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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bob Saget interview

Bob Saget is a total mensch. For proof, read below. After one LA-alt comic would only agree to an email interview because he's apparently too good to talk to an actual human (against my newspaper's rules) and another one crapped out on an agreed time, we had to scramble. The problem was we had only the following day to speak. And that following day was July 4th, which is kind of a big deal in the United States, I understand. But Bob Saget was available and eager to talk. There was no publicist cutting in after 15 minutes to tell me I had two questions left. Just mana a mano. We spoke for 50 minutes and could have gone longer. That's a pro. We talked about Rodney Dangerfield, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Don Rickles, Norm Macdonald, Full House reunions, his Comedy Central roast, and he reveals that Dave Coulier wasn't the (only) man in Alanis Morrissette's song afterall. And, of course, his new book Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.

Bob Saget

July 4, 2014

"Everything's competitive if you make it so. I like hanging out with comedians as long as they're not trying to out-do each other. That's just a bunch of chest-butting. I'm not into chest-butting. I don't mind it if a woman does it!"
Bob Saget

Guy MacPherson: I'm sitting in the car.
Bob Saget: Good, so am I. So this is perfect. Twenty years ago we didn't have this luxury.

GM: No, but eight years ago we did because when I spoke to you eight years ago, you were in your car, too.
BS: Really? What was it for?

GM: Why we were speaking or why you were in the car?
BS: Well, both reasons, if you remember both of them.

GM: You were coming up here to play and I interviewed you. And you were in the car taking your dog to the vet.
BS: Oh my. Yeah, that didn't end well. That dog ended up with prostate cancer. Alan was his name. And he passed away probably right after our interview. (laughs)

GM: Oh, geez, I'm sorry.
BS: No, it wasn't your fault.

GM: Yeah, you had told me at that time it was prostate cancer so you knew that then.
BS: The good thing about me with my lack of memory is that I don't lie because I just can't keep track anymore. It's so easy when you don't make stuff up.

GM: You're consistent. That's good.
BS: Exactly. So how have you been the past eight years?

GM: I've been well. I talked to Chris Gordon last night for my show. He's a Calgary guy.
BS: Right, right. I like him.

GM: I've heard from him and a lot of other young Canadian comics who you've been very nice to and supportive of over the years.
BS: They're very kind. You can't meet people in person, you can't go into a club and watch them, and I look at their comedy. So I end up seeing more of a young comedian that will be opening for me, or featuring for me or whatever you call it, I look at their stuff more than I would if I was watching a television shot of theirs. So I look at their stuff in a club. It's almost like in a comedy producer mind to see if the person blends with me. There's some very talented people up there. Everywhere. But I've played Canada an awful lot my whole life.

GM: But you don't have to be so supportive. And you are.
BS: Aw, thanks. I am. I'm a really great guy. (laughs)

GM: By all indications. Were there people like that for you when you were a young comic?
BS: Yeah, there were a couple. There didn't feel like there were a lot but it just takes one sometimes. In the book that I just wrote, Rodney Dangerfield is the one that I cite the most. I was in a comedy store in La Joya and I was pretty depressed. I wasn't getting much work. I'd get some opening-for-people gigs. And he came in and had seen me on the Merv Griffin Show, which was a pretty interesting variety show back in the day. You remember the Merv Griffin Show, right?

GM: Yeah. I went to a taping.
BS: You did?!

GM: Yeah. I sat right in front of Mrs. Miller.
BS: Holy crap! She was there when I was there a bunch, too. That's so cool that you were there. I know where you were sitting. If you're on stage, you were off to the right, up a little bit.

GM: I remember the desk being, as I'm looking at it, slightly to the left.
BS: Yeah, right. I'm doing Merv's point of view. You were in front of Merv, kind of. You were where the desk was. Right. And the room itself– it doesn't matter. But that was one of the first shows I did. I did 13 Merv Griffin appearances. And he was really nice to me.

GM: Everyone mentions Carson, rightfully so, but Merv gave a lot of breaks to comics, too.
BS: He gave me a lot. And before him, I was an intern on the Mike Douglas Show, which was out of Philly. I just did a benefit for the Scleroderma Research Foundation, which I'm on the board of because I lost a sister to it. So a couple weeks ago we did one in Vegas at the House of Blues and Jay Leno did the event for me and Ben Folds. And I brought Jay out by saying that I was there as an intern for his very first television appearance. He was on the Mike Douglas Show. That was his very first TV appearance that he ever did. That makes me old. (laughs) But he looks young. He looks younger now than I've seen him in years. He looked good last week.

