Jason Alexander was one of countless New Jersey kids who couldn't resist the lights of Broadway on the other side of the river. When he became a steady working actor on the New York stage, Jason was totally content with how things turned out. But then he just so happened to get cast on a show that became the most successful sitcom of all time. Jason talks with Marc about Seinfeld, life after Seinfeld, magic, acting, directing, and the McDLT. Actually, there's a surprising amount of talk about the McDLT.
Sign up here for WTF+ to get the full show archives and weekly bonus material! https://plus.acast.com/s/wtf-with-marc-maron-podcast.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right. Let's do this. How are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the fuck and ears what the fuck stirs what's happening, MARC Maron me this is WTF my my podcast welcome to it broad asking from the new space the new garage I did have a spy now. I will tell you about it. Feel ok right now, but eight I did. I definitely went into a vortex. the other day why, He's going on having a hard time, today. I just did too hours doing a book on tape. Reading for a tat ones new book. She asked me to do a part. Basically in it took a lot Adam. It took a lot of my Adam. My mouth tongue. Out of my heart. Out of my mind, it's a beautifully written thing. and I don't know when it's coming out of
I put a lot into it and it wore my mouth out, but anyway, Alexander jason alexander is show today we're going to talk about though I don't know there were. I think you just I need to come by. I think really the idea, I think, he's be doing a live concert with the new jersey symphony orchestra on April fourteenth and fifteenth at the new jersey. Performance art centre in newark and state theatre. New brunswick. But aside from that, I think you just want to do, come by and hang out in the garage, I'm still, I'm still moving through many interviews that we're done in the old space but you want to hear about my spin out. I don't know if you know this about me. I don't know how much you know about me, but if I decide is something horribly wrong. I'll generally, do everything in a flurry of obsessive compulsion to correct it, even if I'm making it up in my mind, I have that's the way get things done sometimes and
the way I overdo things. Sometimes I was probably nervous, as you know, from the last from the first broadcast from the new space here, about how it would sound how it would feel what's happening. You know what am I do I gotta get book set up. I gotta get there that the space buffered, what if doesn't work out what, if they're buffering, doesn't work. What if there a if it doesn't sound A lot of things were going through my mind because I did have my first guest interview in here the other day you're, not going to hear today but you'll, hear in the future, and it went great when I made my ebay when better than anticipated, so here's what happens reading The first interview I had here in the new space, a few days ago before I had set up- and I was in between the old garage in the new garage and not knowing whether or not this would be up and running I I scheduled to do an interview at another space at a studio. They thought be on for a long time, so I don't know that I need to tell you who it is because your
excited you'll, be beside yourself, you'll, be chomping at your bit champing at better whatever. It is your yoke anxiety over you'll you'll be impatiently waiting, John Cleese, it was John cleese, so now is a classic set up for it. Dump of a punchline, not John Cleese is a dumb dump of a punchline jesse. I can't do it, I won't do it, I'm doing it classic classic Joe garbage one o one, but while on their, I noticed a kid who work in the board. Yeah he's a kid who The board he's a he's. There he's obviously paid by the company that owns a studio, is a trusted guy and We were talking sound, we're talking, you know the the sound was spaces, the dead spaces, the studio? What you do to have it. sweet, leaf for sound, so you know you can clap and adjust you can't even any dead. It just gets sucked away. You hear no bounds but we are talking about sound. I told him. I was up in nam,
He gave me his number out of nowhere. He said yeah, you know, I'm a I'm a consultant and I can come. Vernon, unlike our, I might need this and then I got home and that I had mealy started. Assessing I recorded what you heard was the first intro and I just started freaking out about. While is good? Is it bad? Is the sound right? So then I call this. In a panic- and I you know I'm like: when can you come ovaries. I can come over in a couple hours. He comes over in a couple hours and he brings these things that he made for himself he's basically tells just got out of college. He said: building this audio consulting and and yes, the old guy business east de, comes into gimme. consultation. Then he says why got my on the car and he brings in these four foam panels. Like they're. Just found, there's no covering on them and their did their sort of sitting on bases with the dowels there are running halfway up the phone and then they're taped on with black electrical tape
so they're just free standing, but they definitely don't look, like your bottom, at a store, they definitely look hand rigged so brings those in and we talk about the ceiling. We talk about the side they over. Here we talk about the back here and what he can do. this in that it gives me some recommendations. I got a right and then I just freak. mike why'd. I don't know man, it's sounds pretty good right now can can I can eat we. your panels. Your home made em down old, supported with splints joy. Pieces of foam here, I'll pay, you I'll pay you for the consultation and I'll pay you, went these from you until until I get as a permanent solution, so what's what's going on in here. So I've got these panels in here and I kind of moved him around in hold on. I think I'm going to move on now hold on I'm going to move this one over here, a little because that's what I'm feeling mystically.
See. See now, in my mind, that's a lot better because I made meda. I moved him I moved one about a half a foot in that the world I'm living in. I am obsessively moving these panels around, not knowing, if they're doing anything- and it sounds fine to me in my head- it actually sounds pretty good, but so I got my first just coming over, and I don't need to tell you who it is cuz not going to be on for a while. There's no point me you're getting you anxious and I did and didn't full of anticipation. And there's no reason for me to do even your tip to you who the first, diana view in the garage was? Was Josh, brolin and eat strike me. He strikes me as a sort of an intimidating person to begin with, but I wouldn't want to talk him for a while, I think, he's a tremendous actor some way. four josh brow and it's an hour or two before he comes over him sit not here in the garage, important books out, I'm trying to queen things up so at least works a little knots. Old per se, but at least it looks like there are. You know things in the right place bookshop.
I just wanted to be able to explain everything as something temporary and you know not feel like an asshole. So about an hour and a half before Brolin comes over I'm sitting in this chair and out the window over here, which is not great for sound either out the window as if it were just outside the I hear somebody using a tool. never heard before, and this is day one first guest in here- I'm scheduled to talk josh at twelve. Thirty, at eleven o'clock I hear a tool that sounds like several hammerheads attached to a jackhammer being used. on the outside of a wall, for I of a box that has nothing inside of it, it just this ricocheting sound of a rapid fire hammering tool
of course my response was like. Are you fucking kidding me? Is this like eight yo? Is this? What is? Is this god's ironic sense of humor that he's going to put me through this shit, so I leave I my space here and I walk out into the street of my new neighborhood and directly across the street caddy corner some guy sighing on the front. Porch first they're getting over there and I'm trying to figure out where the fuck, the machine gun style, jackhammer hammering instrument coming from in that way across the street go couple. Reality is down. I see these. I I'm wandering around think I have my headphones still on outside. I am plug them I am just wondering with my hands out spread in the middle of the street, Looking for the sound these two guys, working on a porch down the street. There see me and I'm just standing there with a baffled and provided. Look on my face with my hands out spread and one of them comes out to me goes the eyes. Oh, was
It is okay, it's okay and I'm like what are you talking about and that's not a mexican accent. That's a vague! The armenian not sure might be italian, I don't know that wasn't from here. There's no reason for me to do it. I just want you to know that whatever my temper to do is a broad based foreigner accent that could apply to many different types of edna cities How long is it going to go on for the noisy, ghost ten minutes and I'm my ten minutes at city goes? then we go around back and again for hour and I'm like what an hour, because maybe we smaller. You know say I am like. I o k so an hour max and he's like yeah and I'm like alright cause. I figured, she's not going to be here till one thousand two hundred and thirty. Back in here- sweating- I'm sweating and panicking cuz- I the phone's going to do it. I don't know: what's going to fucking, do it, I don't know if I'm going to move the show to another goddamn place,
and I hear the hammering in that just move this one form panel, that's about five inches thick, that's being held up by stilts on a small platform of wood and taped. I move this just slightly Angle in front of the window and it's a miracle Comparing the the the weird machine? wow. Maybe this is going to work out and then I go. wait for Josh and he walks in and- and I was concerned that, like with these weird stilted pieces of foam, that it would look too professional. That was my. Fucking concern that someone would walk in here and go thou decision. This isn't profession, well operation yeah you can. by the wood that was bought it, the Michael's crafts that, wherever the fuck anyway that's not how it went. My point is that I was sweating and spun out for nothing
cause I tried to solve problems that may or may not be there, but I tried to solve them preemptively to them even happening and made myself completely crazy, as if I had bought the wrong house- and here I am talking just I just want you to remember who I am and how Something's apparently will never fucking change. So I The moral of this story is outside of me. Being consistent in in this strange behavior spiraling, spiralling anxiety and things are made up in my head- is that I told them He had joined the kiddies me, who least me his foam panels propped up by dowels. starting. A business. Is young katy starting a business he's starting an audio consulting business and he offered to make me professional panels.
