Normally, listening to people describe their dreams is the worst — they’re almost never interesting to anyone but the dreamer. But, when the people in question are talented comedians and the dreams in question are the super strange COVID-19 variety, it can actually be pretty damn entertaining. Case in point: John Mulaney on Stephen Colbert‘s show last night, where the pair traded quarantine dream stories.
Colbert started things off. “I dreamed that I had to do my show, but I had to do it someplace where nobody could find me…I still had to do my show and broadcast it somehow, but not any place the cops could find me.”
“Some part of you is conflicted about performing and, you know, ‘cashing in’ — I’m kidding! — about working during a time like this,” Mulaney speculated. “Why am I making my children join a union and be my PAs? Why must the show go on?” (OK, that one sounds deep.)
Mulaney’s dream was orders of magnitude weirder. It begins with him doing an interview about Rob Reiner — someone he doesn’t know in real life — and continues with the comedian and director driving around to look at the cherry blossoms. Mulaney is nervous because he revealed something too candid about Reiner in the interview, but it’s unclear what that actually is.
The pair arrives at a driveway in Greenpoint, where Mulaney used to live. He sleeps from 4:30 to 6:30. When he wakes up within the dream, Mulaney says that “Rob Reiner hands me a pill that is a medication I give my dog, in the dream, for acid reflux. He hands me the pill and he says wake up, and then I woke up.”
There’s a lot happening there, but luckily Colbert had some insights.
“I think it’s an anxiety dream,” Colbert said. “The anxiety is you have said something to upset someone you admire, and they may or may not have heard what you said and will not reveal to you…[T]he pressure of the anxiety grows because of your ignorance about the degree to which you have hurt their feelings, if at all.”
“It feasts like carbuncle inside of your heart.”
Colbert suggests that Mulaney give Reiner a call, despite not actually having met him outside of his dreams.
“I think I will,” Mulaney replied. “I’m sure it’s about my parents, but I’ll give Rob Reiner a call.”