GM: He's got no pressure anymore.
BS: That's maybe it. He was funny as hell.

GM: You weren't on Mike Douglas, were you?
BS: No, I did not have to service Mike... I thought you were doing a dirty joke. I was never on him. I thought you were doing that joke. There was a very well known joke that I thought you were actually quoting, which was, 'I was on Merv Griffin. And then he let me do his show.'... I was on the Mike Douglas Show one time. As an intern, they knew I was a comedian because I started doing standup at 17. I was at college at Temple University and I did a Bob Dylan impression, which was no different than anybody's Bob Dylan impression. And I had a guitar and a little pitch pipe that I played. And I did it in the audience. It was like a talent show day and I was their main talent because most people that went to the Mike Douglas Show were housewives. So it was me and housewives.

GM: I used to watch that, too, though. They had a guest host every day.
BS: I mean, my God, they had John Lennon on there. And Yoko. So you can't have everything. (laughs) But I was going to say Rodney was the guy that gave me advice. And he put me on his first Young Comedians special on HBO, that he hosted. It was the first appearance of Sam Kinison. A lot of my peers were on it, which was Louie Anderson and Rita Rudner and Yakov Smirnoff and Bob Nelson and Richie Gold. All these people. He had a few philosophies. One was an old Zen thing which is, 'It is what it is.' And the other was, 'Just go like a tank, man. Everybody tries to stop you, but just go like a tank.' I'm 58; it took him till he was 58 till he shot Caddyshack, but that was the beginning of his film career. Before that, he'd done 50 or 30 appearances on Johnny Carson, tons in Vegas and touring, but that started his movie career when he was 59. He helped a lot of young comics. Richard Pryor was another person I looked up to a lot that helped a lot of young comics, too. I was in a movie of his called Critical Condition. He didn't help me get it; I actually got the part just from auditioning. Not 'just' from it; the wonder of it. Now I'd say my biggest role model is Don Rickles. That's my biggest one now. He's kind of like a dad now.

GM: I've seen him numerous times and I see he's coming back here in the fall. How does he keep going? He can barely move now but he's still performing.
BS: It's really amazing. I just did a thing with him. Jimmy Kimmel's doing a thing that Sony's producing called My Dinner with Don. You have dinner with him. So Jimmy Kimmel was doing it and John Stamos and I popped by and invaded his dinner for like twenty minutes. He sits and he's hilarious and his voice sounds like he's 38. The rest is what's it like to be 88? And his show's fantastic now. He shows a lot of videos from the stuff with Johnny and some of those killer appearances on the roasts. It's just unbelievable because it becomes a living history show. And I prefer it because I don't want to see him running around for an hour and a half. (laughs)

GM: That sounds great. The shows I've seen is him doing I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy.
BS: He still does it. 'I'm coming, Ma!' 'This is for our boys!' But you're in Canada, Don. What boys? What are you doing?

GM: First time I saw him here it was during the Iraq war, which Canada wasn't in. And he was like, 'Bring our boys back!'
BS: It's amazing what he does. It's hilarious because he's so committed. I just adore him. He's so funny, too. He says such funny stuff. But Rodney... I try to do that with young comedians. I don't like competition. Comedy festivals I really don't like.

GM: Are they competitions?
BS: They aren't to me and I don't think of them as it, but some people are that way. They can't help it. And the business is competitive as it is. Everything's competitive if you make it so. I like hanging out with comedians as long as they're not trying to out-do each other. That's just a bunch of chest-butting. I'm not into chest-butting. I don't mind it if a woman does it!

GM: You're at the age where you should be going, 'The young comics don't know anything!'
BS: Actually I'm not. My audience is 16 to 50.

GM: I know. But in the past, so many comedy veterans would say things like, 'They're all talking filth.' Well, of course, you talk filth, too.
BS: It's so funny, I was just at Dave Coulier's wedding and I was saying, 'You know, Dave is so much dirtier than I am, but nobody knows it.' I'm so embarrassed at the stuff he says off stage. I say them from the stage. I've got three kids. I'm going to go see one now. I mean, I can out-gross anybody but I actually don't enjoy it. Even if you look at The Aristocrats, that was against my will. The most heinous things I said were just because Penn and Paul were forcing me to do it. But I did it. I'm culpable!

