08:01

Yes, and you can’t always and that is why and I like I appreciate what you say about kind of like falling down the side of a building but being like more prepared to, you’re like, well, I know how to save my own life like I have. I know how to create my own. I may build my own safety net, don’t give a shit, okay, whatever.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  08:20

That’s literally what it is, it’s okay, this felt like the safest choice jumping out the building felt like the safest choice. Now I have to figure out how to land, and much like in Batman or spider man, like the act one have any superhero movie where they’re figuring out how to do the thing. You know, I’d land weird on fire escapes and fall and tumble into dumpsters. And slowly, I learned how to fucking whip my web and fling the grapple gun and move smoothly after falling, and so anything that happens now in my career, I know where the grapple gun is. And if not, I can figure out where and what I need to do to stop the fall. And I feel confident in that. That’s but don’t ask me what, right I don’t fucking know, but I know I’m not going to splat against the street is so much I know for sure.

 

Samantha Bee  09:22

I know that too. And that’s like a gift, right? That’s, in a way it’s not like it’s not I don’t know. It’s not like it’s not going to be hard […] but it’s muscle.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  09:34

I’ve had the gift of choosing to jump out the window a couple of times and being kicked out windows a couple times over my career. And just after a while you learn how to oh, this will be okay. I know what I need to do. To the point where now I’m even more conscious about the people that I surround myself with. To make sure that I’m not even with people that are negative inner screaming their ass off while we both fall down on the side of the building.

 

Samantha Bee  10:01

Right, it’s like, you’ve spent so long building skills that you have built. This entire, it’s like, brick by brick. you’ve built yourself to the point that there are just certain things that no one can ever know now, no, no matter what happens, no one can ever take the skills, your skill set, and you’re like, no one can ever take that.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  10:25

You cannot, you but you also have to remember, you have to look at how my career started. And then it connects back to my ideology in this when I was 19, I got arrested for stealing some jeans at a store. And so we got a credit card, and we stole a credit card. And we went and bought clothes with the credit card just wanted to look fresh for some girls, I was not funding al Qaeda, as was accused by federal investigators at the top. But you’re just a young teenage kid, you’re trying to take opportunities, and you know, you just it’s petty. But it got me in a lot of trouble. He made a lot of fucking trouble. And so being told at 19 that you’re gonna go to prison by your court appointed lawyer. You’re like, oh, well, life is over, well, until sentencing. I guess I’ll do some comedy, and that seemed like something I always wanted to do, I’m gonna die in jail so fuck it. Let me try and do comedy, so I will go over to Florida State and I started doing stand up I didn’t want to do I went to Florida a&m. But I didn’t want to do comedy on campus with my classmates because that, you know, get blood factor. That’s November of 98, fast forward to February. I get suspended from school officially because it’s a violation of you know, student code of conduct. And I get suspended from school. Essentially the same week, maybe the week before I get my financial aid check for $7,000 to pay for classes that I’m now suspended. So I don’t have to pay for these classes, but the file aid disbursement already went through. So now 19, I’m 20 years old at that point. And I have $7,000 in my hand, my sentencing is in four months. And I’m like, well fuck it. I’m gonna travel and do comedy now. I’m tired of just doing open mics in the city and sneaking into FSU student talent shows. I’ll show you how little I learned my lesson to help me sneak into FSU shows. I got a fake Seminole cart. Fucking awaiting sentencing.

 

Samantha Bee  12:38

Let me get something, yeah, perfect.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  12:41

But not to drink, oh, not to drink alcohol. I need a Seminole card because they had that stupid scanner at the student events to make sure only students would get in. So I went to a fake ID guy, I met a fucking fake ID guys so I have, I have $7,000. And I’m being told by my lawyer that I’m gonna go to prison, so all right, well, if I’m going to prison in a couple of months, let me start booking open mics and other cities around the side.

 

Samantha Bee  13:11

I find this so funny, it’s like, well, you know what, if I’m going to prison, I’m gonna die there.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  13:17

What the fuck else do I have

 

Samantha Bee  13:18

Nothing left to lose, let me stand on a stage.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  13:20

