FUNNY FLASHBACK: DOUG BENSON

19 Sep

If there’s one thing I love as much as music, it’s comedy. And my family. And cookies, too. So that’s three things …

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of my favorite comedians, and since I started a blog … I figure I can stick the ancient transcripts on here for the sake of posterity.

Here’s a transcript of a 2005 interview I did with the always hilarious and often high Doug Benson.

I appreciate you doing this, Doug.

(Note: Buzz, the six-foot-four, gray-haired, 50+ retired cop that runs the sound, lights, and is a general jack-of-all-trades at the Richmond Funny Bone, has begun doing his speech about audience behavior – “Please keep all table conversation to a minumium, but we want that laughter to the maximum!” etc. His voice is low and booming, like a classic radio announcer, and he talks for quite some time.)

DB: Buzz is doing his crowd speech.

That’s why I started the recorder.

Oh my God, he just goes on and on and on.

But he’s got a great voice.

But he really drops the hammer on them. The last thing they’re going to do is yell out during the show, not after this speech. He’s still going! I could tell you this whole story while he’s still going: I was walking through the hotel lobby tonight, going to the car to come to the show, and the guy behind the counter goes, “Is this your last night in town?” And I say, “Yeah, I’m leaving tomorrow.” And he says, “Well, I just wanted to tell you something …” And he’s sitting there eating, like, pudding out of a bowl. And I’m on my way to the car, so I’m like having to stop to hear his story. And he says, “Well, I just had to tell you this. Last night I went home and I did not feel good. So I laid down in bed, and I turned on the TV, and I watched ‘The Queens of Comedy.’” And I was like, “Whaaaat?” And he says, “And I just have to tell you that Monique is so funny.” Now, doesn’t that whole thing sound like he was ramping up to tell me that he saw me on TV? (A waitress comes in and brings Doug his dinner.) They treat you good here at the Richmond Funny Bone.


Did you say anything to him after he told you that? Did he think Monique was here this week? Because she’s here next week.

Well, no, I think the guy thought that I would like to hear any story about comedy making his life better. Like, “I gotta tell ya’, after I saw her I felt good.” Like just because I’m a comedian I would want to hear that. Like, I would be happy that she’s doing good. So I said, “Well, she’s going to be at the club,” and he says, “I know!” and I say, “So you’re going to get to see her in person,” and that part of the conversation happened while I was walking. I was just yelling it over my shoulder as I was climbing in the car. She’s really a Monique performer. She’s one of the most Monique acts you’ll ever see. (laughs)

When you mention that he just wants to tell you something about comedy, do you get to the point where you just don’t really care that much about comedy?

I get to the point where I really have no interest in describing the process anymore. Just last night after the show, we went over to these guys’ home to smoke some weed, and they were very enthusiastic and nice, but they were just like, “How do you do it? How did you get started? Where do you come up with your material? Did you come up with that on the spot?” It’s all the same questions all the time. “Do you work with the same people all the time? Why are you so funny when you yell stuff out at you?” It’s all the same stuff, all the time. And that’s why they don’t do it. And that’s why we do do it. When people start talking about how to get started, should they take lessons, you know … I mean, did you really go around asking people how they got started?

No!

I mean, did you go up to fucking Bill Cosby and say, “How do you do that thing?” I mean, if you’re just casually asking questions to a comedian when you’re hanging out getting high, or at the bar or whatever, you know, “So, how do you get started?”, you’re just …

You’re never going to get started.

Yeah! You’re not going to do what I tell you to do and become a real comedian. I mean, I guess some people have sort of gone through that sort of process, but I think most of us just think that telling people jokes is what we should be doing.

When did …

Wait, Buzz just finished his announcement. No, wait! This is different. He gave the people a breather of fucking Metallica and then, BOOM, back in to the, “By the way, don’t talk.”

Well, he’s a cop.

