When I was in college, I was debating to try my hand at show business, or to become a professor. I just thought of the risk of not going into show business and always wondering if I would've had a chance. Because that's where my real heart was.
I loved doing 'Pennies from Heaven.' Because you have to understand that I'd been doing comedy for 15 to 20 years, and suddenly along came the opportunity to do this beautiful film. It was so emotional to me. I loved it. I don't think it was a good career move, but I have no regrets about doing it.
Everything is fraught with danger. I love technology and I love science. It's just always all in the way you use it. So there's no - you can't really blame anything on the technology. It's just the way people use it, and it always has been.
Bad psychoanalysis would say I enjoyed pleasing people, working really hard and pleasing people, which is probably related to my father in some way. But I really liked working hard. When I worked at Disneyland, I'd do 12 hours straight and go home thrilled.
I think I meant that, given the circumstances of my childhood, I had the illusion that it's easier to be alone. To have your relationships be casual and also to pose as a solitary person, because it was more romantic. You know, I was raised on the idea of the ramblin' man and the loner.
I loved to make people laugh in high school, and then I found I loved being on stage in front of people. I'm sure that's some kind of ego trip or a way to overcome shyness. I was very kind of shy and reserved, so there's a way to be on stage and be performing and balance your life out.
I love technology, and I love science. It's just always all in the way you use it. So there's no - you can't really blame anything on the technology. It's just the way people use it, and it always has been.
L.A. is only where you live, because otherwise it's just a sprawling mass of everything, and I think if you live in L.A., you get a little network of places you go, and people you see, and when you leave town, you do miss those places and your friends.
No matter how many times people say it - 'Oh, I'm just writing this for myself' 'Oh, I'm just doing this for myself' - nobody's doing it for themselves! You're doing it for an audience. So whether I'm performing or writing a book or playing music, it's definitely to be put out there and to be received in some way, definitely.
I feel good about being able to take bluegrass on to television like 'Letterman' and 'The View,' and I've heard nice things about being able to do that. I really haven't felt any negativity toward me or my music.
I was raised with 'Laurel and Hardy' and 'I Love Lucy' and Jerry Lewis, and I just loved it. And I had a friend in high school and we would just laugh all day and put on skits. You know, it's the Andy Kaufman thing or the Marty Short thing where you're performing in your bedroom for yourself.
I have thought about some kind of musical involving my music. That would be kind of interesting. I have thought of it in that way, as a creator of something, not so much a performer. So that's in my head.
I realized that comedians of the day were operating on jokes and punch lines. The moment you say the punch line, the audience either laughs sincerely or they laugh automatically or they don't laugh. The thing that bothered me was that automatic laugh. I said, that's not real laughter.
I don't think anyone is ever writing so that you can throw it away. You're always writing it to be something. Later, you decide whether it'll ever see the light of day. But at the moment of its writing, it's always meant to be something. So, to me, there's no practicing; there's only editing and publishing or not publishing.
I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.
His view of the world is one that keeps his blood pressure low, sweeping the cholesterol from his relaxed, freeway-sized arteries. Everyone knows he is going to live till age ninety, although the question that goes begging is, "for what?"
I do think that animated films have the ability to touch you someplace. There is something about live action movies that is different because we know the characters are real people, so they always stay flawed for us somehow. But animated films touch us in a very clear, uncomplicated place. They have that ability. And an animated character can make an expression in a way humans can't do.
I really like the animated film process. It's kind of like doing a play, because you can experiment with it, rewrite it, screen it, go back, then work on it a little bit more. If the joke doesn't work, you can fix it. It's different from a live action movie.
When I first started doing my comedy act, I just desperately needed material. So I took literally everything I knew how to do on stage with me, which was juggling, magic and banjo and my little comedy routines. I always felt the audience sorta tolerated the serious musical parts while I was doing my comedy.
I would get records by Earl Scruggs... I would tune my banjo down and I'd pick out the songs note by note. Learned how to play that way. I persevered. There was a book written by Pete Seeger, who showed you some basic strumming and some basic picking... And I kind of worked out my own style of playing.
It's like painting the same blank canvas over and over and over and over and over. Once the concept is known, you don't need to see two. And that was in the back of my head, that I was really done artistically with what I had created or pastiched.
You know, a lot of people come to me and they say, "Steve, how can you be so funny?" There's a secret to it, it's no big deal. Before I go out, I put a slice of bologna in each of my shoes. So when I'm on stage, I feel funny.
Art as an aesthetic principle was supported by thousands of years of discernment and psychic rewards, but art as a commodity was held up by air. The loss of confidence that affected banks and financial instruments was not affecting cherubs, cupids and flattened popes. The objects hadn't changed: what was there before was there after. But a vacancy was created with the clamoring crowds deserted and retrenched.
My fear represented the failure of the human system. It is a sad truth of our creation: Something is amiss in our design, there are loose ends of our psychology that are simply not wrapped up. My fears were the dirty secrets of evolution. They were not provided for, and I was forced to construct elaborate temples to house them.
It's so hard to believe in anything anymore. I mean, it's like, religion, you really can't take it seriously, because it seems so mythological, it seems so arbitrary...but, on the other hand, science is just pure empiricism, and by virtue of its method, it excludes metaphysics. I guess I wouldn't believe in anything anymore if it weren't for my lucky astrology mood watch.
The Matisse seemed to respond to the decreasing light by increasing its own wattage. Every object in the room was drained of color, but the Matisse stood firm in the de-escalating illumination, its beauty turning functionality inside out, making itself a more practical and useful presence than anything else in sight.
