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January 16, 2024 52 mins

Ed Begley Jr. needs no introduction. Beloved actor and environmental activist. Check out his new memoir To the Temple of Tranquility...And Step On It! and buy it here In his memoir Ed shares hilarious and poignant stories of his improbable life, focusing on his relationship with his legendary father, adventures with Hollywood icons, the origins of his environmental activism, addiction and recovery, and his lifelong search for wisdom and common ground. EnJOY! 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
My name is Craig Ferguson. The name of this podcast
is joy. I talked to interest in people about what
brings them happiness. Ed Begley Junior is a legend and
show business and he came down from on High to
talk to poor lonely me in Hollywood. He's a wonderful man.

Ed Begley Junior. I first met you it was I'm
going to say it would be about nineteen ninety seven.

Speaker 2 (00:39):
Was it Drew carry It was the Drew Carey show, Right,
so good on that show.

Speaker 1 (00:42):
Oh man, you're so good on that show. But I
remember one of the things that really stick in my
mind about it was that you turned up in an
EV one.

Speaker 2 (00:51):
I did. That's right. I had one on that year,
EV one ninety seven.

Speaker 1 (00:56):
The electric car, and I was like, I remember because
I said does it go fast? And you said yeah.
We drove around on the Warner Brothers law and an
Evy one and it was like shelf a shovel that thing.

Speaker 2 (01:06):
Yeah, it was rievable.

Speaker 1 (01:08):
And then they shut it down.

Speaker 2 (01:10):
They crushed them all they did. They did everything where
they had them in production available for lease and not sale.
And keep in mind they'd never sold one. They just
wanted to lease it so they could control it. Right,
there's a line in Shakespeare I think to condemn with
faint praise. That's what they did with that car. They
had all these ads in the la time, not for
a long time, but they had full page ads the
electric car. The Saturn logo is as big as my thumbnail.

Maybe really you couldn't. Nobody knew where to get it.
I'd pull a group of people, hundreds or dozens, I'd say,
how many people know about the electric car? All hands
would go up the GM electric car? Hands would go up.
How many people know where to get one? One person?
Maybe nobody knew where to get it.

Speaker 1 (01:46):
I remember, because I remember I'm saying I would do this.
I would get an electric car. How did you charge
the EV one was a deal to charge it?

Speaker 2 (01:55):
Yeah, it was a bit of a minor bit of
work to charge it properly. You could charge it in
one hundred ten volt, but that was you know, slow, slow,
right with that amount of current. But if you had
a two and forty volt line in your garage many
people do for an electric dryer or some other.

Speaker 1 (02:08):
Apartment well in Britain as that that's exactly.

Speaker 2 (02:11):
That's the standard voltage exactly right. So it's not not
that difficult to get an electrician to come in wired
if you don't have it, because there's you know, three
wires coming into everybody's home that you know equals two
and forty volts, so you can do it.

Speaker 1 (02:24):
It's so crazy to me that who should have done
did you? I mean, I know there was that documentary
Who Killed the Electric Car? Did you see that?

Speaker 2 (02:32):
Yeah, I'm in it, believe it or not.

Speaker 1 (02:33):
I didn't see it.

Speaker 2 (02:34):
So it's a good no, because it's a good documentary.
Chris Payne did a wonderful job.

Speaker 1 (02:39):
Well Who Killed the Electric Car?

Speaker 2 (02:41):
Then they rightly put the blame at several people's feet.
You know, there's lots of people that did things that
made it go away. But Wagoner I think that's his
correct name, the guy at GM. And they said, what's
your biggest success while you're there? And he said something
I don't remember, And he said, what's your biggest failure?
He said killing the electric car?

Speaker 1 (02:59):

Speaker 2 (02:59):
Really they knew it was it right in the customer
being something great. And now every manufacturer has electric cars.

Speaker 1 (03:05):
Yeah, no, they all have to do it now. Yeah,
and it's do you drive an electric car? You do?

Speaker 2 (03:10):
I have? Yeah, I've had electric cars since nineteen seventy
believe it or not quite primitive?

Speaker 1 (03:14):
Then what what did you have to?

Speaker 2 (03:16):
Let me be full disclosure player here we're talking about
electric you know, electric car its a golf cart with
a windshow wiping a horn, Electric carts with a t
a cave, electric cart?

Speaker 1 (03:28):
Do you play?

Speaker 2 (03:30):
I do not play golf. Do anything involving a sphere
or count me out.

Speaker 1 (03:34):
I don't think if you has been a big sporting man.

Speaker 2 (03:36):
No, I'm a bike rider. I used to ski, but
now I've kind of slowed down.

Speaker 1 (03:41):
You know, I have to say I fell off a
horse about three weeks ago. Oh boy, and it hurt,
but I'm okay. But I'm sixty one now, and I
think I don't think I'm going to ski again because
because I like, you get an idea of what it's
like to come back from a fall, and it's it's

not like it used to be.

Speaker 2 (04:02):
Man, I know I can't do it anywhere. There's no rolling,
no tuck and rolling.

Speaker 1 (04:05):
No I can tuck or roll.

Speaker 2 (04:06):
I can't tuck and roll.

Speaker 1 (04:08):
It's like it's like when asked to do a job.
Now I can sing or dance. I can't sing and dance.

Speaker 2 (04:14):
Let's be to my drumming. Now I can do the
high hat. I can't do the kick drummer. I can't
do the drummer. I used to be a drummer.

Speaker 1 (04:20):
Yeah, me too. Yeah, that was Is that how you
didn't start is that you were an actor? You were
a kid actor?

Speaker 2 (04:25):
Yeah, it was a I started at seventeen. I wanted
from the age of ten, but I had no skills.
So I was shocked that no one gave me a job.
I had to real wake me when I'm famous attitude,
and I never got any work. And I finally trained
and I got work.

Speaker 1 (04:37):
You would do well, no, because no, it doesn't matter exactly.

Speaker 2 (04:40):
You can reality star and next thing you know, you
got thirteen on air.

Speaker 1 (04:44):
What was your first gig?

Speaker 2 (04:46):
My Three Sons?

Speaker 1 (04:47):
That's right. I think I asked you that before My
Three Sons, which is in the you know, it's in
the Hall of Fame as an American classic.

Speaker 2 (04:54):
It is. It's a classic. Fred McMurray. Yeah, to get
a star of that magnitude, you know.

Speaker 1 (04:58):
To do TV back then, Yeah, to get a.

Speaker 2 (05:01):
Movie, start to do television. They had a guarantee he
would only shoot like one day a week. So we
do all this stuff with him with Fred McMurray on Friday,
let's say all different actors came in, all different you know, shots,
angles and what have you. To do it you're done,
see you next week.

Speaker 1 (05:16):
See what one day a week?

Speaker 2 (05:17):
One day a week.

Speaker 1 (05:17):
I love that. See that's what I miss about the
glory days of sitcoms that you know, when we were
doing the Drew Carey Show, we got it down to
like two and a half days a week.

Speaker 2 (05:27):
That was such a good show.

Speaker 1 (05:28):
It was a fun show. It's lost media now though,
It's like you can't find it anywhere.

Speaker 2 (05:33):
Is that true? Yeah?

Speaker 1 (05:34):
I think there's something to do with the music rights
on it or something.