GM: When I spoke to you in 2006, it'd just been out a while. Your image was in the process of changing. Now it's successfully changed, I'd say. But you told me the shock value of you being the guy who was on those squeaky-clean shows now being dirty couldn't last.
BS: I did say that, didn't I? (laughs) That's what I was waxing poetic on. I don't come out to do that. There is no joke in going, 'What happened to Mr. Tanner?' I'm 15 years past that. And in 2006, I was eight years. It's interesting where I'm at now. I do shows because those are the ones I want to do. I'm in Ottawa next week and then we go to Pemberton the week after. And those are two music festivals. Holy crap, that's going to be fun. Everybody's seen stuff. I was just in Australia. More people saw my last special than the HBO one because of where we are in the world. My thing was on Showtime, which is not everywhere, but then you go with the Netflix and the iTunes of it all, and you just go to my website and you get the special. So more people know my stuff, which is good because it challenges you to try to come up with new stuff. Sometimes audiences, especially music audiences at festivals, they want your best of, too. They want to have some familiar stuff. They don't want you to come out and do a brand new whatever unless it's your Brand New tour. I'm far from a Brand New tour.

GM: Has your pace slowed down a tad? It was pretty frenetic a while ago. From what I heard on your album, it was more conversational.
BS: That's really nice. Thank you. That's the nicest thing. When we talk again, hopefully it'll be before eight years, you'll say it's even more conversational. That's what writing the book – because it had so much loss in it and I came to Jesus – that's a phrase, by the way; I'm not preaching. I swear I'm not Bob Dylan even though I bring up two of his references – but it really did make me have to go deeper in a way that I never went in my standup. Standup was like this compartment of my entertainment portfolio. But I have slowed down because if I didn't, what would I be doing? I'm 58. As I turn 60, I don't want to see some neurotic, hyper guy on stage. There was one time in my career before we spoke where I had just done the TV movie For Hope and the video show was ending and Full House had ended, and I just directed for three years. I kind of took off standup and then I came back because something about it always brings me back. There's something I really love about it. So it's interesting. Right now we're working on getting a movie made, which is so many hoops to jump through for an independent movie so it's nothing to write home about yet.

GM: Is it based on the book?
BS: No. No, that book will never be a movie. (laughs) It's funny because it was doing well and my managers hadn't read it yet. They're great managers: Brillstein Entertainment partners, Bernie's old company and Brad Grey's old company. Forty years of show business behind that company. And they're like, 'Make a movie! Book's doing well!' I said it's not a movie, you gotta read it! It's a journal! It's meant for everybody but it's not for everybody because some people have a hard time with death. It's just my viewpoint. You do interviews and you talk about yourself so much when you're on my side of it, but you, as the writer, have a lot of people going 'I' then 'me'. As I get older and I have three daughters, it's nice to, almost as an exercise in life, to take the I's and me's out of everything. But it's so hard because you ask people what are they working on, they go, 'Well, I..." And standup is about as narcissistic as you can get.

GM: Especially now as the trend is real personal material. So it's the I and me even more than the observational.
BS: Yeah. There's also something that I like, which as my pace has changed, which you kindly brought out, is that the younger comedians do have an interesting, almost independent film way of speaking. That's come through with the stuff started in, I would say, the British The Office. That tone of let's take our time with these things. There's a slow pentameter. I'm sure you notice this a lot. There's a slower way of approaching a bit. I went to The Improv last week. I hadn't gone up to do standup in town in LA in a while and I ended up going up at the Laugh Factory. I went on last after everybody and just wanted to try out a couple of things. Even if it's just a 12-second joke, it's worth the moment of getting to go up on stage. And I walked into The Improv and Daniel Tosh was on stage. I didn't stay there. And Chris Rock was about to go on. And Daniel Tosh was so good. I just walked into the room and he was just talking slow and everything was deliberate and everything hit. And he was present; it wasn't a recitation. He's thinking while he's working. And he's not a little kid anymore, either. It's just interesting to see. I love that people need a little more wit in order to get recognized now.

GM: Did you consciously slow down or was it just a natural process?
BS: I've done most of my work unconsciously. (laughs) I would say just a lot of therapy is probably the thing that I've done the most in the past five, six years. And tried to do things that seemed less disingenuine [sic]. I guess that would mean I'm trying to be more genuine. I'm the king of double negative.

