Interview by: John Wisniewski

 

Jay Mohr is an American actor, stand-up comedian and radio host and author.  He is known as Professor Rick Payne in the TV series Ghost Whisperer,  Gary in Gary Unmarried, was a featured cast member on Saturday Night Live, and the back-stabbing sports agent Bob Sugar in Jerry Maguire. He is the host of Jay Mohr Sports, a  show on Fox Sports Radio.

 Have you ever heard any comments from Christopher Walken about your impersonation?

The only time I heard any feedback from Walken regarding my impression was on the set of Suicide Kings. Chris had a massively long speech to deliver and he was learning his lines… I was standing close by and was struck by how well written it was and particularly impressed with him saying, “It’s lucky for you, that I know who I know and I do what I do… otherwise, your princess would be chopped mince meat by now!”

I couldn’t get those sentences out of my head and I walked around for about a half hour saying them (as Walken) out loud. He over heard me and pulled me aside. He thought I was mocking him and would appreciate it if I could not mock him when he’s in the middle of memorizing two pages of dialogue.

I quickly explained to him  that I just loved the words and I loved his voice,  and I definitely wasn’t mocking him out, I was paying homage to such a great combination of text and language and voice.. He understood and went about his business but it was a scary few seconds.

Why did you decide to write your books, Jay?

My first book, GASPING FOR AIRTIME I decided to write because everywhere I went, people wanted to know what it was like at Saturday Night Live. I realized that no one had ever written a book about SNL that was actually there. It had always been an oral history or reporters trying to explain it. I was THERE! SO I started typing.

My book about parenthood came about because if you don’t have children you have no idea how crazy the day to day operations of a household are.

Any favorite comedians, humorists and satirists?

My favorite comic is a humorist and a satirist… GEORGE FUCKING CARLIN. You could memorize one of Carlin’s hours and you could perform it off Broadway as a one man show.. Always pushed the envelope and always snuck in INCREDIBLY prescient social commentary.

 Of all of your endeavors, is there one particular form of media that you feel most comfortable with?

I am most comfortable standing onstage… doing stand up..

What is most important to you, these days?

My children… and making more children…

What is the audience reaction to your stand up comedy, usually?

Pandemonium. Always, not usually…

What are you doing when not creating or writing?

Spending time learning from my 4 year old…

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