Speaker 2 (05:37):
Damn it all though it was so fine.

Speaker 1 (05:38):
It's I don't know where it is. But is Do
you hear about Drew Carey during the Right of Strike?
What he did?

Speaker 2 (05:45):
What did he do?

Speaker 1 (05:46):
He kept an open tab at a restaurant in Hollywood.
I think it's called Scribbles or Scrandles or Sandals or something.
It's a restaurant like a diner that everybody likes to
go to and Drew captain open tab so if you
had a w G A card, you can go in
and get I love that.

Speaker 2 (06:04):
Guy for so many reasons. Another one, he's amazing. He's
such a great guy.

Speaker 1 (06:09):
Swingers, that's Swing Swingers restaurant.

Speaker 2 (06:11):
He did, didn't It shouldn't shock me for a moment.
I think he would do.

Speaker 1 (06:15):
His tab was like seventy grand or something for the strike.
I mean to just buying tuna melts for every right
for five months, which is but that's who he is.

Speaker 2 (06:28):
I got to call him up an embarrassing when we're here.

Speaker 1 (06:30):
Yeah, the thing is as well. He gets embarrassed with
that kind of thing. It's weird.

Speaker 2 (06:34):
Good, then my work is done.

Speaker 1 (06:36):
So let me ask you this. Because you're you're a
child of show business, right, I mean you're at Begley
Junior because your dad, Ed Begley was a famous actor too, right.

Speaker 2 (06:44):
Yeah, big actor angry man during number ten won an
Oscar for Sweet Bird of Youth, best supporting. I didn't
want any front Broadway with Paul Muni and inherit the wind,
big big actor, big time.

Speaker 1 (06:57):
So was he hesitant about you becoming an.

Speaker 2 (06:59):
Eye or he was quite hesitant and rightly so my
older brother Tom, Tom had been in show business with
him briefly. I mean going back to you know, like Vaudeville,
that had a Vaudeville act together father and son. But
it turned out at some age Tom went, I didn't
want to do that. You made me do that, and
I want to be playing stickball with the guys, and
you had me when you're a stupid act and forget
about it. And then so he didn't want to do

it for about five or seven years, and he went,
now I was wrong the second time. The first time
was right. Now I was right again. I want to
be an actor again. My dad would like that ship
is sail boy. I remember my older brother Tom, who
I worshiped that ship is sailed. But he occasionally got
him a job on something like Alfred Hitchcock Presents or something.

Speaker 1 (07:39):
This is the glory days of television, man. Everything was.
The whole city was pumping with wark at that time.

Speaker 2 (07:47):
Rod Serling he wrote patterns that my dad was brilliant in,
and Dick Kylie was in and all these Everett Sloan
was in just nothing but great writer, sitting limit directing
these TV shows like Twelve Angry Men. Then it became.
It became it was a television show, I believe the teleplay,
and it became a great movie and it's still here.
Patty Chaievski, that's the golden age of television. But you
know what I think. I think this is the platinum

age of television right now.

Speaker 1 (08:09):
I hear you. You were on one of the best
shows ever made recently, The Better Call Saul.

Speaker 2 (08:14):
No Question and Peter gold come on. Unbelievable doing it
once with Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad, than to do it again.

Speaker 1 (08:21):
I know. I remember I saw Bob Odenkirk. Got kids
used to go to the same school, and I know
Bob a little bit, and you know, one of the nicest,
easiest men.

Speaker 2 (08:29):
I love Bob so much.

Speaker 1 (08:30):
Unbelievable. So I see I see him in the parking lot.
We were dropping the kids off for the school bus
or something, and I said, what are you up to?
Because Breaking Bad had just ended, and he said, well,
the guys that come back to me and they want
to take the soul Goodman character and maybe do something
with it. I said, you're going to do it and
he went, oh no, I can they do it again?

Speaker 2 (08:48):
That's what I thought.

Speaker 1 (08:49):
I didn't And but man, did they ever? I prefer
Betcle and I love Breaking Bad. I love to tear
a better call Saul.

Speaker 2 (08:57):
I don't know. It's like which child do you like?
I like so much. But they really the art direction,
the cinematography, it's like a feature film. Every single episode
is like a feature film. And then Vincent Peter know
how to do it. Every episode they have that thing
like they had Breaking Bad, that that original visual thing.
You go, what the hell does that mean? Yeah, it's
flying through the air and a motor home blows past
the pants. What could that possibly mean? Yeah, a low

rider car going on the hydraulics. We spent we spent
shellcasings down on the ground and the window blown out
and back. What does that mean?

Speaker 1 (09:28):
And then we learn it's it's I think the visual
storytelling is unbelievable and it's fantastic. But what also kind
of struck me with Bear Cole Soul was it seems
like the they had mailowed ever so slightly in the
sense that for me it made it because Breaking Bad
something It's like, I can't I can't watch this. I

know it's hard, it's just too hard. But they kind
of dialed it back just a tiny bit for bear cales,
so that when when the violence of the whole or
it did happen, you were like, yeah, these guys deserve that,
you know, and all that. It was amazing though, I
mean just amazing. Does you have fun doing it?

Speaker 2 (10:08):
I had the best time ever.

Speaker 1 (10:10):
I enjoy the act and then I love it.

Speaker 2 (10:12):
I thought i'd be done by now, but I people still.

Speaker 1 (10:15):
Call, well, you're a great actor, right, I mean, you
no idea what. I'm not anyone who was on my
three sons exactly, and everybody knows how punctual you are.
I mean, I've never heard of anyone say.

Speaker 2 (10:26):
You know what. I'm going to say something now, and
I really believe it's true. Well, first of all, the
first part we all know is true. I'm not Joaquin Phoenix,
I'm not Meryl Streep, I'm not Bob de Niro. I
don't have that level of skill. I just don't know.
Nothing bad about it, nothing, no judgment. I don't have it.
But I show up on time, No, I do not.
I show up early every single day. I never cost
him any time, and I always there and know my
lines and I remember that stuff. As it turns out,

who knew.

Speaker 1 (10:49):
One hundred percent. I mean, I think that what kills actors,
particularly on the way up young actors is attitude. When
you think that you're so talented that people will look
beyond your behavior, which that's that's not the case.

Speaker 2 (11:07):
My job is to do my job as an actor,
be prepared with what I think the character is in
my lines and all that. But then my job is
also to make every single department do their job better.
To help the boom man, the lighting guy, everybody, the
first assistant with his follow focus, hit that mark so
we can keep it in focus, all that stuff. That's
my job to make their job as easy as I can.
Did you get done my job?

Speaker 1 (11:28):
Did you get that ethos from your father?

Speaker 2 (11:30):
Was that he never ever walked to the set. He
ran to the set. Mister Begley, we're ready for you.
Now hold that boy, I'm going in. Now start running
with his stubby little legs. He just ran his ass
to the set right there. Knew everybody's name, made everybody's
job easier.

Speaker 1 (11:47):
People have an odd idea about how Hollywood it is.
It's actually it's a very I mean, it's very worktown.
It's work based more than anything else. And this idea
that you know, those actors are millionaires and they, you know,
going on straight and you go, well, some actors absolutely
are millionaires and then make a great deal of money.
But I think the vast majority of actors in this

town it's like it's a middle class job exactly.

