Alan Zweibel: Author, Writer, Television Host, Playwright, Part 2 of 2 | BuildingNY:NYStories

Alan Zweibel: Author, Writer, Television Host, Playwright, Part 2 of 2 | BuildingNY:NYStories


♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪ >>>A COMEDY WRITER. THE KID FROM BROOKLYN FINALLY TRYING TO MAKE IT INTO COMEDY AND THEN A PLAY WRITER, AN AUTHOR, A PERFORMER. ALAN ZWEIBEL, PART TWO. >>WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE NUMBER TWO BAGS FROM THE DELI THAT YOU’RE WRITING THESE JOKES AND YOU TOLD ME THAT IN ORDER TO GET SEEN OR TO BE HEARD, YOU WENT TO THE IMPROV AT CATCH A RISING STAR. THERE WERE THESE TWO BASIC PLACES FOR THESE- >>I WAS 21, 22 YEARS OLD AND I WAS WRITING JOKES FOR THESE CATSKILLED COMEDIANS PAYING ME 7 DOLLARS A JOKE. THAT WAS GOING GREAT. HENCE MY JOB AT THE DELICATESSEN. I NEEDED MONEY. AND NOBODY WAS GOING UP THERE TO SEE THESE COMICS. OKAY? ALL THE PEOPLE LIKE MANAGERS AND AGENTS AND PRODUCERS AND TV WERE NOW GOING, A NEW BREEDING GROUND, THESE TWO CLUBS IN NEW YORK AT THE TIME. IN THE ’70s, IMPROVISATION AND CATCHER STARS ON THE EAST SIDE. I TOOK THE JOKES FROM THE NUMBER TWO BAGS THAT I WROTE THAT THE CATSKILL COMEDIANS WOULDN’T BUY FROM ME BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD PLAY TO THEIR AUDIENCE AND I MADE A STAND-UP COMEDY ACT FOR MYSELF AND THE PLAN WAS TO GO ON STAGE AT THESE CLUBS, DELIVER THE JOKES, AND WITH THE HOPE THAT SOMEBODY WOULD SEE ME. AND GET A JOB AS A WRITER. >>SO WHAT HAPPENS? >>WELL ONE NIGHT, I’M ON STAGE AND LORNE MICHAELS WALKS IN. HE WAS REALLY AMAZINGLY UNIMPRESSED WITH ME AS A PERFORMER. IF YOU NEEDED TO LOOK SWEATY AND NERVOUS, I WAS YOUR GUY. BUT OTHER THAN THAT, LIKED THE MATERIAL AND I HAD A MEETING WITH HIM A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER AND I ENDED UP HAVING ABOUT 1100 JOKES THAT I HAD ACCUMULATED OVER THE YEARS. AND GAVE HIM, SHOWED IT TO HIM.>>$7 A JOKE OR NO?>>WELL THESE WERE JOKES, SOME OF THEM I HAD WRITTEN FOR THOSE OTHER GUYS, OTHER ONES THAT I COULDN’T SELL BUT THEY WERE MY SENSIBILITY. THEY WERE JOKES THAT WOULD PLAY TO MY PEERS. >>WAS THIS BEFORE LORNE HAD THE IDEA OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE? >>HE GOT THE IDEA FOR SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE AND NOW NEEDED HE WRITERS FOR THIS NEW SHOW. SO I MET WITH HIM AND I SHOWED HIM MY JOKES AND THEN ABOUT A DAY OR TWO LATER, I GOT A PHONE CALL THAT I WAS GOING TO BE HIRED AS A WRITER ON THIS NEW SHOW. >>YOU TOLD ME THAT THEY WERE TRYING TO SAVE MONEY BY GIVING YOU LOWER SCALE- >>WELL, THAT ISN’T — BACK THEN, I DON’T KNOW HOW IT WORKS NOW, BUT THERE