He went up at the end of the show on Monday at Comedy Village. A couple of really hack bringers went up before him. Maybe that led to his ultra-confessional set. He sat at a stool and laid it all out there.
He said he's miserable. He doesn't want to do comedy any more. And this is someone who's made it. Comedy Central special, Leno, Letterman, etc. 10+ years of comedy.
He said he felt like it was all a waste. His jokes are about little things. Observational stuff. And he said that shit just doesn't matter. The world is crumbling and he's joking about food. How can he do that when there's a criminal in the White House and the ice caps are melting?
He said he made lots of money. He got lots of attention. He did better than 99% of comics who get on stage. But he can't face himself in the mirror. He raced to sell out and now he wishes he hadn't. He wished he had rocked the boat. He said he should've talked about things that actually matter to him.
He wanted to make money and be loved and he got that. But now he lives in a fancy building and looks down and wonders if there's a spot he can jump from where he won't hit anyone when he falls.
He wants to quit standup and teach high school kids instead. Why not start rocking the boat now? "It's too late."
His advice to a newer comic friend of his: "Stop trying to get everybody to love you. Talk about what really matters to you." Because what really matters is all that really matters.
It was a pretty naked moment. Was he 100% serious? I don't know. The tough thing with great comics is they always seem like they're joking. He'd talk about how worthless he is and people would laugh. Will he actually quit? He seemed serious but I still think he'll change his mind. Tough to just walk away from that level of success. Regardless, there was definitely more than a grain of truth in his words.
From a comic viewpoint, it was the kind of thing that made you want to race home and write more. Write something personal, important, and meaningful. It's better to fail with shit that means something to you than succeed with material you don't care about.
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 6/19/2007