GM: Have you done big outdoor music festivals before?
BS: I've done a couple of them. As a pro, you know that some people are going to be not mentally there because they're partying. You kind of don't pay any mind to the people that don't have any mind to pay, and don't get mad at them, which as a young comic you would be scared you're not doing well. I was out on an Opie and Anthony Virus tour. There were a lot of us. It was Lewis Black, and Louis C.K. was on a couple of them, and Bill Burr and Tracy Morgan, who's doing better, I hear, which makes me very happy. And that was, I guess, ten thousand people. And that was a comedy tour specifically. But I think Pemberton, the way they're laying it out, I don't think we're on the same stage as the main rock bands, right? There's more of a comedy stage, isn't there?

GM: I don't know.
BS: Are you going to it?

GM: No.
BS: Oh, because I was going to say come say hi afterwards.

GM: I can't even wrap my head around what that would look like with 25,000 people there.
BS: Yeah. And they're rolling on something. It's probably pot. They're my demographic. But if there's anything else, if people are taking their mollies... (laughs) Oh, man, it's a messed up world. But if people are doing controlled substances, they laugh, they stare. They're very, very nice. Usually they're incredibly polite. I worry – I don't know if it's the dad in me or what – but I worry about people's safety more than anything. That's what I worry about. I did Bonnaroo a couple years ago and that was in a comedy tent. And Stamos came out at the end of it. I did two shows that day and it was just fantastic. I just loved it.

GM: I just worry about my own safety, that's why I don't go.
BS(laughs) Well, do you have any kids?

GM: Yeah. In fact, I'm sitting outside of his basketball camp. He's nine years old.
BS: Oh, that's great! Congratulations. I never had a son. One of my daughters ran track but I never had the privilege of being intimidated by my child. That's my lack of sports ability.

GM: There's a great comedy lineup at Pemberton, too.
BS: It's great. I was just talking to Norm a couple nights ago. He just put up a new podcast with me in it. It's really unusual. I mean, it's Norm. Norm's an exceptional guy. I'm the first comedian Norm ever saw, he claims. And I remember seeing him. I was in Ottawa and Norm was 17 and I was like 21. And I remember this kid with kind of curly hair in the front row and I made fun of him. And talked to Norm. Then I directed Dirty Work. That's where the sacred comedy thing comes in, that it is a very small club. Lisa Lampenelli's gonna be on. That's pretty huge. And some of my other friends are on it. I'm really excited actually. I think Norm's on Friday and I'm on Saturday.

GM: Would you see each other's shows?
BS: I wanted to go in early but I can't. I have work to do. That's what I was disappointed about. And Brian Posehn's going. And Natasha, she's great. It's going to be amazing. And there's another comedy festival going out with Louis C.K. the head honcho of it. And they're doing big arenas around the U.S. I don't know if they have any Canadian dates but I just saw it and it's with Sarah and with Chris Hardwick on some of them, and Jeff Ross and a bunch of people. Amy Schumer. But Pemberton, when I saw the lineup of it musically, I gotta go see Snoop. I'm on the same night as Snoop so if I don't get a selfie, I haven't been doing my work.

GM: Is that what you listen to?
BS: I've always liked Snoop. But I listen to everything. I do like hip-hop. I like a lot of music. I'm pretty varied. I'm also old-school. I can sit and relax listening to Jackson Browne and be very, very happy. But I don't stay in old-school music. In fact, Ben Folds is a friend of mine. A couple weeks ago we did Snoop and Dr. Dre's song Bitches Ain't Shit. We sang it together at this benefit. A 6-foot-4 craning Jewish guy that was on a kid's show holding his cell phone reading the chorus to Bitches Ain't Shit is not the most endearing thing you could see.