WERE THREE APPRENTICE WRITERS. MYSELF, AL FRANKEN, WHO’S NOW THE SENATOR FROM MINNESOTA AND HIS PARTNER TOM DAVIS. THIS WAS OUR FIRST JOB AND WE WERE ON THE WRITER’S GUILD AND I THINK THE WRITER’S GUILD MINIMUM FOR A LATE NIGHT NEW YORK SHOW AT THE TIME WAS LIKE $580 A SHOW. THE DEAL NBC MADE WAS, LOOK, WE HAVE THESE THREE POTENTIAL GUILD MEMBERS FOR YOU. GIVE US A BREAK ON THEIR SALARY AND IF WE PICK THEM UP- >>YOU REALIZE THAT TRANSLATES INTO ABOUT 85 JOKES?>>ALSO IT TRANSLATE TO ABOUT 40 HOURS AT THE DELI. IT WAS A WORK WEEK AT THE DELI. AND IF AFTER SIX SHOWS, IF THEIR OPTIONS ARE PICKED UP, THEY BECOME GUILD MEMBERS AND BUMPED TO THE MINIMUM. >>LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FIRST FIVE YEARS OF YOUR WRITING CAREER. >>SURE. >>WHAT HAPPENS? >>IT’S THE GREATEST TIME I’VE EVER HAD. IT WAS INDESCRIBABLY EXCITING. YOU KNOW, AS I TOLD YOU, ON LAST WEEK’S SHOW, THAT MY DAD MANUFACTURED JEWELRY AND HIS PLACE WAS 16 EAST 52ND BETWEEN MADISON AND FIFTH. I’D RUN THERE SAYING, OKAY, THIS WAS IN THE ’60s. AND NO MATTER WHERE HE WENT, I ALWAYS MADE SURE THAT I WENT BY WAY OF 30 ROCK. I’D GO INTO THE LOBBY OF WHAT WAS THEN CALLED THE RCA BUILDING. WHY? BECAUSE JOHNNY CARSON WAS DOING THE TONIGHT SHOW UPSTAIRS. AND THAT SHOW, THAT WAS UP THERE AND I WANTED TO SEE GUYS LIKE BUCK HENRY AND HERB SERGEANT WHO BECAME FRIENDS OF MINE AND MENTORS THAT I WANTED TO SEE GUYS DOING WHAT I WANTED TO DO SOME DAY AND NOW I’M WORKING THERE AS A COMEDY WRITER. >>AND YOU HAVE THESE YOUNG COMICS. >>YOU HAVE ALL THESE UNKNOWNS. YOU KNOW, HERE’S AN INTERESTING STORY. WHEN I GOT THE JOB AT SNL, THIS IS BEFORE THE SHOW STARTED, I THINK I GOT HIRED IN MAY AND SUPPOSED TO REPORT TO WORK IN JULY AFTER THE 4th. AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, I ALSO WAS GIVEN A JOB TO WRITE THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR PAUL LYNDE ON THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES. NOW IT SOUNDS LIKE A NO BRAINER BUT BACK THEN, YOU GO, THIS IS 1975. HOLLYWOOD SQUARES WAS GOING TO LIKE ITS NINTH SEASON. BIG HIT. PRIMETIME. CALIFORNIA WHERE THE WHOLE INDUSTRY IS. THEY HAVE ALL THESE STARS IN ALL OF THESE BOXES, ALL OF WHOM HAS THEIR OWN TV SHOWS. OWN LAS VEGAS ACTS. YOU GO, WHAT AN ENTREE INTO THE BUSINESS THIS WAS. AS OPPOSED TO THE “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” THING, 11:30 ON SATURDAY NIGHTS, UNGODLY HOUR TO WATCH TELEVISION. EAST COAST, AMERICA’S LATE NIGHT PAY SCALE. WHO’S JOHN BELUSCI? THE OTHER SHOW HAD RIP TAYLOR. WHO’S DAN AYKROYD? WHO’S GILDA RADNER? SO FOR ABOUT A MINUTE, IT GAVE ME PAUSE. >>BUT YOU CREATED SOME INTERESTING CHARACTERS.