The sound of our minds being turned. When I was young, I used to imagine that our voices were being turned and so, to a kid, it sounded like I was saying something to a puppet. I would go into a theater and I really enjoyed it and went outside and I was walking around, and there’s a puppet in the theater and there was a puppet in front of me and I’d just start screaming to the puppet. Even as an adult, when the sound of my mind was being turned, you got that connection.
The other time that people got it was on the “Saturday Night Live” sketch “Do-Right-Do-Right,” where, with George Carlin’s voice, he starts screaming in a really loud voice at a bunch of drunk people. Then, in the next one, he does a parody of, “Oh, I love you, I love you, I love you.” And I always wanted to make something as dramatic as that, but when you see that show, that’s when you start to understand.
Was there anything you were thinking about a script that was on the cutting-room floor or one of your scripts that was in development but wasn’t getting made?
I was always thinking about the movie that I made with Robert Downey Jr. and Steve Buscemi. It was a movie that ended up not being made — it was called “The Last Picture Show,” it was called “The Last Picture Show,” it had a great cast, it was very funny; it was very smart, and if that went to the big screen, it would have been really funny. And then I was thinking about the movie that I wrote with Steve Buscemi and James Earl Jones where I was playing a movie director named Steve Culp.
And, at the same time, I was thinking, “What’s the best thing to name our band or our record?” And then, “The last Picture Show” came up. This thing that it’s so hard to do as a TV series is the big Hollywood studio movie: “The Last Picture Show” on CBS, that was a bad movie. And then I started thinking, “What’s the best thing to name our band and our record? What comes up? Do we have something that we want to say in “The Last Picture Show”?
How difficult or gratifying is having a book that inspires the same kind of conversations as a film