GM: You must have been thrilled – for many reasons – for the Grammy nomination, then.
BS: Yeah. I took my middle daughter – or I always call her the centre daughter because the world revolves around her. The two other ones I took to Dave Coulier's wedding in Montana so I took the middle one to the Grammys. It was actually a bittersweet time because I was losing my mother that week, actually. She was like, 'You go enjoy yourself.' And we really did. Kathy Griffin won the Grammy. My immediate horrible joke was, 'But you know what? He really deserved it.' Then I looked up how many albums she's made. And this was a special and an album so I'm an every part of the cow must be sold kind of theory, where she's recorded records. She's got volumes of material that she's recorded, which is incredibly cool. And Craig Ferguson's a friend of mine and we went to a celebratory Grammy-nominated lunch, just the two of us. We took pictures of each other and put them on Twitter. He just said, 'You know we're not winning.' Then I went on his show and he said, 'You know, we're not gonna win. We're not winning. We're definitely not winning.' I went, 'Okay, I don't care. I can accept it.'

GM: At Coulier's wedding, that is the reunion that is going to be, right? There's not going to be any more.
BS: I would think that would be it. Unless more people get married.

GM: But it was good? It was fun?
BS: It was shocking how much I loved it. Because I get anxious around a lot of people, which makes it a really great idea that I go do a music festival. But there's an opposite thing that happens. There is an agoraphobic thing with comedians, ironically. But Dave I've known since he was 17. I met him in Detroit and then ten years later we wound up on a sitcom together. And John's one of my best friends. And my two daughters were there and Candace was there and Andrea from the show. I didn't want to be in a bunch of pictures because it was his wedding and I didn't want to make a PR thing out of it. So whatever Dave wants. Whatever Melissa, his wife, wants, I'll do, whatever they want. But I try to keep my life really separate from show business. Because my kids didn't ask to be in show business. But it was unbelievable. Everybody should have a wedding like that. Except nine years of dating. And they've been engaged for a while. Dave said it happened really quickly for him. (laughs)

GM: Was Alanis there?
BS: No, no, she was with whoever she's with. They only dated like a minute.

GM: But it's immortalized.
BS: And it's not just him in the song because I was at his house once when one of the lyrics was mentioned to him on the phone by her. But some of the stuff, like what happened in the movie theatre, wasn't Dave. It's just funny. One of the reasons people talk about it is it's actually an amazing song. It's got that Sinead O'Connor rant of pain to it, which I respond well to.

"I was so honoured how my core group responded to it. My mom was able to read half of it and then she said, 'I can't read anymore'. Her eyes started to fail. I think it was to her benefit because it started to get into the chapters of things I shouldn't have done, which is like drinking and driving, and relationships I'd rather not talk about. I don't think she needed to read that."
Bob Saget

GM: The book, Dirty Daddy, you are the dirty daddy, even though there's talk of your father and his love for dirty jokes?
BS: Yeah. It was a weird title because I didn't want it to be received lasciviously. There was a trust on my part, Harper-Collins' part, my editor, all the people that helped me get it together for a year and a half. When the title came up, it all made sense. And to my kids it made sense. They're the first people that read it. And my ex-wife. They loved it.

GM: Did they give you notes? 'Don't say this'?
BS: No. They're all artists. And their mom's known me since we were both 17. There was one chapter which was a sensitive chapter, which was about the birth of my first child. That's the only thing in the book that I shared with anyone except my editor. I spoke to nobody else. I gave the book to no one, except one chapter about when one door closes, another one opens. And that was during the birth of my first child 27 years ago. That was one that I needed her and her mom to read. So there was an email being sent between my ex-wife and my oldest daughter. I went through a few drafts of that chapter to make them both comfortable because it was about the painful delivery. It's kind of the pain threshold tent-pole of the book. So that's the thing I needed their blessing on. Then, when they read the whole thing, I was so honoured how my core group responded to it. My mom was able to read half of it and then she said, 'I can't read anymore'. Her eyes started to fail. I think it was to her benefit because it started to get into the chapters of things I shouldn't have done, which is like drinking and driving, and relationships I'd rather not talk about. I don't think she needed to read that. (laughs) But yeah, I'm the dirty daddy. I guess I'm a cuonundrum [sic].

GM: A conundrum?
BS: Yeah, that's the right way to say it. I'm glad you're a writer. Is conundrum c-o-n or c-o-u-n?

GM: C-o-n-u-n.
BS: Oh, thank you.

GM: So the book was cathartic for you, I guess, the whole process.
BS: Very much so. You know, when you're writing stuff – and I didn't know this because I never would have called myself a writer; I've written a bunch of screenplays but that's nothing compared to sitting down and you write a chapter and go, 'Wow, that's 7000 words.' You're counting words because you've got Microsoft Word and it's 75,000 words? How the hell did you do that? You just keep rewriting it and rewriting it and rewriting it because it means a lot. And with the rewrite, you go, 'Why would I say that?' There's things now I wish I could take out and things I wish I could add.

