« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 809 - John Michael Higgins / Maria Bamford

2017-05-07 | 🔗
John Michael Higgins is instantly familiar to audiences after seeing him in the Christopher Guest movies and Pitch Perfect and so many other films and TV shows. But he and Marc discover in the middle of their conversation that they actually share a comedy connection going back decades. They also talk about his Broadway career and his big break playing David Letterman. Plus, Maria Bamford stops by to talk about her new Netflix special and explain why she's taking Improv 101 classes at the UCB.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Nor I gladly do this. How are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the fuck and ears what the fuck's doors has gone? mark marin. This is my podcast. W e f welcome to it How's everything I'm a little sickish, I'm sick lee, I'm sick, ish sick, I don't know man woke up yesterday body not in czech. She was not in czech stuff was going wrong. Little feverish some stomach issues. Don't you get to graphic? felt a little buggy, a little achy or god damn it. I've been run into hard folks pushing the envelope in which over work in it, but I don't know. Maybe I got a bug, maybe it'll go away by tomorrow. I hope so I got things to do. You know what I mean today on the show job Michael Higgins, yeah that guy from others
if a movies very funny you in the street. From me, I had no idea, as I I'm surprised, we're not hanging out and talking once a week as a good time is a good is good conversation I enjoyed it immensely and special treat maria ban stopped by got some things going on. I dont who doesn't love maria pampered. I would, I think every w e f should just be me in memory of amphora interviewing each other, perhaps by Yes, so I don't know what's wrong me, let me get some business out of the weakest, its mark and w e F related business, and I want to. I want to remind you- do not forget. There you can pre order the new w E F book waiting for the punch words to live by from the deputy podcast. If you go to w, pod, dot com or mark Marin book dot com to get it I gave a copy to my mom, my mom's. She was in. for a few days, and I'm not attaching the
agnes to that at all. I made it through too five days, and then I got sick, but I'm not hang in that on her. I think it's just exhaustion a bug wouldn't do that her, but my mom to the point my mom took a galley. copy of the book and could not put it down. She was just fascinated by it. Enjoying it immensely? If you want an advance copy of that book, you can to book con on june. Third in new york city I'll, be there would Brenda mcdonald talkin about but can you get a copy before anyone else does and we'll be signing them so go to the book con dot com, the book dot com to get your tickets there. Thirty five bucks right now, but the price will go up in a couple weeks and with your take, it you can see all the other panels in presentations, not just me and brendan Jeffrey tambo, dan, brown and margaret outward all have panels on the same day, so come down, see us get a book see a bunch of great talks. Also folks speak in a book,
I do I want to mention this because I've got the book and have to have a mention it, but it's kind of a cool book as very cool book. It's a book. I mean it's called footnotes from the world's greatest bookstore by new yorker cartoonist, Bob Eckstein scott beautiful restrictions and then there stories from people like me, David Bowie, terry gross, fill of glass, Jonathan aims and more about bookstores and it's a beautiful book, and yet I would pick it up. I mean it. forgot, I forgot I was in it. I forgot dimension it before it great mother's day gives so go pick it up wherever you get books, but especially at your neighborhood independent book store. But let's talk on about death If we could. My mother came out Wednesday. I picked her up at the airport and we we hung out for a few days I put her out a hotel in pasadena caused. No room in my house from my mother. Does not that's not gonna happen so we'd we
did the things you sarah and I and my mom we did museums who went the bridge. Owed museum. We went the air, the l, a contemporary museum. We, went out to eat some things. We saw the TIM Robbins, Harlem keno down the actors gang I just loaded it up in I did things that I never do like go out and do things are supposed to do stand up the other night and she was going to come, but I just couldn't do. Ah I couldn't I couldn't manage it. Because I got sick, I d again, it's not my mom she's gone now, but not her. So congratulations, France, That is a little bit. I hope that the entire world is not drifting into some sort of horrendous, populous fat. she's and for the time being, I will the back as long as we can afford
I'm glad we helped out by setting a horrendous example for you oh my god tommy hurts look folks, maria ban, for the close friend microwave down the street, no lover, her new stand of specialist murray, advanced old baby, streaming on netflix season. Two of her network show lay dynamite premiers this summer and I was thrilled. to have her by the house. Devil chit chat, so this memory what's happening maria they offer Well. I would like to know why I know it has been a lot. I walked from my house to your house, which is twenty minute, walk the twenty two two minutes ago I was a realistic. It was still a little harder. Head near the end, should have brought a hat
now son this yet the sun turns out is a very powerful yeah, thing. You can do a lot of damage and also a lot of good in the world does ways that son it does and that hill at the entered- let's not easy, now that's worth deaf I am kind of being tracked by my phone, so that I I know how much I've earned. While I thought you said in case, you went down my brain, like optimistic, see how many calories you burn off and I'm like yeah. If you're dead I'll be done. hot air lock his neck and health services something if they find your phone can they kate, need, or do I have to sign up for something to find my dead body somewhere with my iphone. I will know someone would have to report your phone mars in order to allow this, It's a roundabout way to do it. If you have the gear
did you sign up, for there were someone's deals. Europe the phone locator. So someone have like I've, been seeing arena few days. How do we find it lets reporter found stalwart see if it comes? but the map he's probably makes sense gazettes most of what we know about each other's each other phone numbers, or at least that's. The information we have here is like all like. I don't know right my parents for number, but I know, what their cell phone number, but it's on your phone if time life I know I don't know I don't you know, I'm I'd. I realize I give a day like. Maybe I should from memorize. Sarah phone number is about my computer or my phone, and I'm in trouble, because I've lost Bertha things. If I was my committee, on my phone I would have. I would be able to call myself yet who should we call worse to see if my phone rings? Maybe it's close by and I did. I did memory his my beloved phone number
god, because somehow I thought those known yeah, I thought tat would lose meaningful to me it so. If I could do for, I felt, but I know he doesn't have mine so it, but I don't think that personally I don't know what he seems in it. For the duration he's gonna? U, asia, with or without a lot of edinburgh seems to be concerned at my whereabouts. They would what some what's happening over with new tv should next season it on did this second cecily played guy might not on yet, as you know how to come out, I think it was very good of yours. I think I haven't
inside bias. As I am really yoda, how hey check the ethical is you can do for yourself is be biased towards your own share is no really there's no way to blame anybody else. Yeah, you know, is ok, but the lead was not great. We gotta tell some recasting, I don't. I tried to get that. That was the funny I was. It was so exhausting last year tat I did not taken the dream coming true would mean that I would actually have to put out a lot of energy. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of work and fifteen hour day, I said to myself: he can this year cannot be a part of the plot that I'm too tired to do my own show and I'm always played by one seen during the show, by like a button or a pair of pants or a you know, or you know, an actual actor who needs work or you know just any sort of
adamant or inanimate objects that needs money. That might be reminiscent of me. Rhino couldn't me, but because we are there, so many do that again, I pitched this and entered another interesting thing, but having your own show, it's also a democratic was I prefer it if Peter crack? The vote was no of aid. I have some. They want not a pair of pants yet to to do the point of view. What do what they don't have any courage. Heard maria over the button idea, am sandwich. You then moves doesn't. Even work is an obvious just hit with autism in animated. Anyway, you have to move from seeing nothing, I just thought I'd be delightful, but it is interesting how much you know I just didn't know how much work wedded to it, which is
sad because it's like when it's your show and you're producing and you're acting in your part of the writing. It's like you, gotta, be there for all the writing. You've gotta be there for all the acting and it's nice. If you're in the editing room, oh wait a minute, I didn't even do that. I didn't do any of the writing. Like I just went in had a salad every once I said: I'd never see that you're in there I met her like never went into editing and I did the direct either I just I did the least I could have done more than we are it's an icy or evil to not micromanage. She had no control freak. Well, it's it's hard enough get through the day, even though he is I mean, is that they woke up this. But I was just like work good where the bookkeeper comes at nine thirty years: we'll be able to do that on your own you'll want to get audited by the arrest for the fifth time room on bamford, get a move on a comb call messiah to your head. One side at least
we ve been audited photo. I have four times but the woozy when I was just assault proprietor and we received tubby twos and ten. Any ninth seems, like the irish, have real hard time with that. Didn't That's a red flag. These self employed there, disorganized person, this course and I get a lot of paperwork. Does Zena manage it? I am not disorganized. I am I really I keep amr receipt in a bucket. I you do oh god I make you yeah, I I I hated that part of being a young make into having to deal when people tell you what you gotta do you got, keep mom what you like I do like a week of envelopes and it just kind of drifted into like a bag of things and then to sort of like phuket, phuket audits, just pick a number and come after me, and that's it. I have I'm doing a commencement speech for my alma mater. You are the university of Minnesota
the liberal arts, and I just want to talk about money with a bit like that's how I want to shoe, which is so awful. But then I was like that. That is the one very import thing that has been about work is am I not much, can pay me one ones? It can happen It ended the name of the speech yeah, it's exactly that school's good school. Ah I I hope so I mean, as I want to see, that it is because, of course, how how else would they you know I was rigorous I graduated from their a year. I took six years to graduate from different universities. I went to bates and bees college than what the universe to edinburgh in scotland, panama becoming scottish near couldn't get in their degree, wasn't available. It wasn't when he explained to them, and I want to become the scotch
with all all the things you people do, that some races it because it is not a day. I decided that I why and I decided I got so depressed that I had to come home and dumb you're some gratified treatment programme, depression in other countries, the world the EU already feel alienated and weird, and they only another right, cereal or they're. Trying to give you the remedies for depression that do in their culture like like horrible. I just remember this one meditation us where we spent about ten minutes discussing which herbal tea would want. I'm just like. Oh my god. I think. Kill myself. I think for some people. I think whoever works whenever you
if what I have said, we are truly to poorer jerry. I heard no, I said I'd worry judgment does not, I think, their levels of depression, and sometimes you need to take it up a notch here. Are you doing I'm doing very well? Of course he did have a cold brew about four hours ago so talked to me in and out of your third recovery were too I didn't ike, but I got it out. You see beaks and taken that I'm takin classes at the, u c b, seven set and they have I have classes there. Have you heard I'm familiar with the school at the cp you're taking improv classes, my husband, scott marvel cassidy was taking. He took improv wanna wanna wanna two and he was having such a great time. I said well why? Why can't I and he said you can and up so I sign up for one or one, it's tons of fun.
