More Random Roles
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The actor: Like a lot of a character actors, Sam McMurray has an extensive list of credits but not the best name recognition among the general public. Considering his more than 150 television and film credits that stretch back to the mid-’70s, though, people have undoubtedly seen his work in everything from Raising Arizona to Freaks And Geeks (or heard his voice in a number of animated series). The New York-born actor got his start not long after college and has worked steadily during the three decades since in a dizzying number of projects, accruing some great stories along the way—like the pilot he shopped with George Clooney or how he nearly was the voice of Homer Simpson. McMurray shared some of them with The A.V. Club from his home in Los Angeles ahead of the upcoming slobs-versus-snobs comedy Tan Lines.
Tan Lines (2012)─“Coach Bussey”
Sam McMurray: It’s kind of Revenge Of The Nerds with a tennis background. You know, it’s not exactly… wasn’t it Ecclesiastes who said, “There’s nothing new under the sun”? But you know, it’s the guy who’s the failed tennis pro working at the swank country club and goes to work with the ghettoized tennis club. And I play his old mentor and coach who’s now living in his van, and he organizes all the misfits. It’s a really nice cast. Josh Hopkins is the lead. Dash Mihok plays the one you love to hate—the Neidermeyer, if you will, from Animal House.
The Front (1976)─“Young Man At A Party”
The A.V. Club: Your first on-screen role didn’t garner much on-screen time, but at least it was for a feature co-starring Woody Allen and Zero Mostel.
SM: I don’t even think I had an agent at that time. I’d just got out of college, and my mother was an actress, and she was very close with Adele Ritt, who was [director] Marty Ritt’s wife, and they got me up for the part and I went in. I’d met Marty when I was like 15. I actually stayed at his house in Connecticut. I got fired from my summer job, my mother was doing a tour of A Delicate Balance, and she had nowhere to stick me. I was a 15-year-old snot-nose kid, but he was very nice to me. We actually did a reshoot [of The Front] in a couple days, and the story I’m told is they did a third day of shooting in which they neglected to notify me, which I was told was purely an oversight. It wasn’t a reflection on my acting. So the guy who plays the role, plays the role, whoever it is, so that was hardly auspicious.
AVC: Did you at least get to interact with Allen at the time?
SM: Yeah, ’cause we were standing around for a couple days. It was supposed to be a party atmosphere. It was wintertime, and it was one of those big Upper West Side apartments, incredibly overheated. I was boiling, and we were talking about that and so forth, and he had on this really handsome tweed jacket. And I was later told by the costumer that all of his stuff was lined in silk, that was something that he required. He and I actually got on quite well, because [we] talked about jazz, which I’m a huge fan of.
C.H.U.D. (1984)─“Officer Crespi”
SM: I used to have a cheap copy of it, which was the only kind to have. It’s a virtual catalog of every actor who was working in New York at the time, including John Goodman, who I later did Raising Arizona with. John I knew in New York, and I marvel at him. He’s always been terrific, but I think he’s gotten even more terrific. I thought Treme last season was… I thought they should have given him a special Emmy.
The Tracey Ullman Show (1987-1990)─Various
SM: I’d just moved to L.A. I’d done Raising Arizona in early ’86, and I read for whoever the original casting director was and I didn’t get it. I didn’t think anything of it, and then they called me back a few weeks later and said, “We wanna see you again.” There was this character named Francesca, this 13-year-old valley girl and she had two dads. The first Francesca sketch, they said, “Play the guy not so gay.” And I said “I disagree.” I had a big mouth then—still do. I said, “I think he’s more the woman. I think he’s more out there.” So I read and I read it big, and they cast me. It was just a one-off, and then we were on hiatus. I did the one week, and I had a friend coincidentally who used to write, a guy named Marc Flanagan, and he was on the show as a staff guy. He called me up and said, “Did they call your agent?” I said, “No, why?” He said, “They wanna make you a regular.” It took two weeks and 12 hours and they finally made the deal, so then I did the show for three-plus seasons, however long it ran. I remember finishing the first full year thinking, “We’re gone,” and I remember saying that to somebody who was a big producer at Fox who I liked a lot and he said, “What are you talking about?” I said, “We’re not coming back.” And I was right as it turned out, which was a shame because we got to do a lot of things on that show.
