DS: How are you? You look a little bothered.
You mean than to actually know someone in an audience?
Id totally freeze up if I saw a relative out there.
Well, relatives had to have come to Seinfeld, didnt they?
Yeah, but Seinfeld was okay. I wasnt in that show. I was just standing on the side. Come in, folks, enjoy yourself. And then they give you notes. Larry, come here, I want to tell you something. I didnt like the way Jerry said that line. My parents never saw me do stand-up in all the years I did it.
Because you didnt want them to?
I didnt want them there. When I did the show Fridays-it was a Saturday Night Live kind of show-my mother had to take 20 milligrams of Valium just to watch it. Just to watch her poor son. Hows he gonna get through it? So to see me do stand-up, never in a zillion years. I wouldnt be able to get a word out.
Could you support yourself as a stand-up comic?
No, because I didnt want to travel.
Thats bad for a stand-up.
I dont like packing. It doesnt suit me. Theres so much thought that has to go into one pack. Its so taxing. I dont know how anybody can travel-its the worst thing. Youre thinking about underwear and socks and sweaters for 12 days in advance-its too much. You could have a breakdown doing that. So I just stayed in New York and did these clubs that would just give you cab fare.
What do you think makes stand-up so hard? Is it that you have to establish an identity with the audience when they dont know you at all?
Exactly. They dont know who you are, and theyre very demanding.
In what way?
They want to be fed, like sharks.
They want jokes, jokes, jokes, jokes! And if they go a minute without one, they stop liking you.