I'd like to name my kid a whole phrase. You know, something like "Ladies and Gentlemen". That'll be a cool name for a kid. "This is my son, Ladies and Gentlemen!" Then, when he gets out of hand, I get to go, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please!"
What comedy really is is connecting with a group of people, and just speaking at a heightened level without any barriers and saying things that are raw id, and having people really respond to it. You know, that’s really what it is, and that’s why there are people that I look at as comedy role models that aren’t comedians, like Muhammad Ali. The way he spoke to audiences and crowds and stuff, if you watch some of his preaching to Nation of Islam crowds? Hilarious, and amazing, like he knew who the people were. He said, “You know what the fuck I’m talking about!” and he explained it to them.
And also Malcolm X, watching Malcolm X speeches -- a guy who’s saying to these people, “Nobody’s saying what you want to hear. I’m saying it ‘cause I’m one of you. And I’m one of the worst of you.” That’s just huge. That’s what it is I think to be a comedian.
It seems like the better it gets, the more miserable people become. There’s never a technological advancement where people think, “Wow, we can finally do this!” … And I think a lot of it has to do with advertising. Americans have it constantly drilled into our heads, every fucking day, that we deserve everything to be perfect all the time.
I just don’t trust any of it. Every time I read something about how there’s been another ridiculous climb of the Dow Jones, there’s a part of me that goes, “This can’t be good.” None of this is real money. You know what I mean? It’s not like there’s actually more of anything. It’s just ideas. When people are getting richer and richer but they’re not actually producing anything, it can’t end well.
Even after 9/11, during the darkest moment of our recent history, the President told us, “Go shopping.” That’s how we were told to uphold American values; go out and fucking buy more shit. So what were we supposed to do?
Credibility lasts about two cycles of bad material, and then you’ll probably never get it back. If you let people down, that’s really hard to come back from– harder than climbing from nothing to something, even.
Out of the people that ever were, almost all of them are dead. There are way more dead people, and you’re all gonna die and then you’re gonna be dead for way longer than you’re alive. Like that’s mostly what you’re ever gonna be. You’re just dead people that didn’t die yet.
Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce … That would be sad. If two people were married and they were really and they just had a great thing and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times.
I did a show in New Jersey in the auditorium of a technical high school … Technical high school, that’s where dreams are narrowed down. We tell our children, “You can do anything you want.” Their whole lives. “You can do anything!” But this place, we take kids – they’re 15, they’re young – and we tell them, “You can do eight things. We got it down to eight for you.”
I had to be the head of the household really for the first time and say okay, I have to actually make a rule that we’re going to live by here. And I decided what it was is that the family comes over the work always. I mean, with the kids it’s a priority. Because I wanted them to have a feeling like they could count on me like I was really there, I wasn’t just visiting. I didn’t want one of these moments like, “Jeez, honey, I’m sorry I’m not going to see you this week or this month or whatever because I’m going to LA.” I got some offers early that go out to LA and do parts on sitcoms and I said no, because it meant going and being away for a month.
I remember the day I saw my hair was thinning. I don’t remember caring much. I don’t care. It’s just hair. It never bothered me much. I was pretty young, too. And it happened and is happening veeery slowly. I have a feeling dead people get really mad when we complain about losing hair.
It’s been a very old thing for people to gather together and laugh at stuff. The first comedian in America really was Abraham Lincoln … He used to go to a pub near where he lived and stand in front of the fire and he packed the place every night and he would just talk and bust everybody in their guts. He was just a hilarious speaker and that’s what he did.
The Greatest Generation gets too much credit. Those World War II guys, if they had all the shit we have today, they’d be assholes too. It’s just circumstantial. It’s what you’re called on to do that makes you great. We haven’t been called on to do anything but buy shit and get fat.
The earliest stand-up comedy I was aware of was Bill Cosby … I watched Saturday Night Live as soon as I was aware of it, and Monty Python used to be on PBS at weird hours, so I used to try to watch that. And I loved George Carlin on SNL, that was the first stand-up I ever really remember seeing on TV. And then Steve Martin. I guess I was in fifth or sixth grade when Steve Martin showed up, and he was instantly my idol. And Richard Pryor around the same time too, I sort of became aware of him, though I don’t remember the first time I saw him.
The last jobs I had were fixing cars and covering football games for a local access TV station. As in driving the mobile van to the field, setting up 3 cameras, teaching depressed grownups and interns how to use them and directing the game from the van and then wanting to kill myself.
Well, I think “likability” is an overused word. I don’t watch people ’cause I like them; I watch them because they’re compelling. Sympathetic is a little different … Likable just thins you out. Working to make a character likable is what kills most TV shows.
One time, I threw a candy wrapper on the street … I was with a friend who said to me, “You just littered on the street! Don’t you care about the environment?” And I thought about it, and I said, “You know what? This in’t the environment. This is New York City … New York City is not the environment. New York City is a giant piece of litter. Next to Mexico City, [it’s] the shittiest piece of litter in the world. Just a pussy, runny, smokin’, stinkin’ piece of litter.
Bill Gates has 90 billion dollars … If I had 90 billion dollars, I wouldn’t have it for long because I would just dream of all the crazy stuff I could do with it. This guy, 90 billion dollars. He could buy every baseball team and make them all wear dresses and still have 88 billion dollars.
