Greg the Bunny Lives: A Conversation with Series Co-Creator Dan Milano
by Jeff Rosado
Why didn't Greg the Bunny score for Fox? Despite great reviews, a cast that had just begun to jell and a small but growing audience, the spring 2002 mid-season replacement was pulled barely a month into its run. But just like many too-good-for-television projects whose popularity increased once cancellation slips are distributed (Star Trek, Twin Peaks), "fabricated-Americans" who knew better the first time around are celebrating the complete series on DVD in a classy-two disc release from Fox Home Video.
It sounded like a perfect fit for a network whose patience in letting off-beat but eventually popular programs like The Simpsons, 24 and recent Emmy winner Arrested Development grow and find their audience.
Just before Dan Milano was to have commenced our interview, a special guest happened to wander in to the series creator's California-based headquarters—none other than the star of the show himself, Greg the Bunny. He's the Long Island-bred rabbit who overcame the childhood heartbreak of having his puppet woman mother ("who resembled a sock crossed with a teddy bear") deserted by a degenerate father, leaving her and Greg ("in a lurch and without a penny") to become one of the animal kingdom's most visible and fastest rising stars.
dOc: How does an ordinary rabbit go from virtual obscurity to the star of a cult television show?
Greg the Bunny: Well, I always had a dream of being on television. When I was a kid I got inside old television sets and performed on the street for nickels. And that didn't work out so good because a bunch of kids on dirt bikes used to come by, tie a rope around my neck and drag me down the street.
dOc: Not good.
GB: So, I threw an old bundle over my shoulder and headed up to the big city to make my dreams come true, just like Mary Tyler Moore. That's when I started doing rabbit tough-man contests, taking on pigeons, wrestling them, making a few bucks that way. Then I was discovered by Spencer Chinoy, Dan Milano, and Shawn Baker, who put me on a public access show called Junk Tape.
Now, I thought it was public television. I thought I was gonna be on between Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. But it was public access. So I was on between Schizophrenic and The Robin Byrd Show.
dOc: And not in a very accommodating time slot, I would imagine.
GB: No, it left a lot to be desired; but Hollywood did come calling, so I guess it was all worth it.
dOc: I hesitate to ask this, but how often do you get confused or mistaken for Bunny Rabbit on the old Captain Kangaroo show?
GB: Oh my God, it happens all the time! That's why I don't wear glasses anymore. But I would sign autographs anyway because I liked the star attention. Back then I was a nobody and nobody knew the difference anyway.'Love from Bunny and The Captain' and all that stuff. It was great to see kids faces light up.
dOc: Who are some of your heroes, actors you look up to?
GB: I would say that the actors that have had the most influences on me were people like Willie Aames from Charles in Charge—the greats, you know? Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter.
dOc: Ron Pallilo!
GB: Yeah, Ron Pallilo, Herbie the Love Bug. Tremendous influence. He taught me a great deal about learning to emote without actually using any English. His version of Shakespeare is actually quite brilliant because the speeches, you just hear them as horn honks.
dOc: So I've heard.
GB: When he incorporates the window wiping routine, it brings every one to tears.
dOc: So no Lassie? Any animal performers you look up to at all?
GB: Don't get along too well with dogs, especially real dogs that tend to bite and tear. I'm allergic to saliva. But I did enjoy the work of Bunny Rabbit and Sherlock the Squirrel on the East Coast children's show The Magic Garden. Real nice guy; I hope he gets out of Betty Ford.
dOc: Now, in real exciting news for your fans, I understand you have a forthcoming television special that returns you to your roots and old broadcasting home, the Independent Film Channel. Spill the carrots on that!
GB: Well, this big room full of executives all sit around and they try to find ways to say, capitalize—that's an uppercase "C"—on my success. So they're putting me on lunchboxes and posters, and for every 100 posters and action figures I sell, I get a box of raisins. So I'm gonna be rolling in it pretty soon.
dOc: Well, Greg it has been a pleasure and a thrill, but we've got Dan waiting patiently in the wings and I don't want to take up too much of your time.
GB: That's OK. I've got nothing to do! You wanna hang out later?
dOc: Well, Dan, it sounds like stardom hasn't gone to Greg's head.
Dan Milano: No, it hasn't, it's been there. I think he was born with it.
dOc: Like you, I loved children's shows, having fond memories of Sesame Street, Captain Kangaroo, and The Muppets going back as far as their Ed Sullivan Show days. I've always had a very wacky sense of humor, with Steve Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Andy Kaufman being big influences. showreview.php3?IDe18Greg the Bunny, to me, has that same mixture of traditional and off-kilter ingredients that made it so entertaining.
DM: Definitely influences to me, too, absolutely. My first obsession was the Muppets, obviously. Soon as I got a little older, I started watching Saturday Night Live and used to collect scrapbooks on Dan Ackroyd, Steve Martin, John Belushi. Loved the talents of Don Novello and the cast of SCTV. I think in the finished product of Greg, you can also spot influences from Looney Tunes as well as the Muppets and SCTV.
dOc: One of the most fascinating extras on the DVD set occurs when we see home video footage of you as a young kid playing puppeteer. What first attracted you to the art form?
DM: Sesame Street was the first television I ever watched, I literally learned my ABCs from them before I even went to kindergarten. I loved those characters so much, collecting the toys and the dolls. And I would get the puppets and sit in front of a mirror and practice with them, putting on the soundtrack to The Muppet Movie, lip synched with all the characters and so on. My mom would take pictures of it, encouraging me to draw and I'd create my own Muppet stories. At the age of 10, I wanted to work for Jim Henson.
dOc: A few years lateryou had the chance to get into the business by going the public access route in New York.
DM: Being a child of the video generation, I was about 12 years old when I got my first VHS video camera. Because there were no actors to direct, all my movies were made with puppets. Some grade school/high school friends and I were always making videos, screening them at parties and things. So finally, I went to NYU Film school to try to learn screenwriting, shooting with film. And, after graduation, in that time when people are either going to California or taking crew positions on films made in New York, my friends Spence, Sean Baker, and I all had day jobs. We decided we wanted to have a public access show, because we were huge fans as well as of Mr. Show.
dOc: Great show.
DM: Loved it. We loved it so much. That and The Larry Sanders Show and The Ben Stiller Show. We decided, okay, we gotta do something. So we went to a local studio, they gave us a half hour of time. It was free. And we spent about six months editing eight episodes that we aired on Monday nights at midnight. None of us wanted to appear on the show, because it was always kind of embarrassing to see the hosts on public access. So, we decided that Greg would take the fall for us, taking this puppet and making him the star. It started out as this exercise to have fun that turned out to be our primary motivation. We worked on it around the clock and eventually were able to get the character some exposure on the Independent Film Channel.
We'd come home from work at 6pm and work from then until midnight, put the shows on and we'd put a phone number up on our screen to see if anybody was watching. We got tons of fan mail and lots of phone messages. Our managers at the time knew someone at IFC who was looking for sort of a host that would appear between commercials on the network to tell you what was coming up next.
So almost as a joke, we sent them a tape of Greg the Bunny begging for a job, and they actually called to give him the gig. So we started producing five- to ten-minute short films, parodies, and sketches with our puppet characters. Meanwhile, we got a call from the William Morris Agency. An agent had seen our public access show and contacted us via the phone number we put up, asked who we were and what we were doing. So William Morris signed us and sort of held our hand for about two years while we did the IFC show, helped us get PR and eventually sent us out to Los Angeles to pitch what eventually became the Fox show.
dOc: Take us through the process of pitching a concept that's not run-of-the-mill.
DM: It was difficult to take the show around town because obviously it was a strange concept. What helped us is that we physically had the puppets and they could appear at the pitch meetings, talk to the executives and make them laugh, which was very helpful, as well as a compilation of all our Independent Film Channel work. I think if we had just gone in to pitch the concept, they wouldn't have been able to visualize it and kicked us out of the room. But because they had a videotape that they could watch and enjoy. I think they felt "This is the next South Park. This is the next Simpsons." Much like South Park, it began as this underground video that was being passed around. Same with The Simpsons on Tracey Ullman, and it helped pair us with Steve Levitan. The show was actually bought by Neil Moritz, a film producer whose credits include I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Fast and the Furious; he paired us up with Steve who had a 13-episode development deal with Fox. So, I think if we'd gone to them under our own scheme, we probably would have been given a pilot. Perhaps. But because Steve brought us in, we got a 13-episode guarantee, which was great!
dOc: This doesn't happen very often.
DM: Well, you know the one thing I've heard throughout this experience from some people more than once is that 'This never happens.' You know? People would say 'You got a call from an agent who saw your public access show? That never happens.' Same deal with our transition from that outlet to cable, and then 13 network episodes two years after that—that never happens. Everybody, our agents, our managers, were going, 'This takes five years!' We felt blessed, never stopped being enthusiastic and just had a great time throughout the whole process, because we knew that we were really lucky and wanted to make the most of it.
dOc: With the 13-episode deal in mind, was Greg originally planned for a fall launch? You don't really hear of very many mid-season replacement shows with that kind of up-front promise.
DM: They were talking about us for fall 2001, but nobody knew what it was going to entail with the puppet aspects being a single camera show, so that decision was made when they purchased us. Adding to that, there was a threat of a writers' strike and we were afraid to lose our staff. So we decided to take our time, do the show right, take a hiatus of about two weeks to see if it would be settled. That's why we went mid-season. Fox never held us back, we simply just weren't ready to go.
dOc: Now, we let's talk about this amazing cast. It's truly one of the best ensembles I've seen.
Dan: I know. Everyone was completely thrilled with the IFC videotapes that we had sent them, they all felt the same way. It was this funny, cult thing that made them laugh and want to be a part of it. I think it was really clear to Eugene Levy and Sarah Silverman that I was an enormous fan of theirs and respected them tremendously, really wanted their involvement. I felt they would bring the show to a whole other level, particularly the chance to work with Eugene which was a dream come true being such a fan of his for so many years.
dOc: And other than SCTV, this was his first American comedy series, if I'm not mistaken.
Dan: I think so. Maybe some guest spots and a couple of cameos here and there, but he'd never been a regular. He did produce and occasionally direct a show called Maniac Mansion; that starred Joe Flaherty (another SCTV alumnus), but Eugene wasn't part of the cast.
dOc: Let's talk about one of my favorite performers and your lead actor, Seth Green. You were completely foreign to the following he had as Oz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
DM: I just knew him from Can't Hardly Wait, the Austin Powers movies and Woody Allen's Radio Days. I really liked him, I thought he was great. We were casting for someone like him because we felt Seth was so natural, sincere, and funny without really being broad. We were hesitant about going for him directly because we felt 'he's a film star now' and he'd left Buffy to pursue that. So we actually cast the show with Dash Meihoff, who's a great dramatic actor, actually. very tall, big blond guy who's very funny. The relationship between him and Greg was pretty good, but the network felt that him being so big and Greg being so small, was kind of a problem to physically shoot them together. We were retooling a lot of things at the time and Fox said, everybody's been talking about Seth, so we felt we should go talk to him. We sat down, showed him a tape of Greg material, he responded well. Then we met up with Steve Levitan and Neil Moritz over a plate of French fries. Seth had about 24 hours to make a decision about whether to do the show.
I remember Levitan and Neil were upset that we weren't talking about the show more, Seth and I were talking about toys, comic books, Star Wars and all this stuff we had in common. We were just having a great time when Neil and Steve thought we were wasting time. Actually, we were becoming good friends. He took the role because he loved the tape and thought he could really get along with us. The whole cast is still friends today. Something your readers might find interesting is that Seth is producing an animated series for the Cartoon Network with members of both the Family Guy and Greg the Bunny creative families that will be coming up soon.
dOc: Excellent! Every once in a while I will catch Seth on a talk show and he just kills me with his impressions, a talent he showcases on one of the easter eggs on the Greg the Bunny—
DM: That was our first day of working together. For him to do that and for me to jump in and do Alf, it was just so much fun. The entire making of the series was like that, everybody just had a great attitude. People like Seth are great to have on a set because they keep everybody calm and make everybody feel like they're having a great time. We were definitely a happy family.
dOc: One thing that stood out is where you allude to the fact that some really great ensembles tend to be at odds with one another or there's jealousy involved, but this thankfully wasn't in evidence in your experience.
DM: Everybody just loved being together and the characters were such—well, if anyone was going to steal scenes, it was gonna be the puppets—and everyone really loved the puppets and were really generous toward them. No tensions toward them, they just loved showing up and making this silly puppet show every day. Dina Waters was tremendously professional and inspirational in how focused she was. Bob Gunton is a fine dramatic actor who's done incredible work (The Shawshank Redemption, Broken Arrow, I Heart Huckabees). He's also going to make a cameo in our new Greg the Bunny special, which we'll talk more about here in a second.
dOc: As opposed to a traditional sit-com, did Greg the Bunny take more time to film individual episodes with the additional elements of the puppets and the requirements to set them up properly?
