Q: Did you give your co-star Rachel Brosnahan any pointers on stand-up?
A: The thing about Rachel is she’s a brilliant actress. She’s not the funny person. And I will tell you as a comedian, we’re very hard when non-comedians attempt to portray a comedian on TV or film. When we get together, the comedians, it’s one of the things we love to tear apart. The movie “Punchline,” for example, is complete horse… . So we’re very, very tough on this strange attempt to re-create the rhythm and fortunately Amy (Sherman-Palladino, the series’ creator) grew up in this world with her father.
So when she writes those monologues for Midge, it comes from a place of having lived in it, through it for so many years. I think that without question makes a difference and then Rachel’s just focus on the actress side and she’s another miracle. I was so waiting on what the stand-up community would think and so damn relieved if not thrilled with the response.
Q: Are you doing stand-up right now?
A: (Laughs) I’m always doing stand-up. It’s just a matter of the rest of my career allowing for how much time I get to do it. You know, it’s my first love and life’s blood and that’ll never change, quite frankly. So it really comes down to how much can I carve out. I usually book at least a dozen dates and then end up shifting, canceling or rescheduling half of them. … And Rachel and I have done a couple now and there’s a few more in the works that are sort of based around fund-raising for big Jewish communities. That’s been kind of thrilling.
Q: Rachel does stand-up with you?
A: No. Again, Rachel is the brilliant actress. The first one came about and they asked her to do this thing for this fundraiser, this giant temple community, and she had to say, “Well you know, I don’t do stand-up. I’m an actress and I portray a stand-up. And what you should do is hire Kevin Pollak from the show along with me and then he can do stand-up and then we can do a Q&A.” So it’s been amazing and so much fun.
George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.