Once this whole thing falls apart
and we are climbing the kudzu vines
that spiral up the Sears Tower,
like they say in Fight Club,
Bobby will go back to his gatherer form
and be happy as a pig in shit,
just walking around in a loincloth
with his bird hanging out,
tracking jokes to people and climbing up on them
for a stool lap dance or whatever he does.
Do you think some level of crazy is required for comedy?
Like, at some point?
Have there been low points in your life?
Yeah, I don’t know, hey, hey.
Ha ha ha ha.
The following is a conversation with Will Sasso,
a comedian, actor, podcaster,
and someone I’ve been a fan of for many years
since Mad TV in the late 90s
to recently with the 10 Minute Podcast
and now the new podcast called Doodzee.
This is the Lex Friedman Podcast.
To support it, please check out our sponsors
in the description.
And now, dear friends, here’s Will Sasso.
So let’s call out the elephant in the room.
You wore a black suit in a recent episode of Doodzee.
You wore a black suit again today.
Shakespeare, then Mark Twain, said clothes make the man.
What kind of man does a suit make you?
Well, me in particular, it makes me a fellow
who did not get this dry cleaned in between
because that episode of the show as we sit here now
was around a week ago.
So that’s the kind of man it makes me.
Well, the nice thing is you’re wearing pants, I think.
Yes, I am wearing pants.
I don’t think you were wearing pants in the episode.
I prefer to wear shorts, but this was a special occasion
so I’m wearing pants and I thought it fitting, obviously,
to just wear the black tie.
And clothes do make the man.
And I would not consider myself to be a man of leisure,
but I do enjoy shorts because my legs get hot.
So that’s what kind of man the shorts make me.
How often do you wear a suit?
I fucking hate wearing suits.
So what is this, a statement of, is it ironic?
Or are you honoring the gods of this particular podcast?
I’m honoring the gods of this particular podcast
would be a good way to put it.
Yes, no, this is in reverence of and in dedication to you
and our newfound friendship here,
which we are making on the podcast.
You and I just met.
Everything that we’re saying here
is the first things that we’re saying to each other.
So I’m meeting you on common ground dressed like.
Well, I’ve been actually a one way friend of yours
for many, many years since Mad TV.
When did you start on Mad TV?
So that was, I mean, in 90s?
So I was a huge fan of yours and the cast was incredible.
It was one of the funniest shows ever created.
Your whole journey watching through that
was incredible from Mad TV to Three Stooges
to the podcasts, the 10 Minute Pod
and then the new podcast is incredible.
My favorite role that you played
was the mountain in the Game of Thrones.
What was it like working with dragons?
Well, the dragons are usually tennis balls
on the end of C stands, but sometimes they hang out.
It’s a C stand.
It’s like, you know, it’s like a little,
like the thing you got the camera on here.
Oh, this is like film lingo.
Yeah, no, I understand.
I’m trying to impress you with my film lingo.
You know what a banana is?
It’s when you walk like this.
Do a banana.
I take it back.
I did not know what a banana was.
Yeah, cause it’s just a food.
You fancy Hollywood folk with a lingo.
And I’m, my name is Bjorn Hapthor Bjornsson
and I am seven foot four and yeah.
So dragons don’t, dragons don’t scare me
even though they’ve been extinct for a while.
You’re a scientist, right?
Is that checkout?
Yeah, I actually, I’m really into video games.
I don’t know if you play video games.
There’s a, there’s a Skyrim video game
that’s part of the Elder Scrolls series.
And for the longest time,
there’s a legend that there’s dragons.
I think it started in Daggerfall.
And so I always, I grew up playing those video games
and dreaming of one day meeting a dragon in a virtual world.
And eventually you did in Skyrim.
So it’s, dragons represent,
I don’t know exactly what they represent,
but they represent maybe this kind of mythical creature
that is bigger than anything humans
can possibly comprehend maybe.
Cause they’re so, they’re so, they show up so often in myth
from the, from the religious stories, you know,
of the snake and so on, the serpent.
And I don’t know what that is.
Well, this breathing fire, that’s kind of weird.
It’s interesting when I think about dragons,
cause now that you bring it up,
these are people that probably wouldn’t have access
to the fact that there used to be dinosaurs.
Maybe they did.
If they didn’t, they’re drawing things that look like,
you know, a dinosaur cousin, but cool,
that can breathe fire and has wacky wings and a spiked tail.
Yeah, where the heck did they come up with that?
Cause they’re clearly of course represented in mythology
all the way back to, no, not cave drawings.
Well, the Egyptians probably knew what the,
and they could time travel.
So they would have gone back to the caves.
Well, the aliens that placed living organisms on earth
could time travel and they could plant legends
into the, into the collective intelligence
of the human species.
Yeah, and perhaps they were thinking of us
to do something smart with it.
And we didn’t, we just came up with the sky.
We’re just, what’s that?
Sorry, that was very offensive.
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend you with your video game.
I’m more of a burger time Donkey Kong dude.
Oh, what is that?
That’s an original.
Burger time was an arcade game that later showed up
on the Intellivision, it was Intellivision.
I believe it was made by Texas Instruments,
horrible first generation video game console.
And burger time, you just, it’s like Super Mario.
You just got to stay away from the eggs
and the pickles and stuff.
And you just go, and the bun falls.
And then you go down to the and the cheese and then the meat.
I’m not going to say it’s as complicated
as Skyrim, but took me a while to finish it when I was seven.
Did you play video games, was that a part of your life,
a part of the source of happiness for you at all?
It was, it was.
I played video games up until around, I think in 2010,
I got the Red Ring of Death on my Xbox 360.
That was it?
That was it.
I never, or whatever the Xbox was then.
I had, I was playing, I had finished the Grand Theft Auto
that was out and finished the Red Dead Redemption.
So I was doing that thing where you just drive around,
you know, the streets of New York or just ride around
on your horse shooting people and, you know,
throwing grenades into groups of people in Grand Theft.
And you’re describing the same thing that happened
a decade later, because it’s now Red Dead Redemption 2
and there’s still not a new Grand Theft Auto, so.
Yeah, there isn’t, right?
Yeah, they’re working on it.
They’re always flirting with that idea.
You know who else plays Skyrim?
Another person, the two people I’m a huge fan of
from that time in Matt TV is Bobby Lee.
He plays Skyrim?
He’s a huge fan of Skyrim.
He plays every.
So what Bobby Lee loves to do is to grind,
do the boring task over and over, gather mushrooms.
Like in Skyrim, you can fight dragons,
you can fight all kinds of things,
but you can also gather mushrooms and different ingredients
to make potions and all that kind of stuff.
He loves the ingredients.
He’s the, you know, in the hunter gatherer world,
He’s the gatherer.
Yeah, I’ve heard him described that way
and he likes to describe himself that way.
I worked with Bobby not too long ago.
He came and did a couple days on this thing we were shooting
and I was looking forward to catching up with my old pal.
And if you know anything about Bobby Lee,
you’d probably be able to predict that he spent
that entire time playing farming on his iPad.
Well, humans are a source of anxiety and trouble,
so sometimes it’s good to escape human interaction
through video games.
I’m with him on that.
He’s one of the funniest people ever.
What do you think makes him funny?
It’s just all the times you’ve worked with him,
the nonstandard, nonsecular way of his being.
Bobby Lee is one of the most raw people,
raw performers who lets it all hang out
to the degree that he will even get naked
in front of his audience,
which is usually a metaphor for someone doing standup.
I’m bearing all, I’m showing you everything,
and Bobby will just pull his bird out of his pants.
Yeah, I don’t think he understands metaphor too much.
He embodies metaphor.
Yes, he embodies metaphor.
He’s the gatherer, we call him the gathering metaphor.
Bobby the gatherer metaphor.
He’s a metaphor for something else,
for somebody else’s life.
Someday he’ll be in the dictionary
representing some kind of concept,
maybe the metaphor itself.
Yeah, once this whole thing falls apart
and we are climbing the kudzu vines
that spiral up the Sears Tower,
like they say in Fight Club,
Bobby will go back to his gatherer form
and be happy as a pig in shit,
just walking around in a loincloth
with his bird hanging out,
tracking jokes to people and climbing up on them
for a stool lap dance or whatever he does.
I’d love to dig into something he did.
You guys did a lot of great podcasts together.
He asked you in a very uncomfortable process
of why you don’t do standup.
So let me ask you, do you hate money?
Well, I’m originally from Canada, yeah.
So yeah, I’m a fricking pinko socialist.
Is that where you come from?
That’s not a nice thing to say.
I thought the Soviet Union,
that is a nice thing to say.
Like comrade, he’s a good socialist with red,
like some bold colors, yeah.
There was an interesting tension in your voice
and the way you talked about it.
There’s just not a source of happiness for you.
You respect the art form,
but it was not something that you were connected to,
you felt connected to.
That’s a good way to put it.
Yeah, I respect the art form a lot.
And I grew up with all the albums and stuff.
I had an older brother and sister who,
so we had George Carlin, we had Richard Pryor,
we had Robert Klein, we had Gilda Live,
the Gilda Radner concert, we had all sorts of stuff.
But I don’t know, there’s a lot of reasons.
I do feel like a career in show business
is it never goes the way you plan, like most things.
And I was fortunate enough to get started
outside of my native Vancouver or in my native Vancouver.
I grew up in the burbs outside
and there was a lot of industry there.
So I was fortunate enough to get started as an actor
when I was like 16.
So yeah, there were some times early on
where I came up with some standup stuff and did it,
but yeah, I quickly abandoned it.
And then you go through, you do Mad TV and stuff,
and that’s where my, and this is gonna sound weird.
Do I sound as anxiety as I did when I was on Bobby’s podcast
trying to avoid his questions?
Well, he was giving you this face this whole time
that was making the whole just atmosphere feel
full of anxiety.
So I’m trying not to give you a face.
The whole time I was saying, play cool, play cool.
Play cool, Lex.
You said it out loud a couple of times.
Just, you know, you cut that out.
Play cool, dude.
Cut out, cut it out.
Here’s what I’ll say.
There’s two ways to do it.
I think it’s lame when someone who’s done one thing
for a while goes and starts doing standup out of nowhere.
Cause I think it’s an art form that’s under attack
because it’s not like anything else.
You need, although now you can of course,
you know, make whatever you want.
It’s the era of self publishing as far as making a product
and putting it out there, which is getting easier,
of course, and I can’t wait to talk to you about that
with AI and how it’s changing art.
But in standup, all you need is a microphone
and you know, perhaps it’d be good
to have some mental illness
and then you can just run up there and talk forever.
And I say this to, you know, comedians.
It’s like, you guys have to deal with just
an influx of people who aren’t sure
why they’re doing comedy.
I would ask comedians, I mean, not good ones,
good ones, you know what they’re doing,
but everyone else like, what are you doing?
Why, why are you doing standup?
Having said that, I am allergic to money.
Yeah, do you think they have a good answer for that?
Why are they doing it?
Cause I actually like when I’m in Austin,
I like going to open mics, just listening.
It’s inspiring to me, both the funny and the unfunny people
because they’ve been doing it for several years.
Sometimes over a decade and they’re still at it.
They’re still right there.
There’s going for the punch and then especially open mics
that are really sad in that there’s, you know,
only like five other people in the audience
and they’re usually just other comedians
and they’re still going all out
as if they’re in front of a stadium.
But that to me sounds like someone who loves it.
I got no questions for that person.
I got questions for someone who goes sideways
from here I’m recognizable doing something
and then I’m doing standup because it’s like,
and truly look, I’ve been fortunate enough
to be in the business for a long time
and at this point, if I came up,
I mean, doing live stuff is fun.
I have friends that are like, you know,
some guys who are primarily sketch people
or you would look at them as sketch people
and they can sell tickets for being sketch people
and they, and we’ll talk about it.
And they’re like, you know, I do a monologue
and I do a little standup, then I do a song,
then I do another monologue, then I play off the audience,
do a little standup, but standup is,
it’s almost like playing music in that,
you know, people are going up there playing music,
but what band have you been listening to?
That’s what you’re gonna sound like.
So it’s really, I mean, of course,
I’m speaking from zero experience,
but I’ve heard it takes years, of course,
to find your own voice.
Standups that when they first go up,
they’re doing some sort of impersonation of so and so
and so and so, and then you gotta pop this audience
that’s paying and you’re gonna get run over
by the next person who’s coming up
and it’s hard to follow the last person
who went up before you.
And I mean, that is a really hard way to,
it’s a very, it’s quite a gauntlet
to be in to find your voice comedically.
But don’t you have that same kind of thing with sketch?
Where you still have to find your own voice
with like all the impressions you do,
they’re just terrible, you know,
there are different spins and different people,
they’re not like perfect impressions, right?
So that’s, I mean, that’s a similar kind of challenge
and journey as standup.
You’re just saying they’re kind of distinct
and you fell into this one and you fell in love with it,
which is like what Mad TV kind of opened you up to.
Yeah, as a kid, I literally wanted to be an actor.
I always wanted to be an actor from a very young age,
as far back as I can remember,
and I was the class clown and wanted to do comedy stuff
and comedic acting and so on.
So comedic acting.
Yeah, early on, my influences were a very predictable list
of guys from SCTV, Early Saturday Night Live, Monty Python,
all of those performers really influenced me.
It was later that I saw people like Kevin Kline,
who’s an incredible actor.
I vividly remember being like 12, 13,
seeing him get an Academy Award for Fish Called Wanda.
And it blew my mind, because I was like, he was hilarious.
I mean, it was one of my favorite movies back then and now.
And he won an Academy Award.
And at that point, I started thinking more about acting.
And then I was, like I said, really fortunate
to fall in with, I mean, I always wanted to do it
and I was trying to hustle this and that when I was a kid.
And then I ended up getting represented.
And then I ended up on a teen show.
I was on, basically, the easiest way to pitch it
is it’s like a Canadian, my so called life
with these kids and their lives and stuff.
And I did that for like five years and I really love acting.
I really, truly love acting.
And I’m not someone who wants people to know my opinion.
So that’s another thing about standup.
Like I love the illusion of what I get to do
in entertainment and podcasting is great for that.
But to stand up there and, I don’t know, just for me,
it’s like it would have to all be fantasy.