GM: But you just gotta hit 'send' at some point.
BS: You do. You do. And then there were last-minute things I needed to change. I actually needed to go in and do an homage to my mom so I had to do a dedication to her at the end and do it on the audio book, as well. So I walked into the audio recording booth and Paul Stanley was in there recording his memoir and I didn't even know my book was a memoir. I didn't know what it was. I never really know... I mean, I know what medium I'm in. But I don't know how I fit that medium sometimes. But Paul Stanley was very gracious and let me come in to do the dedication to my mom. And he didn't hit on my daughter, who was with me, which made me happy.

GM: He probably got her number, though.
BS: He did, I think he did. Actually, he did. He got her email because she's an artist and he's an artist. She's also very beautiful so everybody appreciates good art! (laughs)

GM: How long was the whole process of writing?
BS: I guess I would say two and a half years. A year before I sold the book, I had worked on a proposal for about a year. And that was about 13,000 words and I had a bunch of offers. And then it was a year and a half from beginning to end, from the writing to the release of it.

GM: I also want to talk about your roast. Did you enjoy that?
BS: I did once I figured out what it was. But I was a bit horrified going in. Leading up to it and actually the late, great Greg Giraldo was so good at it and so scathing that I was sitting there and the first AD, the guy that actually was the assistant director on America's Funniest Home Videos was the guy who was the assistant director on the roast. And Greg Giraldo did his thing and I was sitting there and he said, ‘With those granny glasses and your pointy beak, you look like the Vlasic Pickle stork.’ And I was just thinking to myself, 'This is what this is going to be for two hours? Holy shit, am I an idiot?' I was on the edge of my chair and I was really listening and realizing this is what this is. And he's also the scariest one because he was so good at that. He was a missile silo. He has an arsenal of amazingly well-worded words that were weaved to destroy the honoree.

GM: But nothing crossed the line.
BS: Exactly. It sounds like they're crossing the line, but it's so well-crafted. That's how the devil works. (laughs) My most gifted filthy joke will have a word or two in it. I'll be like, 'I'm not trying to write a dirty joke; I'm trying to make something that makes me laugh.' In the book I was able to actually spend time and go, 'How would an intelligent person say this?' I didn't look for words to wordsmith it, but it made things funnier to me. It almost was the reason The Aristocrats was so notably taken by some of the way people weaved it, the officiousness with which that disgusting joke was told. But that AD on the roast came over and said that the director had said – and the guy said it in front of the whole audience – he said, 'Bob, it looks like you're not having fun. Sit back and try to look like you're enjoying yourself.' 'Thank you so much, Robert. The whole audience can hear you!' They really did run the tone of the thing by me and by Stamos. I was lucky. That was the roast that I think set a different law for that it should be your friends. Because they'd done a bunch of them and they would have celebrities come on and usually they would say, 'I don't know this person but she's a real whore.' But this was mostly my friends.

GM: And Norm was on that one, right?
BS: Yeah! (laughs) You'll like this: There's a thing in the book on Entourage, Aristocrats, and what it's like getting roasted. And I go word-for-word with what Norm did. What happened was Norm called me and said, 'I just want to tell old jokes from a joke book from the '40s on the roast.' And I said, 'I don't know. Maybe, Norm. But maybe you should curse a little bit. Just arbitrarily.' He goes, 'I don't like to do that. And I don't like to make fun of my friend.' And he does it. He really does it. And he doesn't do those kind of jokes. And I said, 'Well, throw "fuck" in once in a while. They won't even bleep it on the late-night run.' And he's like, 'I don't know.' Then he gets up there and he realizes the tone of it. I'm staring at him and he's like, 'You have a face like a flower. Cauliflower.' And it got kinda quiet and he goes, 'I'm saying you got a fucking dog face!' To me, it was really, really funny. A lot of people talked about it because it was quite memorable.

GM: It stood out because it was so old-school.
BS: Yeah. And it's his love of Carson. It's not like Clark Gable love, it's like Burt Reynolds and Johnny Carson love.