And I thought not unlike when I started the old garage, laughing Andy from no radio show that aims to do brought over his farm. Tell me get started this is starting, a business is a young guy and he I He made me a price. He offered me a price. In an making making nice panels this that I can move around. The sides may be put some upon wall on the ceiling. And he said he'd, give me a consultation and install them and everything and I thought well that's the way to do it? I could ordered from a catalog with this kid is making a go at it, so I'm going to give him a go. So he's take that for me and I'll get those in it in a month or so I'm going away for a few so. I gave him that time to do said he was going to get it all done by next week as it take it. Easy pal if you just leave the ones here that are propped up, you know the ones with the tape up until the good ones in I'm good. So that's our!
amateur I'll. Let you know how that comes out and how that goes. Jason alexander is a great guy. I'm glad we talked he's exactly who you think he is and that's a comforting, said earlier he's going to be doing a live concert with the new jersey symphony orchestra April fourteenth and fifteenth that set the new jersey performance, art centre in new york and state theatre in new brunswick? so this is me and jason actually talking in the old garage. You know the third thing I got you you drove up in here. whatever that was at the prius prime you're solution. as a relatively new. I've only had it about a month. Well, that's it, but that's that's that's a budget conscious solution, a I ah could have bought it. Actually we didn't electric,
millie. Why I m, I, like most jews, ya, know that at some point I'm gonna have to flee right. and the alert doesn't give you enough distance. I would not only have one thing to gas and a full charge that that puppy should go six hundred and fifty miles, which will get me at least in the vodka volume. What up after their given that the other two united earthly and eventually you get too there is no one- is going to target vague, as it sure you'll get to the middle of the countries that have been another mcqueen juice from both goes going like. What do we do now, you're right where they want em out at all, these Jews get the scots, and now it's just going to build a fence around the jews that ran from both co sets right now you need a plain buddy. You bet you're going to need to you do you know, and the timing of europe on the timing. I do know when we go now. I don't know that's. The problem lies in the loop who did in the loop. Well, I am such a peripheral jus that I might even gonna get the member not only male, I know,
we're fairly public too. I imagine that people at you know when they they think jew they. They are probably an example that that anti semites use like for, like you, don't know what the jewish that bald bastard. He screams. Oh, my god. I hope it doesn't come to that. As I was panicking, I was panicking in the beginning. I'm like I gotta get a new passport. Bannon's probably got my im on the list out yours going nuts at the very beginning, and then my girlfriend said like I don't think they are after you and that's a cold comfort, york, yeah you're right. You know not yet
yeah. I haven't made the list, but I know it's probably you know there's a couple of other ethnicities before jews at this particular juncture and he's looking for he wants is Roy cohn, I'm going into law school, the flipside jack, hey fuck, you know what I mean I can keep living here really, but aside from that jews from new jersey, I'm genetically jersey, yeah, you are you're full on jersey, like I, I only spent the first six years. My life injures. Oh really, my mum, I always went back because of the family was always there. You can never get the. The way nobody I've gotten is true, but I you know, I think it's in me deeper than I thought. Both the parents are from jersey sure, but I I feel like I'm from if you're from jersey do. I feel jersey to you yeah I would have. I would have said that this guy feels comfortable yeah. He feels, like he's been through Elizabeth smell, that
I have fabulous idea of the secaucus, the aromas, the caucus as it. So what part? What town did you grow up in? I started I started is that you talk about. Why born? I started out, I began, I played I live two years in Irvington new jersey, then we moved upscale to maplewood new jersey and then we move further upscale livingston new jersey. Now stan. I know because that that seemed like there was it was. I remember the signs. My grandmother If you go to livingston, I feel the signs for livingston, but we had a mall. Wasn't short hills ask, but we had a mall and the reason we were there. As my mother was a big mckinney MK she sort of founded and ran the school of nursing at ST barnabas medical center haha. So that's the answer. That's why you were there yeah, how many siblings half of each one of them is deceased. Sorry, that's around a half of each yeah. My my father was a widower, so I my mother's only child wow, that's a lot of pressure. Yeah
yeah. It is actually carrying them being the messiah is not an easy. Is that age? Yet relied on your left. There weighing on you. There was actually was greg because my you know my mother was a career woman that time at a time when most women were not right. My mother was the major breadwinner in our house. My father always worked, but yeah. My mother was the major, but as yet the nursing school yeah teaching she ran it. She created the curriculum. She ran that she was the exact. If the director she was on, there was iced, I dunno if it's still around, but there was a national organization of nurses that she was on that board as well. She was a big honcho in the oh yeah and yeah so she was a nurse her whole life. Whole life wow where'd, you dad do he did have variety one of those with whom I am never sure how much of the history is dead on accurate and how much of it is urban. Let's see around my dad died in two thousand
when he was ninety one years old when he died. My mom is about to turn ninety eight that all my god my dad. It's Congratulations: dad as a young man supposedly did some work for the jewish mob on lorry. Suddenly york came a pinkerton detective. I don't know how you make that transit He was a mall is a rat. I guess I'd. He worked for bell lambert, maurice during world war, two as a project manager, although he never had a college education, so I'm not quite sure how laboratories for the military yeah really and then he lifetime he was a a transit bus driver from bayonne, new jersey into new york back and forth that route. He would exciting or account manager for a brush manufacturing. I mean he did all kinds, so life insurance for new york life, for while he was all over the map, it's quite a mythic resume yeah
he was. He was an interesting go. You know you got it soon that it sort of like it sounds pretty. rio has no one's gonna, throw india the bus driver from bayonne. In your that, I know for a fact. Rights are like that that power It validates why the working of the mob one, maybe well. The only reason I tend to buy. That is, if you look at my bar mitzvah photo album yeah. You know the table shots as you're able Joe's table job table chairs tables years, and you get the one time you go holy shit. What am I looking at and guys, I know for a fact, were killed in jail because they really they were he. My father, says wasn't really. He wasn't a calais certain, wasn't a violent sky, but I guess had some relation to. Hence the pinkerton ravening trot some relationships with the police pre down in the lower east side and you used to go got arrested, used to go in and kind of get them out
I really so he was friends with those guys and he would say I you know I was affiliated and I don't. I think he just got a new one, so he coach If the cops do it guys out and when I graduated high school, my dad god bless him. He gave me a piece of paper and not high school college. He gave me a piece of paper and he said, look at it. You know. I can't give you very much, but there's a phone number here, yeah. If you ever need anything anything you call this number. You tell him you're my kid here, we taken care of, and I want you out of your got me a loaded you what are you? But what? If you got a paper The rest of your life uprising of eggs. Pretty heavy but are you is that you will readily serious? He said you know you need anything. This is that this is the phone. Did you call no room? We threw it away. Bat write em. Then walked away. No, actually I said data can. Please don't do this
mood. You think it was. It was a number for a guy that would do whatever you need, but you know you go amounts kid and would go well. You name it. I need this. Guy killed needs I've whatever I am. I think your father was assuming that wouldn't be the request by the make known as long as we might but it was a hard geier. Now he was out what, by the time I came along, he was fifty years old and I was born so by time I camera? He was a pug from the lower east side of new york and and as a young man, he he was. He was always a an ethical guy. He was a good man, but he was a pug. He had a bad temper. but by the time I came around, he had mellowed yeah, and I said to my my half brother at my dad's funeral. I said you know the reason you and I are so different is not that we had different mothers. We had different fathers or that interest, and you know my my dad was just a very sweet man and and so clearly adored me from the minute. I was born that I had
