Well, hello, boys and girls, lemurs and squirrels, this is Tim Ferriss, and welcome to another episode of the Tim Ferriss show. This episode was just a blast and part of me still doesn't believe that it happened. Of course, my job is to interview and deconstruct world class performers of all different types of all different stripes from all different fields. And my guest for this episode is none other than the icon Jerry Seinfeld. So who is Jerry Seinfeld?
Entertainment icon Jerry Seinfeld's comedy career took off after his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1981. Eight years later, he teamed up with fellow comedian Larry David to create what was to become the most successful comedy series in the history of television. Seinfeld. A lot of you have heard of it. The show ran on NBC for nine seasons, winning numerous Emmy, Golden Globe and People's Choice Awards, and was named the greatest television show of all time in 2009 by TV Guide and in 2012 was identified as the best sitcom ever.
In his 60 Minutes Vanity Fair poll, Seinfeld made his Netflix debut with the original standup special Jerry before Seinfeld, along with his Emmy nominated and critically acclaimed Web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which has garnered more than 100 million views and which the New York Times describes as impressively complex and artful and variety calls a game changer. His latest standup special, 23 Hours to Kill, was released by Netflix earlier this year. He's also the author of Is This Anything or Is This Anything?
It's a question with a question mark at the End, which is a brand new book and features his best work across five decades in comedy. It is a collection of his notes, his journaling and certainly his process. You can find him on Twitter, at Jerry Seinfeld, Instagram at Jerry Seinfeld, Facebook at Jerry Seinfeld. And if you have interest in creative process, game of life, mastering the mind, comedy habits and systems of someone who can operate at the top of their field for decades.
This conversation touches all of those things. Please enjoy a wide ranging conversation with none other than Jerry Seinfeld.
This episode is brought to you by Oura oh, you are a it is the only wearable that I wear on a daily basis, or is the company behind the smart ring that delivers personalized sleep and health insights to help you optimize just about everything? And I've tried every device out there that you can imagine. This one really makes the cut. I've been using it religiously for at least six months now, and I was introduced to it by Dr. Peter Attia, who's also vetted just about everything with advanced sensors or a state of the art, heart rate, heart rate variability.
H.V. Super important to me, temperature activity and sleep monitoring technology into a convenient, non-invasive ring. It's tiny. It weighs less than six grams and focuses on three key insights sleep readiness and activity. So I can use it to help focus my attention on the type, volume, intensity of exercise that I should do in a given day. I use it to determine how certain types of alcohol at different times of the day affect my sleep, which they do.
And I can see all of that in graph form trended over time. There are tons of actionable insights that have come from using this ring for me. They have a number of incredible people on their team. Dr. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley and also author of Why We Sleep. The mega hit is or as chief science adviser, as just one example. The Oring is one of the most accurate wearables available because it measures your vitals directly from your finger.
So it's not deducing that or making a best guesstimate based on a bunch of other things and trying to triangulate compared to a medical grade electrocardiogram. The ordering is ninety nine point nine percent accurate for resting heart rate and ninety eight point four percent accurate for heart rate variability. And I work with HRB doctors and they recommend that I use the ordering. So try it yourself. It is super cool and super practical, very actionable. The ordering comes in two styles and three colors silver, black and matte black.
I use matte black for two hundred and ninety nine dollars. You can give or get the gift of health by visiting Aura Ring Dotcom. That's Ostara RISC Dotcom again. That's Oura ring dotcom.
This episode is brought to you by rock form that's without a C rock for R.M. Rock form is the active lifestyle iPhone and Galaxy Protective Case Company. I've been using their stuff for a few months now and good God, they can survive anything. First off, rock form protection is beyond great. You can find thousands of five star reviews and customer testimonials which the team at Rock Firm called Survival Stories that include things like a drop from the upper deck of a baseball stadium and a 75 foot cell phone tower fall.
It's kind of unbelievable, but these cases make your phone virtually indestructible. Each case is built also around an integrated magnet that is completely safe for your phone. The magnets are incredibly strong and allow you to instantly attach your device to any magnetic surface toolboxes, file cabinets, refrigerators, golf carts, you name it. I use it in the gym to check my form. A lot of the time you can just slap it on just about anything. Rock Form pioneered magnetic technology in the mobile accessory space in 2011, and I've never seen anything quite like these magnets.
I will use mine on my peloton bike so I can watch listener take calls during workouts. It fits my iPhone 11 Permax perfectly and allows me to keep my hands free for all sorts of stuff. All their cases also come with a built in Twistle system that can be used with any of rock forms, optional mounts for bike, motorcycle, car and much more. These machined aluminum mounts are built to last and are compatible with every rock form case. So if you get a new phone or whatever, you just need a new case and it will still attach to all of the mounts.
Rock form also has a portable golf speaker. This is Bluetooth that instantly amounts to a golf cart with mind blowing strong magnets. Like I mentioned, I don't really golf, but I will use this Bluetooth speaker to listen to music in the kitchen. I'll slap it on the refrigerator. I will use it in the gym and hang it from a carabiner which is included with the speaker and so on and so forth. So upgrade to a rock form case today because you have better things to hold on to.
You can use your hands for other stuff. And like I mentioned, these things make your phone bulletproof. And as a special offer for Tim Ferriss show listeners, that's you guys get twenty five percent off. That is a good discount. 25 percent off at rock form dotcom. That's OK. R.M. Dotcom. When you use promo code Tim that's twenty five percent off at our OK forum dot com. When you use promo code Tim one more time rock form dotcom promo code.
Tim optimal medical.
At this altitude I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Can I ask you a personal question. What is it like to be a cybernetic organism, living organism and go to Paris. So. Jerry, welcome to the show. Thanks. Great to be here. I really appreciate you taking the time. And I thought we would start with the beginning of is this anything? And in the suppose you could call it the introduction of the preface, another book pops up, which is the last laugh by Phil Berger.
And I would love to just know how that book entered your life.
How did I find that? I really don't know, but I still have it. I have the copy that I bought wherever I found it. I mean, I was in high school. And I did the absolute minimum you could do to to survive in high school, I never read anything outside of high school except magazines, car magazines, comic books and Esquire, because I don't know, in those years, you know, early, early 70s, Esquire was really full of character and about encouraging male boldness and inventiveness and lifestyle and just life in general.
You know, they were very sophisticated and it was everything I wanted to be. I wanted to be urban and I wanted to be smart and smarter than I was. And I wanted to have like, this cool, adventurous life. And they were very encouraging to that. I don't think there's anything like that around today that was essential. And the same with that book, the last laugh. It was it was just like whatever made men in centuries past become explorers.
You know, I don't know how they became that. I guess I remember reading about Explorers clubs like in 17th, 18th century London. I have two sons and a daughter, and that's the that's the thing I really wanted, if I could pass along the two things I would want to pass along would be ethics and boldness in life. But that doesn't answer your question of where I got the book, I don't know. Well, that's OK. The Genesis story is secondary.
It's really the the context that you're providing. And just as a quick side note, a friend of mine, Carl Forsman, used to write the What I've Learned interview series in Esquire.
Had that. I remember back when I went, you know, when it had and maybe still does on some level. That character that you're describing, that boldness, what was it inside the last laugh that grabbed you so much? Yeah.
