Sunday, July 27, 1997

Regis Philbin

Harris: I've got to tell you a quick little story. Regis was on with me years and years ago when I had a morning show. Regis has always had a morning show, but I had a morning show, too, of course, and Regis would be on with me. Every few months he'd pop on and I'd help him promote stuff that he was doing on the Live With Regis and Kathie Lee show. Then, for some reason, Regis wasn't on with me anymore. I think a publicist stepped in and got in between us, and he wasn't on anymore. Now here I am in the afternoons and I start getting e-mail from a guy by the name of Dan Philbin. I get this mail regularly, as Dan and I write back and forth. Many listeners write in to me and I write back to them all the time. In one of my notes back to him, I said, "Philbin? By any chance, are you related to Regis Philbin?" He said, "Well, yeah, he's my dad, but I don't want to make a big deal out of that." I said, "I don't want to make a big deal out of it either, but we love your dad and we loved having him come on the show and it would be great if that could happen again." Now, BOOM! Here is Regis Philbin! Hi, Reege!

Philbin: Hi Paul, how are you doing?

Harris: It's great to have you back.

Philbin: Thanks, it's nice to talk with you. I don't know what happened. You say a publicist got between us. I really don't have a publicist. I really don't know what happened.

Harris: Somebody in the office, I think the person we were speaking to left the organization and some new person came in and she said, "Oh, no, I have to protect Regis against all radio guys." Because you know how radio guys can be, Reege.

Philbin: Well, here we are, united again.

Harris: I'm happy to see that. I have to ask you about something I saw in the news today. That is that the Miss America pageant this year is going to be adding bikinis, but subtracting Regis.

Philbin: Yeah, darn it, just when they get bikinis, I have to leave.

Harris: What happened?

Philbin: I'll tell you what happened. I did it for, I think, four or five years with Kathie Lee, and then I did it alone last year. But we've had a change in the network. ABC is carrying the show this year, not NBC, and they wanted to go with a younger, hipper, funnier, better looking version of Regis, so they wound up with this husband and wife team from All My Children. I just interviewed the lady a couple of weeks ago. A very, very nice and good looking gal, Eva Larue Callohan, her husband's name is John Callohan, and they got picked to do the Miss America pageant.

Harris: Reege, let me tell you something. There ain't no one tuning in for Eva and John. We were all tuning in to watch you and the ladies.

Philbin: Gosh, you know, you'd be surprised that those soap opera stars have a big following. I did it, I was there, it was a lot of fun, and frankly it was all a lot of work, and I've moved on to bigger and better things.

Harris: Yeah, but you'll be watching for the bikinis, won't you?

Philbin: Absolutely! I want to see what that's all about.

Harris: What do you think of that move?

Philbin: You know they had to do something. The Miss Universe pageant...

Harris: They're wearing thongs on that thing.

Philbin: Exactly. There you go. So at least they're down to bikinis. It's going to be interesting to see what actually happens and how many of them go for the bikinis and how skimpy they are. It's going to be interesting. If they remove any more clothing, it becomes a pay-per-view event.

Harris: How is life with you? You've always got dinners and openings and screenings. What are you doing tonight?

Philbin: That crazy Letterman, he wanted me to be on his show tonight, and then this morning, or rather earlier this afternoon, they postponed the sketch for another night. He kind of tied up my night and that's why I'm talking to you so early.

Harris: What was the sketch going to be? Can you tell us?

Philbin: It was going to take place in a restaurant and I was going to be a waiter. They haven't scratched it all together. He changes things at the last minute, and it'll come back up maybe in a couple of days or maybe next week.

Harris: You love doing that and it's obvious that he loves having you on the show.

Philbin: It's great fun, and he's got that band driving there and there's great electricity in the audience and everybody's up. It's fun to see him, only if it is for a minute or two. I don't like to be interviewed by David, but I don't mind going on his show and participating in whatever stunt he has available.

Harris: Why don't you like to be interviewed by him?

Philbin: I think it's a tough seat. Did you see Pauly Shore last night?

Harris: No, I didn't.

Philbin: Pauly died a horrible death.

Harris: Yeah, but Pauly is a moron!

Philbin: I know that Pauly has his own problems, but put the two of those together, and I'm telling you, it was like a snake pit.

Harris: I know that you've also had some tough times on your own show with the whole Kathie Lee and Frank thing, and I don't want to press you too hard on that, but I do have to ask. Were there mornings where you said to yourself, after looking in the paper, "Oh, God, I'm not going in there today?"

