Q: How are you?
A: I’m presently lying on my bed, putting my leg up. I just had a hip replacement, so I’m in the fifth week. Actually it’s not so bad. It’s just this 12-inch-long spike pushed down in the middle of your femur. It’s nothing.
Q: Does this mean your body won’t let you do slapstick anymore?
A: Oh, quite the contrary. My whole right side will be doing slapstick for a while.
Q: Can you teach your children to be funny? Do they study you?
A: There’s no question. Both. My daughters all display a sense of humor. My youngest, who’s 17, seems to be identical to the way I was in my perception of the world. I mean, I can remember the first time I called her a whore. We just laughed for half an hour. Because she’s anything but. But she gets it immediately and laughs. I’d call her every day down at school; she might pick up and say, “Whoretown!” She said something the other day like “Dad, how much should I charge?”
Q: What’s it like having three girls in the house?
A: When you and I went through puberty, we got hair on our arms and went after girls for the rest of our lives. That was about as complicated as it got. But for them it is unbelievable what they go through. And difficult. And to expect Mom to do it all while you sit in a movie trailer eight hours a day, it ain’t right, you know?
Q: You need to swoop in once in a while to call them whores.
A: You’ve got to go home and you’ve got to abuse them. Sexually.
Q: How do you think you’re perceived in Hollywood these days?
A: If you read anything about me in the past 25 years, none of it’s good, or truthful. To the point where I live in depression over the perpetuation of myth about me in book after book. Everything seems to be skewed toward He ain’t funny anymore. I don’t know where that came from, except perhaps that I went into a depression when I started this talk show, and didn’t know what depression was. I thought it was a sense of melancholy. It’s a lot more serious than that. It was—oh, it was a bitch. It just was hideous. But the point is, in Hollywood, you’re remembered for “What’s the latest you did for us?” If you’re not on Access Hollywood or in Entertainment Weekly or whatever, you’re not a part of it.
Q: I look at celebrity magazines and I don’t understand why some of these people are famous.
A: I know, I don’t get it. Possibly because I don’t pay attention. Recently I saw a commercial for some film with, is it Nicole Kidman? No, no—Jennifer What’s Her Name, from Friends. And some guy. I had never seen him. I don’t know who the fuck he is. He looks like some refrigerator repairman.