tv [untitled] January 21, 2012 3:48pm-4:18pm PST
lonely. it is not natural to sit in a room by yourself and be funny. i look forward to collaboration, just as a way to get away from salatin. hence, hello. >> is it easier to have somebody to bounce things off of? >> of course, there is a synergy to it. there's a built-in editing process. somebody waiting to react to it. absolutely. >> dave, most of your career, you wrote the peter pan books with ridley. how do you like working with others? >> i love it. i enjoy it but you can bounce it off. when riding alone, what goes through -- when you are writing alone, you sit and think you are a fraud. anyone who writes comedy knows
that feeling peter i am not funny. i do not have skills. i used of all the jokes. that is kind of how you start your day. sometimes that is how you end your day. >> sometimes that is the entire day. [laughter] >> you look at the window of people going to work in have jobs and know what they're going to do that day. you feel so envious. but then you think, but i would have to wear something besides my underwear. so i will stay here and keep trying to write jokes. >> also, you can wear somebody else's underwear. getting started in a comedy. [laughter] >> having a background in live tv teaches you a lot of things. one is that nothing is that precious. the audience is coming in at 11:30 p.m. on saturday night. if you do not have the script, people turn on nbc, there will be a black screen. you get a certain amount of
adaptability which is really fun in the theater. it also teaches you, in the case that we had with this novel, you suggest. i remember one time had "snl ," gilda and i, about 2:00 a.m. on friday night, which is saturday morning. we were going into a restaurant to work on a thing called roseanne roseanna danna. the "new york post" delivered a pile of papers that said mr. ed dies. the talking horse on tv. this was the headlines. >> this is the first i am hearing of that. [laughter] >> so i went to a phone and called lorne. i said, listen, i have got some bad news for you.
[laughter] mr. ed died. he said, alan, it is 2:00 a.m., there better be more to this call. i said, well, tonight on the show, can we interview mrs. ed, the grieving widow? he said, you find a horse, we will do it on television. i called the guy in charge of props. now it is 2:15 in the morning and i am a jew in new york looking for a horse. >> on the sabbath, no less. >> so i said, i need a horse for the show tonight. he said, what kind? [laughter] i said, a horse, you know, a knowhorse.
he says, there are palomino, a clydesdales, more. what do you want? i am going, all right, a picture mr. ed. who would he choose for a bride? get me that horse. i go home, sleep, shower, go back to the studio. there is a horse there. for the 7:30 p.m. audience, i wrote a piece. bill murray is the weekend that big guy. gilda is going to play the voice. in dress rehearsal, the horse was coming back. it was the widow, so we put a black veil and little hat on the horse. the horse was let in. bill said, did he suffer much. no-oo-oo, he went quietly-y-y.
something happened with this horse between the time of dress rehearsal and when he saw the red light in knew he was on television. because -- did he suffer much? the horse to started going in circles. flipped out. we had no script. gilda going, oooh, so upset. the horses leaves the studio, goes down a corridor at nbc. lorne says to the cameramen, follow that horse. gilda says, i am is so upset, i am going to throw myself out a window. it was all good. you make adjustments and move forward. whew. [laughter] [applause]
>> who knew 37 years later you would be in this situation. >> it was all building to this moment. >> a nice segue. >> i had to bring it back. >> given that, well -- will there be a "lunatics 2"? >> absolutely not. yes, i do not even care if we have a book. it is like going on tour with alan zweibel. very entertaining. like watching him try to find the gate at the airport. >> you make it seem like i am the rain man. >> he would be able to find the gates at the airport. [laughter] you see the parents with the thing that connects their wrists to the children. that is what i need with him. >> alan on book tour, you have
to go to many different cities and make connections. you pack a small carry-on suitcase. when we met for the book tour in new york, alan had a suitcase that had wheels. it would not go in the overhead. the question was, with the plane take off? he had a garment bag. i said, what did you bring? he said that he brought, -- >> amongst other things, i brought two bathing suits. >> he brought two bathing suits. a book tour. you get a schedule. you go on all these interviews. you'll do this, whatever. what is never said it is 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., swimming.
