I used to have a theory actually that, if you've had a good childhood, a good marriage and a little bit of money in the bank, you're going to make a lousy comedian.
The one thing an audience always has in common with a comedian is troubles. The Yiddish word for that is tsuris. You're always putting your tsuris on stage whether you like it or not. No one is untroubled, unless they're just, you know, an imbecile.
I starred in a Broadway play that was Sidney Poitier's first directing job and the cast was Lou Gossett, Cicely Tyson, Diana Ladd and I played a Jewish kid who offered himself as a slave to two Columbia University students as reparations.
I started writing this feature comedy in New York - a Chris Farley vehicle. The script was decent. When I got to LA, I met some new friends in film school and had them read my script and give me notes.
And it was a huge emotional thing to leave the law and become unemployed - to be a student again.
Silences are the most underrated part of comedy.
Comedians talk to other comedians the way jazz musicians can talk to each other.
I rewrote it and I took all your notes. Read it again, that kind of persistence paid off.
My father was a rabbi and had a little synagogue in Canada, so I'm from Canada. I left there at 16.
Here's the rule that I set for myself, and I believe it - even on a show like 'Curb Your Enthusiasm': the more personal you are, the wider your audience.
The interesting thing about improvisation is you're making something up in front of the audience. Now music helps you out a little bit because you have an instrument that'll separate you from the audience.
A spontaneous interview feels differently than anything else you see on television.
I don't really dissect comedy. Nothing kills off humor more than overanalyzing it.
Being a lawyer in New York sucks because you're working eighty, sometimes a hundred hours a week.
Great Canadian comics are often outsiders and insiders at the same time. That's a great perspective for a comedian.
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