Yeah, he’s a former cop. Which is good for me, the pothead, so I don’t feel weird riding around in his car. He loves his karaoke though. We went to Hamm’s the first night, and then tonight we’re going to Friday’s, because Friday’s has karaoke night in Richmond, Virginia, and he is psyched. (Listens to announcement) He always says I’m from “Mr. Show with Bob and David” and I was like a fucking extra on that, just a few times, I was barely on it. I mean, it’s on my resume, but he loves to say that.

Well, he’s a big “Mr. Show” fan. He was there from the start.

Yeah, yeah. He loves it. He loves saying the network that each show is involved with. “He’s been on HBO’s ‘Mr. Show with Bob and David.’”

“VH-1’s ‘Best Week Ever’ …”

“And he’s been on ‘The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn!’” Yeah! You know, the show that’s had a new host for over a year now!

“He was on the show that’s not on anymore!”

Yeah. Well, it’s still on, but …

It’s a different guy.

Yeah, It’s a whole new ballgame. It’s a whole new Craig.

When did you get started?

There’s a new Craig in town. A long time ago. I don’t get in to the details.

You know what year it was.

I know what year it was. I’ll tell it to you this way, I was twenty-two when I started …

And you’re not going to tell me how old you are now.

I was twenty-two when I started. No, I’m not going to tell you how old I am now. Because, you know, now that I’m almost thirty I start to panic about how long I’ve been doing comedy …

(Waitress comes in and brings Doug his dinner. The conversation dissolves for several minutes into how good the corn is or is not, and a malfunctioning salt shaker)

You said the other night that you started in L.A. …

Yeah, it was brutal.

Are you from L.A.?

I grew up in San Diego. I moved to L.A. with no intention of becoming a comedian. I just wanted to get into show business, you know, like, acting or something. And I just fell in to comedy because friends would tell me that’s what I should be doing …

Was it something they said you should be doing to get in to acting, or were they telling you that you should do it because you would be good at it?

No, I mean, it definitely was a big deal at the time for people to do comedy so they could be seen by casting directors and stuff, and it is sometimes a shortcut to acting, like some people aren’t to much into stand-up, they just want to get a sitcom or whatever. But I don’t see too much of that, most people seem pretty genuine about wanting to do comedy. But then a lot of them want to quit doing comedy because of the road, you know? Like they have kids, or more high paying jobs back in L.A. but … it was bad to start in LA. Because the people that decide who goes on T.V., like for “The Tonight Show” or whatever, they tend to see a lot of L.A. comedy and you end of getting seen way before you’re ready and you don’t make a great first impression and it takes people a long time to come around to liking what you’re doing. Like you almost have to not be seen for a few years and hope that they’re going to be so impressed by the progress you’ve made, you know?

Could you at that time make a concerted effort not to be seen? Like …

I didn’t really think that way at that time. Like, most young comics, want “The Tonight Show” and they want the Montreal Comedy Festival and they want the Aspen Comedy Festival and they want it all after they’ve been doing comedy for a couple of years. And I wasn’t that bad, because it took me two or three years to just get the hang of it. At first I would perform maybe just once or twice a month because I had to have a day job, you know? So I wouldn’t perform that often, but I knew that I liked doing it. And I think this is before the expression “bringer show” was invented, but they were basically the type of things where if I didn’t bring people then there probably wouldn’t be that much of an audience and there certainly wouldn’t be an audience that automatically appreciated what I’m doing. So my friends in L.A. were really helpful for me in getting through the most painful part of it which is bombing a lot in the beginning and losing your confidence.

Was that the hardest part for you in the beginning? Getting over that fear if failure?

Yeah, it’s a real shitty feeling in the beginning when you have a bad set. I mean, it never gets good, having a bad set, but later at least usually the situation was so horrendous it at least becomes a good story to tell other comedians. I mean, your sixth or seventh set ever, if you’re standing there eating it, you’re not thinking, “This is gonna be hilarious to me someday!” Because you think that might be where it’s going for you at that point. And then it’s not and you just end up getting slapped in the face with a horrible set sometimes, and you don’t even know why. I mean, you and I were talking the other night about a guy that you and I both love as a stand-up and as a person didn’t connect with an entire audience here one night and just had a mediocre set. I mean, it hasn’t happened to me here yet, but it could. Every now and then you just don’t connect with a crowd and it’s not your fault and it’s not their fault, but for some reason it just doesn’t come together.