Speaker 2 (12:10):
The vast majority of people just getn't check to check.

Speaker 1 (12:13):
Yeah, but I.

Speaker 2 (12:14):
Learned something as far as cooperating and making everybody's job easier.
I did a movie called She Doubled with Meryl Streep.

Speaker 1 (12:21):
Oh yeah, that that's a great movie.

Speaker 2 (12:24):
She would come in with some brilliant idea, like she
has in every movie she's ever done. What's on the
page is often wonderful, and she always does something brilliant,
and Susan Seidelman, the director, would say, mmm, you know what,
I think you should do something else, and she says
something and I'm sitting there thinking that's terrible. My god,
She's going to get now scolded by Meryl Streep. How
dare you tell me what to do? And how dare

you come up with a lesser idea? She goes, Okay,
let me take this sowsier and make it into a
silk person. Here you are did exactly what she said
and made it completely fine. Wasn't as good as what
she did. It was like nearly as good, or maybe
even as good. But she does You could take a
bad idea and make it great.

Speaker 1 (13:02):
You ever worked with you, and you don't have to
say any names, but you've ever worked with an actor
and you thought, what the hell you doing here? Because
I'm well, I'm going to preface with saying that I've
worked with a couple. I'm like, I have to why
are you doing this job if it's so painful? I know,
because it's easy, and you know, all you have to
do is just like you say, be professional about it,

and everybody's cool. That's what people.

Speaker 2 (13:24):
Want, right If you had a reading, if you auditioned
some manner and they like what you did, try and
do that for the first take. I want to do something
else and do that. You want to do something that's
occurred to your sense of reading? Fine, ass the director
if he wants to see that. I just bring in
like a salad ball with different stuff. If you want
some of this or that, what do you want on it?
And you guys pick what you want?

Speaker 1 (13:45):
Will you read for a part if you like it?
Or is that in the rear view mirror.

Speaker 2 (13:50):
I don't have to read often, but when I have
the opportunity, I'm happy. To my agents. No, we don't
want you to read. We don't want I said, dude.
I like reading. I get to go and play the
part in the room. Then I get to do it
again with pay in front of digital camera.

Speaker 1 (14:03):
But I guess you do, see. I always I had
a different thing about about reading for parts. I always thought, wait,
so you want me to do the job, and then
if you don't like it, you fire me. I feel
right because because once I get as far as landing
the lines, which you got to really do for the reading,
then now it's mine. I care about it and now,

and then I get fired. I found it very difficult.
And of course everybody gets you know, doesn't get every audition.
It just doesn't happen for anyone. But I found it
very tough. I couldn't take it.

Speaker 2 (14:35):
I'm thinking right now, I haven't had to read in
a while, but if I had to read for something tomorrow,
for something good, sometimes I get confused, like a casting directory.
Wait a minute, you read for me last month, I said, yeah,
but that was different. It was great material. This one
so great, you know, they don't know that's what it is.
Then material, I get to go and play it in
a room, I get to play that part. It's gravy.

If they want me to do it again in front
of a digital camera, that's gravy.

Speaker 1 (15:08):
So let's talk a little bit about because you and
I have a similar no, no, a similar story when
it comes to the old Uh yeah, the old alcohol.

Speaker 2 (15:18):
I had a thirst. I like my gargle.

Speaker 1 (15:20):
Yeah, I did the wage. Were you when you quit?

Speaker 2 (15:22):
I was thirty years older in nineteen seventy nine.

Speaker 1 (15:25):
I was almost the same. Obviously, look at just before
my thirtieth birthday.

Speaker 2 (15:28):
My daughter got sober at fifteen. I got sober at fifteen. World,
I'd run.

Speaker 1 (15:33):
The world, you know. I look at that because people
sometimes say, you know, you know, I spilled more on
Mortal than you drank and all that. I'm like, yeah,
that doesn't make you better at it now, that just
means you drank longer. I'm glad I got sober when
I did, because I felt like, I think thirty is
kind of a sweet spot because you've done enough damage

to really fuck up your life a bit, but usually
not beyond repair. And I convinced you this is what
I thought. I convinced myself with a shadow of a doubt,
that I was, you know, someone who had alcoholism. That's
what I have, Drew, Carro.

Speaker 2 (16:12):
You were sober.

Speaker 1 (16:13):
Oh yeah, I was sober three years by the time
I stuck me.

Speaker 2 (16:17):
Too before sat Els, the same thing three years before
st elsewhere.

Speaker 1 (16:20):
Because gag for you. Didn't you get like ten Emmys
for that or something.

Speaker 2 (16:24):
I mean, I got nominated six times. I never won,
but I got you never won. No'sful. No, It's fine
to get nominated, really is it is?

Speaker 1 (16:33):
But I mean I always think when you go to
these awards ceremonies and you think I'm not going to win,
but you kind of you do.

Speaker 2 (16:41):
What if?

Speaker 1 (16:42):
Yeah? I remember once I want to name me, and
I was like the first time I want to namey,
I was like so excited. I didn't want to be
that excited. I totally blew my cool. I was like,
this is the greatest thing.

Speaker 2 (16:53):
It is the greatest a rush. It is a rush.

Speaker 1 (16:56):
Oh my god, I love I would know.

Speaker 2 (16:57):
The winning rush, but I know the nominated rush. And
that's fine. That's enough. That's all I need.

Speaker 1 (17:01):
I think you've I think you've had a few. Can
You've won stuff, haven't you.

Speaker 2 (17:06):
I was nominated recently too for this show, great show
done by these wonderful women control all to lead about
women's health clinic. I got nominated for an Emmy for
that for best you know, like streaming show or something
or online only show, whatever they call it. And I
was literally this is the truth, sitting there thinking, oh, please, God,
don't let me win. I just don't know. I don't

feel like talking to a lot of people right now.
Please God, don't let me win. I was actually praying
that I did not win. I got my wish.

Speaker 1 (17:32):
Oh yeah, you didn't.

Speaker 2 (17:33):
When you saw the show, you know why? Yeah? People
say you tried to act so humble, I said, I'm
obviously humble. Go see some of my early work. I
have reason to be humble. I'd a lot to be
humble about it.

Speaker 1 (17:42):
I don't know. I think you'll be in a bit
tough on yourself. But that's the kind of thing that
what surprised me, I guess, and I think surprises civilians
who are not alcoholic, is that I thought, when I
stopped drinking, i'd get bear you know, mentally, and that
that wasn't the case for me. I kind of go crazier.

Was he my behavior? But in my level of this comfort?
You know what I mean?

Speaker 2 (18:11):
Was there a period early on where it worked for
you drinking? Yeah?

Speaker 1 (18:15):
Yeah, for sure too.

Speaker 2 (18:16):
I think it. I literally think it saved my life
before it almost killed me.

Speaker 1 (18:19):
I totally agree, one hundred percent.

Speaker 2 (18:21):
I was such a wreck I needed at sixteen seventeen eighteen,
all this stuff that happened to me. I went, I
just need to numb my ass somehow. I'll take anything
you got, right, they give me heroin. At that young age,
I probably would have done it.

Speaker 1 (18:32):
Well. You know, you were coming through Hollywood when that
a lot of that stuff was around. Did you run
into it constantly?

