Joan of Arcadia
Wealth Of Nations

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The Wages Of Sin

Joan goes over to the bar, where the lousy comic is drowning his sorrows. Now you just know this guy's God. She orders three Cokes, a Diet Coke, and a Sprite. The guy says to her, "It's a comedy club. Shouldn't you be smiling, Joan?" Joan: "Yeah, my life is a Will Ferrell movie." Comic God: "Well, it's always darkest before the dawn…and if you're planning to steal your neighbour's newspaper, that's the time to do it." She doesn't laugh. But she does smile: "Finally. Something you're not good at." You can see why they had to make God a bad comedian. Do you want to be the poor sod who has to write killer material for God? He points out that her brother liked him. And I'll bet Luke scored major brownie points for that. Also, it was nice of God to go on and suck right before Kevin's debut. It'd be hard for Kevin not to be better. Joan tells Comic God, "I was using what I've learned. Isn't that what you wanted me to do?" He hands her a dollar bill and asks her what it says. Joan reads: "In you we trust." Comic God: "You stopped trusting. You wanted more…and more…" Joan: "So money is the root of all evil." He points out that the correct quote is that the love of money is the root of all evil. She asks a good question: "Why didn't you just make everybody rich?" He thinks briefly: "How you see the world…how you deal with it…that determines your real wealth." Joan sighs, like that's just the sort of mini-sermon she was afraid she'd get. Her drinks arrive as the MC is announcing Kevin as "the last comic sitting." Comic God waves and tells her, "Enjoy…"

Kevin arrives onstage to warm applause and reaches up to grab the microphone. He begins: "Um…a lot of new comics worry that their routine is going to be a car wreck, but, uh, I already got that out of the way, so we can all relax." Jason Ritter is really, really good in this scene: he's absolutely nailed the right mixture of nerves and bravado. Kevin's comedy is promising, but not so slick or professional that you sneer at the idea of him being new to this. He continues, "See, my best friend drove me into a tree, and now he's suing me for a million dollars because…he's depressed." Kevin has everyone's attention, partly because they're not sure at all where this is going to go or how dark it's going to be. You can sort of feel the tension: should they cut him more slack because he's in a wheelchair, or is that patronizing? I actually really love things like that. I love darkness and ambiguity. Kevin claims to feel really bad for Andy: "But it is also kind of like the United States suing Hiroshima, like… [whiny childish voice] 'Hey! You ruined our bomb! That was our favourite bomb!'" That gets some laughs. "But, even if he does win…I got the last laugh…I still have six of his CDs and I am not giving them back!" Big laughs. "I don't understand that, though…what about money makes people so crazy? I mean, how much do really we need? I make money, because I rent out my handicapped plates. One guy was such a moron, he, uh, he got out of his car with a white cane." More laughs. Will seems to be genuinely enjoying himself. "I also make a lot of money outside Starbucks. I'll just be sitting outside. You’d be surprised how many people throw their change into my latte. And I save a bundle on shoes. I mean, one pair is gonna last me the rest of my life. See, there are a lot of benefits to having no feeling below the waist. The party games, for one: there's 'Let's Freeze Kevin's Legs!' Then there's…let's see: 'Pin The Tail On My Ass.'" Okay, he's not Jon Stewart, but he's got potential.

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Joan of Arcadia

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