It’s never a pleasant feeling for a comedian when a joke bombs, but it’s usually not this painful.
Experimental comedian Ian Abramson appeared on Conan on Monday’s show and wound up delivering what could be described as a literally electrifying set. He opened with a killer joke about coming up with a mnemonic device to help him remember the order of the letters of the alphabet. And then things turned truly masochistic. Abramson said that he was trying to learn which of his new jokes would work, so he was going to take a page from canine training and wear his dog’s electric collar, giving the remote to a member of the audience and asking her to shock him if she didn’t approve of any of his one-liners. “Only press the button if you don’t like a joke, okay?” he explained. “Because you are electrocuting a man on television.”
He then humorously (if not downright stressfully) tried out jokes like “What do you guys think about Gluten-free Bread… for a boy’s name?” and “The other day Google asked me to reset my password — they said I needed eight unique characters, so I entered an entire Tennessee Williams play” before offering up impressions of a suicidal germophobe and a matchstick. Spoiler alert: The set was fresh and funny. And, yeah, dammit, he lived.