I don't know if there is a gene for comedy but my dad was a very funny man. He just didn't know it. He was a naturally funny character and when my brother and I would laugh at things he said and did he would say 'What do you think is so funny?'
I don't deal with death very well. My brother John Candy my dad my mom Brandon Tartikoff just a couple of weeks ago. I mean you lose a lot of people in your life and that's one thing I am constantly working on - pain management.
My life isn't that dramatic. My dad really loves me he just can't talk on the phone. He's too crippled and shy and that's almost harder. He's there and he loves me and I try and try and try it's just impossible to have a relationship.
When my dad was badly weakened by the flu and my mom wanted to call an ambulance to take him to the emergency room he wouldn't go unless he could shave first and change into a nice shirt and a pair of slacks.
I wasn't aware of my dad being an actor when I was young. I remember there was an Australian children's entertainer on television called Ralph Harris and when I'd say my father was an actor kids would say you know 'oh is he Ralph Harris?' And I had to say no and then they would lose interest.
My parents loved each other. I was raised in a house of total love and respect. My dad worked very hard and my mother was incredibly devoted to him. I can unequivocally without any peradventure of doubt tell you that I was raised with the kind of love that we only dream of.
I was really bright as a kid and tested well and it was clear that I was going to get scholarships to any schools I wanted. My dad always said I could be an engineer at that time it was the elite of society: steady job working in science which was then the answer to every problem we had. It was kind of a mandate. Kind of a dream he had for me.
The best advice my dad ever gave me is that acting is believing. Acting is not acting. It isn't putting on a face and dancing around in a mask. It's believing that you are that character and playing him as if it were a normal day in the life of that character.
We came from a family where we ran our own small business. Our dad made his own products. We made our own sausages our own meatloafs our own pickles. Dad had to do everything himself. He had to figure out how to finance his business.
Dad was a chemistry professor at Saint Olaf College in Minnesota then Oxford College in Minnesota and a very active member of the American Chemical Society education committee where he sat on the committee with Linus Pauling who had authored a very phenomenally important textbook of chemistry.