Bryan Callen

Stand-up comedian



January 26, 1967


Manila, Philippines

Manila, PH


54 years old


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A little about Bryan

International upbringing

His father worked as an international banker, and because of this, Bryan lived overseas until he was fourteen years old, including in The Philippines, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Greece and Saudi Arabia.


He was one of the original cast members on the sketch comedy series MADtv.

Tool of Titans contributor

He has a chapter giving advice in Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.

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Bryan's posts (11)

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Bryan Callen


Advice for new podcasters

Well, be interesting. Immerse yourself in the space. And talk about what YOU think is interesting. Talk to people who are more interesting than you are. And good luck!


Well, RAGING BULL - duh. Robert DeNiro! But Daniel Day-Lewis is pretty damn good.
Well, I would say: Holy Ghost Power (you've got to be one of God's favorites, because he whispers in my ear EVERY Day). But here's the REAL answer: moderation, and do what you are supposed to do. Listen to that little voice. You'll be a lot less stressed. Most stress comes from the fact that we're lying to ourselves and the people around us. Follow your primal impulse. And realize that there's no escaping plain old death.
The best non-fiction I've read is anything by Joseph Campbell. And probably the best fiction I've ever read was a Pulitzer Prize winning book called INDEPENDENCE DAY by Richard Ford.
Dov Davidoff Sebastian Maniscalco Bret Ernst Iliza Shlesinger Kevin Hart
The most awkward moment of my career was when I was doing MadTV and I had to wear high-heeled sneakers, a blond wig, and a Speedo, and I was playing a pool boy, and I remember dancing and thinking to myself This is the point of no return. I will never be a serious dramatic actor. I just sold my soul, and it was worth it.
Right now, I'm reading a book called THE PEACE TO END ALL PEACE, by David Fromkin, which is a very thick book, about how the Middle East came to be, and why the Middle East is the way it is today. It's a very, very good and important piece of historical work. Another very important book to read, which I'm re-reading, is called WHY NATIONS FAIL. There are two books everyone should read: one is GUNS, GERMS & STEEL and the other is the rebuttal to that book, which is WHY NATIONS FAIL. Which will give you an understanding of why some nations are prosperous, while others are not. It's a very important book.
I think that some of the "A Ha" moments were knowing that everybody I had looked up to had had those tough moments in their twenties - and the fundamental difference between my 20's and 40's is this. In my 20's, I thought I had to add things to who I was, and in my 40s, it's more what NOT to do - what not to think about, what NOT to say, who not to spend time with , what NOT to worry about. It's the law of subtraction, not of addition. And that's a big, big lesson I learned later in life.
Life is learning how to overcome that kind of stuff. Life is learning how to make it happen when you don't feel like it. Here's the bottom line - it's easy to be a gentleman when you feel like a gentleman. It's VERY difficult to be a gentleman when you feel like an animal. Character is defined in two words - self-control. So just assume the position in life. If you don't feel like working out in life, assume the position and do it anyway.
As a young man, probably THE FOUNTAINHEAD. But now, I'm too old to be influenced. I know where I stand, and I know who I am.
Well, it starts with not taking yourself too seriously. I've never taken myself too seriously, which means that there's nothing I'm trying to guard or protect. I'm very honest with who I am, and a lot of times, the criticisms are spot-on. And when my friends are making fun of me, they love me. If it makes people laugh, I like it. Because it means I'm a part of the joke. That's a big thing young people should know - don't take yourself too seriously. Take your JOURNEY seriously, but not yourself. You're just a leaf on a very big tree. And your job should not be being a taker - you should rather be a giver. You should be in a position of service. If you're in a position of service - which mean...