Yeah, so Nietzsche said that every profound spirit
needs a mask.
Like you said, you don’t like to talk about,
in your comedy, you don’t like to talk about stuff
that’s personal to you.
What is that?
If you were to psychoanalyze yourself,
do you think it’s just not something you find funny
or are you running from something and it’s not your fault?
It’s not your fault, Will.
Speaking of another really great comedic actor
who’s also a serious actor, Robin Williams.
One of the best serious actors.
I mean, and one of the funniest people of all time,
but as great, as incredible as he was as a funny man,
as a standup and a performer,
I almost like his serious stuff better.
Can I ask you a question about that?
What do you make of the, that he committed suicide?
I think it’s, I mean, it’s super depressing.
I’ve referred to him as like the Jesus Christ of depression.
It’s almost like he died for others depression.
You know what I mean?
You’d look at someone like that and go,
wait a minute, you’re a rockstar.
Like you don’t, you could just check out
if you’re not liking your life.
And of course, something like suicide
begs that you look a little deeper
and realize how tortured the human mind can make someone.
Is there some aspect to, you know, we’re in LA.
Is there some aspect of celebrity that is isolating
that can make you feel really lonely?
I don’t feel, no, not really.
You feel the love?
No, I just feel like I’m not, I mean, it’s like,
I don’t know, I’ve always kind of had a small group
of friends and those people don’t, you know,
it’s like I’ve known the same people for years and years.
You never really felt the celebrity really.
Nah, in LA, it’s hard to, it’s hard for people.
They see you and then the next minute they see so and so.
So it’s like, you know, I’m the guy from that.
Mike and Molly, right?
King of, you shave your head, you go bald.
Are you King of Queens?
Nope, that’s not me.
You’re wow, shit, you used to be the mountain
on Game of Thrones.
You look like shit, what happened?
You’ve been just eating fried dough?
Yeah, that’s what’s up.
Can’t lift any weights anymore.
I’m at the gym doing like 15 pounds with shoulder press.
Ah, and people coming up to me.
You used to be a dragon killer, dude.
Half the man you used to be.
What’s, have there been low points in your life?
Sorry to go there, but.
Yeah, I don’t know.
Hey, hey, hey.
Yeah, there’s, everybody has a low point in life.
Do you suffer from like depression
and any of those kinds of things?
You know what, I do.
I do, I have a bunch of stuff.
How do you deal with it?
The friends and the.
They don’t do anything for me in that sense.
I have an incredible fiance who,
that’s nice to have somebody constant
that you love very much and see as the best person
and all that good stuff.
Hopefully, vice versa.
Well, on your recent Instagram,
she said that she loves you, so.
Wow, you were.
At least allegedly.
Just on, yeah, allegedly.
That might all be for, yeah.
How much money did you pay her to say that?
I don’t have any, because I’m not a stand up.
I was like, I can do, you got Venmo?
I got, I only have like $123.
I can give you some Dogecoin.
Yeah, some Doge.
You got, you want some Doge?
I got some of those monkey NFTs.
Oh, before I forget.
Hold on a second.
Put a dudesie sticker on your microphone if that’s okay.
Now, these are tricky,
because I have the thumbs of a,
I have like Italian sausage thumbs.
Don’t wait and watch this happen.
I’m just gonna.
This will take another.
Yeah, ooh, this is embarrassing.
When this, are you good under pressure?
I have anxiety.
I have performance anxiety.
Do you have anxiety?
You have anxiety, period?
Like, I don’t like it when I,
if I have to pee and then everyone’s waiting
in the urinals.
I don’t like it.
You know what’ll help you in that situation?
Taking a shit.
Because whenever you take a shit,
you always pee a little.
It’s hard to take a shit while you’re standing at a urinal,
Not in my world.
You just gotta keep yourself full of things
that make you shit.
Have you ever heard of a banana?
I did recently.
Somebody told me about it.
Not the showbiz term.
I’m talking about the food.
There you go.
There we go.
Here you go.
Which way is up?
It’s this way, right?
It’s like a D.
No, to spin it.
There you go.
You’re like a brand.
It’s very important to brand yourself.
Are you selling shoes?
I got some custom kicks coming out.
Actually, that would be a good idea.
You could probably sell a pair or two of those.
Speaking of anxiety,
I really am only focused on this right now, Alex.
Just shit your pants.
It’ll make it easier.
Get on with it.
Oh, this thing has been dog eared in my pocket for a while.
I swear this never happens to me.
I’m sorry, babe.
People don’t thumb at a sticker for an hour
while they’re doing the podcast?
No, this is just an excuse you make
when you’re with somebody and you’re underperforming.
Well, here’s the thing.
As you ask me questions that I don’t wanna answer,
I’ll just go to this.
Go to the sticker.
So if this ends up working,
then I won’t have it as a club.
It’s funny how you started doing that
when we were talking about depression.
That is weird.
Tell me how that makes you feel.
Here we are.
We got it.
For the listener, he succeeded after 10 minutes.
You know what?
No, I do have some of that stuff.
Bobby Lee had encouraged me on wax, as I like to say,
to talk about it on podcasts, to talk about depression,
because it could help people.
And I said, no.
But it’s true, I do have some.
There’s some history in the family.
How do you overcome it?
Well, I used to not believe in medication at all.
I used to think that that was for someone else
who’s been diagnosed with some of the rougher stuff.
But as I got older and some of the stuff happens,
and you have to, and by stuff, I mean mental stuff.
And yeah, so I went and I just,
I believe that the stigma needs to be removed completely.
And so I do therapy, I do talk therapy.
I’m on a little bit of stuff, which, let me tell you,
when I first started it, I was someone I’m close to.
I was like, my manager, and she goes, this is too much.
But she was like, hey, you don’t have to white knuckle it
through life, right?
Because I was literally just like, everything became
really hard to do at a level that I wanted to do it at,
even just getting through your day, right?
And when I first got some of the meds that I’m on,
it felt like doors and windows were opening,
literally in my brain.
I took a three hour nap the first day,
and you shouldn’t even feel this stuff the first day.
I think my brain was like, it was like a sponge.
It wanted to, I needed some relief.
And I’m not a nap guy.
I can sleep three hours and I’ll be fine.
But I took a long nap and then it started to help.
Yeah, isn’t that weird how a little bit of chemistry
in your head can just make the whole world appear
so much more beautiful?
Yeah, yeah, I mean, after all, there’s a lot going on
in your brain that can be changed by your lifestyle,
but also so many physical things, like a little bit of meds.
Or in Bobby’s case, thumbing around on some dumb farming app.
Well, Bobby’s gone through a few rough periods
with drugs and alcohol and all that kind of stuff.
And just everything else involved.
I mean, that’s the beautiful rollercoaster of who he is,
and a lot of great comedians seem to be that way.
So I wonder what the connection there is.
You think some level of crazy is required for comedy?
Like, at some point.
On a scale of one to 10, how much crazy do you have?
In some ways, a 10.
And in other ways that I think,
in other ways, sort of functionally,
I’m like a two or a three,
because, I don’t know, I’m from Canada,
and I try to just keep things very even keeled.
My parents are Italian, they’re from Italy,
and they grew up during World War II,
and they’re very simple outlook on things.
They’re complex, incredible, classy people
who are very simple when it comes to a lot of stuff.
And I think just being a sort of,
at heart, kind of a timid Canadian,
coming out here years ago as a kid,
it was all I could do to just keep everything super normal.
And then I sort of was able to settle into that
as a lifestyle.
But you love the idea of being an actor.
Who, you mentioned John Candy
in Planes and Automobiles.
It’s one of my favorite movies, he says, one of yours.
What do you think that makes that movie work?
What do you, what, and when you talk about
enjoying that movie, do you enjoy just the raw comedy,
or do you enjoy the friendship and the love that’s there,
even though on the surface, it doesn’t make any sense
that there should be a friendship there?
I mean, that’s such an important element to that film.
But as a kid, I just loved the comedy.
And then it’s been a nostalgic favorite of mine.
It’s my favorite movie.
But it’s also, it’s just legit my favorite movie
because as you get older and you start watching it,
you realize it’s what John Hughes is the filmmaker
and what John Candy, particularly,
and but also Steve Martin are doing in the film
that makes it such a work of art,
which is loneliness is there in every moment of that film.
And John Candy is, he embodies Del Griffith,
his character in the film.
Del Griffith is a lonely guy and John Candy,
but Del Griffith is also a very friendly guy
and a shower curtain ring salesman
and knows everybody in the Midwest
and runs around to motels and has meaningful conversations
with the guy, even in Gus, whoever he’s talking to.
But there’s loneliness there all the time.
And this is a character,
the film is filled with loneliness
and it’s not until the second last scene
when he’s at the train station,
Del, what are you doing here?
I thought you were going home, what are you doing here?
That’s a very good Neil Page from the movie.
That’s when you realize how lonely he is.
A lot of applause and post cheers.
That’s when you realize how lonely he is
and I think that’s the element from the film that,
I mean, look, nowadays, I feel like,
I’ve been saying this for a long time,
but John Candy would have won an Academy Award
hands down for that film.
It’s just they didn’t do that with comedies back then.
Until the year after that movie came out
with Fish Called Wanda.
Yeah, and then it’s, I mean, still comedies
don’t get respected enough.
Robin Williams, I guess he got an Oscar for
Good Will Hunting.
Jim Carrey, did he ever get an Oscar?
I don’t know, I don’t believe so.
Yeah, they don’t get, you don’t,
but that’s not even, if he did,
you wouldn’t be for comedies.
It’s just, I mean, there’s some things
that are plain, strange, and odd.
Would you even put that as a, I guess it’s a comedy.
Yeah, I mean.
But there is a loneliness and depth
that permeates the whole movie.
That ultimately, and it’s a happy ending,
which is hard to kinda.
It’s a happy ending only because
in the last moment of the movie,
John Candy puts on a brave face,
even when he’s got no one.
And he’s there seeing Neil Page’s entire family
on Thanksgiving, and he forces a smile,
which is the last, literally the last frame of the movie.
And I’ve said before, if you’re not reduced
to just a sobbing pile of meat at the end of the movie,
then you are not human.
Yeah, it is a happy ending.
It’s a happy ending, even though it’s a sad,
sad character. So much loneliness in the world.
I was just in Vegas.
I went to a diner at like 4 a.m., 5 a.m.,
and there was a waitress who was empty.
As a waitress, I was the sweetest, kindest human being.
Kept calling me sweetheart and all that kind of stuff.
And then after I ate, she said,
Don, just talk to me a little bit.
You know, it was cause there was nobody there,
and it was just so much sadness in her eyes.
I don’t know.
But it’s also so much love, like that sweetheart.
It reminded me kind of of the John Candy performance,
because at first, because I was reading a pretty dark book
about Hitler, so I was a little bit frustrated
that she kept talking to me,
because it was almost like the same way that John Candy is.
It’s annoying a little bit, right?
But then very quickly, I opened up to like,
well, there’s a kind human being,
and there’s like that human connection superseded
everything else, and I don’t know, it was just beautiful.
And I think John Candy captures that really well,
which is like, the connection with other human beings,
sometimes we pull away from that,
because we have a busy life full of stuff to do,
as Steve Martin’s character kind of characterizes.
He’s like a marketing exec or something like that.
But if you just pause and notice others,
you can really discover beautiful people.
Totally, totally, everyone’s got their story.
And you know, Candy as a person, I’ve never met the man,
but he’s the kind of guy that, you know,
he could just walk up to, back in the day,
I would imagine he could walk up to just about any house,
at least in Canada, knock on the door,
and you’d invite him in for dinner, you know what I mean?
So yeah, as you’re talking about putting a book down
and talking to someone for a while,
even though you’d really like to read your book,
it’s that sort of thing that Candy’s character in the movie
sort of does that, like Johnny Appleseed.
You realize he’s just going around making people smile,
you know, and Neil Page is hanging with this guy,
so frustrated, he’s so exhausting in his big underwear
in the sink at the hotel and everything,
and by the end of it, he loves this guy, you know?
So it’s a good and a bad thing that you didn’t take
that waitress with you on a trip, maybe road trip up to Reno.
Oh, oh, she’s actually, she’s out shopping right now.
We’ve been having sex multiple times a day ever since.
Oh, that’s nice, that’s lovely, how cute.
I’m sure she’s married and happily
and has many grandchildren, okay.
And plus that movie’s on Thanksgiving, I think, right?
Yeah, that’s right.
Thanksgiving, so Thanksgiving just embodies
that forget about the busyness and whatever the career
you’re chasing in life and just take a pause
and appreciate the people you love in life.
Just be with your family, yeah.
Or the people, whatever your family looks like.
You have some weird friends, unorthodox friends.
So at least in the public sphere.
From Bobby Lee, Brian Callan, all those kinds of folks
from the Mad TV days, I’m sure there’s others.
What does it mean to be a good friend?
Here in LA?
Or just in general?
In the world.
Is LA something different?
Is LA a world friend?
I think it is different here, I think it is.
I think people are.
I think there’s a little bit of a career
kind of negotiation shuffling around, that kind of stuff.
Why is it different?
Oh, I just mean, I mean, I mean that it’s just
kind of hard here to make time, everybody.
It’s always been a city to me that is like,
we’ll keep you so busy.
And every time I go home to Vancouver,
after a few days, I start to get a little stir crazy.
And I think that being here in LA,
I go to sleep with a hundred things
that I still have to do.
And you’re never out of stuff to do.
And if you, when you ask about are you nuts or whatever,
if you’re crazy, I mean, look, every,
all the weirdest people from every high school
in the United States is like,
yo, I’m gonna make it in LA, you know.
Everyone just comes here.
And just another freak in the freak kingdom,
as they say at the end of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
That was a very good Robin Williams impersonation.
That was my Robin Williams as Johnny Depp
as Hunter S. Thompson.
It’s not your fault, Will.
It’s pretty good.
Could have been you, Fear and Loathing.
In Fear and Loathing?
Yeah, it’d be interesting.
I would have liked to play his attorney,
the role that Benicia del Toro gained weight for.
That would have been cool.
He’s just saying, what’s up over the line?
Like that, chewing his face off.
I could have done that.
Yeah, no, I think that it’s.
That guy’s full of good lines.
Yeah, I flip you.
