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Amber Ruffin revises her own joke on air, nails it

Photo: Andrew Toth (Getty Images)

Part of being a comedian is obsessing over the punchlines you should’ve told, but there’s no shame in sharing an alternate button now and then. Take Late Night With Seth Meyers’ Amber Ruffin, for example, who proved on air that sometimes it’s worth it to take a second stab at laughter.

Ruffin was doing her “Amber Says What” segment on Tuesday night’s show, highlighting the latest news that makes her say—you guessed it—“What?” when inspiration struck. For the record, the whole video is gold—with Ruffin covering “Old Town Road,” the black hole pictures, and Beyoncé’s Homecoming Netflix documentary—but it’s that nightmare story of the woman with bees feasting on her tears that really gets her gears turning. It begins around the 4:07 mark, when, after Ruffin rattles off her original joke, one can see the proverbial lightbulb click on behind her eyes.

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Here’s the original zinger: “So just to be safe, to any bees out there: my tears are made of poison.” Suddenly, she breaks, telling the camera to cut back to her side camera. Looking straight into the frame, delivers her revision: “My tears are poison,” but to the tune Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison.” And she stuck the landing! “How did I miss that? Ohhh, that was a close one,” she cracks as Meyers cracks up in the background.

Comedy, it’s a living thing.

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About the author

Alani Vargas

Alani Vargas is an entertainment writer and A.V. Club contributor. Her work also appears on Showbiz Cheat Sheet, INSIDER, Bustle, Refinery29, and Elite Daily.