All my brothers and sisters are really witty, and I would just sit back and enjoy them.

There's nothing funnier than religion. Try explaining it to a kid. I had it all wrong when I was a kid.

Chicago has definitely played a part in my character development. I love the essence of the city, the personalities of the people, the hard-working spirit that you need to get through the winters. And every neighborhood has its great restaurants and the local hot-dog stand.

But I'm thrilled to be employed, and to work with all my friends and people that I admire. You're just lucky to work - that's the bottom line.

My dad was a man of great wisdom in his short time here.

I think you have to see the high highs and the low lows to get to the core of what makes us tick as people.

Everybody knows when you're a struggling family; you don't really know it when you're a kid. But you do know the difference between stress and moments of relief where there's, like, this happiness.

I'm a blue-collar Chicago girl raised on wonderful movies my mom took us to, ones that had a lot of heart.

I have a great affinity for senior citizens.

I worked at a nursing home though high school... There's a lost appreciation for a generation that has so much to tell us when we're so full of self-help books and doctors on TV.

I'm from an Irish Catholic family.

My mother gets told, 'Oh, you're so lucky that your daughters are doing so well.' She never corrects anybody when they assume Helen is her daughter.

I don't have the fear I won't be able to think of something else to write. It's what I do.

I still have my bad days when I think I'm not getting everything I deserve. But those pass quickly once my Mother gets on the phone and says, 'listen, we used to eat rocks and walk 80 miles a day to school.

Humor is very healing.

Barry Levinson saw me on a tape and put me in 'Rain Man' as the waitress who dropped the toothpicks. The scene was talked about a lot. Then, all of a sudden, I started to get more auditions.

I live in this apartment building, and everybody who lives there thinks of me as a housewife. People drop their babies off with me. Or I get notes: 'I'm going to be gone for three days. The keys are under the mat; take care of the cats.' Because they all think I'm home all the time.

Not only do people stop me on the street to say, 'We're walking, we're walking', but I have actually been in restaurants where the hostess was saying it to customers.

I'm right on the edge of getting another movie. It's between me and a famous person. The studio said they're thinking about going with somebody with a name. I said, 'That's great! Because I have one!'

I love writing.

Over the years, if you look at the films of people like Billy Wilder, Preston Sturges, Frank Capra, their supporting characters, even if it's a doorman with two lines, always seem three-dimensional. To me, that's a sign of good storytelling.

I loved when my folks would watch 'The Dean Martin Show.'

I was a good kid.

There were seven kids in our family. My mom had seven kids in 10 years. So you had to learn how to talk and think fast if you wanted to be heard.

I only have one job, and that's being a storyteller.

Would I like to be the lead girl? Who wouldn't?

If I couldn't be Dick Van Dyke, I wanted to be Art Carney.

I like regular meals and restaurants that will adapt things to your taste. Not a place where they roll their eyes if you want the sauce on the side.

I grew up in a working-class neighborhood, so there was always a sense of struggle, but we had hope.

To have children on the set, you realize that if a 10-year-old can do it, who are you kidding? It humbles you.

I think that failure by your own standards is certainly a form of success.

I wanted to be a story teller so badly.

I've been so fortunate in my career and my own life just to have all these opportunities, and the talk show has always been one of my favorite formats.

I would hope to have some of the same audience that Oprah has earned. And I would love to earn that, as well.

My only power is my ability to do something with passion and do it well. It's also something someone cannot take way from me, so it's very valuable.

I think what happens is that some writers, who are so great in television or whatever, once they become successful, they get out of the loop of real life. It's real hard to draw on something to write.

Oprah was not somebody who was telling us what to do, she wasn't really teaching us like so many people we see today. With Oprah, she was learning and we were learning with her. And I think that's really was the seed that was planted for all of us to just hang in there with her.

Restaurants in Chicago are seldom disappointing.

In my neighborhood growing up, 8, 10,12 kids were the norm. Those stay-at-home moms would handle so much physically and emotionally. Even in my early teens, I could tell those ladies were something.

Everyone hopes to get a fall slot, but I'm just happy to get on the air.

I won't wear fur - never, ever. I'm an animal lover. I wouldn't even wear faux fur. I prefer to go the cheap route and not shave my legs.

I really appreciate the everyday stuff as far as material.

I don't think of myself as a comedian.

What kind of woman irons her husband's sheets? Even the clothes I wear, I just throw 'em in the dryer with some golf balls.

When a fan holds out Helen's picture for me to autograph, I usually sign it Linda Hunt - just to make their heads really crazy.

My home is in Chicago, but I have an apartment in Los Angeles.

I thought of Second City as just the greatest therapeutic job anybody could ever dream of having.

It's not that I don't take TV seriously. I take it very seriously. But I've got my priorities straight. Call it my extra gift. Without it, I would be devastated every day in Hollywood.

Because I've been so blessed with a background in nursing and spent so much time with patients at a really intimate, vulnerable time in their lives, the one lesson I've learned is that you never turn down a challenge where you can keep your creative integrity and your heart and soul and your sense of self.