ultra wealthy

via TED

Comedian Pardis Parker at the Global Ted COnference 2022.

In April 2022, comedian Pardis Parker performed a five-minute set at the global TED Conference in Vancouver, Canada, where he admitted he’s “terrified of wanting to be a billionaire.” The performance was a funny and bold, statement in a culture obsessed with the ultra-wealthy.

Parker’s fear of becoming a billionaire began after he left Canada for Los Angeles. “I think the biggest difference between Canada and L.A. is the extent to which people in L.A. fetishize wealth,” Parker said.

“I'm terrified, man. I'm terrified that L.A. is changing me that I'm becoming one of those people who chases money, who fetishizes wealth who wants to be a billionaire,” he continued. “When I say that people get angry they get defensive. They’re like, ‘What's wrong with being rich? What's wrong with being a billionaire? What's wrong with being financially savvy?’ It's just like yo man, if you own a billion of anything that doesn't make you savvy, that makes you a hoarder.

He then points out that billionaires are just as quickly forgotten as anyone else. “There's 2,668 billionaires on the planet right now. Name them. You can't, and that's while they're still alive,” Parker joked.

Parker finishes his chunk by sharing how almost everyone can leave a legacy long after they’re gone. For example, give kids a full-size candy bar on Halloween. “That's it, that's it. Legacy cemented. It's been 30 years since I went trick-or-treating and me and my brother still talk about 39 Grenon.”

Parker’s stand-up routine presents a fun way of rethinking what it means to be rich and leave a legacy and he’s right. In the end, people will probably forget those who impressed them with their wealth, but they’ll never forget someone who made them feel good.