Jerry (Seinfeld): If you always want less, in words as well as things, you’ll do well as a writer. (186)
(aah). i knew there was a reason for my endless quest to cull and do inventory…
so, i’m going to do this one differently-because the whole book is different conversations with a bunch of comedians, i am going to go through each pull quote and write why i pulled it (or guestimate, since i initially read and pulled in february). here goes:
Amy (Schumer): I don’t know why that became the thing. I don’t know why the idea of doing an older joke is supposed to make you feel embarrassed. It’s not about impressing the five comics in the back of the room. As Jerry said, if he sees someone, he wants to see their best jokes. Jokes are like works of art and they take years to figure out. He said you only get six closers in your whole life. Like six big jokes- (47)
i agree. but i’m also the person who can listen to a song 50,000 times and be excited for listen number 50,001 where i will hear something that i never heard before. i also love learning every detail of a thing, and find comfort in knowing what i’ve always known. i’m also a proponent of the fact that if something is good, it will always be good. go go gadget staying power.
Chris (Rock): I don’t know. In some ways, they are better. There’s more comedy to choose from, I would say. Hannibal Buress is kind of weird and Demetri Martin is kind of weird and, you know, Sarah Silverman has a totally different act than Kathy Griffin. So in that aspect, yes, I think there’s more variety in comedy today. People are talking about different things. On the other hand, I don’t know if comedians know how to work an audience anymore. (66)
it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. this is another instance where it becomes evident that we don’t have that many moves as humans. it’s always the fracturing and diversity in a movement that causes people to call the death of a thing, and that’s not right, but at the same time, if we can’t see a link, then i don’t blame folks. and we’ve always been scared of growth. i guess my comfort comes rooted in the shards of my inheritance, so i can always find something in a thing, and the fact that i will always find a thing. chris also goes on to make a great point about paying too much attention to the crowd-if you kill, the audience doesn’t get credit, so if you don’t, they don’t neither (just like God) (or the goalie).
Eddie (Vedder): ….It was interesting to see the empathy that she had for her dad. I don’t know if I ever had that, or an opening to have that. I was raised differently. (79)
me too, i’ve had this thought about my father and his distance from the art and artists that speak to him-i don’t have this, i’ve had the great pleasure of connecting on some level with a lot of my favourite artists, and i wonder if there’s something (else) that he’s not telling me about, or if he doesn’t even see the possibility, and if that’s the case, i feel for him.
Garry (Shandling): You allow the actor to be, as opposed to do. People are fascinating. They don’t really need to do much. (114)
Garry (Shandling): Translating experience to paper. That’s so hard to teach, isn’t it? (116)
wow. this is a huge compliment coming from garry shandling! hashtag, squad goals. for all the bluster that apatow kicks up over directing movies so that he can do stand-up, this is either a modest or secretly egotistical (and it’s really a fine line between them both, isn’t it?) move to highlight that he has actually accomplished quite a lot. i think that’s my takeaway from this project, that he’s able to get in places and build trust-that’s huge. i also like that there’s a connection here between comedy and teaching-and i am also living in a place where i feel that both avenues deserve the respect of having to live some life and learning how to relate to people before one deems oneself worthy of having something to teach or be comedic about.
Harold (Ramis): Having Second City as my first professional experience was great. Second City is so different from stand-up. In the world of stand-up you really talk about killing, not just killing the audience but killing the other comedian. It’s a competition every night. You want to be better than anyone else. But the whole thrust of Second City is to focus on making everyone else look good because in that process we all look good. It’s more than collaborative. Your life onstage depends on other people and on developing techniques for creating cooperative work. (120)
and, can’t we all just get along? my girl nadia told me about her women’s only crossfit gym yesterday, about how there are rules in place that you must say hello to someone you don’t know, and that if you see someone lagging, you will encourage her. that’s kind of revolutionary, no?
Harold (Ramis): Grandiosity is the curse of what we do. There’s a great rabbinical motto that says you start each day with a note in each pocket. One note says, ‘The world was created for you today’, and the other note says, ‘I’m a speck of dust in a meaningless universe,’ and you have to balance both things. (123)
and, there it is. ever finding the balance between mattering and knowing that we don’t really matter at all. that’s the definition of life’s work. right thurrrr.
“He was so generous and encouraging, I didn’t even realize that I was being rejected. That’s not easy to do, to call a kid and tell him that his jokes aren’t good, and the way he did it just made me want to work harder. It also made me want to treat people kindly, the way Jay treated me.” ( 153)
well, doesn’t that sound exactly like a scene from funny people?