It’s just doubt, that’s the biggest thing.

You’ve been doing stand-up since the late ‘80s. Do you remember your worst night?

Oh, there are so many of them. In the beginning, there are endless amounts of worst nights. But there was one, after “Everybody Loves Raymond” had been on for a year, out at the University of Florida’s Gator Growl. It’s in the stadium, like, 30,000 people, Dave Chappelle, Larry the Cable Guy and me. Five minutes in, I heard a woman yell out, “You better start getting funny.”

Anything you miss about those early days?

There was something gratifying about going up onstage in front of a room full of total strangers. They’ve never seen you in their life, and they’re kind of like, who is this guy? And then you win that crowd over. That will never happen again, only because somebody in the audience has seen me. Seinfeld said, they give you the first 10 minutes if you’re well known. But you still gotta be funny.

When you first started taking on dramatic roles, what was your biggest worry?

You wonder, are you any good? It’s just doubt, that’s the biggest thing. The desire is there. But then I also want to be a pro golfer, and that’s never gonna happen.

You still have worries like that?

Oh yeah. No matter how successful you are. I hear that from other comedians all the time. You’re just waiting for the funny police to come and arrest you as an impostor.

~ Robert Ito, excerpts from his interview with Ray Romano in “Ray Romano Still Fears the ‘Funny Police’” (NY Times, June 30, 2017)


Photo of Ray Romano: Aces Comedy

Comments

  1. Ah, the nagging insecurities of my ‘sham’ theory…😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Neither Chris nor I could stand that show (Raymond). Aside from that, Ray has a point or two. It’s funny too, because I was just chatting with a friend about this tonite. Anybody who does creative work for a living knows it well. Some cover it up with giant ego, but many of us just live with the background insecurity that we won’t be (funny, accurate, understood, whatever) for most of our career days. Will The Muse show up? And then, will we interpret her correctly? That probably sums it up without getting much more detailed. Aloha, David ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i love the answer to the first question. never a huge fan of the show, but i enjoyed him in his other enterprises. he always struck me as a humble guy, loving what he’s doing and doing his best, yet never sure that people really like him and what he does.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Every time I dip a brush into paint and touch a canvas, I worry. Will it be any good? What if I can’t paint? It is probably not until about 3/4 complete that I begin to feel, comfortable, like I don’t want to just pack up my paints and throw away my brushes for being such a fool as to think I can paint!

    LOL — such insecurity for something I love to do, and brings me such joy — and that never gets judged by an audience unless I choose to show it.

    It’s amazing to me that people will get up on stage night after night to win an audience over in spite of their fear. That’s courage.

    Liked by 2 people

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  1. […] at Live and Learn yesterday, David Kanigan shares an expert from a Robert Ito article in the NY Times about funny-man […]

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