John Mayer is probably a racist, as well as a douche

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Alright, this is sort of a convoluted story, so I’ll try to keep this as simple as possible: John Mayer is a douchey racist. Trust me. Need more? Okay. Here goes. This story comes from New York Magazine’s Vulture column, via Lainey Gossip. Incidentally, it was the one of NY Mag’s Vulture column people that caught up with John Mayer a few months ago and tried to interview him, only to have Mayer threaten “I’m going to forcefully sodomize your editor.” So, there’s some history there. Anyway, this story is about John Mayer’s attempt at stand-up at the Slipper Room last week, and the story comes directly from a comedian named Kumail Nanjiani, who not only witnessed Mayer’s act, but was the one to fall victim to Mayer’s racist douchery.

A quick word about Nanjiani: he’s an up-and-coming Pakistani comedian who has spent the last year performing on late night shows for David Letterman, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Saturday Night Live. He’s been named one of the “Ten Comedians To Watch” and he’s making deals all over the place. Basically, he’s a funny guy, and he does this for a living, with great joy.

Here’s what happened when Mayer showed up at the Slipper Room, told by Nanjiani and New York Magazine:

John Mayer showed up at the Slipper Room unannounced last Tuesday night and asked the evening’s emcee, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s Seth Herzog, if he could do five minutes of stand-up. According to Nanjiani, who was originally scheduled to take the stage when Mayer showed up, Mayer then proceeded to bomb for not five minutes, but for twenty, eating into Nanjiani’s performance time. Which would have been fine, except Mayer then decided to come back out onstage AGAIN in the middle of Nanjiani’s set.

This is when things got weird.

To hear Nanjiani tell the story, he was somewhat rattled after having had his set time cut by John Mayer, but things got awkward after Mayer referred to the Pakistan-born Kumail as “Kabul.” Whoops! Making matters even worse, Mayer apparently then began heckling Nanjiani onstage, telling him that “he looked like a brown guy but sounded like a white guy.” Double whoops! Now, Nanjiani was careful last night not to accuse Mayer of being a racist, nor does he seem to hold a real grudge against Mayer; rather, he was just relating a hilariously surreal story of a recent stand-up gig to a bunch of comedy nerds (like us!).

[From New York Magazine]

Ha, Mayer thinks it’s funny to mispronounce a Pakistani’s name, making it sound like an Afghan city. Hysterical. It’s always so funny when someone basically says to you “You have brown skin and a non-Anglo name, so you’re not worth the two seconds it would take to learn how to pronounce your name correctly.” And yes, I take it personally. I have an Indian name, and I don’t care when people mispronounce my name when they’re trying to sound it out, I just think that’s polite, like they’re making an effort. I only care when someone mangles my name because they don’t think I’m worth the effort.

What’s worse is that Mayer doubles down on his douchery, saying “he looked like a brown guy but sounded like a white guy.” Ugh. What a bitch.

When Mayer was discussing the incident to The Comic’s Comic, he described what went down as: “I’m blind and I’m an idiot. I go in and I smash things with my big, dumb Hulk hands. I don’t know how to do it yet. I don’t know how to bomb. It was combative in the sense that the crowd didn’t really accept the fact that the jock, the guy who gets the girls, was at a place where the guys go who talk about how they don’t get the girls.” So… Mayer’s not a racist, he’s just a guy who gets laid, and all of us are jellus h8ters? Right.

Mayer went on, trying to explain how he was trying to rescue Kumail, we just misunderstood: “I’d never met Kumail. But I’m also in performance-mode, and in barrel-ahead mode, and with not enough information. Performer to performer, I felt like, he’s having trouble transitioning. They always think the other guy is the bigger guy. I’m just trying to tell them I’m John. Once I go out up there, I’m an amateur comic. In my state of vulnerability, I thought, it’s not moving forward… The whole thing was so odd. It was off-kilter from the moment I’d gotten onstage…So I get onstage, and I didn’t know he didn’t want me onstage. I’m the exact opposite of a ham when I go to a comedy club… I’m trying to go for broke. When you’re that flustered, your references are off. I felt really bad. I felt like I ruined his set.”

Mayer also says that he ended up apologizing to Kumail. Which is better than most casual racists would do, so I give Mayer a small bit of credit for that. But not much.

