"Bombing is part of the process of putting a good act together. You have to embrace it. You'll be in pain. You'll feel terrible. I've seen comedians crying after it… but bombing gives you the opportunity of knowing what doesn't work, and then starting new jokes. It's essential that a comedian bombs. Just stay with it, learn from it, and keep doing it. Get back on the horse -- there's a reason for that old cliché."
About This Interview
In his nearly two-hour Archive interview, George Shapiro discusses his early years growing up in the Bronx, where he met his longtime business partner, Howard West, and describes working his way up from mailroom attendant to packaging executive at the William Morris Agency. He talks about his work with The Steve Allen Show and That Girl and details his decision to leave William Morris to form his own management company, Shapiro/West. He speaks at length on working with client Andy Kaufman, on negotiating Kaufman's intricate deal with Taxi and on Kaufman's premature death. Shapiro also comments on client Jerry Seinfeld, explains how Seinfeld got on the air and concludes with thoughts on the art of management and his philosophy on comedy. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview in a joint venture with the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College on February 12, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA.