Jeff Garlin: “Try and Stop Me!”

STANDING: GEORGE SEGAL, JEFF GARLIN, WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY;   SEATED: SEAN GIAMBRONE, HAYLEY ORRANTIA, TROY GENTILEActor and comedian Jeff Garlin is best known for playing Larry David’s friend and manager Jeff Greene on the hit-and-critically-acclaimed HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”  He stopped by the SiriusXM studios this week to sit down with show host Ron Bennington, to talk about what’s going with his career this year.

And this year Garlin is busier than ever.  You might even say he’s unstoppable.  He’s in two hit tv shows, HBO’s “Curb” and now ABC’s “The Goldbergs.”  He just directed his second independent film, (“Dealing With Idiots”) produced a documentary (“Finding Vivian Maier”) and is acting in a new film “Laggys” coming out this fall.  Garlin’s also got his own podcast, and a new comedy special coming out this year (“There Are Many Ways to Enjoy Me”).   And he doesn’t wear pants at home (more on that later).

“I’ve always wondered with a roast… cause they’re so in-genuine…I’m going to go nuts.”

If all of that isn’t enough, Jeff Garlin is serving as Roastmaster this Thursday, January 30th at the Friars Club Roast of Boomer Esiason. And he’s doing it his way.  “I’m not writing anything.” he told Ron Bennington, host of SiriusXM’s Ron Bennington Interviews.  “I am not writing a thing.  All I’m doing to prepare is be familiar with the people.  That’s it.”   Even though he’s winging it, he told Bennington that there are two things he won’t be talking about. He says he has no plans to bring up the terrific charity work Boomer’s done raising money for his cystic fibrosis foundation (after all, it is a roast).  He also isn’t planning on bringing up Boomer’s Super Bowl loss.  Why?  He doesn’t give a crap.  What does matter to him is that he’s going to say exactly what he’s thinking.

I’ve always wondered with a roast… cause they’re so in-genuine, okay?  I’ve always wondered why hasn’t somebody just come out and said the real thing they’re thinking about the person?  And that’s what I’m going to do.   I’m going to say—you know some sideline reporter—I’m going to go, what are you even doing?  What purpose does that serve?  I’m going to go nuts actually.

Going nuts is what Garlin does best.  He’s a natural-born improviser, and hysterically funny.  All you have to add in to that is a touch of cockiness and you get Jeff Garlin.  Much to the annoyance of his publicist, he admits, “what I do demands some level of cockiness. It really does.   Because I always like to be humble but at a certain point I can’t be humble.  I have to have the belief in me.”  Garlin added,  “There’s too much punching of my face over the years for me to just go, ‘well I guess I don’t have it.’  No, it’s like, oh great, try and stop me.  And I actually have that attitude.  Try and stop me.”

It was that attitude that drove him — when he was just starting out — to do both stand up on his own, and work with the infamous improv group Second City in Chicago at the same time.  It just wasn’t done.   His stand-up friends couldn’t believe he could pull off doing both, and his peers at Second City weren’t what you would call supportive of his decision.  “I was quite beaten up quite a bit,” he admits.  “The second city actors were like, just go do stand up you can’t do both.  And the stand ups were like ‘how are you doing both?’  It was a totally different attitude.”

“Like I’m gonna wear pants and a belt? That’s crazy talk man. Crazy.”

But those days are long gone and now, after being a huge HBO hit on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” he’s in his second hit series.  If you haven’t been watching, Garlin is currently on ABC playing Murray Goldberg, a 1980s dad living with his family just outside of Philly.  As soon as he saw the script for the pilot he was interested in the part of the dad who reminded him of Archie Bunker. But as natural as he looks playing Murray, he says he’s nothing like his character — except for one thing.  He takes off his pants.  Just like his character, as soon as he gets home from work, the pants come off:

That is the only thing I can say that is exactly like me that the character does.  I don’t wear tighty whiteys, I wear boxer briefs or boxers, just to let everyone know, but when I come home those pants go right off.

A robe might come out when guests are around, but otherwise, it’s Boxer City.  “Like I’m gonna wear pants and a belt? That’s crazy talk man.  Crazy.”  He told Bennington that he loves being on The Goldbergs because it allows him to live a dream he’s had since he was starting out in the business.  “My dream,” he said, “once I figured the whole thing out, sometime in my late 20s was let me get on a network sitcom, and that way I can use that fame and that security of earning a good living to make indie films.”  And that’s exactly what he’s doing now.

You can hear this interview in its entirety exclusively on SiriusXM satellite radio. Keep track of all Jeff’s projects by following him on twitter @JeffGarlin and at Watch “The Goldbergs” Tuesday nights on ABC at 9pm et. Ron Bennington is the host of Ron Bennington Interviews which airs exclusively on SiriusXM satellite radio and also hosts the Ron and Fez show weekdays on RawDog SiriusXM Comedy Hits 99 from noon to 3 (et).