GM: His favourite comedian is Bob Hope.
BS: I know. He loves the Elizabethian way of delivering humour. He loves a person to come out, take stage, stand there, and then just go, 'So a man came up to me...' (laughs) He loves a regalness in delivering a joke no matter how foul. And the man has an interesting sensibility to say things that can be in-your-face disturbing as well as bright and smart. But he really likes to take a bullet sometimes and then wriggle out of it. And that's what I love about watching him.

GM: I've watched every one of his video podcasts so I really look forward to the one you're on.
BS: Oh, thanks. Are they all good?

GM: They're all great. Mostly because of Norm, and some because of the guest. But we're not here just to talk about Norm Macdonald. Next you should be doing the Jerry Seinfeld one. That would be great to see you on there.
BS: Oh. I don't even know. He drives around in cars. Have you seen him lately?

GM: A couple years ago.
BS: He's astonishingly good. You watch it and you go, 'Holy shit, he's one of the best people that's ever done this. Ever.' And no matter what your expectations before it, no matter how many times you've watched or whatever, he's just a consummate standup. He's just so good.

GM: Yeah, with some celebrity comics, your expectations are high and then they're just okay. But he comes out and just blows you away.
BS: Yeah. Sometimes I'm hearing that from people. I just want, with what I do, for people to have had a fun experience and to laugh and to have had a really good time. And to really laugh. That's the reason I do it. I'm feeling my side of that relationship is more fulfilling for me than it ever has been.

GM: Why do you think that is?
BS: I get to be more who I am because I'm older now. And I don't feel like I'm auditioning anymore, you know? I got the job. And they're coming to see me. People are paying money to see me – not in the festival capacity; in Pemberton it's an amazing lineup. It's probably the best lineup they've ever had, right?

GM: I would imagine.
BS: It sure looks it. Because if you don't like hip-hop, you go to the Nine Inch Nails.

GM: But you're feeling fulfilled because people are coming out to see you?
BS: They're getting me. They already got the joke and they want to hear what I have to say. And I'm not just reciting old stuff. Usually my first twenty minutes, I never know what it is. I never know what it's going to be. And then it goes into set pieces and some areas that I talk about, which are the obvious things, things you asked me about at the beginning of this talk, subjects of your dad, or your two-sided image. It just deals with those things in a pop culture kind of way. And then I do music. So half of what I do is comedy songs that I really enjoy doing and they seem to enjoy receiving them. They sing them with me now, which is different. If I can get how many thousands of people at Pemberton to sing along with me to My Dog Licked My Balls, I've really accomplished something.

GM: You have! Because they're stoned out of their minds.
BS: They are. They really are. (laughs)

GM: I wish I could be there to see it, but hopefully you'll be in Vancouver soon.
BS: I'll definitely come back there. I don't think I have a date yet but because of this festival I will probably wait another year or something just because you don't want to keep coming back.

GM: Yeah, but I've never been to Pemberton.
BS: It's about two and a half hours out of the city, right?

GM: That sounds right. It's past Whistler, I think.
BS: Yeah, I love it up there. I've shot three movies in Vancouver. I just love it there.

GM: Well, come back soon.
BS: I will.

GM: And thanks for doing this on short notice on your big holiday, July 4th.
BS: I had my fireworks two nights ago at Dave's wedding. I'm just driving up the coast to see my kid. You guys have Thanksgiving in October, right?

GM: Yeah, it's before yours. I forget when exactly. It's not as big a deal.
BS: What happened? Is it the same thing? Indians got screwed in this no matter what.

GM: I think Thanksgiving is something to do with the harvest so because of our colder winters, the harvest comes sooner or something like that.
BS: Oh, so yours is built on nature; ours is built on guilt. We pretend we want to thank the Indians for the feast of us taking their land. And yours is based on corn is good.

GM: And Canada Day is July 1st, before the 4th, but we became a country a hundred years after you did.
BS: I like your pace. You have a better pace.

GM: Well, you're getting there. You're becoming more Canadian.
BS: I really am. I'm slowing down. My exchange rate is decreasing.

GM: Okay Bob, thanks a lot. It was great talking to you.
BS: It was a pleasure talking to you. I really enjoyed talking to you. And have fun with your kid. Did I keep you from looking at him play basketball?

GM: His camp started on Monday. Today's the last day. I've watched him all week long. I'm going to go in now and catch the last half-hour.
BS: Alright. It was a pleasure. Tell him congrats.

GM: Alright. Thank you very much.

BS: Have a good one, man.

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