In a lot of ways, success is much harder than I thought it would be. I figured that you'd get here and then everything would be happily ever after. But, it's hard work, almost harder once you're successful because you've got to maintain it.
Honestly, I just go to restaurants to eat so I won't die. If there was a pill I could take in January and then I wouldn't have to eat again for the rest of the year, I would take it. Of course, I wouldn't want to sacrifice my chocolate cake and ice cream.
I feel very lucky to make a living from my imagination; I'm very grateful for that. I like that what I do is create. I'm feeling very lucky to have had the career I had. It's gone much longer and bigger than I ever thought it would be.
My mother is from another time - the funniest person to her is Lucille Ball; that's what she loves. A lot of times she tells me she doesn't know what I'm talking about. I know if I wasn't her son and she was flipping through the TV and saw me, she would just keep going.
I don't go off and sit down and try to write material, because then it's contrived and forced. I just live my life, and I see things in a word or a situation or a concept, and it will create a joke for me.
I liked school, but I used to dread those moments when the teacher would call me up to give an oral report. I forced myself to deal with it and not dwell on the class in front of me - to keep a straight face, give the report and concentrate on getting it right. That's normally how I perform. That's how I am.
I don't feel that I'm explaining the world or teaching people anything. And I'm not trying to be a mirror, showing them what's really going on the world. All I'm trying to do is think of stuff that's funny, just like when I'm kidding around with my friends.
It's very intense to be in front of a live audience. It's just an amazing experience. It's dangerous. Everything out there is heightened. The bad stuff is extra-worse. The silences are extra-silent. The good stuff is amazing. It's electric when you walk out there. For 90 minutes, you're on this other planet.
I've always had to conquer fear when I'm on stage. Basically, I was and still am a very shy person. It's absolutely in conflict with what I do. But once I deliver the first joke I'm okay. It's like I'm out there all by myself just delivering my lines to nobody in particular without ever trying to notice the audience in front of me.
To the audience, it's like I'm changing the subject every five seconds, but to me, my show's almost like a 90-minute song that I know exactly. I wrote every note, and I know exactly where everything is.
The things I talk about and explain couldn't happen - yet, they don't seem impossible - you could say I talk about the world in an abstract perspective. But then, the world is basically insane - and it's trying to pass itself off as being a sane place. I show it for what it is.
When I'm on stage, it's really intense. My mind is going a million miles an hour, trying to remember my act, trying to say it all the right way. It's funny how different it looks and how it's happening. There are three Fellini circuses in my head, and outwardly it looks like I'm going to get a bagel.
I've been thinking of humorous things since I was... I can't remember when. All the way through elementary school, all the way through junior high, all the way through high school, through college and after college, I was thinking of the same kinds of things that I say in front of an audience now.
If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
I don't like the sound of my phone ringing so I put my phone inside my fish tank. I can't hear it, but every time I get a call I see the fish go like this <<<>>><<>><<<<. I go down to the pet store and said, "Give me another ten guppies, I got a lot of calls yesterday."
It's very interesting, the joke comes first and then the wording comes within five seconds, maybe ten seconds. My thing is to get the joke across in as few words as possible. However, sometimes a word that's not really needed does help the rhythm of it. It's a gut feeling.
I was in a job interview and I opened a book and started reading. Then I said to the guy 'Let me ask you a question. If you are in a spaceship that is traveling at the speed of light, and you turn on the headlights, does anything happen?' He said 'I don't know'. I said 'I don't want your job'.
A cop stopped me for speeding/ He said, 'Why were you going so fast?' I said, 'See this thing my foot is on? It's called an accelerator. When you push down on it, it sends more gas to the engine. The whole car just takes right off. And see this thing [mimes steering wheel]? This steers it'
Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the postmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
I never even thought of myself as deadpan until someone wrote an article about me about a year after I was doing comedy. There was a paper called the 'Boston Phoenix,' and someone wrote a description of what I was doing and that's where I first saw 'deadpan.'
George Carlin's album, 'Class Clown,' came out when I was in high school. I memorized a lot of that album. I'd come home from school, put it on, and listen over and over. I started memorizing it. I don't even know why. I loved it so much I memorized it.
I've been doing comedy longer than I haven't been doing comedy, as I was performing for three years before I even got on 'The Tonight Show.' There's truly nothing like it; it's intense and exhilarating, even though it looks so casual.
I'm standing behind a wall of jokes. You don't know about my personal life, my girlfriends, or what I do when I'm not on the road. There's this guy, this comedian, and this is how he thinks, but people really don't know anything about me.
People may think I'm trying something new by telling stories, but they're just jokes connected to give the illusion of stories. But really, I just continue using my imagination and creating. That's what I do.
There's something about being in front of a live audience that's fun. It's a really interesting, very electric, very alive, and intense experience, and you can't get it anywhere else. And I've been doing it since I was 23, so it's part of my being - it's part of my fabric as a person.