As one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces, Larry Miller has appeared in over a hundred film and television shows. He began his career in the blockbuster film, "Pretty Woman" and has since gone on to unforgettable roles in such films as "The Princess Diaries," "The Nutty Professor," "Bee Movie" and "Ten Things I Hate About You." He is also a proud member of Christopher Guest’s ensemble cast in the films "Waiting for Guffman," "Best in Show," "A Mighty Wind," and "For Your Consideration."
Larry has made dozens of appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Late Show with David Letterman," and "Real Time with Bill Maher." He has also starred in his own HBO comedy specials and on Broadway in Neil Simon’s play, "The Dinner Party." His other television credits include "Desperate Housewives," "Medium," "Burn Notice," "Law & Order," "Boston Legal," and "Seinfeld." This year, Miller will make appearances on the HBO show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Garry Marshall film, "New Year’s Eve." Larry is also the author of the best-selling book "Spoiled Rotten America."
Currently, Larry is touring the country in his one-man show "Cocktails with Larry Miller: Little League, Adultery and Other Bad Ideas." On Saturday, February 5, Larry will be bringing his show to Queens Theatre at 5pm and 8pm (14 United Nations Avenue South Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368). Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a comedian/actor/author? I think the overall inspiration for all things from my childhood to even today is Bill Cosby. As a kid, I had all his comedy albums memorized, and howled at them, and was completely enchanted with how one man with one voice could paint so many pictures with just words and skill and inflection. Later, I was thrilled to see how someone like that could translate that talent into acting in movies and TV. Still later, I loved seeing that this same man could be an author. Acting, standup and writing have always been my three goals, and I love doing them.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with so many different people, but I think maybe Quentin Tarentino tops the list. He’s wickedly funny and gripping and dramatic and moving, and his story-telling is thrilling. And I think he might just dig a guy like me…
3. How did you come up with the concept and content for "Cocktails with Larry Miller: Little League, Adultery, and Other Bad Ideas"? What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? The first part is easy. I didn’t come up with the topics and directions of “Cocktails.” Life already did that for me. Everything we all do, every day, is fodder. The greatest pleasure is seeing and feeling audiences think, “Omigod, this guy must have been in the car with us tonight!” That’s also the second part. I’d love audiences to come away thinking, “I love that I could laugh so much without hearing one curse, and I love that this guy is noticing the same things I do!”
4. What excites you about performing at Queens Theatre? Every part of New York City is exciting to me and always has been. I was born in Doctors Hospital in Manhattan (no longer there), I was raised a few years in an apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and grew up in Valley Stream, Long Island. Then I moved into Manhattan on the Upper West Side to get into comedy after school. So I know that every part of every borough of New York is different and interesting. I can’t wait to get to know Corona.
5. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting a show together? I love all parts of creativity. There’s a certain purity to sitting down and writing: The world is completely open, and anything can happen. There’s a very satisfying craft aspect to working and testing and rewriting and memorizing. But, surely, the most gratifying is to be able to do what I was born for: Take in around America and show them the finished product.
6. What made you want to write "Spoiled Rotten America"? Where is your favorite place to write? I love the essay and the comic essay as a form, and I’m a born story-teller, so it was easy to want to write “Spoiled Rotten.” Then, of course, you actually have to sit down and do it. My favorite place to write has always been the same: a cell-like office with nothing on the walls and laptop. I had an office at Universal for nine years, and one day I got there early, and a guy was delivering potted plants. He was putting one in my office, and I said, “Do I have to have that?” And he said, “Well, everyone is getting one.” And I said, “I’m a writer, and the only living thing I need in that office is me. If you notice, I don’t even have pictures on the desk.” And he said, “What do you want me to do with it?” And I said, “Can you give someone else two?” And he shrugged and said, “Sure. I guess.” No plants, no posters, no paintings, no shelves. Just a couch for napping and a laptop.
7. What has been the best part about opening for Jerry Seinfeld? What have you learned from working with him? Jerry always takes a friend out with him to work, and it’s a treat. The perfect way to see an old friend again, doing what you both do best, having a chance to stroll and chat. And that boy can sell some tickets!
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a comedian/actor/author? I’ve learned two important lessons from performing. One, there will always be something special about live performing. We all love our screens and our phones, and our DVD’s and our TV’s. But audiences love to see a live show – every bit as much as the Greeks and Romans did 2500 years ago. The other thing I’ve learned is that this is exactly what I was made to do. If someone offered me a billion dollars and everything I could think of, but part of the deal was that I could never perform again, I would – without question – turn it down, and keep plugging away on the road. It’s what I was made for.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received is the advice I hope I’ve passed on to other: Keep plugging away, and don’t worry about a thing. Life will take care of itself, one way or the other. And don’t be afraid of failing. My motto is: “At the end of life, do you want to be wearing the clean uniform, or the one with the blood and the dirt on it? I’ll take the one with the blood and the dirt.”
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Who would I like to dream of? That’s easy. My parents passed on in the nineties, and every so often one or both of them come into my dreams, and I get to see them again, and I love it. I believe they’re alive forever, and I’ll see them again – forever. But it makes me feel great to see them in my dreams.
Now: If you’re talking about a sex dream? Who would I like to see in a sex dream? Well, I’m afraid that answer would take up far more space than we have.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Favorite way to spend the day off: Easy. Home with the family, watching a football game or old movie, or taking a stroll – or the best thing: Taking everyone to the market to shop. Sounds silly, but I love it.
12. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers. Briefs aren’t even on the list. Freedom!
13. Favorite website? My website, of course, www.larrymillerhumor.com!
14. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman…AND Wonder Woman! I love the story of Superman and the impact and the culture of so many generations. But Wonder Woman? Speaking of dreams…