One of the best things about watching Julio Torres do comedy is listening to the audience try to figure out what, exactly, he’s doing. The Saturday Night Live writer responsible for sharp and offbeat sketches like “Wells for Boys” and “Papyrus,” Torres and his jokes never quite go where you might expect them to — a rule of thumb that held hilariously true Wednesday night when he dropped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to share a few Halloween costume ideas.
“If you’re struggling for a costume, why not something easy?” Torres began. “Like, the Lost City of Atlantis?”
Fallon’s studio audience, unsure of how to respond to the suggestion, laughed nervously as a benign Torres blinked out at them. But as he continued, his dry delivery of increasingly strange costume ideas got everyone — including a barely contained Fallon — on board.
Torres continued: “How about a Ferrero Rocher chocolate? Or an email forward from your dad? Or a raccoon, foolishly wearing all the diamonds he stole?” Whenever Fallon asked him to come up with something “simpler,” Torres shrugged and suggested yet more existential options like, “Turtle who just told off another turtle and now has to turn away and storm off very slowly.” For his own costume, Torres revealed, he’s stuck between “being a secret or a rumor.”
I could continue to list the punchlines, but trust me: There’s no substitute for watching Torres deliver them himself, in his unflappable deadpan.
No matter what, if you do end up going out for Halloween dressed as a “Tooth fairy who’s like, ‘Dear god, I can’t afford to buy more teeth, what do I even do with these?!’” for Halloween this year, just make sure to give him credit.
You can watch the full clip embedded above, and Julio Torres’s recent half-hour standup special on Comedy Central’s website.