Sept. 15--Stand-up comic Sammy Obeid was a math tutor before this making-money-being-funny career took off. So the 28-year-old from Fremont knows numbers.
First, there's the 1,000 straight days-- or nights -- performing, which Obeid reaches Sept. 20 in Los Angeles. More importantly, there's Wednesday's five-minute set -- on "Conan" with Conan O'Brien.
And the number Obeid really likes -- 1 million viewers on the TBS program, 2 million views on O'Brien's website and who knows how many from an eventual YouTube of the comic's act.
Obeid practically salivates, pacing back and forth like a racehorse ready for the starting gun.
"I will become famous, and the owners of the world will offer me complete ownership of the world, which I can hereby use to make sure my jokes enter every household," Obeid said.
Since it is Obeid's debut with O'Brien and the Bay Area comic lacks that star power, he doubts he'll be asked to chat with the host.
No matter. He's ready to push other guest Seth Green to the side.
"I will run over to the couch anyway and try," said Obeid, a finalist in the 2010 San Francisco Stand-Up Comedy
Obeid scored the national late-night show by a recommendation from a fellow comic "and they looked at my 1,000 days thing" and asked if he wanted to appear on the show before the streak ends on the milestone.
The invitation came at the perfect moment, Obeid said. He got word from O'Brien's people at the start of August when the stand-up reached 950 straight days of working. The day before, "I bombed real bad and was thinking about quitting comedy," he said. "So my reaction was simply, 'Oh, OK, well I can't quit
Obeid's initial goal was to perform every day for one year. Then he heard Hal Sparks did two straight years of performing comedy.
"I had to pass that, so I set the goal at 1,000 days," said Obeid, believing he's appeared in Vallejo or Benicia "probably 15 to 20 times," including a win in the only Vallejo Comedy Competition in 2009.
Matt Larson, producer of the Vallejo Comedy Circuit that's included Obeid numerous times, said the Fremont funnyman's national appearance was inevitable.
"It was just a matter of time," Larson said. "Sammy has been ready for late-night television for a long time now. Nobody deserves this opportunity more than him. He's quite literally the hardest working comic in the world, maybe even the hardest working comic in the history of the business, and soon he'll have the record to prove it."
The O'Brien appearance figures to make Obeid's Top 3 list of career highlights that includes Howard Stern praising him for choosing comedy over a job offer from Google and comic Louis CK telling a crowd "that my flat tire joke is 'genius.'"
Obeid's five minutes on O'Brien's show is pretty much set in stone since it had to be pre-approved, he said.
"There's obvious restrictions on what you can say, so they know the specific jokes I'll be doing," Obeid said.
Obeid insists he's getting the big-name
"They will pick me up in a towncar, bathe me, and pay me for my troubles," he said.
It's too early to know who the other guests are Sept. 20, Obeid said.
"Hopefully, not my parents," he said.
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