On Monday, October 11th, 2021, The great Henry Phillips popped in to delight Minddog and his listeners with talk about music, filmmaking, acting, and story telling in general.
And welcome my friends to yet another episode of the mind dog TV podcast. I’m Matt nappo Thanks for coming. It’s great to have you here as always got the great Henry folks with me tonight. I’m gonna bring him in just one minute just before I bring him in No, I just because I Henry has a habit of getting misconstrued in the press and stuff like that. So I want to bear all the responsibility for these comments, and no weight on Henry at all. For the racist and homophobic things I’m about to say. Really not just the happy indigenous peoples day, if you still call it Columbus Day, good for you. But it’s also Coming Out Day. And it just occurs to me. I mean, first of all, there’s no indigenous people want to call people who got here before the white Europeans that’s more accurate. So it’s happy people got here before the white Europeans day, Columbus was not Italian. So my Italian friends who just feel like they’ve been cheated out of a day to celebrate Italian heritage, Italian, whatever it is ancestry. Columbus was an Italian and he sailed for Spain. So get over that. The other part is National Coming Out there, which I’m all for. Everybody’s got a day, but 365 days in a year. We shouldn’t be competing over days. I mean, there has to be another day pick tomorrow. Pick yesterday, yesterday wasn’t a day that I knew about anyway. So we’re just causing a lot of conflict and a lot of unnecessary bs going around about whose day it is and all that stuff, but happy whatever day it is Monday night, and I got Henry Philips you know, Henry Philips, if you don’t know I almost want to tell you You shouldn’t be listening or watching this live stream shouldn’t be listening to my podcast, if you don’t know who Henry Henry Philips was born to be a rock star. But I think and we’ll find out about this but I think his humility and his sense of humor are what caused him to change his life cost and direction and career choice slightly ever so slightly. He is a rock star of sorts, but he is a singer, songwriter. troubadour extraordinaire, filmmaker, writer actor probably a bunch of other things I want to say chef but I don’t want to say let’s just say he’s a cooking show hosts and leave it at that Ladies and gentlemen, please open your ears open your minds and help me welcome in the fabulous Henry folks in mind on TV pockets Henry welcome.
Henry Phillips 4:21
Hey, thanks for having me.
matt nappo 4:23
It’s my pleasure to have you now as I mentioned I think you were born to be a rock star you got a great voice I know you probably you’re very humble about that and might argue with me about that but I think you had a great voice great ear for melody and good player and it seems like you were born to be a rock star. Do you agree with that at all?
Henry Phillips 4:44
Thanks. I was gonna say I your your intro and not everybody. I can’t say this about everybody but your intro was really pretty accurate. I was just like, yeah, you know, the sense of humor and everything sort of took me away from that and the humility of course, because being a
rock star is all about flamboyance and you know, muscle on your way in front of the crowd and standing out. And I’ve always been pretty bad at those things. So that that might be why I sort of ended up doing what I’m doing. But uh, but I appreciate that. Yeah, music is a huge first love for me. And I can tell you’re into it, too, with all those guitars in the back. And
I yeah, I’ll never stop doing it. So anything that I do, I always try to figure out how I can get the music in there. But right, but the rock star thing didn’t pan out for me.
matt nappo 5:31
Well, let’s talk. Yeah, and rock star is overrated and a lot of ways and I think you are a rock star of sorts in your own world right now I don’t I think you’ve got the market cornered on what you do, because there are a lot of guys who go out there with a guitar in a comedy club. But as you kind of alluded to in one of the, the films I’m not, I look at them as like one film right now like the Godfather saga. Yeah, Henry saga. But you kind of alluded to the fact that there are a lot of guys, and without naming any names or bashing anybody. There are a lot of guys out there with guitars. But more a lot of them are doing parody and stuff like this and not doing necessarily what you do. So I think you are a rock star in creating a whole new comedy genre, musical genre. So congratulations.
Henry Phillips 6:21
Thanks. Well, yeah, I mean, it’s been, I guess, gosh, we’re going into the third decade now. You know, I mean, I think it was probably like 92 are something that I was hanging out with all musicians and I would crack my buddies and my bandmates up by just playing the guitar and kind of doing sort of a foe love song or something. But I’d read newspaper headlines or, or I would just sort of throw in a line in there about, you know, that you would never hear in a soft ballot or something like that. And then, yeah, my friend started saying, you really got to go up there and do this at open mic nights around town. And I never would have done it if it weren’t for friends of mine pushing me to do it.
matt nappo 7:05
You know, you mentioned going through the headlines and stuff and one thing I’m noticing about you is I don’t not sure if you’re reading lyrics or something, it seems to me, you make it as hard as possible on yourself. And Bob Dylan wise, with so many words to remember, I mean, I want to learn one of your songs. I couldn’t do it I don’t think I can do without relying on the lyrics or a teleprompter for year is I know you make it rough on yourself. I think how do you remember all
Henry Phillips 7:35
your right and I’m and I’m lazy about it too. Because like once I’ve got it in my brain, and like I have a couple of songs that are like ripped from today’s headlines and, and I’ll memorize them and then in order to do in order to update it, like it should be updated. I have to memorize it again. And I can’t do it sometimes. So I wound up doing the old version of fitness starts sounding dated. But yeah, it’s not easy. I mean, it’s just like anything else you have to just put in the time you know, if you say something to yourself over and over again for an hour straight while you’re staring at the wall. You probably can eventually bang it into your head but it nobody wants to do that. I don’t want to do it. But um, but you’re right. I have a there’s YouTube clips of me on the radio, doing songs and just screwing up halfway through and I’ll look at it and I’ll cringe I’ll be like, Oh, come on. Why didn’t you just learn the lyrics before he got on the radio? Wow,
matt nappo 8:30
I haven’t seen any. I mean, I’ve seen so much of your work. Unless I just it goes by me and because
Henry Phillips 8:36
I try to make a joke out of it. I’m like, you know, yeah, like as if that’s part of the joke or suddenly you know, but yeah,
matt nappo 8:45
yeah. And it seems to me that you know, the beauty of it is you’re listening to all the words so if you add live or impromptu or change a line here and there, there’s no way I because you have so many words in the song. There’s no way I’m gonna call you on it. Anyway. There
Henry Phillips 9:00
you go. Yeah. Well, a lot of times when in the middle of the live show, I’ll just sort of improv something a little bit more updated or whatever. And, and also because of the fact that it’s comedy, it doesn’t have to follow the exact meter. In fact, sometimes it’s funnier if it doesn’t, and it doesn’t rhyme. It catches people by surprise. So yeah, you can be a little loose that way, you know?
