Don't you understand how dramatic it is to be a comic? To be a fool, to get people to laugh at this show-off? Milton Berle could take Laurence Olivier and stick him under the table if he wanted to. And so could I.
I think in my case, I had no choice but to have a good sense of humor. I grew up with my dad, Danny Thomas, and George Burns and Bob Hope and Milton Berle and Sid Caesar and all those guys were at our house all the time and telling jokes and making each other laugh.
I've been able to dine with presidents, with leaders of corporations, traveled for 14 years with (financier and philanthropist) Michael Milken, who has taught me so much about life. Hanging around with them, it's nothing I could have believed in grade school. I could be with all of them? Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Dean Martin ... this former third-string pitcher from the Norristown High baseball team and the son of an Italian immigrant? I really am in awe when I think that has happened to me. What a life.
I'd seen all the great entertainers by the time I was 14 or 15. My mother was artistic. My father was a bookmaker, so he had access to all those nightclubs, and he was smitten by certain artists, and we would go see them. We'd see comics like Sid Caesar and Milton Berle - those kind of artists - many of whom I worked with later in my life.