To prison for a couple of years, you get out good behavior. I’m going to fucking die in prison. Because the things that happened in prison, I’m not going to let happen to me, and then they’re just going to beat the shit out of me every day. And that’s just what is going to be, so before I go get the shit beat out of me. I’m going to take a greyhound to Charlotte and perform at the Comedy zone. And this will be a nice little fun, finally did the thing that I was too scared to do when I was 14. Now finally do it. And that’s what I did all spring. I worked at Golden Corral 20 hours a week to make sure my wrist was covered. And I traveled and I did comedy. And I fell in love with it. And then I went to sentencing. And the fucking judge gave me probation. And so now I’m literally standing in a courtroom and this man has handed my life back to me. My apartment was packed out, boxed Up, would instructions on what to do with my shit? I was dunzo because as far as I knew, they were going to send it to me and then reprimand me into custody on spy. So you know my lawyer told me get my affairs in order so that’s what the fuck I did. And then this motherfucker gives me probation. Because one, I was still in sprayer. My grades were decent in his first offense, so a bunch of people wrote letters gang of people from my past professors and should they wrote letters. So that’s how I got into stand up. And when I say like also emotional rock bottom. There is nothing in this industry that is as scary as thinking that today is your last day of freedom.

 

Samantha Bee  15:12

Right.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  15:13

So I will jump out of every fucking window, that you can set up in front of me. I’m not, I may not have a plan. I might move emotionally without, you know, thinking strategically. But that was like the beginning of everything. And so I get back in school, and I ended up graduating, I get my degree in journalism. And so without knowing it, that whole three years that last three years of school was the suspension year and then junior senior year, where essentially, you know, as Tracy Morgan described his time on SNL, that was my debut of a system where I learned the base stand up, and the basic psychology of people, because if you want to do comedy every week and get paid to do it in the south, you have to perform for a different demographic every night because no one demographic can sustain you, five, six days a week. So I learned rednecks, I learned, you know, the rhino type conservatives, I learned black people, I learned teenagers. And you know, the this is back when MTV road rules and they had the spring break house in Panama City I used to perform in Fort Walton Beach, I learned the blue hairs from performing at the casinos. And you start learning the common denominators performed for troops at every fort, base, you can name from Clarksville, Tennessee, down to Maxwell in Fort Benning, Georgia in Montgomery. I didn’t did it, I performed so I learned in that every type of American for the first nine years of my career before I moved to Los Angeles. And so those years were essentially, you know, learning people and it gave me the ability to be broad because I had to figure out a joke that make all of those demographics laugh otherwise, you’re writing a different set every fucking night. And that’s crazy. So one night, you’re being offered to be paid and cocaine by some dope boys, and then the next night literally the next night, you’re performing for a bunch of 20 year olds at howl at the moon to Fort Walton. And then the next night you’re in Biloxi at casino magic perform no one in the room is under the age of 65. What’s the joke that’s going to connect those three people.

 

Samantha Bee  17:53

There’s more with Roy Wood Jr. in just a moment.

 

Samantha Bee  18:15

It feels like, you know, because we do work in an industry where, you know, a lot of people in it are very dependent on the decisions that other people make about them. But from what I’m hearing from you, you know yourself so deeply. That you can roll with anything, which is not to say that it’s like always pleasant, or always.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  18:51

I mean, I, you’re still at the mercy of other people with the exception of stand up, which is why that’s something I’ll never run away from. Because it’s, it’s for sure. The one thing that I get to control, it’s democratic, it’s the one true democratic art form. The downside to stand up right now is that everyone thinks they’re funny, and consumers do not care who makes them laugh. So the idea of you weren’t professional singers. You weren’t professional dancers. You weren’t professional acting. But if you open up your phone and it makes you laugh, you don’t really care. What was involved in whether that process was professional, will polish meticulous. Did you chuckle yes or no? Smile achieve close phone. So you’re competing with a lot more people who are offering the gift of laughter, but that goes back to our saying the basketball goal is now 11 feet and the other rim is eight feet. Like the rules change so, I don’t know, I’ve just I know that your time being light isn’t limited, it’s cyclical. And I understand that and a mad at it, but once you know that that’s the game, you have to resist the impulse to assume that there are good people. And that they’re just people that are also playing the game I got when I got fired from radio, I found out on Twitter, so the idea of thinking that you’re replaceable, you know, Doug Herzog says something to me, that resonated with me a couple of years ago, former head of Comedy Central and Viacom. Doug said that you don’t own these jobs, you rent them. And no matter what your job is, eventually it’s going to go to someone else, or it’s eliminated. And that’s, that’s echoed in my head, you know, since he said that to me, five, six years ago, but radio really gave me the foundation that I needed to understand the cutthroat pneus, of the entertainment industry. I got fired from radio for two reasons. If we want to talk about making a jump, and this was one, and I figured they would fire me, but I didn’t figure they would do it like down. And I didn’t figure they would do it that fast.

 

Samantha Bee  21:16

Okay, what happened?

 

Roy Wood Jr.  21:18

So, I do morning radio while working the road as a co host, which is fine. 2010 I become a host, I host the show, and it’s my show now. And the year before I had auditioned for a sitcom, you know, and I was living in LA and I was splitting time between LA and Birmingham pre recording segment and you know, shit like that for like a couple years. A book a pilot called Sullivan and son.

