tv Larry King Now RT October 25, 2017 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT
you're all. so much part all world all the world all the world's a stage. play. on larry king john michael higgins the first three tina. tina fey and it was interesting because i was doing scenes with. she's a sort of comedic genius but she's also my. idol my lines that day which is a real inconvenience and by the time we shoot it kind of looks like a script but it just doesn't have dialogue and so it's like scene sixty five hotel lobby day stuff on and. arrive at hotel. good luck every actor that i know at least who's been doing it for their life like
this convinced that whatever they're currently doing is the last job. because who on earth would hire them plus person you trade places with for a day to keep her. very calm all next on larry king. king now my special guest is john michael higgins he's been a comedic fix shit for decades leaving his mark on everything from pitch perfect to best in show to bad teacher john stars as chuck pierce in the n.b.c. comedy great news now in its second season airing thursdays at nine thirty pm eight thirty central figures has been described as a blowhard if you agree with that salute that's why they got me. you've played
blowhards before i have done a lot of blowhards why do you think that is well you know larry i can't figure it out no it's. i don't know i have always had an ear for blowhards and i do i kind of get them i'm not sure why is that the you think you know what it must be because i'm one myself i mean what's the other is there another explanation why would i be swayed why would i be so good at it you could play the president salute me play the president there are people who do much better arbitration with him or how did this come about not tina fey's executive producer of the chief cashier yes i mean i'm sure that that would be the final say in the casting short of the network who has to approve everything you've done so many things out of this country you know it's hard to say i think the you know the script crossed my desk and i responded to it immediately because the page one after the title page. i you know i had three laugh out loud not that usual with me i mean i do
a lot of comedy so it's all sort of business to me is like that's a good joke that's a good joke and this one i was i literally thought you know and i thought ok well that's interesting and and the pedigree is as good as it gets tina fey and robert carlock and they do you know thirty rock and critics raved about it the ratings have been so so you think you're in the wrong time slot what do you think i don't i don't care much about the ratings because i think the landscape is strange now that you know it wasn't long ago i feel like it was like eight years ago that they would cancel a show with an eleven or so only the out and now it's like you're jumping up and down the aisles if you get a one you know because everything's so you know do you want to channel exactly so i think ratings in you know they have to base their decisions on something but thirty rock also took some time sure did as a lot of great. ahmadis did you know sums it up true do you think great news or
drama yes i do. well as a performer it's i find it dangerous i do a lot of comedy and it's it's a danger to not to take your characters very seriously particularly in a comedy strangely tony randall said comedies is serious business it sure is it's the best drama but you don't play it comedically you know shut believes them so absolutely and his fears which are the funny part have to be absolutely credible to the audience they have to see them and recognize them and say even to the point of that's me you know i'm playing this ridiculous character but they're like that's what i would do you know and i think when they when they recognize themselves they start laughing or there's a second season story well we the first one we were no no no worst we're right in the middle of it so i i think we just finished shooting the fourth episode so the first three had tina in them tina fey so she's she's come and done of very funny
arc for us. and it was interesting because i was doing scenes with with her and she's she's a obviously it's sort of a comedic genius of some sort but she's also my boss so i had to have that i do my lines that day which is a real inconvenience you're best known do you think for the perfect i don't know i people stop me i've had a very i'm a character guy so i'm in a lot of different things and people will spot me on the street and now i never quite know what it's going to be pitch perfect it's easy because there will be an eleven year old girl and i'm like ok she's just waspish perfect last night there's another world and best in show that that's the movie is twenty years old i have to talk about it every day in the growth of that movie was genius or that i mean it was every character everyone i know who came up with that right that was chris chris for guest to unbelievable he's fantastic and he i been associated with him for many years. and you know he called me we had a we did
a thing together which didn't didn't work out it was a television thing but then he called me right after and says hey you want to do this movie about dogs and then coover one of my dogs says yeah. all right let's go it's so you know when you never know you never know what's going to happen pitch perfect three it's an interesting picture i have to say it's it's it's bold there's yeah it's a very bold picture there it has elements of other types of john resented like action and yeah it's definitely a big musical picture with the the women there are all there all there and they're hilarious and they're great singers and dancers and so you get all that but you know there's explosions i can't tell you more so than funder shoot it's always fun to shoot. it's fun maybe in the wrong way i don't work very hard in those movies and i like it that way everyone you know work well you know the distance thing into
