About a year ago, out of the blue, I just wrote a bunch of songs.
Canada Day comes and goes modestly every year. Sure, there are retail sales promotions and a long weekend. But there isn't bluster or commodity in Canadian celebration. Canada isn't big on bunting. Or jet flyovers, fireworks, marching bands or military pomp.
When I got to filmmaking, the most democratic of environments where anybody could say anything, those were the best environments, but what you don't want to assume is that you know what the audience is thinking.
Geddy Lee and I went to the same grade school. He moved away when we were still young, but I remember him like I do all my friends from back then. Then in 1982, Dave Thomas and I were approached to do a record as the McKenzie Brothers on Anthem Records, the same label that Rush was on.
There's a gray area between Conservative and Orthodox people, for whom you don't screw around with the mezuzah, you don't mess with the holy melodies.
I'm a single parent, and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the traveling involved in making movies. So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn't miss it.
And we had the perhaps unfair advantage of not having to worry about what an audience was gonna think. We were in a vacuum. We were making little short films, really.
There will always be another group of kids going to college, drinking beer, and discovering that movie. Many of them have never even heard of SCTV.
When you're 5 ft. 5 in., have a round Jewish face and wear glasses and refuse to wear contacts, you're going to get offered certain parts. People thought of me as the nerdy guy, even in non-nerdy parts like 'Parenthood.' I didn't feel the need to change anything I was doing - I embraced it.
A few years ago, I decided I wanted to be home with my family.
My own personal taste in films as a member of the audience was not completely in line with films I was doing.
I think Alison Krauss and her band are the best today. The same goes for Rick Skaggs and his band.
On the last couple of movies I made - big-budget Hollywood movies - I really missed being able to create my own material.
What we see is what they're trying to sell us. It's not true nostalgic as much as it is repeating old material because it's less expensive than new material.
Well, whether it's on film or on TV, you don't want to throw too many curves at your audio and video guys.
I pulled out of making movies in about '96 or '97.
The actual process of filmmaking, the many hours out of your life- it is very slow and boring. I'm not interested in that now unless an opportunity was provided for me.
I have forty-six cookbooks. I have sixty-eight takeout menus from four restaurants. I have one hundred and sixteen soy sauce packets. I have three hundred and eighty-two dishes, bowls, cups, saucers, mugs and glasses. I eat over the sink. I have five sinks, two with a view.
Well, I took a sabbatical. I walked away from shooting movies because I couldn't handle the travel. I'm a single parent. I had young kids, and I found that keeping in touch with them from hotel rooms and airports wasn't working for me. So I stopped.
I think that I recall the nostalgic '50s: the start of early television and rock-and-roll, and I think everything seemed to get very generic. Not much has changed.
I always find it flattering when somebody recognizes me.
I am wary of sequels. I understand them from the studio's point of view, but the audience doesn't want more, they want better, and I thought the second 'Ghostbusters' was not very effective, it did not really work, so there's no reason to believe a third would. I'm more interested in new things.
I just love when the Internet is wrong. It's the only thing that will save journalism.
I have a problem with blogs - all the best writers benefit from edits.
The decision in my case to become a stay-at-home dad, which people do all the time, I guess wouldn't have meant as much to people if I had had a very simple kind of make-a-living existence and decided I needed to spend more time at home.
I don't limit my taste. There's some jazz that I like and there's some opera. I've been listening to what was essentially country music, but it crossed over to rock.
Until 1982, Canada Day was known as Dominion Day. I always thought that had more of a ring to it. Beyond the zippy alliteration, it reminded us citizens that our domain of orderly domesticity was graced by the dominant power of our 'Dominus.'
And I discovered after a couple years that I really didn't miss making movies.
Like all teenagers in the early '60s, I put down my hockey stick when the Beatles got big and picked up a guitar. We all thought we'd be rock stars. Then I got into comedy, but I'd always find a way to use my guitar, such as writing songs and doing musical parodies.
By the time I got to the point where I was 'starring' in movies, and I had executives telling me what lines to say, that wasn't for me. I'm really not an actor. I'm a guy who comes out of comedy, and my impetus was always to rewrite the line to make it funnier, not to try to make somebody's precious words work.
There's a song called 'Live Blogging the Himmel Family Bris.' I kind of went for it here in terms of - it was really fun to be explaining ritual circumcision in Nashville - a lot of brises are done in hospitals, but many are done in people's homes, and there's a lot of food, and a lot of leftovers.
For me music is pretty personal. I generally listen to it alone, and I've never been a lover of concerts. So I don't think I really bond with other people over music. That's not unique to music for me, either. I feel that way about film, television, art, everything. I read a book alone, so why wouldn't I listen to music alone?
There's a long tradition - certainly with country, but in all kinds of genres of music - to have humorous lyrics. Certainly with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and, if you look at country, Roger Miller and Jim Stafford.
I was able to do a lot of music on 'SCTV,' and I was really lucky to do a musical; I got to sing the part of Seymour in 'Little Shop of Horrors.'
I have nine armchairs from which I can be critical.
When I was a little kid, it was not uncommon for a cousin or an uncle, before they would even say 'Hello,' to gush, 'You know, your mother's brisket is just incredible; it's so good.' That was an inspiration for creating a love song in that well-worn terrain of the relationship between a Jewish boy and his mother.
I have five television sets. (I like to think of them as a set of five televisions.) I have two DVR boxes, three DVD players, two VHS machines and four stereos. I have nineteen remote controls, mostly in one drawer.
This whole blogging stuff has been bugging me for years. Talk about no filter on things. People feel free to do and say whatever they want with no vetting, with no editing, with nothing.
There are fans of some of the old movies that'll mention those, and there's people that have little kids that'll look at me and say, 'Wow, I just watched 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' 35,000 times, and here you are!'
The only type of music I don't like is Dixieland jazz. It's just a little too happy and noisy for me. I like intervals and spaces in my music. There's just something about Dixieland.
I'm not good at making plans, because I never have been. I never do things with an idea of where they may wind up.