 

Samantha Bee  21:51

I know Sullivan and son.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  21:53

And then I get the offer to go to Birmingham to do my own show.

 

Samantha Bee  21:57

Okay.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  21:59

Now sooner that I said yes to that job and move back home to Birmingham, the fucking pilot got picked up by TBS. This fucking city of Los Angeles, which has given me nothing for years that I’ve lived, then I finally book a pilot that goes to series, and now I live in Birmingham, so I have to go I go to my boss somebody else. For three months, I need to do this show remotely. And this is way before the technology we have today. The best the best technology in 2010 had a three second delay. So it’s impossible to do live radio in that regard. But we did it, we made it work, and it was dope. Season two comes around, we get renewed for season two, I go to my boss and I go I need to do the remote thing again. And he goes, we don’t know about that, and I go okay. But this is television, and I’m your host. I’m asking you whether or not I can go remote well, you’re under contract, and you had the next fucking day there was a press release on Twitter. And that was that?

 

Samantha Bee  23:16

Wow.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  23:18

That’s the game. What made me think I was gonna get treated different than all the other DJs, so I’ll get replaced.

 

Samantha Bee  23:25

You know, it’s a very, it is actually like, it’s hard to explain the business to younger people actually, I feel like it’s I without, like, I’m, you know, I had a lot of like employees who are younger, and I was like, I would always be like, I don’t, this is not going to work, and here’s why because this is a business because show business is like a business. And as always a business, it’s a business first. It’s a business first, it’s a business last. So you can do what you can do within that framework. But a business decision is always going to be made. And if you start to think that it’s a meritocracy, or that you deserve some opportunity, or that something’s gonna be bestowed on you because you’re a legacy person. You’re fine.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  24:13

Do you know who my father is? Station stands on his show?

 

Samantha Bee  24:17

Like, give a fuck no one cares. It’s all like.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  24:21

You gonna be here tomorrow to play the fucking rap jam? No, no, no, you’re fired, and we’re gonna keep the other two co hosts in place. And then think of something else.

 

Samantha Bee  24:33

Right, I mean, this brings so like these are, these are facts, these are big. You’re telling me about like, big life decisions like big life changing, pigs swigs.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  24:48

The biggest one was the decision to move to LA because that was one where I got forced out the door like that wasn’t radio I got kicked out the radio kicked me out the building, but that was also after getting kicked out the building to go to Los Angeles. That was probably I probably say that one was one, it was the wrong decision. I should have moved to New York. And I got heatk, and I didn’t let him in, and I did Def Jam. Let’s go get the sitcom auditions. Because that’s the, you know, in my mind, that’s the next. Because the next thing I want to do, you know, the traditional art.

 

Samantha Bee  25:32

You take that traditional arc.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  25:33

But then I moved to LA and immediately, don’t do shit in LA, because I’m always out of town, because I need to leave town to afford to live in LA. And the only thing that saved me was, I started doing more colleges, in 2006, and that’s what helped let 2007, and that’s what helped me not work as like, college season is like September to November, and then February to April, where you’re gonna get shot, and.

 

Samantha Bee  26:06

That’s like bread and butter.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  26:08

Yeah, and then I could pick and choose where the fuck I perform at, in terms of comedy clubs.

 

Samantha Bee  26:15

I think which brings me, which kind of leads me to the big to the big question about the Daily Show because, you know, a lot of our audience is gonna, they’re gonna primarily know your, from your specials and your work as a correspondent on on The Daily Show. For you made a huge decision a couple months ago, to leave what a lot of people would consider, just like, one of the best jobs in comedy. And I have talked with a lot of guests about how sometimes the decision to leave something can be just as important as the decision to like, start something. And I’ve certainly talked about my own decision to leave The Daily Show. And you’ve been, you’ve been very honest about like, not wanting to be fucked around, like not wanting to be jerked around anymore. Feels like you partly made that choice because of someone else’s indecision. Does that feel accurate? Like you just were like.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  27:11

That’s fair.

 

Samantha Bee  27:12

Tired of waiting around?

 

Roy Wood Jr.  27:14

That’s fair. I mean, it’s, it’s interesting talking to you, because I feel like you’re like the only other person. That like, even has a sense of remote relatability to like, ah, yes, my specialty, leaving the Daily Show. That’s fucking let’s trauma bod. For me, it was more about the indecision you know, at a larger level in terms of what the search would entail. Like, if I’m just being blind, I’m not here to bullshit you like it was. It’s okay, if that like, I would also argue that if the writer strike doesn’t happen, I don’t know if I would have thought about leaving.