matt nappo 9:23
Yeah. Christopher doesn’t naturally Yeah, there you go. Yeah, yeah, some of those some of this stuff is really the melody though. Makes me think that at some level there there is a composer in you that wants or needs I should say, a classic rock hit song because, again, I’m not to blow smoke up your ass. But I think melody writing and the melodies you pick out are very unique, very radio friendly, at least for my generation. My job. That’s
Henry Phillips 9:59
that’s really cool to hear that you’re absolutely right. I’ve always tried really hard that the song that you just referenced to that turned out to be the duet that I do with my friend Julia lillas which is a completely ridiculous song with all kinds of sex references and stuff but the melody on that one, I was listening to a lot of that Brian Wilson stuff right after Good Vibrations, you know, when he started taking his downfall and started running some of the most beautiful melodies, like Surf’s up and a bunch of other ones and, and I was influenced by that and i and i actually that that melody was part of a song that I was writing for a friend of mine who’s whose mom had just died. And I I didn’t have a career. I didn’t have a career as a songwriter I couldn’t there’s it really honestly would have fallen completely on deaf ears for me to finish that song as nice as it might have been. But I wasn’t a recording artist, if nobody would have ever heard it. But I did have this comedy thing going so I when Julia and I came up with the idea for that duet, I started going back to other melodies and going oh, I never used this one for anything. But if that just for people that are interested on YouTube, you just put duet with Henry Phillips and Julia lillas. And it’s in it’s in you it’s on YouTube. And it’s the the melody is a very sincere and I’m actually very proud of it, but no, but I appreciate that you notice it because a lot of people don’t even think about it. They just hear the jokes. But yeah,
matt nappo 11:37
a lot of them a lot of you songs, you have great melodies. And again, I’m really impressed by your voice when you’re doing and I’ve seen some clips where you weren’t necessarily trying to be funny, but you were just singing from the heart and noticing your voice technique and it’s like wow, well you got to really, again not blowing smoke up your eyes. This is a genuine sincere compliment. Really a really good voice for pop rock. You know folk music, all that kind of stuff. What, cuz I have to ask what you’re and it’s a cliche that I hate asking any musician but your influences seem to be all over the place. And I will say that because I’ve never seen anybody go from F 13 chord into a B major ever in my life until I saw you do it. I’m like, wow, that’s some heavy jazz influence, right? Oh yeah. Why would you listen to where’d you get that stuff on? Yeah,
Henry Phillips 12:34
13th is great. Okay, so I used to be partnered up with a buddy of mine who would sing and I’d play guitar and we’d be on the patio at restaurants and we’d make like 100 bucks each and we would go through the whole catalogue of you know we would do Eagles songs and you know Billy Joe or whatever, but it was guitar and vocal but every time every now and then he would throw a song at me that he wanted to do but it wasn’t a guitar song like like a perfect example is just the way you are but Billy Joel and I was looking at the course and I was already a semi accomplished guitar player at this point. This is this is in the 90s and I looked at the chords I was like these are not Guitar Chords you know it was like the first one is de that’s fine and then it’s B minor six and then it’s G major seventh go into a G minor six we’ve added 13 I think and or added nine or something but I was just like whoa let’s happen in here but but I went ahead and took the challenge and I was like and I want to tell any any guitar players out there, take that particular piece of music and learn those chords and it’ll really expand your vocabulary, your chord vocabulary and and other ones to bridge over troubled water. If you watch Paul’s Paul Simon who is a guitar player, his chords are fantastic. I mean really, really good. Especially like his solo stuff. I was really inspired by the movie one trick pony. When we made our punch in the clown movie which the director of our movie Greg v ns turned me on to that movie and I was like wow, but But yeah, so his songwriting so I love when, when songs are on the guitar, but they do piano chords. So those are a couple of influences. Still on the pop genre, but also Tom Waits I’m big on who’s always of course a big piano player. He has he has a song called invitation of the blues that I learned that one on the guitar and that’s got some beautiful chords in it. And yeah, just all those singer songwriter guys, but I love a good good top three chord guitar song, but I also like when they start getting a little more experimental with the court. You know what another good one is you just got me on something that I’d love to talk about too, by the way, but the song by the beegees How deep is your love? Oh
matt nappo 15:02
yeah, great song on Guitar Man. Boy, yeah,
Henry Phillips 15:06
that was one that we did too. And I was just like, Whoa, I think the whole thing is like in key of E flat. But it’s all, you know, going from the minor to the major. And yeah, that’s a great one too.
matt nappo 15:19
I took that song apart years ago for a kind of like workshop to kind of say, how do you write this song? Because you don’t start out with those chords and try to put a melody to it? I think you’d be and I don’t know this for a fact. But I think the beegees kind of start out with singing the song and then figure out what are the chords that will make that really, that melody really jump out. But that that song in particular got me going like, wow, how do you how do you write a song?
Henry Phillips 15:48
I know. Yeah, I know, I think it’s the way that you just said, yeah, that’s the way that I’ve always done it. Like, the melody kind of comes first. And then you try to figure out which chords fit and you try to be as, as interesting as you can, without messing up the integrity of it, you know, but, uh, yeah, and then, but with me, it was an extra step, because I would think of a funny stand up idea. You know, I’d be like, Okay, well, what about a song about a, you know, a, you know, all the people that have, you know, made contributions to Western civilization, you know, you know, Da Vinci and you know, all of the Western philosophers and all these people. What about a song that talks about how great they were, but also what freaks that they were, because they all had these weird sexual fetishes and all that stuff. So then that’s like the stand up kind of idea, the comedy idea, and then it turned into Alright, so what’s the melody that I’m going to use and then I would just file through all these ideas that I had for melodies that I probably written just completely in earnest, that were supposed to be regular songs. And then I’d pick one and then I would just so so that way, at least the music still has a chance like if you didn’t speak English, and you heard it, you’d probably just think this is a regular folk song or something, you know, and that and that’s my favorite kind, you know, where you can’t tell because nobody’s really putting on a funny voice or making a funny music. You’re just just taking the idea and putting against a song that sounds legit.
matt nappo 17:26
Sometimes it’s sincerity with which you deliver it makes it all that more funny. Like he’s saying something that’s ridiculous. But you, you have this very serious and sincere tone in your voice and look on your face. Like you’re delivering a rock anthem, but you’re saying something like, crafting a great, you know, format, which is standing on the shoulders of the freaks. The song you just mentioned, it’s hard to explain. You know, when you go to see a comic, you can come back and say, Man, I saw this great comic last night, and he told some jokes. And here’s basically some of them. Yours. I mean, if I go to explain standing on the shoulders of freaks to my wife, she just looked at me like, what the hell? What the hell are you talking about? That’s funny. Well, I got to see him do it. Yeah.
Henry Phillips 18:17
Yeah, it’s not really a very easily repeatable thing. Yeah. But um, well, you know, I think one of the things that I was inspired by Well, a lot of the stuff that was going on on SNL when I was a kid was just mind blowingly funny, mostly those sketches that would happen in the last half hour that I don’t even think you can find them online anymore. It’s weird, but But remember, you obviously remember deep thoughts, you know, on SNL. So that was that kind of thing, right? Where he was saying it in that really, you know, small t sort of a poetic kind of a way, you know, touchy feely sort of new agey and they had the music and the presentation and everything and then all the more reason for the punchline of the jokes to just kind of blindside you you know, and it’s that presentation that I really liked a lot, right?
matt nappo 19:08
A couple of things they just want to ask you for my personal understanding of value because I’m a I’m a huge fan but I need to and this is for me, not for the audience. A couple of things I noticed is that this the old son pick, I know Yeah, play with that but you’re not doing what I call Travis picking it you’re using it in a very rock and roll kind of wait. Okay.