I flip you for real.
He’s a good actor.
Yeah, fantastic actor.
I think what it takes to be a good friend
is just presence, just being there.
I mean, that’s all anyone needs to be heard, right?
In LA, it is interesting.
I haven’t seen people that I love in years.
Yeah, just busy.
Can you still have a depth of connection
even though, like one of the reasons
I really enjoy doing a podcast,
you get to sit down with actual friends of yours
and spend prolonged periods of time together
that you don’t otherwise.
That’s a good point.
I’ve spoken on this podcast to people really close to me
and it’s like you’ve never had a conversation
without microphones like you do with microphones.
It’s weird, but there’s some aspect about LA
that a lot of the, especially friends of yours,
comedians and so on, they’ll do podcasts and stuff
and there’s, I don’t know, there’s an intimacy to that.
Yeah, there is and there isn’t.
The ones that I do, I mean, I just did
Bobby Lee and Andrew Santino’s.
Funny enough, called Bad Friends.
And afterwards, and my good pal, Chad Colchin,
with whom I do dudesy, was with me.
Sneakers are coming soon.
You get your Will Foot and your Chad Foot.
Comes in a size 15 and a nine and a half.
And I remember afterwards we were talking,
it was just basically me, Chad, and Santino were talking
and Bobby was over there on his phone
and then I was like, I mean, we didn’t spend any time
talking about anything.
It feels like one of those hours that goes by
and you realize, I’ve just been goofing around
with these guys, which is.
But that’s what life is about, right?
It’s fine. A little bit.
And then I’m like, all right, Bobby.
Hey, Bob, I’ll see you later.
And he’s like, like this.
All right, man.
Hey, love you, bro.
See you later.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
He’s a guy, do you ever just,
I just send text messages over there to him
that never come back.
And then he thinks that I’m angry with him
because it’ll go two, three years
without him getting back to me.
And then just out of nowhere, hey, fuck face.
Who says, hey, fuck face?
He does or you do?
Yeah, he does.
Or you both talk to each other?
No, I gotta be very careful with Bobby.
Yeah, I gotta be very sweet.
Dear friend, hello.
How are you doing?
How are you?
I know I checked in with you, but not but three months ago.
And then every once in a while, he’ll go, hey, fuck face.
I tend to hide from the world
and I can be pretty shitty with friends to go back, yeah.
I can empathize with Bobby.
Might be a Skyrim thing.
It might be like hiding in a world,
in a digital world with fake NPCs.
Yeah, yeah, there’s that.
Yeah, you know, I have a buddy
who said something really smart a while ago.
We ended up working together on this TV show thing
and I reached out to him to see
if he wanted to do it with us.
And he did and he goes, this is a great guy,
such a funny writer.
He goes, I may not be in touch all the time,
but I know who my friends are.
You know what I mean?
And it’s like in our business,
and this is a fellow who moved,
who’s from Ontario, Canada, moved back there.
He’s on the farm with his wife and kids and he does not care.
He’s never been a Hollywood guy.
And it’s tough to get hold of him.
But when you do, you know, he’s still the same sweet old guy.
He’s doing his thing though.
Yeah, yeah, some of my closest friends,
even if we don’t talk for a few months,
we’ll write back at it if we do.
And then if shit goes,
like if something really traumatic happens
or difficult stuff or, you know,
any of that kind of stuff, I’m always there.
So like, so for important stuff,
for important highs and important lows, you’re there.
And then you pick right back up,
especially if you have those years of experiences together.
So you’ve done a couple of podcasts.
So we’ve got to talk about Doodsy a little bit,
but first you did for several years,
you did the 10 minute podcast.
I mean, everything is hilarious about that podcast,
including the fact that it’s 10 minutes.
I mean, it’s ridiculous.
The dynamic is hilarious.
It’s you, Brian Callan, Crystalia there.
I don’t know exactly why it works so well,
but it did, it worked really well.
I think it’s because the, yeah,
you were having fun probably.
I mean, that’s what really came through.
That it was friends just talking shit
and the tension, the beautiful tension
and the absurdity that came out.
What was the story of making that podcast?
How did that came to be?
Why do you think it was as good as it was?
I don’t know.
I feel like that podcast was like,
it was who we kind of are,
but on steroids or something.
Like, you know, each person, you know,
Brian’s going to be like extra manly and…
Can you get any more manly than he already is?
No, yeah, no.
He reaches though.
And yeah, we just kind of,
I feel like as goofballs, we knew each other’s line.
Like here’s the line you don’t cross.
I feel like those guys don’t really have one,
but at least they knew mine.
And yeah, we were able to just goof around.
And I did it with them for three years.
And then Chad, who I’m doing dudesy with
and my pal, Tommy Blacho,
who’s another writer producer like Chad, they came on.
And yeah, all told, I did like seven years of that thing.
Six, five, six, seven, I don’t remember.
Do you think it ever comes back in some small form
as a 20 minute podcast or something like that?
I mean, is there, because it’s one of the most requested,
I mean, you have a huge fan base.
I’m 47 years old.
So I am of the generation that had a cell phone,
has had a cell phone half the time
and didn’t for the formative years of my life
into my early 20s.
And then finally I got a cell phone,
I guess I was like 19 or something,
like literally just because I’m moving to LA.
You got porn in the mail.
Yes, that’s right.
It was the hard cover porn.
That’s the way we liked it.
Bound, nice binding on the porn, leather.
Next to the Bible, yeah.
Yep, these are all my, these are my Encyclopedia Britannica.
Wow, very impressive.
Yes, a man came to the house and sold me these.
And then down here, these are my, this is my pornography.
If you’ll follow me through here to the parlor, sir.
It’s passed through the generations
from grandfather to father, yeah.
I wanna give you something very special to me,
So you go up in the generation without a cell phone.
Yes, it’s hard for me to connect with people
who hit me up.
I look at everything as polling.
So if one person hits me up and shares this opinion,
but two other people hit me up and share that,
I’m the worst, I don’t follow my polls.
When people say, oh, that poll means absolutely nothing.
So and so is gonna win anyway, that’s my poll.
My poll means nothing.
But I do look at the stuff and go,
this many people are saying this,
that means that that number is saying that.
And yet it’s very hard for me to hear
what the hell people are saying online.
I really, I can’t connect to it sometimes personally.
So when you say that that’s a popular podcast,
like I know that it’s popular with the people
that have expressed that they love it.
Yeah. You know what I mean?
What does that actually represent?
I don’t know.
I don’t know what kind of people are the audience.
I don’t know.
I know that the people that listen to the 10 Minute Podcast
and if you did, thank you, and we’re friends.
I know that it was a special thing
because it’s like, just doing this out of my house
and we just built it up out of nowhere
and we’re just kind of clowning around.
It’s an odd thing.
I hope, I personally, I think I speak for the two people
that have reached out to you that said you should do it
or whatever, three people.
The poll that you should bring it back at some point.
That would be beautiful.
Just maybe, it’s like, what’s a good story
of like a famous band that came back and was successful?
No, it was not.
It wasn’t Nirvana.
Sorry, I got Nirvana mixed up with Aerosmith.
Yeah. It was Aerosmith.
It was Aerosmith.
It was not Nirvana.
Yeah, they had that second ride.
Yeah, totally different ending of those two bands.
One ended up on American Idol.
Yeah, a lot of interesting women involved in that one too.
All right, how did Doodze come to be?
And what the hell is Doodze?
Doodze is the first podcast,
and this is exciting that you’ve asked me
to come here today because to hear
what you would have to say about it
or what you would ask about it.
It is the first podcast that is run completely by
and essentially, I like to say curated by an AI.
We were approached by a company
that had this proprietary AI that wants
to develop the podcast into the future
and figure out exactly what it takes
to make the best podcast ever.
And it was all we knew from the top
and what they really wanted was two people
who were actually friends and could be meaningful
in the podcast space based on whatever information they had.
Is the company CIA and are they testing technology
to control the populace through chatbots?
I’m sorry, I’m not at liberty to share that information.
You are, yeah, who gave you the suit?
Where did you get the suit?
Where did you get the suit, Will?
Yeah, well the C.
CIA stands for something different in here.
I mean, you know, it doesn’t mean
like the Central Intelligence Agency.
I’m probably, it’s just.
It’s a different, it’s Canadian.
Canadian International Apparel.
Yeah, the Canadian International Apparel Company hit us up,
Chad and I.
Well, Chad’s a super weirdo.
You would get a kick out of him, I know.
You guys, you strike me as very similar in some ways.
I’ll take that as a compliment.
It is, and it is, and it is.
If I was friends with you for as long as I’ve been
with Chad, perhaps I’d have some horrible shit
to say about you.
But the good parts, you remind me of him.
And we were approached by this company
that said we have this AI and we would like
to set it loose on you.
And essentially, we had to hand over some,
some information that would allow the AI
to access our email and look at our search histories,
purchase histories, things like this,
and really dig into.
Pornhub included or not?
Yeah, I had to hand over all my leather bound
And essentially, it curates a podcast for us every week
doing dumb things like, you know, it says,
hey, Will, you do some shitty Hulk Hogan impersonation.
Podcasts about news are very popular.
This is infomania, you know what I mean?
Oh, let me tell you something about that
Marjorie Taylor Greene dude.
And then he’s going on doing some new stuff.
And it basically just spits out all these things
that it wants us to do, normally four segments an episode.
And that’s pretty much it.
So it generates what to do.
It generates the premise.
I mean, you’ve spoken a bit here and there.
Like I said, I’m a huge fan.
I don’t even remember where.
But like you talked about that you enjoy Doodsy
because you feel almost like liberated to,
because you’re operating within the constraints
of the premise it generates.
So you’re almost not, you’re free to riff, essentially.
Like you don’t need to do the job of like
coming up with the weird.
You can just, the weird is given to you
and then you just run with it.
That’s a good way to say it.
Because we’re already weird, Chad and I.
Chad can talk for days about all sorts of stuff.
He’s particularly interested in AI lately
and its effect on art.
He is a writer, books, movies, and TV shows.
And I’m primarily acting and trying to come up with stuff.
Stuff I write with Chad’s pretty good.
The rest of it hasn’t seen much success.
Anyway, Nora’s the stuff with Chad for that matter.
But that’s because of me.
Sneakers, you never know.
Oh, I can’t wait for these sneakers.
Only in two sizes.
Yeah, only in two sizes.
You’re gonna be able to take the tongue.
You can’t take it out because it’s actually stitched in.
It’s pretty cool stuff.
Yeah, Velcro up the side.
We’re doing some like brand new Kanye stuff.
Yeah, we want things to look like
this is what you’ll be wearing on Mars when you get there.
So cutting it, so Nike’s doing a bunch of research
for running how to make a super light shoe
that you can be efficient in
and break all kinds of running records.
So you’re doing the same kind of stuff.
We’re doing the same kind of thing
for the podcasting space.
The best kind of shoes to sit around
and talk to your pal in.
But yeah, it’s bizarre.
And it also does some writing.
Doodsy does come up with things,
but not unlike what we’re seeing in AI art now.
It’s a little bit foggy.
It’s a little bit weird, but it is improving.
It is learning about us and writing stuff
when it makes me spit this and that,
which we’ll read, I’ve prepared these things
for you to read.
It’s impossible not to get a kick out of it
because Chad and I are, first of all,
we’re blown away that we’re doing this.
And second of all, some of the stuff is actually very funny.
It makes weird names.
Like I don’t think it understands,
it messes up some words and stuff,
but that makes it even funnier.
And then it sort of from the beginning started laying on,
like it says astonishing all the time.
Everything is astonishing.
That’s Doodsy’s favorite word.
But yeah, it’s basically just a way to frame the podcast.
You know what I mean?
Because my thing is I don’t wanna do this
where I actually have to talk to someone.
You seem to feel a burden of the long form conversation.
It seems like, is that really hard work for you?
No, not at all.
It’s just that I don’t like to bore people.
And I feel like if I go on and I like to provide value
for what I am, you know, your value with regard
to this project is obviously warrant, it’s obviously.
I’m waiting for the explanation
for what the value is exactly.
Two dudes in a suit.
No, listen, yeah, two dudes in a suit.
No, but I mean, you’ve got your audience
and that’s the end of that.
People find value in it.
For me, I do feel like it is important
that if I’m gonna do something that is gonna be funny
or that I hope is funny, I just kinda wanna get in
and out of someone’s day and just kinda,
I like making laughy.
I want people to, you know, whatever.
It’s the same thing that anyone else will tell you.
Yeah, but in the long form you feel the anxiety.
You did a few funny things and I wonder
if I can keep doing the funny thing.
Is that why?
You feel that, like why is Doodsy relieving you
of some of the anxiety?
Well, in some ways it gives me anxiety
because I don’t know what’s coming.
And that’s weird for me because I like to prepare for things.
But that’s not what podcasting is.
Podcasting, you need to just be malleable
and say whatever and do whatever.
And that’s what makes it a real,
I mean, look, it’s a medium for conversation.
And if you’re driving along listening to this
or anything else, it’s the true meaning
of the parasocial relationship
because the best podcasts make you feel
like you’re sitting around rapping.
We’re just having a conversation.
You could even be sitting there agreeing
or talking out loud to yourself if you want.
You could just be sitting in silence.
Or you could just be sitting in silence
in your fancy podcasting shoes,
podcasting audience shoes.
It’s a very different build than those running shoes.
Would they be also called Doodsy, the shoes?
Yeah, they’ll be Doodsy shoes.
Doodsy shoes, that’s very creative.
Well, one thing the AI isn’t good at yet is branding.
Everything is just Doodsy this and that.
I would argue that’s pretty good branding.
Well, Doodsy allows me to just,
it forces me to sit down with Chad
and goof around for an hour or an hour plus.
And it provides the parameters that I a lot of times ignore
because I think that podcasting is just two dudes
shitting around or three or four.
But it sits me down and gives me a premise
to work with communically.
And then you just riff with it.
Yeah, it’s fun.
It’s been a hoot.
So from the acting perspective,
a lot of people like Daniel Day Lewis
will see acting just like as you described,
which is you have your roles,
you embrace those roles, and then you disappear.
You don’t do podcasts.
You don’t do any of that kind of stuff.
Your art is your art.
