The first episode of CBS All Access' The Twilight Zone, "The Comedian", kicked things off for Jordan Peele's reboot TV series, and while much of the plot points are laid out for viewers throughout the episode, there are still some aspects that remain somewhat confounding, even in the ending. In "The Comedian", Kumail Nanjiani stars as stand-up comic Samir Wassan, an unfunny man who develops a newfound ability at being hilarious - by quite literally making people disappear.
It's an interesting choice having Nanjiani play a stand-up comedian because he himself is one in real life, but whereas he's become quite successful outside of The Twilight Zone series, his character, Samir, is struggling with getting even a few middling laughs from audiences. That is, until he meets comic legend J.C. Wheeler, played by Tracy Morgan on The Twilight Zone. Taking a few notes from Wheeler, Samir ultimately becomes one of the greatest comedians in the city and a candidate for a hit TV show.
But everything comes at a cost. Samir's success only grew when he opened up about his personal life and the people in it. However, by doing so, he also inadvertently caused people to disappear. While it was accidental at first, he ended up doing it because he believed he was making a difference in the world. In some cases, he was making a positive difference in the world, such as getting rid of his drunk driving co-worker (thus saving the mom and child at the bus stop), but there were still limitations.
- This Page: Samir's Powers & "The Comedian" Ending Explained
- Page 2: What The Photograph Means & How Samir Could've Saved Himself
Samir's Powers In The Comedian Explained
At first, Samir accidentally makes his dog - whose name Cat - and his girlfriend's nephew, Devin, disappear, but when he learns of his "superpower", Samir begins making specific people disappear - people who've wronged him in life. In doing so, he gains more power and more followers, and he becomes more successful. Still, he can't just make anyone disappear. Even though he tries, he seemingly can't get rid of the president or the murder he meets on the bus.
People in the audience need to laugh at the joke/person he's making fun of, and that person needs to have some sort of personal connection to Samir. Whether that connection is something that's been brewing for years or a few minutes. When two of the three investors start heckling Samir, they immediately develop a personal connection with him. And so, when Samir asks for their names, he repeats them in his act, while people are laughing, that make them disappear. Only one of the investors is left in the end.
J.C. Wheeler explains to Samir in the prologue that he has "one natural resource" and that resource/export is him. As long as he puts himself out there, the "audience will take it in, they will connect. And once they connect to it, it's theirs. And once it's theirs, that sh*t is gone forever." Wheeler made it quite clear to Samir, but he did so by concealing the fact that it's all real. Just like a divine entity receiving its power through faith, Samir's superpower is fueled by the audience connecting with him.
The Comedian Ending Explained
After Didi Scott's act is done at the end of "The Comedian", Samir struggles with using his power to say her name, but he does so anyway - thus making her disappear. Because of that, he becomes the only comedian left. At that point, it seems Samir has truly lost everything (and everyone) he ever cared about. So to cope with this and potentially fix it all, he jokes about himself. His final joke is saying his own name, which forces him to disappear.
Because Samir's superpower changes reality and makes it as if that person never existed, by making himself disappear, Samir changes reality one more time to make it as if he never existed. If he was never born, then that means he couldn't have used his power to make anyone else disappear. That's why Didi and Devin return in the following scene, and presumably, that means everyone else returned as well. However, this only happens after Samir "kills it" on stage - while on a murderous rampage - one last time.
Interestingly, earlier on Didi told Samir, "If you go on a murder rampage, can you try not to do it while I'm here, please?" It seemed like an off-putting comment at first, but it ends up becoming a reality. Samir considers what he's doing to be murder - he tells J.C. Wheeler as much - and he goes on a murderous rampage, listing off as many names as possible, but only after he makes Didi disappear. She's not there when he does it.