Henry Phillips 19:33
Wait should correct me so Travis is the one where you’re doing it like this? Is that right? Or
matt nappo 19:37
you’re doing the alternate baselines and doing and you’re locking your hand and be able to play the melody and the baseline at the same time time? Yeah, time your manual those drums, bass and get the end there. Oh, wow. Yeah, yeah.
Henry Phillips 19:49
No, I, you know, I, what I do is I’ll do I’ll use my thumb. Okay, if it’s a G chord, for example, We’ll just a standard G I’ll do a thumb to hit that lowest note and then with these three fingers I’ll just grab the the other, you know, three of those chords or strings whichever ones that they are. And so it’s more of a you know, your own it’s a little like a drummer, you know, bass snare bass boom, didn’t you know, something like that. But I’m also singing at the same time, but I will say that I was doing that naturally anyway. And then I had a one of the first guys that I met when I was doing like coffee houses and stuff was a guy named Marty Canada who ended up being my manager. And probably the main thing that he did was increased my musicality because he was a guitar player and, and the first thing he told me to do is you got to use that thumb pick because when I was on stage, the bass notes were getting lost, right? And, and because there’s just obviously the way the guitar is, it’s your, your thumb would have to be working extra hard in order, but you know, so I started using that thumping, and everything sounded much more balanced. And that was great. But um, but yeah, I don’t, I don’t really I just tried to make sure that all the notes of the quarter in there, but I’m not, I’m not necessarily doing anything fancy that way. But I will say that I did some classical training too. So when I’m just doing solo guitar, like the probably the most difficult one I ever learned was the entertainer for the guitar, which was really difficult. I found some sheet music for it some somewhere but but yeah, I’ve only dabbled in that never really mastered
matt nappo 21:36
Chet, Chet Atkins swing doing the entertainer and he’s using his own picking. Oh, yeah. I’ve heard that traditional Travis picking and now Yeah, yeah, that’s unbelievable. That’s just good. And you know, I thank you for the audience for indulging me on that, because I’m just curious. Where some pics come in. A lot of people just adopt them naturally. For me, I think you’re right, though. bass notes. If you’re just using your thumb, and I’m, you know, especially if I’m playing electric. I’ll never use a thumb pick. Oh, yeah. playing acoustic bass notes just don’t come through if you’re just using the right go. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, we kind of we mentioned the films and kind of a casual conversation away. For people who don’t know punching the clown was the first movie, it was highly acclaimed. And then there was a follow up just a few years ago, I think, like five years ago now punching Henry. I see them all in one movie. But so in order in order to condense that whole long singer songwriter troubadour extraordinare, how about we just call you a storyteller? Because I think that’s what you are. And now I’m curious about your relationship with the director, I think, from if I have it correctly, you know him from undergraduate years in college, and you’ve kept a relationship all the time, and now putting films together?
Henry Phillips 23:00
Yeah, absolutely. The so so he and I met in college, I had pretty much given up on any dream of being a rock star. And I was out here in LA, which is basically my hometown, I spent some time in New Jersey, and which I think is one of the reasons our mutual friend, Tom Konopka and I, you know, got along really well, but so I, after jersey, we moved out to LA. And I went to UCLA, and I went through this whole like community college system, and eventually got to UCLA. And my one friend that I have is this guy that I’d sit next to all the time, we were political science majors. And we just chatted a lot. He was from France. I thought that was interesting. He thought it was fascinating that I was in the music and so we’d sort of share you know, stories about that. And then and then when we graduated, he went to film school because that was his dream is to become a filmmaker. And I’ve started going full on into the stand up comedy thing, just kind of backed into it. By my last year of college, I started doing these open mic nights, and having a lot of fun with it. It was sort of a hobby, and but I would tell Greg is my friend there and I would, we still kept up and I would tell him these stories, you know, I’d just be like, Oh, man, I played at this bar last night where the guy says that he’s gonna give me $4 for every person. And he gives me $14 at the end of the thing, and we had like, 40 people there, but I know he’s ripping me off, but I mean, at least rip me off with a number that makes sense. Like if he said 12, then that’d be like, Alright, well, according to his books, he counted three people, but 14 isn’t even divisible by four. So I don’t know how he could get, you know, so I would tell him stuff like this. And he was like, man, we got it. We got to make a movie of this. I don’t know how we’re going to do it. But that’s so his final project at UCLA I’m sorry at Syracuse University is where he went after graduate school or undergrad. He, he made a little short film that was made there was basically a precursor to our punching the clown movies and that available to see and yeah, there’s some of it on YouTube if you if you put punching the clown portrait because it was called a portrait of Henry Phillips, you can see little bits of it, it’s on there somewhere not the whole thing, but we might eventually put it on there.
matt nappo 25:25
I’m sorry to interrupt you.
Henry Phillips 25:28
That’s all right. But anyway, so that that started our whole thing. And then ever since then we, we became writing partners. And we would just, you know, do outlines for feature film and dream of making a feature film that tied all these stories together. And then we started seeing things pop up, like Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was really similar to what we were kind of going for and the stuff that Ricky Jabez was doing. And so I think in 2007, we finally, technology got to a point where you could rent a camera that looked almost like film and, and Greg just showed up to my door one time, and he just he said, Man, let’s just make this movie, I don’t know, I’ll borrow money from family, I’ll use whatever my life savings is, but we’re just going to, because he’s like, I’ve got films, he became a film professor. And he’s like, I’ve got film students that can help us. And they’re making films by themselves. And I’m teaching it and it’s like, I never wanted to be a teacher, I wanted to be a filmmaker. So you know, let’s do this. And I was like, well, let’s do it. So we wrote out an outline and, and just eventually had a couple of false starts, but eventually landed a kid who was one of his film students to produce it. Meaning, you know, to make up all the calls to the, you know, the locations get sag on board, you know, and all the crew get the crew together. I mean, there’s a lot of work there that neither Gregor are interested in doing. And, and eventually, in 2008, the first couple months, to date, probably just about the most exciting. Three or four weeks of my life was the beginning of 2008 when we were actually making that film that we had been talking about for 12 years, or whatever it was, and it was fantastic. And and, and then a year later, we were done with the movie and showed it at a Theater in New York called quad cinemas and and then it got on Netflix. And before he knew it, it was I was literally like walking around the streets of New York and San Francisco and Houston, Texas. And every now and then not all the time. But sometimes somebody be like, Hey, I think I just saw a movie of yours on Netflix. And I was like, Wow, that’s so cool. Because it was on during that time where everybody started doing the streaming thing. So they didn’t have a ton of stuff. And people just kind of run would run out of stuff to watch and they just start browsing. Okay, punching the clown. Let’s see what this is all about. And so yeah, that’s that’s the story of that. And Greg and I still work together to this day. I mean, I just yesterday, we talked for a couple hours about a new screenplay that we’re trying to put together.