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42 Responses to “John Mayer is probably a racist, as well as a douche”

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  1. Sudini says:

    Didn’t Mayer do the same thing about a year ago? I remember hearing stories about how he was drunk and got on stage and did a long, offensive rant of some sort…

    This guy is so into himself, ugh.

  2. wow says:

    LOL. Is this ALL they could come up with? Please.

    JM is hardly a racist, but this is hilarious.

  3. lucy2 says:

    Well, if I ever run into John Mayer in person, I will punch him in his big dumb head, and then just explain that I am an amateur boxer who was in “performance mode”.

    Seriously, this guy is the biggest d-bag ever. Why won’t he go away?

  4. Firestarter says:

    Seriously, WTF is up with his hair?

    As for Mayer. I think he was trying to be “edgy” and “funny” and he missed.

    Stand up is filled with offensive things directed at race/ethnicity, gender, age, income, politics. etc. His stuff was, IMO, not racist, just poor taste.

    I think Mayer is many things (None of them good) but racist?! Not really.

  5. mila says:

    English is not my mother tongue so I have real trouble understanding Mayer’s explanation.I mean, what’s his excuse?

  6. BW says:

    English IS my mother tongue and I have no idea what Mayer’s explanation meant. It’s complete gibberish.

  7. hmm says:

    I get so frustrated when people declare that something isn’t racist because they weren’t offended.

  8. BitterBetty says:

    Someone bitchslap this loser back to reality. getting some gold digging, fame seeking snach is a long way from “getting all the girls”. and I’m pretty sure jocks don’t have the physique of a 12 year old clarinet geek. what a delusional douche.

  9. Miss Thang says:

    “Well, if I ever run into John Mayer in person, I will punch him in his big dumb head, and then just explain that I am an amateur boxer who was in “performance mode”.”

    Love that!!

  10. scout says:

    To assist with the “excuse” translation:

    Meyer, “me, me, and then me being me, stoned me, onstage me, me bigger guy, me better performer, me, me also myself, and then, this is the funny part – John, also known as me, funny funny me. Me getting laid, me making music, me with my hair, have you seen me? It was me being of course – me! Finally and to close, me, more of the same, alongside and in keeping with me blah, blah, blah starring me.”

    I hope that helps.

  11. Corina says:

    Did anyone even invite him on stage? There was no need for performance mode or any other douchey action by him. John is just so desperate for the spotlight that he couldn’t resist keeping his butt in the audience. He totally admits that he sucks at comedy but he keeps subjecting people to his attempts! Just stop already, please.

  12. crash2GO2 says:

    People can’t deal with my last name either, and it’s Scottish. And it’s even pronounced exactly as spelled. Oh well. It’s never bothered me for even one nanosecond.

    john mayer is like a gigantic 5 year old in brain power, looks and social graces.

  13. GatsbyGal says:

    He’s an uncaring dick, tactless and rude, and yeah, probably a little racist. This comes as no surprise to me.

    I gotta say thanks to you, Kaiser. Before coming to this site I had no idea just how much a prick John Mayer was. I can’t even listen to his songs on the radio anymore.

  14. anonymous says:

    @ scout – too flipping funny! Clearly you are more comedically talented than JM is. LOL

  15. Kim says:

    I used to love this guy :( I bought all of his CDs and sang Only Heart on the top of my (horrible, froggish) voice a million times. I was going to marry him… then he morphed into a douche, and got ugly :(

  16. Buckley says:

    narcissistic douchebag with diarrhea of the mouth..

  17. Jojo says:

    WOW – a celeb who’s a jackass and full of themselves – what a shocker!

  18. Buckley says:

    The first picture is right out of the 40yr old virgin poster.

  19. Catherine says:

    Seems like JM just fancies himself a jack of all trades: A singer, a comedian, an intellectual and some sort of romeo but all in all, he’s nothing but a d*ck.

  20. lee says:

    What’s the point of apologizing when you’re going to make excuses for yourself and blame everyone else for being jealous? He is so full of himself. I hate when his fans try to make excuses for him by saying that people don’t get his humor. I get what he’s trying to do but he’s still a huge douchebag.

  21. SageAdvice says:

    I don’t think he’s the r-word in any sense of the word. I think he was just being rude.

