For me, comedy starts as a spew, a kind of explosion, and then you sculpt it from there, if at all. It comes out of a deeper, darker side. Maybe it comes from anger, because I'm outraged by cruel absurdities, the hypocrisy that exists everywhere, even within yourself, where it's hardest to see.
The bad thing about being a famous comedian is that every now and then someone approaches me to tell an old joke. Don't tell me jokes - I have that. People also say the weirdest things, sometimes sarcastic things, and even evil things. They like to provoke to get a reaction.
Sometimes over things that I did, movies that didn't turn out very well - you go, 'Why did you do that?' But in the end, I can't regret them because I met amazing people. There was always something that was worth it.
My mother's idea of natural childbirth was giving birth without makeup. She was hyper-positive - the world is a wonderful place, rainbows and unicorns. If you said anything contrary to her, you were basically exiled.
Tweets? That stuff kills conversation. And people taking pictures with their phone or recording you, sometimes surreptitiously, is creepy. They come up and just start talking to you, and you can see the red light on their phone.
In 'The Secret Agent,' it's basically a character that was admired by Theodore Kaczynski, which is some fan mail you don't really want to open. This is a man who is a chemist and who specializes in making bombs and despises humanity.
The essential truth is that sometimes you're worried that they'll find out it's a fluke, that you don't really have it. You've lost the muse or - the worst dread - you never had it at all. I went through all that madness early on.
I basically started performing for my mother, going, 'Love me!' What drives you to perform is the need for that primal connection. When I was little, my mother was funny with me, and I started to be charming and funny for her, and I learned that by being entertaining, you make a connection with another person.
Look at airport security now. What started out as definite racial profiling is now where the computer picks a name. That's why you get a seven-month-old getting a pat down. [Imitates a security officer.] "Check the diapers. They're full."
We're dealing with fundamentalists... the Amish are fundamentalists, but they don't try and hijack a carriage at needlepoint. And, if you're ever in Amish country and you see a man with his hand buried in a horse's ass, that's a mechanic. Remember that.
If I asked you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell.
I was in Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Bahrain. The first year I went pretty much by myself. Then I went with General [Richard] Myers, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The shows and audiences were amazing. You'll never get a better group of people.
With mountain biking, it's always that constant thing, negotiating singletrack, which I like, but for a road ride that rhythm is really Buddhist. When you get a good pedal stoke, it's that thing of everything works.
Life is fleeting. And if you're ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day... make a wish and think of me.
The idea of the industrial fishing affects everyone. Those factory ships play this game of hit and run with the international fishing limits, and somebody said it's like hunting squirrels with a bulldozer. They pull everything in and they are only looking for certain types of fish and everything else dies and they just throw it back. It's like chumming.
Honey, you [Michael Jackson] gotta pick a race first. All of a sudden you're a black man, then you're Diana Ross, now you're Audrey Hepburn. Then he's got the little beard going on. He's like Lord of the Rings, the entire cast. Michael's about to jump species.
Beer commercials usually show big men, manly men, doing manly things: 'You've just killed a small animal. It's time for a light beer.' Why not have a realistic beer commercial, with a realistic thing about beer, where someone goes, 'It's five o'clock in the morning. You've just pissed on a dumpster. It's Miller time.'
Everyone has these two visions when they hold their child for the first time. The first is your child as an adult saying "I want to thank the Nobel Committee for this award." The other is "You want fries with that?".
My favorite is when you go to Afghanistan and you meet the special forces guys, and they look like these heavily armed surfers. These guys are the best. You see guys dressed as full Afghans, but then wearing a Yankees hat.
I'm fascinated by the new iPhone. I bought it and kept trying to use it in France. "Siri, what is a good restaurant?" (In a robotic voice.) "I'm sorry, Robin. I can't give locations in France." "Why, Siri?" "I don't know." It's like she was upset with the French or something. "They seem to have an attitude I can't understand. Should I look for Germans, Robin?"
I started doing comedy because that was the only stage that I could find. It was the pure idea of being on stage. That was the only thing that interested me, along with learning the craft and working, and just being in productions with people.
Even when I did my Broadway show, I did 15 minutes no one had seen before, because that was the night that Michael Jackson protested about Al Sharpton bailing on him. I said, "Wow, if that man bails on you, this must be really a lost cause."
Avoid using the word 'very' because it's lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don't use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason boys - to woo women - and in that endeavor, laziness will not do.
I got to ninth grade and there was wrestling, and I went, 'Wait a minute, this is fun.' Basically, it was a chance for a small kid like me to get a chance to wail on another small kid. I went, 'I love this.' The discipline of it was great. Plus, I really started to be good at it.
A Pentagon official once said the people who would actually push the button probably have never seen a person die. He said the only hope -and it's a strange thought - is if they put the button to launch the nuclear war behind a man's heart. The President, then, with a rusty knife, would have to cut out the man's heart, kill the man, to get to the button.
I can see it now: Osama bin Laden goes up to the pearly gates where George Washington comes out, starts beating him and is then joined by 70 other members of the Continental Congress. Osama will say, Hey, wait! Where are my 71 virgins? And George will reply It's 71 Virginians, you asshole!
My childhood was really nice. My parents never forced me to do anything; it was always, "If you want to do that, fine." When I told my father I was going to be an actor, he said, "Fine, but study welding just in case."
When your spinal cord freezes up, you're vulnerable to everything. But he [Chrestopher Reese] was tough as nails. And he kept a great, kind of dark sense of humor about it, but also was able to accomplish amazing things.
I couldn't imagine living the way I used to live. Now people come up to me from the drug days and go, 'Hi, remember me?' And I'm going, 'No, did I have sex with you? Did I take a dump in your tool box?'
I left school and couldn't find acting work, so I started going to clubs where you could do stand-up. I've always improvised, and stand-up was this great release. All of a sudden, it was just me and the audience.
Performing comedy in San Francisco to begin with is pretty wild. You've got to - you've got the human game preserve to play off of. And it's a lot of great characters everywhere. You work off that, and then you play the rooms, and eventually you get to a point where you're playing a club that is a comedy club, with other comics.