Jim Carrey called in from his Los Angeles home to talk to Howard in 2017. He shared his first stand-up gig at age 15. It was a disaster. Club runners heckled him, shouting insults over his act. He didn’t go back to comedy for two years. Carrey also described his work with Homeboy Industries, a charity organization that gets ex-cons back into society.
Carrey teaches them transcendental meditation via his Better U Foundation, and he says it is one of the most rewarding things he has ever done. He led a class of 100 ex-L.A. gang members and joked, “I had one eye open,” but his voice trembled with emotion talking about it, about making a difference.
Working on “The Daily Show” was a terrifying experience for Steve Carell. He came on the political satire program with no real interest in politics.
As a correspondent reporting to Jon Stewart, he told Howard Stern, he was expected to be an actor and an improviser and a journalist, but then, he said, none of those things. It was strange and very stressful. After four and a half years, it was old hat, but then he left in 2005 to do movies and became Michael Scott in “The Office.”
Jerry Seinfeld told the Stern Show that success is the enemy of comedy. Getting comfortable makes people unfunny. He also talked about a hilarious episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Eddie Murphy. They talked about how aggravation feeds their comedy. Seinfeld said he’s mean but he can also be nice.
He gets more laughs when he’s kind. He gave an example of it doing stand-up, “There are no important calls, you know why, because they’re calling YOU.” He changed it to, “There are no important calls, you know why? First of all, the people you know, they’re not important.” Shifting the punchline got a laugh.
One of the wild stories Dan Aykroyd relayed to Howard was the time he was on track to be ordained as a priest. As a young man, he got into a seminary school in Quebec only to get kicked out for being a prankster. He said he lied that he wanted to be a priest to get into the prestigious institution.
The iconic “Ghost Busters” star also got into his friendship with comedic genius John Belushi. He talked about the tragic last days of losing his “Blues Brothers” partner at 33. Stern, the master interviewer, got Aykroyd to share the craziest times of making movies and SNL during its classic heyday.
Howard Stern named Conan O’Brien his “best interview of all time.” The honor came out in the radio king’s memoir. The interview between the two talk show comedians traced Conan O’Brien’s rise to fame after graduating from Harvard.
They also talked about depression. Conan opened up and said he had to get a prescription and that comedians often get depressed. O’Brien quit Saturday Night Live because of his mood. At first, he didn’t want to be medicated, but he told Howard that he’s glad he went that route eventually.