    And personally I think it’s overreacting to get offended when someone doesn’t bother to pronounce your name completely correctly. I have a fairly easy-to-pronounce name and people mangle it all the time because they can’t be bothered to really learn it. Those people are usually those who I’m not going to be friends with or who I meet in passing at events and such.

    People aren’t r*cists just because they don’t want to bother with learning how to pronounce your name exactly right.

    Maybe they just don’t care?

  22. Peach says:

    Let me break this down:
    When you are ‘Eastern’ of some sort you’re discriminated against. I don’t care if you’re Indian, Syrian, Persian or Pakistani. You’re gonna get those stupid ass people asking ignorant questions ALL THE TIME.
    Add the name to it. Mine is Arab. And people all the time say Naallliiiiiiaaayyy? And I’m cool with it.

    But if some white-middle-class-privilaged-off-his-ass-frat-boy starts calling me Nails or Narnia I’m going to punch him in his big fat face.

    If you don’t have to deal with the added pressure of people asking if “you know any terrorists” or “why don’t you apologize for _____” than really…yeah the name thing probably doesn’t sting.

    Add the extra discrimination and the obvious and purposefull misproununciation and it sucks.

    Also “you don’t sound brown?”
    It makes my brain explode. Maybe if you don’t get it than think about it this way: You say something and John Mayer turns to you and says, “Awww, well at least you’re pretty.” Yeah. It is an insult. And quite frankly, anybody who doesnt see it should get off their privilaged ass and think about what is being said. “You don’t sound brown” Brown=taxi driver/7-11 cashier/terrorist. Use the brain here people.

  23. sonny says:

    he had a racist comedy set a while ago…….why does the media forgive him??
    heres the link

  24. westender says:

    So what is it about John Mayer that women like Jennifer Aniston , Jessica Simpson find this guy attractive?

  25. lee says:

    I don’t know about Jessica Simpson but I remember when Jennifer Aniston was dating him the second time around she said she liked the way he thinks thoughts. She called it beautiful.

  26. Camille says:

    Can’t stand him. Yuck.

  27. ViktoryGin says:

    Go, Peach.

    I don’t think that Mayer is categorically racist, in the sense that he is a neo-Nazi white supremacist. He’s obviously not. This doesn’t mean that his comments weren’t racially loaded and offensive.

    What I find that many people don’t understand is that under the current paradigm, at least in the US, racism operates much more subversively and in different forms. You don’t have to be a chaplin for the Aryan Brotherhood in order to make comments that are racist. Yup, even if hurling racial epithets is not your intention. YOU may not be racist, but your statements are…how?

    One of the primary issues with Mayer’s infraction is that he’s glib and offensive….and he uses race as if it’s an inconsequential thing like insulting someone’s clothing. It is NOT! It’s important that people begin to understand that RACIAL INSENSITIVITY IS INSULTING, particularly if you are a member of an ethnic group that is historically marginalized and stereotyped. Not recognizing why this shit is offensive is insulting. Essentially, it communicates that you don’t give a shit. If you don’, that’s fine. It’s presumptuous and obnoxious, however, to make an argument that someone’s statements are racially innocuous when you aren’t on the receiving end and, even worse, if you don’t care.

    This is not directed toward anyone is particular, but this is problem that I’ve been turning over in my head for years. For all us – just because we don’t promote the oppression and marginalization of specific ethnic groups DOESN’T mean that we are free the bonds of racism and don’t have some kind of responsibility in attemting to understand how it operates and how it exists in all of us.

  28. Sumodo says:


  29. Aprill says:

    I believe John Mayer totally ruin his set because he thought he was better than Kumail Nanjiani. John Mayer is a racist. What if Kumail come to John Mayer concert and rush the stage and start singing.

    John the jerk believe his own hype. He is the product of people lying to him and telling him he is all that. All he get are desperate fans that want to marry a rich man and will lie to his face. To bad he confuse that with being great. If he didn’t have money they would be no where near him.
    What ever women end up with this jerk will have a Tiger Woods ending.

    I remember him doing a racist stand up routine, now here he is again caught in the middle of a racist act.
    The reason he don’t go down for anything is a large pr team that
    crawl behind him and clean up his
    No worries pr to the rescue, claiming he is not racist. We are supposed to believe his people and not our ears.
    Outrageous the way this douche keep getting away with his $hit.