matt nappo 28:15
Oh, Tao, please tell me it’s a third. Henry. So sort
Henry Phillips 28:19
of, it’s a well, the idea was always that I, mice, all of my stories are still from that era when I started, which was the early 90s. So they’re just all they don’t really work in today’s world because of social media and cell phones. And there’s so many plots that you couldn’t really have any more so we thought, maybe it’s time to do a period piece. So it’d be like a prequel, like the early 90s. But you
matt nappo 28:46
can’t play yourself as a kid. I mean, you look young, but
Henry Phillips 28:51
yeah, be a kid has had some rough years. So yeah, so we’re changing a lot of who the main character is and whose perspective it’ll be from and everything like that, but but the stories were always to me the most important part of it, and those will all be in there because we we left a lot of stories untold from that era.
matt nappo 29:12
You know, I have to mention this. I don’t know if anybody has ever said this to you before, but you have a resemblance to a young or middle age now. Robert Redford, you could do okay. I think you could probably pull up the rug.
Henry Phillips 29:31
Yeah, maybe I can have him. Well, that’s,
matt nappo 29:35
that’s your movie. So I love them. And again, this is no smoke. I would rate them right up there with the top films and again, I look at them as one film now. It’s like the Godfather saga. banri Saga, but um, there’s a line in there, but you broke my heart. You really and I think it’s in punching Henry. Yeah, it is. Funny, I set you online. Your reaction to it got me but the line from funny guitar boy says I wouldn’t want to be. I wouldn’t want to be playing these rooms in my 40s and you just gave that like sigh and at that moment I said, imagine playing those rooms in the 60s because that’s my life. Oh yeah. Should I kill myself now? Or wait till the end of the movie? Tell me
Henry Phillips 30:25
behind you. I mean, at this point, I’m in my 50s so I’m not far
matt nappo 30:29
but you’re playing those types of rooms? Oh, yeah.
Henry Phillips 30:33
Well, I don’t know I’ve got the loony bin coming up in Wichita, Kansas next, a week and a half from now. Now I’m certainly not doing like you know, all glitzy theaters and stuff every now and then I’ll get I’ll get a gig that’s got a little more glamorous, but it’s like the smaller the town The better the? The treatment, I guess. Because Yeah, if I went to New York, I would be. Yeah, I’d be in a basically a shoe box.
matt nappo 31:00
To convince myself that, wait a minute, he’s right about fat, you know, funny, you’re tall boys, that I want to be nice to my 40s. But as I got into my 40s, that’s when I started enjoying playing those rooms. And if I look at it, honestly, right now, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t trade what the rooms I play in, which are those kinds of rooms and sometimes bigger rooms. But I wouldn’t trade that for the theater experience. I liked the intimacy, I liked getting to know the crowd. As long as they’re not too drunk and rowdy after I like getting to know the people that are coming to see me. Do you agree with that and feel like,
Henry Phillips 31:34
I do agree. And I want to make sure I’m not doing this laughable thing that I saw you to do. Like when their popularity started going down. I saw an article that it looked like they were trying to spin it and they’re saying, We’re gonna start going into more intimate venues now because we feel like we miss and it’s like, Oh, come on, you’re just not getting the crowds that he is. It’s a voluntary thing. It’s like, you know, we just sort of we’ve done that the arena thing. Now we wanted to go to the smaller venue. But so I’m not trying to say that it wouldn’t be great to just show up to some place and have 3000 people and then you’re on to the next town. That would be great. But, but you are absolutely right. And I think that most comedians that I know, I’d be really surprised if they didn’t agree, you know that they all started in comedy clubs. And comedy clubs are a lot of fun, you’re in the back of the room hanging out with the waitstaff. They’re all your friends for the week, and then, you know, 30 feet away from you, your buddies up on stage and says, There is bring up, you know, whoever it is, and then you go up. And you can see everybody’s faces, you can see them when they’re laughing. If they’re not laughing, you can work on that you can say, all right, well, what’s going on here? Well, you know, a theater you just see lights or just nothing. And that’s, that’s a lot more cold, you know, and But no, I love being in, in rooms, you know, clubs. Yeah. And I feel like the sensibilities better to there’s a I don’t know, well, I mean, I tried to do colleges for a little bit. And that was always really difficult in terms of the venue, it was either in the cafeteria, or even, like, if it’s in an auditorium or something, it’s just too wide and echoey, and the sound got lost or whatever. And, and I was, and I don’t think that the college students were grown up enough to start having a dark sense of humor, you know, and so I was like, most comfortable when I was like, between 30 and 40. And at a comedy club, and you could email everybody’s having a few drinks, maybe a couple people or divorced people started getting that kind of jaded. Sort of a little bit darker sense of humor, and I like that, you know, I would think it at theatres, I’m sure it’s great, but you don’t really have any, any gauge of what the personality of the audience is, you know, just some, some couple that’s never even been to a comedy show. But they figured that something that they saw on the newspaper that they’re going to be doing tonight, you know, but yeah, I really, really do like the comedy clubs,
matt nappo 34:12
especially doing the kind of work that you do. Sometimes the laughs aren’t, aren’t always like, especially in the beginning, like belly laughs they’re small laughs And if somebody is 1000 feet away, that small laugh isn’t gonna make it to the stage and you’re not getting any of that energy that you need. Oh, I
Henry Phillips 34:29
know. That’s very true. Now I kind of rely on having everybody pretty close together so that if one person laughs It sounds like they’re all kind of with me, you know? Yeah, there’s a some expression that I’ll probably butcher but it’s something like you know, if you have 10% of the audience that’s on your side, they can turn a whole show and your favorite you know, and it’s a lot harder to reach that 10% if you’ve got several 1000 people, but you know, in a room with 100 people in 10 people sure Yeah And yeah, no and and there’s some great comedy clubs around this country too.
matt nappo 35:06
Yeah. Another thing you allude to in the first film, I think it was Yeah, what’s the first film? I think you’re in a recording studio and this kind of struck me it’s a lot of your songs take a lot of bravery because you bravery might be the wrong word. I mean, nobody’s gonna kill you. But you’re taking your time to get to the funny part like a lot, especially with music stuff. And I know this for a fact when people want to, they want that laugh upfront and sometimes it takes a minute of listening to you sing to you get to the part that gets the first laugh. Yes, well, that takes some bravery and take some conditioning to get your get yourself able to deal with that and stay maintain your composure and say I know the laugh is coming to confidence and I know that they’re gonna get this eventually but I have to set them up properly. That that’s professional and it takes some getting used to tell tell me about how you got to that point because I would be nervous starting out that oh my god, I’m a minute into this. I haven’t gotten a laugh yet. I better get that pretty quick. get thrown out. There gonna flash the light. If we get off today. It’s whatever. How did you acquire patience and confidence?
