It did not occur to me that eating a habanero or two and then trying to tell topical jokes into a camera would be so... the worst.
I didn't really think much about it. I have my own late-night talk show (Late Night Action w/ Alex Falcone - season two starts in January!), so I know I can deliver the shit out of a topical monologue. I like spicy foods. I like being on YouTube. Boom. Easy. Sure, guys, I'll be on The Spicy News.
Here's something I didn't know: when you eat a whole habanero pepper it has a slight delay, like pulling the pin out of a capsaicin grenade. I thought maybe I was just too much of a man for this silly little pepper to affect me. In that moment, surrounded by the camera equipment and a room full of comedians I really wanted to impress, I thought my overwhelming manhood was getting in the way of my ability to be funny. I was so afraid I'd do a bad job that I ate a second pepper. And then they both punched me in my stupid mouth at the same time.
I barely got through the rest of the jokes, delivering a total of none of them with the aplomb I'd envisioned. The staff (Spicy News feels like it's produced by every comedian in Portland; there were something like 30 people in the studio) rushed in with a bowl of ice cream that did very close to nothing to curb the UNBELIEVABLE BURNING IN AND AROUND MY FACE.
Instead of being relieved it was over, I was enormously sad. I wasn't expecting that either. I think what happened was my eyes were watering so hard, my body thought we were crying. "What's that, eyes? Crying? Lots and lots? Shit, something way sad must have just happened. Come on, emotions, get your head in the game!" I was curled up on a chair hugging my ice cream and feeling super bummed about nothing in particular for 20+ minutes.
Here's something else I didn't know: habaneros don't just hurt your mouth. If you eat two in a row and don't do a great job of chewing them, you feel a small ball of firey pain moving slowly down your digestive track, hitting your stomach, and expanding to fill the entire thing.
Somebody asked me if I'd eaten dinner first. "You should eat a bunch beforehand so you don't get a stomachache. Also we usually have people eat a couple Tums before they start." These are both super helpful tips beforehand. They've done like 40 of these videos, and it didn't occur to one of the hundred staff members/groupies there to tell me this before I did the video.
I tell you all of this, dear friend, to let you know how much I've gone through in the last 24 hours in hopes of providing you even a smidgen of entertainment. If you don't watch this video and enjoy it heartily, it'll be like you personally kicked me in the stomach. Twice. So watch it. And if they ever ask you to be on the Spicy News tell them to shove their habaneros up their numerous asses.