I think he liked it. Steinbrenner was unfamiliar with the show. His grandchildren watched it, and his grandchildren talked him into letting us use his name. The last episode I think of the '96 season, we came up with the idea to actually fly him in and put him on the show because up to that point, we'd only been seeing the back of his head, and I was doing his voice. And then we thought it would be fun if he was - if he actually made a real appearance.
So we called him up, and he said, yeah, he would do it. So we flew out to do it. He did the show. We started editing the show. And as I watched it, I'm going, oh, my god, this is not good. And we thought it's so much better to just see the ba...
First of all, I never even spoke to him about it. We auditioned a number of people to play George - hadn't really found anyone. And then this tape was sent in from New York. And Jerry and I watched the tape, and it was Jason auditioning in New York with a casting director - reading with a casting director, just sitting on a stool.
I heard ten seconds, and I went, oh, boy, there he is. This guy - this is the guy. And I never had to say one word to him about the character or anything like that. He just had it right from the beginning. He was great. What a fantastic actor - gave me so many laughs watching him do that.
No, no. It was never mentioned. I never thought of it. Jerry never thought of it - furthest thing from my mind. And by the way, I couldn't have done it anyway. There's no way that I could have. First of all, they wouldn't have let me do it (laughter). But even had they let me do it, there's no way that I could have done that and also been the executive producer of the show. It would have been way too hard. I mean I had a 24/7 job just on the writing end of it and the producing end. So there's no way I could have been in it.
You know, they just didn't like the direction of the show - for example, the Chinese restaurant episode.
They hated - they hate - they hated that show. They didn't even want to air it. And you know, there was a big meeting about the kind of shows they liked and the kind of shows they didn't like. And you know, I just said, well, I'm not going be able to do that. So I just thought that I would quit. But then I learned another lesson - that when you say no, you invariably get your way. And it's a wonderful feeling to...
I can't believe I never did it before.
You just say no. And then they go, OK, OK, well, you don't have to.
Well, it didn't seem like I had much of a choice. I don't think that - you know, I don't think that my hand would have cooperated with my brain if my brain was telling my hand to write something it didn't really want to write. But I remember when there was some interference from NBC with "Seinfeld" when we first started doing it. And fortunately I didn't have a family at the time. So it's - it was very easy for me to say to them, no, I'm quitting; I'm not going to do that. I don't want to do that, and I can't do it.
And for me, it wasn't a big deal to just pack up and go home. Like I said, I hadn't - I didn't have a family. It's much harder. That's the first piece of advice I'll give anybod...
[Well] I got out of college. And I - you know, I was funny with my friends. And my friend's wife said to me, you should be a comedian. And I thought, really? I just hadn't - that hadn't occurred to me. And then I went to the Improv, the Improvisation, to watch a show. And as I'm watching the show, I'm starting to think that, hey, maybe Jane's right. Maybe I could do this. In fact, not only am I starting to think I could do it. I think I could be really funny up there. Not only that, I'm going to go up there right now.
I go up to the owner of the club, Budd Friedman, and I say, I'd like to go on. Now, I'm just sitting in the audience on a Saturday night. I leave my seat, and I go talk to the...
They were quite stunned by it (laughter). When "Seinfeld" was the No. 1 show in the country, my mother would call me up and go, Larry, do they like you? Do they think you're doing a good job? Are they going to keep you? What do they say to you? Did they tell you you're good? She was very insecure.
Zero, zero expectations - my mother - I've said this before. She wanted me to work in the post office. She wanted me to be a mailman because she thought, you know, I'd get a pension, and I'd be taken care of. I would have security. And that was her dream. That was the best-case scenario, that I would be a mailman.
Just whatever it was in my head, it was bleak. I don't remember having any ambitions, any goals, any dreams. It was always, how am I going to get by? What am I going to do? But I didn't really - to be honest, I didn't really give it much thought. Even in college, I didn't give it much thought. I was having fun in college. And basically when people asked me what I was going to do, I just said, oh, something will turn up. What that was, I had no idea. But...
No. I wasn't funny at all. I didn't even suspect that I had a sense of humor until I went to college. And then something kind of changed. I don't know what happened. Perhaps it was meeting new friends and being in a different environment that unleashed something in me. I don't know.
I grew up in Brooklyn in a - it was in Sheepshead Bay. I lived right under the Belt Parkway. And there were four buildings, which was my little universe. My friends - my five, six, seven, eight friends - we all lived in this building. And it was a very happy childhood as far as I remember. We played sports all the time, walked to school, came home from school, played ball in the winter. We'd play basketball in freezing temperatures and every possible - we would invent games. And not too many girls in my life, I must say, though.
Q: Would you rather have sex with a goat and no one will ever know, or not have sex with a goat and have the whole world think you did?
A: I'd rather not have sex with a goat and just use that pain and suffering for my comedy and my act, that everyone thought I did. My next special would be "I swear I did not have sex with that goat."
It was seven minutes long. And I was so nervous that I wore a hole in the carpet walking back and forth before the show.
It went well. But I saw video of it years later and I couldn't even get through watching it.
Q: Would you rather…Change gender every time you sneeze? Or not be able to tell the difference between a muffin and a baby?
A: I mean, that's the worst question I have ever heard in my life.
I would choose the muffin baby thing because they are both so delicious.