Williams at the 34th Annie Awards, 2007. Photo by John B. Mueller
November 14, 1962 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I always improvise with the crowd. Sometimes it will be a 50 percent show, sometimes 70 percent, sometimes it's almost a whole show where I wing it. It depends on my mood, the energy in the room. For sure, a portion of it is just kind of winging it.
Without sounding negative, I'm not a huge fan of a lot of stand-up. I'm more interested in an absurd kind of theater.
If you were to come out and hang out with me, just having fun at a nightclub or a party, that's kind of the version of Harland you'd get – silly, kind of always saying wacky things.
I don't go on tour tours – I just go randomly to cities to do shows if I have an opening in my schedule.
What's interesting about Stephen Baldwin is that me and Dana Gould were originally cast for 'Bio-Dome' – but Pauly Shore and Baldwin ended up doing it. So there's a little movie trivia for ya.
In 'There's Something About Mary' and 'Dumb & Dumber,' I ended up improvising quite a bit of my scenes, and later I didn't even remember what I'd said because I just winged it. When I went and saw the movie, I was as stunned as everyone else was.
I was walking around bored one day, and I started filming stuff with my cellphone. There are all these shows where people are trying to do these outrageous stunts, and I thought it would be funny to do all these stunts that aren't outrageous but then act like they are.
I think life would be so much funnier if every day you saw someone walking down the street getting hit in the head by a monkey, don't you?
I hate when you go into a nice restaurant – someplace where you're going to spend good money – and there are kids in there crying.
I used to do little sketches into my cassette tape recorder when I was a little boy. I would just turn it on and just start doing voices and characters. I just loved it.
The thing I love about sketch is sometimes it leads you as opposed to you leading it.
Canada has been a breeding ground for great comedic actors, sketch artists and stand-up comedians. We grew up with a different perspective on the world.
If you're going to take a jab at someone, you should at least have a bit more of a personal relationship with them. I feel like you can be funny and clever, as opposed to just outright vile.
I sort of write onstage. I'll throw an idea out there, like Home Depot, and just start talking about it.
I try to take normal things – whether it's a serious subject or something as obscure as a piece of toast – and put a very weird twist on them.
I just tried to create a life for myself that's full of fun and fantasy and things that equal laughter. My life's been cartoons and comedy and acting, and it's just been a fun life, man.
My roots are in stand-up, and stand-up is very freeing. There's no script involved; you just fly.
The thing is, you never know with any movie how it's going to turn out. It's always a mystery – you'll do pages and pages of scenes that will never make it onto the screen.
I love seafood. Whenever I'm in Las Vegas, I love going to the Bellagio buffet because they have these great king crab legs.
It was such a pleasure to work with Eugene Levy. What a treat. That's a guy I grew up watching as a kid. Guys like that, they were hilarious and didn't have to be super vile or X-rated.
The problem with binge-watching on Netflix is that you lose three days of your life.
I'd done a ton of movies here in Hollywood, and I realized that every movie I'd done was somebody's else's work and someone else's vision.
I get a lot of people telling me that I'd make a good 'wacky neighbor.' I wouldn't mind that, if it was a starting-off point.
I think a lot of people think I'm doing kind of a character onstage, but what you're really getting is just me.
I'd like to explore the more abstract side of people's minds, as opposed to the usual sitcom stuff. I don't want to do the typical sitcom-type humor. I'd want to do stuff like go bowling with pineapples.
I don't laugh so much at jokes and premises as I do at a guy who goes onstage and starts twitching and acting funny.