[laughter] >> i brought a black one and a blue one, depending on what color socks i was going to be wearing to the swimming pool that day. [laughter] >> well, they put you in a nice hotel. there could be a swimming pool. >> i thought it was practical. >> it was very entertaining. i hope we write another book. if for no other reason, to see what he brings. >> we will pick two other characters and a situation. >> we have a title. "the brothers karamozov." what do you think? they like it. >> and do you miss the newspaper world at all? what was that experience like for you then? >> i do not really miss it. i did like it. i did it for like 25 years,
writing a weekly column. at some point i thought, i know i have done this for a long time. i would rather stop doing it before people say, oh, you're still doing it? i occasionally write for the newspaper. i go to the conventions. i go to the olympics. i happen more have -- i have been having more fun at writing a books. >> how much fun was the writing this book? >> this was the most fun i ever had writing a book. it did not feel like work at all. i was e mailing jokes to alan to make him laugh. that is really what it felt like. he was still sending the chapters. i do not think he realizes that the book is actually out. [laughter] neda i am rain man. >> it is incredibly fun to read.
it is so funny. you have answered some of this. since you're surprising each other with the chapters. i guess we're going to cuba -- i will show you. was there in the editing when it was done? or did you go with what you had? >> occasionally, and i will not name names -- [laughter] 1 of us would apparently not have really read the other ones chapter. >> you know, i have a lot of stuff. i have three kids. i have stuck in my life. >> i would send a couple questions. in the previous chapter, they were in cuba and they were both male. [laughter] and one other point, i do not know technically what this would be called. but we were maybe a quarter of a way into the book, and alan killed all the main characters.
[laughter] >> that could be a problem. >> i said, maybe you want to rethink that. >> i do not think they would die from that hike, ok? break a leg, you know. >> things like that, continuity issues, i guess. i do not remember the question. >> i do not either. i think we're getting close to the time where we're going to take questions from anyone who wants to get up and ask them. line up at the microphone. in the meantime, i was wondering -- actually, someone in the audience was wondering. alan -- >> yes? >> what don't we know about billy crystal and/or larry david that you want to share
with the international radio audience? which can probably be picked up in l.a. billy is like my closest friend. he and larry are both my buddies. larry david, when we all started out, we used to sit back in the back of the improvisation or whatever club we were in it just to watch larry. he was the comedian's comedian. back then he had hair like larry from the three stooges. he had wire rim glasses. he would get on a stage on a friday night at the improv. the crowd was predominantly suburban predominantly wouldblue hair. a pure suburban crowd. larry would get up. he will look at them and the
first words out of his mouth -- you know, i feel very comfortable with you people. in fact, i feel so comfortable, i am thinking of using the true form of the verb instead of usted. i was laughing my ass off. it was so funny. the audience was like an oil tank. he had no idea what they were looking at. he kept on going. as said, i think a lot of people miss use the tu form of the verb. for example, when it they stabbed caesar. he said, et tu brutus? is that policies are, i just step do, if there's any time for usted, it is now. tumbleweeds down the aisle.
larry would say, the hell to all of you and he leaves. but we knew that someday, somehow -- no one would predict what would happen to him, but we knew he was a genius. >> what about billy? >> nicest guy in the world. what you see is what you get. when i wrote "700 sunday's" with them, i was honored to do it. direct for long island jewish family is not really a stretch. he has a real big heart. there are no secrets. i cannot tell you anything you do not know. he is a wonderful family man. married to his wife for 40 or 41 years. a couple of kids, about three grandchildren. >> woody allen wrote jobs for local newspapers and comedians. you wrote for comex.
does that still happen? >> that is a good question. >> leno, letterman -- they all have staffs. but if you're talking about starting up, most comics writer their own stuff. but they buddy up. that is what larry did with jerry. >> can you teach somebody to be funny, to write comedy? do you have it or do you not? what about being funny? >> no. [laughter] >> either you have it or you do not. >> you do not. [laughter] >> no, i do not believe you can teach people to be funny.
i think people can hone it and get better. but i do not think anybody who has no sense of humor is going to get one. do you? >> this is so exciting. the youngest member of our studio audience has submitted to the microphone. i have to say one thing. please keep your questions short and to the point. >> what point? comments. with that, the floor is yours. >> i have a quick statement before my question. it is not like there is a line. >> he is funny. you cannot teach that. >> actually, dave, i want to thank you. when i was in high school, my cousin gave me one of your books, "dave barry talks back."
i have not read anything like it before. i was on my couch laughing out loud. i went to college couple of years later and said i wanted to try this. i was at usc. i wrote a weekly humor column in a similar style to yours. i ended up writing 100 of these every week, every night. >> and you are homeless now. >> sincerely, it was one of the most rewarding experiences i had done, so thank you for that. >> is that the statement or the question? >> the statement. >> he is so much more a fan of mine and yours. if anybody has any questions about deli, i am here for you.