Do you feel like you’ve been doing it long enough that you sort of have tricks in your back pocket if things aren’t going well? Like you can say, “Well, I’m just gonna be real dirty” or …

Well, you can make changes, you can adjust. Like if I’m doing pot jokes and the crowd isn’t biting that much, I’ve got plenty of other stuff I can talk about, so I can just move off of it, or do the jokes in a way that you really don’t have to be a marijuana insider to appreciate it. But then I can move in to sex or I can move in to alcohol or I can move in to crowd work. All some of those things could work and turn it around and turn you into a hero, but usually, they either like you or they don’t. And you may get a few bursts of appreciation for something they like, but, you know … sometimes, you’re just going to get a subdued reaction and no amount of jumping up and down is going to fix it. Of course, crowd work is the one thing I definitely do not try to go to too early in the set if ever, even if I’m doing poorly, because if they love it, they’re not going to let you go back to your jokes, because it’s live and it’s spontaneous and then you go, “I was in England recently and this happened to me!” Suddenly you’re just telling a boring story and it’s just a speech, so …

I always think they think, “Oh, he’s going to come over to me next!”

Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Like, they get in to that mindset, “Ok, now we’re part of this!”

But that is part of the fun of seeing live comedy and why comedy and improve sometimes isn’t that much fun to watch on TV, because you just had to be there. It’s like a real live thing that’s just … I don’t know.

Well, that’s one thing I’ve really enjoyed about watching your sets the last couple of nights, because I’ve seen you on TV, and I saw “The Marijuana-Logues” live, and I had this impression, like, “Ok, Doug is a funny comedian.” But as I’ve watched, and I think I have a pretty good sense, from doing comedy for awhile, I think I have a pretty good sense of when a comedian is actually going off the top of their head, and when it ‘s actually their material. But with you … I’m still not sure about a lot of parts of it. You have this rhythm that throws me a little and I can’t tell, “Did he write that or is he just tagging that now?” I don’t know if I’m giving you more or less credit than you deserve …

Yeah, I don’t know if that’s a compliment …

Oh, it is a compliment …

No, I know, I know …

… But there’s this thing where I had this impression, like, “Yeah, Doug’s a funny comedian.” But watching here, it’s like, “Oh! He’s really fucking good.” Like it’s way, way better in person. I mean, I’ve seen tons of comedians and sometimes you see someone you’ve enjoyed on TV, but live, it’s like, “Eh …” Like they had the same fifteen minute chunk that they stretched out to make into forty-five.

Well, that’s what some people may say about my pot material, that it’s sort of overwhelmed my act, but one of that reasons I enjoy doing it is that there are just so many people out there who enjoy hearing it because they never get to hear anything like that from most sources of media. Like, most sources of the media just stay away from pot, except just the occasional joke or whatever. So it’s fun to do that, even though I don’t want to be known as “the pot comic.” But I like writing jokes about it and I like writing more jokes about it because they have to be really good jokes, because otherwise …

There’s only like three jokes.

Yeah. You’re gonna forget shit, you’re gonna be hungry and maybe paranoid, which I don’t personally get. So those are all the jokes! And if you’re going to get in to it, you’re going to have to get in to the details and find a way to talk about it that will be fresh to people.

Well, that’s what I was saying to you the other night about when my friend and I saw “The Marijuana-Logues,” we were going in thinking that twenty minutes in to the show we might be thinking, “Munchies – right. Got it.” But it was really well done, and the jokes went in a lot of different directions.

This is a – I love this interview.

Oh, good! (Laughs)

I mean, I love any interview where you tell me how great I am and while you’re doing it, I eat a steak. (Laughs)

There may be a backrub involved later. (Laughs)

It would be really great if I choke to death on this steak while laughing at all the things I’m saying in to your tape recorder.