DM: Because of our show working with a single-camera format, those types of programs take up to an average of about five days to film. A puppet single-camera show, in the beginning, using our first two episodes as an example, we were leaking into six days. We were taking a lot of overtime. Every show had a learning curve. But about halfway through the season, we really hit the ground running and pretty much on schedule because we'd figured it out and had a system in place that became very easy. The puppets became like any other actor, the crew and camera people had learned how to deal with them and deal with them quickly.
dOc: One of my favorite episodes of the entire series was Dottie Heat, where Greg develops a little crush on Dottie and during the course of their date, he gets a little intimate with her. How difficult or uncomfortable was it for you and your fellow puppeteers in situations like this?
DM: Well, puppeteers tend to get caught in a lot of compromising positions.
I remember one time, Greg the Bunny was on the red carpet for the MTV Movie Awards. He was a correspondent for Total Request Live.
I was in a wooden box with a hole in the top for Greg, and there were holes all around the box where I could breathe. Greg's talking to Mandy Moore, Nicole Kidman, all these gorgeous actresses and singers were coming up like Britney Spears. And there I am in a box with a hole about a half an inch away from their belly button while they're talking to the puppet above my head!
It is awkward, but in shooting a show, you've got crew standing around, everybody's aware of where everybody is and we are all friends. And even though my head is right next to Dina Water's knees, we've been friends now for weeks. You just make sure she's got underwear on.
Those are my favorite episodes, like the ones you've mentioned where the humans and the puppets interact that way, intimately, whether it's sexually intimate or Seth and Greg hanging out like two buddies, that's what the show's really supposed to be.
dOc: One of the nice things about the DVD set is that the episodes are in the correct running order, unlike its run on Fox. It really interrupted the flow of how the characters interacted with one another in terms of development and progression of future storylines. What prompted the network to do that?
DM: In a business that has such high stakes as television, there's always a tendency to over-tweak and overanalyze. There's a huge group of people saying what should be our next episode—perhaps we should steal an episode down the road that's a lot funnier that'll grab audiences—but I always thought it was a mistake, because the episodes did progress, not only did Greg's button eyes change halfway through, but the second episode actually shot (the unaired Sock Like Me) was actually a sequel to the pilot where the show actually introduced people to the word 'sock' and that the puppets were sort of this little oppressed minority in the world. I thought that was a great thing for people to understand early on. But the network loved the episode SK-2.0 for whatever their reasons were, because they thought it was colorful, funny, and crazy. What I tried to tell them was that the characters were given variations in their personalities due to the plotline of Jimmy tweaking 'Sweetknuckle Junction' based on test audience feedback. Suddenly, Professor Ape was Propmeister Ape and Count Blah became Count A'ight.
DM: Thanks. But it was a strange thing to air second because it's not as funny to an audience that hasn't really gotten to know Count Blah. If you've seen him for five episodes, then it becomes funny because they're changing his personality. But if your're tuning in for the first time on the second episode, you don't know. You don't get the joke. So I thought that was a very strange decision. But I was always allowed to voiced my opinion. Sometimes I got my way and sometimes I didn't. That's the nature of the business. There are a lot of cooks, and majority rules.
dOc: How much of a slide down from your original vision for Greg the Bunny did you have to go?
DM: It was a tremendous slide in terms of the style and tone. We never wanted the show to be darker—it's not that we wanted to do a dirty show or anything like that. I think that's what a lot of people assumed in terms of problems with the censors, and that's not the case. We very much wanted to do a show that was played very straight, the way those other shows are, like Larry Sanders. We didn't want to do a sit-com because, in our minds—and I love sitcoms,the good ones—they're cartoony. They don't come across as real people, they talk in sound bites, jokes and punch lines. If you do that with puppets, it becomes even more silly. What we wanted to do is for them to talk very straight like real characters that were placed into the real world. So we wanted the show to be a documentary style as much as possible, with the actors being real improvisational, conversational. And that meant funny situations, but not a lot of jokes.
