By Rachel Yang
October 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT
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Comedians are constantly working on new jokes, but they rarely broadcast the highs and lows of testing out material on a national audience — that is, until Deon Cole's not-a-comedy-special special, Workin' It Out, available on Netflix Is A Joke.

The 40-minute video, which EW can exclusively premiere, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the not-so-glamorous process behind building a full special from scratch. It's a compilation of Cole's various sets at the Hollywood Improv in 2019 practicing jokes for his 2020 tour, which was later canceled due to COVID-19. But the comedian decided to share the rough (and NSFW) cuts anyway, because "in these times, we need laughter."

We learn some interesting insights about Cole's process, like how for every 15 jokes he writes, only one is good enough to go in his final routine.

One of the funniest parts of the show is, ironically, one of the least polished. Cole asks for audience input on the word "dickening," and people chime in to help him complete the PG-13 bit.

"What's the proper way to say it?" he implores. After everyone gives their suggestions, which includes "dicked down" and "dickened," Cole keeps his original phrasing. "'Dickening' is cool, y'all shut the f--- up from now on."

He gets so wrapped up on the proper word, he admits, "Damn, I forgot the joke. "

Another highlight comes when Cole recounts the story of how Stevie Wonder once stole his girl. After a Santana concert that the legendary artist appeared in, Cole and his girl went backstage to meet up with Wonder. The comedian left at one point, leaving only his date and the musician. After more than an hour, the woman finally came out to say she was staying to console Wonder about things going on in his life.

"She was like, 'Deon, I'm so sorry,' she was like 'Here' — bitch gave me $100 and ordered me to go home," Cole recalls. "And I knew that broke bitch didn't have the money. I knew who gave it to her. It was Stevie ... I knew it was him, cause it was all in ones."

During the sets, Cole, who released his Cole Hearted special on Netflix last year, also talks about his thoughts on lotion, white people parties, and his awkward interaction with Jay-Z. And of course, he roasts the audience some more.

Workin' It Out is exclusively available on Netflix Is a Joke's YouTube and social pages.

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