I didn't come from a wealthy family. I had no money. Maybe it goes back to naivete which is your greatest asset when you're young. If I was starting in comedy today and if it didn't work the first time, I'd probably quit. But I kept at it, kept at it.
I actually learned about sex watching neighborhood dogs. And it was good. Go ahead and laugh. I think the most important thing I learned was: Never let go of the girl's leg, no matter how hard she tries to shake you off.
Some nights, alone, he thinks of her, and some nights, alone, she thinks of him. Some night these thoughts, separated by miles and time zones, occur at the same objective moment, and Ray and Mirabelle are connected without ever knowing it.
Now let's repeat the non-conformists' oath: I promise to be different! (audience repeats) I promise to be unique! (audience repeats) I promise not to repeat things other people say! (audience repeats, laughs) Good!
I just don't identify myself with a place. I just don't get it. Like, why am I cheering for this town? Towns are good and bad but they don't have principles, constitutions. You wouldn't go to war for your town.
What I mean is that none of my talents had a - what's that great word - rubric. A singer, an actor, a dancer - there was nothing I could really say I was. The writing came much later. And, actually, thank God, because if I had said I'm a singer, I would really have just had one thing to do.
If there were a silent observer, Mirabelle would be seen as a carefree, happy girl who is preparing for a night on the town. But in reality, these activities are the physical manifestations of her stillness.
And after his unparsable response, including a passage where he said he was 'blurring the boundaries between a thing and thought,' she said, 'Thank you, I get lost sometimes,' while laying two fingers on his folded arm.
I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a by-product. The course was more plodding than heroic: I did not strive valiantly against doubters but took incremental steps studded with a few intuitive leaps.
If you've got a dollar and you spend 29 cents on a loaf of bread, you've got 71 cents left; But if you've got seventeen grand and you spend 29 cents on a loaf of bread, you've still got seventeen grand. There's a math lesson for you.
I understood that as much as I had resisted the outside, as much as I had constricted my life, as much as I had closed and narrowed the channels into me, there were still many takers for the quiet heart.
As a school board we felt it's an unfair expense to families. The lawsuit has a certain logic to it - if you have free public education, you can't put these things on top of it. It defeats the purpose.
Communication has changed so rapidly in the last 20 years, it's almost impossible to predict what might occur even in the next decade. E-mail, which now sends data hurtling across vast distances at the speed of light, has replaced primitive forms of communication such as smoke signals, which sent data hurtling across vast distances at the speed of light.
I did stand-up comedy for 18 years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success. I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a byproduct. The course was more plodding than heroic.
The conscious mind is the editor, and the subconscious mind is the writer. And the joy of writing, when you're writing from your subconscious, is beautiful - it's thrilling. When you're editing, which is your conscious mind, it's like torture.
I studied with the Maharishi for many years, and really didn't learn that much. But one thing that he taught me, I'll never forget: 'ALWAYS...' no, wait-- 'NEVER...' no, wait, it was 'ALWAYS carry a litter bag in your car. It doesn't take up much room, and if it gets full, you can toss it out the window.'
I first thought maybe I'd do a banjo presentation record, where I'd play a couple of songs and get a bunch of other players to do the rest. Then I realized I had enough of my own songs to do an album of them.
The thing about the banjo is, when you first hear it, it strikes many people as 'What's that?' There's something very compelling about it to certain people; that's the way I was; that's the way a lot of banjo players and people who love the banjo are.
Throughout my whole life, as a performer, I've never played with a band. I've always played alone, so I was never required to stay in rhythm or anything. So it was a real different experience for me to start playing with a band. There were so many basic things for me to learn.
Movies always are open to being remade because times change so much, and the tempo of movies changes. I think of it like a James Bond. They can have different actors play the same role... I've had people come up to me and say, 'We want to remake 'The Jerk' with so and so.' And I say, 'Fine.' It just doesn't bother me. It's an honor actually.
I think when I was young, let's call it high school, and even before that, I just loved comedy, and I loved comedians. I grew up watching Laurel and Hardy. That's really a long time ago. I loved Jerry Lewis. I just loved comedians.
I wish I could do a lot of things different. I'm not going to tell you what they are, but if I had a list of all my films right now, I'd go, 'Okay, I'll cross that one out and cross that one out and cross that one out and cross that one out.' Really. But I've made over 40 films. How can I not have some losers in there?
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' is a good one because it not only turned out, I think, to be a really funny movie but it was also a delight to shoot. We were in the South of France, working with Glenne Headly and Michael Caine and Frank Oz the director - who were just fun.
There's a lot of thought in art. People get to talk about important things. There's a lot of sex, you know, in art. There's a lot of naked women and men, and there's intrigue, there's fakery. It's a real microcosm of the larger world.
I was reading an article in the 'New York Times;' it talked about being in the zone, and being in the zone you're so focused that time ceases to exist. It's when you think, 'Oh, I've been doing this for five hours and didn't even know it.' It's the difference between hard work and going, '12 o'clock, not moving.'
I've run into people in my life who were so dramatic; people who are so extreme and so frustrating to be around that you end up thinking about them and talking about them for literally years after your experience with them is over. I've had that happen to me, and I've seen it happen to other people. I find it fascinating.
Well, today the Grammys is much much better than the Oscars. I think the differences in the shows are that the Grammys are much wilder. The Oscars is much more people in the industry. And people dress wilder, I think, at the Grammys.