While certain facts of nature seem undeniable to most people, there are always those more than willing to deny simple science. Comedian Ian Abramson might believe in global warming, but that doesn’t mean he believes in all natural entities. Namely, he questions the existence of bees, those sometimes nasty honey-creating, pollinating insects that we’ve all seen and tried to avoid. (He’s joking, we think?) Ahead of the comedian’s show, 7 Minutes In Purgatory, at our 3rd Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival, The A.V. Club talked to Abramson about why he simply doesn’t believe in the existence of bees.
The A.V. Club: Let’s start pretty simple: Why don’t you think bees exist?
Ian Abramson: I’ve never seen a bee. Why don’t you believe dragons exist?
AVC: I don’t necessarily believe they don’t. I’ve never seen one, but who knows?
IA: This is exactly the issue. Because you’ve never seen one, you don’t believe, and you’re not sure. What would it take you to believe that dragons don’t exist? Why don’t unicorns exist? Why don’t bees exist? It’s all the same question.
AVC: So you’ve never seen a bee?
IA: No! And you have?
IA: Okay. You’re full of it.
AVC: You’ve never been stung by a bee, obviously.
IA: No, no, no. Several years ago, though, a doctor said that my brother had been stung by a bee, and he was allergic, which is why he died. But then why, six months ago, did I start getting emails from an accountant asking me for money to get out of Europe sent from my brother’s account? How did that happen if he died from a bee sting? Nobody has these answers for me.
AVC: If bees don’t exist, and some people are allergic to bees, then what are they allergic to? Is it a medical conspiracy?
IA: They put things in the honey to keep us allergic, to make us live in fear. Do you remember years ago when they started talking about Africanized bees? Those killer bees? Did you know anybody that died from these killer bees?
AVC: No, but I don’t spend a lot of time in Africa, so…
IA: Right, but they were saying they came over here. There’s all these lies being reported to us by the government to try to keep us living in fear, obeying their rules.
AVC: Did the government come up with the concept of what a bee looks like?
IA: No. The idea of a bee has been around a long time. The government just latched on. They’re a mythical creature.
AVC: Like a griffin?
IA: Exactly. It’s as if the government has said, “Look at this griffin. You need to be afraid of this griffin.” And the thing is, I get that there are many people who believe in bees, but they need to respect my belief in bees not existing. That’s all I’m asking. I need them to respect the fact that I believe that bees don’t exist.
AVC: How do plants get pollinated?
IA: How do plants get pollinated? The leaves fall to the ground, they grow.
AVC: The seeds fly in the wind?
IA: Absolutely. That happens. That’s a scientific fact. You knew that principle. Seeds can fly in the wind. They can just drop. Animals can carry them. What do squirrels do when they’re finding nuts? They’re burying them in the ground. What happens to a nut when you plant it? It grows.
AVC: Some people would say that bees are a scientific fact.
IA: Some people would say that, yeah. But there are also people that would say that 9/11 not happening is a fact.
AVC: That’s true.
IA: That is true. These are all facts.
AVC: What about people who say that we’re going to kill all the bees if we don’t address climate change?
IA: The scariest part about this to me is the idea that the world will end if we don’t have bees. Look, we can’t find any bees. The bees are disappearing. They’re already gone. They were never around. So it’s very easy to keep us living in fear that bees disappearing will destroy the world somehow, because tiny little creatures with little needles on the end could somehow destroy the world, when in fact it’s easy to point and say bees are disappearing when they’re not around to begin with.
AVC: When I was 8 or 9, I stepped on a bee—or what I thought was a bee. What was it?
IA: I mean, I wasn’t there. I don’t know.
AVC: A sharp blade of grass?
IA: It very well could’ve been. It could’ve been glass. It could’ve been grass. Or it could’ve been a thorn. It could have been any number of other insects. But the point is, I’m sure there were times you were scared of the boogeyman.
AVC: Probably. Or a guy in the closet or whatever.
IA: Right. But I’ve been in closets, and there are not guys in there.
AVC: Well, there are sometimes, but not most of the time.
IA: Sure. Fair.
AVC: Do you believe in wasps?
IA: I think that wasps are just another form of a bee that we’re calling another thing. There are so many different names for a dragon, there are so many different names for a sasquatch—the abominable snowman. Every culture has their own name for it. A wasp is just an example of that.
AVC: Could someone show you a bee and make you believe in it?
IA: If they could, absolutely. But nobody’s been able to. Where are these scientists? They could just bring me a bee, but there are no bees. There have been instances when they’ve brought these… you’re familiar with nanotechnology? Robotics getting smaller and smaller? They’re like, “Look, this is an actual bee!” Clearly fake. Clearly trying to fake me out. And who would have the power and the money to fund something like that? The government. You see what I’m saying? It all comes together.
AVC: Do you think it’s the U.S. government specifically or is it a world government conspiracy?
IA: I don’t know the difference between those. UN, USN, UPN… They’re all in it together. The USPS.
AVC: USPS employees surely say they get stung by bees or at least believe in bees.
IA: Right. I mean, give me a break. Come on. It’s ridiculous.
AVC: It’s January 2017, and there’s a new president in the White House. Are bees one of the things they learn about? Or do the candidates already know about bees?
IA: I think it’s a general understanding, but they’ll get a real confirmation a couple months into their presidency. When Obama was elected, it wasn’t immediately, day one, “Hi, this is what happened with the Kennedy assassination,” in detail. I think that you end up finding those kind of things out as president. But I don’t know. We’re just speculating here.
AVC: Well, I’m convinced.
IA: I’m so glad. That’s wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me and for taking this important issue seriously.