"I can always tell when a guest is going to be a disaster . . . when our producers do the pre-interview that afternoon, and the person says, 'Just tell Dave he can ask me anything he wants.' Well that ain't the way it works, kids!To take the pressure off,
". . . Whether you're a comedian, or an actor, or an author, you're being given seven or eight minutes of network time to come out with your sample case, open it up, and show people why they ought to buy your new miracle sponge. We expect you to come out and entertain.
"I'm always amazed at how few people understood that and did it. . . . Steve Martin. Bill Murray. Both these guys always try something new, different, and rewarding. . . . Even someone like Tom Brokaw. . . . He understood: 'I'm demonstrating that I'm a reasonable, engaging, entertaining person,' which he is. Still, it's stunning to me how many people have taken huge chunks of money out of the show-business mother lode and don't understand it.
". . . It's not an homage. . . . You're there to show people why they oughta spend seven-and-a-half bucks for your new move, or watch your show on TV. Even I did it: When I'd go on The Tonight Show, I'd spend weeks writing anecdotes, working on stories. It's not easy. And it's not fun. But it's what is important. You owe it to the people watching."
Using a mock-character gave Jim permission to tell open-miker jokes taken from Milton Berle's Private Joke File and other joke books. After all, Joey Joke is the archetypal open-miker, guilt-ridden by his lack of originality-- insecure despite his braggadocio and forced charm. Jim was just focusing on the problem of the call-in guest spots, and not worrying about defending himself, his actual original jokes (not using any of them this time out!), or Jim's actual stage persona. Jim merely functioned as a lawyer or puppeteer for his client/puppet "Joey Joke." As we will hear on the audio clip, Joey was very nervous. His puppeteer (me) was relaxed!
Now, while we are waiting for the audio clip to download, please scroll back up this web page to Joey's script.
Did you have to listen to the Joey Joke audio clip a few times to catch all these subtle points? Joey's act flies past fast. The DJ allows Joey to speak just one minute of air time inside this 2 minute clip. Guess what? If you have never done a media interview before, it is now time for you to immediately jump in at the deep end of the pool. You have one hour to follow Joey's lead. OK. Be generous with yourself. Take:
Of course, the above exercise is a nearly "fool-proof" way to force you to think past the nightclub or speaker's platform situations. To think big, and act at once to begin both your national and international performing career. If you suspect that Jim has just revealed the tip of the iceberg, you are correct. In Jim's 30 years in show business, Jim's picked up a few thousand more tricks. You will find references to a few dozen tricks-of-the-trade in the following outline. This "Table of Contents" represents under 50 pages from the 1,200 or so pages that make up Jim's home study materials.
Content aside, how print media differ from performance
How to hustle your own interview
After you've set it up, finally landing the interview: the close-before-the-close
Controlling what newspaper & magazine interviewers quote
When to Play to:
Things the interviewer wants from you before the show
Handling any interviewer's expected & unexpected questions
HOMEWORK you do, or die on-the-air
What TV requires beyond radio interviews: keep selling your persona, even when the other guy is talking!
How to Get Lots of Practice Doing Broadcast Interviews
Techniques that can help get your anecdotes across in the short amount of air-time you have to make your point
Private Comedy Library--