When you say you had no real inclination to become a comedian when you moved to L.A., did you still have comedians in mind, or influences? It always seems to me when people get in to comedy, they have certain comedians in mind, like, “I like Carlin and I like …”

Sure, sure. I mean, that’s the thing, I just … I mean, I’ve been doing it long enough now that I get the occasional person to tell me, “You’re one of the main reasons I started doing stand-up comedy.” This kid sent me this MySpace message and friend request, where he’s standing on stage in front on some Improv backdrop somewhere, and he says, “Seeing ‘The Marijuana-Logues’ inspired me to become a stand-up comedian.” And apparently someone at some Improv hired him for something or he got a guest set or something (laughs). But I mean, he’s not just some lunatic, because I get that all the time. “I wanna be a comedian!”

“How do you do it?!?”

Yeah. “Could you do me a favor and call some people for me?” Well, I don’t even know you! I mean, if you’re sexy looking, we’ll talk but …

Do you recall the worst advice you ever got about doing comedy?

I, uh … wait what was the last question about?

About comedians you had in your mind when you started.

Right, I never really answered that. When I was a kid, I bought comedy albums and watched “SNL” and “An Evening at the Improv” and all that stuff, so I was absorbing a lot of comedy without really thinking about it. I mean, I was sort of a student of comedy just because I thought it was and I enjoyed it. So the records I owned were like, Steve Martin and Bill Cosby and George Carlin, and I would listen to that shit over and over again and I would just laugh and laugh. And then I just watched, like I mentioned, “SNL” and “An Evening at the Improv” and the HBO “Young Comedians” specials, and I would just memorize these people’s acts, these people that are now, like, peers of mine. So I really followed comedy without having a notion that that was what I want to do. So when I started becoming a comedian, I felt like the comedians I admired, I could never be as good as. So I think that was like the biggest hurdle as far as ever getting started in the first place, like, “Well, I could never be as good as then, so why even try in the first place? Why bother? I worship these guys, what’s the point.”

No, I still totally feel that way. Like, I can go up on stage and get a few laughs, but I know in my heart that I’m not that good.

But it’s like magic in a way, because once you know a few tricks … you know, you feel cockier watching magic, because you know some of the tricks. And it’s different than just having a sense of humor, because you can have a sense of humor and go in a lot of different directions with that. Like, Monique will be here next week and I’m sure it’ll be busy next week and there may be a crossover of a couple people who saw both me and Monique, but chances are she’s got her own audience. It’s a whole niche thing, like cable TV. And that’s great, because I’d rather perform for people who want to see me, or even just want to come and hear pot jokes, because to me that’s still better than just getting a random audience. So, it’s fun to preach to the choir sometimes … because they have to sit there and go, “Yes!” (laughs) The choir never says, “We’re not singing this shit!”

What was the worst advice you ever received about doing comedy? Either in the beginning or later?

Well, no one has ever given me any advice that has fucked me up in some way. I mean, there are bits and pieces of advice, but I can’t think of any time anyone has ever pulled me aside and said, “Son! Ya’ gotta do this!” So … but there was one piece of advice I thought was odd at the time, and to this day I don’t think his point has been proven. This guy said to me to shave, because facial hair isn’t funny (laughs). He said if you have facial hair, the audience laughs less than if you don’t have it.

I mean …

And at the time I kind of took him seriously, like, OK, that’s a theory. But as time went on I was sort of like, “Is he out of his fucking mind?”

Fucking Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Chris Rock …

Yeah! I mean, their facial hair kinda comes and goes and they seem to be doing alright! And the guy was serious! I mean, he was a funny comic, he was just sort of mechanical. Like he had some funny jokes but he just never really had the stage presence. But where he came up with that theory that facial hair isn’t funny … that was the exact sentence he said to me, too: “Facial hair isn’t funny.” And I just stared at him for about twenty seconds. But that was his initial advice. And all these years later, audiences still seem to like facial fair.

It hasn’t stopped Rob Reiner.

