I’m doing 5000 seat theaters and audiences are going nuts, it’s fantastic and it makes me very happy. I’m dirty, but not like this; I just do comedy that I find funny. I’m working on a new tv show for cable and it’s not set up yet.
The basis of tragedy is man’s helplessness against disease, war and death; the basis of comedy is man’s helplessness against vanity (the vanity of love, greed, lust, power).
It’s easier to play a dim character, for me, because I have a natural bent for comedy. It’s not intrinsic for me to be crafty, so I would have to go outside for a source of origin. I think of myself as pretty dim.
The Comedy Store in LA, it’s a really loose room and it’s really dark and creepy and a great place to explore your own thoughts onstage.
Comedy is much more difficult than tragedy-and a much better training, I think. It’s much easier to make people cry than to make them laugh.
And if you have great writing, it’s really easy, but if it’s not so great and you have to work a little harder, I could tell where the work needed to be done but comedy is just fun.
It’s that I wasn’t suited to do the kind of comedy that these people were coming to hear – mainstream comedy.
I would call it a comedy variety show. We have some people just doing straight standup. We usually try to have one musical act of sort. So its just people being funny in different ways, not just sketch, not just standup, not just characters, all of those things.
I’ve always been part of comedy. One of the things about our family was that if we were reasonably funny with each other, particularly my two brothers and myself, when my father was upset with something you’d want to make sure in some way you made him laugh. Because when he didn’t laugh, you were in trouble!
At those times I got into… I suppose you call it a rut. I used to do comedy, comedy, comedy and I suddenly thought I ought to break away from this somehow.
I also want to return to doing stand-up. I’ve become frightened of live audiences. This is a really telling sign that I need to go back on the comedy circuit again.
I basically did comedy there for about a year, and then moved to New York. If I had it to do over again, I would have booked myself on the road for at least a year.
We love the Stooges, and young kids today don’t watch them. They think it’s their dad’s comedy. So we thought we could reintroduce them to a new audience.
In comedy, you have to be unafraid to hang from the tree branch naked in the high wind and you have to be absolutely unafraid to look ridiculous and silly.
I love physical kinds of comedy and getting down and dirty and doing stunts. When I was growing up, I was always getting into fights with guys and usually punching out boys my age because I was a lot bigger and tougher. So I’m naturally accustomed to putting myself into the headspace of a girl who can take care of herself.
And if you can offer an explanation as to why it doesn’t work then you’ve got to the whole root of comedy.
Yeah, even a black comedy. Where it’s a little eerie. I’d love to do that. But there are about three really fabulous ones on the air now and I don’t know if I can do any better than that. I’d like to sort of forge new ground.
There’s a glorious sense of freedom in comedy, just allowing myself to tell jokes, allowing myself to interrupt myself and tell old African folk stories that I made up – or didn’t – and Jamaican stories.
As the purpose of comedy is to correct the vices of men, I see no reason why anyone should be exempt.
I used to write bits and pieces of comedy material for various comics that were at the Windmill… as well as my film job, I was under contract, I was allowed to do that and everything.
Comedy is so fun. I don’t know how these people can make movies and work on them for four months and they’re these sob stories. I don’t know how emotionally you get through that.
Well Washington DC what are you going to do. They think the capitol steps are the state of the art in comedy. You try to drag them into the 20th century let alone the 21st and they refuse to come with you.
Then my first film was something called Cannibal Girls, which sounds like a horror movie but was actually kind of a goofy comedy with horror elements. Like a horror spoof.
I think I’ve only done one horror movie, Psycho III. That was a walk in the park compared to a romantic comedy.
If a movie isn’t a hit right out of the gate, they drop it. Which means that the whole mainstream Hollywood product has been skewed toward violence and vulgar teen comedy.
The first comedy screenplay that I wrote was Animal House and I always thought I could and should be a director but no one was about to give me that opportunity on Animal House.
The appreciative smile, the chuckle, the soundless mirth, so important to the success of comedy, cannot be understood unless one sits among the audience and feels the warmth created by the quality of laughter that the audience takes home with it.
The office of drama is to exercise, possibly to exhaust, human emotions. The purpose of comedy is to tickle those emotions into an expression of light relief; of tragedy, to wound them and bring the relief of tears. Disgust and terror are the other points of the compass.
I’ve mainly been in dramas, so this is one of my first comedy kind of performances in Cecil B. Demented.