Transcript – Gary Owen, Tom Joyner

Male host: “Hey man you got protested last week in Baltimore? Signs, marchers, protestors.”

Owen: “Signs, all that. He’s a bully.  Well, here’s what happened. Last January my Showtime special aired called “I Agree with Myself.” And it still comes on every now and then but basically you have to see it on demand. And, a guy with Down syndrome saw my special and I guess he blogs and writes for the Huffington Post and he wrote a big article because I said the “R” word. I didn’t know, you’re not allowed to say the “R” word anymore.”

Male host: “The R word?”

Female host: “Retarded.”

Male host: “Oh.”

Owen: “So, he wrote that, then a supermodel from Russia has a special needs sister so she picked up on it. So she wrote a letter to the Daily Mail which I guess is a big paper in the UK and Europe.”

Female host: “And America now.”

Owen: “In America yeah. And then John C. McKinley who was on Scrubs, he”

Female host: “Yeah”

Owen: “He has a special needs child so he went off on me. Then they wanted me, they contacted Showtime and wanted to get the bit removed. To Showtime’s credit they stood by me. And then, they tried to get. They tried to bully ME like.  Their tweets, and their messages to me are WAY worse than my joke. I mean they’re goin’ IN on me. And to the point where it was. Their protest outside the Royal Farms Arena on Saturday. Big signs, “He’s a Bully.” “You can’t say the R word.” What was crazy, she had all these special needs people outside the Royal Farms Arena with advocates BUT, they didn’t know, I have a huge Black following. So when they saw all those Black people start to show up, that protest died fast.”

Male and female host: [Laughter]

Owen: “They might be slow, but they ain’t stupid.”

Male and female host: [Laughter]

Female host: “Oh my gosh.”

Owen: “My thing, and I told them”

Male host: [Laughing] “All those Black people in Baltimore showed up?”

Owen: “I told them on stage, I said if you are going to judge five minutes of a nineteen year comedy career, maybe you should educate yourself on who my audience is. Because they did not expect that to happen. I’ll tell you that.”

Male host: “It’s getting bad when you can’t hardly say anything. There’s a group of people that are going to protest. Pretty soon a comedy special will be hi my name’s Gary goodnight.”


Owen: “Well then one guy even said, he goes, um, and he was so bold with it I retweeted it last week because he said, you know, the “R” word is the same as the “N” word. And you know, blah, blah, blah. But he didn’t say the “N” word he typed the word.”

Both hosts: “Um hmm”

Female host: “And it didn’t end with an a did it?”

Owen: “Oh, no, no. It was er. And then, I was like, I said, the “R” word started as a descriptive and turned into a slur by how people have used it. Now if you look at my joke in my special, I use it as a descriptive. I’m not usin’ it to put down my relative. I’m just sayin’ what she is. And I said, and it’s not the same as the “N” word because the “N” word started as a slur. I was like. And plus, I saw Glory, I saw all these movies. I didn’t see no slow people in slavery. Like that. You know what I mean?

Male host: “So what should it be Sybil? Because, I mean, I know you have [Laughter] What should it be? If it offends somebody take it out?”

Owen: “What should you say Sybil?”

Female host: “I don’t know. I, I, I’m really in favor of free speech but I understand, you know how people are, like, I was offended by Larry Wilmore. In, you know, his reference to the President. Um, I just didn’t think that that was appropriate in that particular context. So, I get it but with you Gary, I think people are just so quick to to um, condemn and to speak out against something and not really look at the joke in its full context. As you said, it wasn’t”

Male host: [Interrupting] “You can’t do the joke on the air? It’s too offensive?”

Owen: “Listen. Yeah, I can’t do it on the air, it’s too offensive, but it was on Showtime, which is, it wasn’t on the Tonight show, it wasn’t network TV.”

Female host: “Right.”

Owen: “And there’s a, it’s, it’s very CLEAR, there’s a descriptive, there’s gonna be vulgar language in this special. You know what I mean, so just like I have the right to tell the joke, you have the right not to watch. You have the right to change the channel.”

Male host: “And the right to protest.”

Female host: “And you have the right to protest. And you have the right to get your but outa there when your friends come.” [Laughter]

Owen: “I mean just think about it. Bill Maher had a TV show called Politically Incorrect.”

Female host: “Yeah.”

Owen: “And he got the show because he’s a comedian, and people go to comedians, for a release. And we say things that sometimes make you uncomfortable. And when that happens, I mean. All the great comedians have ruffled feathers at some point.”

Female host: “Here’s the other thing, Gary, now we have a man who could be President, and says things EVERY day to offend.”

Male host: [Over others]: “And people love it.”

Owen: “Yeah, but you’re gonna protest me. That makes a lot of sense. You know what I mean?”

Female host: “Yeah.”

Male host: “So are you takin’ the bit out?”

Owen: “What’s that?”

Male host: “Are you still doin’ the bit on stage? Will you still do the bit on stage?”

Owen: “I haven’t done the bit in two and a half years.”


Owen: “It’s been gone.”


Male host: “So Sybil, would it make more sense to protest Gary for Meet The Blacks?”


Female Host: “Now THAT’s worthy of protest Tom, thank you very much.”

Male host: “Yeah, nobody protest you for Meet The Blacks.”


Female Host: “Now THAT offends me.”


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