It should have stopped Rob Reiner. Oh my God … we should mention that “All in the Family” is on the TV, so people thinking this don’t think that he just took some out of left field pot-shot at Rob Reiner, like he’s the only guy in the world that has facial hair. I like his politics, but I don’t like his movies.

See, I’m the opposite. I love his movies! (laughs)

What was that one with the ampersand in the title, with Luke Wilson and …

Whaaaaaaat?

And, uh, Kate Hudson and there stuck in a room and they’re trying to write a romance novel or something.

I have no fucking idea.

It was brutal.

I never even came close to seeing that movie. But he did “Spinal Tap”!

Yeah, I just … See, I have this theory …

That he didn’t really direct “Spinal Tap”?

No, no, “Spinal Tap” was directed by Rob Reiner and he wrote it with the other guys. But no, it’s like all these guys, like Billy Crystal and Rob Reiner and other people, you know Mel Brooks and Woody Allen is headed down this path, where at some point you just get so out of touch and you just keep repeating what you’ve always done. It’s kind of like Michael Jackson and his dance moves, you know? He can’t come up with a new dance move to save his life, and he’s fucked! (Laughs) If he could come up with a new dance move, people would buy his records! But since all the songs sound like they’ve always sounded, and he can’t come up with a new dance move, he just keeps doing what he’s always done. I mean, Madonna tries constantly and maybe she doesn’t succeed but at least she does try. You know? And I mean, people can have great careers performing just for the members of their generation, until they’re all dead. Like REO Speedwagon – why would anyone go see REO Speedwagon? Because they don’t want to see Eminem or whoever – they want to see REO Speedwagon.

See, I always figured if I was a one-hit wonder, and I had that one-hit, I’d rather spend my life playing that one-hit at state fairs than doing just about anything else.

Yeah, but after a few years of playing those state fairs, you’re going to be inclined to write another hit.

Mmmm, I don’t know. (laughs)

Ok, ok, You like the fairs, you like it. You like the snacks that you always get because you have a rider, and it’s fair, you’re not asking for caviar. You keep it simple …

You get two beer tickets …

Alright, alright. I see what you’re saying, I’m in. At least if I was in a jam band, the fans would be getting me high every night.

Has anyone ever given you any particularly bad advice?

Well, I was thinking … I don’t think anyone has ever gave me any particularly good or bad advice that I was inclined to really try out, you know? Like, staying in the bad advice arena, this one club owner told me not to bring a beer up onstage. Like, “Don’t take your beer onstage, that’s no good, that’s not classy.” And I agree it’s not classy, shoving a bottle in your mouth every two minutes. You really have to stop talking to drink a beer, and then you make that pucker noise when you’re done … but I mean, for the next few shows, I was, like, defiantly drinking a beer onstage. I mean, what the fuck? That’s why I got in to doing comedy, so I didn’t have to listen to people say, “Don’t do this.” Like, you can get away with almost anything and the audience will tell you if you shouldn’t be doing it. Like, if it was that bad that I was drinking a beer, someone in the audience would say something, like, “Jesus Christ! Enough with the beer!” Someone would point it out. I mean, audiences these days already groan so much at just jokes. I was in Vegas recently and Miami recently and people would just groan at jokes. And I’m like, “You like in Miami and Las Vegas! The whole point of these places is just to party and be complete assholes and you’re groaning because I did a joke where you have to visualize your grandmother in her underwear.” (Laughs) Which is pretty horrible to most people.

I almost groaned right now. What was the worst gig you ever had?

