What's So Funny?
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What is your handicap?
I think it's a solid 25. Or 30. It can fluctuate. I have six or seven pars a round, then bogeys and double bogeys, and then like three "go screw yourself" holes when I have a complete meltdown. It's Freudian in its own way, not in terms of mother and father but in terms of self-love.
Self-love is a big part of golf.
Do you talk about golf in your act?
I did a bit on a CD called "Anticipation" where I said the greatest moment for the golfer is the three hours before the round when he is anticipating that this will be the day it all finally comes together. There is no other sport where you start out worse than crappy and then you spend maybe 10 years and you're finally crappy. And then, five years later, you wake up and think, OK, today is the day I'm going to be more than crappy. What golfers should do if they really care about themselves or the environment is drive up to the first tee, look at the course, look at each other, and say, "Ha! That was a great day," then go back to the clubhouse and get drunk. Instead, they actually get up there and hit the ball. And, thanks to technology, the head of the club is now larger than a baby's head. A baboon in its final death throes could hit the ball with this club. But you take a whack at it, and it goes 75 yards into the woods.
What's harder, comedy or golf?
Golf is actually harder.
Are there similarities?
Yes. Repetition. I watched as Peter Kostis held the club against Paul Casey's head, telling him to keep his head down as he hit 50 shots in a row. I was watching Paul and thinking, I couldn't do that. As much as I love the game, you have to be devoted to it. It's the same with comedy. I've been doing it for 20 years, 250 nights a year, but when I take two weeks off it takes a couple of days before I can go, OK, there it is. It's repetition.
When do you find time to play golf?
It's a binge-purge kind of thing. When I play, I binge. If I get a week off, I'll go to a hotel that has a golf course. I like to come downstairs and go right onto the course. I'll do that five days in a row. I'm not a 36-hole-a-day guy. Even when I could have been a 36-hole guy, I wasn't. Now is the time we drink! That's why we play the 18.
Do you want to play the big-name courses?
I've played Spyglass Hill. I would like to play Pebble Beach at some point. I keep waiting for them to call and ask me to that little pro-am thing, but I'm not big enough. I've played Pinehurst No. 2 a lot. I played Oakmont a long time ago: It was brutal. The thing that's true is I can be crappy anywhere: I don't need to be on a really hard course to be crappy.
What do you think of presidents playing golf?
Do they deserve the time off? I think they deserve it, yes. It's as close as I can think to punishing them. For whatever foreign-policy or domestic-policy mistake they've made, they will have an almost psychic kind of pain when they swing through the ball for the third time in the trap.
Are there politicians you'd like to play with?
I don't like being around them; I don't think it helps my act. I can't treat them as human; I have to treat them as characters.
Two words for you: Tiger Woods.
Phew! I can't imagine being raised by his father. He was like a Jewish mother to the 100th power, only it's not academics, it's swinging a golf club! I can't imagine being under that kind of pressure. His father prepared him for everything except the celebrity. What drives me nuts is when he gets angry and bangs his club after a shot.