So if I look back at my whole life starting, you know, about like second or third grade, it was all this inexorable march towards this pursuit of the comedy arts. And there was nothing else about comedy. Albert Brooks did an album but did an article in Esquire called School for Comedians, and it was a parody and I had no idea it was a parody. He grew up in L.A. and he was making fun of what comedians might need to learn to be comedians.
And that was an early 70s Esquire article, and I had no idea it was a parody. I mean, I just thought, oh, there's a school or I just wanted to learn about this world. And the last laugh really took you deeply into the world. And it is a completely hermetically sealed world that is frankly unrelated to the rest of the entertainment industry. And it's really unrelated to almost all other creative arts. It is a very sealed ecosystem, the world of comedy, particularly standup comedy.
And I was desperately thirsty for any scrap of data about it. Now you have much like an Olympic athlete of sorts with training logs and workouts and so on. You have forty five years of hacking away as it's put in the book's description on yellow notepads. And you've preserved all of this. And I'd love to speak or to hear you speak more accurately a bit about your writing process and the preparation that I did for this. I read in The New York Times, and I'm just going to read this short, but you can fact correct this if need be.
But here's how it reads. I still have a writing session every day. It's another thing that organizes your mind. The coffee goes here, the pad goes here, the notes go here. My writing technique is just you can't do anything else. You don't have to write, but you can't do anything else. I would love to hear you elaborate on that, because it actually sounds very similar to what the fiction writer Neil Gaiman has as his first book with writing as well.
But what does that look like for you and what do your writing sessions tend to look like? If we look back over the last, I don't know, ten years? Because I'm sure it's changed over time.
No, it hasn't changed. It hasn't changed. Changes the coffee, which I didn't know about coffee in my younger years. I think I discovered coffee after I had kids and I didn't have time to have long meals with my friends anymore. But we could meet for coffee. And then I realized, boy, this coffee really gets you talking. And I thought, maybe I'll do a show where you just talk with coffee. And that's kind of where that came from, that community car show.
But my writing sessions used to be very arduous, very painful, pushing against the wind and soft, muddy ground like a wheelbarrow full of bricks. And I had to do it because there's just as I mentioned in the book, you either learn to do that or you will die in the ecosystem. And I learned that really fast and really young. And that saved my life and made my career that I grasped the essential principle of survival in comedy really young.
And that principle is you learn to be a writer. It's really the profession of writing that that's a standup comedy is however you do it, anybody, you can do it any way you want, but if you don't learn to do it in some form, you will not survive.
And when you sit down, is it an empty page or is it bits and pieces that you've noted through the week? Is observations that you then flesh out what what is actually in front of you when you start?
What's in front of me is usually about 15 or 20 pages of stuff that's in various states of development. And then there's a smaller book of Joe. Really, really random things like when you're on a cell phone call and the call drops and then you reconnect with the person, they'll go, I don't know what happened there, as if anyone is expecting them to know anything about the incredibly complex technology of cell phone.
They offer this little. I don't know if it's an excuse or an apology, they go, I don't know what happened there. So anyway, so I don't know. So that's an example of something in that my little little tiny notebook that I don't know what to do with that, but it's just so stupid to me and funny. So that to me is like it's like an archery target 50 yards away. And then I take out my bow and my arrow and I go, let me see if I can hit that.
Let me see if I can create something that I could say to a room full of humans in a nightclub that will make them see what I see in that. There's something stupid and funny about that. To me, that's the very, very beginning. But then I'll write something about it. It'll be, if I'm lucky, it'll be a half a page or a page on a yellow legal pad and I'll write that and then and then session the next day.
If I get around to it, I will see it again and I will see what I have and what I like and I don't like. And as any writer can tell you, it's ninety five percent rewrite. So I have two phases. There is the free play creative phase and then there is the Polish and construction phase of. And I love to spend inordinate. I mean it's not wasteful to me because that's just what I like to do. Amounts of time refining and perfecting every single word of it until it has this pleasing flow to my ear.
And then it becomes something that I can't wait to say. And then we go from there to the stage with it. And then from the stage, the audience will then I imagine it's a very scientific thing to me. It's like, OK, here's my experiment and you run the experiment and then the audience just dumps a bunch of data on you of this is good, this is OK. This is very good. This is terrible. And that goes into my brain from performing it on stage and then it's back through the rewrite process and then new ideas will come.
And it's you know, it's just millions of different kinds of development. It's just that. So you're just trying to get you're you're just going to that place of creating, fixing, jettisoning. It's extremely occupying. It's never boring. It's the frustration I'm so used to at this point. I don't even notice it. And it's just work time, it's just work time much, and that's my I like the way athletes talk about I got to get my work in that.
You get your work in. I like that phrase, one of the reasons I was looking forward to doing this show with you is I know that it's something you are very interested in, the craft, the. Yeah, the system ization of the brain and creative endeavor. Or, you know, I really think when I'm working, it's very much like when you're watching a picture working. On stage, now we're going up, so that's different. So basically it's on stage and off stage, it's it's the desk and then the stage and then back to the desk and then back to the stage.
And that's endless.
The process and the repeatable process, the experimentation, like you phrased it, is extremely interesting to me. And if we took or take that cell phone example, the dropping of reception, that's an observation. It seems to me that you are a real connoisseur of questions, whether those questions are being used as part of a bit or possibly as prompts. And you mentioned the coffee in part leading to Comedians in Cars in a Harvard Business Review interview. You also mentioned that it's important to know what you don't like.
A big part of innovation is saying, you know what, I'm really sick of questionmark. And for you, that was talk shows where the music plays. Somebody walks out to desk, shakes hands with the host, sits down. Yeah. And what am I really sick of being a departure point for innovation? I would love to hear about any questions if there are questions that you use as props to help elicit observation or materials for yourself. No, no.
That's that part is somewhat having a very cranky nature and being a sensitive kind of I don't know if it's perception perception, but you're just provoked by a lot of things, you know, and that if you're lucky enough to have that, the next thing you must do is nurture and protect it and never lose it. And the enemy of it is success. Success is the enemy of irritability and crankiness because now you have money and you can remove the difficulties from your life and that's not good.
How do you contend with that? Because you've had certainly, I would imagine, have had to do things to offset, in that case, the creature comforts and so on that come along with the amount of success that you've had.
Yes, the thing I did that really solved almost all of that issue is I got married. Okay. Please elaborate that you'll never run out if you get married. And if you have kids, then you've got a gold mine. You mentioned just a few minutes ago about word smithing, until you get everything pleasing to the ear and really obsessing over the the pros. I've read that one of your explanations for the success of all of your television was that, quote, The show was successful because I micromanaged every word, every line, every tick, every edit, every casting.
And then later on, if you're efficient, you're doing it the wrong way. There are a lot of questions I could ask about this, but I suppose one is, if you are for such a period of time, I understand the logic of it, but for such a long period of time, obsessing over the details like that, did you not find yourself at risk of burnout or just hitting a point of overwhelm or did that not happen to you?
We're talking about the series now or just. Yeah, we're talking about the series. The series or the series is a you know, if you want to look at the comedy, arts is the only thing that interests me creatively, I think, or the one thing I'm good at, but. If you look at the different comedy, you know, if I was to break it down, let's just say it's the basics of stand up comedy, a television series or a movie, I would analogize those to different vessels on the water.