I had all that yeah you got. You got the good stuff because you know you're you're out, most people treat the first grandkid right right right like these other two yeah, I did what I could, but this one we get all the good stuff. He was by the time I came around. He was a pussycat haha. It happens in your fifties. How old are you fifty eight and was really there? When did that happen? yeah and you know the cry. So I'm a september baby like you- and you know I just spoke to me- I just started saying fifty eight and I feel like it's half gone by the time I get used to the number to changes. Again, I didn't going great favor. When did you research on me, No, but I know you're a september guy think you're a little left, I'm on the twenty third on the twenty. Seventh, they are you. We brought to write on the cusp of Emily bride if you go by the descriptions of the labor than burger we buy But when people ask you d say libra, I say I'm right on the cusp memorial I just said it mark, but what does that mean? Can you give me can't be too
charge. Have me as a virgo. Somehow me, as a liberal area whose doing the charter foggy. Did the de put any credence in it not as far as you know, predict anything. It is interesting and I don't know if you could do as with any other of these pseudo s, answers but the gene. realize descriptions of people that fall into the signs the I find there is a general accuracy to that, and I am not sure whether what makes us libras I'm never quite clear. Is it like a sense of looking for balance? A preoccupation with justice and injustice season has started I bought borderline personality disorder? The aim for me? It's I get the symbol is a scale. So my fat ass, this continent reminded you, don't I should drop me. That's all you take, that's how I think so from your other siblings ada with which one pass you brother and sister. You have sister passed away about three years. As I am white,
what did they do? What they like with my brother was career. Military brother is twenty years older than me: twenty is older than you do so he was. He was career air force for almost thirty years uh. He left the service as a lieutenant colonel was your dad's first wife full duty. Yet yeah and and my brother. I worked as a field investigator for the irish for several years and then he said I'm not sure when has been retired for a while and my sister my sister had been ill for most of her life. She had a disease that she and I went to work for called scleroderma cynthia, the autoimmune lupus- why but she she had done. I think she had worked as an account. She had taught latin at high school level when that was a thing yeah and you know she for a woman. should have been on disability all her life. She she had a pretty hot delong I've, that's great,
I so windows, so you're in jersey, you're you're, the young kid amongst the I mean your your brother's out of the house right, oh yeah, I never grew up with my brother and sister was there for five years and then she so you almost the only child. I was more or less and raised an only and what compels you to enter. when, where you a child entertainer, not knowingly. I was in people. they really know me they go come. I was a very. Hi very somber, very frightened, cowed little kid really and I believe I didn't have a lot of friends and I was kind of a loner I mean I had my friend bruce davidson, who live down the block, but I'd come home and like all little kids that feel lost and lonely and scared. I I discovered magic and I started trying
we had the biotech, I had the magic kit and I got the bookseller. You know, and I and I was pretty serious about it and I thought that it was going to be what I did never thinking it was performing yeah. I just thought: oh, it's it's fun, feel powerful right behind everything, correct when I was twelve or thirteen we move from maple. Would the linux them the end? I did know damsel understand. In the first case, I met with a theatre, kids and they all pulled me elevation. yeah, actually heritage middle school and let the magic to open conversation with girls, girls, writings, girls, ways with europe but if the girl I was, I met my parents. This we moved there in the summer before I was going to start seventh grade year and that my parents, because they both work, said we signed you up for the community pool
The focus I way about five hundred pounds. We welcome your hasty in white and you will always I was I was rightly is thirty pounds over? Where will you not you good, I'm, ok, you. I can get second survivor, that's what my mother, and I'm in the pool- and I don't know a damsel gorgeous young girl comes up and goes hi you're new to you sing and I went yuck and- and she pulled me into this production- the sound of music that the local teen theatre was fourteen, or so, when he's twelve or thirteen yeah yeah, and I met all these kids and suddenly had friends and community- and I went hey this stage thing is pretty guy could hide in plain sight. I didn't feel like me when I was performing. I I was whoever the person was so that that was kind of cool, and I just liked hanging with these kids. So I started going to the theater and work, a lot in doing all the place at school, so it more like a as they were misfits in NEO guy you're, not mrs, but theatre. Kids are different. They weren't the coolest,
no, of course, not bad, but they would turn out. You know they. They were sort of a they. I think a lot of the theater kids in my memory is, is that, like they had this capacity to just sort of live through the parts and, seeing how do I warrant sure it was a lot like glee right? They want a factory right now they had no guile running right or some of them. Some of them were manufacturing some attitudes and persona sure in order to help, but they they were all. What was nice about the fate kids as they were generally nice guys they were nice, yeah. You know they weren't out I heard feeling the real bullies in the theater community, manufacturing attitudes and personas to cope yeah. I think I'm still doing that. I think we all are I think people are seeing through mine at this point but I believe you are shy kid. Why? Wouldn't you be
I mean you know well, you know it. It was funny and I always thought it was very obvious, but I remember when I was in college, I went to boston university as a theater major and I started dating this girl. And I d hadn't really non and we had been together about six weeks. Seven weeks and she goes, you know, everybody at the school thinks you other cocky, a son of a bitch in the world you can be given me. I had no idea, shocked him. She like way that on his ally, we share- and I said you, I'm I'm scared to death. I don't think I measure up another. She knows. I know that now, but you're your cover for your insecurity is kind of I had no idea that was what sense of humor
project when I am my most uncomfortable or or just the is this kind of man he's Comfortable in Israel is knows mandarin. Do nothing could be further from the truth, but someone I tell people that I was a very I kid in that? In fact, if you you know, if, if we were close personal friends, people come to my house ways yeah, we will we'll play games and stuff, but I'm like, let's have a conversation I know there's. I think I've lost some of my funnier friends because they go he's not a lot of fun to hang out anymore. Well, that's! Well, that's! weird thing because, like a yeah because we're serious, I have you know Syria or say you don't like it One thing I have to I've learned over time that I protect the boy. My life from if I can is dragging them down into whatever sad shitty. neurons, call that I met because my brain what to do about it instinctively absolutely.
So I, like I gotta, know when it's happening. You know I am about to say something: that's got absolutely no floor to dry and we're both going to fall down. If I continue absolutely, you know that feeling they're like the we're all going to die. It's nice- I don't know, I don't go to places, but I do go to serious place. Oh yeah, you don't, you know, have dread. I don't live in drink. As you know, my life has been so friggin blast idea. It's not attractive the live that's right. You people where I come. I shot it's just not that's true I haven't learned a dreaded this. I guess so yeah. I guess I I guess, if you're not entitled to it, though you know it's unseemly, yes, and it's still scary, though, so, when did you did you do magic for money? I used to do kids, parties and stuff, and then I totally dropped it because I realized as a teenager. I wanted to be a close up magician. I wanted a and calling on the eu and georgia. Now I love magic.
I I am a member of the magic castle and I actually won an award for I. I was asked to perform there in the early two, thousands because they were having big financial trouble and I did a week in the parlor room. the mid sized yeah yeah, and I I was actually very proud of that act and the magicians awarded me parlor magician of the year that year. So I I was very pleased, what I kind of I gave magic up because I realized when I was a teenager. I was never going to be good enough and I knew the difference between good enough and not yeah and I loved magic and I loved magicians, and I went that you know I've got this theater thing, that's an illusion that I can do right, and so I I kind of I was always a hobbyist, but I never I all my aspirations about it went away when you see that stuff d is your brain, automatically going okay. So now I see what he's going to go. I know the principles for almost all the stuff that I see ya. What I love is with knowing the principles I don't see the moment around. I got
that's great right because I love this lying for yes, I love it. I love it made. It makes me so happy to go, I know what you did and I dunno how you hit some people. It's great. It is great and it's hard to be cynical about it, but I know people are it's like. I think, all my wife hates it, my wife. some really hated yeah. My wife, my my wife's all attitude about magically sums it up to this there's a secret. You know it I don't. You won't tell me, go fuck yourself, that's her! She feels its a power. You told me, you don't know most of it. I know don't see like highly understand why most of it I understand, then there's things, I don't even know what principle they're using forthright. That makes me really happy right cause. You're actually you're confounded yeah. So you know you do a card trick on your wife and she goes yeah my card fuck off as long as, if I do a trick for her, she immediately goes on to tell me
oh really, yeah, and do it for her. I have to because otherwise it's it's an argument. So that's the one condition that he was a little broken. Yeah is this, but Dana doesn't like surprises like you would never throw my wife a surprise party now she'd be so pissed. Angry yeah it'd, be like surprise get the fuck out of my. She slammed the door and a friend of mine who came cross country that celebrate her birthday, didn't tell her. It doesn't appear too, door with a bag of new york bagels and she went go fuck yourself, the really is. What do you sure it makes her feel unsafe its she's a very organized, I have a control freak, but she is an organization freak she likes to know. What's going to happen and be able to plan, for it sounds like a fine line. and- and she feels like her- the people close to her should know that and in job for god, for a moment that it came from a good place and now she reopen the door and got over right right, The initial reaction was all I hate you for doing that. It wasn't on the schedule. Now it was I yeah right right. That is what does she do? She's a painter
if they're not as interesting, abstract, painting a mine is not abstract. She is figurative, an impressionistic and feminist and very rare and she's been doing it. She was not doing that when I met her. She was an actress. We've been together forever, we've been together. Thirty, what's your painting name, it's her name is Dana and spelled d, a e and a meme, her last name. The title like the title of a book, Dana title: yeah painter like I it's interesting. They. They definitely live in their own world, that you know that it's a it's a very year play solitary thing, but they know they do it. They can go to a different place. and being what we are yeah, which is you know, people primarily driven by charm You just got all you can do is sit there baffled when they produce something like that as weird as that, it's also a
adjournment cause? I have no artistic ability whatsoever, and so she shows me the stuff she does, and you know things look like things and I got I don't. I don't know how you took three dimensions made it to a looks like it's three. I asked yeah so she's got you. You can't figure out that tray. No and also you know that one of the big challenges for us is that art visual art doesn't often speak to me. It yeah feeds her soul. She can look at a painting the way I look at music right and it changes who she is as a person, and I don't get almost never had that reaction to anything visually and and so I'm I'm less of a man in her as well. I mean the other day. Have you learned that? Maybe you just keep that yourself? It's too late I blew that one guy that cat is out of the bag, then
I tend to you're an actor. Can you have the one moment just next time you go yeah I've learned to speak art a little better and I've learned to speak to her art a little better. It's all. I see that you did the thing with the yeah yeah yeah and at yellow talk some of the terms, but I just felt like there was a lot of fighting around this. At some point I felt a no not fighting disappointment, oh gee, which is worse than it's worth. That's like the jewish curse, but I always say you know you didn't do this when we met you changed the rules. You are an actress when I met you are trying to be an actress. Imagine we had everything going together now you decided this thing I never said I was that the, but you you guys we're together before anything happened. Yet we We met in nineteen eighty, we were married and eighty two year so Wendy. Ok, so you go to high school and you do that
The theater kid thing and then he get into be you the theater program. What year seventy seven, so you graduated, I didn't graduate. I I finished three years, and I I been working professionally from the time I was fourteen, I felt I could have fell into a professional career. What do you mean? I was doing children, children's theatre in in livingston, new jersey wasn't here and they were doing little original children's musicals, and you did that I was. I was part company and then some dad in the audience one day was a tv produce. We added this could be a cute little children series in a poem. The money we all joined after and we shot a pilot and he couldn't sell it as a series but at the pilot on local new york television I like a sunday morning, thirty or so yeah and these managers for young people saw it and hunted me down and said: we'd love to rep you when I'm in an awkward and fourteen at fourteen. So I started doing commercials and that kind of stuff and fourteen years commercial. We were you, make it my savings for college. Will you see paid you on college? Most that happened.
because of the commercial they're doing all kinds of commercial dil commercials in the eighties commercials were amazing. I remember one thousand nine hundred and eighty four olympics. I was doing a play on broadway musical on broadway and the olympics was that summer and they went to a commercial break and I was like you know, I don't know eight thousand two hundred and ten commercial back to back avenue wore them like that, guy or oh they're onto me now right. Well, they were exposed, but that happens with commercials. You see like well that guy's in all of them are yeah. That was not good and actually then it tamped down for awhile, I watch the mcdlt commercial balanced product that didn't go even the maghreb becomes too excited about it. I was excited as they told me to be. I because I said that my producers essays, you watch it and I watch my that emu is angry that one may was. It was aiming the product. Not a bad idea. So what the big deal was that they had a two container container
and the idea was the the the material would be on one, but on one side and the hanging around the other, and it would dare. I wouldn't do that worked as long as you built it level. You know, we're on the horizontal plane and put it in the bag. That way, I read it out there, but the minute you put the thing in the bag, on the vertical right. Everything in the top fell to the bottom. They weren't sealed separate compartments it just it was a mess, so people would open the box and they have just as the salad hamburger. I also think that nobody wants to see the meat of a mcdonald's hamburger. It's my belief, You may be right that liking comfort, yep. You know it's like know that, like can't be me yep, yep yep, it's mcdonald, yep, you opened its meat yeah he was a. It was a product that just would not catch at all and can you dance? Do you dance the hell that prior what the crazy thing is that behind me in that mob.
