WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE YOUR SHOW, “THE B.S. OF A. WITH BRIAN SACK” WAS CANCELED?
Technically, it was never canceled! The network was afraid it would look bad if they actually came out and canceled the show, so they just disappeared it! They said that it was going to vanish and that I wasn’t allowed to say anything. Lucky for me, they were not super good at business so they had just renewed my contract for two years and had to continue paying me.
So, the question should be “What have you been doing since the network renewed your contract and then subsequently vanished your show because they suddenly realized they were hemorrhaging money?”
Well, after the crying stopped, I wrote the Young Adult novel that my agent had been telling me for years that I should write. A friend and I created a property development company and built a very pretty house to sell in Long Island. And I got mixed up in a start-up that introduced me to the world of Mass Tort. I’ve learned a lot about Mass Tort. I spent a lot of time with trial lawyers, which is something I never thought I would do.
I have also been omnipresent in my children’s lives. And my wife’s. I’m all over them. I witness everything they do. They fight it, and issue restraining orders, but I just keep showing up.
WHAT IS IT THAT’S APPEALING ABOUT HAVING A PODCAST?
Autonomy. People always want to mess with your work. When I was in advertising, some schmuck in the hierarchy would always want to mess with whatever you were doing. So many commercials ruined by committee! With the TV show, we had total autonomy — largely because the guy the network paid to keep tabs on us didn’t show up a lot. That was fantastic, but probably one of the reasons the network ran out of money.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH ON “QUESTIONABLE MATERIAL”?
I’m hoping that in 3-12 years someone with a lot of time on their hands will take umbrage with something we said and create an angry social media mob that swears at us on Twitter. That’s how it works.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE WHO WAS ON THE FENCE ABOUT SUBSCRIBING TO QM?
I don’t want to pressure you, but I do know someone who didn’t subscribe and two days later their grandpa died. Will that happen to you? Not necessarily, although it certainly seems plausible. And maybe it’s not your grandpa. Maybe it’s your cat. But really, if you’re on the fence about clicking a button for something that is free and might possibly be entertaining — I’m not sure what I can do.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE THIS PODCAST TAKES YOU PROFESSIONALLY?
Having once experienced the joy of being paid handsomely to create comedy with people who I really enjoyed being around — that’s kind of heroin-y. I’d even forgo the “handsomely” part and accept “decently.”
I am well aware that creating stuff and putting it out there can yield unexpected results. The weblog Banterist that I started on a whim back in 2004 ultimately resulted in newspaper and magazine gigs, a book deal, and television gigs. I can only presume that a podcast will result in me hosting the Oscars or doing ads for chewable Viagra.
WHAT IS YOUR CO-HOST, JACK HELMUTH, LIKE?
I’d say he’s beneath contempt, but he’s actually right on the level of contempt. Really a detestable human. Everything about him makes me angry. Having to sit in such close proximity to him is incredibly difficult. The sounds he makes. The way he looks at you. The odors. It’s unbearable. But, I’m willing to do it to have a podcast, especially if the success of the podcast means I have to work with him on a regular basis. It’s weird how the human brain works.