So a TV series is like a pretty big boat that you can run with a couple of people. A movie is a yacht. There are so many people. It's a beautiful thing. There's a lot of money involved. Everybody wants it. Everybody thinks it's the ultimate way to go across the water and stand up for me is a surfboard. It's just you you paddle out and you try and catch the energy and you're all on your own and you can do it and go home.
And nobody but you really even knows what happened. I think the more people you add to the the vessel, the faster you're going to struggle to maintain its progress through the water. For sure. The TV series got to a point. We did it nine years. And the way I was doing it, that was as far as it could go before it was really going to a stop cutting through the water in that beautiful way that it was doing.
That's why I pulled out of it before I had to before anyone wanted me to because I didn't want to be on a boat that was starting to struggle. I didn't want to have that experience. And I even more than that, I didn't want the audience to have that experience. I wanted to complete this gift to them in a way that they would always go, oh, I was given a lovely thing one time in the 90s and it was just lovely.
I wanted them to have it like that. No excuses. No, if only now it did go on a bit, maybe longer than it should have. I didn't want to I just wanted them to have this lovely gift. That's why I stopped the TV series. I could also describe the TV series to you as a weather event that has an energy that gathers and becomes cyclonic, but every storm blows itself out and that that storm was about to run out of energy and so gone it the same thing because I'm I was at the center of the storm and I could feel the slowing of the cyclonic curve, the funnel.
Is that something that you had a role model for? Is that something you simply perceived? Because it's very rare for someone to step out like Rocky Marciano? Usually they go a bit too far, they get slapped around a bit or they end up signing, you know, baseball mitts at Caesar's Palace or whatever it is. Did you have any model for that? It was something you decided entirely on your own.
The closest I had and I would never compare myself in any way, shape or form was the Beatles. The time frame of the Beatles was nine years. They broke up for different reasons. We had no discord on my show like they have struggled with. But the portion size of the Beatles just felt so right to me. And I thought and they were together about nine years and we were together about nine years. And there was something about adding that other digit to go to ten.
You know, like if people said to me, how long did you do that series for? And if I said ten years, I could just hear people go, wow, ten years. It's just just the portion size just felt too big.
Is the you mentioned, I guess, irritation as a wellspring of that sort of comedic material.
Is it irritation or is it sensitivity in the connotation of a very sensitive scale where you're just perceiving more?
Is it a dissatisfaction or a irritability or is there I think your five senses have been made a little too good and it's not quite comfortable. I have a friend, actually. Two friends is really weird and they're married. This is a really weird story. And they both suffered from this breakdown in their hearing. There's a bone in the hearing canal that's I guess it's like I think it looks like a little wishbone or something. You know, there's all these little fine bones in there.
Yeah. The stir up, all these tiny bones. Yeah. So both of them, the husband and the wife, first the wife and then the husband, like six months later. It's a very rare condition. So anyway, they both had to get this very delicate surgery on their inner ear. They replaced that bone with a piece of titanium that's made to do the same thing, and it's actually this fantastic cure for this problem. And so they both have these titanium ears now.
And when they first got it, their hearing was like too good and a little uncomfortable for them. And I think now they've adjusted to it fine. But it reminded me of how I feel like my senses are my eyes and my ears and my skin. And I just feel everything just a little more than I think I would even like to write. And so that's yeah. I think that's just kind of a genetic thing. But I don't know another comedian that isn't the same.
And just has this hair trigger reaction to anything that is irritates them. And a lot of it is visual. I think I think I mentioned that in my introduction, that I think jokes come from a kind of intense visual acuity. You did. Yeah. So I think that's part of where it comes from.
If we imagine we meaning a lay audience, imagine comics in our minds, eyes.
I mean, you have these sort of hypersensitive cat like creatures who might be very difficult to put into any type of group. Yes. But yet you mentioned a lack of discord on the show, which I'm not a Hollywood wonk, but I have a little bit of mileage and that seems to be not altogether common. To what would you attribute that lack of discord? I don't like discord. And I don't like it, and I am fearless in rooting it out and solving it, and if anyone's having a problem, I'm going to walk right up to them and go, is there a problem?
Let's talk about this, because I cannot stand that kind of turmoil.
That approach to conflict resolution is very proactive. It's not like you're being passive aggressive. It's like your conflict avoidant. Is that something you got from your parents? Is that something that you just came out of the womb having that direct addressing of of discord or or problems?
I don't know where I got that. I feel like if you break the human struggle down into one word, it's confront. And so I kind of approach everything that way. And just the act of the confront is like, you know, what what do people always say mean? You have a problem, all that nonsense. But I did read some pop psychology books. I, I was very much a searcher in my younger years, yoga and Zen and a little Scientology, transcendental meditation, Buddhism.
You know, I read a lot of stuff looking. I don't know what I was looking for. I think I was I was looking for a working philosophy, I think is what I was looking for in life to apply. And I kind of formed my own little I don't know if religion is the right word, but I've definitely created my own belief or operating system. I think operating system would be the best term for what I've created because it's very pragmatic.
It's not faith based in any way. But that's one of my biggest principles, is confront. Just a quick thanks to one of our sponsors, and we'll be right back to the show. This episode is brought to you by Wealth Front. Did you know if you missed 10 of the best performing days after the 2008 crisis, you would have missed out on 50 percent, five zero percent of your returns? Don't miss out on the best days in the market.
Stay invested in a long term automated investment portfolio. Wealth Front pioneered the automated investing movement, sometimes referred to as robo advising, and they currently oversee 20 billion dollars of assets for their clients. Wealth Front can help you diversify your portfolio, minimize fees and lower your taxes.
Takes about three minutes to sign up and then Wealth Front will build you a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your risk appetite and manage it for you at an incredibly low cost wealth front. Software constantly monitors your portfolio day in and day out so you don't have to. They look for opportunities to rebalance and tax loss harvest to lower the amount of taxes you pay on your investment gains. Their newest service is called Autopilot, and it can monitor any checking account for excess cash to move into savings or an investment account.
They've really thought of a ton. They've checked a lot of boxes. Smart investing should not feel like a roller coaster ride. Let the professionals do the work for you. Go to wealth front dotcom Tim and open a wealth front investment account today and you'll get your first 5000 dollars managed for free for life. That's wealth front dotcom. Tim Wealth Front will automate your investments for the long term and you can get started today at wealth front dotcom tim.
Are there any other examples that you could give from your operating system or any other guiding rules or principles or anything that stuck from that seeking period?
Well, my my guiding rule is systemize. What's the problem? The problem is, like my daughter my daughter is very creative. She's extremely bright. She's got an incredible head on her shoulders. And I see myself in her at that age. She's way farther advanced than I was at that age. But she doesn't know. I said to her you she has a creative gift. OK, so I say to her, when you have a creative gift, it's like someone just gave you a horse.
Now you have to learn how to ride it. You've got to learn how to ride this horse. And I've seen people that are born by the dozens and dozens. I've seen people that were given black stallions. And it usually if you if you have a black stallion like from that movie and you're born and they just put you on it and that's what happens, they just put you on it and you either learn to ride this thing or it's going to kill you, then we have many, many examples of that.
So she's trying to right this thing. She's struggling. I can't. Right. I keep putting it off. So I explain to her my basic system, which you already talked about at the top of the show, which is if you're going to write, make yourself a writing session. What's the writing session? I'm going to work on this problem. Well, how long are you going to work on it? Don't just sit down with an Open-Ended.
