Rare video has been captured of a sketch comedy show I co-wrote with my friend Jared van Aalten.
The Internet Is Trying to Kill You is a sketch comedy show exploring the past, present, and future of social technologies and how they make us less social.
This performance of TIITTKY was recorded live at Highwire Comedy Company in Atlanta, Georgia on April 15, 2017 and would immediately be on the short list for a Suzi Bass Award for Excellence in Dick Jokes if that award actually existed.
If you missed the cultural phenomenon live, please enjoy this high quality recording of “The Internet is Trying to Kill You.” Preferably if you’re not at work at the moment.
Good evening, students. My name is Arthur Henderson, and I am an artist. Ergo I am here tonight to talk to you about art. Specifically, and for the purpose of example and education, my art.
What does it mean to be an artist? Well, like any good master of their craft—doctor, chef, teacher—“Artist” is a title to hold dear, and with honor, because it is a representation of the years a person puts into honing and perfecting their craft.
For me, as a true artist, my work is about the joy, and the thrill of creating. To show to the world your unique inspiration, made manifest on canvas. I wake up each day knowing that hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of people will see my work. What drives you as an artist is the goal to reach that day. That day when you know in your heart you have created a masterpiece.
That day, when my most esteemed patrons came to me asking for a work that would become the very symbol of their enterprise, I knew that this would be my greatest achievement. Like a spark of divine guidance, through my hands that which I already knew was there became manifest on paper. It was that day I knew I had finally achieved my calling. My greatest work: the angry mouse graphic for the Northwest Exterminating Service Advertising Department.
In the graphic novel Kingdom Come, DC Comics imagined a future where Superman gave up. The world had grown, and adapted to a meaner, more violent culture that found the truth-and-justice morality of America’s first great superhero to be insufficient to handle the daily crises facing the world. As Superman entered self-imposed exile, the world turned to Magog, a hero of the latest generation who was willing to go to further extremes to fight crime and stop supervillains, including killing them. Magog’s rampant acceptance of collateral damage and lack of checks or balances on his power culminates in an overkill assault that destroys the American Midwest, killing millions.
In 2004, I moved to Washington, DC to start a new career in politics. I joined up as a web editor at a nonprofit called the Center for American Progress. CAP was, and still is, an amazing organization that is dedicated to pushing progressive and liberal policy ideas. They are a left-leaning think tank inside a city that spent most of the 80’s and 90’s having only right-wing ones. Their work was and remains important and necessary. Also, the organization was entirely dedicated to getting Hillary Clinton elected president.
My god, I just… ladies and gentlemen, looking over this carnage is just amazing. In all my years as a reporter, I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it for myself. It’s been roughly two, three hours since the monster’s last appearance and this country, and perhaps the world, is still reeling from it. The way I’ve heard it, it’s like something out of an children’s science fiction book—this enormous monster, rampaging through a city, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake.
This reporter has not seen the monster himself. And yet, reading reports from Twitter, and Facebook, and other social media, it’s all the same. Viewers across the world are sharing their own witness accounts of this.
Our proud nation is standing strong. This incredible invader to American shores has not yet conquered us, but vigilant we remain. Still, questions abound. Where did it come from? What does it want? Why has it done what it did? None of these questions we have answers for yet, America. We only know this creature has a name: John Oliver.
How are you guys? I’m doing great! You know, this is the best I’ve felt in a long time, and it’s all thanks to the newest and greatest mobile app sensation that’s taking the world by storm: Pokemon Go!
Look, this game is really freaking addictive, all right? Have you not checked out Pokemon Go yet? It’s really cool. So you walk around and look at stuff through your phone, and then your phone puts little monster things everywhere, and then you catch them with your phone, but it’s not like, in the game… you actually have to go in real like where all the Pokemon are. So, there can be a Caterpie on that table right there, and now I’m gonna catch it with this virtual ball thing and—no, look, I’m not looking at you, I’m looking at the fake caterpillar in front of you. Don’t make this weird.
Okay, great, look, I’m glad I was finally able to reach someone and—yes, I’m fine. How are you? Hello?
Oh damn it; this is still one of those automated response robots isn’t it? For crap’s sake, I just need to talk to an actual—
Oh. Oh god. You are. I’m so sorry about that. Are… are you okay?
You just work at Ticketmaster.
Wow. Okay, so it’s been a bad week for you too, I guess?
Well, look, I mean I DID call to complain but I, you know, I know it’s not YOUR fault here, I just wanted to figure out what’s going on with that lawsuit settlement—you know, the free tickets thing? Well, the news was saying that as part of the class-action suit Ticketmaster is supposed to give me free tickets to shows and—oh, no, that’s just it. I got them. You guys gave me a bunch of free tickets. That’s… that’s actually why I called.
Well, well, looks like it happened. It finally happened. A good old-fashioned zombie apocalypse. And you all laughed at me. All of you, didn’t ya? Y’all thought ol’ Jimmy was a crazy old coot prepping his doomsday contingencies. Well look who’s laughing now! It’s me!
Oh, I’d love to be laughing right back at you. Chuckling with glee as I watch you suffer from the hordes of flesh-craving nightmares come a-livin’ but now ain’t the time for being smug, is it? No, we got to rally together to protect humanity! But you city folk are all lucky. Lucky you got ol’ Jimmy with ya. Cause I’ve been planning. I’ve been working and studying and getting this here city ready for the zombies. And now they’re here, we gonna hole ourselves up real good against ’em. See, I’ve brought you here because this is where we can survive. This is the single safest spot in the entire city of Atlanta. The rest of the city is gonna die out there. Hell, maybe the rest of the country. Maybe the world. But I knew we could come here for protection. We’ll have everything we need. Resources. Sustenance. And an impenetrable defense infrastructure. Them walkers may have taken the outside, but humanity is going to survive. We will hold out. We will make our stand. Right now, right here, at Ponce City Market.