When you get a question like, 'Did you like meeting Her Majesty?' 'No, I thought she was a slob.' I mean, what are you going to say... The mischief comes into me when I'm doing a Q&A, I'm 9 years old again. I don't get mad. I do get offended.
Postwar America was a very buttoned-up nation. Radio shows were run by censors, Presidents wore hats, ladies wore girdles. We came straight out of the blue - nobody was expecting anything like Martin and Lewis. A sexy guy and a monkey is how some people saw us.
I tell young comics, 'Do you want this badly enough? It's there. But you have to go get it. And if you think I'm going to give you the key to the lock of that door, there is no key, there is no lock, and there is no door.'
From 1936 on, I have taken more falls than any other 20 comedians put together. From the time I was 21, I've taken them on everything from clay courts to cement to wood floors, coming off pianos, going out a two-story window, landing on Dean, falling into the rough. You do that and you're gonna have problems.
The film I did with Bobby De Niro, 'The King of Comedy' - an awful lot came to me out of that movie because De Niro never allowed me any room to be crazy. If I had tried to play it the way I would normally play it and get hysterical, Bobby would punch me.
I have a loyalty that runs in my bloodstream, when I lock into someone or something, you can't get me away from it because I commit that thoroughly. That's in friendship, that's a deal, that's a commitment. Don't give me paper - I can get the same lawyer who drew it up to break it. But if you shake my hand, that's for life.
A lot of people resent that I've been in someone's life for 50 years. Why shouldn't people have an affection for me and what I've done? Didn't I have to be genuine for them to buy into what I did? There are children who grow up today who will not have that when they're 55 years old. With whom will they have it? Name an example for me.
I will do whatever is necessary to make better the stupidity on my part - and therefore go after those who are acting stupid themselves. It's not popular. You don't make friends when you do that. And I couldn't care less.
The young man who's had the Guggenheim fortune behind him all his life - he can hire all the authorities on the subject to teach him how to do a monologue, but he's never going to have the right stuff to pull it off. If he doesn't walk out onstage needing to walk out there, he doesn't have a dream of doing well.