Speaker 2 (18:38):
In fact, it wasn't like if you wired, you're fire
the way it became, let's say nineteen eighty something. Before that,
it was like, why is he not doing any of
my cocaine? Is he a n arc? Is he up tight?
Shall I be worried about this guy? Who is this
guy that's not doing any drugs? He won't even smoke
a joint with me? Get him, get the get him
off the set. It's crazy it was crazy.

Speaker 1 (18:56):
I don't know about like the rise of mariwa on
cannabis now, right, Like it's it's like people is like
a Starbucks you can get I know, I mean I
kind of like that is the drug. I mean, I've
taken every drug that was available at the time I
was taking drugs, right, I've taken heroin, I've taken crack, cocaine,
I've taken cocaine. I've taken every drug, like a lot

of the stuff math and stuff like that that wasn't
there or ecstasy. I was out of the game by
that time. But I've taken a lot of drugs, and
the one that gave me the most psychotic reaction, without
a shadow of a doubt, was cannabis.

Speaker 2 (19:34):
And but high end cannabis, not the kind of cannabis
day of today, right.

Speaker 1 (19:37):
I don't know.

Speaker 2 (19:38):
Yeah, who knows.

Speaker 1 (19:40):
From a store I was buying from a guy. Yeah,
but I don't know. I mean, it produced in me
a psychosis, which I still makes me a little uncomfortable
to talk about thirty plus years later, thirty two years later, nearly.

Speaker 2 (19:54):
I actually, now that I think of it, for only
a moment, I had the same reaction most of the
time when I smoked pot, I got extremely paranoid. Yep, I,
oh my god, I'm in the post office, the post office.
What am I doing the DMV.

Speaker 1 (20:06):
I don't know what to do. No, it wasn't a
cool thing.

Speaker 2 (20:09):
Yeah, it shouldn't be scary to be in the DMV.

Speaker 1 (20:11):
No, it shouldn't be wow.

Speaker 2 (20:12):
Well for other reasons.

Speaker 1 (20:14):
But it's kind of weird though, because there is this
kind of the orthodoxy, because because everything is about media orthodoxy.
I think, right now, you've got to you got to
say the right thing, or you're in trouble. Right, And
the implication is that if you, I feel anyway, if
you say anything negative about cannabis, that you're somehow you know,

like slightly to the right of Hitler when it comes to,
you know, social interaction. I'm like, no, I just don't
like it at all, and never did.

Speaker 2 (20:48):
I never did either. I I kept doing it. Well.

Speaker 1 (20:51):
I see, I loved that alcohol.

Speaker 2 (20:53):
I loved it too.

Speaker 1 (20:54):
I love this work.

Speaker 2 (20:55):
Yeah, you could get it anywhere. Yeah, it was okay
to drink it. I used to drink it on this
that in a scene. I would ask the prop man,
I said, now, don't get don't give me that near
beer stuff I want. I need it for my character.
I need real beer. The movie was blue collar, and
there's a shot in it you can see not that. Well,
it's a good movie. It's worth seeing. I don't see

it just for this, of course, just when I was
walking in my car and I'm clearly really drunk or
I'm a brilliant actor, or I'm really drunk. It's the latter.

Speaker 1 (21:22):
Well, they're not mutually exclusive conditions. I mean, there's been
prenny are really good actors who were really drunk while
they were acting.

Speaker 2 (21:29):
That's why, that's why I drank. Now that you remind me,
it was your brothers, you know in England that were
the ones that you know, Burton O'Toole, all those guys,
you know, all those guys.

Speaker 1 (21:41):
Date or sober though all those guys now they all
either died of drink or I mean Tony got sober
and uh.

Speaker 2 (21:46):
Not a few of the others did.

Speaker 1 (21:48):
Yeah, yeah, I mean it was I remember I talked
to as a director. I know, do you know Peter Medak.

Speaker 2 (21:54):
Peter Maddock? I know, I love Peter mad Yeah, isn't
he great? He's a great guy.

Speaker 1 (21:58):
He's a lovely guy. He directed The Ruling Class.

Speaker 2 (22:02):
What a good movie that was?

Speaker 1 (22:03):
Yeah, and that was Tool was in that movie. He
was Drake and he said, yeah it was.

Speaker 2 (22:09):
It was insane and Caroline Seymour was in it so beautiful.

Speaker 1 (22:13):
And yeah, that's a crazy film.

Speaker 2 (22:15):
Crazy film.

Speaker 1 (22:16):
But these movies these kind of like, I guess that
would be the seventies, late sixties, early.

Speaker 2 (22:23):
I think so, I think it's seventies.

Speaker 1 (22:24):
I mean that kind of almost like Easy Riders was
an easy rat of Raging Bull.

Speaker 2 (22:30):
What aod? Did you read that book? So?

Speaker 1 (22:32):
Yeah, did you Was it accurate? Do you think at
that time? Because you were?

Speaker 2 (22:37):
But I knew of those movies. I was not on
those movies. I was not Easy Writer Raging Bull, but
on a lot of those movies that those same people did.
I worked with Bob Rafelson, for instance. I worked with
Paul Schrader and in my book I talk about you
know what set was like in that book, and believe me,
it was the wild West.

Speaker 1 (22:54):
Yeah, it kind of I want to talk to you
a little bit because the biography tell me the title again.

Speaker 2 (23:00):
To the Temple of Tranquility and step on it.

Speaker 1 (23:03):
So that's you know, it's the story of growing well,
it's your life story, but growing up around those sets,
it must have been very strange. I don't know anython
get made. I mean, I don't know how you could
make a movie with a cell phone, never mind everybody
being high on cocaine.

Speaker 2 (23:22):
You look at some of these old episodes of I
don't know, Charlie's Angels. I'm not picking on them specifically,
but I think it might have been that show, any show,
And I worked on that show in the seventies, so
I should probably shut up. But I mean lots of
shows like that. The writing is so incredibly bizarre, and
then you find out everybody was high on something. Everybody
everybody was high on something.

Speaker 1 (23:42):
Well, I think if you if you get a show
like Fantasy Island, right, which runs for years and years
and years. So Li Sister print money, Yeah, I mean
really it is. But that kind of thing doesn't really.
I mean, I guess it exists, but it doesn't. It
exists in kind of like the Netflix thing, Like some
people make a ton of money, but the actual formula

of making these big network shows, I think that's that's
kind of over.

Speaker 2 (24:11):
It is a lot that. Yeah, that formulae.

Speaker 1 (24:13):
Stuff yeah, which is a shame because I kind of
loved it. But you know, everything changes. The new the
TV is dr it is better, no doubt about it. Now. Listen,
you are comedic royalty. It's true because of if for
nothing else, and there's a large, large body of work,

but for nothing else, you have a role, into my mind,
the greatest comedy movie of the last fifty years, which
is of course Spinal Tap. I agree, yeah, you know,
I mean, it isn't an amazing piece of work. Were
you guys aware when you were doing it that you
had I mean, it looks to me like a lot

of fun. But having interacted a little bit with to forget,
he's not what I thought he would be. He's very
He's quite a serious person, I think, isn't he.

Speaker 2 (25:07):
He is a very serious man about his work and everything.
And he's because of that he makes brilliant movies.

Speaker 1 (25:12):
He sure does.

Speaker 2 (25:14):
Rob Reiner and the guys, Harry Sheer and Michael McKean,
all of them. When I did it, I had no
idea what was going to happen with it all. In fact,
it was purported to be just like a part of
the sizzle reel. They're going to do to raise money
because it was kind of kinescope looking stuff, you know,
old footage looking stuff where that we're playing there, like
black and white mop top kind of stuff. And so

that's what we did. Then about a year later they went,
you know what, they got the funding to do the movie,
so they want to use that sizzle reel kind of
stuff that we shot low res is a feature, it's
not a bug. So they and we signed contracts to
allow it to be used in a sag movie. And
that's my memory of how it happened.

Speaker 1 (25:55):
It's funny, so it was kind of pieced together a
little bit. So lucky to be in it, but you
became part of that kind of loose repertory company that
Christopher Guest put together for you know, A Mighty Wind
and these movies. So did you do best in the
show as well? You did best Show.

Speaker 2 (26:11):
And that's how Chris Guest single handily sprung me out
of movie jail. I was in movie jail in the
nineties because I'd done a bunch of movies that weren't
successful box office and got poor reviews. So by nineteen
ninety it was like, yeah, Ed's fine, but who else
you got and I wouldn't get. I didn't get a
lot of studio work. I could go up to Canada
do a movie with a little girl and a bear.

I could go Australian movie with a little girl.

Speaker 1 (26:35):
Yeah I did. I went to Florida. I did a
movie with a token dog. I know what you mean.

Speaker 2 (26:40):
I did Miss Bear True Story, and I did Joey
in Australia. So that's what I did. But I gotta
do it though exactly I kept working. I did a
lot of TV. So don't throw any benefits from me.
But Chris Guests single handily by putting me invest in
Show in nineteen ninety nine, I believe was the hear yeah,
he busted me out of movie jails.

Speaker 1 (26:59):
It's a great movie. It is a great movie. The
method of working, I mean, there's been a lot talked
about it. Is it as is it as improvisational? Is
it fields? Or is it more scripted than people realize?

Speaker 2 (27:14):
It is as improvisational as you could imagine. Really, Chris
Guest and Eugene Levy, that's who did the first like
three of them did the you know, Best in Show,
Guffman Best in Show in a mighty win. Then After that,
it's been Jim Pittick, the wonderful Jim Pittock too great.

Speaker 1 (27:27):
He was on the Drew Case show as well.

Speaker 2 (27:29):
Yeah, he's fantastic, great guard too. I love him.

Speaker 1 (27:32):

Speaker 2 (27:33):
So they would take the time and do the hard
work of writing the treatment, the twenty five page treatment,
so Best in Show, for instance, all it has on
the page is Jerry and Cookie Fleck, which is Eugene
Levy and Katherine O'Hara. So I can't go wrong. I
got to just stand there and not break up. Jerry
and Cookie Fleck try to check in the hotel. The
credit card doesn't work.

Speaker 1 (27:53):
That's it, right, And that's a great premise for people
like that to work.

Speaker 2 (27:57):
So from there, it's like, you know the court, it's
the G minor seventh that you're going to be playing here,
and just now start riffing. And that's what we do.
We just play. They give you the chord, chard or
whatever you want to call it of the treatment, and
then you blow some notes after that.

Speaker 1 (28:11):
Now you talk about it in terms of musicianship, which
makes perfect sense because all of these guys are all musicians.
They're all the musicians. Are you? Are you a player?
To you still play.

Speaker 2 (28:22):
I do not play anymore. My neurological condition dictates otherwise.

Speaker 1 (28:27):
You haven't usological condition. I do.

Speaker 2 (28:28):
I have Parkinson's. I kind of spoiled the last chapter.

Speaker 1 (28:32):
I'm shocked to hear you say it.

Speaker 2 (28:34):
And I'm very happy that you don't know it. I'm
doing pretty good. This is the way Parkinson's can be
twenty twenty three.

Speaker 1 (28:41):
Your hands are not shaken at all.

Speaker 2 (28:42):
I know I could pass the sobriety checkpoint.

Speaker 1 (28:44):
Yeah, that's I'm well. Do you feel okay? When did
that happen?

Speaker 2 (28:49):
I feel okay. It happened in two thousand and four.
I got it. I didn't even know I had it
for twelve years. Twenty sixteen, I got diagnosed. And I've
done all this stuff the AMA kind of neurologists tell
you to do. Then for extra credit, I did other
holistic things that have helped too.

Speaker 1 (29:04):
So like, let's let me guess you you you already
didn't drink alcohol, so you probably stopped eating meat and
dairy and stuff that vegan.

Speaker 2 (29:13):
I've been a vegan for a while. Yeah, And so
also I started doing uh, I always did vigorous exercise.
I upped the and a bit there. I do a
lot of very useful exercise. I do something called glutathion.
I do something it's something that's good for people who
have neurological conditions. It kind of helps ease the uh,
you know, the nervous system from kind of zopping out

a little bit, right, And NAD helps to Hyperbaric chamber
actually helped me to Wow. You go in a hyperbaric
chamber and you get an oxygen rich infusion there for
the hour that you're in there. That helps a lot.
And even and stem cells. There's places you can get
stem cells and that's helped me too.

Speaker 1 (29:50):
That's kind of I remember when my kids were born.
They just started with the oldest boy that you could
get the from the bilical cord. They would take it,
I store it right stem cells if it was ever
needed for treatment later on.

Speaker 2 (30:06):
Very smart, that's what they're doing. Stem cell is a
very good way to go too.

Speaker 1 (30:10):
So what do they do. They just like inject some
kind of mixture of it into you. It makes you
feel better.

Speaker 2 (30:15):
Yeah, They give you an ivy with stem cells in
it for about thirty minutes with some gluecoase, and they
give you four injections wherever you have a little bit
of body fat. I have a little bit of body
fat my abdomen, So they give you four shots there.

Speaker 1 (30:29):
Where I'd get it as well, or my ass.

Speaker 2 (30:32):
I should probably get it there too. Read it around.

Speaker 1 (30:35):
I've got plenty of body fat. But I hope that's
where it stops. For note, I had no idea. I
mean for me, that's great, because you don't. I mean,
you don't come across as anyone who's even remotely infirm
in any way. You just look like, yo, it's dead.

Speaker 2 (30:49):
Bless you.

Speaker 1 (30:50):
It's the truth.

Speaker 2 (30:50):
I had a similar reaction for people I worked with
on two separate TV series, and I said, thank you
so much for being so patient with my Parkinson's and went,
what the hell are you talking?

Speaker 1 (31:00):
Yeah, I mean, it's really it's a I'm genuinely shocked
to hear you. I mean, I had no idea. Let's
just see. This is why I never read the book
or see the movie before I talk to someone, because
I used to say to me when I was doing
late night the would say you have to see the
movie before the guest comes on, and I'd be like why,
They said, well, then you can talk about the movie

I said, But truly, the idea is that if we're
going to talk about a movie, that nobody has seen
this movie. So if the actor who's in the movie
talks to me about it and I ask questions about
the movie, I'm asking the questions that other people who
have not yet seen the movie you're going to ask.
Isn't that the way to do it?