sliced meat? i am here for you. hitler, bin laden, and this kid. i hate him. >> you're right about that head comment. >> and you are standing pretty far away. [laughter] >> in transitioning from writing your short for humor to yearlong for narrative, what was the biggest challenge? >> being brave enough to try it. i was in my 40 pause before i even tried to write a novel. i said i did not know how to do it. if you read a lot, and you can figure out what you're supposed to do -- the hard part is -- the difference is, in the novel, the long form, you need some sort of plot.
when i wrote a humor column, i never a word about any structure. there was no point. it was pretty clear. you read them. >> thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> now we have another question. >> i do not have a statement. >> actually, that was a statement. [laughter] >> my question to both of you is -- dave, your books have such a breath of topics. alan, saturday night live is such a huge thing in terms of the topics. where you get these ideas, where do they come from? >> we have no useful skills. i am dead serious.
we have talked about this. 3o was t thing, and the code got crinkled, i could not do anything. >> the mental energy the other people are using to make useful products in the world, things that people need, we have spent our entire lives trying to amuse ourselves. that is all we know how to do. so we are better at it than people who have real jobs the them i think that is absolutely right. if you want to feed your family, let's say, you have to discipline yourself. there is also a way of looking at the world. once again, my friend larry david, he would take a little more salt and make a whole meal out of it. it is about looking at the world with a certain attitude. >> there are a lot of people who
are funny and have a sense of humor, but they get sidetracked into productive work. we do not let that happen. [laughter] >> i am afraid we are out of time. as hard as it is to believe. [applause] >> thank you. >> i do not even think we can ask a final question because it would take us past our time. >> our thanks to dave barry and alan zweibel, authors of "blue knit 6." -- lunatic." we also want to remind everyone here in the room that copies of the book are on sale in the lobby, and our guests will be here to autograph them.
>> anyone have a pen? >> we appreciate your allowing them to make their way to the lobby as quickly as possible. this meeting of the commonwealth club of california is adjourned. [applause] >> i think a lot of times we look a community and we say, there is this one and this one, and we all have our own agenda, when our agenda is to create great work. if you're interested in that, you are part of our community.
>> it is a pleasure to have you here tonight. >> we are trying to figure out a way to create a space where theater and presentation of live work is something that you think of, the same way that you think of going to the movies. of course, it has been complex in terms of economics, as it is for everyone. artistically, we have done over 35 projects in four seasons from presenting dance, producing theater, presenting music, having a full scale education program, and having more than 50,000 visitors in the building almost every year. a lot of our emerging artists generate their first projects here, which is great. then we continue to try to support figuring out where
those works can go. we have been blessed to have that were produced in new york, go unto festivals, go on to the warsaw theater festival. to me, those are great things, when you see artists who think there is no or else of someone being interested in me being a woman of color telling her story and getting excited about it. that is our biggest accomplishment. artists becoming better artists. what is great about surely coming back to brava, we have this established, amazing writer who has won a slew of awards and now she gets an opportunity to direct her work. even though she is an amazing, established writer, the truth is, she is also being nurtured as a director, being given space to create. >> and the play is described as
ceremony and theater meet. in the indigenous tradition, when you turn 52, it is that the completion of an epic. the purpose of this ceremony is to celebrate. whenever you have been caring for the first 52 years, it is time to let it go. they have given me carte blanche to do this. it is nice for me in the sense of coming back 25 years later, and seeing my own evolution as an artist and a thinker. the whole effort even to put the indigenous woman's experience center stage is very radical. because of the state of fear, it
is a hard road to hold up an institution. it really is a hard road. i am looking at where we're 25 years later in the bay area and looking at how hard it is for us to struggle, to keep our theaters going. i would like to think that i am not struggling quite as hard personally. what i mean by that is that in tension, that commitment. what i see is that we're here to really produce works of not be produced in other places, and also to really nurture and women of color artists. i think that that is something that has not shifted for me in 25 years, and it is good to see that brava is still committed to that kind of work. you know? ♪ >> happy birthday to you happy birthday to you ♪
>> windy will talk about the reflection of the community, we can only go with what we have on our staff. south asian managing director. african-american artistic director. latino outreach person. to us, aside from the staff, aside from the artists that we work with him being a reflection of oz, yes, the community is changing, but brava has always tried to be ahead of that, just that sense of a trend. i tried to make about the work that shows the eclecticism of the mission district, as well as serving the mission. that is what i feel brava is about. ♪