>>I WAS VERY LUCKY. I COLLABORATED WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE THERE WHO WERE REALLY GIFTED PERFORMERS. SO I CREATED SOME CHARACTERS WITH GUILDA AND I WROTE ALL BUT ONE OF JOHN BELUSCI’S SAMURAI ROUTINES. I DID “WEEKEND UPDATE” AND SKETCHES FOR THE SHOW. THE COLLABORATIONS WERE REALLY FUN. >>AND YOU WON MANY AWARDS. >>WON MANY AWARDS. AND IT OPENED UP A THOUSAND DOORS. >>AND YOU BUILT A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH GUILDA. >>BEFORE, YOU HAPPENED TO MEET SOME YOUNG LADY OVER THERE TOO.>>I FORGOT, MY WIFE. YOU’RE GONNA LEAVE THIS PART IN. I MET THIS PRODUCTION ASSISTANT WHO MADE ME LAUGH. AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH HER AND WE STARTED DATING SECRETLY. BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT TO START A SCANDAL. YOU KNOW, SO WE TOLD ONE PERSON. WE TOLD GILDA. AND ROBIN AND I, THIS NOVEMBER, IT WILL BE WE’RE MARRIED 37 YEARS. SO YOU’RE IN THE PRIME OF YOUR LIFE AND THEN SAY, I’M LEAVING? >>EVERYONE LEFT. LORNE LEFT. EVERYBODY FROM OUR REGIME LEFT. THERE WAS A TURNOVER. AND I FIGURED, AT THE TIME, I’M 30. AND I JUST GOT MARRIED. AND BEEN TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN. AND LET’S SEE WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE. AND I OPTED TO STAY IN NEW YORK WHEREAS A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE MOVED TO L.A. WHERE THE INDUSTRY WAS, BY AND LARGE. AND I STARTED GETTING PUBLISHED. AND I WROTE MY FIRST PLAY. >>A ONE-ACT PLAY. >>IT WAS A ONE-ACT PLAY IN THE STUDIO THEATER. IT WAS A ONE-ACT PLAY CALLED “BETWEEN CARS.” IT WAS REALLY FUN. IT WAS A YOUNG ACTRESS NAMED ELIZABETH PERKINS WHO WAS 22 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. IT WAS TWO TOLL BOOTHS ON THE ROAD TO JONES BEACH AT 4:00 IN THE MORNING IN JANUARY. THE GUY IS IN ONE AND THE GIRL IS IN THE OTHER. AND THEY END UP HAVING A DATE ON THE PARKWAY. AND I REALLY STARTED LIKING THE THEATER. IT WAS THE CLOSEST I COULD COME TO LIVE TELEVISION. YOU’RE IN THE THEATER. YOU HAVE PEOPLE LAUGHING. AND TO THIS DAY, I FEEL THAT SAME AFFINITY. >>SO YOU’RE DOING THAT FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS? >>AND NOT MAKING MONEY. STARTING TO STARVE A LITTLE BIT. IT WAS, YOU KNOW, THE FIRST SHOW, THERE WAS THIS RUSH OF SUCCESS AND ALL OF THE SUDDEN, YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL OF THIS AND THEN IT ENDED. BECAUSE I WAS SOMEWHAT OF A SNOB BECAUSE I WAS SOMEWHAT CHOOSEY, THINGS GOT A LITTLE TIGHT. YEAH. I TURNED DOWN SOME WORK. A STEVE MARTIN SPECIAL, A PAUL SIMON SPECIAL. IT’S NOT LIKE I DIDN’T WORK, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, HAD WE MOVED TO L.A. WHERE EVERYTHING WAS, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EASIER TELEVISION-WISE BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE IT WAS. >>HOW DID YOU AND GARRY MEET? >>I’M SITTING ONE DAY IN NEW YORK AND THE PHONE RINGS AND MY MANAGER, A MAN NAMED BERNIE BRILLSTEIN, WHO MANAGED THE TWO OF US SAID, DO YOU KNOW WHO GARRY SHANDLING IS? I’M LIKE, YES, THE LETTERMAN SHOW. HE’S FUNNY. THEY SAID HE’S DOING A SPECIAL FOR SHOWTIME AND THEY NEED A SET OF FRESH EYES. HE SENT ME THE SCRIPT. I LIKED IT. I WENT TO L.A., MET GARRY AND I HAD AN IDEA. SO WHILE I WAS WORKING ON THIS SPECIAL WITH HIM, I TOLD HIM ABOUT AN IDEA OF A SHOW I HAD. BECAUSE, “DICK VAN DYKE” WAS THE BIG INFLUENCE. MY WIFE AND I ALREADY HAD TWO CHILDREN. I WANT A SHOW ABOUT A GUY WHOS A COMEDY WRITER WHO HAS A WIFE AND TWO KIDS WHERE THE GUY SPEAKS TO THE CAMERA. AND GARRY SAID, THAT’S INTERESTING. HE SAID, I WANT TO DO A SHOW ABOUT MYSELF WHERE I PLAY MYSELF, A SINGLE GUY, AND I SPEAK TO THE CAMERA. AND WE JUST BASICALLY MADE THE TWO IDEAS TOGETHER. GARRY, BEST FRIEND WITH A WIFE AND A KID. AND SO WE DID THIS GARRY SHANDLING SHOW. WE CREATED THAT AND IT RAN FOR FOUR YEARS ON SHOWTIME. >>DURING THIS TIME, WE WERE TALKING ABOUT GILDA. >>WHEN THE SHOW ENDED, SHE EVENTUALLY MARRIED GENE WILDER AND MOVED TO L.A. IT WAS NO E-MAILS OR ANYTHING BACK THEN. SO THE CONTACT, YOU KNOW, STARTED DWINDLING A LITTLE BIT. YOU KNOW? BUT THE GARRY SHANDLING SHOW BROUGHT MY FAMILY AND I OUT TO THE WEST COAST. SO WE REKINDLED THE FRIENDSHIP WITH GILDA. >>NOW GARRY’S SHOW IS WHAT ’84? >>IT WAS A LITTLE LATER THAN THAT. I WANT TO SAY ’86 TO ’90. >>WHAT HAPPENS TO GARRY? >>THE GARRY SHOW WHICH WON A LOT OF AWARDS AND IT TURNED A LOT OF HEADS. I HAD A CHOICE TO MAKE AND I MADE THE WRONG CHOICE. ROB REINER HAD STARTED A COMPANY CALLED CASTLE ROCK AND OFFERED ME A DEAL TO COME THERE AND TO CREATE TV SHOWS AND WAS ALSO INTERESTED IN A BOOK I HAD WRITTEN. THE MOVIE RIGHTS TO A BOOK CALLED “NORTH.” >>ONE OF YOUR BETTER ONES. >>WELL, MY FIRST ONE. >>THE FIRST ONE. >>THE OTHER CHOICE THAT I HAD WAS ONE THAT, MY MANAGER KEPT PUSHING ME TO DO. ON CBS, WHICH WAS IN DEAD LAST IN THE RATINGS. HAD JUST SIGNED A DEAL WITH RYAN O’NEIL AND FARRAH FAWCETT AND SAID, THEY SHOULD BE IN A SERIES. AND I DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO DO IT. AND IT WAS THE ONLY TIME THAT I’VE WENT AGAINST MY INSTINCTS. YOU KNOW, I’ve HAD HITS AND I’VE HAD MISSES BUT I PRIDE MYSELF. THERE WAS ALWAYS A NOBILITY TO THE INTENT. YOU DO THE WORK THE BEST AS YOU CAN AND ULTIMATELY, FROM THE HANDS OF A DIFFERENT GUY. PEOPLE WHO LIKE IT, DON’T LIKE IT. THIS, IT WAS SOMETHING ABOUT IT BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT TO DO THIS AND SAID, YES, I’LL DO IT. >>HOW LONG DID IT LAST? >>13 EPISODES. >>THAT MUCH? CANCELLED BEFORE? >>IT’S INTERESTING BECAUSE NOW THEY’LL CANCEL YOU BY THE FIRST COMMERCIAL. YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. NO, THIS LASTED 12 OR 13 EPISODES AND I SAY I DIED AND WENT TO HELL.>>YOU DIED AND WENT TO HELL- >>WELL IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE PROCESS. I HAD A GREAT TIME WITH “NORTH”. I HAD A GREAT TIME DOING IT.>>IT WAS YOUR FIRST MOVIE.>>FIRST MOVIE, ACTUALLY IT WAS THE SECOND. I HAD WRITTEN DRAGNET WITH DAN AYKROYD BUT NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PRODUCTION OF IT BECAUSE I WAS DOING “THE GARRY SHANDLING SHOW” AND WROTE A COUPLE OF DRAFTS WITH HIM AND THEY WENT AND DID IT WHILE I WENT BACK TO THE SHANDLING SHOW. HERE, IT WAS MY BOOK. I WAS HIRED TO ADAPT IT INTO A SCREEN PLAY AND I WAS A PRODUCER ON IT. AND WE HAD A GREAT TIME. >>ROGER EBERT LOVED IT. >>ROGER EBERT, I HAD NEVER, TO THIS DAY AND I’VE GONE ON TV SHOWS AND I FEEL SO BADLY. >>I’M HAPPY WE HAVE THE REVIEW ON THE SHOW OVER THERE. >>YOU SHOWING THE REVIEW?>>YEAH, WE’LL SHOW THE REVIEW.>>I HATED THIS MOVIE. HATED, HATED, HATED THIS MOVIE. HATED IT. HATED EVERY STUPID VACANT MOMENT OF IT, UNQUOTE AND SO ON. ALTOGETHER, I USED THE WORD HATED TEN TIMES. >>FOR THOSE OF YOU, ROGER EBERT USED THE WORD HATE, SOME HATE OR HATED 14 TIMES. OKAY? THIS WAS THE MOST VICIOUS REVIEW IN THE WORLD. AS A MATTER OF FACT, I THINK THERE’S MORE POWER BECAUSE I HATED IT. HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATED IT. PERIOD. HE SAID IT AGAIN. THAT OR SOME VARIATION WAS THE TITLE OF A COMPENDIUM OF HIS REVIEWS. THAT CAME OUT. >>SO THAT DIDN’T REALLY MAKE IT. >>IT WAS HORRIBLE. IT WAS TERRIBLE. WE WERE LIVING IN L.A. AT THE TIME. WHERE EVERYBODY IS. >>THE NEIGHBORHOOD. >>AND GOD, THE KIDS WOULD COME HOME FROM SCHOOL AND SAY, CAN WE CHANGE OUR NAME TO SORKIN? JUST SOMETHING DIFFERENT. IT WAS AWFUL. IT WAS SO VICIOUS THAT IT WAS ALMOST COMICAL. AND NOW, A MERE 20 YEARS LATER, I’M ABLE TO REALLY LAUGH ABOUT IT. >>GARRY’S SHOW RUNS FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS AND THEN YOU TELL ME YOU WERE INVOLVED WITH A COUPLE OF THESE COMEDIANS. A KID GREW UP IN LONG BEACH, BILLY CRYSTAL. >>AND THEN THE OTHER ONE FROM BROOKLYN. LARRY DAVID GREW UP IN BROOKLYN. >>LARRY DAVID, HE AND I FIGURED OUT, I WAS, HE WAS SOMETHING LIKE USING Z OR X, LIKE THREE OR FOUR BLOCKS AWAY. HE’S A LITTLE BIT OLDER THAN I AM. BUT I THINK HAD WE NOT MOVED TO LONG ISLAND, WE WOULD HAVE GONE TO THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL. >>YOU WERE SHARING SPACES?>>NO, LARRY AND BILLY. SEE, AFTER FOUR YEARS, I HAD THE YEAR WITH THAT MISTAKE THAT I MADE AND THEN I SIGNED WITH CASTLE ROCK AND I WAS IN A SUITE THAT I SHARED WITH BILLY AND LARRY AND I. AND IT WAS WONDERFUL AND IT WAS INCREDIBLY IRONIC GIVEN WE ALL STARTED TOGETHER AT THE CLUBS HERE IN NEW YORK. YOU KNOW, AND NOW SO MANY YEARS LATER, WE’RE SHARING OFFICES. >>YOU TOLD ME THAT BILLY HAD THE IDEA OF “700 SUNDAYS”. >>I WAS DOING A MOVIE CALLED “THE STORY OF US.” AND BILLY, I WANT TO SAY THIS IS 1997 OR 1998. AND HE HAD SAID TO ME, I’M THINKING OF DOING A SHOW, A ONE MAN BROADWAY SHOW ABOUT MY FATHER CALLED “700 SUNDAYS.” WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE IT WITH ME? AND ANYONE WHO HASN’T SEEN IT OR KNOW ABOUT IT, IT WAS “700 SUNDAYS,” IT WAS BILLY’S FATHER WHO WORKED A COUPLE OF JOBS. WORKED SIX DAYS A WEEK. AND ONE DAY HE HAD WITH HIS DAD WAS SUNDAY. AND THAT WAS THEIR DAY TO PLAY BALL AND GO TO THE BOARDWALK AND WHATEVER. SO HIS DAD DIED SUDDENLY WHEN HE WAS 15. SO BILLY ONCE FIGURED OUT THAT HE HAD RELATIVELY 700 SUNDAYS. HENCE THE TITLE. AND I TOLD HIM, YEAH, JUST TELL ME WHEN YOU WANT TO DO THIS TOGETHER. AND I’LL CLEAR THE DECKS IN MY OTHER WORK. AND A FEW YEARS WENT BY BEFORE WE GOT STARTED. IT WASN’T UNTIL AFTER THIS THAT WE SAT DOWN AND STARTED DOING IT.>>THAT DID GREAT IN BROADWAY. EVEN DID GREAT IN AUSTRALIA. YOU WERE A LITTLE SURPRISED. >>PEOPLE SAY, YOU HAVE TO BE A JEW FROM LONG ISLAND BECAUSE I’M A JEW FROM LONG ISLAND AS IS HE. THERE YOU GO. IT’S THE SAME LANGUAGE. IT WAS EASY FOR ME TO WRITE BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T MEET A LOT OF THESE RELATIVES, THEY WERE MY RELATIVES. THIS WASN’T FOREIGN TO ME. WHEN WE STARTED THE SHOW, IT WOULD BE STRAIGHT TO BROADWAY AND IT WAS A HUGE HIT AND IT WON A TONY. THEN IT WENT ON THE ROAD AND IT WAS EMBRACED WHEREVER WE WENT AND WHATEVER CITY. ULTIMATELY, AUSTRALIA WHERE IT’S NOT IN THEIR CULTURE TO GIVE STANDING OVATIONS, THAT THEY MADE AN EXCEPTION IN THIS CASE. WE FOUND, AND IT WASN’T BRAIN SCIENCE, ALL YOU NEEDED TO APPRECIATE THIS SHOW WAS TO HAVE A FAMILY. YOU KNOW, I LOVE “MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING,” YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE BIG, FAT, OR GREEK TO ENJOY THOSE MOVIES AND THEN WE CAME BACK AND DID IT AGAIN. AND YEARS LATER, NINE YEARS LATER, BROUGHT IT BACK TO BROADWAY TO PREPARE THE SPECIAL. >>WHEN DID YOU GET INVOLVED OF BEING YOUR OWN ACTOR? “LAW AND ORDER” AND ALSO “CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM.” YOU’VE BEEN ON MANY TALK SHOWS. >>I CAN’T ACT. I’M ME. WHEN I GO ON TALK SHOWS, LISTEN, IT’S MY RANGE. IT’S ME. “LAW AND ORDER” WAS INTERESTING BECAUSE IT WAS DURING THE WRITER’S STRIKE AND I WAS PICKETING. AND I MET A GUY NAMED FRED BERNAH ON THE PICKET LINE AND I SAID TO HIM, HE WAS A PRODUCER, I SAID, DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY GOAL IS? BECAUSE HE WAS A PRODUCER FOR “LAW AND ORDER,” MY GOAL IS TO BE ON “LAW AND ORDER” AND TO GET KILLED BEFORE THE OPENING CREDITS. I SAID, I JUST WANT TO BE THAT GUY FOUND FLOATING, HANGING, OR SOMETHING. AND THEN I GOT A CALL FROM HIM ONE DAY. >>A GOOD PROFILE OF YOUR FACE? >>YOU KNOW SOMETHING, YEAH. UNTIL THIS QUESTION, I DIDN’T REALIZE I HAD A GOOD PROFILE. BUT IT WAS FASCINATING BECAUSE I PLAYED A DOCTOR WHO WAS AT A CONVENTION OUT OF TOWN. AND HAD A HOOKER IN THIS ROOM. OKAY? AND NOW, WHAT YOU’VE GOT TO UNDERSTAND, THIS WAS THE DAY THAT MY WIFE AND OUR YOUNGEST DAUGHTER DECIDED TO VISIT THE SET. THEY’RE BEHIND THE CAMERA AND THEY’RE WATCHING ME SITTING ON A BED WITH A HOOKER FACING ME. AND THE SCENE CALLED FOR ME TO UNBUTTON, START UNBUTTONING HER BLOUSE AND THE SCRIPT ALSO CALLED FOR THE DOCTOR TO GET, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THE SUDDEN, HIS CONSCIENCE IS BOTHERING HIM BECAUSE HE HAD A WIFE AND KIDS BACK HOME SOMEWHERE AND HE HAS COLD FEET AND BAILS. WE START THE SCENE AND I THINK I’M SUPPOSED TO UNBUTTON TWO BUTTONS. I JUST GOT CARRIED AWAY. FOUR OR FIVE BUTTONS. BECAUSE, CUT. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO, YOU KNOW, I WAS UNBUTTONING A WOMAN’S BLOUSE. IT WAS PART OF IT. SO THAT WAS THAT. YOU KNOW? AND THEN I HAD ANOTHER ROLE AND ANOTHER ONE THAT I WAS A DOORMAN WHO SAW SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPEN TO SOMEBODY. SOMEBODY GETTING SHOT. >>AND WHAT ABOUT CURB? >>LARRY DAVID, WHO’S MY BUDDY, EVERY YEAR, I SPOKE WITH HIM. I SAID, I’M MORE THAN AVAILABLE TO DO SOMETHING ON YOUR SHOW. >>HE LET RICHARD ON THE SHOW. >>RICHARD LEWIS? HE’S A REGULAR ON THE SHOW. A GOOD FRIEND. HE HAD CREATED A CHARACTER CALLED DUCKSTEIN WHERE I PLAYED SOMEBODY WHO WANTED TO HAVE LUNCH WITH LARRY AND HE DID EVERYTHING HE COULD TO AVOID HAVING LUNCH WITH ME. AND GOD, IT WAS A LOT OF FUN TO DO. >>WHEN DID YOU GET A DEGREE? A DOCTORATE? FOR THE KID FROM BROOKLYN. >>IT’S NOW CALLED UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO. WHEN I WAS THERE IT WAS- >>THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO. >>WHEN I WAS THERE IT WAS THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK OF BUFFALO. >>THE DISTINGUISHED PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR. >>THEY GAVE ME AN HONORARY Ph.D. I THINK IT’S A Ph.D. IN HUMANE LETTERS. >>YES, THAT’S WHAT THEY CALL THOSE THINGS. >>I THOUGHT IT WAS ROMAINE LETTUCE. SO NO, I GET THIS LETTER IN THE MAIL. SO WHAT AN HONOR. WHAT AN HONOR AND FROM THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK. SO IT’S NOT SPECIFIC TO BUFFALO. IT’S THE WHOLE STATE. >>BESIDES THIS, HOW MANY PLAYS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND BOOKS? >>MY NINTH BOOK IS COMING OUT THAT I CO-WROTE, COMING OUT NEXT PASSOVER. I WROTE A PARODY OF HAGADAH WITH DAVE BARRY THAT COMES OUT NEXT PASSOVER. FOR THIS, WE LEFT EGYPT AND IT’S REALLY PRETTY FUNNY BUT I’VE WRITTEN CHILDREN BOOKS. I WROTE A MEMOIR ABOUT ME AND GILDA CALLED BUNNY BUNNY, ALSO A PLAY. WHICH THEY WANT TO BRING BACK TO NEW YORK. >>YOU’RE WORKING ON THE SCRIPT FOR “FIELD OF DREAMS”? >>I’M WRITING THE BOOK FOR A BROADWAY MUSICAL VERSION FOR THE MOVIE “FIELD OF DREAMS.” I HAD ANOTHER NOVEL I WROTE, ONE CALLED THE OTHER SHULMAN. EIGHT OR NINE YEARS AGO. I WAS LUCKY AND DUE TO “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.” IT OPENED UP ALL THESE DOORS. >>LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FAMILY. THE KIDS RIGHT NOW. >>THAT’S MY LIFELINE IS MY WIFE, ROBIN. AND THREE CHILDREN, ADAM, LINDSEY, AND SARI. ADAM WORKS FOR A REAL ESTATE COMPANY CALLED GEBROE-HAMMER IN NEW JERSEY AND HIS WIFE, CORY IS THE MOTHER OF THEIR THREE KIDS AND ALSO WORKING ON BUYING HOUSES THAT ARE SORT OF DILAPIDATED AND MAKING THEM NICE. >>THREE GRANDCHILDREN? >>ZACHARY, LEXI AND KYLIE. >>AND YOUR OTHER CHILD? >>MY MIDDLE CHILD IS LINDSEY AND SHE IS MARRIED TO ANDREW. ANDREW WORKS ALSO IN REAL ESTATE FOR A COMPANY CALLED SIMON BARRON, A DEVELOPMENT. LINDSEY WORKS AT DOUGLAS ELLIMAN AND THEY TWO CHILDREN, THEY LIVE IN NEW JERSEY. ADAM LIVES IN LIVINGSTON, NEW JERSEY. >>NAME OF THE KIDS?>>THEY’VE GOT TWO KIDS. JORDAN, WHO’S THREE. AND THEY JUST HAD SIDNEY ABOUT SIX WEEKS AGO.>>AND THEN THE THIRD CHILD. >>SARI WHO WORKS AT IFC. AND SHE LIVES IN HOBOKEN I WOULD SAY WITH HER BOYFRIEND MICHAEL, AND HOPEFULLY THEY’RE STILL TOGETHER BY THE TIME THIS AIRS.>>DON’T WORRY. IT’S AIRING IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS. >>THEY’VE BEEN TOGETHER THREE YEARS. >>THANK GOD FOR THE NUMBER TWO SHOPPING BAG. YOU KNOW, IF WE DIDN’T HAVE THOSE, YOU REALLY WOULDN’T HAVE SOLD- WE TOLD THE TRUTH AND I’M HAPPY YOU WERE HERE.>>I’M HAPPY TO BE HERE. IS THIS OVER? WE SHOULD MAKE THESE THREE PARTS. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪

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