I'm going to work on this problem that that's a ridiculous torture to put on a human being's head. It's like you can hire a trainer to get in shape and he comes over and you go, how long is the session? And he goes, it's open ended. Forget it. It's all right there.
You've got to control what your brain can take. OK, so if you're going to exercise, God bless you and that's the best thing in the world you can do, but you got to know when's it going to end? When's the workout over? It's going to be an hour. OK, or you can't take that. Let's do 30 minutes. OK, great. Now we're getting somewhere I can do 30. I'm trying to teach my son who knows how to do transcendental meditation, how to do it.
I assume you know about. I do, yeah. Practice is I can't do it 15 minutes. Like, OK, let's do ten. Let's do ten. Let's come up with something you can do. That's where you start everything. That's how you start to build a system. So my daughter so I said to her, you have to have an end time to your writing session. If you're going to sit down at a desk with a problem and do nothing else, you got to get a reward for that.
And the reward is the alarm goes off and you're done. You get up and walk away and go have some cookies and milk. You're done if you have the guts and the balls to sit down and write. You need a reward at the other end of that session, which is stop now, pencils down. So that's the beginning of a system that to me will help almost anybody learn to write. Which is something I kind of wanted to teach in a way, because I find it I think it's so simple, I think exercise is pretty simple to.
And people don't. They don't come up with baked good, simple little systems, they just try and do it, and that's to me that's you going to fail.
The simple doesn't mean easy. And this is so important, the incentives, having a reward, having a defined format.
How long did your daughter end up choosing for her writing duration or how have you chosen?
I told her, just do an hour. That's a lot. She says I write all day. No, you're not. Nobody writes all day.
You can't write all day. It's it's torture.
Yeah. If you taught a class on writing, what other lessons might you have or resources or anything exercises? Because I'm imagining that your daughter could sit down, she says hour and a half an hour and then you ask her how her writing session went. She said, well, I didn't have any idea what to write. So you'd have I don't know what age students would be in your course, but what else would be a component of your class on writing?
Well, I would teach them to learn to accept your mediocrity. You know, no one's really that great, you know who's great, the people that just put tremendous amount of hours into it, it's a game of tonnage, you know, how many are you going to work per week, per month, per year? You might even want to chart that or with your exercise if you want to get in shape. I couldn't get in shape. I was like a start as a jogger, you know, like in the 70s.
And I would run three miles a day. And then I got older and I got married late and I had young kids and I really had to get in shape. And I picked up this book by Bill Phillips called Body for Life. Body for Life. And it's really, really so it's such a system for a primitive brain. I do it to this day. I think it's a work of genius, this book. And it really got me in shape because he broke it down to here's what we're going to do in minute one.
Here's what you're going to do the minute five, minute 12, and this is going to end in forty five minutes or whatever it is. And every minute I know exactly what I'm doing. And that, like, turn the key for me and all of a sudden I was getting in shape. I never had to ask, what am I doing now or what are we doing next? It was very it's like you've got to treat your brain like a dog you just got.
You've got it, stupid, the brain, the mind is infinite and wisdom, the brain is a stupid little dog that is easily trained.
Got to use the mind with the brain. The brain is so easy to master. You just have to confine it. You confine it. Yeah. And it's done through repetition and customization.
So let's talk about feedback in the experimental loop that you mentioned earlier, which was desk, stage, desk, stage desk, stage one for a feedback would be audience feedback. And I'm curious what other forms of feedback you have now.
There is no other feedback that means anything. OK, well, you here's a here's a little a fine point of writing technique that I'll pass along to you. Writers out there never talk to anyone about what you wrote that day. That day. You have to wait twenty four hours to ever say anything to anyone about what you did because you never want to take away that wonderful, happy feeling that you did that very difficult thing. That you try to do that, you accomplish that you wrote you sat down and wrote, so if you say anything, it's like the same reason you have heard the thing.
Like you never tell people the name you're going to give the baby until it's born because they're going to react and the reaction is going to have a color. And if you've decided that that's going to be the baby's name, you don't want to know what anybody else thinks. So I will always wait twenty four hours before I say anything to anyone about what I wrote. So you want to preserve that good feeling? Because if you if let's say you write something and you love it and then later on that day you're talking to someone and you thought, hey, what do you think of this idea?
Blah, blah, blah. And they don't love it. Now, that day feels like, oh, I guess, you know that that was a wasted effort. So you always want to reward yourself. The key to writing it, being a good writer, is to treat yourself like a baby, very extremely nurturing and loving, and then switch over to Lou Gossett, an officer and a gentleman. And just be a harsh prick, ball busting son of a bitch about that is just not good enough.
That's got to come out or it's got to be redone or thrown away. So flipping back and forth between those two brain quadrants is the key to writing. When you're writing, you want to treat your brain like a toddler. It's just all nurturing and loving and supportive ness. And then when you look at it the next day, you want to be just a hardass and you switch back and forth. When you would come off stage and feel like you had really nailed the set, you just killed.
Yeah. Would you ask for. Feedback from other comics who you might respect, who are there, would you do something to celebrate instead? You just got feedback. You don't need to you don't need to ask the professionals. That's the paradise of standup comedy. You don't have to ask anyone anything. Stand up comics receive a score on what they're doing more often and more critically than any other human on Earth. You know, even a pitcher is not on the mound for an hour and 20 minutes straight.
Right. Having his pitches judged by the umpire. And by the way, some of those calls are opinions of the umpire that may or may not be true. Every opinion the audience gives you is 100 percent accurate.
Read how they feel as fact, suffer the pain or have that advantage when you did well, much like after checking the box of doing an hour long writing session, would you reward yourself or was that not part of the process for you?
I reward myself constantly. I mean, but there's no greater reward than that state of mind that you're in when that is working. If you can extricate yourself from your self, which is the goal in all sports and performance arts, if you get out of your mind and are able to just function, you know, your sense technique that you have, there is no greater reward. But, you know, if you want to have an ice cream sundae, go home.
It's it's going to pale in comparison.
Yeah. Did you have a long term plan? Let's just if we go back to the the early days, did you have any type of long term career plan for yourself or was it really the ball in front of you and executing on that one next step and then the career emerged from that approach or something else?
Are you asking me if I had a backup plan, if stand up didn't work out? Is that what you know?
I'm asking you if you had a long term career plan with the career world.
No, I didn't even know if you could make a living as a stand up comedian unless, you know, you were George Carlin. So I didn't I didn't know anything about it, I didn't. And the truth was there really wasn't there really wasn't a a world like an infrastructure that exists today. We didn't know if there was any jobs out there, even if we were able to learn how to do it. We had no idea what we were doing.
It was completely blind leap of faith out of the plane with the parachute, hoping it wasn't laundry in there.
What is the feeling? I mean, you mentioned it. I would love, as someone who is hypersensitive you to describe that feeling that would make an ice cream sundae superfluous. Right. That feeling of getting that feedback. What is it in the body? What is it? Or in the mind, however you want to answer that, what does it feel like to you?
I sometimes describe it as math and music, which is kind of the same thing. Music is so mathematical. As his stand up is extremely mathematical. So, you know, I mean, I certainly don't have to tell you what, that you're just looking for a state of mind. You're trying to maneuver yourself into a state of mind that, you know is your highest function level. But there are many levels below that that are good enough to get the job done so that you can call yourself a professional.