Henry Phillips 36:18
Yeah, what you’re describing was the hardest part about what I what I did. And I so in the beginning, it was copy houses where people were expecting a real song. So it was like a minute and a half of this song. Everybody’s going okay. Alright, so he’s he’s upset about a breakup or whatever’s going on. And then all of a sudden, the lyrics would take a little bit of a turn, but still completely straight faced. And they’re like, Okay, well, now he’s talking about calling the police and, you know, and now this is starting to get out of hand and, and he’s losing control of his bodily functions in the middle of the living room, and just like, what the hell is this? And then and then and then everybody went, Oh, okay. It’s a joke. All right, I’m on board. And then they get on the mailing list and you develop a little bit of a following. But then I started doing comedy clubs in like 99 that was about about six years into trying to build this act that was based on exactly what you’re talking about that kind of Sucker Punch thing. And I’m telling you there were some rough ones, there were some really rough ones. And when I was the opening act, it was okay because there’s not as much pressure and and they would sort of go along with me. And then when they found out it was a joke, they’d be like, Oh, this is great. But then I started getting booked as the headliner because those middle middle act shows went really well. And that’s when I had some really really difficult ones I’d be I remember a string of them that I did up in Michigan was like in Grand Rapids Michigan and then clearly it should have been called the Henry Phillips sucks from one town to another tour because ever they’ve just we’re not getting it and the club owner in every case was standing in the back just go on I don’t think this is funny and then by the time I started getting to the funny parts, they had already checked out right? And that’s the fear so yeah, so I had a difficult time after several years of having this problem. I started I pretty much coward you know, chickened out. But but but in a way that I that I liked, I started because I at this point, I had a lot of jokes in between my songs that I would do some banner. And so I thought, Well, why don’t I just do all those at the top without the guitar? And so I started just doing stand up comedy. So if you were to get at the loony bin, or the funny bone, you went to see stand up comedy. So from the middle act, going into the headliner, okay, we’re still in that genre. Now the guy’s standing there, and he’s doing jokes. So I would do that. And I’d say, Hey, does anybody want to hear music? And then they already knew I’m joking, right? So it was a much much easier situation but it took me years and also, I can’t tell you how much envy I had when I watched people like the Flight of the Conchords or Tenacious D or these guys that were really doing that that serious songwriting thing but they weren’t they didn’t have to do it at the funny bone they were just they were sort of famous already. So they they were able to do that kind of thing that I was always you know, wishing that I could do but I couldn’t if I ever wanted to work at the comedy club again. It’s It’s ironic like you kind of have to be well known when you get messed around like that. Yeah, exactly. But but but I’m happy now I go up and I do. I do probably 15 minutes of stand up and I do you know, a lot of topical stuff and, and then I’ll just jump right into the songs and I’m kind of liking the groove that it’s got now.
matt nappo 39:49
Even your stand up has that kind of sincerity within the delivery of a bed. That makes it very It’s a different kind of stand up than anybody else does. So, you know, I know I’m blowing a lot of smoke at you, buddy. stuff. Now again, I love the films but like with historical fiction and novels, I’m a sucker for wanting to know what’s real and what’s not real because obviously these films are semi autobiographical. Yeah, I want to know what’s real and what’s not. And what what I take away from being a musician for 45 years now I’m performing. I’ve never been heckled. I’ve tried stand up and didn’t even get heckled doing stand up I shot, but I didn’t get heckled. I don’t know what that experience is like. But since you broach the subject, I think three times in both in both movies combined, this idea of getting heckling, I have, I have to think that at some point, it’s in your psyche, just that the whole you know, being hurt or wounded by some of these assholes can show up and they don’t do it for acting. They don’t do it for music. comedy is the only place you’ll see assholes show up and want to ruin your show. Is any of that stuff that’s in the movie based on reality? And is there a woman?
Henry Phillips 41:13
Yeah, Oh, absolutely. No, because I’m a I’m an incredibly self conscious person. It’s a lot of people are just like the worst nightmare that they could ever imagine as being heckled as a comedian. It’s like I I’m an idiot who picked that to be a possibility in my career. It’s like, I can’t believe that I wound up in that situation. But yeah, absolutely. Oh man, I’ve had some terrible terrible ones. In the movie, we depicted a couple of them. You know, one of the in the first movie, we had one where there was just a miss booking, you know, I was supposed to be performing my comedy and then they said, Oh, yeah, we also booked and it’s always some event, you know, it’s like, we also booked I think in real life, there was one that was like, it was all a, you know, cancer survivors or something like that. And it’s like, not not that they couldn’t have a sense of humor, but they were a pretty serious bunch and, and dark humor was not going over? Well, I mean, dark humor is really one of those kind of things that you you’re sort of privileged to be able to, to make those types of jokes, and then you don’t really think about him too much. But I yeah, I felt really uncomfortable one time doing a show like that. And I was just like, what? When do I get to that point where everybody’s there? Because they want to see what I’m doing? Because I was there. But um, yeah, no, I also had one. I remember having one in MLA of all places where it was a sports bar, and the guy ran the bar was British. And he didn’t really know much about American sports, but he definitely wanted to sell beers. And he did a whole promotion where he bust all these kids from USC to come in and watch their team basically clinch the season. And, and then he didn’t want any space between the end of the game and then me going on right after that to perform and he was just, you know, serving them tons and tons of drinks the whole time. So they were pretty drunk. And the guy lines up overcompensating, and so the game’s not even over yet. And he goes, Okay, go go go on there. And I go, Well, I don’t think the game’s over yet. He goes, it’s alright. They already know who won’t just get up up there. Like he had some kind of OCD about, like, God forbid, there’s a couple minutes in between the game and you know, right. Yeah, and they couldn’t, because they were all bused in there anyway, and it was like it didn’t even give them a chance to go to the bathroom or go up and get another beer or whatever. So then I went up there and going back to what you were saying, I’m doing this, this kind of Sucker Punch thing. So all of a sudden, they went from watching their game and they’re drunk to now they got a folk singer on stage, just singing for a minute and a half of a song that sounded like it was at that time I was opening with this song sounded like a religious like a campfire, religious song, and about God’s creatures or whatever and, and they’re just like, what is going on here. And literally, people started throwing things at the stage. There was a band that was going to play later. So the drum set was set up and one guy threw a chair and it crashed into the drum set. And then that was then the band that was there started jumping in and the guy who was doing the sound became sort of a bouncer. And he started and it was just absolute chaos. So yeah, and so and then I got I got off the stage because I was afraid somebody was gonna throw something at me. Or kick my ass or whatever and, and then the guy didn’t even pay me the 100 bucks that I was supposed to get. Because I didn’t do the set and I’m like, what you gave me an impossible situation here and
matt nappo 44:51
they have no sympathy for their mistakes. Oh, yeah,
Henry Phillips 44:54
it was awful. Yeah. But yeah, no, but in the movie, I would say overall Everything is at least based on a true story except in the you have to have an over reaching a plot, right? And so so in the second one, when you watch and the first movie, when you watch it from scene to scene, I can tell you the parallel real life story for just about everything in that movie. Except there’s this sort of telephone game thing where I say something off the cuff and eventually go That’s racist thing. Yeah, well, I’ll tell you the true part of it. I went to a meeting with a manager out here in LA. And it wasn’t bagels, it was donuts. He had a bunch of doughnuts. And he’s like, he’s a real powerful guy. And he’s like, and refill up. So would you like one of these donuts? And I was like, Okay, I’m just eating a doughnut. And there’s kind of a low in the conversation. And eventually, I was like, these are good doughnuts. And he’s like, yeah, they are good, aren’t they? And I was like, yeah, so where are they from? And he’s like, I don’t know. And then he gets, you know, on the speakerphone or whatever. And he’s like, Hi, Lisa. Can we find out where we got the doughnuts? Henry Phillips is here and he’s he’s a you know, an up and coming new comedian. He wants to know, and then, of course, the Secretary was like, I don’t know where we got the frickin doughnuts, but she’s trying to figure it out. And then she calls back and she’s like, hey, Dave got the doughnuts. And he’s I can’t get on the phone with him. Right now. He’s on a run, I guess be in just like before everybody was all hooked up with their cell phones and stuff. And so then he gets on the phone. He picks it up and he goes, Henry, I’m sorry. And he’s like, why is this a problem? Why is this a problem? I asked you where the doughnuts are? It’s the easiest question in the world. You can’t tell me I’ve got Henry Phillips here. I’m trying to you know i mean he he’s I don’t know what he said he is up and coming comic. You know, he’s, he want the guy wants to know where the doughnuts are? Find out. He hangs up and I’m just sitting here going, Oh, this is mortifying, you know, yeah. To hear
matt nappo 47:07
and the girl thinks you’re a dick. No, absolutely.
Henry Phillips 47:11
She thinks that I’m some asshole. Like, I’m a 28 year old guy. And I’m just some guy going, I want to know where the damn doughnuts are. So anyway, so that was the end of the real story. And then and then we started thinking, Well, what could have How funny would it be if if it turned into some kind of telephone game thing? You know, we made it bagels, because that way it’s like, oh, maybe he’s being anti semitic or something like that. And, and, and that was the big thing at that time, right? Like when it Cramer from Seinfeld is on on his show. And he went viral for his rant and then,
matt nappo 47:49
but he actually said so.
Henry Phillips 47:52
But the thing is, how funny would it be if there was a guy who got blamed for all that stuff, but never even did anything like that? I mean, that’s the worst punishment Yeah, that you could get so. So that’s pretty much where that that idea came from.
matt nappo 48:05
I live that there was a period of time back 2020 years ago. So we were playing at a very popular spot all the time. And there was a bouncer in a club who happened to be black. And White was getting into some altercation with some regulars who happened to be white. And a lot of white people started to gang up on the guy and I went to defend him. Now it was a hells Angel guy who started throwing the N word around a lot. And they chased this guy into the back alley to kill him. And I went back to protect them. And somehow it got around that I was one of the guys chasing him. I was one of the guys yelling the N word. And I had to kind of leave the band for a couple of years and leave that town basically known as the racist guy took a couple of years of me to kind of clear up my reputations in I was there to protect
Henry Phillips 49:01
no good deed. Yeah, so
matt nappo 49:03
I relate to a watch your movies. Oh, yeah. Oh, man. Oh, wait. Oh, yeah. It’s like the story of my life.
Henry Phillips 49:12
Yeah, well, it’s funny that you bring that up, too. Because remember, I mentioned that guy, Marty categor, who is my first manager, the guy taught me about the thumb pics. He was telling me, we were talking about the movie Spinal Tap, which I could not get enough of, I must have seen it. 50 times I had the whole thing memorized and everything like that. And he loved it too, because he loves humor. But he was telling me he goes a lot of guys. I guess. He was probably about 20 years older than I am. And he said a lot of the guys that I knew didn’t like the movie. Because they didn’t think think it was funny at all. They just thought, Man this is bringing up bad memories. I remember when we had the show, you know we had the record company. The record store signing and nobody showed up and everybody’s yelling at each other. I mean, these were all real stories that were hilarious to me, but a lot of people live through them. And, and I and I’ve had a little bit of that with, with my movies, too, because I, I’ve had people say that they’re depressing. Yeah. And it’s like, real life,
matt nappo 50:23
don’t do one or two lines that you kind of take. Wow, well, yeah, that that’s a real moment. But all comedy I think has to have that, that. It has to be comfortable. At some point, that little bit of uncomfortableness will make the punch line all that more funny when you get to that point. And it’s it’s an important thing to kind of take that uncomfortable moment in and really absorb it and say, what does it mean to me?
Henry Phillips 50:51
I agree. There’s the movie, the movie King of Comedy is a good example. Have you seen that and a lot of people wouldn’t even classify it as a comedy to me, I’m laughing my ass off. But I’m like, there’s one part of that movie where every time it used to be on on TV, I had to change the channel. Like I couldn’t be in the room while that scene is going on when. When he invites when he invites a date over to Jerry lewis’s house. And Jerry loses coming they have that dramatic irony of his show. And I’m like, this is just too much man. I gotta change the channel. It’s like it’s so incredibly uncomfortable, but at the same time, it’s so awesome that it makes you feel that way.
matt nappo 51:34
douche chills. That’s what I call it. Exactly. Yeah. Um, so yeah, the movies are great. And we got some comments in the in the chat room about the Densmore incident. I just discovered that in the last week.
Henry Phillips 51:50
Oh, the Densmore house in Kansas. Yeah,
matt nappo 51:54
I didn’t I didn’t even know that that video existed and then I found that the battle a week ago, and I’m trying to explain it to my wife, I of course, I do a very poor, but that that had me actually, like, laughing out loud at a computer screen, which doesn’t happen too often. Was that a real incident? Was that bass? Yes,
Henry Phillips 52:15
that was absolutely real. I mean, I played it up a little bit with the music and tried to make it like like one of those drama things, you know, but uh, but yeah, no, that absolutely I was born out of my mind driving all the way back to LA from I think it was Iowa and just Kansas, I think is about six hours from one side of the state to the other. And just you’re hoping a tornado is going to happen just so that you can see something. And I kept on seeing a sign saying, you know, Densmore house, you know, check this out. And so I just thought, well, I’ll do anything at this point, I had to go to the bathroom anyway. And so I went, and there’s this house that was built by a civil war veteran, and they were doing tours, and they had a lot of old people getting off the buses and to take this tour. And I was like, What the hell, you know, I’ll take the tour, and I paid like the 10 bucks or whatever. And I go in, and it’s pretty amazing. There’s a house where everybody, everybody was marveling at the fact that the guy built this thing by hand, and there’s a lot of incredible design stuff. And there’s engineers that couldn’t replicate the things that he did with his house, you know, typical museum type stuff. But at one point, somebody started noticing that it smelled like dogshit. And, and I smelled it too. And I’m just like, what is this and we’re like, up in one of the bedrooms or something like that. And the tour guide is like, yeah, I smell that does you guys, do you want to check your shoes or whatever, and I pick up one of my shoes, and it’s just completely just matted down with dogshit. Yeah, and I looked everywhere. And I had been tracking footsteps of dogshit throughout this whole house. And all these old people are like, ah, Tim grows, what are you doing? And I felt like such an asshole. You know, I just felt like such an outcast. And they were like, okay, let’s all go out in the backyard. Do sir if you don’t mind taking your shoes off or whatever. And so but and that’s another one where the story basically ended there. But of course, my mind is thinking Am I gonna have to pay some kind of cleaning costs? And how much is that going to cost? You know, I don’t know what kind of wood that they’re using. You know, I mean, they’re taking all these precautions to preserve everything and But yeah, I pretty much ended there. But But yeah, so the whole the whole video is, yeah, it’s on there. It’s
matt nappo 54:46
the question and bear with danger. The question it begs is has any of the people who were there taking the tour that day, seen that video and contacted you and saying, oh, you’re the head? Oh, yeah, no,
Henry Phillips 54:58
it happened. I’m guessing about maybe 10 years ago or even more. And
matt nappo 55:06
the internet being what it is, though somebody who is going to see it eventually
Henry Phillips 55:11
I kind of I kind of hope so. I mean, I would think it would come come up when people search YouTube for the Densmore house because other stuff, but no, I’ve never had anybody that noticed it, but I, hey, maybe I can help, you know, bring bring people to help make the place famous or something. That would be
matt nappo 55:32
beautiful. Check that out tonight, I think and I’m gonna encourage the audience playing search terms within Morehouse and Henry Phillips to kind of push that up in this surgery. Yeah.
