comics talk to comics

Jeff Garlin Talks to Bridget Everett About Her New Special and Mysterious Bets

Photo: Kelly Chiello and Photos by Getty Images

Bridget Everett has been a fixture on the New York cabaret and comedy scenes for years, winning the hearts of a legion of die-hard fans, including the likes of Amy Schumer, who cast Everett in Trainwreck and had her sing a song in the Inside Amy Schumer season finale. With Everett’s first special airing on Comedy Central Sunday morning at 12:30 a.m., Vulture had another one of her comedian fans interview her: Jeff Garlin. Garlin and Everett actually only met this past Fourth of July weekend, at the vacation home of a mutual acquaintance, and became fast friends. Here they talk about the special, reading Twitter, and taking mysterious bets.

Jeff Garlin: Recording started, recording started!
Bridget Everett: Oh shit, we got to watch ourselves, Jeff.

Well, let’s just open up by saying the word vagina.
Let’s go get some pussy.

How are ya, sister?
I’m great. It’s nice to talk to you. It’s been so long.

But you know what? Every single day, Marla [Garlin, Jeff’s wife] and I talk about you. Every day.
You’re kidding.

No! We miss you.
It went so fast from acquaintances to friends. It feels really nice.

You know, I don’t normally do that. You! You’re such an extraordinary person, anyone who doesn’t want to be best friends with you within a matter of 30 seconds, there’s something wrong with them.
I feel the same about you. Thank you, though. I appreciate that.

I’m really looking forward to seeing your special. By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you about it. Are you happy with it?
Yeah. I think I am. I definitely am. It’s crazy because people are always saying that seeing me live is the only way to do it. But I really feel like the director and the director of photography did a really great job of making you feel like you’re in the room.

You do think it’s a really good representative of your work?
Yeah, it’s a pretty good representation.

Whenever you watch anything live — stand-up, bands, whatever it is, even sports — seeing it live is always better.
Of course. It’s a whole different experience to have the opportunity. I’m always playing to 200 people every night and I love doing it, but it’s so much work. This is my attempt to do it in one sitting and have a whole bunch of people get to view it. So let the tweets begin. Let’s see what people have to say.

I would be the complete opposite. If I did something, the last place I’d go is Twitter.
I’m being facetious. I can’t read that shit anymore.

Oh! So you really won’t look at what people are saying?
It’s hard. It’s like there’s a strange pull. You want to see.

That’s why I went on Twitter. There is a strange pull to make you look at that shit. The only way to not look at it is to not have it. And I don’t miss a second of not having it. You know what? It’s like the saying — and I mean this in terms of even your art — what people think of me is none of my business.
I’m 43 and I’m just figuring that out.

It is rather strange having a conversation knowing that it’s being recorded. I’m like the president.
It is.

It’s a big bowl of strange. Have you gigged since you’ve been back? You had a busy Monday, if I remember.
I did. I just had a show last night, at Joe’s Pub, my sort of home. It was so much fun, I was dreading it.

In your show, how much talking do you do?
Half talking, half stories, half singing, and half skits, so it’s like a show and a half. 

Look at you! I know you can sing your ass off. I’ve seen [you singing] on the internet and I was like, wow! But I really look forward to hearing your stories; they’ve got to be great. 
Well, I think you know, the only reason I ever pick a song is if I have a story to go with it. And vice versa, if I have a story then I’ll write a song that goes with it. I’m not one of those people that stands up and drops zingers left and right. 

But here is what I was going to ask you: Did I give you enough of a story for you to sing the Bewitched Serena song?
Oh yeah, I’m ready. I love it.

I watched that video again of her singing “Kisses in the Wind,” and I laugh hysterically at the thought of you singing that. 
I’m definitely going to do it. I’ll have someone record it and send it to you. And you know I like anything that has to do with blowing.

Yes, you do! By the way, so, does someone like you, because your songs have so much sex in them, do you take pride in being great at sex? 
You know, it’s interesting. I’m my ultimate hype-man. I imagine people think that if they take me home it’s going to be a night full of terror and delight. I’m not sure. It’s been a minute since I had a roll.  You would think that I get laid after shows all the time, but the truth is I never have, not once. No, that’s not true. One time I did. One time out of probably 5,000 shows.

I’m easy! I’m an easy target: All you have to do is buy me a glass of wine and tell me you like the show and I’ll be like, “Okay, where are we going?”

So if someone came up and said, “Here’s a glass of water, I really enjoyed you.” Somebody attractive. Do you need to have the wine?
Yeah, I think that’s the deal-breaker.

Oh my God.
It’s just the thought, the consideration. If somebody knows I like a glass of California Chardonnay — even if I don’t have to drink it — if they knew that. I appreciate the thought.

By the way, I don’t mean to blow your cover — I do this with Larry David all the time by saying what a sweet guy he is — but you’re a really thoughtful, grounded person. That’s the joke, because onstage you’re anything but that.
Thanks, Jeff. I got to tell you, you’re a real sweetheart yourself. I enjoyed talking to you. We stayed up late after everyone else went to bed, like a bunch of rebels.

I’d rather confuse people than explain what we’re talking about. You have to know I’ve done so many things like this; it’s going to be edited down.
I know, right.

Here’s how far I’ll go: I don’t read Twitter, so as much as I actually read Vulture, when I see this interview, I’ll pass over it. 
I know, I can’t even watch myself on TV or whatever. It’s just better to know that it happened and let things live.

Even when I do a TV show or a movie, let alone stand-up, the “doing it” is the joy. 
You know, I have a small part in Trainwreck. The experience of doing it was one of the best, funniest days of my life. It was so funny and fun, I’m afraid to look at it. It’s going to be reduced to a few seconds that just whiz by, but if you guys were there you would have seen all this fun stuff.

They could use everything, and by the way, knowing that guy, Judd [Apatow], he likes his movies long, so my gut feeling is that more will be in there than you think. And then, on the other hand, it could be completely cut out. It’s unbelievable. That’s why it’s a very vulnerable situation. Even Curb Your Enthusiasm, when Larry would cut a scene that I loved doing with him, I was a producer, and he’d say, “You understand why.” The truth is that I would understand why, even though it was excellent. 
It’s still a little heartbreaking, isn’t it?

A little heartbreaking? Completely heartbreaking. Without a doubt, my best stuff from Curb is on the cutting-room floor.
You guys ever make like a compilation of all that stuff?

No, Larry doesn’t like that. 
Aggggh, well he’s wrong!

You know what, I’ve never known him to be wrong. 
No, I know.

You know! I’m not even making this shit up. I’ll tell you the truth. Every bet I’ve ever made with Larry David he’s won. I don’t understand. Not that he needs the money.
You had one about Eat, Pray, Love, didn’t you?

Well, that wasn’t a bet. That was more of a question of me asking him how much money it would take for him to see Eat, Pray, Love, and he really considered it and said $3,000. Which I thought was hysterical that he came up with an amount. But I love doing stuff like that, and what you learned about me is that I don’t have to be paid to do stupid shit. And you will name the price. 
I owe you $47. You asked me how much I would be willing to pay for you to do something kind of fucked up, and I was like, “I think I have $47 in my wallet.” Meanwhile, two minutes later you’re in the kitchen doing it, and I was like, this guy has lost it, I better watch myself.  

Well, you never danced naked on the dock, and I’ll leave you with that. Hey! I think we should stop now. 
Yeah, I think we’ve given them enough.

Jeff Garlin Talks to Bridget Everett