To me, comedies are usually the least funny movies. Movies that are actually a comedy are usually not all that funny. To me Goodfellas and Raging Bull are two of the funniest movies I ever saw. [Vulture, 2010]
The Jackass movies are honestly some of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I laugh so hard at them. Those guys are geniuses. If they had grown up with a different group of people, they could’ve been performance artists at Bard College, and people would be writing papers about them.
Whenever single people complain about anything, I really want them to shut the fuck up. First of all, if you’re single, your life has no consequence on the earth. Even if you’re helping people aggressively, which you’re fucking not, nobody gives a shit what happens to you. You can die, and it actually doesn’t matter. It doesn’t. Your mother will cry or whatever, but otherwise, nobody gives a shit.
Twitter and Facebook and MySpace; all that stuff makes you warped. We’ve all basically given ourselves data entry jobs. I’ve actually heard people say things like, “Aw shit, I have to update my Twitter.” Really? You have to? That’s a big priority for you?
There’s a huge amount of work that goes into placating a network in regular television. It’s literally 70% or 80% of your workload, is showing them the material, getting their notes and presenting it to them and making sure they weigh in. It’s a huge amount of work.
I remember reading an article about Frasier when it was going off the air – a very sad obituary from a TV writer who said that Frasier was such a smart show, and it was for the Mensa set. And he gave an example, where he quoted some line about a woman that Frasier thinks is very mean and he says, “Her idea of tough love is the Spanish Inquisition.” And they thought that was very smart—just because he mentioned something from history.
There’s a need to perfect things in a writers’ room, and that can take a lot of fun out of a show sometimes. It’s a struggle. It depends on your personality. Some people love working with a writing staff. I had a great writing staff on Lucky Louie, but it sometimes felt like Congress or something.
Sometimes I just want to tell a story regardless of whether it fits what the show is saying. I’ve been in a lot of writing rooms where somebody says an idea and everyone’s dying, like laughing so they’re delirious. It’s like a black hole in a good way, everything starts to fall into it, you know what I mean.
And then after a few minutes everybody calms down and somebody says yeah, we can’t do it that way, it doesn’t make any sense, because it hurts this thing and this. And then everyone gets a little—has a moment of silence for the idea and moves on, and something amazing was kept away from the public.
I wish I could [keep a journal]. I have a lot of journals with one page half written in. I sometimes will write myself a quick email on my Blackberry when I think of something.
I can’t sit down and write jokes. I just flows in from some maddeningly elusive place. Believe me, if I had an Alaska in my brain, I would drill baby drill, and I’d cum right on Sarah’s back while I was there.
All these words we use, anybody can be a genius now. It used to be you had to have a thought no one ever had before or you had to invent a number. Now, it’s like, “Hey, I’ve got a cup in case we need another cup.” “Dude, you’re a genius!
Please stop it with voting for Trump. It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over.
Trump is not your best. He's the worst of all of us. He's a symptom to a problem that is very real. But don't vote for your own cancer. You're better than that.
Because we don't want the first bit of sad, we put it away with phone,*beep*, for the food, you get a little fell kind of. You're never feel completely sad or completely happy, just feel kind of satisfied with your product. And then you die.
I want to address the stories told to The New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.
These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.
The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them.
I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen. Thank you for reading.
How many advantages can one person have? I'm a white man!
I don't have a gun, but if I did, I would shoot a baby deer in the mouth and feel nothing.
Last week I got a flu that I caught, 'cause my daughter coughed … into my mouth.
A man will cut your arm off and throw it in a river, but he'll leave you as a human being intact. He won't fuck with who you are. Women are non-violent, but they will shit inside of your heart.
The meal is not over when I'm full. The meal is over when I hate myself.
I'm buying a Cinnabon … at the airport … I arrived at. You understand why that's extra disgusting, right? Because when you're at the airport you're leaving from, you can say, "Oh, I gotta eat. I need some food, because I might be trapped in the sky forever, so I should eat right now." But I've landed. The trip is over. I'm 20 minutes from my house, where I got bananas and apples and shit. And I'm sitting on my luggage just fucking eating a Cinnabon with a fork and knife.
When girls go wild, they show their tits to people. When women go wild, they kill men and drown their kids in a tub.
Every day starts, my eyes open and I reload the program of misery. I open my eyes, remember who I am, what I'm like, and I just go, "Ugh" …"
Louie – Season 1, Episode 3.
I— finally, I have the body that I want, and that's a thing people really covet. It's a hard thing to achieve, and I did. And I'm going to tell you how to have exactly the body that you want. You just have to want a shitty body. That's all it is. You have to want your own shitty, ugly, disgusting body.
If you're older, you're smarter. I just believe that. If you're in an argument with someone older than you, you should listen to 'em ... even if they're wrong, their wrongness is rooted in more information than you have.
A woman saying yes to a date with a man is literally insane and ill-advised, and the whole species' existence counts on them doing it. I don't know how they...how do women still go out with guys, when you consider the fact that there is no greater threat to women than men? We're the number one threat to women. Globally and historically, we're the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women. We're the worst thing that ever happens to them. That's true! You know what our number one threat is? Heart disease.