did say they have to go to boot camp for months on that i show up for i worked one day on pitch perfect one and yeah i was doing something else liz banks's friend of mine she's producer of the pictures calls me as michael come on down we need to improvise for you for a day i do that kind of thing and we did it it was like a day and a half i think she's so talented so the best and not pretty at all yeah well that's a you know it's a burden for is your name john or michael whatever you're throwing the hardballs. my name is john michael higgins and i go by michael. he'll have to talk to my parents screen and says john my i know don't read the screen this is a big problem or did your father called you he calls me mikey mikey and your mother michael michael why do they mean you john why do they even do john if they were
going to call your job i think you should talk to them about it i will give you their phone number it's hard to know they need. it's i have i think what happened is this i think they named me after kennedy home and that was a big picture of household irish catholics democrats the whole thing and so i was named after john kennedy and. but my brothers were irish and my brother's name is patrick and if you're irish if you have a patrick the other ones might pat mike and what happened my dad his my dad was my mike is no where in his name. i get it the higgins are an interesting lot not not so much interesting now just ok christopher guest movies yes or why is he the master of mock human terese well he kind of invented it. and this was back in spinal tap days that movie was made by rob reiner and christopher reeve was in it but it was a real team effort and there were ideas about mockumentary before there are
some examples but as far as an all improvised documentary style so all that's him i'm issues he let you do he doesn't let us do we have to do it there's no script no one gave me the lines if they wrote them i mean i was not didn't meet my paygrade like curb your enthusiasm yeah just give you an outline yeah we have another you tell your let's say well you know by the time we shoot it kind of looks like a script but it just doesn't have dialogue and so it's like scene sixty five hotel lobby day and it just says. you know stuff on and it was minus scott is the messenger arrive at a hotel. good luck. so it's a lot of editing that oh yeah yeah that it's hard for us the performers to actually watch these pictures because all of our babies are gone you know i mean you really all that's left all day or the only thing it's time there's time for for the others the story just so so when you work with a script is that hard for you it's
a relief actually you are hers the day. you do your lines that day you learn and i learn them in the makeup chair before going on to the because i'm one hundred forty seven years old i'm afraid that i will for if i learn them the night before they'll be gone so i remember. you know like great news the lines are brilliant and they're tightly written so i don't have to improvise which is great but cram them lines and while they're like putting my i make up on and and then i'll go out there and say them and then but they're gone they're like on flash paper could you want to amherst i did reach school it is i know why they took me but there i was good drama major knew i was literary sure you could start a theater i was a theater child actor really yes theater actor only as a child home alone nine won't play all of them. i've been in everything we did i did hundreds of plays and musicals i did four or five plays you know
a year of professional broadway eventually in my twenty's. i moved to new york after amherst incidentally the emerson case was pointless because i don't i don't use it at all there's no i you know the people i work with people all the time who didn't get out of high school and they're doing exactly as well as i'm doing you got one hundred thirty credits to your name really yeah. how do you decide i will do this or is it just i will do it if they give it to me almost yeah look i'm a character guy it's really job to do one turned on things i do now i know i'm in a position where i turn down things just because it's usually it's because it's something i've done already in other words i've already played that type of character i've already played that problem as well i usually think because i'm an actor i play problems and it's like oh i thought it's a problem already i'm not interested or a worker an actor i am a working actor and we funded told me once and not to name drop a but henry fonda told me and drop it if he didn't have
a script in his hand he was nervous it's interesting i know what he's talking about it's every actor that i know at least who's been doing it for their life like i have. this convinced that whatever they're currently doing is the last job they'll ever do because who on earth would hire them it's an insecure business yet it's a blimp it's an industry full of imposters and you think you're one too this is probably a misgiving you probably you're probably not if you have lasted that long in other words you've probably got something but you're convinced that they're going to find you out at any moment we got mad at marlon brando when he called it lying for a living yeah it is lying but it's you know the terrible philosophical problem is that the the reality part is just as much of a lie as you like to have done more dramatic roles i did a lot before film and television my whole theater career was mostly dramatic roles
and i was longer than my film and television griff you have want to go back to theater yes. all the time but i have children and it's very hard to do you know if they're young when they get older i think i can probably go to broadway sure what isn't that the actor's biggest game be it live theater yeah i heard an opening as the director's gone yeah that's for sure the tough part about theater is if you're in a commercial production which lasts you know could last a year or something that's very difficult you're doing a show is a week and you have to figure out how to not go perfectly mad which happens i did i've done shows the last two years and i'm out there in the middle of the year one in the house and it's a wednesday afternoon and i'm literally snowball blind or like i can't remember who i am or what i'm supposed to do people or i tell each other on stage it's on. you know. it's crazy. it's more with.
a michael. higgins after the break. telling you on the idea that dropping bombs brings peace to the chicken hawks the battle they're going. to use talk to try to tell you that gossip and public works well. tell me you are not cool enough to buy their product. all the hawks we. want. our culture is awash in lots dominated by streams of never ending electronic hallucinations that birthed fiction until they are indistinguishable we have become the most. society on politics as a species of endless and needless political politicians more than just celebrity.
ruling parties are in reality one part of corporate. those who attempt the punk. rock university. designed to push through the teeth and exploitation of the little more force so far to the margins of society including by a public broadcasting system that has sold its soul for corporate money that we might as well be mice squeaking against an apple but squeak we've lost. badly john michael higgins i like john michael the great news airs thursdays at nine thirty pm eight thirty central on n.b.c. you said that i get great news character that you've been left behind to some extent by the culture you know what do you mean well checked here's this anchor that i play is in a panic that basically that the cultured no longer wants you know some bloviating
old white guy to tell them what happened and what to do about it and that the kids at the culture's been split up over all these outlets and are not outlets and other types of outlets and then he's not needed anymore and he has no more credibility you know your costar bridget guest said of you he doesn't overthink stuff he doesn't apologize for stuff he speaks up when he needs clarity on stuff and he just takes big swings he takes big effortless swings and it is so cool to watch and you make a. that's level three isn't. i think that's right i think basically why the reason that is is is the long long years have a lot of miles on the tires and i don't waste a lot of time i'm not rushed or tough about it i just think i don't treat the thing like the beginning and end and the end of the world every time the camera starts
rolling i'll tell you something about you it's a compliment when people see you they smile there's something about your face your hair attitude it's the irish is the blue eyes but. there's a smile about you oh no that right that's very lovely maybe it's just blarney you know i'm an irishman it's lovely to have a comedic idol yeah i think the the guys who were. walked the border between acting out you know drama and comedy i'm talking about jack lemmon and art carney or walter mouth out certainly those were huge influence as and then a lot of the english guys who were stage geniuses just before richards and gil good those guys burton they all could do it yeah they're all brilliant comedians and they're because they're smart and they were good actors we play a little game of if you only knew who was your childhood sorby crush harold lloyd.
he was a funny actor funny but you had a crush on him i did i thought he was a good talent my secret talent shoeshine shoot you can do shoot bridge esquire pollens i yes but listen i don't want to make claims for myself i don't think i can call it a talent it's an inability and i'm not bad at it you use the thing good yeah i can do this i can do the show in other people's shoes when they let me pursing you trade places with for a day zookeeper. i like a fine animals very calm and guilty pleasure well all of my pleasures i should feel guilty about i don't think there's a single one that is popular interesting to other people i mean generally so throw it all get at it age old cable cause you bet last time you were star struck i met the one of the first chair clarinettist in the los angeles philharmonic you
know weird guy. that's what they say where are you. you want to be a clown as i do can you play the clown that no. best compliment you ever got. larry king asked me on the show you the head oh that's all of them i you know what i'm a comedian so basically if you had a picture of all the things i've been and i've been dressed as grapes and babies and i mean it just goes on they're all weird given have a job not acting before acting no i don't i was i was a child actor and i was so the whole life and the role of every paycheck without ever waited on a table or anything favored vice mencia ice cream maybe chip ice cream something you wish you were better at. acting. is all the. strangest fan encounter i i was at a restaurant once and the waiter came up and we finished the meal it was fine and
you know he was very respectful and he says i'm a big fan thank you and the pull of the shirt and tattooed onto his forearm was a line that i said an improvised line that i said in one of the christopher guest movies it was you know something that popped out of my mouth on the set i was on i don't i can't even repeat it because i can't quite remember it but it but my characters as every day careful of actors you never they're there and i name four different weird animals a bear a tiger a jackass and something else and and the you never know which one's going to show up or something like that and it was on his own it was on it was tattooed onto his arm. that's a that's maybe that's the maybe that was the greatest compliment i would say don't say go for it what's a luxury you can't live without a good ten minutes in a chair just sitting there. i try to take those but they're a bit of
a luxury is this something you long believed to be true would realize wasn't that people are thinking about me and that it matters what i thought you know i think people are generally misguided about that or something people don't know about you . i don't well they all know about the theater background generally and they just did a lot of it yeah that was the largest part of my career the whole film and television is like you said if a play runs a long time. are you bored with it. yeah it's a quote fonder again he did mr roberts yes three years yeah but he couldn't wait to be him a really every nice course he was so unlike him that's interesting as to roberts was a perfect person yes he's the perfect man and i couldn't wait to be him so that would be three in the afternoon and he wished it was a the clock to be melissa arbors i've done many of those plays where i felt like i can't wait to get on stage and be this guy again it's so exciting he's so much