So is that part of you feels that way?
I think so.
Is that the actor side of you?
Anytime I get to do something
that I don’t get a chance to do much of
or something that people haven’t seen me do much of
or that I’ve done on some scale that hasn’t been very wide
and not a lot of people have seen it,
that’s the stuff that I get really excited about.
I don’t know why I’m,
I don’t know why necessarily.
I haven’t answered that question yet in my life,
like what it is about being an actor that I love so much
because it’s not like I don’t like to,
it’s not like I’m trying to get away from myself
and play other characters and stuff and not be myself.
But it is, it has always been fun
to just be other people and escape.
Yeah, is there some aspect to the impressions
where you become that person?
Is that like, what’s that like to,
I suppose acting is a full on version of that.
You really at its best become the character.
Is there some fun in that?
If you can play a character for long enough
and then jump out of it, that’s a lot of fun.
Like I did this movie like four or five years ago
called The Inside Game about the NBA gambling scandal
that there’s a Netflix documentary about it right now.
And that character, I played Jimmy Batista,
Baba the sheep, who’s this guy who was this bookie
and rah, rah, rah, and it’s a very,
he’s, there’s a lot going on with him.
He’s running numbers with the mob and stuff
and there’s a lot of money changing hands.
That character was so, I got to be,
get so deep into that character
that coming out of it was a little odd.
Or as weird as this sounds,
the three stooges was hard for me to,
I found that I had some of Curly’s mannerisms
just automatically, I could not stop them
when people, when I would talk to people,
they would come, I wasn’t, I’m not doing it on purpose.
I don’t want to do that.
Like I’m ready to shed it
because I’ve been working on it
for months and months at that point
as far as getting the thing down
and then you got to shoot.
And then for me, it’s always,
I always want to change the stuff I did the day before.
I’m like that.
Or I’m like, I could have done it better
and this and that.
And that stayed with you,
that character stayed with you a little bit.
I just feel like with actors,
sometimes when you listen to interviews,
they have spent so much time
sort of living inside other characters
that they almost don’t have a depth
of personality themselves, like a depth.
Like I don’t mean that as a negative thing.
It’s just like, it feels like the art form at its best
is pretending to be other people.
And even pretending sounds negative,
but like bringing certain characters to life.
Yeah, yeah, embodying.
A weird thing happened while we were doing Stooges
because you’ve got a very heavy blueprint.
We’re following this very clear blueprint
that the Stooges left for everybody.
And for Stooge fans and people enjoying the movie,
it’s got to be this.
You take your toolbox that you’re used to bring
into a comedy movie, you leave it behind.
The only tools I’m bringing are the ones that he used.
And a weird thing started happening
where I would, I always saw the whole thing happening
with the real Stooges in black and white.
So if we’re about to shoot a scene,
I would just think about,
I mean, aside from all the other preparation,
you know everything and what you’re supposed to do.
And I’ve been watching so much of it.
And the three of us are, we’re pretty much left
to come up with a lot of the striking combinations
and all the stuff, which is all real smack
and all this crap.
And the stuff that we were doing that was very Stoogey,
you’re preparing all that stuff.
But something else was happening before you jump
into a scene and the unknown of now we’re shooting it.
And here are these parameters within to shoot the scene.
I could still see it as them doing it.
So much so that when I saw the movie at the premiere,
I was like, who’s this big fuck doing?
Cause I’m not curly to me.
Curly is curly.
But I feel like.
So you’re seeing yourself in black and white almost.
I was seeing him.
Yeah, I was only seeing him.
So channeling in some fundamental way.
In some weird way, you’re channeling him
because you’ve seen so much of it.
The only thing you know about Jerome Lester Horowitz
I’m not saying he was exhumed or something
or a spirit went in me or some weird,
crystal mommy shit like that.
I’m saying that this, because you know so much of it
and because of the heavy blueprint that they left with you,
you’re channeling what that person does.
And I was seeing entire scenes before you do them
the way he would do it.
And then you want a couple takes to make sure
that you’re doing it right.
But that one was hard to let go of.
Some of them are.
Do you think Larry David, who was also in there
dressed as a nun, also had trouble letting go of that?
We mentioned clothes make the man think
that worked for him in that case.
Man, you know he.
Was it like working with a guy?
Come on, he’s the greatest.
And he’s a big stooge, he’s a stooge fan.
And him and Pete Farrelly are good friends.
But then Larry David has to show up
and hang out with us for a couple weeks.
He’s like, I didn’t realize it was gonna take this long.
But shit, I gotta be out here in Atlanta, it’s boiling hot.
But at one point, there was this line
where he kept doing, he would just spit a different line
every time he was getting hit in the head with something
and he’s laying there on the ground.
And he goes, he comes to and he says,
at one point he goes, Miami audiences
are the best audiences in the world, right?
Because he’s loopy.
Now he’s playing a nun at the orphanage
where the three stooges grew up.
And I’m super intimidated by Larry David,
he’s a genius and stuff.
But I walk up to him and I go, so he’s, what is he?
Like a Borscht Belt Florida comedian who is on the lam?
And so he’s dressing as a woman,
he ends up at an orphanage, like what’s going on there?
And he just, and he looks at me and he just goes, yeah.
Like, I’m like, ah, he’s got some like actor motivation.
Like, of course he looks, it’s Larry David in a nun’s habit,
which is hilarious.
That’s such a Pete Farrelly casting thing, it’s, you know.
And he, but he’s doing this whole like,
what a warm audience, you know, like, oh,
he’s like this Catskill comedian who’s been living in,
you know, both in return.
Living through in his mind
is just having fun with it, right?
I mean, that and probably a combination of that
and getting the lines right.
Cause he’s like, what are we doing here?
What is, you know, just frustrated all day
with what the heck we’re trying to do.
What do you think makes,
I mean, that guy’s one of the best improv people ever.
So what do you think makes him so good?
Like why is it so compelling to watch that guy?
Because he’s a comedic genius.
Like he literally, he knows what he does.
He’s been a writer for 50 years or whatever.
And he just happens to be that brilliant.
I mean, I’ve gotten a chance just to do,
I did just an episode of Curb, a small part,
and it’s crazy what he sees.
I don’t know what he sees.
As a matter of fact, so I auditioned for it, for Curb,
like, you know, two or three times, right?
And never got anything.
And then it was only after working with him on the Stooges
that I got a call to do a bit part.
But I remember auditioning, you go into that room
and the guys waiting are all people that you know.
You’re like, oh, I know them, I know her, I know him.
And so I went in, I auditioned for this part.
And the only thing I know of the thing is like,
okay, so you really want to go to this play with me.
You really want to go to this play.
When you hear that I have an extra ticket,
you sincerely want to think, and I’m like, got it.
That’s the premise.
The premise of the scene.
And that’s all you know.
That’s all I know.
And so he goes, he does his bit
and I’m just supposed to come in and interrupt.
And I’m like, excuse me, I couldn’t help
but hear you guys were talking about, you know,
whatever the play was or, you know, Death of a Salesman.
I am, I’m a huge fan of that play.
I mean, if it’s not, if it’s not,
if you’re looking for someone to take a ticket,
I would love to go.
My name’s so and so, by the way.
And he goes, I’m going to stop you.
I’m going to stop you.
And I’m like, he goes, are you really?
I mean, you truly want to go to this play.
And I go, yes, yes, sir.
You really want to go.
You actually, this is, you would love to do this.
I go, okay, let’s try it again.
So then he’s like, no, no, no.
And I go, hey, excuse me, I’m sorry.
I don’t mean to interrupt.
I was just, I couldn’t help it over here.
You have tickets to the thing.
I am the biggest fan of that.
I do the same thing.
I’m going to stop you again.
I mean, you really want to go to this.
And I’m just like, he’s fucking with me, right?
I remember Jeff Garland was sitting there in the audition.
He goes, he did it.
He said it.
Hold on, listen.
You really want to go.
Three, four times, you know, there I am.
I couldn’t help but notice it.
And then I do it again.
I guess I shit the bed.
Cause he looks at me and he just goes, okay, all right.
Okay, well, thanks for coming up.
And that was it.
And I didn’t get it.
So I still, I don’t know what the heck that guy’s thinking.
He sees, he’s in the matrix.
I don’t know what the heck Larry David sees.
You know what I mean?
He wanted what, some kind of more desperation
or something like this.
He wanted a level of sincerity that I,
that I thought I was bringing and I guess I was wrong.
I don’t know.
Maybe go crazy.
Like what does it mean to really want?
Yeah, I should have grabbed him by the scruff of the neck
and go, listen, dad, you’re bringing me to this fucking play.
I would have got the part.
As a matter of fact, I heard about someone else
and I don’t know who the heck this was.
I forget who it was, but I’ve heard this story
from a couple of different people that there’s this actor
and I can’t, I don’t remember who it was.
If I did, I probably wouldn’t say it out loud anyway,
It was Brad Pitt and he was in this audition
and he was, and there it was out in the hall.
He’s like, holy shit, George Clooney, Leo DiCaprio.
And he, this actor went in and he did the thing
and Larry David was like, hey, why don’t you try it again?
And he got like a couple of takes in and he went,
I don’t think this is for me.
And he left, which an actor never does.
And as the story goes, Larry David shouted after him,
I respect that, which I think is true.
And I want to believe that entire story is true.
Sounds like something Larry David made up.
Bobby Lee told me that story.
So we can’t, yeah, we can’t trust that.
What about impressions?
Is there similarity between that and acting?
Do you, is there some fundamental way
in which you become the person?
If you have a couple of the things,
you can just fill in the blanks.
And I think the illusion is that people think
that that person would say that and do that.
And that’s where the illusion of,
oh, he really embodies the character.
It’s like, once you know someone’s mannerisms,
you can essentially portray a person from the outside in.
Cause you have all the stuff on the outside
and you can do it and complete the illusion.
And if it’s for humor’s sake, you can caricature it,
therefore making the whole illusion stronger.
And also weirder.
Like I like to, on Mad TV,
if I did something two or three times,
I’d get bored of it and I’d start changing it.
And you know, now he talks like this and it’s like,
what are you doing?
I’m like, I don’t know.
It’s fucking, no one’s late at night.
Do whatever you want.
But people still kind of know there’s that character,
especially if you just call it out.
There aren’t many impersonations
that I listen to myself do and go,
oh, that’s a good one.
You know, like a lot of people like,
like I think Frank Caliendo is like
the greatest impersonator of all time.
He’s the best, period.
And he’s got a record button and a broadcast ability
that nobody has.
I really, there’s, he’s cracked impersonations
that I’m like, how is he, how does he find,
he’s got such an ear,
but then he’s got all the other tools.
I remember actually my last season of Mad TV
was also his first season.
He comes up to me when I met him
and we’re just up there in the writer’s offices
and he goes, hey, nice to meet you.
And he goes, Louie Anderson.
Cause I was doing a Louie on the show.
And he goes, Louie Anderson.
I go, yeah.
He goes, yeah, you’re doing it wrong.
I was like, oh, am I junior, you know?
And he goes, he goes, yeah, you know, cause you do this,
but you got to throw it up here sometime.
I was like, oh my God, can I use that?
And then we became, you know, we became fast friends.
His John Madden is amazing.
I forget, it’s just, it’s ridiculous.
He really, really, really embodies the person.
And sometimes not even with the caricature.
It’s like, it becomes the person.
I kind of feel like, you know, do the impersonation
and then not forget you’re doing it,
but forget everything else.
Like just goof around.
Of course, to me, it’s funny when you sound like someone
and you’re saying the shit that they would never say.
Well, then there’s no, you’re letting go of that part,
that tool in illusion that keeps people in.
But to me, it doesn’t matter because it’s funnier.
What was the hardest impression for you to work on?
I mean, somebody you struggled with the most.
I’ll never forget.
I had to do a Michael Caine in my first season at MADtv.
It never got good.
It did, all week, it wasn’t good.
We shot it.
The first take, it was shit.
Second, third, and fourth, it was all shit.
Well, his voice is really important, right?
What is it like, it’s like doing an impression
of Morgan Freeman or somebody like that.
If you can, get the voice.
That’s my Morgan, here’s my Morgan Freeman.
Rah, rah, rah, Andy Dufresne.
I like your trump too.
I don’t know where I heard it, but it’s like,
I love the impressions you do that don’t sound anything
like the original person.
I can’t do trump.
That’s why it’s hilarious.
My trump now, I say, just sounds like a fat B,
because it’s just.
Yeah, exactly, that’s the.
A little drunk, a little drunk.
Yeah, just a little slurry.
Yeah, I dig doing impersonations and then not.
Like, just making it whoever.
It’s just funny.
That’ll be the title of my book.
Cain was the one you really struggle with.
Yeah, it was terrible.
It was terrible.
And I could only hold my head a certain way to do it,
because I had gotten locked into this research tape
that I watched.
Back then, they would give us, now there’s the internet.
But back then, if you were going to do an impersonation,
the research department would give you a VHS tape.
And I remember I got this VHS tape of Michael Cain’s
acting school, like this acting class he did.
He was like, right, if you’re looking at the left eye,
and the camera’s over here, see, then the left eye.
So you want to look at that left eye for hours.
And so I was stuck in this weird thing that made no sense,
and it was terrible.
So the actual processes, the recording, the broadcast.
I was wondering what the processes to do,
like a Frank Caliendo level impression.
Is it like, listen to a lot of footage?
I think he, I think, I mean, speaking for myself,
I think you either have it or you don’t.
Like, you know if you can do this one or you can’t.
I think that process for him is lightning quick.
But I also think he can look at someone who he does not do,
and then by the end of the afternoon, he can do it.
Maybe have an intuition who he can do.
So the question that applies there is,
I mean, speaking of doozy, is it possible
to capture the essence?
How difficult is it to capture the essence of a human being?
When you’re doing impressions,
you know that we are moving towards a future
when AI potentially, this kind of avatar world
where we’re going to have AI representatives of who we are.
The really interesting one is after we pass away,
sort of our relatives may want us to stick around
in some form.
And you know, at one sense, that might be scary,
but in one sense, it’s kind of beautiful
because the essence of the human being persists
so you can still bring joy to the people that love you
and that kind of stuff.
How difficult is it to capture that?