AVC: Were you surprised that you didn’t subsequently get more work on The Simpsons, which of course was launched on The Tracey Ullman Show?
SM: It was just a crapshoot. In those days, there were actually two cartoon series [on Tracey Ullman]. The other one I don’t remember the name of. It was the one I was assigned to. It was drier. And then there was The Simpsons. Both of those cartoons were done with little 10-second initial bits for the show, but we would literally record it up in the booth. They didn’t even take us to a studio. We’d just go to Stage 19. We’d go up into the rafters there and just lay it down. I think I did a couple of [The Simpsons], but Danny [Castellaneta] had already been assigned, and Julie [Kavner] too, and then I think I did one or two where I was sort of a handyman, which basically became sort of the Hank Azaria stuff. And God bless, I think Hank’s wonderful, so you know, what are you gonna do? Sure, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. The last time I saw Matt Groening was doing Futurama. He said, “Just think, you coulda been Homer Simpson.” I was like, “Yeah, how ’bout I throw you out the window?”
The King Of Queens (2001-2006)─“Supervisor Patrick O’Boyle”
SM: It’s interesting—King of Queens is the result of Tracey Ullman, but in not so direct a way. Per WGA regulations, they had to ship a certain amount of material to outside writers. In other words, it wouldn’t be done by the in-house staff, and Michael Weithorn wrote this hysterical sketch [for Tracey Ullman]. Michael and I sort of became friends, and then when they were starting King Of Queens, they wanted me for O’Boyle, and I was unavailable, which is too bad in a way because I think they would have made me a regular. I think they had somebody else doing it. Maybe they changed the name, something like that. Same character, same role essentially. Then I became available and wound up doing a couple dozen of them, and believe me, I’m so grateful for it because it keeps the lights going.
Dinosaurs (1991-1995)─“Roy Hess”
SM: Terrific writing, cast. I mean, terrific writing staff. And if you look at the show now, it was amazingly topical and got away with murder on stuff. I mean, there was gang rape on the thing when Robbie joins the motorcycle club. I actually played the head of the motorcycle gang. I did other voices as well. And the character Roy, I just get him and it warms the cockles of my heart, whatever those are. I don’t know, I just love that character. It was so genuinely sweet. And that was the show I wished had gone on forever and ever, the joy of doing it. Plus, I hate to say it, but it was the easiest job in the world, you know. I’m voicing something that’s already been shot, and it’s not like I have to do an exact match in terms of lip flaps because they’re puppets. So if I worked more than an hour, it was a long day.
Breaking Bad (2009)─“Dr. Victor Bravenec”
SM: Bryan [Cranston] and Anna Gunn, just spectacular on it. I mean, it’s a good show. Jonny Banks. I enjoyed it, and they’re quick. They fly you out, and you turn around and you shoot everything in a day, pretty much. I mean, they’ve got the whole thing down to a science. And Albuquerque is blowing up as a studio, as a whole state because of the tax breaks and so forth, but where they shoot Breaking Bad, the home set or the studio, it had expanded between the time I did [my] first and second episode. I mean, that’s how fast they were growing. Then Bryan is somebody whose enthusiasm is admirable. He’s just, “Let’s do it. Let’s try something.” I had done a Malcolm In The Middle, and I’d seen him knocking around. During pilot season we’d run into each other, that kind of thing. Terrific guy. And Anna, too, is also a wonderful actress.
AVC: And that’s a character who really grows and changes over the seasons.
SM: I think that’s what’s so attractive about doing series work, you know? Getting to grown in that character. That’s like watching Treme. They took the Steve Zahn character, and they started out with the basic premise, which was he was a jerk. And by the end of the first season, he’d become redeemed. You don’t get to do that much in movies, but you get to do it over, whatever, 20 hours. You get to grow with the character. Wendell [Pierce], too. I love that aspect of series television.
