Posts tagged 'Reflecting on own work' (20)

Reflecting on the popularity of Freddy Got Fingered

I love how much people love Freddy Got Fingered. I think that movie made me realize how much the media gets the story wrong. Everywhere I go people tell me how much they love that movie. Lobby your congressman!! Freddy Got Fingered rules.


I love that movie. Getting to play that part was such a gift for me. We had a real balance of genuine emotional resonance, with highly stylized high school life. It's all subject matter and humor that I love. Plus everyone on set and in production knew each other, or were aware of each other over the years, so filming was kind of like a party. GREAT TIME.
I love the new movie and can't wait for the second part. That book is a favorite of mine, and King one of my favorite authors. It was a really big deal for me to get that role, and insane to get to work with all those stars. I'd loved both Tim Curry and John Ritter for years, and taken tremendous influence from their careers and performances. Everyone was so cool and gracious- it really set a tone of epic collaboration. The director Tommy Lee Wallace was so clear in his vision, and really able to communicate. It showed me a lot about what a director can and should be.
I have to say that the only good reviews I've gotten in my movie life were for The Emperor's New Groove. I really, really liked that movie. It was very hard to do (which sounds crazy, because it's only the voice) but the backstory was, it was originally called Empire of the Sun. And it was myself and Owen Wilson as sort of a prince and a pauper trading places type thing. And we got a year and a half into it, and Michael Eisner from Disney looked at a rough cut and said "I don't like it." And they got rid of everybody but Spade, and they had this dopey llama idea. It sounds like they just made it up on the spot, and he liked it, and somehow those guys put together a whole new idea, and it was...
I had a great time on that show. That was a really fun time in my life. I left Saturday Night Live, and was happy after about 2 years of that show, I realized we were going to stick around, and it was happy to have the monkey off your back, when you leave SNL it doesn't mean you're not going to do anything else in your life in show business. So to leave it, and then get something else that kind of clicked, and I could make money at, and was really fun to do, was great. So if I didn't have Just Shoot Me, I wouldn't have had a lot of stuff. I would have never gotten a cover of Rolling Stone, I never would have gotten the house I had, and I got to work with fun people and do a show that I was p...
I was really worried they would ruin everything that I had built for doing comedy on a national level. I was worried it would look like I sold out and they weren't funny. But they worked. The directors were awesome, they offered me a lot of money, and the spots were really really well written. Then they let me improvise and write lines. It was really a more collaborative process than most movies I"ve been in. How weird is that? But I guess people liked them and that's all that matters. I've said the word "really" a lot in that answer and I'll own up to it. I'm really not ashamed of it.
I had actually pitched Nathan for You to Comedy Central before I started working on Jon Benjamin Has a Van. It was inspired by segments I did for a Canadian series called "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" where I'd interact with real people in an interview setting. I first began doing these segments in 2007. But it's always interesting to watch different approaches to dealing with real people, and it was very educational to work with Jon and see how he operated. You Can't Shoot Here is one of my all time favorite comedy bits.
The pin really did slip from my fingers and catch on my sweater. That was not something that was planned. But what we didn't show in the episode is that I had a second backup pin taped behind my ear with a band aid (skin color so you couldn't really see it). In practicing, the pin was really easy to drop, so I wanted a backup. If the pin hit the ground, I would have gone for my backup pin.
Each year I'm getting more and more joy out of the process than the outcome...that may be because I've been fortunate to have great outcomes and are taking them for granted but I like to think I'm remapping my neurology and interpreting certain experiences differently. I like talking to other people about how to tackle a story. If I were a character in a movie, my "arc" would definitely have something to do with a journey from isolation to collaboration. In other words, as I near my retirement, my real joy has become exploiting younger writers.
My favorite part of working on Community was getting to work with Chris McKenna, and learning from him (and from Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan) how to start transitioning from sealed-off, alienated writer guy into connected collaborator guy. Talking to other writers about how to tell a story the best way possible, sharing personal experiences and mining them for premises, and just generally being holed up in a room somewhere on a movie lot with a bunch of smart, funny people working together to try to make a perfect show, I always miss that feeling and it changed my life.
I think playing Oliver Sachs in Awakenings was a gift because I got to meet him, and got to explore the human brain from the inside out. Because Oliver writes about human behavior subjectively and that for me was the beginning of a fascination with human behavior.
I agree with Justin Kirk who played Andy on Weeds..."I don't feel things when they are happening." At the time I was fine with it and looking forward to moving on to other things in life but now I am becoming a little nostalgic for it. We would have begun taping Season 9 this week. I have certain years that were my favorite on that run. I think when any show runs that long you are going to have some years that are stronger than others. I ran into Chevy Chase once and he said that with SNL a lot of people don't remember this but only one out of two SNL shows in the original years were good.
The only movie I watch end to end over and over again is Walk Hard. It just makes me laugh and relaxes me. the rest I will watch pieces of when they are on cable. I have so many emotions tied to every scene it’s hard for me to be a normal audience to any of it. Except Dewey Cox. And Zohan. And Popstar. I guess the sillier ones draw me in.
You know, at 14 years old, you don't really contemplate success and that aspect of work, you kinda do things because it's fun to do. We had an amazing crew and cast, and I had the best 8 years of my life on the show. It's not something you can force, it's either something that happens or doesn't. Yeah!
Ok you want the truth? The Cavalcade of Comedy. I didn't feel like I had the time to put into it that it required. I thought it suffered as a result.
We acted together in the Senior Show our senior year. He was incredibly talented and the show was a lot of fun, but no, it never occurred to me that anyone would do anything together after high school. Who ever imagines that? I sometimes think that if I were to wake up and it turned out The Office was all a dream, the fact that John Krasinski was in it with me would be what I'd realize afterward should have been the obvious tip-off. "Oh! And John Krasinski was in it, too! But they called him Jim! And there was a beet farmer... Whoa, so weird"
Yes. I think it was a really great final episode, and I love that the final episode acknowledged the impact that the documentary crew had on everyone's lives, and also continued the story with the characters. And on a personal level I loved that Ryan literally ran off into the sunset with Kelly -- but abandoned a baby in order to do so. So funny and dark and happy perfect. Greg Daniels deserves all the credit in the world for wrapping up the series the way he started it out.
Daily Show was a really intense grind. So much fun, but less about spontaneous laughs and more about building comedy and crafting jokes for the on-air segments. The Office was more about just trying to make each other laugh all the time. So the vibes were very different, but equally rewarding and exciting. And hilarious.
I've interviewed almost 60,000 people. It's impossible to pick one out. I've interviewed 7 Presidents, Marlon Brando, to Frank Sinatra, to Nelson Mandela, to Martin Luther King, it's impossible.
It's very hard to choose. Because I've enjoyed all of them, really! There's a movie that never really did big in terms of its receipts, but it was called "Funny Farm," and in some ways, it may be my best performance. It was very real and very fun. I think it's because also it had the great director George Roy Hill. He directed me in that.