Speaker 2 (31:36):
Whatever you're doing, this is one of the best interviewers
I've ever had. So whatever you're doing, keep doing it,
my friend. I'm enjoying this.

Speaker 1 (31:42):
But I kind of feel like interviews, like everything in life, marriage, family,
to a degree, you can't really do this, but marriage, relationships, movies, interviews,
everything is casting. Everything is casting.

Speaker 2 (31:59):
You know that. I think you're right.

Speaker 1 (32:01):
I think it is like I've directed one movie and
I compromised and compromised and compromised on casting. Now I
directed this movie, I wrote the movie, I'm in the movie,
and I don't like the movie. Now, how did that happen?

Speaker 2 (32:14):
Wait a minute, because I pushed the name of this movie.

Speaker 1 (32:16):
It's called I'll Be There, and it's now I really
really want to see You should see the movie because
it's some people like the movie. I don't like the movie,
and I've never liked the movie. And the reason why
I never liked the movie, and I don't want to
say that like some of the actors in the movie,
like I was like very happy to have them, and

they're good actors, but it wasn't the way I wanted
it to be. I compromised on a lot of things,
and in the end, it just didn't. And I think
the other piece of casting, the greatest mistake I made
in casting is that I put myself in the movie interesting,
and that was did you ever do that? Did you
ever direct?

Speaker 2 (32:56):
I directed a couple of NYPD Blue, but I wasn't
in any of them. So yeah, I made it just
nothing but fun.

Speaker 1 (33:02):
Yeah, I bet you'd enjoyed it. See, I should never
have put myself in the movie. First of all, I
was not as good an actor as anyone else who
had cast in the movie. They were all much better
actors than me. I'm sitting there in the you know,
watching the rushes, which we used to have back then,
and you know, I'm watching the dailies and I'm going,
oh my god, I suck and they're all good. This

is terrible. And we try and cut around it, but
it's it's very definitely. I think good actors, weirdly enough,
and you have this have an odd lack of vanity
because people think of actors as being vain, but actually

I think it's it's a little more complex than that.
I don't think they're vain at all. I think they're
wildly insecure. But if you give them something to be,
they can relax, right, you know what I mean. It's like,
here's your personality, here's who you are, here's what you think,
here's how you react. And I think there are certain
personalities and actor you know, who are good actors that go,

oh that's great. No, No, I know how to be
and how to do things.

Speaker 2 (34:11):
I'm one of those people. I love being directed. I
come in with something sometimes, you know, I have my choice.
Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not so good at all,
and the director says, why don't you try it this way?
I go, how could I have missed that? That's like
eighty five times better than what I had in mind?
How could I not think of that generally the general
category of something like that. That's so brilliant and not
at all what I came in with.

Speaker 1 (34:39):
Have you ever worked with someoney, You've thought this guy
there's no idea what he's doing.

Speaker 2 (34:44):
I think that of myself. On the take one, I think,
oh god, I know i'm talking.

Speaker 1 (34:47):
About you know, I'm talking about you and secure, I'm
talking about what am.

Speaker 2 (34:50):
I going to do? I've seen that happen. Yeah, And
sometimes they cut it together in the editing room and
you go, you would never know in a million years.
Know there's a performing something and right now, very very
famous actor. And he did it one line at a time.
He somehow just couldn't get his lines two in a row.
Had to do it one single line at a time.

And he did it. And I went, this is going
to be a disaster. They're gonna have to reshoot it.
Cut it together. It looks fantastic. You never you never know.

Speaker 1 (35:17):
It's amazing, amazing. I remember I did you remember Rod Steiger? Oh?

Speaker 2 (35:22):
I loved I got to know him a tiny bit.

Speaker 1 (35:24):
Yeah, I got to know him a little bit. First
movie I did in Hollywood was a vampire movie, which
I think was maybe in his last movie. It was
a movie called man what was it called Modern Vampires?
I think, and exactly as you would think, you know what,
I mean, like like a schlock vampire movie. I think
Ky Elfman directed it, Danny Elfman's brother. Oh wow, And

it was it was fun and crazy and sort of
I think it was awful on purpose, but I don't know.
I mean, it was awful, but it was kind of
awful on purpose, like right, Bobby Pasta rarely played Dracula.

Speaker 2 (36:00):
By a way.

Speaker 1 (36:01):
I'm laughing, I know, because Bobby Pasarelli was like, he's
a guy from Brooklyn. How he's doing the creatures of
the Night, the Sun and all that. You know, it's
like crazy, you know, Bobby Passli's paying Dragon and Rod
Steiger was playing Professor van helsing and fucking nuts. But

I remember sitting with Rod Steiger in a in a
car one night and I was talking to him, obviously
about on the Waterfront because you know that scene he
does with Brando when Brando does the you know, I
could have been a contender.

Speaker 2 (36:37):
When I am in the.

Speaker 1 (36:38):
Back of the cab and he said he didn't like Brando.
He said he didn't he didn't get along with Brando,
said it was terrible actor at work with He didn't
did enjoy working with him. He said that he would
never stay for a reverse show. He would never do
any off camera working, which is mean you got to
do that, you do that, and he said, and he
would never do that for the singles in the cab

show when they're doing you should have taken care of me, Jony,
I could have been a contender and all that kind
of stuff. And so I went and I looked at it,
and it's all in a two show, you know, it's
all there's both of them in the show all the time.
It's kind of interesting. I was like, right, maybe that's
what he was doing. Maybe he was forcing, maybe he
was doing you a favor, because it's an odd thing.

I mean, Brando clearly was Do you ever meet him?

Speaker 2 (37:25):
I knew him fairly well. Yeah, I got a nice
chapter about it in the book. Really yes, did.

Speaker 1 (37:32):
You get along very well? Good? Because I've heard terrible stories,
but I never met, so I don't know.

Speaker 2 (37:38):
But the reason I kept getting asked up there to
visit him was I knew the ground rules. He never
ever ever wanted to talk about acting, writing, directing, clamation, puppetry,
trained seals, anything that was like show business. He wouldn't
talk about. You'd be done, you'd be out of the rolodex.
What did you guys talk about drywall, steel pipe, galvanized
pipe versus copper pipe, you know, panels, wind turbines.

Speaker 1 (38:01):
Oh, he was interested in green stuff.

Speaker 2 (38:03):
Yeah, electric eels is a power source?

Speaker 1 (38:06):
Is that possible? Come on?

Speaker 2 (38:07):
Not remotely?

Speaker 1 (38:08):
No, I didn't think so.

Speaker 2 (38:09):
So I dissuaded him with that thought. He literally wanted
to do it.

Speaker 1 (38:15):
Well, the idea of electric eels as I mean, fuck,
that would be great though. Imagine how cool it would
be just fill your car up with eels.

Speaker 2 (38:22):
But he wanted to do them in a motor or something,
and he thought you could put an anode in a
catherine in the water and get current. But before that,
when he called me up this time, I thought, wow,
this is finally it, this is the big day. Called
me up and he goes edward ed the bagel. It's
bran Flake's. You need to get up here as soon
as possible. I've got a project I want to do
with you. I've got all the funding in place, I've

got distribution. Get up here quickly, please, for God's sake,
we got to talk about this project, project, distribution, funding,
Let's go. I finally he wants to talk acting and
it's with me. I normally rude my bike up there.
I took my car and wants chewing pen to get
the job, so I raced up there. He wanted to
talk about elect keels distributing. He had the funding for
the electric heels, he had the distribution. Here was a

wonderful project he wanted to do with me, and he
wanted to use electric heels to power his house.