So that's all there is, you know, is it's musical. It's very rhythmic and musical. It is for me I'm looking for to get myself in a rhythm and then to get the audience in in a rhythm, very much like a conductor, I think would feel, you know, a conductor has a piece of music. I have a piece of music in front of me, and now I have to get the symphony to be doing it the way we know it can be.
And then the audience comes along and supports that. And it's this absurd struggle. And I really think being a conductor or a surfer is the best analogy because the forces that you're attempting to corral are so much greater than you. The wave has so much more strength than you have. All you can hope to do is navigate it within it. That's the goal to just get to that very brief, very transitory perception of mastery. It seems in this moment that I am completely mastering this audience.
But it's only a moment. It's only a moment. I couldn't stay up there very long. Even an hour is not a long time. Totally, you know, it's not a long time. And it takes years and years and years of work and study and practice to be able to do that, to do the hour. The hour is really the standard in my business. A lot of people can do 20, some can do thirty five with a lot of really good guys at forty five an hour an hour fifteen.
I think again I'll go to my favorite, which is baseball for analogies. It's the complete game. Can you finish the game. And that's that's the hour 10, hour 20. That's nine innings of mastery, yet you need to have not just a lot of material, but a lot of practice and tonnage, as you put it, to perform at a high level for that period of time and and manage their energy and yours.
And it has only it has to ebb and flow. Mm hmm. And that's just to piggyback on the analogy, used a very much similar sports and have had a lot of athletes on the show and even some surfing legends like Laird Hamilton, they'll say they should call surfing, paddling, because that's what you're actually doing. Most of the time. You get to show at the end of the day is the cover shot surfing the big wave. But that's really the output of a lot of tonnage.
Right. And I know you you've been quoted as thinking of yourself more as a sportsman than an artist. And for a lot of athletes, routine is is super key to managing energy and putting in the reps and producing good results. There's a quote from you in The New York Times and the quote is, I'm not OCD, but I love routine. I get less depressed with routine. Aside from the writing sessions, are there any other routines for you that are particularly important as scaffolding or automatic behaviors?
Yeah, exercise, weight training and transcendental meditation. I think I could solve just about anyone's life. And I don't care what you do with weight training and transcendental meditation. I think your body needs that stress, that stressor. And I think it builds your the resilience of the nervous system. And I think transcendental meditation is the. Absolutely ultimate work tool. I think the stress reduction is great, but it's more the energy recovery and the concentration fatigue solution, which is, of course, you know, as a stand up comic, I can tell you my entire life is concentration, fatigue, whether it's writing or performing.
My brain and my body, which is the same thing, are constantly hitting the wall. And if you have that in your hip pocket, you're Columbus with a compass. Chatting with Hugh Jackman on the podcast and he's also a devout, seems like an odd word to use, since it's it can be used quite secularly. But yeah, proponent of how many times what is your weekly schedule look like for weight training? When do you do it and do you do TM twice a day or do I do it at least twice a day?
But I will do it any time I feel like I'm dipping energetically. Yeah. Yeah. And if, if I sit down and the pen doesn't move for like 20 minutes, I know I'm out of gas. Why is the pen moving?
My weight training routine is three times a week for an hour a session. But I'm into that. I've been into that. I mentioned the Bill Phillips body for life, body for life, the hip training. So it's three times a week of weights and three times a week the interval cardio training. There are a lot of days. So I want to cry instead of do it, because it really it really physically hurts. But I just think it's balancing it's very balancing to the forces inside humanity that I think are just they overwhelm us.
We are overwhelmed by our own power. And you got to put that ox in the plow, make it do the stuff that it doesn't want to do. It just keeps it what the hell the ox is do in the wild.
I can't imagine they were happily checking Twitter. Just developing the roses. Yeah. You know, put it in the harness. Keep I mean, I don't know. A lot of my life is I don't like getting depressed. I get depressed a lot. I hate the feeling and these routines, the these very difficult routines, whether it's exercise or writing. And both of them are things where it's like it's it's brutal. It's another thing I was explaining to my daughter.
She's she's frustrated that writing is so difficult because no one told her that it's the most difficult thing in the world. It's the most difficult thing in the world is to write people tell you to write like you can do it, like you're supposed to be able to do it. Nobody can do it. It's impossible. The greatest people in the world can't do it. So if you're going to do what you should first be told, what you are attempting to do is incredibly difficult.
One of the most difficult things there is way harder than weight training, way harder what you're summoning, trying to summon within your brain and your spirit to create something onto a blank page. So that's another part of my system ization technique. Learn how to encourage yourself. That's why you don't tell someone what you wrote. Be proud of yourself. Encourage treat yourself well for having done that horrible, horribly impossible thing.
I would have to imagine and maybe this is just a projection, because I hope that when I have kids, which I don't have yet, that this will be true for me. But that being kind to your creative self and offering positive reinforcement for yourself through the process would affect how you parent, I would have to imagine. Yes.
Yes. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost the Lou Gossett side of parenting so that pesky Child Protective Services put it there now. But yeah, it is similar.
You want to be very encouraging, but you also want to explain there are laws in life that you need to know about or it's going to hurt. I think one of the better lines I've come up with over my life is that pain is knowledge rushing in to fill a void with great speed. How can you say that one more time, please? Pain is knowledge rushing in to fill a void. You don't know that that post of your bed was not where you thought it was, but when your foot hits it, that knowledge is going to come rushing in really fast.
That's going to really hurt when your foot hits that post, because that was a piece of knowledge that you didn't have that you're going to get you're about to get it.
We're talking about Black Black Stallion and learning to ride Black Stallion, lest you be broken yourself by your superpowers. Yes, potential murderers. I've struggled with depression for decades and have found some respite in the last five or six years for a whole host of reasons. But aside from the writing and weight training, is there anything else that has contributed to your ability to either stave off or mitigate depressive? Suits or Manwich? No, I still got them, still got the best thing I ever heard about it was that it's part of a kit that comes with a creative aspect to the brain, that a tendency to depression seems to always accompany that.
And I read that like 20 years ago, and that really made me happy. So I realized, well, I wouldn't have all this other good stuff without that. That's just comes in the kit that you have a tendency to depression. But I think it's fair to say that I don't know a human that doesn't have the tendency. I'm sure it varies.
I have a number of friends who are in comedy and a lot of them are afraid of getting any type of treatment or taking antidepressants because they worry that it would rob them of their comedic insight. I don't know if that's something you've run into yourself or is it more that you accept it as a natural byproduct or companion to the sensitivity?
I would agree with a chemical intervention and to stabilize your mood, I would be nervous about that also. And besides which is, you know, as we all know, there are many other better remedies. That, you know, is basically a pair of running shoes is probably better than any of the drugs they have on the market, depending on the severity, of course. Yeah. Or at least make sure that you're adding those elements into your life, since I think we all know people who take antidepressants and are still depressed.
So it's worthwhile to tick off the bigger boxes. Behaviorally speaking, I don't think depression is really a creative source.
I think irritability and crankiness is right, but not depression. Depression is just an annoying thing we have to deal with.
You gave me a quote. I'll ask you one more question and then we can we we can go a little more.
I'm enjoying so much. Let's go. Let's do it. So I'd love to ask about following up on depression. I'd love to ask about failure just to keep this bright and shiny. Can you think of how a particular failure or apparent failure set you up for later success? In other words, do you have a favorite failure of any type, something that seemed catastrophic at the time that in fact set you up for great things later? Yeah, yeah.
