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I know you can be funny without being filthy.
– Jonathan Winters
I don’t do jokes. The characters are my jokes.
I’ve done for the most part pretty much what I intended – I ended up doing comedy, writing and painting. I’ve had a ball. And as I get older, I just become an older kid.
I began painting well before I started doing comedy. In fact, when I came out of the war in 1946, I enrolled in art school in Dayton, Ohio. I painted for three years, and then show business took hold.
I love improvisation. You can’t blame it on the writers. You can’t blame it on direction. You can’t blame it on the camera guy… It’s you. You’re on. You’ve got to do it, and you either sink or swim with what you’ve got.
I don’t paint every day. I’m not that motivated. I don’t do anything the same every day.
I find painting a much slower process than comedy, where you can go a mile a minute verbally and hope to God that some of the people out there understand you. I don’t paint every day. I’m not that motivated.
If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.
My paintings and comedy have a lot in common. They are both improvisations based on observation.
Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.
I started out as an artist, and what I do is verbal paintings. I paint a picture. Hopefully, you’ll see the characters and what they’re doing and what they’re saying.
Discipline is tough for a guy who is a rebel.
My mother and father were very strange people. They tried to be funny which is always very sad to me.
I find painting a much slower process than comedy, where you can go a mile a minute verbally and hope to God that some of the people out there understand you.
My mother had a radio show – a Barbara Walters type of gal and was very successful for about 20-some years on a radio station.
Something I’ll always remember – when I was a kid, I shook hands with Orville Wright. Forty years later, I shook hands with Neil Armstrong. The guy that invented the airplane and the guy that walked on the moon. In a lifetime, that’s kinda wild when you think about it.
I don’t do anything the same every day. Discipline is tough for a guy who is a rebel.
I was always an observer, even as a child. I could be satisfied to sit in a car for 3 hours and just look at the street go by while my mother went shopping.
The most terrible fear that anybody should have is not war, is not a disease, not cancer or heart problems or food poisoning – it’s a man or a woman without a sense of humor.
Well, the most terrible fear that anybody should have is not war, is not a disease, not cancer or heart problems or food poisoning – it’s a man or a woman without a sense of humor.
I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.
As a kid, I always wanted to be lots of things. I was a Walter Mitty type. I wanted to be in the French Foreign Legion, a detective, a doctor, a test pilot with a scarf, a fisherman who hauled in a tremendous marlin after a 12-hour fight.
You’ve got to be an observer. And you’ve got to take time to listen to people, talk, to watch what they do.
I have never pretended to be any kind of super-religious kind of man, but I feel very strongly that you can be funny without being dirty.