March 9 2021 update: So, I went to two tapings of the show and they actually aired my conversation during the first taping tonight. There’s no snorting for that one but you can hear me pronounce my name. Adding that video to the bottom of this post as well.
By the end of this blog, you will get to watch a video of me voluntarily sharing my story of snorting in front of 3500 of my peers at a conference. BEFORE YOU SKIP TO THE VIDEO, you’ll want the context.
I love comedy. Laughter is in my DNA. It’s the way I deal with both grief and joy. When my dad had his heart attack in September, during his recovery, we watched hours of a Turkish comedy sketch show.
Think SNL meets Whose Line Is It Anyway.
Between each sketch, as they’re setting up, the host asks a question relevant to the following sketch. They get stories from the audience, both to make them feel involved and give the crew time to set up.
When I was in Istanbul during my leave of absence after my diagnosis (more on that in a later blog), I really wanted to go to a taping of the show, but I knew it was probably unlikely because of the pandemic.
In January, I got lucky. I could safely go to 2 tapings before I left the city.
One of the questions during the second taping was on something unusual happening during an event. My hand went up and for some reason, I wanted to share the story about how I snorted while accepting an award. Obviously, I was telling this story in Turkish and because I couldn’t think of the word for “snort” I just… made the noise to illustrate my point.
Now, a piece of crucial information: One of the regular cast members is notorious for breaking character and snorting when she does because she can’t stop laughing. They refer to it as her “stage monster.” So as I told my story, sound effects and all, she came out from backstage.
And challenged me to a snort-off.
I can’t even make this up.
I couldn’t believe it happened when it did. After the taping, I posted on Twitter thanking Doga for the experience. She replied.
And for the past few weeks, I’ve been waiting to see when that sketch would be shown (they stitch an episode together from different tapings so I didn’t know when it would be).
The day came. I saw the sketch was part of this week’s episode. I waited until they posted it to YouTube to see if they edited out my story (they do that sometimes for timing).
Nope. There I was, sharing my story in Turkish and snorting. Multiple times.
I don’t really have much to add except to say that I’m glad it happened.
Life is too short not to take advantage of moments that could turn into experiences you’ll remember forever.
So, without further ado, the video is below for your entertainment.
Keep watching all the way to the end. You’ll see that she comes out snorting at the beginning of the sketch, points at me, and they show my reaction.
A couple people requested captions, so a rough translation of the exchange is below the video.
Ali Sunal, Doğa Rutkay ve bütün Güldür Güldür ekibine çok teşekkürler.
Host (Ali): Is there anyone who had something funny/unusual happen to them in a public gathering like a wedding or funeral?
Me: It wasn’t a funeral or wedding but there’s a conference I go to every year. And I hate surprises.
Me: In the US. They have an awards show every year.
Ali: What do you do?
Me: Marketing. [This is the part where they cut out a little bit because I went into detail about how I didn’t even know I was nominated for the award but it was edited out for time] I was going to receive the award. They said my name. As I’m going up to the stage, I’m trying not to cry because there are cameras and 3500 people in the audience. I got on stage. As I started talking and was trying not to cry or laugh, a sound came out of me. [This is the part where I couldn’t think of a Turkish word for snort.] My “stage monster” came out in front of 3500 people. [I snort.]
Ali: Yeter does that every day.
Me: I know. I tweeted at her about it. After the awards, people who saw me in the elevator or at the parties during the conference recognized me.
Ali: So you’re famous.
Me: Something like that.
[This is when Yeter comes out]
Yeter: Let’s have a snort off. [We do.] See. I found someone else like me in the world.
Ali: Yeah, I noticed that it happens to me sometimes too.
Yeter: Let’s all do it.
Yeter: Who cares if we laugh like this?
Me: Personally, I think it’s a good thing to laugh deeply.
Ali: Yeah, from way deep.
Me: [After she exits] When I was watching old episodes and saw her stage monster come out first time, I really enjoyed it.
Ali: She does it involuntarily.
Me: You think I do this on purpose?
Ali: OK, thank you for sharing.
[Then the sketch starts, she comes out snorting when she isn’t supposed to be, points at me and I die.]
Here’s the video where you can hear me pronounce my name in Turkish. The rest of the clip, I share about being a realistic planner who plans for the worst case scenario, and then go on to thank the cast and crew for making us laugh for hours when my dad was recovering from his heart attack. No snorts in this one. Transcript to come maybe later.