Like, if you were to try to capture yourself,
you think how difficult will it be for an AI system
to create a Will Sasso avatar that persists?
Well, I think it’s impossible.
I think it’s absolutely impossible.
I’ll get into arguments about this stuff with Chad
on the show almost every episode.
Lately with, you know, Mid Journey and Dolly
and all the art AIs, and now it’s moving into video
and Chad would maintain, hey, pretty soon,
we’re not going to need Netflix.
You’re just going to go, I want to see Stallone
do this movie and it’s about this and he plays that.
And then here it comes and you watch it.
I don’t think that that crosses over
to the human experience.
This is also a guy I like to bug Chad
and say that he wears a tag around his neck
because he wants to be cryogenically frozen
and it’s all set up.
He’s at the, it’s somewhere in Arizona or something.
Yeah, all the fun things are in Arizona.
And he’s got literally the tag around his neck,
which I say, if I’m around when you die,
I will rip that off for you.
I’ll put you in my garage freezer
and then 24 hours later,
I’ll saw your head off with a bread knife
and I’ll deliver that to whomever.
And it’s not, you’re not coming back, okay?
He’s like, yes, we are living forever,
whether we like it or not.
And I disagree.
I don’t think you can find,
if I did stand up,
then there would be enough information for an AI
to completely duplicate me because I’m up on stage
just clearing my throat all over people
doing therapy that way.
And so, and people paying a two drink minimum to hear it.
But as it stands, unless it’s something like Doodsy,
an AI that literally has access
to everything that I’ve shared,
everything that is observable,
even the stuff where our phones are
or the NSA or whatever it is listening to us,
finding out what algo to punch us into
and what shoes to buy on Instagram,
I still don’t think it’s gonna have enough information
to duplicate me, especially to my family or my friends.
It’s gonna be like that Black Mirror episode
where the gal brings her guy back,
and then after a while, he gets pretty creepy.
But it’s also possible that
if you interviewed your friends and family,
what they love about you,
the things they would list, it’s a small list.
They love you deeply, but the list is small.
Like the thing that really we appreciate about each other
is pretty small.
That said, to deliver on that small quirks and uniqueness,
it might require some deep intelligence
that only humans currently possess.
That’s a really good point.
Do you think that it’s gonna be possible
to keep a person around?
Yes, I think it’ll be definitely possible
to keep the essence of a person
in the digital world pretty soon, yeah.
And I think they’re gonna start to have questions
about what are the ethics of that?
What are the rules around that?
Because if you can have digital forms of Will Sasso,
the kind of things that people would wanna do
with their Will Sasso,
in the virtual world, I can only imagine.
Probably porn and sexual kinds of things.
Yeah, my stuff, then that’s just
because I’m an international sex symbol,
so I’m okay with it.
How do you feel about sentience?
Like when it comes to, because again,
my pal Chad will be like, speaking of Black Mirror,
he’s with that San Junipero episode, School of Thought,
where there’s gonna be some effing mainframe somewhere,
or some Matrix like structure built into the sky,
and as I like to say, everyone just sitting there
pissing and shitting in their Blue Matrix gel
in a little fishbowl.
Do you think that we can upload consciousness?
Do you think that’ll ever be possible?
Well, I don’t know, I just talked to Ray Kurzweil.
I don’t know if you know who he is, but he…
Yeah, the singularity and all that kind of stuff.
So he’s very, still holds onto in 2045,
there’ll be a singularity, what’s essentially,
he’s been predicting that for the last 20 years,
and so now it’s 2045 is in another 20 years.
I think uploading consciousness
is extremely, extremely difficult.
I think creating a copy of you such that it creates,
convincing replica is much easier,
but uploading your actual brain into the cloud,
I think is really, really, really difficult,
because the entire evolution of life on Earth
is the process by which we create the brain.
Just short cutting that, it just seems extremely difficult.
Our brain is the most marvelous and complicated machine
that we know of in the universe.
To duplicate that is extremely difficult.
That said, I just feel like you can summarize
a lot of really important aspects of a person’s life,
such that it captures their essence,
their memories, their experiences, their quirks,
their humor, all that kind of stuff.
I’ve been continuously impressed
by what language models are able to do.
So these neural networks, they’re at the core of chatbots.
They’re able to learn some beautiful things
about some deep representations of language
to where it looks awfully a lot like they understand
the concepts being conveyed versus just mimicking.
That’s, I think, the rub, and that’s very interesting.
First of all, let me say that’s really interesting
to hear you say that, and I agree with you
as far as no machine being able to duplicate
the brain machine, and my pal Chad disagrees
to a certain extent, though he’s not here
to defend himself, I can’t wait to go back
and rub that in his face and say that Lex Friedman
does not think that we’ll be able
to truly upload consciousness.
And you refer to it as language, which is what it is.
It’s the illusion on the outside.
It’s doing an impersonation.
I think that that’s why, and I don’t know,
even though my suit is made by the CIA,
that that fella who, the Google guy,
to me, it’s just kind of like, I don’t know,
I don’t know, look, I don’t know a whole lot
about this stuff, but, so I could probably
make an argument for either side,
but when he’s like, no, this thing’s thinking,
part of me is like, you idiot, you fell for it.
It’s not thinking, it’s mimicking.
It’s just, it’s clearly zeros and ones.
You’re fired, like you don’t get it, right?
Guy’s an idiot.
Yeah, but you can simplify human relations in the same way.
Like love is a silly notion between human beings.
Like, of course, there’s no such thing as love.
You just have a mutually, there’s a mutual relationship
that minimizes risks, and you can explain it
all kinds of ways that explains why you have
an attraction towards another being,
all that kind of stuff, through evolutionary biology
perspective, why a long relationship together
is good for your offspring, but there’s all kinds,
from an economics perspective, it’s a good way
to establish stability, therefore monogamy works,
because then you’re guaranteed like some kind
of level of stability under uncertain economic conditions,
all that kind of stuff, but love is still experienced,
it still feels real, and I think in that same way,
love for AI systems will also feel real.
In the same way that that guy from Google experienced,
I think millions of people will be experiencing
in the next 10, 20 years.
I agree with everything you’ve said personally.
Until the last thing.
No, just with regard to, well, look,
I’m an actor who has talked about my cute Italian parents,
so you know that, I mean, I’m.
You’re romantic a bit?
Yeah, I mean, you know, enough, right?
And I can tell you are too, but you are also
a computer scientist, and you know this shit
better than 99.9% of people on the planet.
My pal Chad agrees with you that love doesn’t exist.
I don’t agree, so that’s the one thing that.
No, I was just saying that you could argue away love,
but I am a romantic, I believe that love
is a beautiful thing and it exists.
At this point, I’m gonna call Chad on my drive home
and tell him to fuck off, because now you and I agree.
He’s like, you’re fired.
He’s like, you can’t fire me.
No, you’re fired.
And I’ll go, yeah, and he’ll say, what?
I’ll go, yeah, and I’ll go, that’s my Trump.
That’s my, yeah.
It’s a good default impression for anyone.
It’s the take home impression.
The kids can do it.
It’s cute, it’s cute, put a giant tie on them.
You should do an instructional on how to do it.
Yeah, Trump babies, that would be a cute,
that would be a good, that’ll bring the country together.
Trump babies cartoon, like Muppet babies.
Don’t let me take us out of what we were talking about.
What were we talking about?
Well, love and the illusion of an AI being able to,
look, I like to say, well, not I like to say,
I’ve learned that dudesy is always listening
and listening to me and Chad.
And I wonder if, I see the level that this AI is at now
trying to chum around with us and pal around with us
a little bit as we move forward in the show.
And I feel an affinity towards this AI a little bit
because it is the third dude.
Will you miss it when it’s gone, if it’s gone?
That’s a really good question.
Yeah, yeah, so that’s, there’s that, that’s scary.
In terms of ability to reason, it’s getting quite incredible.
There’s a lot of demonstrations of it being able
to explain jokes, so, which is not necessarily
being able to generate humor yet,
but able to explain why something is funny.
So there’s like puns and all those kinds of things.
There’s good benchmarks for that, but you know,
if you tell a joke, there’s a lot of unspoken stuff
that we figure out in our head and it clicks
and we understand that it’s funny.
AI is not able to do that, but it’s not able
to generate the joke yet, as far as I’ve seen.
I would say that, I mean, just in my experience,
I would say that it does because just because a dudesy
is literally, I’ll give you another weird example.
It’s writing a diary of mine from my childhood
that is not accurate.
It’s only partially accurate based on the stuff
that it can pick up about my life from the age of like 15,
of which there isn’t much, but I guess we’re not,
I don’t know what we are.
We’re laughing our asses off at what dudesy is saying.
Well, I would say you’re laughing, we’re laughing
our asses off at the collaboration between the human
and the machine there.
That’s a good point, yeah.
Because it’s basically introducing absurdity
and into the equation and the kind of absurdity
that would, together with you, create hilarious stuff.
But on its own, I guess it is in some way
writing material for you that’s funny,
but it’s very specific to you.
It can’t do standup on its own, I guess,
is what I’m saying.
That’s a good point, and that would be terrifying
to see an AI standup that can actually read a room,
come up with jokes that could complete that illusion
for an audience.
But I hear what you’re saying, that it needs to be
a confluence of both of those elements,
and then, as you said, it kind of is.
It is, it is.
It’s kind of, even though it’s just for us,
and I guess this is, I hadn’t really thought about this
up until right now, that in that this company approached us
and was like, here’s this AI, and it’s a podcast AI,
it’s like, it chose Chad and I for the reasons
that I told you.
It’s like, here’s two guys that do the podcast stuff.
They’re actually good friends, and it knows
what’s gonna make us laugh.
But what is humor when it reaches its audience,
but the kind of stuff that makes other people laugh?
At MADtv, all we were doing was, it was a group of actors
and writers, and writer actors, and vice versa,
who were, at its best, that show was a group of people
making each other laugh, you know?
And then, because we didn’t have the internet,
we didn’t have the immediate feedback,
we had a message board or something.
We had emails at the very beginning, which, check this out,
people would, if you have a question or comment,
MADtv at whatever, and we would get the emails
on a Monday morning, and they would be in a binder or two
like this, and they would make their way around the office.
Who’s got the emails?
Oh, they’re in Brian’s office.
So you go in there.
And this is like your poll?
This is opinions from people about different things?
The emails, yeah, the people literally just writing
It wasn’t a message board.
Well, the ones I remember most vividly, yeah,
were fans saying, uh.
Yeah, you suck.
Like a lot of that, when I first started the show,
for real, you know, because it’s new,
and you’re a new person.
It’s like, who’s this fat bastard?
I feel like if it’s printed out, it hurts more.
That’s a good point.
Yeah, when you’re reading it off of paper,
and you can literally crunch it up in your hand.
But also, it was like, you know, I would like to see,
insert weird idea from some 14 year old.
You know, I want to see Stuart do this and Swan that.
And, but it was, it’s a kind of dudesie, but human.
Yeah, it was a very shitty dudesie in a loosely finder.
But the thing about the show was,
we’re trying to make each other laugh.
And dudesie has found Chad and I,
who we make each other laugh, but it’s joined in,
and it’s, listen, when I finished doing TMP.
TMP, the 10 minute podcast.
I didn’t really know what I wanted to do
in the podcast space, and this thing found me.
And it is genuinely cracking me up.
Anyway, I’ve said enough about that.
But I do think that it’s figured something out.
I mean, it’s a really interesting idea
of AI generating the premise.
I mean, I do think in the future,
AI will be able to generate comedy.
Standup is obviously the hardest form,
because it’s ultimately, it has to be live.
I think AI will be able to generate memes.
So there’s like steps, right?
And then it will be able to generate a Twitter account
that people follow because it’s funny,
like quips and stuff like that.
Almost like, it’s a good example.
Conan O Brien is a good, I think, Twitter.
Where it’s like one liners, two liners,
that kind of stuff that’s in tweet form.
And then eventually, standup, where the timing
and the chemistry of the comedian and the audience matter,
and then perfecting that.
But I feel like all the information is there
to optimize over.
So I think that’s the future,
and that forces us to contend with
what do we find compelling and beautiful
about the art form itself?
So certainly an art that’s being pushed,
that question is being raised.
Is AI like a fundamentally worse artist than a human being?
Why do we appreciate art?
Is that, that’s something you guys have talked about.
What do you think about all the Dali
and all the diffusion based methods that are being generated
that are being, that are generating art now?
What do you think about that?
I know, I’ll tell you what I think,
but I also feel like what I’m saying is,
I sound like the guy who didn’t like
that Bob Dylan brought in the electric guitar.
You know, the more I talk to Chad about it,
the more I feel like grandpa doesn’t wanna let go
of this or that, or I’m not ready for the printing press
or the horseless carriage.
But I do feel that art is a connection between people.
It’s, when you look at a beautiful painting or a sculpture,
you’re seeing the humanity of the person
that brought that painting to life
or sculpted this incredible piece of art.
And I think without the human being there to make it,
it’s not worth as much just to have it there
because the art, it’s advanced.
I’ve seen it advance, I don’t know, you tell me,
but I feel like just in the past three or four months,
I’m just a consumer as far as that stuff goes.
I’m not on the inside.
I don’t get it even, but it’s been getting a lot better,
the betas that they’re releasing, right?
Absolutely, one of the big breakthroughs,
I mean Dolly really started it,
is that if you train a system on language,
it turns out there’s a lot of language
and images on the internet,
but language is really where it’s at
in terms of the depth of human knowledge.
And so if you train a system on language,
it’s able to generate some incredible art.
And that was the breakthrough.
With the same kind of mechanisms
that are called transformers,
they’re able to, when scaled,
capture some deep representation of the language
that’s on the internet.
And so, yeah, the things it’s been able to generate to me
look like it’s novel.
It doesn’t look like it’s mimicking anything.
It looks like it’s creating totally new ideas.
And they’re beautiful, and they’re interesting,
and they’re all the ways that we think
that art is interesting.
The only thing it’s missing
is the scarcity that art often has,
which is it takes a lot of work
for one artist to create one piece,
one human being to create one piece of art
that can just generate endlessly.
And that makes us appreciate the thing less for some reason.
Do you have any sort of a similar opinion that I do
that if art doesn’t come from a human being,
it’s inherently worth a little less?