Philbin: It was tough. The flack was really flying and the television tabloid shows were coming around. It wasn't easy to get through that, and there were some mornings where I just hated it, but you just have to go on the air with it.

Harris: You two don't talk before the show, but there must have been some mornings where she said, "Look, let's not even talk about my life right now."

Philbin: Listen, we know each other so well now -- I think it's been twelve years since we've been together -- that I know what to bring up and she does too, and what not to bring up. Naturally, we weren't going to talk about that situation on our show.

Harris: I'm a big fan of yours and when I think of the word broadcaster, there are few people who hit that definition better than you.

Philbin: I appreciate that. I've been doing it a long time, and sometimes I think that I'm a little too casual about this because, frankly, we're on the air and sometimes I even forget we're on the air. I just start talking to her and to the camera, and I've got to be more attentive, I guess.

Harris: No, don't change a thing.

Philbin: I've always thought that that was a special place and I wanted to keep it that way, which is why we really don't talk at all before the show starts.

Harris: I saw the show this morning, and I saw you sitting in the audience, introducing some rock band that it was obvious neither of you had ever heard of nor cared about, and I'm thinking to myself, "Instead of this, give me five more minutes of Regis telling a story about the Italian restaurant he went to last night and the bathroom in the back without toilet paper!" That's what we want from you, Reege!

Philbin: I know what you mean. But you know that we do sometimes go 25 minutes, and that's more than half the show, counting the commercials. And Gelman has got his two or three guests that he's got to get on, so he's having a fit. Twenty-five minutes is really enough of us and then we've got to start moving on to other things. But you're right, I'd never heard of that band before.

Harris: Reege, thanks very much for coming on with me.

Philbin: All right, Paul, I appreciate it.

Harris: Is there a chance in hell we'll ever do this again?

Philbin: Absolutely!

Harris: Oh, good, because we've got to keep Dan happy.

Copyright 1997, Paul Harris
Transcript by Danny Guzman

Thursday, July 24, 1997

Scott Kerman, "No Ticket, No Problem"

Harris: It was several months back that we met Scott Kerman on our show. Scott wrote a book called No Ticket, No Problem in which he told about his exploits, going all around the country, getting into any event he wanted without having to pay for a ticket -- by scamming people, basically. He had done it many times at the Cap Centre, the US Air Arena, RFK Stadium, and many times at the Yards up in Baltimore as well. We were talking to him and asked him -- I think it was in February -- "So what's your next big hit going to be?" And he said, "Oh, the Academy Awards again," which he had done last year. But Scott ran into a little problem on the night of Monday, March 24. That's when he tried to go to the Academy Awards. Actually, I think it was the day before, where they slapped the handcuffs on him. And for all these months we have not been able to have Scott come on our show and tell the story because he's been under the judicial thumb. However, now the charges have been dropped. So joining us from L.A. now, here's Scott Kerman. Scotty, how are you?

Kerman: I'm okay, how are you doing?

Harris: I'm doing fine. Was it the day before that you were nabbed?

Kerman: The day before, on Sunday. And the scary thing was that I had a legitimate press pass this time.

Harris: That's right, because in the past you had done it illegitimately. This time, you had the card and they still took you away.

Kerman: They still took me away! Here it is, I'm dressed in a tuxedo at 3 in the afternoon on a Sunday. I walk through the security. Pinkerton Security lets me through. I take 7 steps into the Academy and all of the sudden I'm grabbed by 7 security guards. One guy from Pinkerton handcuffs me and the first thing he says to me is, "How are book sales?" You know you're in trouble!

Harris: Yeah! And so they took you to the jail in South Central. Is that right?

Kerman: First of all they kept me in handcuffs in the Shrine Auditorium for three hours as they organized the media outside. At one point, the producer of the show, Gil Cates -- clearly he's not busy enough, for some reason -- he comes in with the Academy Awards photographer, as if this is some prison wedding or something. I was wondering, "What is he doing here?!? Shouldn't he be worried that Billy Bob Thornton is going to steal some party favors or something?" So, he's there for five minutes. By the time I left and was put into the cruiser -- and I was brought out by six police officers, because you never know what a trespasser might do...

Harris: Yeah, you're a hardened criminal at this point.

Kerman: That's right. There's 150 cameras waiting for me, so it was on every news story possible. In fact, it was the opening story of the CNN Oscar special.