 

Samantha Bee  28:02

Hold that thought more with Roy Wood Jr. After one more break.

 

Samantha Bee  28:23

How did that enhance or influence your decision?

 

Roy Wood Jr.  28:27

So, like, for me, it was rooted in still a little bit of that fear we were talking about earlier. But this idea that, alright, you’ve been somewhere for eight years. And you know what you’re capable of doing? And you’ve done it gets hosted and you know, everybody else gets hosted okay, strike it. Thank you, thank you, strike it. And now we don’t know how long the strike is going to be. And so now it’s like, okay, well, what else have I been wanting to do? That I haven’t had a chance to do or thought about doing? Because The Daily Show the other thing I don’t think people realize and this is where I feel like SNL. It’s like not to compare the two programs. But it’s such an interesting which choice would you rather The Daily Show for eight years. I’ve never had more than two weeks off straight period ever, ever. For eight years, I’ve never had more than two weeks off at some point after day 13, report to work where SNL goes ridiculously hard, but they get the summer to themselves.

 

Samantha Bee  29:38

Yeah, that’s your job.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  29:41

I’m not sure which, which lifestyle is more, you know, strenuous but I finally had time to think about other things that I wanted to do. So I was like, you know what? There is some podcast, there are some weird sketch stuff than I thought about doing, you know, I never did write that film. But I wanted to write what my friend I never did. Hey, man, what’s up? How you been yet? Listen, what about this? Show that TV show that? Yeah, you know, yeah, let’s brush off that script. So with that idle time, I started putting more pots on the stove. And then you get a call from Paramount that five months later, you get a call from Paramount and they go, hi, my name is, come back to work. And at that point, you know, the house and story broke, and so it’s clear that Austin’s not going to be the guy anymore. And that it never been clear, beforehand, which I get it corporate leveraging blah, blah, blah, but all right, now that that’s an open, let’s have an honest conversation, that’s not the guy then what is the plan? And let me let me decide whether or not I fit into this plan. And there was no clear plan. And so now that puts me in a position where at the same time on the other side is five months. Shows are getting canceled, streamers are collapsing. The industry is slowly imploding, fiscal, and as and I’m not just talking about late night as a whole and cumulative late night ratings, I’m talking about the type of programming that that studios and networks will show confidence in and stand behind, so if we’re just only going to bet on short things. Then I got to truly assess whether or not I’m still at a sure thing. They’re fucking folding movies that they already shot. We already shot this fucking movie, he won’t put it out. That’s how much we ain’t fucking with anything new right now, anything that anything that even fucking smell like, it can do what we needed to do off which will fucking head.

 

Samantha Bee  32:13

Oh no, they would if they could exhume the dead bodies of popular comedians who’ve died and give them shells. They wouldn’t be doing that.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  32:23

They tried but prior spent, no. George Carlin’s family soon. Thank God.

 

Samantha Bee  32:29

Can we get.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  32:30

Shut down at AI hologram fuckery that they were trying to.

 

Samantha Bee  32:34

McDonald’s? Is there any was there any opportunity here, to have him?

 

Roy Wood Jr.  32:40

Yeah, and so you have an industry that has clearly shown a proclivity for focusing only on things that they believe are going to make money. And you’re on a show that at this point, you’re not sure what the plan is? Because they’re not sure what the plan, which means I’m not sure if this show remains, what it’s been. Now you couple that, with my own fucking fears and paranoia is that anybody can get it, including a fucking 25 year legacy program that has defined American politics. I don’t believe that any show was above some bullshit, right? So that fear is what kind of showers over me. It’s also rooted in if this industry is shifting. And if it’s changing into something different, that will no longer be in a year or two. Well, now’s the time to figure that out. Now’s the time to be first in line. For that thing, like the way I the way I view entertainment. I’ve always viewed opportunities and entertainment, like a grocery store. And we’re all in line to be checked out. And then you look up over there. And a new register is opening, and you’re trying to decide if that register will be faster than the register you’re in the line you’re in and I’ve been in this line eight years there’s a good line man you almost eight, come on. But you look over there and you.

 

Samantha Bee  34:25

Share something else.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  34:27

That person got five things this person got eight things but I got 12 things but that will not let me decide who to get behind and TSA and shit. And I just chose to get out of line and go to another line. And I don’t know if I’m right. I don’t I don’t know if that’s the right move or whatever. All of this Jon Stewart coming back on Mondays that was not in the conversation. That was not even a rumor that was.