I have a couple really good ones. And there's another thing I try to teach the kids, you know, and something horrible happens. I think of all the things I would trade if you could take your experiences and ask to trade them in the last ones I would trade would be the failures. Those are the most valuable ones. When I moved to L.A., I was only doing comedy for years, but I had built up a pretty good reputation in New York.
And New York was really, in those days, still very much the miners to L.A., which was the majors. And so I went out to L.A. and people talked that I was coming and that I was, you know, one of the hot guys coming out of New York. And I was only doing it for years, you know. Twenty five years old. I mean, I really still just starting. And the Comedy Store was the club in L.A. that you had to break into that.
That was the club and the guys that worked there. And the women were killers. I mean, these people made the room just shake with laughter. It was very intimidating to go on there. And I went on there and I did very well. You know, in those days, you would you would call and they would give you spots if you were good. And I would never get spots, I would get like one spot a week and, you know, one spot a week.
It's like one push up a week.
It's like I don't even bother. So I asked to meet with Mitzi Shore, who was the owner of the club, and a person who ran the whole thing there. And she said to me, she said, I'm the kind of person that needs to get stepped on. And that's what you need. You need someone to step on you. And I'm going to be that person. And she said, if you called and said, if I had four spots available and you called in, I would give all four spots to this other guy.
She mentions this other guy. And I sat there in her office and I nodded. I nodded and I said, well, I won't mention the name of the guy. She said she was going to give the four spots to. I said, well, if maybe he can't do all four, I'd be happy to take any of the ones he can't do. And I walked out of there and I never worked at the Comedy Store again and said, You're not working at the Comedy Store in L.A. It's like saying I want to be a baseball player, but not the majors, not the majors of the United States.
I'm going to ply my trade someplace else. Charlie left Lithuania. Yeah. And so from there I went from I hope it doesn't sound immodest from being absolutely at the top of the heap in New York City. To playing at discos in the basement in L.A., you have to like eight people, but my resentment and hostility to her, I was a guy who I would say I was a three day a week guy. In terms of my writing discipline in those days, and I went from three days a week to seven right then, and I was like, OK, we're not this.
This is I was angry. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was resentful. But I used that it was just fuel for me. She wasn't stopping me. Nobody was going to stop me. But when someone is that hostile to you, that can be a very good thing. If you're tough, if you're tough enough to eat shit and say I'm she's not stopping me, that's a great story.
I actually think a lot of my friends, Alexis Ohanian co-founded Reddit. And at one point early on there were super excited about, of course, their company, their baby that put all of their waking hours into it. They met with some Yahoo! Executive who was basically just fishing for inside information. And at some point in the meeting, this exec said, oh, there's your traffic. Oh, that's a rounding error for us.
And so Alexis and his guys took a huge they made a poster that said, you are a rounding error and put it on the wall of their office.
Yeah, it worked. It worked.
So what then transpired after you went from three days a week to seven days a week? When did you get a glimmer of hope or vindication?
The Tonight Show saw me. And every comedian in the world wanted to get on The Tonight Show in the 70s and 80s, it was the only way out of the clubs to real gigs was to be on The Tonight Show. The clubs. Was you working for free, right? Free zero. You know, that's not really the object, the object is to get paid to object, to be a professional. So when you're on The Tonight Show, you're going from the service road to lane one.
No more no more Applebee's in five minutes.
And I and I told that story in the book to what that felt like. You know, my favorite sporting thing. I mean, I'm a baseball maniac, but the one hundred meters in the Olympics is something I love. I love the hundred meters. And that's what happened when you did The Tonight Show. In those days, you I when I see Lindsey Vonn at the top of a mountain or I see those guys kicking their legs when they're in the blocks, you know, I know what that feels like.
I know. And I'm very grateful that I know that, you know, if you're an adrenaline junkie, which I am, there's no good comedian that isn't that's a big treat in life to know how that feels that I'm going to change my whole life in the next three minutes.
How many times did you rehearse that three minute segment of material? I mean, I would imagine you must have done it a thousand times before you. Yeah.
Did you ever have another conversation with Mitzi Shore or did any did you ever convey any message to her or have any communication?
I did when I got my TV series in the nineties, I moved up to this fantastic house in the Hollywood Hills that overlooked all of L.A. Every day. I would drive down the hill to go to the studio to work on the show. I would see Mitzi taking her walk on a nearby street that we happen to have in common, and I would always give her a nice look.
I wouldn't waver Hung, but our eyes met no men, no men.
And you know what?
Maybe she was right. Maybe I did need someone to step on. Why did she respond that way?
That just seems so aggressive. Did you do any things? I would never be the broken the type of broken winged bird that she wanted to have in her little chicken coop of dysfunction.
What was the come in those days? I was not built like that. I don't really want to be a stand up comic. It's because I wanted to say to myself and to the world, I don't need you. I can do this myself. And the Comedy Store was filled with people that needed her. The comedy world in those days was a druggie. Yeah, it's a very dysfunctional world, the comedy world, because you're taking these people that that that can't fit in.
They can't you know, they have this one still. And then you put them in a situation where they can get anything they want. If so, whatever. Dysfunctional chemicals, sexual, you're lazy, broken, you're messed up. You know, now you got you have no structure around you to fix it. Yeah. You know, I mean, you're out in the world. You're completely on your own. It's designed to break human beings stand up comedy.
It's a perfect way to break a person psychologically.
You know, I've only been to the Comedy Store once us brought there by a friend, and I went into one of the back rooms. I'm sure you would know the name of this room, but they listed off a whole lot of old names that want to say Sam Kinison and a bunch of others. And they said this is where they used this was the green room, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And there was this huge table with a mirror top with thousands of scratches on it and not from fingernails.
Right. And you just think, oh, my God, if you don't have rales to stay on, I mean, pun intended, I guess the environment is just designed to destroy.
And yes, that's part of the fun of the Moghuls. If you it's like you're a fish in the Hudson. It's a toxic environment. The attrition and the attrition is brutal. You never have to say I don't get why people like this comedian. Don't worry. Don't worry.
You don't have to comment on it. The the environment itself will correct.
It is a self-correcting eco system of pure toxic water, the self-sufficiency or desire for self-sufficiency that you give voice to the proving to others that you don't need, that you can do it on your own. Seems to be a very sharp contrast to a lot of entertainers I know, including comics who seem to have a lot of codependency like they need the audience to validate, like they need life support if they had respiratory collapse. And was that perspective and that character or constitution rare?
I have to say the Constitution is is kind of rare. But I also have to say I don't know anyone who made it over a long period of time that didn't have it. Yeah. And that's another thing that kind of led me to me to the weight training aspect. I think I think it builds your constitution. Mm hmm. Yeah, the weight training, you know, I just want to give credit where credit is due with Bill Phillips. I read that book a long time ago.
This is before my second book, which is on physical performance. And I was really impressed because it is to me, first and foremost, a book about behavioral modification and behavioral psychology. And it really nails those elements really, really well. And, you know, if I think back across the hundreds of interviews on this podcast, whether it's Bob Iger in the world of business and heading Disney or an athlete or otherwise, if you look at the people who have really performed at a high level for decades, uh, weight training seems to be one of the constants or one of the near constants.