no, but but your maria bedford who can fish and I give a shit- not nobody cares and is it oh yeah, and there are tons of people who were on tv whore. You tube stars. Your people like were involved in this. Ass. It is yours, I'm your man they're a writer fur brooklyn, nine, nine. It was taking the one on one cloud really is a system of sort of a practical, almost self help motivational thing? Well, it's fun in that you king. Can it takes me out of my brain about a stand up, because I think I get away more europe is generally you love your age as well, and also you eugene
We create the people, you'd like to be talking to yeah yeah, and I would like to be able to talk, tend to be less afraid of what happens in the crowd cause. Sometimes they still get freaked out. If something happens in the crowd and it's like. Oh no, it's a it. This is wonderful, but then something's happening and what he says, something yes and it s something or you get out loud. What do you do frees up a little bit? feel it in my knees that kind of little little jiggly, jag ladys is my time and I get yeah. I get a little defensive like a gorge rises and m gore tries drugs that much her but use that term and I've never heard it really here it. Ok, I just let it go like I a lot of times. People say things in here and I just smile and I go like. I guess that's a thing this pretend like I know, that is to say state that might cause I'm not I'm not exactly sure now that now that you're, not sir,
I'm? Not certain more do. I know you spent time in scotland could be when those weird folk he called rising. Well, the thing is, I feel like going to format and is what I'm trying to say and the, and then I either see something where I get kind of defensive, which I feel bad about cause. I just go I want to feel that what do you do that commenting like you, shut the fuck up yet miller here, but mine may be slightly model, has aggressors from that. But it's not your time to talk, but I think it would be so much more interesting to actually be there with that person. Cosette persons, individual and like here with their particular I'm sure. Yes, you're. Very good at it, one is magyars will naturally that's why not I dont, sometimes it you know you. Don't know what you're getting into. I guess I wanted to a my crowds. I don't get hostile hackers, yes, but some people will will add a little something yes and I'll see. If I didn't hear they'll be like wait what what? What and then
Again, my really Is that why word stopping the flow? What are you and then you know you just have a discussion about it and move through it, and you know you have enough jobs that you're going to make it funny, but you I don't expect every don't expect to be a gem if people want to improve with the crowd, realized you're the only professional in equation that they might be, I mean. Sometimes there are a lot of comics in the crowd like it depends on what city you go to. Is it to be the radical? You don't think they're the ones chiming and know well, that may be sometimes it's funny things and that that's the other thing is like if they say something funnier than you you're just going to have to take the hill. That's awesome, yeah just be be humble, god, you're young, utterly at this terrible time. it just when I needed you you're not getting a cut, because we had no prior to the grave. They are not a show. I didn't agreeing to throw away. What are we? What did you?
What what's happening again, what is happening? My netflix special comes, eight may. Second, there did you do the last one and for your parents. Did you do this alone this time or are there a crowd? The idea is, I loved the initial idea of his friend. We met, and she said you said, you're comedian. She tells the story in front of people about how we met when I first met you when I was like she's like she was a queen. I was like oh okay, good for you, then I saw her said she's doing in an open, regular bookstores I went I was like hm. Oh, I see when she's kind of mumbled. but I saw her at this like little theatre shown, I was like Stu I mean she's got a pretty good. Then I saw you at this and I saw you aren t there has like you're good, and this is like
five years ago, whenever you're gonna, like I've, just six us too funny that the amount of people watching this is so, orton too, how people think something is good and right at a soul. So do we start out, which is me by myself? Vienna mirror and then it goes a dmitri, my husband, my dogs than meat hack into apartment for people, hotdog stand bookstore inside of a loving living room theatre, then mass theatre than the universe. What's out, you shoot the universe, other universes on great critic we when we went out into space and that's amazing, it was a very high budget project. this never makes has like an endless budget. I do like now argue with you at all: get branson on the fire, we'll do the first testified up and we'll shoot this thing it would be a first for everybody, you know where there is instead of comedy, Spain has never been done
I've never been done. If you do those shows yes, I do, or maybe everyone who pitches me a show that starts up in this neighborhood like no matter what the size puts a dave's chilling and grilling or the eagle rock community center there. Like Maria did it. I that's why I want yeah. No it's it's a little bit of that that one's good. but you can still get. We find yourself in a pickle eagle were excited about very good. Now I went from whether I just I don't find I have the time and if I need to do the stage time, I've pulled away from most of the oft and Michael rooms, because If I'm in town just go, the comedy stored in aachen try to get some work done. I know citing for me and may be for people who run the show in the few people that are there. If I go maybe, but like a lot of time,
it doesn't turn out great. No, no! I I totally I get it. You gotta use your time wisely in yes. I used to go. Do that ramada de member that lithuania values shared by get one got that way and I can get any on anywhere else. I go in with terrible by it was like I bilbil there. I don't know how it was with any help of the audience present wouldn t half an hour yeah. It will the thing now you that the nice thing as you get further commies you can avoid failure far more easily. yeah. You want to fail on a bigger scale, yearly I'll get hired for something, and then you know goes. Oh, I hired you cause. I'm a fan should have asked me a thousand people I don't know how now onwards I went down so that with their efforts during the conference for fire, ecologists and
It was it was it in the morning it no. It was the evening was just for this magazine called the psychotherapy networker and which ainge actually enjoy that magazine. I've read it before in therapists office, delightful and turns out when mental health professionals hear about someone Joe about suicide. They are taking it seriously and they are not. You know this. Isn't there go to for relaxation rights or are you just created a lot of concern, a lot of concern, and some I mean it's so said. When you see we who meyer like like this one couples famous couples, therapist call heart his name, harville hendrick he was in live on the front rosy you dislike, this working lives like now. He sad thing you're in trouble who never read your book. I will never fill out any of your graphs again friend.