See, that’s another one that I would love to have the perfect horrible thing that has happened, but I just … I mean, there’s probably been ten or fifteen times where someone’s gotten into a fight during my set or gotten thrown out or whatever but … that’s out of thousands of sets. And it may be some combination of the pot and just not dwelling on those things, but I really just have vague memories of those things. Almost like I’ve blacked them out. But I can think of two really bad ones. One of them was at the San Diego improve, which is now closed, but at one show in San Diego this lady was really drunk – which is a common thread – and she was just saying stuff to me, you know, “You’re not funny” and all that and I started calling her a cunt from the stage, and that’s just not a word I routinely throw around. And then there was this show in Wisconsin, where I picked up a beer mug off the table and said, “I’m going to smash this against your face if you don’t shut up.” (Laughs) I was so irritated. And one time in Miami, the one drunken women, young women, maybe 21 or 22, just shitfaced, would not stop talking to me, and talking to her friends and talking on her cell phone and whatever, so I just started insulting her and the audience was loving and loving it and loving. And about twenty minutes later, this guy that was with her, who was, like, so drunk he couldn’t open his eyes, stood up – after I had been insulting her for the last twenty minutes – he finally stands up and points to me and says, “That is enough! You will show her some respect!” (Laughs) And the whole series of riffs I was doing on her was about what a disrespectful person she was to sit up front and behave the way she behaved, and ruining the show for everybody, and all of the sudden this guy is standing up telling me I had to show here some respect. And so then the security guys at the club just swarm the guy and drag him out of there and the audience just goes apeshit! And it was just so dramatic and fun, but also for a brief second, sort of scary. There’s been a few moments like that, where I think, “Oh, this person is going to rush the stage, and I’m going to have to physically deal with it.” But I’ve always managed to avoid those things. I mean, just the other night when we went to Hamm’s after the show, after that we went to the PourHouse …

You have been to every ridiculous bar in Richmond.

It’s so much fun! “Yeah, I was at Hamm’s, then I went to the PourHouse.” So I’m there and I’m talking to some girl and some other people, and this other guy who I had talked to earlier in the night, and he was like, “Hey, you’re from TV, right?” And I’m like, “Yeah, hey, what’s up?” and he’s like, “Ok, cool.” And he seemed to have a little chip on his shoulder even in that first chip on his shoulder. But later I’m talking to this girl that I guess he is attracted too, and he starts loudly saying, “I don’t care about that VH-1 pussy. He’s a fucking pussy.” He just keeps saying “VH-1 pussy” over and over again. And I’m just like, “Oh, god.” Because if I go over there now it’s going to be on, like he just wants to have a fight with me. But if I just stand here in the corner I’m going to feel like an idiot, you know? So I went over to the giant black bouncer and said, “That guy looks like he’s going to start some trouble!” and he threw him out right away! (laughs) And then like twenty minutes later, I could see him like steaming across the parking lot, heading towards the door with an angry look on his face, and I turned to the security guy again and said, “He’s coming back,” and he went and meet him outside and wouldn’t let him in. And the guy was ready to come back for more! Like he went and got madder and then came back. And I figured it must be pretty annoying to have bodyguards around you all the time, but in that moment, I was like, “That is pretty nice.”

Does that type of thing happen often? I mean …

It’s happening more and more because of the TV. I think when people see a famous person in public and they don’t interact with them the way they think they should, like if the famous person blows them off. It’s like in “The King of Comedy,” when the lady says, “Talk to my sister!” and Jerry Lewis says, “No” and the lady says, “I hope you get cancer.” People just turn on you so quickly. Like I think this guy was OK at first, but then after a few drinks he’s like, “Oh, just because this guy is on TV he gets to breeze in to my town and talk to the girl that I’ve had a crush on for years, but I can’t do anything about it because I’m a drunk idiot?” And then he gets enraged!

But I was thinking about how you said he seemed to have a chip on his shoulder from the beginning. Like people have this thing where they think, “Oh, he’s on TV? Well, I’m not impressed!” And it’s like, no one is asking you to be impressed.

