Bill Grundfest – How Humor Makes US Creative【 Section One 】


Manage episode 239241415 series 2510319
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Hi. And welcome to the Cao & Chao Show. A podcast where we talk to remarkable creators about how they got here.

Today I am in Beverly Hills with Bill Grundfest, comedian, writer, producer, and director.

Bill is the co-founder of the famed Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village, New York, which has headlined such legends as Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and the late Robin Williams.

He is also credited with launching the careers of superstars of comedy Bill Maher AND Jon Stewart.

Bill is also well known for his hit TV show, “Mad About You” which won four golden globe awards and 12 primetime Emmy awards. Let’s not forget CBS’ “That’s Life”, HBO’s “Mind of a Married Man”, Showtimes, “Pryor Offenses”, and Comedy Central’s, “Richard Pryor Special”. I think that’s it. There might be more. Check out his Wikipedia page for more details.

I thought the interview went very well, but Bill might disagree. After all, he walked out on me three times. I guess I asked some pretty offensive questions. I didn’t think so, but I will let you decide.

He walked out on me the first time when I brought up the topic of failure, which he had his share of early on in his career. He was kind enough to return and school me on the value of failure.

We also talked about his experience in China and how he was able to navigate the cultural in the same way that he has for decades in New York and Hollywood, by being nice. So seemingly simple yet so immensely difficult.

We also get into a topic that he was surprised to find himself talking about, the relationship between being Jewish and being creative. The insights he delivers are worth their weight in gold.

Anyway, I certainly learned a great deal from Bill and laughed more than I generally do. I hope you do too.