That's the worst working on an audience face. Its disdain is better concern yet we exert is ok, I don't mind, concern argued bothers me like it's like we'd know. This is funny. I know it's funny it did. I lose the funny part like you, because when when you speak from your heart, you you know like it, just it's a very fine, very is very thin line between just say, horrible ness and funny. So if you're not tuned, just right, they're going to see through it, and I go that persons in trouble one there, a part of it, and you know it's not. I was up to at least I feel like a tunnel was up to me how the show goes. Yes, if, if there putting their part into it and they're, not it don't. Why is the perfect one? On one example, I was doing a joke. Rayford Amy, and her brother said all. I want to listen halfway through the joke. He just walks away. He decision
He is one of my jokes from going back and forth in characters and it cousin thing and he just walks out of the room. So awesome you know considered like one minute bit and you wanted to listen and then no too painful. I get it wrap it up. So special then. Does it work who, in the early years and each is it a series of of segments immense. Yet so it's going in and out is this doing this or are you only see each stroke once, but it's kind of yet flows throughout and there are some parts where I'm selling merch all the merch sales go to deduct psychiatric ward in my hometown, millard one foundation and all because that's where my mom went
She worked there and then she went there at nice. They must remember, murdered homecoming for everyone, but all I get is self hilarious. She was trained, well choosing a manic phase, so she was trying to so everybody here while she was a patient, is so great. No, she was there for the recent years, their yeah she's pissed, like now, which I haven't. I had hypomania, but what that was just sort of an agitated depression where I just really wanted to kill myself and had with a with a vigor with a vigor and agitation I had previously not known but yeah. So, as we saw and it sir, it's on? it has been, has created a ceramic, not a ceramic, a a a paper mache dog that is a pug. That is the single thing that binds all the things together. So it's always in the back. The paper mache dog,
that's it! That's the through line zero and as a pug purse is our dog it sent me the pugs you got now well, we only got one because augment we always had old pugs. They one pass on that. It's like! Oh, no, no, it's coming they're getting that thing where they can't breathe, but so now we gotta. We get the pug betty real good about ten and that we get a she wound aimed Jackie onassis that we just picked up on their own, their shelter. so early, I'm yards shelter, doggie yeah, that's nice! the family tat their very good everybody. alive and that's that's delightful, but it yet. Life is very good, which is often at all
This is funny. I do have a new joke, as it were at a time no go ahead. Okay and I was at the funeral of a comedian who had committed suicide, and I it this isn't where it's funny. It was very sad afterwards, some air overhead, someone, conversation and saying you know, I think it's just it's just one of the most selfish things you can do committing suicide. I mean he. He had two kids and his wife was just so beautiful and I thought you know what I think blaming someone suffer their own death. I think that's the single most selfish wait a minute scratch that reading down the premise for this joke at the wait hold on scratch that taking two different circumstances that did happen. I was
The fear of the community committed suicide. I also did over here a friend saying suicide, a soft putting us together in a fictional narrative, so as to show you that I am against stigma. That is truly the single most selfish and then you could do I mean he had children an appeal for why, sometimes that seems important dimension. How gorgeous his wife was poorer. Gorgeous wife had pretty at that that going over he's. Gonna were great. I mean my girl. There are meant, I have people, so you that's a pretty broad description, their men, How on both sides of the spectrum yeah? No, I get the psychiatric nurses, If your patient and their patients and their also in some knows there, also double winners, we are yet so am I
yeah, you're doing a great service by being publicly crazy and handling it, always my stick up for you, but you have a problem with the word crazy. Ah, I think it fits you I mean just like any word. If it's used in awaited to kind of punch down, Somebody like right, like one, say women crazy. Like do you mean She is actually what it's the diagnosis. Is she just mad at you or you know she likes, speaks her mind yeah, like a couch that sits a little different than correct that's what I've been like crazy, yeah and wind, I love words lily, let's use more, one- and I happy that you're happy and things are going well. I've got a concrete and not in show business way, just in a regular lifeline. Congratulations,
the regular life thing. Thank you very much and the special and to you. Congratulations. Thank you. So much for having me on this program. Guess guessing you're very welcome yeah. one very bad furred, god I'd say happy she's on the planet? and saying things and doing things so look We got more funny, come in june, Michael Higgins is here. and am I societies very funny, I've always say who is hilarious. It's him MR brok, s movies, I didn't after doing research, I realize you play David letterman and that jail. I gave a letter movie that cause them some trouble, but he's always fuckin brilliant in those christopher guest. and I always kind of one to talk to him and it turns out. We with down the street? For me and on top of that it
now. We have this weird connection. It's very bizarre and I was completely unknown in it, unfolded in the conversation. So look forward to that spoil our work? Something exciting happens. the middle EAST? We didn't know something about each other he's also on the new tina. They produce show great news, airing tuesday nights with back to back episodes on NBC I'd. So this is me, and my neighbour, John Michael Higgins, enjoying some laughs and some your connections. Michael michaels cause I might go by Michael. But let's talk at the blitz, wouldn't let me make sure I know what what what we're supposed to be plug. My the show I m a show and NBC, which paper I have to figure out which show I'm on it's, not the dodgers me. It's called great news. It's on NBC. It starts this month,
Well great news. Let's start there and go back okay there, because I didn't get a screener. I dunno. What it is. Is it about a new show? It's a it's! A it's! A single camera, half hour comedy about it about a year. The premise is a em. It's a mother daughter shall where its Andrey Martin is the mother. Oh, yeah, brig healing the daughter in and that its basically it's like take your mom to work day, but she stays she. She becomes an intern at the station. and I'm the honor talent, I'm the sort of blowhard, aha pillow oh really got so you're. An ideological guy I now know is an important and how is just a person, you know what I'm old school. I mean you're right, I'm a stuff shirt kind, o low there eating you, so you got the mom at work is in turn. You got the daughter who's, your assistant, or you are trying to get noticed by me and you get program manager. I mega others that there is a whole cast of those people. Yes, that's right, cameras, running or cameras, that's right and it
produced by a tina, say: oh, that's great, sir. It's one it from her company in and she's actively producing, who created, Tracy, wig, wickfield who's, who was a writer for thirty rock and for us an ally, billy outlets. That seems like a good pedigree, as I say the game? One boy, yes, videos. I don't know what I'm doing there sometimes, but I hear you say that you ve been in everything if you're one of those guys who I know from a few things and then I look at the resume- and my oh- that was him, yeah holy. What do you? What do you do with a one hundred year, one thousand years old, dude, you work your ass off. I do I do have children, you know you may have noticed, I'm not above the title and all those legs you're looking out on the screen there. You know The guy who comes in from the left as a fancy, seen the olives and gets allows I've guys. If people remember Michael ass, they had they do remember, but they don't remember what you just did, which was my name yet that eat out the I stop twelve times.
Phones, our vondra every year, and they like you I get a year and then you dont want to jump m because they might not know you from television tat were on. That happens all the time. I really, like Do I know you know any. Then you reel off you resume enough now. Do I not wow know there now I have a rule I do not. I cannot list a single credit. I I'm not allowed over every prevent one hundred of them. I don't know what they are. I can't remember half of that and you live down the street that's nice to know, I do and now in Maybe I'll see you around the neighbor I'll see at the vons, you remember when they made the vaughns a nice vaughn's. Yes, we we were. We were my wife and I were flummoxed. We we didn't know what to do We thought again that the neighbourhood was kicking us out alone again had to move on, because now the onset of light ass, he flooring Joanna starbucks in its starbucks and organic produce. Yeah everything change, and I don't know if it's good. I have this feeling, that's it like I've been here since toothache,
before you came, will you came in two thousand one yeah? I am, I always get the I like. I didn't. I didn't move here. I didn't know how to buy a house. I mean I was driving some other appear to rent a house. I don't know where I was it seem far away from where I was renting over there by the gulls on Franklin yeah that right rats or everyone from new york ends at an earth. All people of residue place near gals ends on that that's darter area, all people in showbiz, from new york or in an apartment near the thousands of great, because you're like you, can walk the neighbourhood right now now but I come over here and I see this house for sale and I had a t v deals from like maybe it's time I figured out how to buy a house. I had no idea where I was or anything else and then now there's the gentrification thing that you clearly the neighboring change, and sometimes I wonder to like it are we hated, I know, Well now you know it's such an it such an actual. Now the reality,
word. I wish I knew what it meant. I don't know what I mean. I think, there's a c in it. So yeah see that you know down on york, which is like hipster ville. If people would yeah quick, early, moustaches and worried, but the weird thing is I don't I don't like you, I'm happy there is new businesses going, but I don't need ever wanted that I didn't ask for that. Somehow I feel I get blamed for it. Sometimes I think you are because you have a beard right now. What this is for a part Michael I'm, I'm just for a part, is here Is it william Henry Harrison? Nor is it aims garfield, in our view, the as yet I estimated the sad sad short felt. You see them xo yourselves short. Maybe it's! Maybe it's heartwarming warming majestic about that. So where do you come? like where, like you know, I also gain from new york and had no idea, but before that navy family, so most
lee d, but I lived almost everywhere navy pham where sir, so was your data. Shot. He was a high ranking officer. Eventually he indeed He worked as a naval officer nanos, is a political appointment but a naval officer in panels and in the white house in the pentagon pentagon, depending on how does work it wishes under what administration, ford and carter interesting so so you grew up in a military family, how many kids in the family for theirs for your net and you're moving around you to do germany, and yet germany has was your sticker. Germany put it in a patch barracks air if you're out there, you pass. Its people, patch barricade Eric. How old were you when you were there? That would be a third and fourth grade when you remember it out totally motor like it was yesterday it so wild, isn't it like? I can imagine what it's like to be born in have first couple years, your life in a man and then you are in germany who did it was a kind of
mine blowing was it a big change for you is that word all started well. Well, you know, I think it's it's interesting possess as kids, I think of germany and it was a sort of like it was like? I, you know, I didn't really speak german, but I spoke. They say: spiel plots deutsche, which is what you mean to get around on the playground and just did it to my now see, Three words: all of them with seasoned antoine is another onslaughts, as it is a nazi word right, I don't know you usually about new york, the ark. That's right, I shouldn't have used. I dont mean that the people on your boulevardier fashion, industry, fascism, no, you know. So I was a kid living there and it was just all fun. You know I was just having a good. I lived on the base. Alright, sir, you are in arizona, then we moved off the base year and I lived on the as we say, the economy right when you go and live in the actual country that you're living in awe
outside of the walls. We are living quote on the economy, which means you're using deutsche marks instead of dollars on the basis of our here. I didn't know that yeah, oh, but it sounds like, as I keep picture that feeling that I have. Even now when I go to another country, a mean lee alienated. I dont like like I've, never seen these crackers before uranium. Unlike what is happening, maybe they did not end. my cereals, not one no, but on the base he see the day when they have is that the p acts, which is where the with a recreate the american supermarket, for he was in the early seventies for me and it's pretty primitive, for I ever saw a black market items on the base become things like a sugar daddy. I gotta shook her daddy. My dad went back to the states I came, he came back. I made my six sugared eggs and bring them to school. You sell them for like ten bucks, a peak! Oh really, you are the one sugar, daddy sure anybody with black market stuff's certain thing yeah. Now they only had two flavors of ice cream and every now
and the bay aspects at the piazza vanillin chalk rye every now, and then there be like butter pecan, because run accident was made in the line of soup man. This line and alike Suddenly there is better begun, not kidding, align out the door, Stretching all the way back down, thrived counter the enlisted man's. You now bear a barracks here, these poor suckers. How are you so you have there for two years? Yes, yes and then come back, and then I came back and god knows we moved every year. I don't even know where I live is that you know what I don't. I still don't know the answer to that question. I've asked my dad and you know if I follow his career, it's like well. I had to go teach at the officers' college in athens for a year Then they sent me georgia, yeah and then this I'm imitating my fair terrible and then you know I'm not doing well and and then I had to go have set up in our communication. System in Boston. You know they just move around. If you still around oh yeah yeah, listen to you,
most of my childhood was spent in DC. Somehow wow, I you know, I don't that's. I am in awe of that point. I'm surprised at its is moving as it is really could I go there so infrequently go out and that on the more you I holy shit, I'm sorry If I really am very museums, I know the army, big ones, beautiful scenery out, I think, trafficking to make them stores sharing Why? Let all that potential profit go to waste? I mean these. You know. What's the point there, just I've ever been auction. Ahmad auction of our people will buy em make em restaurants salute later maker. Combined bungalows for the new hotel, the smithsonian, you just be a high Moreover, if our high in room with the gold letter, smithsonian transmits really did methodically, he built the he took the he's leased out the old post office near gorge, I mean the spectacular. I don't remember that building it is spectacular rights, fantastic.