Harris: So they dragged you off to the South Central jail. What is that like?

Kerman: I spent eight hours in a South Central jail -- basically, this is the hood -- in a tuxedo. Basically, I'm dessert to these guys. I'm like an after-dinner mint. At one point, the 11:00 news goes on. We can hear it from the cell and I'm with about eight felons. The lead story is about me getting arrested at the Oscars. This guy says to me, "Is that you?" and I say yes. The second story is about a guy who was arrested for a series of drive-by shootings and he says, "That's me." I'm like, "Oh, great, all we need is the weather guy and here we have the whole broadcast!" It was just unbelievable. Of course, at one point, the police officer, as I was being processed, asks if I have any scars, tattoos, or other marks. I'm thinking, "What, is this going to be like a before and after picture?" It was unbelievable spending eight hours in there dressed in a tuxedo.

Harris: I'm guessing that you get no sleep on a night like that.

Kerman: In fact, they give you a dirty sheet and blanket, but naturally I wasn't using it. At one point, a guy who was a member of the Crips gang asked me if it was all right if he used the bottom bunk and for me to use the top. I said, "Don't worry about it. I don't think I'll be horizontal tonight at all."

Harris: Why couldn't you bail yourself out? Didn't you have some money or someone that you could call?

Kerman: Isn't that the worst story? This is the story that goes over the AP wire the next morning, "Mr. Kerman is still in jail being held on $250 bail."

Harris: I know, Scott! You make some money, don't you?

Kerman: They had a money machine in the jailhouse, if you can believe it.

Harris: An ATM right there?

Kerman: They have an ATM right there, but the guy wouldn't let me go there. He said, "Why should I let a guy who wrote a book like yours go in and get the money?" So I sat there until I could find a bail bondsman the next day who would post the $250 bail. Naturally, I was hanging out with all my friends at the South Central jail.

Harris: Unbelievable! By the way, what is that part of South Central like? Is it the party atmosphere that we imagine it to be?

Kerman: It's unbelievable because at one point you have to give them your possessions so you don't hurt yourself or hurt others. You have guys having to take off their spiked shoes or their chains. I hand them a bow tie and a cummerbund!

Harris: "I beat a man to death with a cummerbund once. That's how tough I am, pal. Back off!"

Kerman: It's so funny because at one point, eight police officers are struggling with this one guy, trying to get him in. He's screaming that he's going to kill everybody. They breathe a sigh of relief as they put him in my cell. They have a pay telephone and I'm trying to get a hold of it. I tried to call an escort agency at one point, figuring that they'd already have a few girls down here and they could get the $250 and I'd just pay their normal fee, but it didn't seem to work.

Harris: Once you got out of there, you had to go to court, right?

Kerman: I had to go to court because the Academy -- let me just mention that we have this all on videotape. The arrest is all videotaped. There's a tape of me walking in and everything. I didn't mention that they followed me for three days, if you can believe it. For three days the Academy spent thousands of dollars following me to as far away as San Diego.

Harris: That's just because you're a hardened criminal.

Kerman: That's right. You never know, I might end up sitting in a seat that Dom Deluise is supposed to be seated in.

Harris: [laughing] All of this because you wanted to get into the Academy Awards for free.

Kerman: And I wanted to do it legitimately! They gave me a free pass! The Academy, which has the power in L.A., dragged out the charges. They didn't even charge me with trespassing, but with discharging a liquid substance.

Harris: What?

Kerman: I don't know. I don't even drink soda.

Harris: By the way, that's not a phrase you want to be hearing in jail, either, "Discharging of a liquid substance". Back off, Bubba!

Kerman: After you're fingerprinted, the guard goes, "Go over near the sink in the cell and clean your hands up with some jelly." I'm looking over there and there's a huge tub of jelly right next to the sink in the cell. I'm thinking, "Oh, great, I'm in a tuxedo and there's a huge tub of jelly next to it. What, do they supply condoms next?"

Harris: But everything turned out okay. All of the charges got dropped and you're in the clear again, right?

Kerman: I'm in the clear again and we'll be going to get the Academy and Pinkerton in another courthouse.

Harris: Oh, you're going to sue them?

Kerman: Oh, yeah! That's the reason that the janitor opens the civil court doors! We'll be getting them. Oh, yeah!

Harris: How much are you suing them for, Scott? How much green are we looking at here?

