The Onion recently spoke to comedy superstar Carrot Top about his work, his reputation with other comics, and his brand-new movie, Chairman Of The Board.
The Onion: So your new movie, Chairman Of The Board, comes out next week. Is it any good?
Carrot Top: It's a cute little movie. I'm sure it's no Academy Award-winning movie; it's not even a Jim Carrey movie. I think it's basically just a movie. You know, it's a good family movie, I think. It's silly. I mean, it's my first film, and it's kind of got a little bit of goofiness to it, but it's fun. I haven't even seen the finished product yet, so I haven't seen what they've done to it.
O: Your movie could be terrible, and you wouldn't even know it?
CT: I could be a short black woman in it; I haven't even seen it. I don't know what they've done to it.
O: Well, you have to have seen the commercials. You know, lots of running around and screaming.
CT: Yeah, kids'll love it. I don't know. It was a great experience. I didn't know what to expect, never having starred in a film before. In movies, you don't get reactions: Live, when you do a joke, you know in a second whether it's good or bad. But in a movie, since no one is allowed to laugh or do anything, when you're done with a scene, you're left asking, "Was that funny?" And they go, "Oh yeah, it was great." But I need reactions. I need to be told I'm great after every take, dammit. [Laughs.] Once I got used to that, it was fine, and when I got back on the road, where you get that reaction, I was like, "This is great! I'm king!"
O: Do you feel like you're following in the footsteps of contemporary physical comedians like Jim Carrey and Chris Farley?
CT: Well, I like those two guys; I think they're really funny. It's funny that when people critique comedy, they're like, "Oh, Jim Carrey is just goofy and over-the-top, and Chris Farley is just a big fat guy who sweats..." But that's comedy; you have to have all kinds of comedy. There's Benny Hill, and then there's Dennis Miller and Janeane Garofalo. [Critics will] give these guys all the praise, and then they'll look down their noses at Chris Farley. But he kills! People do laugh; people do think he's funny. You can't just have one type of comedy. In terms of following in their footsteps, I would love to do more movies.
O: What if your movie tanks?
CT: Well, if it tanks, then, who knows? You just keep plugging away until you do another one maybe. They're not all successes. You try not to think about that, but when it does [tank], I'll call you back. [Laughs.] Then I'll have an answer for you. If it did, I would still feel good about myself, because I got the chance to star in my own movie. But who knows? There are a lot of movies that just don't make it.
O: In recent years, you've become something of a running cultural gag, with jokes at your expense on Seinfeld and Letterman. What do you think of that?
CT: I think it's great. I was just reading Dennis Miller's book, Rants, and he mentions me in that. And it was weird; it's like you can't get away from it. It's like, when they have a joke in a sitcom and they want to fill in a reference, just put in Carrot Top. I don't know if it's the cool thing to do, but everyone's doing it. Letterman did it, Conan did it, Seinfeld, Larry Sanders, you name it... Bill Maher said, like, "Who do you think you are, Carrot Top?" And it was like a slam; they usually are. But I think it's funny. I think it's great. It's when they stop talking about you that you have to worry. When they make that sort of little poke at me, it's funny, because I am not the typical standard guy who you'd think would have a three-picture deal. I'm with 'em on this. Like Dennis Miller said, "You can get a three-picture deal quicker than you can say 'Carrot Top.'" Like, if you're going to give him one, Jesus Christ, anyone can get one.