Friday, August 31, 2007

Comedian on Comedians

An insightful interview with Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame. He offers the first thoughtful analysis of the Michael Richards meltdown that I've read:

"You know, I had stopped playing that club a while before that happened to Michael. I'd been on the same bill with him before at The Comedy Store, and two months before he had his problem—I'm not even making this up—there was a night when the audience was 90 percent underage Korean kids. Now at the time, I'm probably a 43-year-old Jewish man. What living experience do I have to share with a room full of drunk Korean kids with fake IDs? As they say in Sweden, it's just not my audience. I'm having trouble as it is, and then behind me, one of the kids gets up onstage and starts taking pictures of his friends, from the stage. I felt something behind me, I turned around, and I came so close to punching this kid, just out of reflex, you know? But instead of punching him, I did what Michael Richards should have done. I put the mic down, and I walked out, and I never went back. When you allow 18-year-olds in the club, you know there are 16- and 17-year-olds there too, so you know that's not a good place to do comedy. So when Michael went up there, I'm sure he was very frustrated, and thought he was being interesting with his choices. I don't know that he thought he was being funny, but he thought he was being interesting, and obviously said the most ignorant things he could possibly say. And now he's out of show business."

Also, he confirms that Eddie Murphy is the funniest person in the world. Now, if he'd only start doing some decent movies:

I found myself on a set co-starring with Eddie Murphy [Daddy Day Care]. And he let me do most of the funny stuff, which surprised me. He was really generous. And I think he's the funniest person I've ever worked with. What I mean by that is: I'm very confident in my comedic ability. I think I'm very funny. And something would happen on the set, and I'd think of something funny to say, and before I could say anything, around the time I would think it, Eddie would say something. And I'm not exaggerating when I say this: A hundred out of a hundred times, what he said was funnier than what I was going to say. There was not even once where I went, "Oh, mine was funnier." No, he was funnier every single time. That really blew my mind.

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