You know, its difficult because our producers came from very successful sit-coms and they were kind of hesitant to change the formula. Fox really had a lot of trust in programs like That 70s Show, so they kind of want to see things a certain way, and they weren't sure they wanted to try that. Compromise is part of the business. You can't help it, the network is paying for the show, you're obligated to give them what they want. But I think it's healthy to collaborate... and we were always open for that. But what's difficult is when you feel that you've proven yourself to do something a certain way and you're not trusted, nobody gives you the benefit of the doubt. For example, you don't give an actor like Eugene Levy line readings and tell him how to do his part. He's Eugene Levy and you hired him for a reason! But that would happen, people would tell Eugene what to do, which is a terrible thing. Or people would tell Spencer and I who Warren the Ape was, and what he would do in a situation. It's like, we've done this character for years. We're willing to open him up a little bit, but we don't even know you and you're telling us who our characters are. That's disappointing. They loved the show we did on the Independent Film Channel. Now, let's turn it into Mr. Belvedere.
So we ended up having a lot more in common with Mr. Belvedere than we did with Mr. Show, and yet, we still loved it, you know?
dOc:Still, it was one of the most unusual, creative, and entertaining shows I'd seen on television in a long time.
DM: Well, I appreciate it and I'd like for people reading to know that despite these frustrations, we are absolutely proud of it. We are amazed that we were able to get a show this silly and crazy onto television. Even the people that we bumped heads with, they always had the best intentions. They were just trying to make the best show that they knew how. We never lost our enthusiasm.
dOc: Do you feel the timing for this show was a bit off? Perhaps during a period when things were a little bit more settled at Fox, things could have gone Greg's way.
DM: That's definitely part of it. I'll answer that question in two parts: First, I'll say that every show should be allowed time to grow, especially a show that's very different. Shows like Seinfeld and Arrested Development tested very poorly, weren't getting good ratings, but the networks believed and held on for them. Eventually people go to work and talk around the water cooler and say Have you seen this show? and the numbers start to climb. But you have to give time for something like that to happen. I think the reason Fox wasn't able to give us time is that we were a very expensive show to produce, single-camera shows are very pricey. We were also a very risky show at a time when the studio was not doing well financially because we were just coming off 9/11. All the television networks lost revenue by not airing commercials. So, suddenly, they really had to earn their money like winning the pot in the first round of poker, which in turn put a lot of pressure on us to perform and perform quickly. We actually set records in our 16-25 demographic, but unfortunately we were up against The West Wing and we could not get the 25-45 demographic up to what Fox wanted to see. So, that was their main reason for pulling the plug on us.
dOc: Most shows with such a limited run gather dust in vaults, while Greg the Bunny is being given not just a one-disc release but two. Why?
DM: For one, the tremendous amount of support the show has had. Over 400,000 fans signed a petition to save the show and then get the show released on the format, along with much ongoing talk in newsgroups and fan sites. Seth and I are huge toy convention fans and we would actually spot bootlegs of the show for sale, buy a copy for ourselves. It was surreal. We'd sort of autograph 'em for the guy that was selling them, pay for them, and just take them home. Also, the success of Family Guy,a huge cult seller for Fox, whom you know is the biggest distributor of television product out there, and knowing that Greg had such a cult audience, they felt they probably had nothing to lose. I'm hoping its successful because if so, it'll give us a chance to release all of our Independent Film Channel episodes, which we're really proud of and would love for people to get a chance to see.
dOc: Tell us about the IFC Greg the Bunny special coming in early 2005.
DM: It's been shot and features cameos from Bob Gunton, Sarah Silverman, Jon Favreau, Seth, Martha Plimpton, and Lou Ferigno.
dOc: Does it pick up right where the series left off?
DM: Well Greg, Warren, and Count Blah are trying to have separate careers after the cancellation of the show, but IFC makes them a sweet offer to try and have them reunite. So Greg and Warren take a road trip to Las Vegas to meet up with the Count.
We actually shot in the Stratosphere Casino, so Warren is at the real blackjack tables on a weekday when the place is filled with people, with many recognizing him. The security guys were having so much fun that they took pictures of him with the security cameras! We got to keep these really neat black-and-white photographs of him at the poker table.
dOc: Is there a chance that if the special is a success that a revival of the series might be imminent?
