Watch a Comedian Win America’s Hearts in Real Time

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‘America’ in this instance is technically only ‘the studio audience for the New York auditions of America’s Got Talent,’ but NewsFeed would venture that YOU, watching at home or in an office, will have the same reaction.

Doogie Horner at first seems like an oblivious rube, but don’t be fooled, readers! Look into his eyes as he plays awkward with Nick Cannon: He’s laying a trap. Horner, like Susan Boyle, knows that the best way to stun an audience is by first presenting yourself as a harmless dreamer. Then when you cast off the shell and reveal your true talent, you will seem to the spectators like a glorious phoenix rising from the ashes. A switch in them will flick, and they will love you.

That moment in this clip is the eagle joke, when even the most hardened viewers begin to think, “OK, that guy’s sort of good.” As the cheers in the crowd slowly begin to overpower the boos Horner goes off his routine, taking on the hecklers one by one. It’s a bit taken from the movie Half Baked (clip contains foul language), but it works as a sort of catharsis — both for Horner and the viewers who have switched to his side. By the time Howie Mandel shows up to give Horner his signature fist-bump backstage, NewsFeed had made the journey from cynicism to optimism, and all in the space of a matter of minutes. Doogie Horner: America’s heart-warmer-in-chief?