Yeah, because you're deteriorating. You just trying to bend that curve a little bit. You know, I'm sixty six. I shouldn't be performing at this level at sixty six. I should be over.
Mm. So you have to you have to cheat the biology. Yeah, 66 I never I mean, I suppose I could have tried to do the math. I never would have guessed. Do you just wake up some days and find that number to be unbelievable to you? Or is it a foregone conclusion, I guess, because you're in your own body and go year by year?
I find it I find it funny and I find it very it really makes the game fun because I know this should not be happening. I am getting away with murder, so I love it. Really makes it. That's another thing I believe we were talking about. Systemizing game of flying is another thing I'm very big on. Let's make this into a game. You know, whatever the problem is, let's make it a game. To me, it's a fun game.
I honestly, you know, I wouldn't say this around my family, but I don't care if I drop dead tomorrow. It's like I just wanted to I still feel like I played the game well, you know.
Yeah, that's what I want to feel. I just want to feel like I played the game.
Well, what would be an example of game of flying? I mean, I've read, of course, the about the Seinfeld's productivity secret, the marketing, the crosses on the calendar, which I guess some people get.
That's not really a game. Yeah, that's more. Neistat I think stats are good if you want to improve anything. My trainer, Adam Wright and I always like to play this game. Well, this was the maximum amount of weight you did three months ago for this many seconds or whatever. And then it's like that's so it's a game. Now, let's see if I can keep the reps going for thirty seconds. Last time was twenty five. So it's a little game.
It's just again, this goes back to my the human brain is a schnauzer. It's just a stupid little contraption that you can easily track as soon as you tell me I did it. Twenty five seconds last time. OK, let's see if I can do thirty.
Yeah. It's not with them. That's not intelligence. It's a stupid little machine. It's going to do that every single time. Every time you tell someone your last best was twenty five seconds you're going to try for thirty.
Well thinking back to the what ox do when they're not in a yoke and how disquieted they would be if they were checking Twitter all day. Yeah. And in the wild. Yeah.
In the world of dog training, I know a couple of really high level dog trainers and one of the expressions you hear, it's kind of this mantra like you would find in the military or something, which is a tired dog is a happy dog, and just ensuring that your dog is properly exerted at night. Yeah, I think there's a lot to that as a human also. Yeah. So if you're looking at gamification in the let's just say the fitness realm, are there other ways that you've applied that to your creative or professional work?
I guess you have these logs. So in a way, I mean, you have.
Yeah, but I don't believe I don't score myself creatively. I don't believe in that. This kind of gets into my thoughts on material. I don't know if this will illuminate this for you, but one time. I love to go on stage Gotham and hearing about the vaccine today got me very excited that maybe I'll be going back there soon on the Twenty Third Street in the city. And that's why I like to play with material. So I always I'll go there and I'll and I'll go onstage.
I'll do 20 or 30 minutes. I'm just working on material and then I like to take questions from the audience. And when I perform for gigs, it's the audiences are too big to really take questions. It's too difficult. But in a room of a couple you can take questions. So one night this guy says to me, he says, when you go back to the same city twice, do you ever worry that they're going to see the same show you did last time?
Or how do you know what you did? And how do you know when it's time to take a piece of material out of your act that you've been doing it too long and it needs to be retired and you should do something else and, you know, you kind of reasonable questions from a regular person. And I said, so these pieces I was doing tonight, I said, do you think that you could think of things similar to this? And the guy says, Oh, God, no, not in a million years.
And I'm like, Yeah, that's what I was thinking. So what's the point, the that story is if I'm going on stage and I'm doing these bets, however long it took me to figure this stupid bit out, you know, and however many years I've been doing, which I don't even know, just be glad I'm doing that, you know, it's good thing. It's a good thing. So this goes to my nurturing side of the equation.
If you're getting on stage and standing in front of a group of strangers and trying to make them laugh, God bless you. I don't give a shit what you do. I don't care if it's old stuff, new stuff. I don't care if you're dirty, if you're clean, if you're going to stand up there by yourself and try and make me laugh. I love you and I'm not going to criticize anything. You do a bit on that.
I'm not going to criticize it. And you shouldn't criticize yourself either. So in other words, there's no need to go back to do a game of fight. No, it's always I win. If I got up there and tried to do it, I win. Yeah. Even if I didn't reach what I'm trying to reach, even if I to me, it's a four out of 10 show. I still pat myself on the back for still when you're still around, when you hear the word successful, who comes to mind for you and why could be parents could be outside of parents, could be anybody but for you, when you hear that word, is there anyone who is really a sort of paragon of what you would consider success or someone you have looked up to as someone who was successful?
Well, that's a pretty broad, hyper, hyper broad.
It comes down to kind of how you define it.
Also, you know, I think I don't know if I mean it as a joke, but I say a lot these days, survival is the new success.
And yeah. And I am a big look. Tim, what do you want me to tell you in my business? If your. 60 plus, or if you're 55 and you're getting paid to work, paid well, you have crushed it. Yeah, so stand up comedy, you know this. I would. I would move this piece of our conversation next to the toxic ecosystem of this world, when you have seen the attrition that I have seen, it's like in the heart of the sea.
You know that hook. Yep. Ron Howard made the movie when they're dropping like flies and the handful, that small handful. Somebody asked me the other day how many people who whose careers were made on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson are still working. I don't even want to answer the question. So longevity is what I did because you had it. You know what I mean? You had it. You had you had it. So once you have it, you can only lose it.
You know, you can only fail to take care of it. And that's when we get to health and work ethic and managing yourself so that you don't break. Because they're trying to break you, I always tease my friend Jimmy Fallon that this is like a sick experiment, these talk show gigs. Let's take a human being, put them in a studio for decades, doing an hour of television a day, and let's see what breaks. It's it's sick.
It's a sick human experiment, like it's like a poke job. It's like they just do it till you're dead.
The Forever Skinner box. Yeah. Yeah. That's peanut brittle now.
I mean, there's a fantastic book about stand up that I read during the virus called Seriously Funny. And the guy writes only about communities of the 50s and 60s and the introduction of that book, which is like 20 pages long. And he goes through Woody and Lenny and Joan Rivers and all these great people and how it broke one after the other, one after the other was broken by it, that they either were worn out or their brains cracked or their psychology cracked or, you know, it just took them apart.
It's a very, very difficult profession to sustain. And so just to survive to me is the game. That's my concept of success. Did you beat them at their game?
They're they're just they designed this thing to kill you, trap the travel. You realize what it takes to travel, to go to the airport, you know, in your 50s and 60s, to fly on planes, to go to strange cities, to go to hotels, to put on a suit, to go out on stage at eight o'clock at night and run around and yell, you know, and project your physical energy for an hour in front of thousands of people.
They're trying to kill you.
So I have made it into a game like it's like, Mitzie, I'm going to step on you. And I went, No, no, I'm going to step on you.
I suppose that's the game we're playing.
That's life. Life is they're trying to kill you. You get this free ride till you're let's be generous. Forty three. And then God goes, you know what? I'm going to move on to the people in their sixteen to twenty three and I'm going to give them my best. If you want to hang around, you can hang around. But I'm not giving you anything anymore. It's on you now if you want to stick around.
But I never bought you.
You figure it out. So this, this caught my attention because I'm exactly forty three.
Oh perfect. Perfect. Oh we got it. Oh yeah. This is the.
I'm not going to, I'm not going to ask you to leave but I got nothing for you.