Yeah, yeah. My favorite was this time I was in Andover, Massachusetts, and we had done the “Best Week Ever” live show with Paul Scheer and I think it was Pete Holmes and I, and we were at a bar after the show, having some drinks, you know, talking to some people. And there’s this guy sitting on this tall stool near us and he’s like this goofy, balding guy, and he just starts saying, “The 80’s suck!” (Laughs) And we all look at each other, like, “He thinks we’re on ‘I Love the 80’s.’ We’re not on ‘I Love the 80’s.’ Whatever, he’s drunk.” And we thought this was the end of it. But then a little while later – and Paul Scheer got up to go to the bathroom so he missed all of this – a little while later, the guy, who’s like really prematurely bald and lives in Andover, Massachusetts and is drunk and is just purely jealous, he comes over to us – and it’s hard to convey this in a printed interview – but he comes over to us and does this really exaggerated pointing thing, like with both fingers, and he really dramatically goes, “You Suck!!!” (laughs) And that’s all he’s got! He just says that and then turns and walks out the door! And I sit there for a few seconds, like, “That was ridiculous. I can’t believe that just happened.” But then it slowly turns in to, “Hey, fuck that guy. That’s totally inappropriate!” So I jump up and go over to the door, and he’s across the street, so I just shout, “No! You suck!” (laughs)

(Buzz knocks on the door and enters)

BUZZ: You want the light at 8:30? Or do you …

We started on time, right?

BUZZ: Yeah, we started right on time.

Yeah, that’s fine.

BUZZ: I’ll give you the light at 8:30 and if you want to do five more minutes, do five more minutes, and if you want to end there, end there. Alright?

Sounds good. Thanks.

BUZZ (pointing to me): Is Nutsuck here going up and doing ten minutes?

No.

ME: No, Nutsuck is not.

(Buzz leaves)

Do you think Buzz will read this interview?

No, I don’t think Buzz will read this interview.

Then you should definitely put that part in the interview. Because that’s really funny. That’s a great example of the different levels of respect different comedians get at different levels. Like he comes in asks me when I want the light, and to you, it’s “Hey, Nutsack!”

He called me Nut-suck! That’s even better.

You are a Nutsuck. You love sucking on nuts.

Has he told you any jokes yet?

Not yet. We have a strong karaoke bond. We’ve about got to wrap this up, because Ron has like five more minutes. Ron Morey is hilarious by the way.

Yeah, definitely.

And we both gave up the chance to see him again to do this interview. And that’s quite a sacrifice we’re making …

For twenty-two internet comedy fans.

Yeah. The fanboys. When I read that word it makes my skin crawl. Like in “Entertainment Weekly,” they call anyone who reads a comic book a fanboy.

People online refer to themselves as fanboys. I mean, c’mon … you just have no dignity.

Well, it’s gotten out of hand. It’s like the word “nigger.” (laughs)

They’re trying to reclaim it.

I don’t like it at all. I don’t want to call myself a fanboy, and I don’t want to associate with a fanboy. It sounds horrible! It’s like some horrible …

It’s a 44-year-old man in a Sailor Moon outfit. (laughs)

Yeah, yeah. Hey I have to tell you my Rob Reiner theory before we’re done.

What’s that?

That every movie he’s ever made is time times worse than the last one he made. (laughs)

Well, he started strong.

Started strong with “Spinal Tap.” Then he did “The Sure Thing,” with Jon Cusack and Daphne Zuniga, proving he could do a story. You know, I saw it on cable recently and it does not hold up, but I have fond memories of it, because that’s where I learned to shotgun a beer. And then “The Princess Diaries,” which I enjoy and a lot of people enjoy also. I can’t get through Peter Falk talking to little Fred Savage fast enough, those parts drive me insane. It’s like watching a play about a bedtime story.

It’s like watching Peter Falk and Fred Savage in bed.

Right. And then “When Harry Met Sally” and “Misery” were decent in their own way, even though they were like imitations of what other filmmakers would do with those genres. And then just crap after crap after crap! (laughs) You sit there and watch a movie like “North,” and you think, he’s not going to make seven or eight more movies that are this bad, is he? And then that’s exactly what he did! Everything he makes is just awful. I haven’t seen “Rumor Has it” yet …

No, no, no.

But I think he was hired after someone quit or got fired, so I’m sure it was a real heartfelt project for him. Sometimes I think people only have two or three good movies in them, or two or three good albums or concert specials or whatever.

Oh, yeah. I agree.

Longevity is a bitch. That’s why I have very smartly chosen not to be successful until I was very old. Quote me on that.

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