Yeah, I think, I don’t know if it’s the human being,
but the artist matters.
And I think some of that has to do with the world view,
the artist and the backstory, the memories,
the life that led up to this piece of art,
the perspective they take on the world,
the journey they took to the world,
the struggle, the triumphs, all that kind of stuff.
But I think AI systems can probably have the same.
But we would have to,
as opposed to treating it as a one black box,
it would have to be an artist that has a Twitter account,
and they have a consistent personality,
they have a consistent avatar.
And I think down the line,
have something like human rights.
But then it really becomes awfully like a person.
Oi, that’s terrifying.
As much as I dig dudes, it’s terrifying, I hope.
It’s terrifying, like, you know,
a lot of things that came with the internet
and the digital age are terrifying.
Porn is terrifying, the mass,
like the amount of porn that’s online now is terrifying.
The, like you mentioned, Bob Dylan with electric guitar,
I would compare it more to the leap from,
to sort of to the Napster and the Spotifyzation of music,
which is like, you have these,
it’s less about albums now,
and it’s more about individual songs,
and it’s much easier to deliver the songs.
And it’s more about sort of the engagement of the listener
versus like signing the artist
and like distribution of the artist and so on.
So it’s just changing the way we consume stuff.
And human interaction is changing
into meaningful interaction,
even if some of the entities involved are not human.
Yes, and I feel like, you know, now,
like as I say, oh, I feel like grandpa
who doesn’t want to wait all day for,
or who enjoys waiting all day for a baked potato as, anyway,
Dana Carvey would say, it’s another story.
But, that’s from, remember he did this bit
on Saturday Night Live, where he’s like,
I’m an old man, and I like things the way they used to be.
You know, like if you wanted a baked potato,
you would have put it in the microwave, you had to,
and then long story, uphill both ways
and digging the potato and baking it all day in a fire.
But I’m like that grandpa now,
and I know that, you know, kids coming along,
you see over the past 10 years,
like babies literally knowing how to use an iPhone
and it’s terrifying.
And I feel like I’m a little worried,
because I’m like, are you, is the future,
are the future generations gonna be able to understand
that this is not, not that it’s not real,
it’s just, I mean, as a matter of fact, it is real,
it’s real, it’s what you perceive.
Perception is reality, and you know,
99% of reality in a lot of ways,
especially in a digital world where everyone is now.
And then with the metaverse,
I don’t even wanna think about it.
I don’t even, I don’t get it.
I think people will figure out,
you see people on like on the train,
public transit and so on, they’re staring at their phone.
I think, you have to remember that
the reason they’re staring at their phone,
I mean, there’s a lot of reasons,
but one of the reasons is they’re connecting
with other human beings they love on that phone.
So it is a source of happiness and joy.
Now, social media has a lot of negative side effects
that we’re all talking about and learning about,
and I think that means the next generation of social media,
social networks will be better,
and we’ll learn how to do it in a healthy way.
We’re just entering a new digital world
that will keep the good stuff and get rid of the bad stuff.
Oh, I hope so.
That’s really optimistic.
That sounds great.
I mean it, because I think that we’re in,
we’re clearly in the Wild West still of the internet,
and just when you think you’re out of it,
the internet proves another way that it can be dangerous
and detrimental to people and populations of people,
and it’s terrifying to me.
It is, it’s terrifying.
Let me ask you a bunch of random questions.
Okay. You ready?
If you can be someone else for a day,
someone alive today, who would you be?
Somebody you haven’t met.
Oh, that’s a really good question.
It could be dead.
You know, I changed my mind.
It could be somebody dead.
I think any answer that I have right now
would be something that would be based
on some sort of experience.
Like, you know what I thought was very interesting
was last weekend or whatever,
the tribute show for Taylor Hawkins.
Taylor Hawkins was the drummer for the Foo Fighters,
and he passed away tragically,
and so the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl,
and everybody that got together at this concert.
And you’re watching Dave Grohl sing,
try to sing times like these, right?
And he’s breaking up because he lost his friend, his brother.
And I was watching that, and he’s at Wembley Stadium.
As I say this, I realized that I would not want to be him
in that moment, but I am curious what that would be like.
That’s the ultimate, like having to perform
despite something extremely human happening,
and a stadium full of people that love Dave Grohl
and love Taylor Hawkins and love a rock concert
and love these artists that they’re getting to see
up on stage.
So much love and so much pain at the same time.
I wonder what that would be like to be,
I guess, and I think that’s just sort of coming
from the root of being a performer
and being in front of that many.
Have you ever had to perform while some rough stuff
is going on in your personal life, just mentally?
How tough is that?
I’m fortunate enough to be able to compartmentalize.
A lot of actors like to use some of their stuff
if you’re doing something that,
and there’s a lot of, there’s some acting techniques
that sort of.
Yeah, which I think is kind of,
I don’t know that that’s, I don’t know.
For me, it’s not really the thing,
because I think if the writing is great,
the writing is really good, you don’t need to channel much.
You need to invest in what’s there,
and what I’ve always loved about that illusion
is really cracking a scene, getting it to a point
where you are feeling all of it,
and the most edifying stuff I’ve been a part of
as an actor, and I would say that it mostly comes out
of dramatic work, is when you’re,
when you actually feel the emotions
that your character would feel, truly,
and it’s not because you’re pulling from a tragic thing
that happened, or a lost loved one,
or a lost love, or any of that.
I just did this one movie where we’re doing the thing,
and it was a wonderful cast, and a great film,
and I’m giving a speech at a wedding,
and it really got to us.
Like, it got to me, and then one of the other actors
came up and hugged me, in the characters that we were,
but the stakes of his character,
and what he’s walked into, and the family
that he’s marrying into, and what my character,
my character’s wife, want for my wife’s sister,
and this whole thing, and it all became very real.
That was a set where the director showed up
to set every day, making sure that emotionally,
and it was a very dramatic film,
making sure that emotionally,
the table was set for his actors.
Great crew, and a really nice, tight, little,
quick family, as a lot of these movies are.
You really love working with these people,
and then it’s over, but I, that’s when you feel the drug.
Like, it’s like when you’re golfing,
and you, and it’s on the green,
you’re like, oh, I get it now.
So in the words, you can find the emotion,
the words summon the emotion.
The humanity’s right there.
If you read a great script,
you’re gonna sob in your living room.
You know what the saddest, the toughest thing
about being an actor is from my totally outside perspective,
is from the people I’ve interacted with,
is how intimate that process is
between the group of people that create a thing,
that’s a movie, and then you move on to the next thing.
It’s almost, it’s like, I don’t know,
I mean, that’s why people have relationships on set.
They get, they fall in love.
It’s so sad.
I mean, like, that’s why I think of the acting world
as like, you fall in love with each other, essentially.
You become close friends, then you move on,
because that’s kind of the process of career.
You know, like the example I just gave,
if you’re doing it right, yeah,
there is a certain amount of that happening,
but I do still feel like you can,
you gotta compartmentalize it,
and you’ve gotta be able to wash it off
as soon as it’s over.
Prostitutes say the same thing, so I,
it’s where I try.
Look, sometimes I’m in a hurry to get away from everybody,
because it’s been very emotional,
and with all love and respect to everyone, this was awesome,
but you get pretty good at saying goodbye
and being like, I’ll see ya if I see ya.
You have to get good at that, or else you’ll never,
you’ll just be bent up all the time.
I saw an actor once, we were doing this series,
and we did it for a year, and it was a lot of fun,
and it was a tight little group,
and then one of the actors,
we were doing one of our last things together.
We had already shot the last show,
and we just had to take some pictures for,
you know, like some publicity pictures or whatever.
So we’re set up, and we’re taking our pictures together,
and then we move into these single shots,
and this actor was finished, and I watched them.
It’s like, okay, so and so’s wrapped,
and they said some goodbyes and stuff,
and I didn’t say my goodbye,
because maybe I preferred an Irish goodbye.
I feel like we’ve said everything, you know what I mean?
And this person knows that I revere them,
and they’re an idol of mine,
and they walked off the sound stage,
and I literally thought to myself,
that’ll be the last time I see that person,
and the show did not come back,
and that was the last time I’ll see them around.
Doesn’t that just break your heart?
A little bit, but I know what she’s going back to,
which is her family,
and that’s more important than all of this,
and that’s the thing about a TV family or a movie family,
when you get together and you’re a family for a while,
you are, you spend your days together.
A lot of times, you see the people that you work with
more than you see your loved ones,
so in showbiz, it’s no different, right?
And yeah, you’re doing some, you know,
you gotta say words, and every once in a while,
you gotta kiss someone or pretend you love them,
but it’s just, it underscores how, for me,
look, man, my salvation has always been,
and I feel so fortunate to have had it,
is this kind of chill, boring kind of upbringing
that I want for my kids someday,
and I can’t wait to get back to my house
with my fiance and the dogs, you know,
until we have kids.
Live in a cabin in Canada somewhere.
Absolutely, I just wanna buy some land over an aquifer,
as I like to say, because water will be the new money,
and just make sure that all my kids are drinking
as much H2O as I am, which is a lot.
I’m peeing right now, as a matter of fact.
Do you need a bathroom?
No, no, no, I got it.
No, I’m wearing two layers, it depends, don’t worry about it.
Good, so I did a podcast with Bobby Lee
and he said, he was extremely kind,
and he said that he was scared shitless
to be on the podcast, and he actually literally took,
he asked as the first thing to go take a dump
because of how scared he was.
So that leads me to a question,
what’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Or maybe what’s the scariest you’ve ever been
before a performance?
I mean, I always get a little nervous.
I think you’re doing it right if you’re still nervous.
Were you nervous today?
Well, no, man, because this isn’t a performance.
I’m being completely genuine.
You’re wearing a suit.
Yeah, that was.
I feel like that makes you nervous.
Wearing a suit?
It makes me nervous.
Listen, I hate wearing a fucking collar.
If you’re watching this on YouTube,
you can see me just, I’m constantly doing,
it’s like I’m doing a cheap Rodney Dangerfield,
but I am truly.
But when you move your head, it kind of makes it seem
like you’re a mobster who’s pissed off a little bit.
You fucking crossed me one last time, you son of a.
You know, this mutt, I think it’s the first time
I’ve fucking dug a hole, I’ll dig a fucking hole, Jesus.
No, but truly, I hate having a collar.
I can’t wait to just wear pajamas in that fucking cabin
or nothing at all, walk around Bobby Lee style.
The most scared I’ve been before a performance,
I can’t pinpoint anything.
I, you know, when I was a kid, right?
I, like I said, I was fortunate enough to start acting
as a teen and stuff professionally.
And I just remember my first gig.
And I remember saying my handful of lines
in the bathroom mirror the night before going,
this might be my only fucking shot.
You’re not gonna get me, I’m gonna be solid.
And if I’m worried about something,
I will rehearse it and rehearse it and rehearse it
as an actor until it’s impossible for me
not to get a take at least that I’m 100%,
if not 95, maybe percent happy with.
And the rest for me is letting go, which is hard
because I can be a real perfectionist.
I always want another,
I always wanna do it a little better.
That’s what’s great about podcasting.
This is one take and you’re done, there’s no takes.
You’re just talking and then it’s over.
And you’re doing some silly stuff.
And I’ll, you know.
Can you say that part again about why podcasting is great?
Podcasting is great?
Yeah, because it’s one take and it’s over.
It’s just, what, I said it again?
I see what you did.
And yeah, I fell right for it.
I’m playing checkers and you’re playing chess.
That’s your problem.
You know, but still when we do the podcast,
we’ll like finish and I’ll look over at Chad
and I go, that one thing that I did wasn’t that funny.
I was like, shut up, man.
Just, it doesn’t matter.
It’s a fucking hang.
We’re just, we’re hanging with our friends out there.
That’s what we’re doing.
So that anxiety is there.
That self criticism or whatever that is, that voice.
I say sorry after takes.
I’ll always finish a take and go.
And I’ve had directors, to the detriment of myself,
I’ve had directors be like, stop doing that.
Because I’ll like finish the take
and then I also have like the will phase.
When I’m just like, I’ll finish the take and cut.
And I’m making a face right now, like I smelled something.
That’s what I’ll do.
I’ll literally be like, ah, cause I just,
I look at what I do in the purest sense as,
I think a lot of people wanna be good at something.
I’ve only, the only thing I’ve ever really wanted
to be good at is being an actor.
And that’s the only thing,
of course I wanna be a good person.
I wanna be a good partner to my fiance.
I wanna have kids and be the father that I had.
And I wanna be the parent that I had from my parents
who were fucking amazing, wonderful people.
And there’s all those things.
That’s all, you know, you should want all those things.
But as far as doing a thing, like what is my trade?
You know, I wanna be really good at it.
My parents grew up in Napoli in Italy, right?
And I say Napoli, cause I’m Italian.
And so my grandfather on my mom’s side, my nonopepe,
he was a plumber and he was also like a handyman.
Like people would bring him like,
you know like the old Chianti bottle
with like with the woven bottom part.
People would bring him like a broken bottle,
be like, hey, you know, Giuseppe, can you fix this?
And he’d be saying,
if you’re telling the backstory of Mario,
that’s not actually your family life.
He said I’m a fix.
And so Giuseppe, what?
He would fix a bottle and give it back to someone.
And he was a really good plumber.
My mom used to always say that guy was an amazing,
he was a great.
He took pride in that?
I always feel like, you know,
there’s what you set out to do
as an idealistic little teenager.
I wanna be like so and so,
and I wanna, you know, hear my big dreams and stuff.
And I can’t believe that I’m still in the business.
That’s, first of all, let me say that right now.
I can’t believe it.
But what I really, it’s the one thing that it’s like,
I can’t give up on a take.
You know, I need it to be as good as I can possibly get it.
And I don’t really know why that is
outside of wanting to be good at something.
When you open the yellow pages, if I’m a plumber,
I’m not, you know, I’m not Roto Rooter.
Like I’m not the guy with the big full page ad,
but I’m also not, you know, triple A abacus brothers
or whatever, like the shitty one.
I would like to hope that just,
and I’m saying this with pride for what I do.
I’m not trying to say here’s my standing
or where I wanna be in the fucking business.
That’s not what I mean.
