Q: You're in the film The Invention of Lying with Ricky Gervais. He's obviously been influenced by your work. How do you feel about his?
A: There are periodically people who come onto the scene that are very gifted—it's not all that many people. In the last six years, I think Ricky Gervais would be the person who represents the highest level of what's going on now. Everyone has his own tastes, and you can't legislate what makes people laugh. But what Ricky's doing is what works for me.
Q: Do you think people lose their sense of humor with age?
A: Well, certainly. I hope it hasn't happened with me, but I do know people that have lost it. It's really scary. People I know, and not to make a pun, but it seems as if their funny tap turned off.
Q: How do you safeguard against that?
A: It's sort of presumptuous to even talk about, because someone could say, "Well, buddy, yours went off years ago." This could be my own delusion, but I think I've been very careful in the amount of work I do. I don't feel overcooked. I don't know if I'm going to make another movie. I don't know if I can think of something that interests me enough. But I wouldn't look at myself and say, "Well, this reached its peak in 1977."
Q: I have to ask: Is there a real company that makes amps that go up to 11?
A: After we did the film, there was a whole crop of things that went to 11—any kind of dial. I remember being at a National Association of Music Merchants trade show, and I noticed a display of guitar knobs that went to 11. I just said, "Uh-huh," and the guy selling them got really defensive and said, "I thought of this first!" That was about five years after the movie. Marshall is supposed to be making me an amp with knobs that go to infinity.
Q: Which is obviously louder.
A: It's infinitely louder, yeah. The knobs just keep spinning.