So I took a secret trip to Russia last month, and I know, how is it a secret when I posted it all over my Instagram? Well, I just assume nobody pays attention to me, so everything I do publicly is a secret, like my last blog post that basically predicted the death of Gene Wilder, but oh well, when World War III happens and you look back to see that I predicted it in this post…JK you can’t look back when you are dead.
On the 10th day of the 9th month (that’s how they do dates in Russia) I flew to Moscow to perform comedy for the Russian people (because they ‘get’ me, also I was scared to say no). The Russians, in confidence, showed me some SUPER CRAY shit that I was hesitant to post for fear of them coming after me, but I already emailed the whole story to a friend, so I’m copying and pasting to my blog before I see it on Wikileaks without proper shout out to my Twitter handle (@SammyObeid)
I know some comedians are reading this to find out how to get booked in Russia, so you can stop reading after this line: THEY FOUND ME ON FACEBOOK. Just sign up for Facebook, it’s free for the first few weeks and then costs you half of your time.
It was a hot August night (actually cold but I was doing something that kept me warm hehe), I’m on my computer at 3 am (if you didn’t understand how time zones work you’d think that Russians are vampires because they only contact you when it’s night in California) and I get a message from a name with letters that look like they’ve been reflected through a mirror and are yelling at me for not understanding them. I stop my zumba workout to examine the stranger’s profile. Despite the language barrier I am still able to understand that he has a face and eyes, also he holds a microphone in all of his profile pics, which reminds me of….omg, ME. I instantly start to cry.
“Would you like to perform in Moscow?” the message reads, but with the thick Russian accent in my head all I could hear was: “Kidnap. You.”
So I respond, “Yes, just tell me when and please do not hurt my family! Except my sister, she owes me money.”
He says, “Ok, don’t forget the date. September 11.”
I gulp in fear, “Never.”
What could go wrong? Russia and America are head to head in Syria, Russians are hacking Americans online, and a mysterious Russian facebook account invites a part-Syrian American comedian to Moscow on 9/11. My thoughts: I better get a drink ticket!
He replies, “Hurray! You will be the first American comedian to headline in Russia,” which I hear as “American makes headlines after being MURDERED AND ABUSED WITH STEEL ROD”
Looking at my Snapchat numbers, I remind myself that any publicity is good right now, so I grab some lube and say goodbye to all six of my family and friends, except my sister.
It’s very easy to get a Russian Visa, all you need is a severed chickens’s head, two pictures of Putin (one shirtless, one reg), and an invitation signed by 20 Russians who all agree they don’t like you but you put in a good effort.
I flew on Aeroflot, the airline which requires you to know Russian if you want to hear the pilot’s jokes. He makes a 5 minute announcement in Russian, laughs for a minute, then translates to English, “We are landing soon.”
From JFK to Moscow, it’s 9 hours so I watched Revenant three times, intermittently falling asleep and dreaming of being mauled by Putin in a bear costume. I am greeted at the airport by three of Russia’s sweetest KGB members (they insisted they were not KGB…apparently its called the FSB now, but I don’t care because I’m USA and DTF)
But after one sweet cheese pastry I am instantly DTF Russia, and now the Syrian in me feels just like the Syrian conflict…sure America nurtures the rebel in me, but Russia reminds me of my natural affinity towards the efficiency of a dictatorship. If only the girls on Tinder here spoke English.
The KGB then showed me 9 things that that tickled my pickle:
1. I encountered a strange, tasty fruit I had never seen before. They refer to it as ‘obliblikha’…pronounced ‘sea buckthorn’ in American, yet it is not grown in USA. Which led me to ask, if Russians can grow a fruit that we can’t, what’s stopping them from BOMBING US?
Which leads me to…
2. In Russia, when you say someone is “bombing” it means they are doing really well. Like if a comedian goes on stage and the place erupts in laughter, you could say (in Russian) they are bombing…so I proudly told the Russians that I bomb at a lot open mics in the US. Russia recently unveiled the ‘Satan 2’ nuclear misslile, which is clearly the name someone who loves bombing gives to a bomb.
3. I saw one black guy. It was at 9 am on a Sunday morning on the streets of Moscow, after walking in a sea of vanilla cream for a few hours, and ironically I was craving chocolate, but before I could even say something outloud, a Russian guy walked up to the black guy and said something in Russian then gave him a big hug. Adorable, but it pretty much looked like he said, “You’re black! I love black people”, which made it more like microagression, also I think he touched his hair. And the black guy just nodded his head and smiled like this happens all the time.
4. Every woman in Russia is named Anastasia. Ok well, I only have two data points here. But two gals named Anastasia, c’mon. Either I misheard them say they give patients anesthesia OR, more likely, EVERY WOMAN IN RUSSIA IS STILL CLAIMING TO BE THE GRAND DUCHESS ANASTASIA WHO SECRETLY SURVIVED THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION. Women…
5. Speaking of golddiggers, Russians know more about Kanye West than Donald Trump. On stage I talked about the two presidential candidates, of 2016 and 2020 respectively, and the Kanye stuff seemed to resonate more. Which makes sense if all Russians are like the “I love black people!” guy.
6. They don’t just drink vodka. I made an easy ‘Russians like vodka’ joke (that was the joke), and some guy in the crowd shouts, “We like wheesky too.” I shut up.
7. Most Russians don’t speak much English. I had a translator on stage, who did a great job, because the crowd laughed at everything he said. Though he may have just been making fun of my shirt.
8. Every Russian is smart enough to hack our emails, so just be thankful yours are not important. Before the show, the promoter warned me, “I know you do math jokes. But the math you do in college in the USA is the math we do in elementary school. Your jokes will come off as childish.” Good to know my math jokes don’t work in 2 countries.
9. Two of America’s greatest comedians are living in Russia right now, Edward Snowden and Bill Cosby. Both are waiting on pardons from Obama, but there are turkeys ahead of them in line, none of which whistleblew or assaulted other turkeys. Neither of them came to my show, despite my facebook invites.
Ok so, why are these secrets ‘scary’? Duh, because it’s Halooween time! Everything is a little spooky right now, boo.
But honestly, the Russians will fucking kill us. We’re about to elect the Scorpio, Hillary—sorry, the first half woman, half scorpion President—who proudly mocks Putin and threatens Russia like THEY DON’T HAVE A BOMB NAMED SATAN 2…maybe each of us should facebook friend a person in Russia and tell them we like wheesky too.
Meanwhile, Putin is a Libra, which we all know has the dark side of being dramatic, controlling, condescending, and repressed. He’s more compatible with another air sign: Trump, a deceptive Gemini, just like my sister (really banking on my sister not reading this).
Point is, I got a two-row standing ovation in Moscow, mostly because I pandered, saying that I’ll ask Louis CK to peform for them. Does that make me a traitor like Snowden—a Snowbeid? Maybe. I just want to be in a country that takes my conspiracy theories seriously but also understands they are a joke. Is Tinder the only place where women are fluent in sarcasm?
Ugh, hopefully there’s no war, because I don’t want to have to make a choice for which troops I’m peforming for. Team USA or Russia? Oh well, either way I’m bombing.