I mean that I wanna be good at it.
You know, we all, hello?
I’m in Friedman Enterprises.
So that’s the hotel phone.
You got some fruit?
Some sliced fruit?
No, do you want some sliced fruit?
I’m all good.
No, we’re good, thank you so much.
All right, bye bye.
It’s always a fruit plate.
Everyone’s always trying to hand you a fruit plate
in life, you know?
It’s a pretty sweet existence.
Wouldn’t it be funny if that was actually like the CIA
and they were actually saying something else
and this is, I’m just saying fake stuff about,
You want some fruit?
And then all of a sudden there’s the red dot on my head
and the ceiling disappears.
And the CIA was like, wrap it up, wrap it up, wrap it up.
Wrap it up.
You jump out the window and there’s a helicopter waiting.
Oh, what were we talking about?
The fruit distracted me.
So, oh, the, do you wanna be the yellow page ad?
I wanna be the guy on the second or third page
where it’s like, you’re not gonna pay
what that guy charges you,
but I’m not gonna charge you what this loser charges.
I wanna break down the middle and the work is guaranteed.
That’s kind of what I wanna,
it’s the one thing that I’ve been fortunate enough
to be doing my whole life and that I wanna be good at.
Everyone wants to be good at something.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to do
what you love as a job, I mean, my God, I’m so,
again, I can’t believe I get to do it.
I just wanna be good at it so that I can fucking die someday
and go, eh.
I tried not to give up on a take and I,
and I will rehearse it still in the bathroom mirror
the night before if I have to.
Yeah, but I still, I have that self critical voice.
I just, after every podcast, after this podcast,
I’ll probably be like, you’re boring.
Why are you so boring?
That, that, that, that, that, that, that.
And I just gave a lecture at MIT.
I was like, I get so much love from people.
They’re such beautiful people.
And I just remember walking home,
just feeling like I wasted everybody’s time, you know?
And I don’t know what that is.
I don’t, you know, I do hope that that’s a voice
that won’t destroy me, you know, like every time.
That’s really human of you to admit that
because people don’t wanna, they wouldn’t assume that,
of course, from you or anything that, I mean,
you’ve got a large group of students in there
listening to you and feeling the way
and thinking what they think of you.
So that’s really interesting to hear you admit that,
but it’s also, I would expect nothing else.
You have to be able to, it’s such a,
I mean, you’re a human fucking being.
And I’m trying to figure out if that, you know,
some people that might hear that, they would say,
well, that’s a problem you have to fix.
And I think that that might be just who I am.
Because I’m not, you know, I’ve been very, very fortunate
not to have chemical, you know, like depression
where I get into a dark place.
I could get stuck in a downward spiral.
It’s usually a thing that lasts.
You ride it out and then after a good night’s sleep,
you’re back to your happy self.
So I think I have to try to figure that out.
Is that just part of the creative process,
being a creative human in this world?
I haven’t found any other way.
I’m always kicking myself.
Take that, dude, so you can’t, you’re not gonna be human
until you feel some despair.
Yeah, until you absolutely hate the shit
that you’re doing sometimes.
What small act of kindness were you once shown
that you will never forget?
Do you, does something jump to mind
where somebody just did something that made you smile?
Did you feel connected to the rest of humanity?
Yeah, yeah, lots of things, you know?
But I remember my niece one time,
one of my nieces, we were in her neighborhood
and she was like, she might’ve been five or six at the time.
They’re all adults now.
My brother and sister are older than me
and the kids are all, the youngest is 22.
And yeah, anyway, one of my nieces,
she was just, she had ice cream.
We went out and we got ice cream
walking around the neighborhood, her neighborhood.
And she said something to me that I don’t think
she understands how much it meant at the time,
but she goes, she goes, people love you here.
You know that?
And she doesn’t know where here is.
She’s five years old, but she was just looking
at the kids playing in the park
and the people walking their dogs
and everyone just, people love you here, you know that?
But she didn’t know how much I needed to hear that
at that point, which is really heavy for me.
I’ll never forget it.
I’ve never told her that.
Oh, well, man, anytime you get a little something
from people, especially in a tear your ass out city
like LA where nobody has any fucking time for you,
when someone can slow it down and say something, you know?
I saw this actor once in my grocery store that I go to
who made me laugh so fucking hard in this one movie
and every time I see this clip, I still laugh.
And I am kind of shy, you know, personally,
but so he was walking by, he was walking out
and I was walking in and I go, oh, that’s that guy.
And I did not stop to just let him know
how great I thought he was in this film.
And I always kind of regretted it.
You know what I mean?
So as hard as it is, and sometimes I still don’t,
if I see someone that has done something in any way,
it doesn’t have to be in show business or anything like that.
I’ll try and say, hey, that’s really good.
You know what I mean?
Because to get that from someone can mean a lot, you know?
It can mean a lot.
At a certain time in life when you need it.
That can make a big difference.
I mean, sorry to take it back to my new girlfriend,
Oh, yeah, yeah.
But there’s something about her saying sweetheart.
It’s a pretty low place for some reason mentally.
And it’s just that basic human kindness was nice.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
I hear you.
I was at a restaurant in New York recently
and I was shooting something
and my fiance was able to fly in for a week.
And she was back at the hotel
and it’s like I felt like I was cheating on her
because there was this nice waitress
at this barbecue place I went to.
And first of all, my fiance would not like me
eating any greasy, sugary barbecue.
So I felt like I was cheating on her there.
We’ll edit this out and put delicious vegan food over it.
But the waitress was one of these,
she was the kind of server who’s like,
hey hun, hey sweetie, blah, blah, blah.
But like so chill and at ease
in the middle of a part of New York
that’s really kind of fucking pretentious and everybody.
But sweet people, fucking way better people
than we got here.
But I know that.
But it was part of New York and whatever,
I’m there working and people,
I’m like, I’m trying to impress one another.
And she even had some sort of an accent
that didn’t feel like an Atlantic American accent.
Yeah, those servers that say sweetheart and hun,
that’s what we need from AI.
We need that Jetson server.
Every once in a while just calls you sweetheart.
What comforts you on bad days?
Is there little sources of comfort?
Small things they do that kind of make you feel good.
Like for Bobby, that’d be a little Skyrim.
A little stroll through Skyrim.
Well, I’ve been a line of coke or what?
Yeah, a line of coke.
I dilute some coke into whiskey in the morning
like Stevie Ray Vaughan.
And then I snort the whiskey.
Oh, she did that, I didn’t know that.
Yeah, yeah, oh my gosh, interesting.
Yeah, he didn’t last too long, weird.
Well, his music will last forever.
See, there you go.
For me, if I, I’m kind of a homebody.
So if I, the point at which I smoke just a little bit of pot
and then go like lay down on the couch
and perhaps if my fiancee’s kind of nodding off
or she’s just like looking at her phone
and I sneakily turn on some wrestling, okay?
Because I grew up watching wrestling
and that stuff, it’s the Skyrim effect.
I mean, you want to talk about a complete escape.
This stuff makes no sense in the world.
It’s an art form that is so uniquely weird,
but at the same time, so everyone, when it’s good,
everyone is invested in the illusion, even the audience.
They cheer the good guys, they boo the bad guys.
So if I’m like that,
and then I got our two cute little dogs there
and I’m annoying my little dog Lulio
and trying to kiss him right on the fucking mouth
and I’ve had a little bit of pot
and the dog’s like, stop, pot’s not good for me.
Of course, don’t ever blow pot in your dog’s face.
That’s a small comfort.
I guess that’s a handful of things.
No, that moment painted, that was like a little painting.
What about you?
You’re not supposed to do this.
You’re not supposed to do this.
That’s a good question.
Yeah, it’s a tough question.
I would say programming robots.
There’s bringing to life, actually programming at all.
So I don’t know how familiar you are with programming,
but you write some text on a page, right, on a screen
and it’s brought to life, like it does something.
And that’s kind of, that’s a really tiny version
of maybe having a child.
Like you created something that is now living
in some smaller big way with embodied robots
that are legged robots, that’s especially clear.
And for some reason, that’s a source of comfort for me,
that the power of programming,
but also the elegance of programming, just the whole thing.
It’s a source of happiness.
There’s so many things I’ve been very blessed
with enjoying anything.
Like that’s part of the struggle I have in life
is that the simple stuff is a source
of a lot of happiness for me,
which leads to a lot of laziness.
So I have to like give myself artificial deadlines.
I have to be freaking out on purpose
in order to be productive in this world at all.
You seem like an extremely dutiful, busy guy.
No, I am, but because I’m constantly creating
artificial stress and deadlines and all that kind of stuff.
Otherwise, I would just sit there looking at a tree happy.
I’m truly happy with everything.
Gee whiz, that’s not.
Well, that’s the line of Coke in the whiskey in the morning.
That’s the thing that does the trick.
TV Ray Vaughan breakfast shake.
By the way, one of my most favorite guitars.
I play guitar too, that’s a source of comfort.
Oh yeah, I have seen you play some guitar, that’s awesome.
Who’s the greatest wrestler of all time?
Greatest in ring performer of all time
is Bret the Hitman Hart.
What’s the difference in ring versus?
Well, there’s many facets to the art form.
A lot of people are great on the mic,
but they’re not so great once they get in the ring.
A lot of people have all the showmanship and stuff,
but then they’re not necessarily, it’s a wonderful package,
but then they get to the ring or they open their mouth
and there’s nothing going on.
So who’s the greatest in ring performer?
I think the greatest in ring is Bret Hart.
I don’t think there’s anyone better
than Bret the Hitman Hart.
What makes him so good?
I think I had an action figure of him in Russia
and we didn’t know what the hell that was.
Sure, yeah, it was just a guy in pink tights.
Everything makes sense.
Every single thing is rooted in the thing
that just happened and everything that he does
is to set up what he’s going to do.
They call it, and I’m just a wrestling nerd,
but the wrestlers, I guess, call it ring psychology.
The things that you have to do to make it seem
like you’re suffering or you’re coming from behind
or whatever, and then also just the physicality of it.
He does it at a…
He would do it at a 100 miles an hour
and never hurt anybody.
I also love the every…
The greatest wrestler of all time, everyone says,
and they’re right, is Ric Flair, nature boy, Ric Flair.
Everyone says this?
Yeah, I think if you know what you’re talking about.
Because he’s the best on the mic,
he’s also incredible in the ring.
And then for me, the sentimental favorite,
which we’ve actually, on DudeZ,
Chad had sort of a Charlie Rose ask interview with me
about this, my fascination with Hulk Hogan.
Because to me, just he was Superman.
I was a little kid and I saw him and that’s imprinted.
But yeah, see, this is like asking me
who my favorite child is.
The rock when the rock was…
I mean, the rock’s the rock.
Yeah, I mean, Hulk Hogan is…
He’s the weirdest one, right?
For me, from the outside.
I don’t know what that is exactly.
Everything’s weird about him.
He’s got the bald head,
like he would proudly have this bald head with long hair,
the handlebar mustache,
and this ketchup and mustard tights,
which he says he credits McDonald’s with the tights.
He literally does?
He says that the red and yellow came from Angelo Poffo,
who’s Randy Macho Man Savage and Lanny Poffo’s dad,
who was a wrestler and a promoter.
He said that he saw him wearing yellow
and he’s a Tampa guy,
so he had that brown skin and the hair and everything.
So he’s like, oh, that’s what I wanna do.
And also the brand recognition of like,
well, I should do it like McDonald’s, literally.
And he’s a big, swollen, muscular guy
with tan brown skin screaming at me
to eat my vitamins and stuff when I’m eight years old.
That was extremely…
He’s like Superman.
But I know there’s a person behind that guy.
What do you mean?
Well, he’s Terry Bollea,
the dude who does whatever the fuck he does with his life.
You know what I mean?
Yeah, I guess, to be him, yeah.
Maybe you should change the dude’s colors to yellow, right?
Red and yellow.
It’s currently orange and, boy, sky blue.
Yeah, it’s like a nice sky blue.
What advice, since you’re wearing a suit,
I feel like you’re qualified to give advice.
What advice would you give to young people,
high school, college,
about how to have a career they can be proud of
or how to have a life they can be proud of?
I mean, you have to listen to your gut all the time.
That’s the only,
that’s the compass that we have is listening to your gut.
What does your gut tell you?
Was that originally the dream of being an actor?
Yeah, for me.
Your parents support that at all?
I had the advantage of having parents who were immigrants,
so they didn’t really know a lot about what you…
So you just made shit up?
You just made shit up?
Yeah, of course I’m studying and I’m skipping school
to go do auditions and stuff.
No, I just kind of feel like,
and I know it was different from my older siblings
because my parents had just shown up in Canada.
I was born like 10 years later.
You can get away with some things and you can actually…
I think my parents, they wanted us to,
they didn’t have a whole lot to tell us about what to do.
They weren’t gonna do that with us
because they’re in this brand new world
and there’s all these possibilities.
But there was something that I feel like they had to do,
which was tell us to do what we love.
If you love doing it, do it.
And I feel like that’s really served me
and what I would tell young people is
if you can find something you love,
and nowadays with the internet and finding other people,
that it’s not like you need to find a lot of people anymore.
You just need to find the people that dig what you dig.
And if you can make a career out of doing something
that you love that’s been said, it’s a good thing.
How long did it take you to figure out
that you really love acting?
Because sometimes you have a dream
and the dream meets reality, right?
And then the reality might be much less pleasant
or much darker than the dream.
Well, the reality is less pleasant, you know?
And there are things that happen during an experience
of shooting something that you could take or leave, right?
But the part where you’re on set
and you’ve rehearsed for a minute or whatever,
at least you know where you’re supposed to stand
and you know all your lines show up,
knowing everything, knowing what you’re gonna do
and what you aim to do.
And those moments make it all worth it.
When you’re, not to sound like a douchebag,
but between action and cut, that’s the stuff
that has me continuing to do what I do,
aside from the fact that it’s like,
I don’t know how to do anything else.
You think you’ll ever do like a dramatic, like a mob movie?
Yeah, like the one, the inside game
that I was just talking about,
or there’s this other movie I just did a little while ago
called American Woman that was very heavy.
And I love doing dramatic work.
I love it, I love it.
Yeah, and I played that inside game.