Speaker 1 (39:10):
It's it's a shamement never gave bus.

Speaker 2 (39:15):
I mean, I thought he was winding me up, but
he was serious about it.

Speaker 1 (39:17):
You really wanted to use the electric kills.

Speaker 2 (39:19):
I literally thought it was possible.

Speaker 1 (39:21):

Speaker 2 (39:21):
He had a vision for my wind turbine, and he went,
you still have that wind turbine in the desert. Yeah,
I still have it. How would you like to increase
the power one hundred percent? Percent? One hundred percent? How
can you increase it one hundred percent? And he draws
a picture of like like a corner copy with en cutoff,
or an ear trumpet or a funnel right in front

of my wind turbine. I said, do you know how
big my wind turbine is? Because it's like he had
a little drawing of it. I said, it's one hundred
and fifty feet, So.

Speaker 1 (39:51):
You have a giant wind turbine.

Speaker 2 (39:53):
I had a wind turbine in the California Desert. I
was just part of a wind farm. I invested in it.
So he knew that. And the thing he had in
front of this funnel would have made that like three
hundred feet. It would, I said, it would tear down
the wind turbine. The winds would be so much you
take every bird in the Pacific Flyway and chop them
up like a queasin art. But he had all these
Why is it always no with you? For God's sake,

everything's always no.

Speaker 1 (40:17):
You should have got in on the electric eels.

Speaker 2 (40:19):
I should have. You got to beat a billionaire. By now,
I'd be rich by now.

Speaker 1 (40:22):
You'd be rich in that sweet electric iel. Money swimming,
swimming in it. The idea, because you hear a lot
of stuff about electric cars and fossil fuel and wind
turbines and stuff like that, and people the negative is
always the amount of carbon footprint that it takes to

get these things to where they are. Or the big
thing about electric cars is where do all the batteries go?
And you know, is that real? Is that a real.

Speaker 2 (40:53):
You should always consider those things. But it's been very
well studied by Union of Concerned Scientists, lots of other
people who PHG after the name. I looked at it,
and there's still pollution. There's pollution in the mountain bike,
there's pollution, pllution. Cape men have made pollution with their fires.
There's pollution from anything. But the question is how much.
And it's a tea spoon to a tanker truck. You know,

from what you make with solar panels, there's energy used
to create it. But over the life of the solar panels,
which these days is forty fifty years. You know, they
don't just last a decade. People go, they'll be gone
in a decade. They lose power, but very little. They
lose like a percentage in a year or two another
percent after that. Well does that too, And anything makes pollution.

But you know, wind turbine, for example, you need energy
to make the wind turbine. But over the long life
of it, mine, for instance, I had thirty years. Three
decades made me a lot of money, and it also
made a lot of power. And mine was the old
the old kind that's only you know, seventy five kilo watch.

Speaker 1 (41:49):
Yeah, they're all over Scotland. They're the big giant.

Speaker 2 (41:52):
One, the big, the megaw and a half, they're two meg.

Speaker 1 (41:55):
Yeah, they're huge. But it's kind of tricky because they're
not pretty.

Speaker 2 (42:00):
No, they're not.

Speaker 1 (42:01):
They're and I think when you get so many of them,
you know, because you have to basically with the nature
of where they are. They have to be in areas
where it's wind. It just tends to be areas that
are pretty, you know, but the coastal Yeah, it's it's
it's a little tricky. Yeah, this idea to put them
all out to sea around Britain like.

Speaker 2 (42:21):
They could do that. Yeah, they can do it so
far away you won't even notice the spect in the distance. Yeah,
run the cable in.

Speaker 1 (42:28):
Be kind of cool. I think they should do more
than very committed too. Obviously. You still ride this subway.

Speaker 2 (42:32):
In la and I do. I write it regularly.

Speaker 1 (42:34):
Yeah, no, I've never been on it. I lived here
for twenty three years. I was never on it.

Speaker 2 (42:38):
It's a wonderful system, is it actually? Oh yeah, it
takes a lot of people a lot of miles. It's
a big area they cover. You can take the rail
of the bus or light rail or something from Pomona
all the way out to Long Beach and from also
you can take it out to like Trencas to uh.
You know, it's a big area that the Metro covers.

Speaker 1 (42:57):
It's so funny because I whenever I'm in Los Ange.
I mean, I don't live here anymore. I haven't left
here for a couple of years. But the I can't
imagine not having a car. I need to rent a
car when I get here. I feel trapped. Yeah, you know,
I but maybe it's a mindset that needs fixing.

Speaker 2 (43:13):
Yeah, some roots are going to be trickier than others.
If you live somewhere out in the middle of the
West Valley and you need to get downtown every day
to get to that Orange Line bus and then you
get to the subway and make those you know, connections
can take you a while. They're trying to eliminate that,
make that more efficient. But but for me, I live
in Studio City. I hop on that Metro Red line,

you know, to go downtown or Hollywood. It's just much
easier than driving. It's quicker, easier, everything about. It's better.

Speaker 1 (43:40):
I'm going to try it. You towed me into it.
I'm going to give it a try. Yeah, is it clean.

Speaker 2 (43:44):
It is. It's now clean again. It was not clean
for a while because of COVID. You know, some a
lot of people who have, you know, mental problems and
drug problems kind of took over the subway stations, what
have you. We're taking it back. Not for me. I
have choices. I could get in my electric car and go.
People have no choice. Working people rely on the subway
and on the bush line. The bus line is the

backbone of the system, and you got to keep those
safe and the rail stations. And we were taking it
back every day.

Speaker 1 (44:10):
Do you do you get involved in local politics and
that bit.

Speaker 2 (44:14):
Yeah. My daughter's working at Metro now, so I'm very
supportive of her.

Speaker 1 (44:17):

Speaker 2 (44:18):
We did a thing she wrote she writes the Metro
all the time. She has said she was a baby
with me. And then she did a thing where she
wrote it all week, didn't get in her car, her
electric car once, wrote it all week, and then we
went to the oscars together on the Metro.

Speaker 1 (44:31):
Ah, that's right, Yeah, I heard about that. Yeah, that's awesome.

Speaker 2 (44:35):
It was very very good. So now she's working at
Metro trying to help spread the word about what works
and what needs to be worked on.

Speaker 1 (44:41):
Well the seat now I have O kaid. My youngest
boy is thirteen, my oldest is in his early twenties.
And you mentioned earlier that your dog got sober when
she was fifteen, and I haven't seen anthem like that
and my kids, but I'd be terrified by that, you know.
But the idea of I did. I don't want to,

you know, you know, discuss your daughter because that's her business.
But how did you feel about that? Did you feel
like because you had gone through it, you were able
to help her or do you have to stand back
a bit and let her find her own way to it?

Speaker 2 (45:15):
What was the I did a little bit of each,
you know. I just said, because there was a morning
with it, it seemed like things were going off the rails,
and I just wanted to say. She said, do you dad?
Do you think I Do you think I have a problem?
And I said, yes, I do. Do you want help? Yes?
I do, said, She says, okay, then I'm here. And

I didn't want to make her do anything or be
a dad in this case, make her do X Y
or Z.