Henry Phillips 55:45
algorithm. Yeah. But yeah, on YouTube, it’s called brush with danger. If anybody wants to look it up and right. It was gonna be I was gonna make it a series or something. But we never really did that.
matt nappo 55:56
I loved the treatment that you gave that because it does start and I thought, wow, is he part of one of these? You know, television shows that real life incidents and then to figure out it was a gag, but I love that treatment of it. Because it’s it’s so and you went very far out of your way to get all the lighting right in the hallway. Oh, yeah. the look and feel of that testimonial piece?
Henry Phillips 56:19
Yeah, well, I did that through. There’s a production company called all things comedy, which is run by a bunch of comics that they set up. The cinematographer did a great job. I don’t remember his name, but I’m sure it’s on there. But yeah, it was it was pretty fun.
matt nappo 56:33
Now, we are coming up on time, and I want to be respectful of your time. I’m grateful to have you here. And thank you to Tom Konopka for making this happen. Yeah, but I also want to talk quickly about the highway man and Henry’s kitchen if we can squeeze both of those in now. The highway man, funny stuff, very influenced by, I guess, late 70s 80s. network television shows, I guess, the most recent episode, I think, is the one I have in my way. Brendon Walsh is Yeah, photos and get the tattoo. Yeah, so there’s, yeah, tell me about the heart. There’s
Henry Phillips 57:12
there’s two there’s the ones that I put up on YouTube, which I’ll take some time and sort of tweak them and everything and just put them out randomly and those are publicly released. And you can see those on YouTube. Just to let people know that they’re on if you put Henry Phillips YouTube you’ll see all the stuff that we’re talking about here but um, so the highway man Yeah, there was a whole bunch of shows that was like Kung Fu, the Hulk you know, $6 million man Highway to Heaven. All these shows were just involved a drifter, you know? And so I thought, well, I want to be one of those guys, you know, but I want to be the 50 year old guy who’s like mysterious who just drifts from one town to another but my I don’t have a special talent. I’m not good at anything. In fact, I, I wind up making things worse in the town before I move to the next one, you know, and so it’s called the highway man. And, yeah, I’m just a guy and I’ve got a wig. And I’ve got like a jean jacket. And I’ll see mostly people stranded on the highway, and I’ll try to help them with their car, but it winds up being worse than it was before I got there. But yeah, the Brendan Brendan Walsh is great. And I’m working with a lot of my comic buddies on it, which is great. So yeah, there’s an episode where my buddy Brandon Walsh is in the like, at a high highway turn off, and he’s taking pictures with this camera. And then I’m witnessing a thug named a comic named Steve Gillespie, who’s just a guy who is, you know, mugger basically and he shows up to steal the camera and they wrestle with it. And eventually Steve gets branded on the ground starts kicking his ass and highway man is just sitting there in the bushes, watching the whole thing. And even writing down trying to make a drawing of the thing is if that’s going to help anything, and so once the coast is clear, and Steve takes off with Brendan’s camera, and then Brennan’s dusted himself off that’s when highway man comes out of the bushes and says Hey, man, I got I got the police sketch of the guy you know, you can give this to the police maybe they’ll be able to find it and Brennan’s like Who the hell’s this guy? So yeah, those are all on YouTube and, and, and Henry’s kitchen also. So about 10 years ago, I made a kitchen video out of my bachelor apartment, I was going through a breakup so it came off extra depressing. And I wrote music for it that was over the top depressing and and the second one that I did was called Henry’s chili for one and it went viral, it got over a million views. And so I was like, well, maybe I’ll turn this into a regular thing. And so I’ve been making them ever since for 10 years. And when the pandemic hit, I wasn’t going to be able to do a lot of the live stuff anymore, or any of it really and and I started kind of looking for a way that I can do more stuff out of home. And so, so I started these two web series, or I continued the Henry’s kitchen and the highway man. And they’re both the exclusive videos come out every month on Patreon. So there’s patreon.com slash Henry’s kitchen patreon.com slash highway, man. But that’s all in the videos. So if people like them, they can subscribe. And then I put them out every month and
matt nappo 1:00:24
every month. That’s pretty aggressive. I have to say, yeah, as a one man production company.
Henry Phillips 1:00:31
Yeah, I keep busy. And then, but but now I’m going back on the road, man. I’ve got a Wichita Kansas, Kansas week, a week and a half from now. And then I’m going to go to St. Louis, to open for a band called Ludo at the pageant theater for a few nights. And then I go to Wisconsin, Western Wisconsin and Wisconsin Rapids to do a couple of rural gigs there and, and then, and then Fresno after that, but I’m finally getting back out there and performing. And it feels good. I’m really happy to
matt nappo 1:01:03
be here for you. I have the link to your website. Yeah, going down there. It’s in the description. Also the links to the Patreon pages for the shows and all that kind of stuff. And I’m imagining I’m guessing the tour dates are on Henry Phelps. Yeah, yeah.