 

Samantha Bee  34:55

Also like and I appreciate everything that you’re saying because I think that sometimes in public view. They really, I think the general public wants to believe in the concept of a meritocracy. For one thing, I think they want to believe that there’s some God of justice that’s like, but for all is the funniest, I love the most. Therefore, this is the how it will be an just as like, the actual truth sometimes. And I don’t know, and I don’t want to speak for you, but this is something that I experienced in my journey was like, if you guys don’t really want me, like, I would know if you did, then I don’t want it. I’m not gonna, like, okay, that’s fine. If you don’t, if you don’t, if you haven’t made your confidence known, then okay,

 

Roy Wood Jr.  35:56

But keep in mind, for me, this wasn’t even about just hosting. It was just also rooted in okay, if there’s going to be another host, and let me start thinking about the transition of power. And let me think, okay, well, I’ll stay here for another year, and then I’ll do this, this and this, and if I can sell this script to Fox, and maybe we should step on that movie, I should probably get that movie movingl, okay, cool. Because I’m not going to wait for you to kick me because I’ve been kicked before. I’ve been kicked a couple of times. And I have more control if I jump, because I know what the grapple hook is, and that’s what it was routed in.

 

Samantha Bee  36:31

Right helped me make a plan for myself. Just give me some information.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  36:36

There was another register open. I don’t know if that line is gonna be longer. But I think I’m gonna go stand in that line. While I’m in that line, I’m going to figure out what the fuck it is that I need to be doing. And by the time I get up to the front in his time for me to show the world who I am, or cash in industry success and growth and all of that, I’ll have it figured out.

 

Samantha Bee  37:03

I just say that I’m so goddamn excited for when you’ve knew, when you stand when you check out in that like line. I’m so ready for what your next thing is, because I feel like I’m just so ready for it.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  37:22

It was the best time of my life. But without being able to have an accurate vision for how it could end. I had to choose my ending.

 

Samantha Bee  37:34

You know what, that’s what this whole podcast is all about. You have to choose your own ending. And it’s your ending is your ending there is the beginning. Ending mean, it can be anything.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  37:46

I mean, it might be something great. It could be me back in LA again, like going well shouldn’t have done that.

 

Samantha Bee  37:53

I don’t think so. I don’t think so.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  37:55

I don’t know. I do hate that I missed out on some of that good as Jon Stewart […] stuff like that would have been dope.

 

Samantha Bee  38:01

That’s fine, but you know what, I bet you could still get it from him. I bet if you just email him, he’ll be sure he loves you. Like, who doesn’t, so.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  38:10

He seems like the type who only checks his email on Saturdays with coffee.

 

Samantha Bee  38:13

Probably, still, I bet, I bet you’re one of the few people who could email him and he would read your email and go, Okay, let’s zoom, right? This was a pleasure, this is everything I dream about. In an interview about you fresh voice, you have articulated these decisions that you’ve made with such thought and care, and like honesty.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  38:48

There’s just I know there’s something else, so I just had to figure it out. And I need the stillness, you need the stillness to figure that’s the other thing, but Daily Show us a lot of work.

 

Samantha Bee  38:57

Stillness, stillness is good.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  39:00

I tour one weekend, a month, right now. And I’m writing a couple scripts in a book. And that’s as still as I’ve probably been, since I used to sleep in my car between Little Rock to Omaha.

 

Samantha Bee  39:14

Oh my god.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  39:16

So I’m grateful.

 

Samantha Bee  39:17

My God, really good to talk to you. Thank you so much.

 

Roy Wood Jr.  39:22

Well, thank you.

 

Samantha Bee  39:31

That was Roy Wood Jr. and I had no choice but to look up one thing. We were joking about how TV networks would prefer to exhume the bodies of dead comedians and give them shows and Roy mentioned how this kind of happened with George Carlin, what? Well, he is definitely still dead. Rip George Carlin, but just a few weeks ago, his family did need to sue two guys who used AI to create new material that sounded just like, come on. Just hire a living comedians, I promise you’re gonna like us. And as always, there’s more Choice Words on Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content like a special outtake from my recent interview with Kara Swisher, subscribe now in Apple podcasts.

 

CREDITS  40:32

Thank you for listening to Choice Words which was created by and is hosted by me. We’re a production of Lemonada Media, Kathyrn Barnes, […] and Kryssy Pease produce our show. Our mix is by James Barber. Steve Nelson is the vice president of weekly content. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittles Wachs and I are executive producers. Our theme was composed by […] with help from Johnny Vince Evans . Special thanks to Kristen Everman, Claire Jones, Ivan Kuraev and Rachel Neil. You can find me at @Iamsambee on Twitter and at @realsambee on Instagram. Follow Choice Words wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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