What defines a "good" show for you? Is it the size of the audience? The success of a new joke? The continued success of signature bits?
I recently had one of my all-time favorite shows, on a Sunday night with only about half the audience filled. I don't know how to describe this, but I guess athletes call it "being in the zone." There's a sense that, you hit the stage, and you're so relaxed, and everything you do and say, it's almost like you're floating. You just know how to make everybody laugh. And if you'd seen that show, you wouldn't think it would be my favorite show. I've had bigger shows, but getting big loud laughs is easy for me at this point, but that doesn't really necessarily give me total satisfaction. I don't think laughs or applause make me happy. What makes me happy is when the words come out a certain way, when stand-up feels like poetry to me. It's the subtle things, not the loudest things.
I should work harder at doing TV shows. Comedy Central has expressed interest in me writing a script, and networks want to do something. But I don't want to be in a typical sitcom. I don't want audiences coming to see me because I was on Full House, like with Bob Saget. But I used to think that that was the way to do it. Ray Romano was one of my favorite comedians before he got his TV show. But when I tell everybody that he's a great comedian, people just know Everybody Loves Raymond. I look at my comedy idols, like Brian Regan and Louis C.K., and those guys are becoming successful because of their standup, so it's very hard for me to want to try and get a TV show or write some stupid network sitcom where I'm the goofy neighbor that walks in with cake all over their face. I don't want to do that. Mitch Hedberg was one of my great heroes, and he became successful just doing standup.
I killed myself for a long time because I'm such a shitty actor, and I would go on terrible auditions. Ultimately, I decided that I'm a stand-up comedian. People who are musicians aren't told to go land a sitcom so that people will come see their shows. I concentrate on making good comedy, so everything can fall into place around that.
What should Boston know about you?
I hate the Yankees. I can be honest about that. I've always rooted for Boston. I am a Mets fan, but that's why I used to root for Boston.
I'm from New York, and I actually think there's a certain kind of kinship between the two cities. It's like two brothers that are constantly fighting, but respect each other. I actually almost went to Emerson College, but went to NYU at the last minute, and then dropped out. It was one of the biggest regrets of my life. I do always wonder. I think I'd have a whole different experience, but isn't that one of the most amazing things about life? You make a change and never know how it will affect you. I was literally three days away from going to Emerson, and changed my mind. And NYU was one of the worst experiences of my life.