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Comedians work great as actors because they’re good under pressure. With a lot of actors, you have to make them feel like everything’s going really well to get a good performance out of them. But, if you have a comedian on the set, you can tell them, ‘Hey, you really are screwing this up,’ and then they just get better.
A lot of stand-up specials for cable are meant to glorify the comedian. They put you in a really beautiful theater, and sometimes they even blow a little smoke in there to make it misty and sweet. They make the guy look like he’s a big rock star. But comedy’s not really glamorous. It doesn’t enhance comedy for it to look good.
Filming in Cloak & Dagger I was trying to get my Screen Actors Guild card. Everybody tries to get their SAG card if they want to be an actor. People might say that it was their dream to be an actor, but for me, I was a comedian. I already had a job. But I felt like there could be money there, and comedians don’t make very much money, or they didn’t in 1984.
There have been many definitions of hell, but for the English the best definition is that it is the place where the Germans are the police, the Swedish are the comedians, the Italians are the defense force, Frenchmen dig the roads, the Belgians are the pop singers, the Spanish run the railways, the Turks cook the food, the Irish are the waiters, the Greeks run the government, and the common language is Dutch.
Well, human rights defenders, freedom of speech advocates, lawyers that we spoke to said this is really an expansion. After the military ouster of Egypt’s unpopular, but elected Islamist president in 2013, we saw political opponents being arrested by the thousands, really. Then we saw a popular comedian go off the air out of fear of retribution.