Kerman: Let me see, how much does Shaquille O'Neal make in a year? Needless to say, I was in with a couple of Shaquille O'Neal's friends.

Harris: But here's the important question, Scotty. Will you be going to the Academy Awards next year?

Kerman: Not even if I'm a nominee will I go! I'll hang out with Woody Allen and play my saxophone somewhere!

Copyright 1997, Paul Harris.
Transcript by Danny Guzman.

Wednesday, July 16, 1997

Richard Jeni

Harris: We welcome to our guest microphone today, comedian Richard Jeni. Richard is in town for a week of shows at The Improv, which he started last night, and he'll be there through Saturday night. Also, he has a brand new comedy C...CD out. You have a C and a CD.

Jeni: Yeah, but the C isn't as complete. There's no D.

Harris: It's Richard Jeni's Greatest Bits. These things are hot again, the comedy CD concept.

Jeni: You wouldn't know it by me. I guess some of them are.

Harris: What do you mean? The cash ain't flowing in from this baby yet?

Jeni: That wasn't made with a really big record company. It was basically a guy with a tape recorder going, "What do you think? Come on, we'll have donuts and it'll be fun!"

Harris: He's got a van in the alley and he hooks up a microphone. It's not even onstage, it's from the back of the room.

Jeni: Yeah, that's pretty much it. Every day he calls Tower Records and asks, "Did you sell it yet? Is it still there? Yeah, 'it', it's just the one." It's at Tower Records, I think.

Harris: I'm sure that your anthology will do well.

Jeni: Yeah, go there and buy the copy. My anthology?

Harris: First you have to do Jeni Unplugged. Which is almost what this guy apparently did with you!

Jeni: Yeah, he plugged me alright. This is one of those where later on in your career you go, "You know, I made some mistakes."

Harris: Would you prefer I stop plugging the CD and just talk about the week at The Improv?

Jeni: I would think that that would be a good place to move to, but the CD is available. They could have it in the store, and people could buy it.

Harris: Here's a good tip for those of you who have shows and are bringing in guests: try to make the first subject something that will make your guest uptight and pissed at you, just to start things off!

Jeni: Remind them of something that's really annoying. "Rich Jeni's in the studio. How's that rash, anyway? We'll be right back."

Harris: Let's move onto something more pleasant. You're here for a week at The Improv and that means, if I know The Improv, the finest hotel accommodations in town.

Jeni: I always complain about the hotels, but I realized that it doesn't really matter. They're basically all the same. There are just some places where the English words "do not disturb" mean "wait until I'm naked and barge in with the vacuum". The minute you're naked, the woman comes blasting in...vmmmmmmmmmm..."Lo siento, I sorry, I come back later." They're all basically the same place. There's only two settings on the thermostat: Arctic Circle or hatching baby chicks. Those are the two and there's no in-between. You've either got to sweat through the mattress, or wake up in a room that's so cold that there's a penguin sitting on the pillow eating your complimentary mint. You can call down to the front desk and say, "I'm freezing! Help me!" And they'll say, "Oh, I'm sorry, but there's a lot of people at the desk." And you say, "Yeah, well there's a reindeer watching porno in my room! What's he doing with his antlers? I didn't even know they could..." They're all the same. And you can call room service. The other day I spent $13 on an english muffin and a cup of coffee.

Harris: I know, that's ridiculous.

Jeni: Thirteen dollars! The guy goes, "That'll be $13. What else would you like?" And I said, "How about a straw? I'm assuming the nooks and crannies are filled with cocaine, my friend." How can you charge me that much money for an english muffin? The guy says, "Well, I'm wearing a vest." I go, "You should be wearing a condom for what you're doing in here. It's a muffin, sir." I'm not complaining, I'm not poor. I have enough money to buy things, but gee whiz, when you get to the $13 muffin level, you're just making prices up. You're just down in the kitchen, getting high. They say, "There's a guy on the phone who wants a burger," and the cook says, "Yeah, well what floor is he on?" The other guy says, "Six." Then they say, "How old is your grandmother?" "72." So they figure, "Okay, tell him it's $78. Gimme another drink, man!" It's like they're just making it up down there.

Harris: [laughing] And you have to wonder if there are people with those prices saying, "Well, that's perfectly reasonable." There are people so wealthy that they're going, "A $13 muffin sounds perfectly right."