  30. Ilovetheracecard says:

    Apparently if I mis-prounouce your name I’m a white-middle-class-privilaged-off-his-ass-frat-boy.

    Oh and you’re going to punch me in my face.

    Yeah ok. Where do I start?

  31. Nah, Mayer’s not a racist. He just dislikes anyone that isn’t currently sleeping with him.

  32. Dalton says:

    That’s enough, John Mayer.

  33. mags says:

    i have to agree with victory gin and peach.
    honestly i think the “Kabul to Kamail” “joke” was really a swing and a miss. Like it would have been edgy but funny if Mayer knew anything and could’ve pulled a city in Pakistan out of his ass, like i’m originally from illinois, i find it endearing when people from other countries jokingly call me chicago. However, to ignorant americans, and d-bags like Mayer, all countries where people look the same are interchangable.
    the “you don’t sound brown” comment is racisim. people claiming it isn’t just shows how prevelant racism masquarading as stupidity is. IMO, it is a lot more common and dangerous than most people realize. why should someone “sound” like something. spend some time outside of the US and you’ll realize there’s no such thing as “sounding” like anything…you sound like where you grew up/learned english if english isn’t your first language
    ps mayer is lookin a bit spun/strung out there…yikes

  34. smilelover says:

    SageAdvice, loved your comment. The U.S. is just too OVER politically correct. The world is a rough place, and humans generally dislike anyone who isn’t like them. Hard to accept, but true. We only learned to disguise these feelings.

  35. Peach says:

    My name is Naila. I understand people having a hard time with it. I really do.
    But if I say, “My name is Naila” and some privilaged frat boy starts calling me Naples or Narnia or Nimpho (which has all happened by the way)…yeah. For mocking what I consider a beautiful part of my culture, and something specifically mine…I’m going to punch you in your big fat racist head.

    Do I expect you to fight back? Sure. Go ahead. But believe that you do not get to insult me, and my culture and get a free pass.

    So sorry, times have changed. You don’t get to outright disrespect people anymore just because they’re not exactly like you.
    So go cry me a river about yur poor right to be complete twat being ripped away from you…a bloo, bloo, bloo.

  36. PJ says:

    Mayer’s comments may have been in poor taste, but I think we should be very careful about calling anyone a “racist,” and not just because of the libel laws.

    This was a comedy act. If it was a serious speech, that would be different. We understand that comedians are not serious about what they are saying.

  37. oh hey says:

    @Peach. I think that’s a beautiful name. You can add any non-caucasian group to the “you don’t sound” statement as well i.e., you don’t sound black etc. I once heard a person say to a black friend of mine “you’re sound so intelligent, where did you go to school?” I think it’s more cultural stupidity than racism. I mean, most non-whites don’t go up to rednecks and say “you don’t sound white, where did you go to school?” I think if people were a little more culturally savvy, and get the idea out of their heads that they don’t have to be because Eurocentric culture (sorry kids, that’s where most of U.S. culture comes from) maybe we wouldn’t need political correctness.

  38. oh hey says:


    When white Americans not only feel that don’t have to make and effort to pronounce a name outside of “Smith” and “Jones” or have the nerve to get an attitude because someone is pissed because the effort isn’t made, they’re playing the race card too.

    You may not be a “priveliged-ass frat boy” (Ignorace knows no color or class), but you’re undoubtedly a myopic fool, you’ve proven that masterfully.

  39. ilsa says:

    John Mayer is dirty. He always looks like it’s been a few days since his last shower. Ewwwwww!

  40. Shizzle says:

    I think you’re being obnoxiously over-sensitive. John Mayer’s not a racist, he’s just not a great comic. I’m brown and I’m not in the least offended by this. The guy sincerely apologized, what more do you want?

  41. donee middleton says:

    Please before we attribute all that is cultural to europe..lets understand the ‘moorish’ influence on that continent..they were in the dark ages until that influence.Mr Mayer does not respect nor understand this concept. widespread ignorance. very sad to witness.

  42. Maya says:

    John Mayer can’t be a Neo-Nazi…

    …he’s a Jew.