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In general, I’ve always been more comfortable in the role of interviewer than interviewee. I mostly find other people more interesting and subscribe to a low-key approach to celebrity. I’m a great believer in low self-esteem. I find generally the only people with especially high self-esteem are actors and criminals. If you go into a situation assuming that you are the dumbest person in the room, I think you will fare better than if you go in assuming you are the smartest one.
I was a bit dyslexic as a kid, and my mom always said, “You will have to work harder than the other kids to get the same thing.” And that has worked for me throughout life. If I work harder than the other guys, I will at least be even, if not better. The fable of the tortoise and the hare has always rung true for me. I wasn’t a particularly good student, but I never missed a day of school. I was always under the impression that if I listened and observed, it would be more beneficial than if I sat at home and studied and studied.
A steady approach to life has always worked best for me. My days now are not particularly hard, but they are long. I start at about 7:30 a.m. and do jokes until about midnight. At no point in the day am I going 100 miles per hour. Most people work in 100-mile-per-hour spurts — and then relax. For me, one of the keys to success is pacing myself. Coming from New England, I would be considered a lazy person there, but in Hollywood, I’m the hardest-working person in show business. It’s just a different work ethic. I’m glad I grew up where I did and have the work ethic I do.
That said, I’m not sure that I have lots of wisdom to impart here. I’ve done many interviews, and there are a few things that either I don’t get asked — or might bear repeating — or might be amusing. So, for what it’s worth, on page 40 you’ll find a Q&A with, well, myself. After all, what better way to get the truth from someone who has had the incredible opportunity to observe Hollywood from fairly close up? In the end, I think the real trick is to make show- business money and still lead a normal life. Then, you’ll be happy.