The world is bigger than all the parts. That's the important thing, and one thing can throw everything off kilter. And you must never let yourself off. You'll let yourself off by mistake. So you shouldn't do it consciously. You have to be above it all and just be very disciplined with it. Just be very disciplined with it.
Funny bones, to me, are more important than funny lines. If a comedian is just not likable and doing the lines, you could read them yourself. Whereas if someone [you like] shambles out, and they tell you what a bad day they've had, they don't have to say anything. I love them. I want to hug them because they've been through something. And it comes back to empathy, always empathy.
Do unto others... ' is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that's exactly what it is - a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I'm good. I just don't believe I'll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It's knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that's where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. 'Do this or you'll burn in hell.' You won't burn in hell. But be nice anyway.
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I don't think it matters if there is a god or not. I've met people who believe in God that are good and that are bad. And I've met people who don't believe in God that are good and that are bad. So, just be good. I'm good. Not cos I think I'll go to heaven but because when I do something bad, I feel bad. And when I do something good, I feel good.
We want to see a struggle. We want to see people falling over but getting themselves back up on their feet, and that's what's extraordinary- ordinary people and their struggle. There's nothing as interesting as real life out your window. You walk down the street for half an hour, I'll give you half an hour of drama.
Life is just a series of peaks and troughs. And you don't know whether you're in a trough until you're climbing out, or on a peak until you're coming down. And that's it you know, you never know what's round the corner. But it's all good. "If you want the rainbow, you've gotta put up with the rain." Do you know which "philosopher" said that? Dolly Parton. And people say she's just a big pair of tits.
What is the single most important thing for a company? Is it the building? Is it the stock? Is it the turnover? It's the people, investment in people. My proudest moment here wasn't when I increased profits by 17%, or cut expenditure without losing a single member of staff. No. It was a young Greek guy, first job in the country, hardly spoke a word of English, but he came to me and he went 'Mr. Brent, will you be the Godfather to my child?'. Didn't happen in the end. We had to let him go, he was rubbish. He was rubbish!
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I don't think a comedian should even be concerned with being cool or sexy, as soon as you do, you aren't a comedian any more. Looks are still the most important thing for women when it comes to meeting a partner. And that's fair enough, but a sense of humour is really important too. For starters, it's a great indicator of whether you are going to get on. If the first time you go on a date you don't find each other funny, there's a fundamental problem.
When I direct my own scripts, it's much easier as it's been in my head for a year already. What I love about this is having an idea and seeing it come to fruition onscreen. I would like to direct someone else's script one day, but I might not get round to it before I die - you can't legislate for being hit by a bus!
I think, as a comedian, the funniest you can be is with people you know, and [whom] you've known for years, in a pub. That's as funny as you get, and so the aim [while stand-up] is to get that funny on stage with 5,000 strangers, to get that funny in a room where people shouldn't be listening but they are.
I was okay with singing. I always sneak a song into everything I do. Dancing, a little awkward. Little embarrassed about that. I don't move well. But I was with a frog, so it doesn't matter. I'll do anything with a frog, that's my motto. He's great with tap-dancing or flap-dancing on my head. So no one's going to be looking at me when we're doing that dance. They're going to be saying, 'There's a frog dancing'.
In a safe Western world where we're not being shot at and we're not starving, the worst thing that happens to us most days is someone's rude to us, or we accidentally insult someone. Social faux pas is the worst thing that happens to most people, most days, so we've got to concentrate on that, really.
I used to believe in God. The Christian one, that is (There are a few thousand to choose from. But I was born in a country where the dominant religion was Christianity so I believed in that one. Isn't it weird how that always happens?). Luckily I was also interested in science and nature. And reason and logic. And honesty and truth. And equality and fairness. By the age of eight I was an atheist.
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I like big escapist films. It's odd because the type of comedian I am and the things I do when I'm writing and directing myself usually deal with the darker side of the human psyche and excruciating social faux pas. I often deal in taboos and the subjects I do as a stand-up are quite challenging. But my film roles have been much more fun and escapist.
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I get so sick of people asking: "What's your demographic?" Or: "Oh we've got to aim this at..." No, you have to aim it at you. You do the thing you would love... make the thing you would love and be proud of. There's enough people in the world that, if you do that and do it well as a single vision, they'll go: "That's my favourite thing ever!"