smarter than i am and he's so much more you know interesting but those never around you know for some reason it was the duds that that for me isn't a good for you yeah i mean sometimes the plays were good but the part was great or something but they kind of dug it out on me but those are the ones i was having a bit what was the most what was the longest running player and. that was probably a play called. jest which was a lot of jazz it was yeah but it wasn't the french foreign legion your thing and it was a there was a parlor it was a parlor comedy that was then ran forever off broadway and then did a long run a show called jeffrey in the early ninety's which ran for aunt and that was fun all before some social media questions your sister calls you smedley the sheet. where did you get that piece about the hard genius produce should look where is where did you get bad left the building. there she has. got holes in her jeans
does she described as to us horrible and you should pair more smedley all right smedley yeah you wouldn't believe me if i told you i'll believe all right. ok i was in the navy family we used to move every year month on my brother and i said you know what i love this house and our dad said we might move back to this house because i may have to make it station back here. and they said no that would be too good too to believe and my brother said well maybe it be proof of a higher being if we but that higher being hurt us if we took something and left it here and it was in it and if years later we returned here it was still here. i don't know how he thought of this but that he did and the only thing we could find in that we could come up with was in the cabin it was a can of canned beets. the company was smedley's smedley's canned beets so we put it in the back of one of the cabinets up high shut the door and five
years later returned to the house and went right to the cabinet we weren't really supposed to return to this house it really did happen by happenstance we were in and they and the beats were there and ever since that moment really it's my brother's a big old smedley hole it was his idea just as the clothes you should still and many many people in my family do smetters madly where was that bethesda maryland right outside d.c. and i lived in d.c. for digital i love d.c. don't you out of the station of the sure he was he actually were downtown at the he was he was at the pentagon at that point so he was he worked as a naval officer jus live in a lot of places and you know every year case begins on social media what's your favorite shakespeare play it's koori elaine us have you played it i haven't played it it's really strange that it is the one i've really dying to do and i've never done that but maybe that's why i like it so much have you done
a lot of yes why is he the best to do well because he's the great he really is he's he's on everybody he's a bust on pianos for really good reason he simply better at writing dialogue and character than anyone else is and what that means is he has no judgment on the character he simply presents it full bore and there's no commentary and it's really it's sort of takes over your body when you're doing it i don't know how it's very hard to explain it's very. but his the interactions are always on fire any time characters speak to each other they're full of information and incident and most writers like work and work for actor hall of act one to get one of those moments and he delivers that line after line after line after line it's like running on a hot rod you don't need to do much you just need to member. is that you go for the ride and the hen menendez song old five how do you balance family life with your
career not well i mean children he had to. they're thirteen eleven started a little late i'm only twenty six years old oh my god i knew it and it's amazing that i got you started in. you know. i actually tried to. most of my time is spent with my family you know when i'm not working so that's what i was in l.a. yeah i live here one of a and a gregory i understand you have a vocal group and i think we'd all love to hear more about it how it started the members whether you still have time for well there's a lot of of. but of the harmony had myself and i always have been so i did that in college and and i've done movies where it shows up a lot like the pitch perfect movies which they don't let me sing incidentally probably wise and and the break up which i have a famous archipelago thing in. but i i have i've had
groups in basically i sing with people i do musical nights where i'd invite people in and i'll write up a chart and make everybody align it it's sort of a. party game all of your great guest thank you larry great meeting thank you so much thanks to my guest john michael higgins great news is thursdays at nine thirty eight thirty central on n.b.c. can always find me on twitter king's things of i'll see you next time. you may know my son on the run then she'll keep it. to sit in the field i didn't know there's no subtlety. i'm just.
used on the shelf approach is sometimes not want something to go much but if you have a lot of the behind of the. boss on the she does the ground she don't need the militia or governmental. killed in a moment to get his beastly done of this stuff so this gotta be but i mean. the. media. gets to live it up with others. for decades the american middle class has been railroaded by washington politics. big money corporate interests that's drowned out a lot of voices that's how it is in the news culture in this country now that's
where i come in. i'm ed schultz on r t america i'll make sure you don't get railroaded if you'll get the straight talk in the straight news. questionable. i think the average viewer just after watching a couple of segments understands that we're telling stories that are critics can't tell and you know why because their advertisers won't let them. in order to create change you have to be honest you have to tell the truth artie's able to do that every story is built on going after the back story to what's really happening out there to the american what's happening when a corporation makes a pharmaceutical chills people when a company in the environmental good.