Actually, Sam Kinison said that. He said, “You can paint your own rainbow.” And, at Kinison’s funeral, Richard Belzer was hosting. Carl LaBove was a good friend of Sam’s, and he got on stage, and he said, “Sam, you changed my life. You told me to follow my heart, and I did. And, I just want to say, ‘I love you.’” He walked off the stage, and then he came back, he said, “I’ll be at Igby’s, two shows on Friday and two shows on Saturday.” It’s as simple as that. The minute I die, somebody’s writing, “America’s Funniest Memorial,” “Full Grave.” I don’t know what they’ll write. This year we lost some people. Robert Schimmel, Greg Giraldo. People that you don’t want to lose. I don’t have any jokes for those people, because it’s just sad. They were just funny, wonderful creative people, with all these demons.
The heartbreak in their lives was in some way the basis for their acts, whereas you have made the choice to go a different way with your act.
If you did that in my life, you could bring everybody mother’s up on stage and make her confess. That would be a good one-act play. The guy is a comedian, he’s about to do a set, and he goes, “You know, my mom’s here tonight.” And, he brings her up out of the audience and duct tapes her to a chair like in The King of Comedy, and says, “Okay, tell them what you did to me.” The first thirty minutes are denial, the second are total confession, and by the end, total denial again. So, we never get to acceptance.
Do you specifically stay away from talking about more personal stuff, the way Schimmel or Pryor did?
If I was to do the stuff that my favorite comics do…my favorite comics are Chris Rock and obviously Richard Pryor, who started me off. I actually think Chris Rock might be one of the best living stand ups, if not the best. And, for my personal stuff, it’s too personal. I don’t know how to say, “And then I wasn’t in this marriage, because I wasn’t happy.” I don’t want to go into areas where half the people in that room aren’t happy. And, I understand it, and I respect it, and I love being part of it, even if it makes me uncomfortable. But, I don’t know if I could go, “Look at all of you people. You’re unhappy.” I don’t think it’s a cop out.
Oh, I agree.
A brilliant comedian can go, “This is what men do. This is what women do. Men do this, women do this.” Bill Maher can say, “Democrats do this, Republicans do this.” And, I can say, “My left testicle does this, and my right one does that.” I don’t know. I kind of like that third one. If I can do tricks with my testicles, and I’m not even touching them, I don’t care about politics or relationships.
Bob Saget plays two shows at the Wilbur Theatre on January 15.