Broadway's best dancers at the time, and I have never been accused of being a dancer, but somehow they could be in foreground I was an actor who moves and I've I've done in my broadway I did more than my fair share of dancing. I like it, I do not mocking it. I just saw it was interesting that you are. We directed to really be excited? about the oh yeah yeah, and they did that. All of that just couldn't do as in those. Also, if you look at it, I have a trumpet the airplane moment at the very end, because my hair was already quite thin and at the very end, there's a gust of wind and what looks like a full head of hair on the top, certainly is revealed to be ooh. Flips bags he's he's becoming a very quickly they left, and that was the best deck, my god. So all right, so you go to b, which is a good theater school yeah what was it then like as and when I was there considered, it was in, There was a lady one iota theatre eaten his aunt, you I got it
considered one of the college programme, whose ideally I'm more there, when you were there, she was julian, was to eat one or two years behind me. Mike checklists was there, Davis was there, and raw slur was their jerry. Levine was there and air, and you didn't see juliet when you were there. I didn't you dance. She was duly smith and a half and she was the person He has now is exactly the person she was. Then she was as sweet and kind and lovely did you see her early stuff there? I think she was two years behind me and that the freshmen were not allowed to do that. Shows so. I may have seen her in a scene here in a scene there, and then I didn't do my senior year, which is when she would have started to be cast so like what did you learn there? How you just bailed on your senior year? Why? Because you didn't bail, I did a movie you're, a god. What do you want? It's one, is horrible movies, it was a movie, it was hardly weinstein's first moving. It was a little horrified
Oh Allah, friday, the thirteenth called the burning summer camp terror first movie, so you knew him at the beginning. I was aware of him. Opens a new and whether I am hang the end producer. It was a producer, I think harvey Brother were concert promoters in buffalo, new york, drivetime and yet wanted to get into the sunlight and, as far as I know, is their first film and it ran late and went late. So I didn't get back to school in time to start the last year and I was going to take one semester off. Ah and I I got a very good gig in new york and I. additives, stand, do that and then gig led the gig and I never got back what we owe earning their. Did you wait Would you want me talking talk Harrington here I mean, did you feel, like you know like alright, you got the movies who's, the guy that I took a class of that there was his name bill, young mobile, young, yeah, sure yeah yeah,
because I was I want to be, but I was not. I did stage troupe, but I I took the class to class up there as a selective, and that was you did it the right way yeah because I thought it was a whole yeah. I thought they were really trying to be like a complete program like yale they are. I know I do a lot of teaching these days and I teach a lot of I go around. Do master classes at universities and acting yeah and I honestly don't believe that the best training for anyone in the arts is at a college and not because they don't have The teachers are not because they don't have good curriculum by the very nature of a college program, they're on a schedule and artists learned a craft right in the time it takes them to learn it yet But the college need you to go on to the next thing right, so you find that you are burning through ideas before you really grog with this is dealt with in college. That's correct, like anything in they are right. You Ass doing even english unless you,
The thing like engineering is right in its math and science. You kind of have a barometer for you need to know this before you re, because yet because that's why I've really says, I wish I'd go to college now right. If I were to go again, and so my my oldest son, who is in the news in this business, he went to yale and he went as a theater major, but that's not a conservatory program, so he actually got an education. He got a great educate. What does that mean? It's not a conservative, So all I studied it. Be you because its conservatory style, our ground is, I was doing movement, vocal production, acting technique, history of the theatre and stagecraft, and I had like one or two elective and why- I thought you guys had to take. I can elective right. Where are all I had no matter science requirements? I had no language requirements. I did not need to get a you know: a real educate, now many kind, I solely folk right on the craft, but I was stuck in the area. I dont think doing that at a car, I wouldn't recommend it for kids but well yeah, like what did you get out and the odds are against you,
true, no matter where you studied, but I'm not, but I mean, but that's what I mean is that, like you know at least with a little a few other things, yeah right, well, rounded rice and when you get out and you can't get a job in the theory, you don't go, applied a restaurants and joined them, you're swordsmanship, and even in the inter programs, they. You know the whole notion right now, and this is a I'm on the dean's advisory board for beer for this college, and the thing we keep talking about is even the name: college of theatre go right. No actor is making their living solely in the theater. So this is a misnomer It should be the college of performing art because you need to understand film. You need to understand caliber right, not yet not yet it is still a a a hyper focused on it, such as boston university. It's all these guys to also wait
they don t. You are you're, saying that they see their regional aid business of the theatre. There is no obvious needy and there's not a real, a merely act on other medium there's, no idea. I came out of college, I didn't know if I wanted to put up a play if I wanted to take a space and put up a plan and not a bug, it right. I didn't know what a stage manager there should be an option of productions. It should emergence you want to if you're going to teach a performing art yeah. Yes, you have to teach the technical right of the trade, but you also you can teach people to go out and be underpinned oars. They gotta be able to do the business of this growing. Don't you know how that happens? The weight, the old school ways you go out. You fail as an actor and you like I kind of like this world, and then you go talk to the guy the door. Not all I can do, and here I mean when how it stern graduated, be you there is no such thing as a pod cast. They had to get a job and somebody's radio station is out of work. Now
there's no reason that actor can't work every day, but they got to know how to make their own stuff. They now have to know how to develop material put things together. I think so I get us out of our hands. It is by the answer. In some ways it you know you can get deluded. You know in this. set like did there's something about taking your hits, and I think that you know self producing. You know at a certain level you, think you're doing something with you. I mean something, even if you failure doings. But how do you know if you succeed or found thing like anyone could put something out into the world right, but how does it get traction? What does it mean Hell differences at the big challenge. I do you make money brave new world. Is that how do you monetize? What we do, what barometer a success but the but I know more actors that sat a rat that are gone now if they dont been worked out of our business. Why? Because they had nothing in their king. for other than to sit around with their talent and hope to Christ that somebody threw a job or an opportunity at them, because they couldn't
you weren't even hours it. Oh yeah. I went to school with some people that you ve never heard of that where some of the media people I've ever seen in my life, I've known guys like that yeah yeah What about that? That that is? Is there a natural sort of the thinning? of the herd that you know I think one of the things that we see now is that there are more opportunities if you can find them. Yes, but some people are just not cut out for this shit. That's absolutely right, that's true, but but I'd love to see what I think is exciting about these times is that is that if you, if you are willing to try and create your own opportunity, you can when I was you really couldn't that right where you needed. There were gay means of reeling at her too to target, but all that stuff is still there in there. The level of it is true it determining what what is success you you're, making a living absolute is, is important. You know
any it's hard to say that, like even something like would with in the media landscape we live and now what is felt ever even happening. Never if wages won't, we wouldn't We were I so not ahead. We weren't produce. I mean from my understanding we weren't produce sing enough of an audience. The only reason we kind of kept going is that the audience we were getting was the demographic that it was very hard to get. It was the guys you know sure into the right, so advertisers would throw some coins Let us, but right had no, we did not have an audience that would have sustained a tv show in that day and age, or this day. that's right, yeah and now, because there are so many different. It's like there's so many great shows on you like. Where is it and why don't even know where that is what is it gonna? What's going on, but like? What do you teach? What so? What's the structure
when you say you go out so I, when I left college I mean I or every school does a very fine job of introducing theater students to the tools of the craft which I didn't even know existed when I went in, I thought you just memorize the lines and pretend to be the actor you thought would be good in the but I was my idea of act. Did you learn the tools I did and your day how to use meat to the tools, but what they didn't do and might have gone further. Had I done my final year, but they so if you teach me might have had a better career, I might have revive, might have done about area If I always say I use this analogy. So if you know nothing about construction, I show you how to use a hammer sure how to use a drill. I show you how to use a saw. I show you how to use the tools yeah. The tools is our software hurt yourself and now I say: ok go build a house, I don't know how to build a house yeah, you don't you don't have a methodology to use those tools to create something here. So when I've school and I started finding different teachers. Looking for that clarity, it took me a couple years I met larry, moss and I studied without here yeah. I shall I met larry in new york
