SCOTT RAAB: I just saw Jeff, Who Lives at Home this morning. It was a very symphonic movie.
ED HELMS: That’s a nice word. It’s not the funniest movie I’ve ever done.
SR: It’s pretty funny.
EH: It has a more complex goal than just getting laughs, and yet it was one of the most fun productions I’ve ever been on. Partly because Jason Segel’s such a world-champion good guy, and we were in New Orleans, which is home turf for the Duplass brothers [directors Mark and Jay]. And it was a new process for me, because the Duplass brothers want you to improvise — not just comedy, but everything. [Looks at recording device.] That looks like a Taser.
SR: The New York City police commissioner said the same thing. A lot of stand-ups use it to record their acts.
EH: It was a big deal when I got a minidisc recorder when I was doing stand-up. This was in my 20s.
SR: You’re about 57, 58 now?
EH: Thanks. Yeah, I’m 38. Everybody thinks I’m 50.
SR: You’ve compared your stand-up style to Bill Cosby’s.
EH: I told personal stories the way Cosby would spin a yarn for ten minutes. My monologue on Saturday Night Live last year was a condensed version of one of those long tales. I think in hindsight it works better as a long story than as a condensed monologue.
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