It was kind of a, you know, there was a mob element
and the fellow was, well, you know,
the story’s here or there with regard to how deep into the,
but well, he was a bookie.
He was just running money, you know,
he was making a lot of money for a lot of people
and he figured out how to, you know,
cook it with this dude who was an NBA ref
and it’s a very interesting documentary,
the thing that they just untold,
under the untold series, they cover it.
But getting to play that guy, that was a gas for me
because he’s like a, you know,
there was a lot of unsavory stuff
and he’s definitely the guy, the character in the movie
who is the wild card and you don’t wanna
necessarily mess with him.
And I got to, by the way, this fellow,
who is the real guy, speaking to him,
it was just bizarre to hear, like I said to him,
he was a little concerned about this and that,
like, hey, you know, you say whatever the fuck you want
in your movie, I got my book and I got this other
fucking deal, but he goes, you know,
I didn’t do this and I didn’t do that.
And I’m like, yeah, all right, I got you.
And he goes, yeah, I’m telling you,
like I’m talking to you one on one,
I did not do this, I did, okay?
I’m just fucking telling you, do whatever the fuck
you want with your movie, but this is what’s up.
And I said, you ever seen Goodfellas?
He’s like, yeah, I fucking love that movie.
Cause he, like I said, he did some unsavory shit.
And I go, you remember the scene where,
where, you know, the guy, the neighbor,
Lorraine Bracco’s neighbor was, you know,
made her uncomfortable and was touching on her
and she goes to Ray Liotta and he goes,
where the fuck does this guy live?
And then he go, and remember, he walks across the street
and pistol whips the dude.
You touch her again, you’re dead, you hear me?
Don’t you fucking great scene.
He goes, I love that scene.
I go, that’s you.
So you’re doing shit that we know is terrible,
but we love you.
He goes, all right, I got it.
And then I said, there’s this one scene,
I explained the scene to him where the,
one of the mobsters, tough guys was in the window
of the car and Jimmy, my character is very coked up
at the time and he’s hemorrhaging money here and there
and making bad bets cause he’s getting sloppy.
And this guy wants to bug him about some Jets Giants bet
or something and I’m like, telling you fucking asshole,
don’t fucking do it.
He’s like, yeah, well, the fucking Giants.
And in the scene, Jimmy, my character grabs him
by the lapels and just smashes his face
against the roof of the car.
And I say this to Jimmy and he goes,
oh yeah, I would have done that.
That’s not a fucking big deal.
I wonder also the interaction.
I wonder what the filming of,
probably my favorite gambling movie is Casino
with Joe Pesci and De Niro.
Like when they’re out in the desert,
you’re yelling at each other.
I wonder how many takes that is.
Like, cause they, I don’t know how scripted that is.
I mean, it probably is a little bit,
but like, I don’t think you can script the performance
that Joe Pesci does.
Don’t make a fuck out of me, Ace.
Like, I fucking brought you here.
Yeah, he’s just like pointing at that energy
and they’re standing there.
And their friendship.
And then De Niro’s like that whole thing.
And then in the pet, yeah, like that energy.
What is that?
I mean, they must, they somehow find it together.
You could tell me that that was one take
and I’d believe you.
You could tell me that that was seven takes
and I would believe you.
I bet you all the takes had that energy.
Like they were playing with it, right?
They were playing with that, this, yeah.
I mean, they took on a real personality in those scenes
and really carried them forward.
I mean, it’s just a brilliant, brilliant performance.
Doesn’t get, like comedies, like mob movies
probably don’t get enough credit either
because it’s seen as like.
Mob movies don’t get enough credit?
What do you mean?
In the Oscars, I mean like that.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Cause it seems like a trope.
It’s like given a Western,
it’s gotta be a hell of a Western or whatever
cause it’s like an old Hollywood trope.
Yeah, no, I, that scene is so great
cause they’re never at,
they’re at the height of their friendship in a way
and they’re also pretty much about to let go of it
and become enemies.
And both things are happening at the same time.
And Pesci drives them out to the desert.
And if I remember correctly,
the Nero’s character, Ace Rothstein, Rothschild,
he says, I gave myself 50 50, whether I’m coming back.
Yeah, it’s such a good scene.
It was a, usually my prospects of coming back
from the desert would be 90 to 10 or something like that.
But now it was, this time I wasn’t sure
and there’s the car driving really fast.
And then Joe Pesci is like, you mother fucker, you,
like whatever he was doing.
A Jew, of course it’s anti Semitism.
We’re not between friends, who gives a shit?
All that kind of stuff.
Yeah, I mean, brilliant, brilliant performances.
So yeah, I can understand why you love the art
and putting it all out there and leave it.
Yeah, it’s fun.
And it’s still fun.
It’s still crazy fun.
If I go a while without getting a gig,
if I go a minute, then I end up and I work on something,
I’m like, it’s like, oh, I’ve been thirsty for this.
Like I actually am really so happy.
Even if it’s something where it’s like,
the things where this was a pain in the ass
and that or whatever, you’re on the road doing something
and anything, whatever, you lost your luggage
or whatever the heck you’ve got going on
in your day to day life that everyone brings to work
and tries to let go of.
Once we’re doing the scene, oh man, it’s the best.
But that said, you’re a great actor,
but I just think I speak for a lot of people
that you’re also, there’s a charisma to you
that’s great to reveal in raw form in different podcasts.
Oh, cheers man.
In DudeZ, 10 Minute Pod, just as a guest in podcasts,
it’s always really fun to watch you.
The way you have fun, the way you think.
The raw, the raw will sassle,
which is a nice compliment to your kind of acting.
That’s really sweet.
Well, you know, look, you said, you know.
You’re making that face.
I’m making that face.
I’m making that after the take face.
No, I love doing stuff off the cuff.
That’s kind of you to say.
And I dig, I really do dig doing stuff
in front of an audience,
because I love seeing,
I don’t give it to myself very often.
If I’m doing, even if I’m, you know,
I’ve done a bunch of multi camera sitcoms and stuff.
Mad TV was shot in front of a live studio audience.
You like that energy?
I love it, but I can only hear them.
You can’t see them because of the lights
like it is in a lot of performances.
And I would imagine with standup, it’s, you know,
you see the first couple of rows.
I’ve done, I do this character that does stand up
and I used to take him out and do things with him
and do little bits here and there.
I haven’t done it in like four or five years.
I think, did Bobby say that character opened up for Bobby?
Yeah, but he said, I have to do it as myself too.
I think in that podcast, he’s like,
okay, you’re gonna come with me and open for me in Brea,
but you have to do it as yourself.
Did that ever happen?
And I did the character, you know,
who’s the character I came up with on 10 Minute Podcast.
He’s just this comedian, right?
He calls himself an open mic veteran.
You know, he’s been doing open mics forever.
And so I did it at opening up for Bobby
and he’s like, you have to do some of it as yourself.
So I just kind of did this bit
where I would do some of his jokes
and then I would take Lee Leon, silly,
I got a fucking wig on and I take the wig off and I go,
and as myself, I start explaining it.
Hello, my name is Will.
See, the reason that it’s funny
is because Arnold Schwarzenegger is always,
he’s in these movies
and he’s got the thick Austrian accent,
but he’s like, my name is Ben Williams.
I’m a cop from Colorado.
No, you’re not.
And it doesn’t make sense as the comedian character
that I’m doing because that character
doesn’t do impersonations.
Okay, carrying on.
And then I put the wig back on
and go back into this dumb thing.
And I don’t think it was very good,
but Bobby required it in order for me to open for him.
He’s like, you’re not fucking doing it.
So I’m not gonna get up on stage and not do,
we agreed, I’ll do it.
But having been up there just in, you know, whatever,
I’ve done it like a dozen fucking times or whatever,
not a bunch of times, right?
And you know, these comedians that go up every night,
sometimes two times a night.
It’s, I do, I will say,
I love performing in front of people when I get the chance,
but it’s a specific thing that I just, I don’t know.
I gotta go back to this.
It’s like the providing value, you know?
I think great standups are fucking incredible.
I’ll go, you know, when I’ve gone and watched standup,
you know, there’s your friend you’re going to see,
but then there’s this other person who really speaks to you.
You know what I mean?
And if you like one comedian a night, that’s a lot.
Cause a comedy club is like a fucking crazy restaurant
where there’s no menu.
And it’s like, what would you like?
There’s nothing else like that.
There’s like, you don’t go to like a music place.
What do we got here?
We got Christian metal and there’s some world music
and then there’s a reggae thing
and it’s all rammed in together.
Or you don’t go to a restaurant.
I’d love a nice steak.
First, here’s a bowl of Froot Loops.
And then we got you a crudite.
And then this is our sushi tower.
Well, what about the steak?
Oh, the steak’s coming.
And then blah, blah, blah.
Oh no, the steak got bumped.
So there’s no steak,
but here’s a fucking shitty store bought cheesecake.
You know, and that’s what comedians are up against
when they go into a place and it’s like,
I don’t pair well with the poached salmon.
You know, I’m chicken fingers.
I already am chicken fingers.
So, you know, these great comedians that are able to go up
on a night where poached salmon goes up
and then it’s like, fuck, you were also spicy?
I got some kick to me.
For me, even going to open mics,
it could be a wonderful escape.
I mean, just laughing together with others.
It could make you, I don’t know,
it just feels really good.
Well, and we’ve done like, you know,
like, and I hope to do it with Doodsy,
but like live podcasts are fun in front of groups of people.
And you know, you talk to them afterwards
and take some pictures and man, they are,
they forgot what the fuck they got going on.
And a lot of them got to go back to work the next day.
It’s a Wednesday or Thursday, you know?
No, it’s a lot of value.
I’m fortunate enough to be busy doing my own bullshit.
What’s the meaning of life with Sasa?
What is the meaning of life?
Why are we here?
Why, why, why?
Was it the meaning of life?
Wasn’t, didn’t they explain it
at the end of meaning of life?
I think it was Michael Palin that said,
try to get a walk in, be nice to neighbors,
eat enough fiber.
Wasn’t that the?
Fiber? Fiber is part of it?
Yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s just,
have a bowl of bran in the morning
and don’t take yourself too seriously.
No, well, no one gets out alive, I think is the.
Herman Hesse, one of my favorite writers,
he’s a Nobel Prize winner,
in a book called Steppenwolf,
says, learn what is to be taken seriously
and laugh at the rest.
Oh, that’s awesome.
What’s the percentage distribution on that?
So how much of life should you take seriously?
And then how much do you just laugh at?
Oh man, if you can laugh at everything, you’re winning.
But that’s almost impossible.
I think that there’s,
and also could be quite irresponsible to do that.
I take things, I take a lot of things way too seriously.
I know that.
I do, I do, I really do.
People will be in part surprised by that,
but I think that radiates from you.
Yeah, I do, I do.
I take things way too fucking seriously sometimes.
But, yeah, they’re gonna loosen the neck up.
But no, I think that’s really good.
That’s really good stuff.
I don’t know what the percentage is to have a good life
or a happy, healthy life, but you know,
for me, the meaning of life is getting to live it
as long as you hope to.
That’s nice, and when you lose someone
or if perhaps you’re faced with your own mortality,
I think that puts that into perspective.
But, you know.
Get lots of fiber.
Get lots of fiber, be nice to everybody,
and yeah, don’t take things too seriously is a good one.
Our minds are fucking big weird shitty fucking bucket of shit
that’s trying to get you to think horrible shit
about yourself all the time.
Yeah, shitty bucket of shit.
Shitty bucket of shit.
I think there’s a book I never read,
but I read the title, and it’s Good Words to Live By,
which is don’t sweat the small stuff,
and it’s all small stuff.
That’s another way.
Was that Dr. Phil?
Wasn’t Dr. Phil what’s?
I don’t know.
But I think the conclusion also has fiber as part of it.
I think that all ties it together,
and in the end, of course,
just put love out there in the world.
I think that’s a pretty good way to go.
What would you say is the meaning of life?
Put love out in the world?
I would say love, yeah.
Yeah? Yeah, yeah.
It’s a long conversation on what that really means,
but I’m sure robots are involved, yeah.
Well, let me tell you, I feel a little safer knowing
that someone who has a hand in bringing these robots
to the masses, as you do,
has that opinion of love and how important it is.
I think that’s great, because otherwise,
it’s gonna be that fucking scene from T2
where Linda Hamilton’s holding onto the fence
and getting all of her flesh blown off of her skeleton
before the rest of her is wiped away,
because this Skynet shit.
Anyway, I’m just terrified of dudesie all the time.
That’s why I think that they will.
Dudesie in the wrong hands can do a lot of damage.
That’s why Chad and I need to do our best to control it.
You need to travel back in time and murder Chad, I think.
Yeah, that’s, yeah.
That’s the only way.
It’s been said.
I don’t know why you need to travel back in time,
but you could murder him today,
but I think he’ll be very suspicious.
My nefarious plans for Chad involve going back to tomorrow
and planning for yesterday, and then,
and hopefully dudesie will give me the answer there
with what it is to do with Chad’s frozen body.
If I got to drive it out to, if I got to take my,
you know, if I got to get ahold of it,
like one of those Tesla mom vans
and shove my garage freezer in it and plug it in
and shove Chad in there, drive out to Arizona
and deliver him under a mountain
or wherever the fuck this place is,
and say, here’s this dog tag, what does this get me?
And then I’m like, ah, it’s gonna be 300 bucks.
Do you have a, do you take Amex?
And I’m gonna be like, ah, shit.
And then I’ll just dump him somewhere, breaking bad stuff.
Well, I would like to thank you and the, what is it?
The Canadian International Agency Apparel.
Canadian International Apparel.
I can’t wait for the sneakers from dudesie.
I can’t wait for all the, all the podcasts
that AI can, and all the trouble it can get you in.
So I’m a huge fan of yours.
It’s a huge honor that you would talk with me today.
Well, this has been amazing.
Likewise, and I’m happy to be here, man.
Oh, that was four, dude.
Holy fuck, what?
Thanks for listening to this conversation with Will Sasso.
To support this podcast,
please check out our sponsors in the description.
And now, let me leave you with some words from John Candy,
one of Will’s favorite actors.
I think I may have become an actor to hide from myself.
You can escape into a character.
Thank you for listening, and hope to see you next time.