and then I started with several years there. Then he moved here when I got here. I resumed study with Larry and I d I did about twelve years of work on and on. one on one class to class Larry among having his own students used to teach at circle in the square in new york, and that's where my wife met him sang his praises to the sun and the stars and I did a a little workshop in new york when I you know like I was two years out of school yeah and he had two students in it who I thought were spectacular and he came to a performance and he said, came right up to me afterwards and went very good, but I can make you much better. Oh yeah end, and so I join with, but Larry Larry introduced me to a methodology that I could understand to plug those tools in rife and that, basically, when I teach I ve built on what would he gave me in some things that I described along the way I go to actors that go. I know all that, but if I say no an actor. Ok, I give you a piece of material. How do you? How do you do what you do and they got what I kind of and most actors? That's the end,
I kind of this, a kind of that it's a little bit instinctual We don't have any ideas on acting now. So what do you know why? I read the script that I read the material out. I start to you, I say the lines out loud reading out loud love, yet you're on our decide I'll make some choices outlining. How do you do? How do I read the lines or how they make their choices? from reading out loud. I can try to understand how it's being said and what I can do to make it my own right, and then I'll start memorizing and then and then I got to wait till the other guy comes to move around in it. That's what most actors do when I am part of that actually is is unavoidable. do that. I don't have much training so the next level. So what actors? to make choices about. Is your your carefully and selectively building the illusion that somehow
You are this person inhabiting the circumstances in this war yeah? So the first thing I talk about I have actors come in and they start with monologues yeah and then a monologue they're talking to somebody like one who you're talking to you're the one who are you talking To wait. You have not you I mean. Is one thing to feel the word. I feel the material which ran out of what you're talking about you get into a space either here somewhere and you start to say, words out loud. You see how you they affect you and you affect them. Ok, but I know who I am talking to him on a show. So I know that You know the idea of your talk here, but you don't know what they're going to you don't know who they are. You have so, for instance, if I do because I'm doing I'm on a show, but like you're saying in the yeah, but even even so,
What I love about our readers, thoughts grip here- is jerry on their yeah. You know what's going to happen, but who is jerry to george friend? What does that mean? Why our friends, friends, when that? What makes a friend a friend, what do you get friend that makes them a friend and on seinfeld it's going to be exact opposite of anything you answer, because as we were friends with people who we have a natural some. Attica where our ethics are ideas, our creativity are they line up. I feel somehow. Appreciated by that britain. Ah, you reasons? Friends are friends so for an actor specifics are your best friends specifics what the more you can go. I specifically have this. I specifically
as the deeper and richer your work goes, I see so when you have an actor that comes in he's, doing hamlet and he's doing a scene between hamlet and gertrude, his mother ray, and I go who you're talking to. He goes wild guy characters. Talking to his mother, I got aha, but It doesn't exist. This is somebody's idea on a piece of paper, you're, a real person, pretending to be this person. So are you talking to it's mother because she doesn't exist either? So who are you talking to And now the right answer that the answer is: what is the relationship between hamlet and his mother right? Is it in some productions? It's an incestuous relationship in his mind in some productions, its eight full relationship in some production? it's a lost relationship where you, so you have to decide who let's mother is the hamlet and then to explore that, in order to say those words out loud in a way that is guaranteed to effect you, you have to create a mother. Why it has the end when people so I used my mother. I got what does that mean
How many rolls does your mother play in your life in which mother are you talking to, and so everybody go and they have a very complicated it's made. Everybody believe, It is simple and it can and ultimately all this complexity is to get back to something very, very simple and organic and institutional. But hours at the ground and most act and by the way, good actors, great actors, better actors than me. a lot of them are just insane they don't know how to do with they're doing they just feel it. They get their you're. Okay with that, but I do theater, right and I gotta tell ya at six months anna thursday night. I ain't feeling shit, so I better have some tea make behind me in order to create this illusion for the audience at something's happening there. That's what it's for anything this is something that really affects theatre actors more than film actors, because film actors have to get their once. Theatre actors have to get their over and over and over and over, and I was
at my was trained for and all my fantasies of a career were about being a theater actor and all this other stuff was just gravy and icing on the cake. That's what you want it! That's all. I imagined I? I thought he never thought was going to me. somehow wind up working in the new york theater. That was my fantasy of success. You by date, movies were not part of it. I didn't think about them, you think I wouldn't you I, like you left neuter so much. What would what is? I was always excite whenever I went well. First of all, that's how I became an act. I pulled into this theatre company. I know Then you go with you, you go. You go see, theater and you'd be just absolutely I love the greatest nights of my life have been nights spent either on the stage or in the audience of a of a stage yeah. I love it. I love it because again, my thing is magic. Magic gets me off that.
Is the most exciting illusion in the world. Nothing on that stage is real. Was the thing and yet you suspend all the people sit in a magic show and go yeah. He didn't saw a woman and have nobody goes come on. He wasn't her father. They don't do that as we had a real part of its it's. It's a very exciting illusion that you can really get people to invest in, but you have to do it well and everybody has to do it well. At the same time but yeah. You know, as you became more professional, that the thrill was not losing yourself. It was doing the job right. Yeah I mean, or do you still in the the thrill was the detective you know case of who is this person? What is this? then, how do I built in the character and then out in that I went from I hate rehearsing. I can't wait to perform cause. I so desperately I needed the affirmation right to I could, which is why I try now to do more directing than acting, because I don't really, I don't crave or need the applause. I love the discovery process and to be part of the ensemble yeah, I'm working with
on the one with it. What were some of the like mine, blowing kind of things it really he kept. You excited about theatre, if you so much theater at that time, when you're younger I get you must have seen a lot of great stuff in new york. I saw a lot of greatest a lot of terrible sure, but where their performance is ray. I wholly share the performance that made me go. I have to do this year was bearing and pippen really net. Huh, and I'm not alone in that I've. I've known ben- and I were not friends, but I've been at things with him and gotten to chat with him and I and alive people had that experience he he was so extraordinary in that piece and a theatrical in some magical and so charismatic that it made a lot of people go. I have to try and do that yeah and it's
and with me I know his readings. I know his. I mean you know that that performances that was eased in my mind, but I saw I mean I saw amazing things I saw anthony hopkins, do equus on broadway I saw malka, which in burning burn absolutely as it were, that three page rant that he adds on with negative wig and a good one. Hard lot, o hara, I mean it's those its those things that just go. Oh, my god! I was here when that happened. it's living and breathing right in front of me and even the the I love musicals, and I know there are people that genetically just hate musicals I genetically like I'm I'm repressed musical lover like I don't seek them out, but when I go, I'm always like. Oh I love them. I get crazier love them when they're good yeah. If something right, it's like magic is used. People start singing. I get out here
I dont know what it is here. I do not know what it is about. Many people singing on a stage, because there is something about you know. We as a creature, raise our voices song at the heightened moments of our lives. There either celebre tory or they are at our deepest despair. That's when we sang and so I think that the act of lifting in the music, just with your wherever it is You'D- have had enter that where'd. You are nat life observation, That thought, like a does really not in college. They didn't teach me that in now why you did it looks like you before seinfeld I don't I dunno what your timeline is, but you were on stage constantly and knew I had a broadway guess so seinfeld happened around nineteen ninety and I came out. College in nineteen eighty and I spent the 80s merely doing broadway and off broadway and commercials
and with a little bit of a tiny, filmore, tiny tv finger right you are. You were anywhere content extremely. I never thought I'd. I I didn't think life could get better cause you're on stage all the time I was I was a working theater actor in new york city, making a fine lit. I put money in the bank every year, my wife and I lived great and I I didn't think. Benny thing be: has the crowd in place that would enable you six months I was getting it. I mean you know I was there. I am still learning, but but in the eighties. I was really putting pieces together and I think it important when you said that you start to somebody else about that about that specific thing about maybe with tracy. Let's about about you know like six months and were you you know when you got nothing, but you got to do it. That's the job you that's a hell of a thing. You know you know, you know it is a kind orders, a comic too that, like you, know, I eat. I drank some audiences.