Jeni: Yeah, that's right in there. It's a damn good muffin. And it's all in the presentation. That's how they get you. It's like if they bring you up a muffin and it's got a dome on the top and things like landscaping around it, if it comes with a whole "History of the Muffin" pamphlet. But if they just came in and asked, "Hey, are you the guy with the muffin?" and then just reached into their jackets and pulled it out, then it would be hard to justify the $13 price tag.

Harris: That's got to be the kind of place that leaves the light on for you, with that kind of service.

Jeni: Exactly. Leave the light on for you. Yeah, alright. "We left the light on for you. We also left the door open. We left the light on, the door open, and there might be another guy in there. It's kind of a friendly hotel."

Harris: Sharing is an important concept in the hotel world.

Jeni: I got the Marv Albert suite. What the hell is that all about? Biting people! Was he biting her?

Harris: Well, that's the allegation. I didn't know that biting was the newest thing this year. I don't get the trend newsletter anymore and I don't know if you get it out at your place in California.

Jeni: Oh, yeah, biting is big. I just bit the receptionist on the way in here. You should be getting a letter. She just said hi, and I just went roar! I think I still have a piece of her ear with me. Yeah, you've got to bite people. It's very important.

Harris: So, this week at The Improv is to get ready for your HBO special next month. This is like people coming to see you as you're doing your material and getting it all in shape. This is like workout week for you.

Jeni: Yeah, that's why I'm here for the whole week. You know that I usually don't come in for a whole week. Usually it's just a weekend. But on August 9th, I'm taping an HBO Comedy Hour called "Richard Jeni Non- Stop" and it will be on in October on HBO. This is a good time to come out.

Harris: This is the dress rehearsal.

Jeni: Yeah, that's right.

Harris: You get to see the stuff that's going to be cut out of the live show.

Jeni: Yeah, that's right. That's why you're on the radio.

Harris: Thank you. I'm a word-smith. How about the movie career? How is that going? The last time you were here, you had just been in The Mask, a super monster big hit, and we said, "What about "The Mask 2"?" and you said, "They haven't called yet." Has anybody called?

Jeni: No, I haven't heard from them about "The Mask 2". But I did another movie in the meantime called "National Lampoon's Dad's Week Off" with Henry Winkler and Olivia D'Abo. Do you know Winkler?

Harris: Of course I know Winkler. Not personally, though.

Jeni: Oh, I meant personally.

Harris: Oh, no.

Jeni: He's a character. He's so not the Fonz. He's just like a totally neurotic Jew. He's a really nice guy, but he's so not the Fonz. He's the type of guy who sits around in his trailer going, "I shouldn't have had the cheese. It has cholesterol. I went two days without the cheese."

Harris: [laughing] Not very Fonz-like.

Jeni: No, you can't picture the Fonz doing that. I've got a new movie coming out this fall called "Burn, Hollywood, Burn". It stars Whoopi Goldberg, Jackie Chan, me, and Ryan O'Neal.

Harris: Wow! That is a cast! Will it be billed that way? Will it be Whoopi Goldberg, Jackie Chan, Richard Jeni, Ryan O'Neal?

Jeni: I think it will probably be Whoopi Goldberg and Jackie Chan first, and also Stallone because he's in it too.

Harris: Sly or Frank?

Jeni: [laughing] Yeah, I'm in this movie with Stallone. Yeah, don't applaud. It's Frank.

Harris: So "Burn, Hollywood, Burn." What's that about?

Jeni: It's about me and Ryan O'Neal. We play two guys who own a big Hollywood studio and we create a movie that's the biggest movie of all time. It costs $300 million to make and it stars Sylvester Stallone, Jackie Chan, and Whoopi Goldberg all in the same movie. The director of the movie, played by Eric Idle, thinks that we're screwing him and we're changing the movie around, so he burns the master negative of the movie. The reason he burns the master negative of the movie is because if you're a director in Hollywood and you don't like your name to be on the movie because you say it sucked, then by Director's Guild law, the name becomes directed by Alan Smithee. The thing is that this guy's name, in real life, is Alan Smithee, so he can't take his name off the movie. And that's Eric Idle's part and he goes insane and he burns the movie and he winds up in a lunatic asylum. The whole movie is the story of how that happened and what we did to get it back. We get two black filmakers played by Coolio and Chuck D, who are based on the Singleton brothers, and enlist their help to try and get the movie back. It's a real hip, inside Hollywood movie. It makes "The Player" look like the common movie. It's the kind of movie that people either go, "Wow, that's cool!" or "Wow, that was the worst thing I've ever seen in my life."