DM: IFC has discussed it as being a back-door pilot, and, if it goes well, they would definitely like to produce more. We are also investigating the possibility of doing a film. We'd love to do an independent film with these characters, take it to the Sundance Film Festival. Also, we've got a website debuting at the same time as the DVD release: www.gregtbunny.com, which will be an archive of all of our shows from public access to Fox, links to other Greg sites, episode guides with clips, back history and information on the IFC special. Basically, a site for fans to know where Greg came from and where he's going.
dOc: Like everyone who reads digitallyOBSESSED, you sound like a really big DVD fan. How much fun was putting it together, and how much control did you get to assert on the finished product?
DM: It was so much fun! Originally, Fox said the good news is that we're putting the DVD out, but the bad news is that it's just going to consist of the episodes and a couple of promos. And I said, 'Oh my God, no. I'm the biggest DVD fan, you have to let me put some extras on there!' In my garage, I not only have the props and the puppets, but volumes of videotapes with deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes. So I worked with Reverb Productions who produced the set, and they went above and beyond to accommodate me, letting me bring in the people I wanted for commentaries, creating all the menus, had me record dialogue for them, produced the documentary that Brian Johnson put together. So, Fox let me have a tremendous amount of creative control including the packaging, the art on the discs, writing of the material inside. They were just great in allowing me to make this DVD just as good as I could.
dOc: So what lies beyond the Greg the Bunny universe for you?
DM: I've written a pilot for the WB called The Spaces, a sci-fi comedy, and I've mostly been working as a screenwriter. My friend Matthew Huffman and I wrote a film called Me and My Monster for Sony Pictures being produced by Laura Ziskin and Stan Winston, which is slated to be directed by Neil Jordan.
dOc:I don't know if he's around or if we could negotiate this, but do you think we might be able to cajole the great Warren 'Professor Ape' Demontague into giving us a few minutes of his time?
DM: Let's see if he's gonna do this....
Warren Demontague: Let's get it over with— Oh, helloooo?
dOc: It's an honor to speak with you.
WD: Hello Jeff, I'm Warren Demontague.
dOc: So, what the hell is that thing on your head that you wear in every episode?
WD: Right out of the box— Look, um, I don't believein surgery and certain medical procedures and so forth. Some scars don't heal, all right? And I happen to believe that any thespian worth his salt knows the value of accessorizing, you understand? A crown for Julia, you know? I believe very firmly that every actor should always accessorize and to stand out from other actors and I chose, um, a stupid-looking football helmet.
dOc: Ah, I thought that's what that was. So, how often do you get mistaken for the character in Caddyshack?
WD: That happens quite a lot, actually. A lot of people think I'm a bear, which is quite frustrating. I just sling some food back at them and 'Ah! He's a monkey!' That hasn't happened a lot lately because the last thing I heard is that gopher's at some halfway house or something. Him and Jackie Mason became really good friends. Don't really have that happen too much anymore but for a while it was a problem.
dOc: I posed this question to Greg and now you. Who are the actors that have inspired you?
WD: I was tremendously influenced by Orson Welles, not only for his exceptional dramatic work but he also knew how to tie one on. Um, I also have a tremendous amount of respect for Sir Laurence Olivier, for Peter O'Toole, Michael Caine, all actors with half a liver left.
dOc: Can't help but notice that your pseudo-English accent is a bit more formal than your character on the show.
Warren: I received a tremendous amount of notes accusing me of 'stealing circus', you might say, from actors—and I use the term loosely, by the way—like Eugene and Seth, who were accusing me of making them look bad, so they really had me scale back how strongly I was being presented and blend into the background as much as possible—which was impossible. Everyone's always aware of them anyway.
dOc: Now to really send this conversation off with a bang, give me some dirt from behind the scenes, something shocking that we might not suspect about your company of actors.
WD: It might be of interest for everyone to know that during production, the humans actually had people's hands up their a***** the whole time. A lot of people don't know that. I think it was contractual. I don't know, Fox is a scary place. They do it over at Malcolm in the Middle, too.
dOc: Is there any truth to the rumor that you'll be appearing on Inside the Actor's Studio with James Lipton?
Warren: Oh, Jimmy L. He and I spend a lot of time together. We never discuss whether people do right or wrong. It's great to sit around and critique other people's performances, we're so good at that, for we know better. Um, and James is so wonderful with his guests. I love seeing him have fine actors on his program like Billy Joel. So it was just a matter of time before he decided to have me on but, for some reason, he hasn't returned any of my calls. But that might be because I changed my number. Or, it might be because they have great screening.
I'm never doing this again—