it s buildings in washington. Signs have you been their church since he nonsense that now I'm not gonna out now, So when did the now you get, it sounds like you got along okay with your dad. He wasn't very well. I you know of. I guess the confusing thing about my past was that I was. I was a child actor so everywhere I went. I worked. The local stage. I didn't. You know that to your theatrical trilateral china was. I not like. kid that we all knew from a tv show no light, not adding monster anything that nothing like that. No delay that railway liked me it was so now I was a theatre actor and was I am the basically that's with this machine does bastard theatre yeah. I was not a. I didn't want we're television into my thirty's. How did how did that start, though, to be a child actor, military family. I mean
Are you the oldest kid youngest? Really here? How was your dad like hundred honour and twelve wow that are oppressed it a hundred twelve years old, getting in some ten adult undergrowth? That's nice, it's terrible he's now he's not that are his eighty five hours for our rights so year, the youngest one I am and how I don't understand how you start. Acting in a military, family yeah go to a new and it is It was easy to write. What do you start singing songs? I picked you use a pretty much a visual. physical theater? I did a lot of musical theatre had to. I did, but what were you when he started like twelve eleven okay and I basically I hooked up with a local theatre company that this was in DC and
worked there on and off for my entire childhood and my entire teenager hood yeah, my young I'd, then I ended up teaching their which place this was said, the you what was then called street. Seventy became the round house there, which I think, still exists in in, and you know I've worked all worked, all the I could see in DC did you know, is intimately joyce joys, animal joys the studio theatre here still don't know, doesn't anymore, she retired, but I just interviewed her son jason, yeah, yeah critic, yeah right. I just able just happened yet The ring I smart guy totally- and I don't want to I can, but I learned a lot about his mom, who was A real big figure, big figure, but she started from scratch yet and was taken chances with that, new plays having the lulli. Yes, she was a real yeah and might you might make full circle, my father, who you're so interested in? Is
It is on the board of the studio, helps them to do their thing. Ok, so what did the other siblings and of doing, brother Patrick, went into politics. He was a Dnc guy for awhile han and now he works for the canadian government as a liaison further american issues. How, then him and he's gonna get busy exactly? I thought he had just one he's burning. Like I can't stand it now. Do it now we can't move salmon. We're not win salmon, go down as go timber going. And my sister lives in d c is a graphic artist and the other one is a to visit. No one in the military, no at some more dogma. look. Man lives in portland Oregon, not together, nothing not to their everyone had there'd, set nineteen. Seventy six divorce- and I know you did. I was nos thirteen there
you and I live zigzagging image? When did your parents of the seventy six divorce? No, no. They waited really oh yeah. They waited not the eighty three divorce. They might nose, like god when was it so how is way out of college eighty, nine, probably no later than that? Even eighteen, maybe ninety eight somewhere lair lord. Yet I hung in there for no real reacting there, like the japanese soldier on the island if they find, with a gun, familiarised, there's another married couple that still thinks it's ok to be married. Where is where were you met? Where were you the bicentennial man so I'd? So sushi is in portland. That's nice of you and you asked us it's easy to go there. My brother lives in seattle too, so I love it up there. It's awesome here I don't know you know, I ask myself the duty of every day. You know I gave me art thou that with my career was, I left easy, went to new york with stage actor in new york for
many years or something what would you tell me some summit? It shows that you were like new york theatre at that time was pretty your active yeah yeah, still like what was left of real radical theater was still there. I, I did a lot of things there. You know I was in the eu, miss amount of regional theatre, so I'd be all on the road doing shakespeare and all you know every day, every big theatre in the country. Whatever the as I play those places, we would get a dinner theatres, no known these were lord a my friend, I'm sorry, I don't know what that means that no, it means They were doing real shows in real city s way very real projects, divers right disapproving of the bad words and that's all the rights of, but there is always a guaranteed audience absolutely yet it there. Said no one was eating nowhere,
and now it was all very dutiful on very high and the area they speak loud. You now we saw the agent that got. How does it work you go from these? Did you go to school for it? Well, it's weird! It's I backed in this this actually might interest you I'm been interested. The whole time like have you yeah, do seem disinterested not at all a girdle because you're, one of these guys, you know we are most of us- know you from Christopher guess: movies are always hilarious buddy. to a lot of us, if we don't put it together, yeah yeah, thank you. Just appeared in these christopher guess move. I know it's true, you're right! It's it's! A everybody's got a crazy road rail, you you know that deafeningly everyone's the craziest road? Do you know about people sort of back? If you really, your career, you like oh yeah, yeah, he played lighterman on networking, show yes, the late if it's, the late shift, royal yeah, h, b, o thing we'll talk about that in a minute, so you packed into it. But if you tell me about well here's what happened at least for me, if I can trace myself to to
Chris vulgarity abbe would be. I was a theatre actor and I was eventually a new york. They interact, or so I did a lot of, plays all over the country and may regional theories of the high end once the arab from how's that cyprus, that lord I lordy exactly I'll, be. Maybe now do you intervene itself into broad. We must be fucking great at stay. Well, I'll tell you what happened was. I was a theatre act or my whole childhood and I was actually very serious student and I renew them when I went to college. I really didn't wanna do theater and I've been doing since I was twelve really interested, and why not where another thing that might be practical yeah, like you know, english literature, that hot that's what I did not, but that what you did. That's what I was too you can t
any time. Well, one presumes me, I don't know of any students will show out its course. It will put the active shakespeare, the color than did. That's it all his. You get a degree in English. I am from Amherst. Are you went out their narrow scholarship out there with the four schools? their hand. That's right! The happy that no not really adds in pennsylvania. What does it have new Hampshire, I'm sure down amateur college. Yes and then they malvolio smith, now holier hats and zoo math. Matthew man. Yes, I did that's all that happens there. You just go there. People get fucked up, that's a fuck, each other, they learn who they are and then and then there's hampshire, which Hampshire, which then there's amateur, which you start that way, and then you keep going for years. You major in so
AP and an amorous that was about halfway through I did eight there was h b, o was putting out this show, which was hosted by fasten your seat belts. Episcopal await the young comedians special. Yes, so Joe pisco was hosting the weight yeah he audition for this. You did come all women from where were they? Where were you to be you? Oh my god? Yes, we had to be your guy in there. I know, oh, my god, a prop. yo comedy on campus. Yes, that's it come. I was on it jack raising. That was me for partly what did you do on it? It was weird I I m, not a comedian, I'm not stand of comedian right. What happened was I would I were at Amherst. I wrote the reviews, you know a meaning v, media sketches and songs and we would perform them
you know what I'm, but it was like. Not in the theater department was right. There lay a sort of like next or clerk, your guerrilla divine right after I write that sort of stuff, so somebody's parent was an hp, yo person or something well as an executive somewhere and they came to see the show be great. Our kid was in it and air and they saw me and I- and they said you should we want to. We want you to try out. For this thing, a campus comedy was called hbo's campus comey yeah an isi guy, I'm not a standup comedians, not really! My gig and you know it was literally playing hamlet at the target that amherst that's really who what I was about, how you shakespeare, good, oh yeah, I've done a ton of shakespeare. Are you I love it? There's nothing like it. It's like it's like writing.
A hot run you ever spent. It asked yes, nice. So anyway, addition for this thing and I put together, it was like party tricks that how do I came like a jury louis used to do this routine, which I was very influenced by people at your great routine, where it was in them. The errand boy yeah where he comes into an empty office and he sits down and he's cleaning, yeah and everybody's gone. He sits down at his big board room table and then this really awesome like big count. Basie yeah thang starts churning up behind him, yeah he's looking around and he sits in, and then he plunks his ass in the chair and then he starts opening his mouth. Like he's the big boss and he's got a cigar he's not saying anything but count. Basie music is playing through him and he
got every ticket the music. So it really looks like he's talking, but music's coming all right. So I used to do that for kicks, but I have different types of music. I used a deep purple like big guitar, solo, ritchie, blackmore sure bonkers on big. lucy thea, and I did that. I would do it at a party and I watched this and they would get up and pretend to be a stain of comedian, but all with all the thing there was coming out of. My mouth was richie blackmore and I am I structure. This will look like that was the end of that yoke, and I got a laugh, and that was the objective, and I didn't now I'm getting a little angry and now it s now in dealing with the heckler that so that was the routine right and I do couple of other things along those lines and other it's I'm not standing there telling jokes cause. I didn't feel comfortable doing this big physical bit yeah. I was like the ang right. They dug it most, probably because it wasn't, like the other, guys talk There was a nice break in writing. So we have a prop guy. You have this weird act. That Higgins does and you know that can yeah like a mime act.
It was like. I can't believe you got on that. I can't either I remember what it was. What it was was yeah we auditioned in a room for some people me and my friend, Steve brill, who is a director dino steven yeah? Alright, so we did a comedy team thing. We we'd wrote it it leno was. Are You bet? They? They auditioned us and they liked us, and they said what we want to see at a comedy club and we'd, never done a comedy culture. They put us on at the comedy connection in Boston and we bombed so bad, so bad in their like. Now, it's not gonna happen, and then we went to the taping. I but I don't know, maybe the taping was at tufts, yes, university right and bill shift bill shaft yes. Yes, he was there, he hosted the warm up. He warmed up and started the ship. That's right now is right and pisca was those the up and bill. Shaft was like helping us all. We would we live in catch and we did our stuff and he would sort of hone in and edit and stuff. I think John innes and Joe Murphy got on. They did it a weird, almost python ask teen. I remember that, yes, John
It is one I wanted to do. Do he across comedy, which became mr show he was David, ass, his best friend John it, of course. Yet it so and eat at so we the next day. I had no idea no idea and in connected in this way, I knew you start your career. I started my career, but it took a long time. Well, from there, and I was the first time I did stand up because of that Jesus, Maybe you be doing a sketch with your partner. Righty was about what that's. Why but we saw it, is the stand of comedy team. So what ultimately happened with that relationship is because the woman who was involved with that thing who was connected ass and now we want grandmothers how's, the new jersey wrote a bunch of catches for us now sentiment, nothing happened, and then he graduate from be you. I had another year and we both started doing comedy separately and I started doing comedy. Like might probably might junior. He knew your college, but didn't stick with it, but that's when, because of that I started doing stand up lord. That was my first time. Honest stand. Upstate
it was my first and last. It really was I here. What happened, what pisca both manager at the time there was rounds and java and they had the moat. They had a tiny list. It was the most famous people alive, shirt, woody allen, woody allen, David letterman, robin williams, deal capital dick, have it, but it was rollins Javi. I had a management arm and they were handling these yeah yeah. Of course, this guy, you know we worked for them. George manners, Was my manager from that he was at the taking of that show visa because a pistol right. Imagine how you got him and he approached me afterward and you said: hey, let's get, let's get something going and I said to him odd sounds great, but I haven't finished college the finnish college. He got that wrong. All of us bells he he was now is madly in love with right. I it out- and I went back to college and I did not finish my two years. And then I showed him and he was there waiting for me. He was like come on down and went down in new york and then, unfortunately, what they
they knew how to make stand up comedians, and I at this is that you know folly of youth. I was it was. I didn't want to be a stand up, idiot I wanted to. I was an actor to be an actress, but I was good at you know. So you sat down with rollins he's like you. Gotta go all out kid the cigar, the whole thing yeah, it was probably danny, rose and he's like we're going to we're here. My clubs are going and I was like no not doing it yeah and but I was still their clients. There I was doing acting work, but they were on our way with their was nice to me as a client, because I won't let you worth that you're with them for a while, yet from asia. I blew a meeting with jack rounds years later. A really here is another thing we have in common. Yet he wanted. back in the game a little more actively and he was working with another guy who owned a club a little bit. I mean there was this idea and this guy carrie hoffman, who own stand up new york, who never really liked me, but for some reason, thought I would be the guy that jacket gale get his feet, wet again with the hands on things
so said? They were going to co, manage me or something. So he sets me up a meeting with the two of them with rollins and hoffman, and I show up at the place early. Then then hoffman does so it's just me and jack rollins, he's like in his eighties. At that point pointer, you know, and he just sitting there. So I said I was. What can you do for me and then, like you, just I'm not carry often shows up and the whole thing goes south Andy Calls me because you fucked up and we economically talking zackie known ass jack rawlins what he can do for you and I was that I dont think it was a mistake, but it was nice to meet him. Did you fell? They use grandma. terrific really awesome. What did you go up to the offer? And now I met a man of fuckin restaurant clear, You were with him for a while. I was how on I think they were always frustrated, though it was like it was. It was probably thirty, six or seven years.
You know more, maybe more because I was just an act that for some reason they were manage me it it. It was. It was a mystery because George, like me, this guy a great great guy with one of the big big influence. My life he's dead now, but george mantis was one of jack's managed. How do you influence you as an actor? was just you know what he was like a good manager. I held my hand when I was just a young idiot to get through a new york, which is tough, What were you doing there at that time? Once you got out of car all theater yeah and I was doing a lot of off broadway regional and were you working with people that made an impact on you like, as actors and stuff did you like? Did you work with heroes, or did you have those moments where you're like? I can't believe this is happening, or was your many times. I I think him You know one of my big in my
in moments it was a broadway show. I did called la bet yeah, and it was a really interesting cause. I almost it was a. It was almost a deal breaker. I was quit a really quit quit the whole thing. Why acting fuckin of it. I'm gonna go be an english to hang it up english to join the servants. Joseph conrad outbreak, that's it and because it was so in a grievous, it was just an egregious situation where we have this play, which was clear brilliant, whose way was it. It was called la bad. Yet I read there: David person are excellent. Yeah anna. and the critic shut down the new york times, critic shut it down and and no one else did they were all over the moon about it and and it just seemed like such like I got I got there. I got all the way to broadway and yeah. It has happened and I was like well, it's not a maritime
see, that's not fair, and you know these are things that key. She hung people learn and I learned at an I've said the things I say signs that it'll morning, I'm fifty four years old just turned right, yeah february anyway, so that, but that said I was a very big moment my year in my life, in any way, not short shortly after that it was actually the letterman thing I was. I was working actor. I was having a good time, good career yeah, and they couldn't find anyone to play David letterman, but you done some tv before that little bit, you know things that were done in new york, which was at the time it was like. You know not much not yet, as I like a vice reign of those criminal and that we are silly suit with shoulder pad. Oh yeah yeah, and you know that kenneth.
whenever wherever they cast their, I did we as a guest our whenever, but I was certainly not the star of any show. So this is your break a chief gather came came into town because they couldn't get anyone here to do ass because it was too scary letterman's because at at time a very prominent powerful thing ron tv every single night and he didn't condone the book. No one will know. No one wants if someone is like pour my chiklis and the baluchi movie totally. I talk to him about, but you had to take it. I did because look at me. I know I who am I to turn. Down. You're right did, you know, is loaded who was a loaded, gun and lives in and when the boy It was in one of the chambers I didn't know, which one and I just jumped on board and started pull the trigger. You know what I mean an end: it is the job itself was fine. It was very, interesting. I was that other guy, who is the other guy dan roebuck, played a dead, jane,
in that war was using rivers edge was yes, that's right, ha ha yeah he's he's around he. He got together a couple of times yeah since then. So what happens? Well, I do the gig it's tricky. You know it, although you know what I have to say. Having spent a lot of time in the theater there there's very few problems that I haven't been confronted with the I as an actor yeah I mean since I'm twelve years old, I'm doing four or five plays a year in front of audiences. Constantly, hear all the way up to the point that there's a I've done. A lot of learning, curves yeah, there's very few things that are going to surprise me and playing a famous person is one I played teddy Roosevelt. I played all these. You know who I ve never played a living famous person right who truly cannot compare right performance to his by turning the dial in your television bright. For where I think, that's not what the aim of our sons, aigrettes, you know, yeah
so I knew to ignore that I knew two things. One was don't imitate them, because all that does it show the difference. The air and this you learn. I learned by being on stage it's it's, why puppet shows work, but it's the audience has to go into a suspension. Ye have their own thoughts about the character and they have to buy yours and have to let go of the comparison they have to let go all their gatt thing on here and by your version, and then you tell the story in there. How does that help you as an actor yeah? I mean you can't control that you can't control it all. What you can do yeah is to stop chasing everyone else's picture right, it's a fine line between just doing assertive. You know shallow impression versus Yo embodying yeah the character- and this is the thing- is that the the script was a dramatic script was not a comedy whom it was a dream.
Yeah? You go and look at it, but I don't have one single joke right in that thing is just I want this. Here's the problem, I'm not getting it the drama. I remember you did a good job with it. Oh thank you and how they get. They have the gap, your teeth, That was the only thing I got lucky because Dan, you know get all these appliances them right arm. I actually talk them out of it. I don't know how who was I I said you know I don't get me anything just gimme the teeth and and in a wolf fiddle with the hair. a little better yet, and that was at the also because at the end, I will you of leggum and well I. Suppose, but it's like. I just knew that if I start chasing him too much the audience won't buy it. Ah, they want to be told a story, and honestly you know that's why a paper bag puppet works, it doesn't a paper bag. Public doesn't look like anything but a pay.
bag, but you can be hanging on every word, so this is a figure is unwell. This is the first day of your acting class. Worked you never going to be as good as a paper bag. Pa you'll never get there, you'll never get there. That's our got. Try to get it the bag and the hand look at their see who's gonna, be there. I'm dying. Mother I always loved your menu grants, the barrier that we're there. How do we get there? so anyway. How was it received? Well, this was the weird part is that a the job itself was tricky because I had to it was a bit of a. There was a bit of a trek with a standing, baklava and imitate the famous person was alive and well and criticizing me every night on his own show. Was he yeah Oh now, here I don't remember that, as I see it all different
it was hard. I see it. The situation you had to sit, you were in a national situate was a national situation that I didn't know anything about how to deal with that zero one hundred per cent zero on that it must have just killed. You killed me Oh, so you sat there watching lighterman taken the hey I try not to you know what I want you to go on for too long. I guess you didn't, have the on the show to promote the movie. That's a whole other story that said that two more podcasts. Well, we got time now. No, I'm not doing it. I can't do it where you will can't you do just it's it's it's a. He did invite me on the show for that. I was brought to the show. I was in the dressing room and maybe because he had been talked into it eventually right at the good sport, the yet yes, the theater
Hb one and they they had been flirting with a long time getting me on he didn't want to. I don't blame him. I didn't particularly want to yeah, but the show itself was becoming. The movie itself was becoming a bit of a thing in the media. And then everybody decided. You know what it's probably a good idea. Let's do this guy will script it Nancy. You know they assured me this and nothing's going to happen. You know you'll be self effacing he'll be self effacing everybody's going to get off here. I go there and you know after a lot months of like going back and for doing or not doing, f and I'm out on the show here in the dressing or how many bumps me and that was that he wins yeah. Now, in your mind, how do you frame that that was like a lesson? He was teaching you a lesson or was it a you know? I'm probably I would say this. He
who can blame them, what he didn't he wasn't into in the first place? Why should he be it wasn't into the book? It wasn't in any event, you know- and I think mostly because he's a private person- god bless him and went away these days, a lock and blew great. You know, but now your time gives you really here, Maybe I can get on his right now. to build a bridge. Yes, I think he did say that and it will have em back at his next earliest convenience. Would I think, much of what you say winter when that happens here against his duties? I wasn't remember time ever. Can I was gonna call it's convenient now now actually kind of I kind of get it from The point of view is: should ever got that far? I think burden and I'm not sure that was his vault. So so there were. Ever any communication other than you being bombed that time there, never acknowledged by MR letterman. No, I had
Finally, in a year my brought my wife, we they put us in a hotel. What do you want? I said I want mahler tickets there You know you ain't got me them in regard to them or to guess where heart and take it to get my dollar five. We were right there in the middle of the beautiful how they don't do that anymore. Now they certainly down never asked for your lucky. They fly out. I know I gotta be in town for that. I know you do here, and that was not the Is that what we ve got to go see mauler, please I was conducting. It was, what's his name burnt, give it now he was. He was long gone by the only one, Sound smart now was it wondered five I'm going to try any ways to pull you pull one over on I've mostly been burnt. Sienna said anything all right, so you got to see mahler. Well, that's something that was good anyway. So that was that and and now I'm a hollywood actor of sorts india. The tricky part is that I am now strangely a comedian,
and what do you mean? Oh you mean comic actor yeah, but I wasn't economic actor. I was it, and I wasn't even a comic actor in that movie right, but I played a comic right Honestly from that moment on, that's what you got, that's all I was, I was a comic actor. In fact, I had like deals with a couple of the networks and stuff. You know today, I d like to have that kind of data and of many executives or two of em say yes, our many, but to a baby. Back in the day. Yes, only three, it was asked to video here and there and what we can do in him he's a he's, an impersonator, I'm like I'm, not impersonator. Didn't you miss you missed a pointed out part I would say if you haven't, got a paper bag through the back and and and really that is almost the end of the circle, because from that moment on, I was I am accurate. Almost exclusively does comedy, which was never the
This is now now what I set out to do. It was never my interest right and it now that's what I'd like you're good at it and that's a rare thing I'd I am sometimes good at which is great and it, but it's a it's in you know I'm in hollywood in this, but that this is how the bible by me, but but wait, and if you can do that niche and you can with many movies, you ve done even if it's too guided the side where the guy that just so up for a minute, I mean comedy, is nigh. everyone can do that like most people. Can the other one kind yeah button, not everybody can be funny I we agree with that and I'm not I'm not even sure what the point is well, certainly that I know level that's the deal, that's the basis of all of what is the point of any of it. I do that every day. That's! Ok! That's what you're supposed to
So anyway, I'm coming to act or now and as that's what I do so you did like before I mean you, ve got, you did a lot of tv betsy. Yeah, but what it? What do you consider that? The even with your resignation to being a comic that what it is. I don't like I'm you now. I guess I'm this guy. Who is not going to do shakespeare anytime soon. I know I mean I have children. I couldn't go back how something here, but I drive to children, but I have to wait until I don't need to re with many more on our other than go. Often do shakespearian you now you're gonna get a cargo right right, are there college on there I started late. So there are like ten and twelve oh wow, yeah, they're, they're young, okay, now get your hands full. I sure do. What do you consider was like, like this great, like you know, like this role, I love what what is it getting involved? Christopher guessed, it happened before that. Well when, when, when Chris
started using me yet something some circle was closed for me was I'm back and ate it unusual thing? I'm sure you ve been over this for me. What was interesting that Chris is interesting, that greece is that it is a company? No, I'm not I'm very familiar with being in unaccompanied company being coming from the theater, and it's weird that he has company. I mean you can't even name since such a thing and film history, except like cassavetes and orson welles, but how you get pulled into it like way. Have the well actually goes back the letterman, because I believe what happened we should ask Ed. Is that at bagley add was
working he he and I he was in the letterman movie. He played a rod perth, who was an NBC, exec, yeah and- and he I think mentioned me to Chris as some cause. I was just off the boat from new york and yeah and as somebody who could probably improvise well because I improvised a lot in the letterman movie and I and Chris was doing a show, he was putting the show together for h, b, o aptly titled dia way. Was it because it had never been subtle light? That was the premise. The premise was this: this cruddy add a talent agency. He and eugene were the
oh slightly, past their prime agents, who had this with the stable of actors who were also slightly past, their prime stick move it was a stupid, was really funny. Actually, it was eventually made into the movie for your consideration write a character the gene plays in that and the dortmund orf can agency dia And hence her dream was like many orf, generous ion and chris was donald duck dorf Dorfman, I can't remember, but and then so that was a pilot we made for h, b, o and I did with chris and then that didn't that didn't go. But then he called me right as soon as it was not picked up, and he said: listen, I'm doing a movie about dogs in toronto or emissary in vancouver
and would you be interested in coming, I said sure, and he says well one thing you know just so you know I want you to play the gay guy, I'm going to you're one of the gay guys with the with mickey and so I hesitated in math and didn't really hesitate to hear mine, but in my mind I was like, oh god, because I just come off this long line of gay things I turn into. years of tangled who led gay character in this new york hit called jeffrey by dutch paul red power. Yet redneck here I was jeffrey, did it for two years you were gay for two, so gay is the whole thing was gay, gay, gay and I would end, and then I played a couple of gay things in movies or town. I was like all gate out: and and I and then he says I want by the gas, louis course. Chris gas notices, governesses spinal tab, I'm not gonna write. This is wonderful,
and I just worked with him. It was awesome. We did this wonderful. We had a great time yeah. So then, what was interesting about it was that you know that there's never much prep for these ohio. Chris takes us to lunch me and we can see at lunch with chris and Jean who was, the other spun all them yet apparently at us in the script is interesting, concoction tits, it looks like at the end. It looks like a film script with now scenes and then but no dialogue arriving there is it just as they enter the hotel and there's no hotel room that scene sixty seven, that's tuesday, we like ok. Here we go, you know and without exciting sure it can be great. It can be clarifying and terrible to why because sometimes it doesnt work and then there are. You are going to do it again and you do it well yeah, but you gotta keep moving. These are not expensive movies. You ve got to stay on schedule, so nobody seems to find something so something's, don't make it into the modem. Oh god says the numbers respected,
I mean what makes it in the movie is a tiny tonight, so that more that was always a sort of this story about spinal tap that they they shot like sixty hours, you're, it's gotta dumber on a kidnap shoah as what they shot and of more what you get is its mind on happy about It is odd that it was the actual first covers as santa shoah stern they related to work and they really made those characters. They were horribly sad care, they had to hone in home, so that was it and- and it was tough, though, is that I remember Chris in the in the lunch saying me and Michael it'd be great. He never tells you what to do right. He trusts everybody. It's interesting that that's the one thing I'll say about chris guess, which is unlike any other directors he they always talk about being direct actors, directors and things like he's the real deal, because what he
this gives you responsibility, and nobody does that. Well, that's what you I just talked to Walter hill and he said something very interesting about what people think the actor director relationship is at the director directs the actor in its way and he was like no, you hired the guy to do the job. Hired him exactly easy, professional. Exactly he's got a bag of skills. That's why you hired a right right. As many times as critics have said, you know after I do a performance that works. They'll say something like in the director pulled this out of John Michael Higgins, or something like that was a that was not what happened at all. He was sitting there yeah. Sometimes it happened. I have to say, but but anyway so Chris he doesn't tell us much, but I remember him saying like it'd be nice, if you guys were like happy because everyone else every relationships, it is
freefall terror. It's moving as relations over the moon parker pose the utter braces. They yet enables outbreak hitchcock at a pair of raises edge cox. Funny he's the pay I'm his biggest. Maybe I'm not as big as what you do now. Where is he and he's he and I still work together? We we we're we're we're we're in an improv thing. We do together every now and then, when we have oh yeah yeah, it's really fun, and I I forced myself to do that. Sort of castor oil because it keeps me in shape it's like the jitters yeah, so you go out and just riff yeah. Well, it's an improv thing. So we go out there with it's like a theme, type emperor, haha it's, because it looks like me it's what I do in short sets at a stand up club. It's like you know you gotta, keep in shape. You gotta! Keep that those muscles working. I know every time I drive in the east wing. You know when the morongo casino billboard show up in there be some famous comedian. I was like god bless you, man, god bless you, while he's he's not doing that stay in shape he's doing the
from money he's. Ok, that's the money when you had the comedy stores, disdained to arrive, or some of them are onlooker sooner they're going to fuck me they want, but some of those guys are so rich. You see you see the billboard. I dont know why. I don't want to hear that. Can you please explain it at work while making my most famous person on the world on a billboard at them congo because he's making a quarter of a million dollars, probably from from doing two or three nights of is probably really like what like sign for someone. Why do you need a quarter of a million dollars you if you're talking the wrong guy? I work out of my garage I'm ready to retire. I dont know why they, I have told you haven't retired, yet because we still have this one to the nano. This huddled up disciplines going, ok, no, not retiring, but I'll. I dont know I always ask myself that about them you're. My ambition, is you see these guys it you gotta have enough money. So why do it? But then then you
like what why, wouldn't you want to keep working on, my I don't buy. Would I'd I'd like to believe that I'd like to stop working? I would to write so that's different mindset. I guess so it sort of a war of working class mindset. I guess once you get a billion dollars, you're like let's just keep going in some nice, but sometimes people, honest, we are so do I, but do you think I wanna be at home, because when you I want to sit there, have you seen lives? am. I right is exactly that kind of thing or just like people. You die spirit, If they're not engage, I mean you know what is your time really mean in and then I think I give you a funny guy or an actor and he's in some of those must start to go soft. Then you get you get the fear back. In then you get yourself into a position where, even if you want to work, you like I can and you're right. You know I honestly before going on stage when, like a hitchcock- and I are doing this yeah- he got a you know. I feel the fear that I used to feel when I was eighteen. It comes when you're going on stage and that was that produces incredible results.
that that fear and that good results. Yes, yeah we're all year, but, like you go through a period where you like, I'm not afraid I got this but liking, I imagine after a certain age, a sort of disease, exhausting this fear thing totally there right. are. You know, I'm shaking my boots right now. I don't need you doing this was fun one. So you think that, like when we passed those billboards, it that's what those guys, Well, no, I know some of them. You know it's like in. My question is like how much money do you really need now have to assume that for some of them it's really about staying relevant and it's not necessarily about making money, they it very easy for them to make a lot of money at a certain level, because people want to see them and the casinos my cat, and they bring people that the casino casinos or a special thing. I don't do them. I don't have that kind of odd If I do a casino. My audiences, like we never come here, you know
those twelve of them in their like I'd like to know they had buffeted yonder. I dont shrimp on that. We avoid this, but but I think it's it's a mixture of of staying relevant points. in the game and an also like it's easy money. I think for some of them. He just I know I see those faces like the last thing they need is money or like choked with my money boy. I don't know yeah such a bad work. The money point zero. I really did of narrow, for those people are skinned starts gang and how? How do you live with all that money must be difficult. Half You know, money poisoning, you know, and you see it sure sure it's all over this tat. I know yeah, it's a it's unmistakable. The argument is whether a cold soaring you're funny.
By this time, it's hard to differentiate between money, poisoning and that's the last car they have. They don't have anything else, but that car there is money you're right. That is the pretend pretending to be sick with honey. You know it's a lot of that not targeted at his stories. do you know when you are now. You know they their leasing, a car, but they can't afford an apartment right. There's, no one! No water in the pool right, weeds, yeah, it's what I can do less of that now. Maybe I'm wrong! I hadn't gotten! You never know! You never know. What's going on this house's, oh, but you work with a lot of like what are the directors who are some of the directors he worked with, that were actually hands on, like that. Oh a lot of theater directors, oh yeah, yeah, We type the aggregators, which is good. You know you always learn, but not so much in film some. You know. I think you know I will. I I've done a mood I did a movie with Ridley Scott. Once I found that very interesting one g, I jane no yeah and
With you know it the more dynamic anymore, you know it's not alien, but it's interesting to watch. Somebody like that. maneuver around a sad or what he sees and when he doesn't care about. I just found that all very, very interesting, I'm not a huge phil person myself, it's not in terms of rag, appreciating it as an I was when I was younger. I do I don't consume the products and I don't really consume entertainment products. Much it's not it doesn't. What do you do? Read books for you, yeah music yeah, but I don't. I don't do one where people find time well so much, and how do you know what to watch and them when you do watch something people like you, gotta watch all ninety of them. I know I would help him at the onion had a great the headline. My wife showed me that and you know, area man no longer taking suggestions for things to watch television at fighting,
I good yeah, but I feel that way. I feel like that too, the you know ted's the golden age of television. Everything is good and you know it's not. was anymore she's, the golden age of something that is shot like television, but could be on you, phone. It could be anywhere sure yeah I've done those I've done. I've done several movies that are better like video aerial internet only or wherever it is narrow, like amazon, stuff for all kinds of gotta get traction now they, I do like. I did my own show for four seasons. I was involved in everything. Now I shot this thing for netflix and I dunno what's gonna. Doesn't that make you crazy, dirty yeah? I feel very disconnected from but like aren't you like. I have no idea how I came off. You don't know how much you this is. My thing is this eminent issue. We shall ten yet right. So
that's the way it is now yeah. That's what I did and I don't know we are the ones telling me I'm great. Well I mean what what does you have a measure on the set honestly, I'm a I'm a theater person. So what's happening is I'm acting and what I'm out of the corner of my eye? The way I use watch audiences yeah, I'm lookin at the put focused polar Is he smiling? That's all. I got It's his shoulders bump bump bumping, because I said something funny. I have nothing else to go on. The book is fully focused, pullers like he likes it or you could pull the directors. if you gotta walk them out now the directors are now buried behind a bunch of monitors ever see the writers around the executives talking to the exact funny when he is it, how about you laugh yeah, yeah he's just talking to the gaffer he did. He was a good one. I I honestly do sure you got to go I'll, go to anybody. A gaffer electrician I'd say is the funnier when I say this or that ye do the first one that was fun. Well, this a well yeah I was the thing is when I, when I was
and my own show- and I have see like I had writers in like the you know, I trusted them and like I in there is no live audience, but I knew you know we could do takes. I knew if it was me and with his washoe was an all joke, so I I didn't do as much of that. You know, and I had a good relationship with the writers and the directors that I just trusted them all. You can do I mean there's some dude to get on sets and they can't stop. They gotta. They gotta constantly sure I know, and the thing is I'm generally at my gig yeah. Well, apparently, the the why the buyers buy me if they do is because I'm going to come on there and I'm going to like really open up a new area. Hilarious improves and issued bits all over the room, and you know what I mean and it drives me bonkers. That fear comes up Well, you know what maybe it's the only reason I'm still an actor because everytime I have to step on a set. It's not. I can't really slum or sound like I'm playing a doctor with dialogue right. You know it's like I'm supposed to like MIKE
just ignore this grips, go crazy, I'm like hell, didn't nano g tell me what to say. You got nothing so while I was fortunate in that, I guess I've done one of those yeah with Joe Swanberg. That's why I'm grown the beard he's doing and all it's all in prior improvise, but it's not! It doesn't have to be funny. Oh see, that's great! That would that would be in to me, yeah and in that that was that was good. You know you're kind of coming from a natural place. That's awesome, you know, and it's like it's not. Why think Christopher shoot serious lead. As you know, he doesn't there not really attracted, didn't punchline some really likes well observed behaviour right and that It's funny to him. That's yeah, that's more along the lines when he has a vaudevillian streak. He has. You know he is serious. Vaudevillian year tendencies are delightful right, but it's but boy, if you if you can have a moment of really
trusting behaviour jester telling recognizable behavior that amuses or surprises that's the goal. You know for him. Well, that's better, because that has depth without trying too hard absolutely so when you're doing this is like dramatics know it's a just one. Burgh did this thing called easy on netflix and it's a he did eight episodes in each episode as a separate character, separate story, it's an anthology series, so the idea was to revisit these characters. You know yearly for as long as the let him right. So, where can you know? Song were coming back a year later to my character that I established in this one episode, haha and it's all very loose sort of outline- and you know, though it was kind of touching the whole thing turned out to be pretty touching. I mean the characters kind of funny and I think there's definitely funny moments because of the situation, but it was not it's not really done as it wasn't done. As a comedy. I know he was using me
and I can be funny, but you know this guy is sort of like a over. You know a past. His prime graphic novelist, who you know, had some success when they made something a movie years ago and now he's you know it. The first one is really about me. Putting out a new that he thing anyone gave a shit about and then getting him with some young woman who's in artists to sort of exploits him and it was gonna little heavy, but funny in india How do you feel a burden when you're doing it to all this? close to me. I haven't we'll house, I don't call myself an actor, it's like any! I'm not can be doing any accidents are putting on any weight. You know that I am the beard I can do. I can do that. I get mad at doing great yeah and in the thing I differ, networks was as an as an act
which I don't really consider myself, but I did learn how to do it. A yeah over time doing stand up at my own show was that you know the character I played for the gorgeous. Ladies of ladies of wrestling was like me, but not neurotic, so it was really a matter of turning something off. You know, but I felt little insecure, but it was scripted and then I started thinking about you guys who do it for your wife. I'm like this is good. You know I could just do it like, like a mammoth says, you know just like it's there on the page that you responsibility your responsibilities, script and my great and when there are like I hadn't, do a wing one of my why it's save with its fine, total yeah. I would wing it, but it's like I didn't want to go overboard. I didn't want to be too much of me, so I I respect the ability to improvise in character as much as you did. You know with these christopher guessing because you gotta be pretty solid in that thing to evolve, that character, yeah, I'm one of the big tricks
that I always firm is like. If Chris says to me, you know we're doing movie and like the last one we do. It's like you are the the you're. You know, you're you're running a a cable network called the gluten free network which ones this this. This thing is it's on netflix. Now it's called the mascots. Oh okay, oh, is it that's out yeah? So it's on it's on netflix. I think netflix and and the and and really what are, what I'm hearing is it. He says one little thing: yeah, Michael my! You should play a a a a guy who runs a cable network, called a gluten free gluten, free yeah. What I hear is I hate I now need to know and I'm not a method e type guy yeah, I do know as an improviser yeah, the the sweet spot is as much. As much reality as possible, and then you, when you so when you stray off to the left
on that one line it real. It really works in riley sings because everything is viable right. They bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, neurotic that's crazy, and that is like me a ton of research. I have to figure out what cable executive do what they do all day. Why they do it, and then I have to figure out what what gluten free means for real yeah. You know because this guy knows and that's what he's going to be talking about right in his in his most relaxed shirt I want to. I want to be the guy in the most relaxed state right where he's comfortable, oh right, because then in minutes than anything I say, works right as opposed to me scrounge around for something that's going to work work right. If you put yourself in a laugh clock and these improv things, you're gonna get fucked eventually right Clock will run out of, and then your you're, and if you don't have something to ground it you're just attempt he he you've shot. You've got no more bullets, yet alert you're empty you're, not the bag, you're, not that yeah you're done,
and so why think? That's right! I! I think that, like I, that that's something the research is you know, so you can put it together. You know I guy. in. You have to do that because you asked a lot. I think. With that thing, I didn't easy, the jump from this guy being a graphic artist and a comic book rider, You always easy for me that he lived through that sure. You know what I mean, but that was the answer I needed. I talk to her a guy who as animal kind of pens? What's the name the brand right at everyone needs, and I didn't abusing any of it, but you gave me the sort of dedication liking. The boy that you work on? You know I I needed this. I guess I did that and I guess it's about mean I'd. I I did intuitively. I think that's right because it your basically giving yourself always giving yourself place to go just because you have this information it. Strangely the opposite of the way, I believe, good stage work is done.
Actually don't think that doing a lot of research, if you're playing an o'neill play, is going to help it's gonna actually is probably going to send you down the garden path, you're, probably going to go off into the weeds because you're not playing what he wrote right, you're, trying too hard you're doing something. That's not in the script. It's not it's not his! It's not what he saw heap the words he put on the paper because he sought this way right and the world includes this, and doesn't lewd that right and then the more close the more closely you home to that, like you are saying that man at the better off you're gonna, be the more you closed the world in theatre furthermore, the more possibilities? There are strangely, what it's interesting aid, because with this sort of method protein. I've seen performances like that, where, You know somebody's going to do a different thing with miller or whatever, and it's where he I mean it. It's relative to the emotional compare.
today, the actor, but if you go way outside of it, you know, but people do that with shakespeare. All the time will shakespeare up does varied, notably, does not right stage directions. Any doesn't right. Subtext me rights, everything a character says is true everything anybody says is true unless he makes a big point about them lying so what most of the the it is sort of like renegade are not written. This is the wrong word. The experimental shakespeare's about location. Yeah. Do you really reduce to doing this in an hour on the wing of a play, exactly not not a uniform yet another that'll donald? That's really looked as if fellow, need you to bring anything to the party. Renault in an area is he's, got the whole meal waiting for you. You know I had mc clellan in here. Did you? Yes? What did he say? Oh he was great. You dimension, look at the idea of my god, it's fun right. My face, brightened your fate because I said I didn't understand shakespeare. Did this beautiful darling. Why
It was about immigrants from a from another. It wasn't it was from when the un and not a one of the bigger plays in it like again. I should know this piece I experienced it, but it was completely relevant and because I said it didn't understand it, he sat there delivered to me and I'm like crying you on relevant slander, this boy, man, that was something awesome, Yeahs fit ass. To have your work! Well, I haven't no by then I know that you gotta get back in the shakespeare racket. I know about this. I can't I mean unless they're so that the great news, great news, tricky muse. Yes, that's a television show that I'm Hopefully it'll do well in your part, they'll pick it. I do have a big part. I don't like sorted this Brian Williams type, but have you, had a recurring like that recently or like an umbrella mean yes, here I hand I've had a few, not
The shows have either gone or didn't go with, as as it happens, but one sounds like it's got. The got the jew. It's got. I mean, if you want to read tea leaves, which I wouldn't suggest in a non showbiz now yours is statistically you'll, be in bad shape, but We can have any hope at all. No no hope no hope saw here. Look at us, not a meritocracy, wait a minute! That's what I said this morning: it's not about it's nice and really isn't it really is I mean we have a lot of great things going for us is the the writing. Staff is very strong, like that, yes, I mean proud today retards. Never, however, we, viking crapshoot. we've all been there, ten thousand times more. How else am I supposed to look at it? Let me ask you supposed to wake up you to pollyanna that you know this. Is it phases,
a great time. I would love to do this show at a really monday lightweight part, so funnel. What's your feeling by these ways, if Ani was gathered with andrea, yes ripping and yeah yeah, I love, and she has great she is awesome. She's, I'm I'm in love was tina around ten. well she's in new york, with robber girl argues the other executives you dropped by the set thou yeah she had around she's very much involved in every week, she's doing another show at the same time, the cheese has a different type of involvement. We also she's a totally present producer? Yes, apps let me add ons excise, martin, so good, and it's it's it's it's fun world media is it I think, and the uh what's good for me is that the mai character is very easy to write for ya. and they they. You know I I think they have to put their leash on every now and then because it's so easy to just go and go and go that's the best to have that can be that guy like you know, after that, the first two episodes right now we can take this guy out o ye
yeah yeah right, you that you do you don't even have told the pencil. That's diego's only three have fun. It is so fun and god willing. I can do more than ten m, but that's Why do I don't even know what what that's up to you any movies? Well, I'm I just finished pitched perfect free. let's get my franchise yeah when, with the banks she's my producer to she didn't direct this one but she's in here I enjoy as she easily various money he's great yeah. Where are we I wanted we get along really well and basically, that's that whole gig as an improv gig, just me and her just going blah blah blah, oh really, yeah, and that that that franchises are at this point you gotta begin a will. Get improv is always a guy. Now do you. I told you that the type of that's great nobody's going to know what you just did, David located between us degrading
paper bag, my neighbour bagged. Yeah aside, I saw the thumb, the top a little foam, yeah yeah, it's a happy paper bag. It was great talking to you, man. Thank you very much for having made it could literally couldn't have been easier. You need your actually. I don't I I did. I shall say this. This cheerless S, mother, Google maps, said that it was actually faster from you to walk. here and to draw it now. I know that saddam per unit add maybe we could both have said coffee when things and heavy, they hipsters down. The hill church is being used in their guy with the points and like these guys are their twirly moustaches fuckin, billboard like any money for what does he? Why is he doing that? Mark? That's great! What a good time, we gotta retirement all planned start now. Thankfully, thank you,
that was fun right. small world right right. Am I gonna stomachs, fucked up places some stomach, booze Oh, I at the The The the at the
the I. Burma is.
Transcript generated on 2022-09-02.