Seriously funny. I'm going to start giving these fifteen year old girls amazing stuff. And the boys, I'm going to give them crazy by that. That's my focus. My focus is 15 year olds turning them into superhumans. You know, I'm with you.
Yeah, I'm the eight foot sturgeon in the Hudson, barely limping along. Yeah, I was going to ask you to leave, but we're not giving you no food, no help. There was no help.
Survival is the new success. I'll yeah. If you have time for one or two questions, then we'll we'll I can bring this to a close. I need to go decent interval training, eat some lentils. This is a question that sometimes hits a dead end and I'll take the blame for that if it does. You've already given a bunch of possible answers to this. But if you had a billboard, metaphorically speaking, that could get a message, a quote, an image question, anything out to billions of people, what might you put on that billboard?
Back in the 80s, I had a friend who was teaching a comedy course at the Improv on Melrose in L.A. and he asked me if I would come in and talk to the class. And I said, sure, I went in and there was like, I don't know, maybe 20 people in the class in the ATMs in the afternoon. And I went up on stage and I said, the fact that you have even signed up for this class is a very bad sign of what you're trying to do, the fact that you think anyone can help you or there's anything that you need to learn.
You have gone off on a bad track because nobody knows anything about any of this. And if you want to do it, what I really should do is. I should have a giant flag behind me that I would pull a string and it would roll down and on it, the flag would just say two words, just work.
Just work. Just work. Yeah, I love it. Well, that is, I think, an excellent place to wrap up. Gerri, people can find you on all the Sociales, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook at Jerry Seinfeld. The new book is, Is this anything which features your best work across five decades? That's nuts in comedy. And it's a fascinating book and a hell of a ride. I highly recommend people check it out for anyone who's a student of creative process, doesn't have to be comedy, but craft whatever that craft happens to be.
I think you are a real exemplar of just doing the work but doing it. And it's also a systematic way, which is a particular species of working that I think makes a beautiful case study. And this has been so much fun for me. I really appreciate you taking the time, Jerry. Thanks.
So was I love talking with you and your podcast is the best.
Thanks so much. It really makes my day to have the chance to have a conversation with you. I've had the bass riff from Seinfeld going through my head all day and in prep for this. And it's a real gift that you're showcasing and sharing your notes with the world over such a period of time. I mean, it is, I think, something that will really provide, you know, like you said, just work, but nonetheless will provide so much, so much help to and inspiration to people who are just setting out, unlike the 43 year old, eight foot sturgeons, those 15 year olds and 15 to 20 year olds.
And I will let you get back to your day. But this has been great. And please do let me know if I can help in any way or with anything else.
Oh, it's been a great pleasure to write pleasure. And thank you for the kind words. It's much appreciated.
Absolutely. And to everybody listening will have links to everything, including is this anything in the show? Notes, as per usual, at Tim's blog for such podcasts. And until next time. Thanks for tuning in. Hey, guys, this is Tim again. Just a few more things before you take off. No. One, this is five Bullett Friday. Do you want to get a short email from me? And would you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday if that provides a little morsel of fun before the weekend and five?
Black Friday is a very short email where I share the coolest things I've found or that I've been pondering over the week that could include favorite new albums that I've discovered. It could include gizmos and gadgets and all sorts of weird shit that I've somehow dug up into the world of the esoteric as I do. It could include favorite articles that I have read and that I've shared with my close friends, for instance. And it's very short. It's just a little tiny bite of goodness before you head off for the weekend.
So if you want to receive that, check it out. Just go to four hour work week dotcom. That's four hour work week dot com all spelled out. And just drop in your email and you will get the very next word. And if you sign up, I hope you enjoy it. This episode is brought to you by rock form that's without a rock for our rock form is the Active Lifestyle iPhone and Galaxy Protective Case Company. I've been using their stuff for a few months now and good God, they can survive anything.
First off, rock for protection is beyond great. You can find thousands of five star reviews and customer testimonials which the team at Rock Firm called Survival Stories that include things like a drop from the upper deck of a baseball stadium and a seventy five foot cell phone tower fall. It's kind of unbelievable, but these cases make your phone virtually indestructible. Each case is built also around an integrated magnet that is completely safe for your phone. The magnets are incredibly strong and allow you to instantly attach your device to any magnetic surface toolboxes, file cabinets, refrigerators, golf carts, you name it.
I use it in the gym to check my form. A lot of the time you just slap it on just about anything. Rock Form pioneered magnetic technology in the mobile accessories space in 2011, and I've never seen anything quite like these magnets. I will use mine on my peloton bike so I can watch, listen and take calls during workouts. It fits my iPhone 11 Flomax perfectly and allows me to keep my hands free for all sorts of stuff. All their cases also come with a built in twist lock system that can be used with any of rock forms, optional mounts for bike, motorcycle, car and much more.
These machined aluminum mounts are built to last, are compatible with every rock form case. So if you get a new phone or whatever, you just need a new case. And it was still attached to all of the mounts. Rock form also has a portable golf speaker's Bluetooth that instantly amounts to a golf cart with mind blowing strong magnets. I mentioned I don't really golf, but I will use this Bluetooth speaker to listen to music in the kitchen, slap it on the roof for.
Later, I will use it in the gym and hang it from a carabiner which is included with the speaker and so on and so forth, so upgrade to a rock form case today because you have better things to hold on, to keep your hands and other stuff. And like I mentioned, these things make your phone bulletproof. And as a special offer for Tim, our show listeners, that's you guys get twenty five percent off. That is a good discount, 25 percent off at rock form dotcom.
That's OK for R.M. Dotcom when you use promo code, Tim, that's twenty five percent off at our OK for our company use promo code. Tim one more time rock form dotcom promo code Tim. This episode is brought to you by Oura oh, you are a it is the only wearable that I wear on a daily basis, or is the company behind the smart ring that delivers personalized sleep and health insights to help you optimize just about everything? And I've tried every device out there that you can imagine.
This one really makes the cut. I've been using it religiously for at least six months now, and I was introduced to it by Dr. Peter Attia is also vetted just about everything with advanced sensors for a state of the art, heart rate, heart rate variability. HRB super important to me, temperature activity and sleep monitoring technology into a convenient, non-invasive ring. It's tiny. It weighs less than six grams and focuses on three key insights sleep readiness and activity.
So I can use it to help focus my attention on the type, volume, intensity of exercise that I should do on a given day. I use it to determine how certain types of alcohol at different times of the day affect my sleep, which they do. I can see all of that in graph form trended over time. There are tons of actionable insights that have come from using this right for me. They have a number of incredible people on their team.
Dr. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley and also author of Why We Sleep in the Mega hit is or is chief science adviser. As just one example, the offering is one of the most accurate wearables available because it measures your vitals directly from your finger. So it's not deducing that you're making a best guesstimate based on a bunch of other things and trying to triangulate compared to a medical grade electrocardiogram. The ordering is ninety nine point nine percent accurate for resting heart rate and ninety eight point four percent accurate for heart rate variability.
And I work with HRB doctors and they recommend that I use the Oring, so try it yourself. It is super cool and super practical, very actionable. The offering comes in two styles and three colors silver, black and matte black. I use like for two hundred and ninety nine dollars. You can give or get the gift of health by visiting or a ring dot com. That's oh you are a risc dotcom again. That's Oura ring dotcom.