Harris: Not a lot of middle ground there.

Jeni: It's not going to be a movie that you go, "Eh, that was kind of good." It will be the kind of movie that you say, "Whoa, that was so cool to see Stallone and Whoopi talking to the camera and all that weird stuff." It's shot in the half documentary style.

Harris: Eric Idle must be just great to work with.

Jeni: Eric Idle I always thought was a funny, funny guy. I wasn't in a lot of scenes with Eric Idle. Like I said, a lot of it is documentary, so a lot of Eric Idle's stuff is just Eric Idle alone, just pacing around a lunatic asylum talking about what happened.

Harris: But in real life, he's not a neurotic Jew, is he?

Jeni: In real life, he's actually a black guy, which is even odder. It's a testament to his acting ability. He is actually a Jamaican man and he just becomes Eric Idle in front of the camera.

Harris: [laughing] Who would have guessed that Monty Python...

Jeni: Oh, yeah, he's walking around before the scene going, [in Jamaican accent] "Okay, mon, are we ready?" And then, boom, they turn on the cameras and he's like, [in British accent] "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay! I sleep all night and I work all day!"

Harris: I was talking with Richard about the Mike Tyson fight because he saw it on tape and I saw it about a week later on Showtime. Neither of us actually saw it live on pay-per-view. It was quite an event, and now here we are, about two and a half weeks after the event, and we have another Tyson story in the news. Somebody, as a prank, mailed him a pig's ear. They wrote his address on it with a felt-tip pen and put a stamp right on the ear

Jeni: That's why those postal workers snap, you know. They say, "That's it. An animal ear! Get my gun!" That's the way they snap over there at the post office.

Harris: It kind of makes you wonder what Frank Gifford is getting in the mail.

Jeni: What are they sending Marv Albert? They actually do sell pig ears. I've seen them. If you go to a grocery store in a small southern town...I'm not talking about someplace like Atlanta, because you've got your southern towns that are big cities and you've got your southern towns that are like, "Does anybody know what a bagel is? It's a dog, isn't it?" I went to a grocery store once and they were selling pig ears right there with the food. Seven in a pack. Just think about that. Seven. Somewhere, there's a one-eared pig running around, going, "Ha! I was too fast for them! They almost got me, but not me, not Arnold! I've still got one ear left."

Harris: How do you suppose you prepare pig ears for consumption?

Jeni: That's the interesting question. It's not cafe society, is it, when you're whipping out the pig ears for dinner.

Harris: You come home from a long day of work, "Oh, man, I can't wait to get home and have me some of them pig ears. My wife grills them up good."

Jeni: What do you serve them with? It's all pretty disgusting when you think about it. Even ham. What is that? It's a pig's butt! It's just all what you call it, isn't it? It's all how you describe it. Ham is a pig's butt. That's what that is.

Harris: It's one of those things where at a certain point, wherever it comes from, it just tastes delicious, and damn it, I'm going to eat it. I just don't want to know.

Jeni: Yes, well, we don't eat the pig. What do they eat? They eat only part of the pig?

Harris: No, no pig. There will be no pork products.

Jeni: They only eat a pig if it's a doctor. Only if it's been to college and it knows people.

Harris: There are all sorts of disgusting foods like that. What's the Scottish food that's made from the sheep's stomach?

Jeni: That would be called haggis.

Harris: Wow, you knew that like you've eaten it.

Jeni: What do we have for him, Bob?! I've got a better question for you: Do you think they have phone sex in Scotland? Do you think you turn on your television and there's the woman going, [in Scottish accent] "Are you lonely? Call me, ya bastard! I'll get under your kilt for ya! It's a wee charge on your card, there, laddy!" That's a more interesting question to me.

Harris: I think it is.

Jeni: Did you see "Braveheart?"

Harris: No, I didn't.

Jeni: What a great movie. You've got to go see that.

Harris: Is this the one with Mel Gibson blue-faced?

Jeni: Yeah, Mel Gibson plays a Scottish freedom fighter, and what a guy. You're watching the movie and he's the bravest guy you ever saw. You feel like such a wimp. You're just sitting there saying, "Wow, this guy is way tougher than me and he has a plaid skirt and hair extensions." You're going, "Wow, if I were in the movie, it would be called Brave-Up-To-A-Point-Heart." I'm pretty sure that I would crack under torture. How about yourself?