Henry Phillips 1:01:18
Well, it’s a good question, because I’m usually pretty bad about that stuff.
matt nappo 1:01:22
Most comedians aren’t. People in the music industry are cool. I mean, anytime I talk to entertainers on the show, I go to their website, and they say your website is totally outdated. And
Henry Phillips 1:01:36
it’s true. And I’m definitely one of those guys, because I never got to that point where I could get somebody to do it. Right. Most most of my comic friends eventually get to a point where they’ve got somebody who volunteers or somebody who gets a paycheck or whatever, to do all that stuff. But it’s for me, it’s me trying to figure out how to navigate the damn thing, you know, but it’s up to date now. So
matt nappo 1:01:57
yeah, well, I appreciate you being here. Now. I just have to note that you’re the second guest. on my show that has actually been interviewed by Larry King, I find that Yes. Wow. To me is that’s an impressive thing getting interviewed by Larry King, I’m guessing because there was no context to the one I saw. I’m guessing it came out right after punching the clown. That’s one
Henry Phillips 1:02:21
after the second movie. So the second movie punching Henry which by the way, both those movies are on Amazon, if anybody wants to see them, I think you have to pay a couple bucks. But But Amazon. But so punching Henry was done through a studio so that that had an actual budget where they hired a PR person to get me interviews. And Larry King wasn’t on on cable news anymore. But now he was doing it on the internet, and, but still just as cool. And so I was able to sit down with him and do a whole interview. And I think there’s two on YouTube. There’s the full interview. And there’s also like, just a quick q&a one,
matt nappo 1:03:02
right? Well, just and again, I’m trying to be as respectful of your time as possible. But there are a couple of questions I have to ask you about. Sure. First of all, he he seemed like he was reading off of something that is on your Wikipedia page. And that was included in the second one where you’re in the room with the record company executives and they’re talking badly about you they’re talking like a blockhead. Oh, yeah. His two best friends are despair and failure and all this kind of stuff, making you feel like a real loser. And I it says something like in your wiki page or Wikipedia page that Henry is known for playing a character who is a loser, and it’s like, Yeah, but you say I’m right here in the room, and then Larry, Larry King says something like you’re even a failure at that. People have no respect for this guy.
Henry Phillips 1:03:59
Yeah, a failure of being a failure. I don’t even remember that. The exact context of that, but uh, but yeah, so um, I all of the stuff that we talked about Kingdom comedy guy when I was a kid watching Garry Shandling do his stand up, you know, Rodney Dangerfield, these were all the people that I laughed at, you know who I guess their persona was losers, but I loved it. I Bob Newhart was another guy. Albert Brooks, you know,
matt nappo 1:04:30
I was gonna say your filmmaking and your approach to filmmaking and I didn’t want to kind of, because I didn’t know how you would feel about this because of your comparison. But I think when I look at your filmmaking and your approach to filmmaking, be Albert Brooks, influence to me jumped out at me that was the first Yeah, these films make me feel like you know, reminiscent of that kind of delivery, that kind of attitude.
Henry Phillips 1:04:55
Well, yeah, no, I appreciate that. Yeah. Modern Romance would be nice. Number one, you know and then yeah defending your life and loss in America. I mean, I love those movies. But yeah, those guys, I don’t know if I just saw all those people at a time where I was like, Oh, Okay, I get it there’s a world where it’s okay to be a loser and it’s actually encouraged you know, and it’s called comedy you know, and I love it you know, Chris Farley Will Ferrell you know all these guys you know, I mean that’s, that’s what it is, you know?
matt nappo 1:05:32
Right. And before I let you go together thing from the Larry King interview that came out he asked you at one point what would you What would you like to be more successful at I think it’s how we put it and your answer was I’d like to be a better kept actor. Now I think, again, not blowing smoke up your ass but I think you’re a great character actor. It just seems that most often you’re playing yourself as a character but I know you’ve done some other acting things. Anything like that in the horizon? Because I do I do think you have the ability if I read I know your father was a known as a character actor. any of that on the horizon for you other acting work? I’m not Henry.
Henry Phillips 1:06:13
I love the idea of it. But yeah, I guess what I was getting at there is my dad was a character actor. And yeah, that’s in the Wikipedia too. There’s a bigness to what a lot of character actors do that I love. Well, like Rip Torn would be a great examples, right? Like, you know, it’s like, that’s something that you know, if he asked me, What would be something that I wish that I could do that I can’t I’d say it’s that kind of grandiose, sort of character acting where you just command the whole room to you know, you just walk on there and everybody’s like, Oh, yeah, I mean that. That’s fantastic. I don’t feel like I’m that guy. I don’t necessarily aspire to be that right now. What I like I did I did several episodes of Silicon Valley, the show on HBO and I was pretty much I was playing a character for sure. But that character was a little bit of an offshoot of myself, you know, I was just kind of trained to be as dry and real as possible. And yeah, I’m all for doing parts like that. And you know, I’ll keep pursuing it. It’s not it’s not really a and a career that you get to choose whether you get to do it or somebody else has to put you in there stuff. But I
matt nappo 1:07:27
got suckered away. But yeah, yeah, it is fate. And it is a lot of luck and all that stuff that plays into it.
Henry Phillips 1:07:34
But we live in a time where we can make our own stuff which is really helping me out a lot.
matt nappo 1:07:39
I agree I visit that’s a double edged sword you know, and you know, this probably a conversation for another day because I do want to let it go because I you know, I’ve kept your over an hour now. But there, there is a point where all comergence like may say there’s no good music or anymore No good comedy around anymore. It’s just not true. It’s just you have to dig a little harder to find it because a lot of great artists aren’t getting the sweetheart promotional deals from record labels or movie studios. And they have to produce this stuff on their own. So you have to dig a little harder to find it, but it’s out there. So
Henry Phillips 1:08:13
it is out there and word of mouth is the best you know, and you just every time you talk to somebody who’s got similar tastes, just say, Hey, who are you listening to now? or What are you watching or whatever, and that’s the best way to do it.
matt nappo 1:08:26
Right? come to New York sometime soon.
Henry Phillips 1:08:28
Oh, absolutely. I’d love to. I’d love to. Well,
matt nappo 1:08:32
well hey, me. And Tom Kanaka says hello. He’s in the one of the chat rooms he says. Please have Henry back for round two. This was great. Bah bah bah, bah, bah, bah. Thank you, Tom. Thank you again, for hooking this up. Please stay in touch and do feel free to come back anytime you want. I appreciate this morning, you know, and I wish you great continued success and till next time Till we meet again. Be well. That sounds great. I appreciate it. Bye for now. Henry foe folks. Wow, what a great guy. What a great talent. One of the one of the most creative people in the world today. I say that you know, with no exaggeration, I mean, we’ve got a lot of things going on. I didn’t kind of chef, the chef stuff. Listen. The only reason I made that comment in the beginning about the chef stuff is I know a lot of serious chefs who struggle struggle they have YouTube shows and they struggled to get 1000 views and then this was kind of making a joke out of a cooking show getting millions of views. I know my chef friends are very hurt by that. But bad bad is a great stuff too and very entertaining Henry’s kitchen. I hope you’ll check out all the Henry stuff the movies, see the stand up the the music on iTunes and all that kind of stuff. Everywhere you find Henry in so many different creative endeavors. So that’s our show for today. Tomorrow, I have a musical group from LA to boo droz which is a cigar box foot stomp and rock and roll band. Anyway, I hope you will join me then 8pm tomorrow till then I’m Matt nappo for the mind dog TV podcast. Thanks for coming. Have a great night. Bye for now.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai