"I would have been a lot better off if I’d studied more when I was growing up, y’know. But you know where it all went wrong was the day they started the spelling bee. Because up until that day I was an idiot, but nobody else knew."
He attended Heidelberg College in Ohio, with plans of being an accountant, but one of his football coaches saw his comic routines and encouraged him to consider theater and communications. He played wide receiver on the football team at Heidelberg. D...
David Letterman favorite
He was a guest of The Late Show with David Letterman 28 times - more than any other comedian on the show.
Daddy the comedian
He typically only allows his kids to listen to 5 minutes of his material, because “I don’t want them to think of me as Daddy the comedian”.
Comedy has been tremendous for me. I enjoy making people laugh, and to be able to make a living at it is pretty spectacular. I was in college, and kind of floundering, as a lot of young people do. I thought I wanted to be an accountant, and after taking some accounting classes, my eyes would roll so far up into the back of my head that I thought ‘I don’t think I can hang with this for the rest of my life.’ Nothing wrong with that profession. My dad was an accountant, and many wonderful people are accountants. It just wasn’t for me. So I switched majors to communication and theater arts, which was a combined major, and it was in that world that I hit on the idea of being a stand-up comedian.
My first open mic night in a comedy club was a cross between a tremendous disaster and an exhilarating success. When I hit the stage, I completely blanked out. I forgot every single thing that I was going to say, and I was just on stage like, ‘Wow, what am I going to do?’ And I just started ad-libbing about how stupid I was for not being able to remember my act and everybody laughed, and I just kept ad-libbing about how dumb I was and everybody laughed, and it killed. I killed for five minutes about how stupid I was. And I walked off stage and I was like in a fog. I didn’t know how to feel about it.
And you look at it, go, 'I don't see a dinosaur. I don't see a dinosaur. I don't see a dinosaur. Oh! Oh I see it.' That's what jokes are like. You look at life. You look at it the same way everybody else does. But for a comedian, every once in a while you see a dinosaur. You see a joke. You go: 'Hey, there's a joke there.'
I think when you see the word 'clean' associated with comedy, a lot of people think that that's the point of it. "Like, 'Oh he's trying to be wholesome. He's trying to make a statement.' And that's not it at all. There are comedians out there who work dirty who I think are great. But I found that that didn't feel natural to me. You want to feel like you're as in-the-moment as possible. You want to feel real. And that stuff doesn't feel real to me.