Speaker 1 (45:39):
A tricky I mean, it's funny because I mean, I
definitely qualified to get help when I was fifteen years old.
I didn't get it till I was twenty nine. But
any anyone that can sin, and I've met people who
get sober at that age are great, you know, just great.
And I love the idea that people can get sober
now when they're young. Used to be quite kind of

a kind of snobbishness, weird, reverse kind of snobbishness about
you had to really screw your life up for a
long period of time before you qualified for sobriety, which
doesn't seem fair.

Speaker 2 (46:14):
Imagine if that had social media when I was out
there drinking, I'd never work another day. I would not
have worked in the seventies eighties. And I think of it.

Speaker 1 (46:22):
I talked I obviously, I have friends who have been
sover for a long time, and we talked about that,
that the idea if there had been social media in
the nineteen eighties. I mean, not because of anything other
than just like pathetic behavior exactly.

Speaker 2 (46:39):
It was just tragic, it was.

Speaker 1 (46:41):
But I mean, that's the thing about and I've been
guilty of this as anyone that when talking particularly to
you know, in show business or doing stand up and stuff.
You can make the drinking years sound funny, right, but
they weren't that funny. They were.

Speaker 2 (46:56):
There's some serious stuff connected life connect Yeah. The fact
that I didn't kill anybody I'm so grateful for because.

Speaker 1 (47:03):
I too when I get busted from my d UI,
I'm like, oh jeez, if i'd hit someone us, Oh
my god, do you imagine.

Speaker 2 (47:11):
I drank a quarto vote every day, took pills, and
operated a vehicle.

Speaker 1 (47:15):
Yeah the hell I did that. The pills, did you say?

Speaker 2 (47:18):
I would take thallium to cure the hangover. I would
occasionally take kayludes, which you're not to take one.

Speaker 1 (47:23):
I never got around to quailudes. That's one dimest I
said earlier. I took them home, but I didn't take queludes.
I hear tell. They were They were pretty good, remarkable things.

Speaker 2 (47:32):
They were considered an hypnotic drug, and yeah, I was
definitely hypnotized by them.

Speaker 1 (47:37):
Yeah, and the acid, I remember. Cannabis and acid were
the ones I didn't like. I like the zippy ones
like cocaine or meth, you know both, or a nice
solid base note of heroin. You know.

Speaker 2 (47:52):
I did it four times. I snorted it four times,
and I loved it too.

Speaker 1 (47:55):
Yeah, about how many times I did it? About the
same amount of times. And I remember thinking, I remember
lying down, I've don't you remember they used to call
it speedball, Yeah, cocaine and heroin and staying together. And
I remember lying down in a shitty apartment in New
York having done that, and I felt like I was

upside down and I couldn't shake the feeling of like
I was hanging by my feet. Oh boy, every time
I closed my eyes, I felt like I was upside down,
and I thought, this is not recreational, This is not
this I'm not having a good time here.

Speaker 2 (48:30):

Speaker 1 (48:30):
And it was only another nine years before it gets over.

Speaker 2 (48:34):
I started to realize there was a bad scene for
me in seventy six. It took me three years to
finally get it together.

Speaker 1 (48:40):
It takes a while. Yeah, So do you think is
there's still a time when when you were owed by Hollywood?
Because I think of you, someone who's lived inside this business,
in this town for so long, your entire life. Really
you have been inside it. Does it contain mystery and

awe for you know? Or is it it's a place
of work and like you ever meet someone you go
I can't believe I met You know.

Speaker 2 (49:07):
I still get that reaction when I meet people who
are fine actors, fine musicians, things like that. I just
get all the twitter because it's a big deal. People
that are that on their game, that creative, that talented.
Just when I first met Joaquin Phoenix, I was like trembling.
He's such an incredible actor. It just inspires me everything
I've ever seen him in. So that was a big one.

Working with Meryl Streep for the first time, you know,
meeting Jack Nicholson for the first time, working with Bob Hoskins,
for God's sake, what a talent he was.

Speaker 1 (49:37):
He was, Yeah, I tried to get him to go
in that to that movie I told you about it.
I spoke to him in the phone. Oh my god,
I love this old rock star in it. And I
spoke to the one and I said, will you Ben?
He went, well, who else is in it?

Speaker 2 (49:50):
Very good? Bob Hoskins.

Speaker 1 (49:51):
I said well, and I said, a bunch of people
who were in it. He went, yeah, Oh, I'll have
a think about it. I never heard, never heard again,
But that's all right.

Speaker 2 (50:02):
I have a bold work of art. Right as you
enter my home, Bob Hoskins came in years ago for
the first time, looked at it, went, hey, what happened
to here? What happened here? Here?

Speaker 1 (50:14):
What's the what's the Is it? Very fan of kind
of striking modern piece? Is that? What it is?

Speaker 2 (50:19):
Just a bunch of colors, splatter kind of colors and
what have you. It's not a facer, a vaz or
a flower or anything like that. It's all right, he
was great.

Speaker 1 (50:28):
It sounds good. Well, you know what, we're out of time, man.

Speaker 2 (50:31):
Well let's get together and do it again.

Speaker 1 (50:33):
I'm very happy to do it again. And I am
sad to hear about your diagnosis, but I am delighted
for you that you had to tell me about it
because I couldn't. I swear to because you know, Billy
Corny has Parkinson so now and Billy you can you
can see it.

Speaker 2 (50:50):
I love that man. You read that wonderful piece about
him in the Times. I think it was La Times.
It was a great piece about him, and Pam I
didn't not wonderful. I'll send it to you, yes, please.
Billy was Jackie Robinson for me?

Speaker 1 (51:02):
Do you know what I mean? Yeah? I mean he
was like there was he was Elvis.

Speaker 2 (51:06):
You know he is Elvis.

Speaker 1 (51:07):
He is Elvis. He's amazing, amazing, And he said that
did he tell you about that? He was walking through
the airport and a doctor come over to him and said,
I think you may have Parkinson's. You should you should
go and get checked out, just because of the walk.

Speaker 2 (51:23):
Oh that's right. I heard something to that effect. Yes,
that's right. He didn't know that happened to me. But
the guy didn't tell me. He told my cousin. Really,
and so my cousin said, rightly, so for what I
knew at the time. A neurologist said, does your cousin
know that he has Parkinson's. My cousin rightly said he
didn't have Parkinson's. He would have told me that. Yeah,

but he could see it and I didn't, and he didn't.

Speaker 1 (51:45):
Want It's amazing.

Speaker 2 (51:46):
He seemed uncomfortable come and say, ed, this guy thinks
he have Parkinson's. I wouldn't want to do that to him,
so he didn't do it to me. It's probably just
as well I didn't learn it till years later.

Speaker 1 (51:56):
That's an amazing thing. I mean, it's but you don't
have that distinctive walk.

Speaker 2 (52:00):
Now it's very subtle, all very subtle.

Speaker 1 (52:02):
Back, Yeah, well look, continued health to you, to my friend,
it's great to see you. You are an inspiration and
a force for good in this time. You are a
corrective weight and in in the Hollywood scales and powerful one.

Speaker 2 (52:21):
Good to see you now, always, good to see you
all right,
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