The concept for The Wall was rooted in an incident on the Animals tour. Roger Waters, swearing at the audience for shooting firecrackers during his song, became particularly angered by a fan, leaned down and spat in his face. The inspiration for part of the song Comfortably Numb stemmed from the same tour. The tour was going horribly and one night Roger was feeling horribly sick. Backstage, managers whizzed around, found a doctor and pumped Roger full of drugs. Roger recollected the experience with the lyric "my hands felt just like two balloons", and stated that the experience reminded him of having a fever as a child.
In the film version of The Wall, the song is played when the protagonist, named Pink Floyd, overdoses in his hotel room. A hubbub of suits and doctors rush into his room. The two verses depict the doctor's dialogue to an unresponsive Pink. Pumped full of drugs, Pink is thrown on stage and envisions his rock concert as a neo-nazi rally, which takes up Side Four of The Wall. In the film, the rockstar overdosed on drugs. In reality, Roger Waters was writhing in pain backstage, later found out to be caused by hepatitis.