the garbage home yeah. After a certain point, when people are coming to see you write that you've gone to the save that for your own head yeah, you bet you earn it But so you're doing that and then and then do Other thing is like all world did. changing things There are three things that happened back to back in a changed. My life one was winning the tony award in nineteen, eighty nine, for a show that I had no idea would even put me in the running for such a thing as I didn't really it was that it was a dance review mila and I was an actor in dance review, but right it was flashy enough in in it. Meta, somehow one it was called Jerome robins brought like there's a big celebration of durham robins any were singing and dancing and singing and dancing and plain a bunch of characters when the tone, and then somehow that put me in Garry Marshall's purview, and I got pretty woman and the gas
marshall to rob. Reiner to jerry seinfeld connection began to get me because reiner was a partner castle right, right and and rob was married to penny at that point right, oh wow and then and then glenn. What's his name, a castle was glancing paddock patent airline pad nigger this? I had a weird meeting with Glenn padnick after seinfeld. I thought I was coming in pitching something and he just couldn't be more thrilled about how it went with seinfeld so oh yeah, I'm sure they were all still in shock. Yeah, like whatever I always picture. What does this two thousand and eighteen is still going? I can't believe we yeah yeah yeah, whatever I was purchasing was like. Let me tell you with seinfeld, okay, yeah yeah, but but okay, so Those things happen and, and then everything he did changes right. So then your costanza for a decade and you have it yeah. For the most part, I am I was there. I got a little cranky with it in the last two years.
when Larry David left after season, seven yeah and I felt like the best of george, went with them because you know I read. That was the alter ego. He was writing and I I and the writing staff at that point all unbelievably talented guys who have gone onto huge careers here, but I felt like they didn't quite understand, george to the depths that Larry did. so it wasn't. The stories were a little less interesting to yeah, but that may have just been the fatigue of you doing this for its part in nine years in us and right in that's where I guess that that fewer craft had come in yet. But but but doing of the show was always a joy. No, I you know live on there. Well, not even that, but just that just being there for the week planning playing with everybody and rang figuring out what the what the show was going to be in you know. We, the great thing about doing that show was. It was just
would go and laugh. We go down and laugh and try and put this thing together here than other but would laugh when we go home, get a czech adjust it made no sense and right as a job is a lot of work. They'll come on once you're shooting some of those shows. I swear to you. I wish I could say to you, oh what a grind. It was not I you know after it wasn't for Julia and Michael, and I it I'm sure it was for jerry because he wore fifty hats on that show. But we we went from a five day week to a full day week. Two of those days were less than eight hours and yet plans by a long shot less than eight hours, and then to longer days, but it was. We were having a I'm fine, nothing about it was our we weren't and it was, not suddenly entire. I'm your own you're, honest at too, which is a big. We were mostly sound state or on our back right. It was just it was a very. It was a gift give that job and he moved out here to be right. Yet I moved out with
started in ninety and in ninety two, my wife and I got pregnant. We have been going back and forth and I went half like we are going to I mean kid will, and so we we were not a sure thing by any stretch of imagination. Yet but I went let's roll the dice and we let our apartment go and we bought identified eva that. Well, in on it. Alright, I, but even if it was rank control we couldn't. You know what it was. We we had the upper two floors of a three story: townhouse yeah, and so it was just the the people that owned it and us so we couldn't sublet it and we couldn't put a placement. It was was not expensive. If you live there, but when you're carrying two rents yeah it was, it was more than we could bear so sure sure so you come out here and you do it. You do it for a decade, basically right now, but will you ready for it end? Yeah yeah, I mean, I'm sure jerry tells the story. The same way I mean ultimately
everything was his decision, but he starting around season six at the christmas break. He you know we'd all sit down. The four of us would sit down. He goes, do you think we got more in us and we go yeah yeah and season nine season, eight, we kind of went yeah and season nine. You know I didn't. We didn't go into nine, knowing it was going to be the end. It was an inkling, but around christmas he went. I'm thinkin we're done guise of none of us went oh, no! No! No, we'll wait here! I think so, not because it wasn't funny. I mean that with your items were gloriously, funny forever. Why do you wear a prize? Anybody here more you right. You know what these casually gonna do. What do we do with the instructions given, ass, Larry, ultimately, why he left? I think it was always. You know we. We laugh at how Larry couldn't handle the success of a butt.
It always from my understanding. He always saw the doing of seinfeld was a very stressful thing. I mean it was if it broke it going to be him and jerry that broke it, but I think he took more of that responsibility and we would finish every taping he's got a whole season arc laid out on a on a whiteboard somewhere, but we finish every it carried out again gabby down and he would like, like they had no idea for next week, india that, owing to have an idea, you gotta draft the rights, but he would feel that that pressure very acutely in I think after seven years and the money may be well. I can't do this anymore right, ryan, J and jerry felt like he had a little more left in it. did interesting to me that, like you, after you do this, you go on. You do movies, you do animated movies. I do you, you ass, you do series of your own briefly, and he did it just working yeah. By that point I had I had started to believe
cause. I always believed when seinfeld started to hit. I went. Oh I'm done I'm done because at that point historically, if you were on a hit tv show and you played an iconic character, ever yeah. You would not! You are invited to the party anymore, so I said I'd better start diversifying and may be trying to start a few things. So, I started doing a lot of Seoul. I started doing it because I was a singer I could do symphony shows with pop orchestra, as I start doing, that it's right yeah. I started doing a lot of corporate hosting gigs where it was light, stand up cause. I was never stand up like my writing partner. I could come up with just enough what was that. So that was so. This was just a terror. Was that earn a living you were given trying? It was more to do so. I dont know I was. I was forty
if you want seinfeld and I wasn't quite ready to show you know, buy a boat and go say so and I had been. I have fell into a production company deal from a movie, so I had a production company for ten years. We were always developing tv and film and I just never had a lot of clout and I wasn't, I think. Ultimately I wasn't very good at it. I was good at part of the job, but not all the job. I and my tv series, you know so the first now after cyber was this thing by patterson, which russia that I will go to my grave going good show area show right. There were couple things on it that I think. If we had done a second season, we would figure it out and asked, but if I go back and look at them that their
funny. It was a real, unique idea. We went on the air days after nine eleven, oh yeah, and nobody was laughing now we were up against tough rodgers yeah and we had a lot of things structurally going against us and and one of the things that I've never been fortunate to have. Since seinfeld was a you know, a bullet proof, part of the team rat guy who was much higher up the food chain than me. I was always hovering near the top of the food chain on the product yeah, and I was not strong enough to have that role right. So when the going got tough, I didn't have the experience to know how to fix it or play the politics or whatever was needed, and so they would ultimately crash or to get a series over the top
to keep it going when part of it is just creative rights and part of it is, is kind of knowing how to play the game whose whose wrapping you? How do you all right right? How do you get your agent to muscle and reduce heard? I didn't dams, I'm still a dummy about that's I've done to. What is that you, you bet, but that doesn't seem to be a foolproof thing. You know helpful it can either get your over a hump, and I felt like with Bob patterson. We had a hump and if we could have gotten over it, I think we would have been ok, but we could not have enough people at bath, for you know, and we had a tough situation nobody's fault, but we had to compete studios co, producing that you are young and old, moodily almah, I'm gettin notes for everybody. What area after I have no idea in the area, and we are, maybe see, and at the time a b c had two presidents and one of them kind of liked us and I think the other one really really didn't kind of like as a cancer. There was an internal conflict there and it just everything about it was not so
apophis exactly that's what that's the one thing that people don't always realize is that you know you have your thing, but then, No one knows like what the fuck is going on in a corporate level who just left who's coming in. You know who- who do they like who they not like? Absolutely you know it's not just busy. He is right there at all. It's not just! Oh it's a really funny shown only reality, lot more go and yet raven and railways. The part that I did not write another understand. Yet it's a heartbreaking part where it when you like, which is sort of that in this sense it what you're talking about teaching younger people today about taking more ro of their stuff here. Is that you usually don't have? It and you know you no matter how big you are, how big an actor you are whatever. If you it's how a million tickets, then you still gotta, be like we gotta do that. I gotta wear the assets yeah. If you want us to do what yep yeah, but that didn't work at all right.