Harris: One question and I'm giving up the details to every missile complex in the world.

Jeni: Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing. They had an axe, at the end of the movie, a big medieval farm axe, pointed at his crotch and they're going to use it on him. They go, "If you say mercy we won't..." ya know, do it. And he's not answering.

Harris: He's not saying mercy.

Jeni: No, and I'm thinking it's one word! Just say it! You'll be Debbie Gibson if you don't. They've got an axe on his ween, and I'm thinking, "What is the delay? How hard is this to answer?" It's like a multiple choice. A: Do you want a big axe on your ween...and you go, "Hey, I think I already know the answer is B!" You haven't heard B, but it's not A! I'll take a chance. How hard could that be?

Harris: It ain't Final Jeopardy at this point.

Jeni: No! He had an axe on his ween and he wouldn't tell them one word that they wanted to hear. And I can tell you, I got a prostate exam, I confessed to the Kennedy assassination. I heard that glove snap and I was like, "Okay, it was me. I did it. I was 3 and I acted alone. Back off, you fist-o-saurus." I made the mistake that men make at the prostate exam.

Harris: What is that?

Jeni: You get nervous, you get scared, you tighten up, and things are going to hurt more. If you want the prostate exam to go well, you've got to get psyched up. You've got to go in there like a wrestler talking trash. You've got to just kick the door open, "All right, Weinberg, I'm ready to party! I heard you talking about me out in the waiting room. It's time to stop the joking and start the poking! You want some of this, come on! No glove! Let's see what you got!" Then it doesn't hurt. You know what I mean? You get excited.

Harris: See, I would have gone relaxed, but you went excited and it worked for you.

Jeni: Yeah, you get psyched and then it doesn't hurt. I was in there, I had to get one of those things. I was thinking, "I'm not going to make this hurt, I'm just going to get psyched up." Did you ever get a test for chlamydia? Did this ever happen to you?

Harris: I beg your pardon?

Jeni: Did you ever get a chlamydia test?

Harris: There's a sentence I've never even used. No, I never have.

Jeni: Do you know what chlamydia is? It's a common form of VD that has no symptoms in a man.

Harris: How would they check to know that you had it?

Jeni: I'm going to tell you. Listen to this. I was having a little trouble. I was like, I don't know, just my worm was a little under the weather. It just wasn't feeling like its usual self.

Harris: Had you tried yelling mercy?

Jeni: [laughing] Yeah! So I go to the doctor and I said, "What do you think it could be?" And he says, "I don't know, I'll have to check you for all these different things." So they do all these different things. Then they go, "We should also test you, while you're here, for chlamydia because it doesn't have any symptoms. You could have it and not even know it." I said "All right, go ahead, whatever you've got to do. And what is that thing that you're taking out of the drawer there?"

Harris: Uh-oh!

Jeni: It's a needle. And I said, "Whoa, what are you going to do with that?" Well, he says, "We're going to put it in the hole of your peen and swish around for a while..."

Harris: Okay...

Jeni: And I go, "No!"

Harris: Mercy!

Jeni: I said, "Come on, where is the hidden camera? This is the part where you tell me that you were only pretending that you were going to put that thing..."

Harris: You tell this joke at the doctor convention.

Jeni: Oh my God, that's when you go out and you just buy a case of condoms to avoid that test. Luckily, by the way, if there's any girls listening, no, I didn't have any diseases.

Harris: Good. Everything came back negative.

Jeni: Oh my God, up the hole of your...

Harris: All right! Fine! We got the picture!

Jeni: That is just wrong! Basically wrong!

Harris: That's an output valve, the last time I checked.

Jeni: I have a friend who has AIDS and this guy is constantly ill. He's constantly in the hospital for this thing or that thing, and I told him this story. He goes, "I know. I had that test. That's the worst thing that they ever did to me!" This guy, every week he's got a lung, this, or another thing, and even he was freaking out. I don't feel so bad that I wimped out and screamed.

Harris: I'm making a note here to never ever ever ever ever ever get chlamydia.

Jeni: No, you can get it, just don't get tested for it. Getting it doesn't hurt at all. Getting it is kinda fun, actually!

Harris: [laughing] Comedian Richard Jeni. You've got to see him in person. Thanks for coming in again, Richard.

Jeni: My pleasure, Paul. Thanks for having me on.

Copyright 1997, Paul Harris.
Transcript by Danny Guzman.