Yeah and now, when you do all these other parts, where you do like two episodes here, a little episode, arcs as a guest to characters. Do you do it because you love it yeah? It's a combination. I try not to do something where I'm not attractive. He is he's ripe for the people. Writing it, but sometimes I I mean that there's nothing. You do for the money anymore. Thank you jerry and god what could be the same person for a lena tell him that, but that, but you do like to you like to go. I want to make sure I still know how to do this. You know so it it I'd rather work than not work right. Given the choice yeah, I don't want to do something that I don't believe has any merit. You know if you're
a little reputation and you do something you're kind of saying that the audience I think you're gonna like this. I never want to not be thinking that going right, so I get a little picky with that. But generally I like to work I like to work with younger folks and see what what's on their mind and what's going on, but generally, if somebody who I respect is doing something and and it's being done with integrity and they invite me on board, generally will go and the are you do do seek movies. Think anybody in our business doesn't seek meter. I dont think they're. Looking for me, I mean if the reason oscars I haven't had nothing contention. about ten years. Yet it gets it gets against it. You know it's like I never thought I was a movie guy. I find that people in movies my stock in trade, is I'm kind of every man here
remind everybody of somebody. Yeah I find that movies are populated by people that really have a very distinctive walk on the screen, you go got it got it and I'm not that, yeah yeah yeah, but you know it may be a combination of, if they don't want george, and that is a thing for some of them. They don't want an iconic recognizable thing or they may not think you, it'd be it's weird. You know I can separate you from george now sitting here talking to you. I imagine that that's a relief isn't it it is. Can I also say you know the audience doesn't watch Tom hanks assemblies limburg and go oh focused come here. I cannot really is not a thing, but it is odd that some people can completely transcend iconic roles on tv, but it's if it's not many know it is really wild. You know I have nothing, but the truth is I loved I have
I loved doing movies. On a couple of occasions where I've been the director, every minute of it exciting leah as an actor. I find many of the minutes. Not, You know guys a out of minutes a lot of minutes and you're, always hot or old or tired, or travellers not great or yes, you not home and its, I did the movie people cause it's it yeah, it's a you're out of your life yeah and it's hard. It's a hard existence. Now what about stage yeah love it? I just finished a piece in new york. I was doing from august to christmas. What was that it was a new john Patrick shanley play to manhattan the vehicle. So he's still doing all that I do now I kept theater. I kept the theater outside of l a at an arm's distance. When my kids were young right now, you can
But now there are grown ups, that's so now, I'm I'm going to do it again like what? What do you? What are you hoping to play? I mean a. Reduces, was great a right and he did you did their wearies play arise, but but what would you like if they bring back somethin would you want to. There is only one part in the theater that I pine for and I'm probably a little old to at this one. I owe you and you it's not something that people would think of before, but I always wanted to do sweeney todd, oh yeah, because if you're going to do a role that somebody's done, you kind of I always think. Well, what can I bring to it? That makes it worth doing for an audience, and I think there are things about sweeney Todd and that that I haven't seen actor incorporate or deal with what could be really exciting about non musical traditional drama? There is nothing I pine for yeah, You know, there's no!
I want to play willy loman. I would you know if it was the right production. I would be excited to do it. I don't know that I am going reinvent the wheel, willie willy loman. I don't think you know I mean I didn't get to see philip seymour hoffman do it and that the response critically to him was that he reinvented the role. I would have loved to have seen that because that's a rare thing to be able to take write a rule like that and not step into echoes of what has been done before right. If he was able to do that, I really would have loved to have sorry. I missed it. They didn't tape, it huh no well! Well, it seems like your good life is
and the baseball's been very good to me how old's your kids, my younger one, is about to turn twenty two and my older one will be twenty six in may wow, yeah he's doing good he's a he's, a good actor and a very funny guy he's got a two man sketch comedy team here in town does a lot of improv where they working at? U c v, or he does mostly they work out of the io space. Oh yeah, but he's done eusebio groundlings he's done all that stuff and he's with like seven improv teams in town. That's a new thing, Well, it gets them. It's great. It's the ten thousand hour thing. You know it's get up and do something feel like improv in particular. I think that's one of those things like what you're talking about like I've noticed just from waking seinfeld days that the the for what you know. What makes a show I used to be with it. We got a comic he's, got a point of view. Would those shall show away, but these people that come up through sketch the improv. They learn very right at the beginning, how to work with other people, how to direct how to put things together. I mean that's really where it's at
and that's the new? Well, that's kind of what I'm talking about. So my son gave. Has this whole network now young writers, filmmakers directors either that yet so he could instantly doing stuff right. Eventually, one of those things is going to make a different. That is that that is where it happens. It's the improv community in province, sketch community, it's very exciting and they're. All you know. Norwood May I go to these things and I go yeah, I'm not hip to what they're doing his stuff. I got. Well, that's really! Smart! That's really funny and really smart. You get it network. Yeah! Do you ever do improv I've done it. I've never studied it. I've. I've looked at it and I've jumped into it and and I can hold my own, but I you know, I don't know the rules, I don't know you know always say yes, and then I see the difference between him province, acting yeah and you'll you'll acting.
Scenes become interesting. The minute there's conflict minute, there's a conflict. Something starts to happen. an improv. They go yes, and so my instinct and improve forgot to go. The ship is sinking. but it doesn't have to yeah. If you do this, why can't do that? But you must do this and then I go now, I'm in a scene right here. My son will go yet that you fucked it up I am so. Do you ever go back to jersey? I don't have failed Injures? What about the avonlea? Hey we're having what happened to Bruce davidson Bruce Davison. When last I understand is a doctor in illinois oak doing quite well. I saw him he had. He brought his kids to allay, and we all know that the farmers markets have stand down there and got up a little bit air there I think, he's the one guy. You mentioned
we sisters and his and his three sisters came to see me do a play in the org. I can't remember it was Larry's player this last one, but yeah and you'd talked to everybody from the show. Still, no, nobody will not nobody, but I I hardly ever communicate with jerry yeah michael, I don't even know where Michael is he and Julia VON julius being able to have so, and I adore enjoy yeah. I just haven't heard from her, so I know how she's doing emails, how she's doing good god, I hope so yeah Larry, occasionally yeah yeah yeah yeah. But you know my my closer relationships from that show are people like Patrick warburton brian? and then some of the bench right, jerry, Stiller yeah, for whatever reason, the four of us- and I hope it doesn't make people sadder, think where we were odd. Jerry and Julia Michael and I were never really social friends, so with interact shoot the show
go hey, yeah. So when the show ended, we had no history of that That is a very odd thing. They you know you create this illusion for people of this unity, but You know when you're done you're done. I was on the radio for a couple of years with a guy. We never did nothing right, and I talked to penn and teller tell her, and you know I'm always amazed that relationship, because that really does professional colleagues. Socializing will hang. How could you on some level it's, but it's kind of brilliant, because what I, what I found with our show is that I had such limited expectations of anything side of the said. Where I was never disappointed right in our desire and they expect them to come to my openings- I didn't expect them to unite, send me birthday cards and we just wasn't that basing its work. It was a great place to go to work legally in under the the jackhammer. That's when we got a rapporteur is that what it is pleasure mark great aki. I'm glad we did it
that's it? That's our show. I hope you enjoyed that jason again at the new jersey performance, art center in newark and state theater, new brunswick April 14th and 15th, with the new jersey, symphony orchestra, we go to wtf pod dot com tries tour for my europe dates. I'm coming to london, oslo, amsterdam, stockholm and dublin. In a couple of weeks, and I have yet to set up the guitar so bear with me we're in the new space, I'm surrounded by foam being held in place by dowels dowells tape. Honestly and can do, and I get the guitars go and soon now get that make up soon. I'm just trying to get settled in a right
Transcript generated on 2022-07-30.