Raising Arizona (1987)─“Glen”
SM: I would have to say overall I think one of my favorite shoots is Raising Arizona. The tenor of the set was absolutely pitch-perfect. There was no money to be made. The movie was made for $2 million. We were making whatever SAG scale was at the time for a week, which is less than a thousand dollars I think, but they went to such extremes to make us feel welcome in Scottsdale. You were out there in the desert, you know. They’d send a stick truck out there and have the inside lined with plastic, like garbage bags, and it would be filled with ice so that by the time the sun melted it at lunch time, it was a cool swimming pool, and the grips would jump in. The food was great, which is I think one of the most important things on a set—that you don’t go cheap on lunch. Seriously. It absolutely shows respect, and it inspires people. Actors would go to the set and wrap cable on days we weren’t working. It was just that congenial an atmosphere. Plus, you have to remember there were three people directing the movie. Not just the Coen brothers, but Barry Sonnenfeld as well, who was the DP and spoke up like he was what he is now, which is a director. He’d go, “That doesn’t work for me.” I’d go, “Do you want me more camera left?” and he’d go, “No, no. The moment.” Huh? And the Coens would shake their heads yes and I’d go, “Okay,” and somehow it worked. Plus, that script was so airtight. It was so specific and singular. The voice it had, I thought it was really a no-brainer.
AVC: Nicholas Cage was starting to build his persona, but at that time, he seemed more of just a young, driven actor.
SM: He wasn’t doing an impression of himself.
AVC: Right. Do you remember him being more focused or a bit eccentric?
SM: He was a bit eccentric. I assume he still is, but I thought he was hysterical. He had done some stuff, and I don’t know that they were entirely convinced he was going to be great, but I thought he was terrific in the thing, and he did have a sense of humor. Matter of fact, I have a picture somewhere of him and I clowning around on the set. One day, we went to eat at Denny’s or one of these places, and this girl came over and she was like, “Oh my God, are you? You’re not… are you Nic Cage?” He’s like, “Yeah.” She goes, “No you’re not.” He goes, “Yeah I am.” This goes back and forth. Essentially, she’s having a conversation with herself. “You’re not.” “You are.” “You’re not.” “You are.” I mean, it seemed like forever.
AVC: It was an Abbott and Costello routine at that point.
SM: Really, but by herself. “You’re not.” “Oh you are? Okay, would you sign this napkin?” She had like a wet cocktail napkin, and he wrote, “Tomorrow you will die. Nic Cage.” And I thought it was hysterical.
Freaks And Geeks (2000)─“Dr. Vic Schweiber”
AVC: Talk about a young cast who’ve gone on to great things….
SM: Samm [Levine] is the youngest member of the Friars Club, and in part that’s because I introduced him to my friend Alan Kirschenbaum, who’s a comedy writer whose father is [Friars Club Dean] Freddie Roman. I saw Samm a couple months ago. We had lunch together. He’s doing fine. He’s terrific. It was Judd Apatow who reached out to me and said, “Would you come and do this?” One of the sadder aspects of the show not continuing was he had a storyline where Amy Aquino finds that I’m cheating and we get divorced, and then it was gonna be a story to some degree, a B-story or whatever, about the relationship between Samm and myself, because they’d really never done that with a divorced dad type of thing. The whole set was terrific, and Linda Cardellini is as sweet as can be. I did an ER many years later toward the very end of the penultimate season, and Linda came on the set one day and said, “So how you doing?” And I hadn’t seen her in years, and poor Linda, I proceeded to basically tell her everything that had gone to hell in a handbasket in my life. I sort of pulled myself up short and said, “Jesus, you just asked me how I’m doing. You didn’t need this whole list of things.” And she said, “No I really wanna know,” which I thought was refreshingly sincere or very nice or both. I have nothing but good feelings about all of them. James Franco is sweet, and Seth Rogen, Jason Segel.
Class Act (1992)─“Skip Wankman”
SM: Class Act! Yes, I remember doing that. I was doing The Tracey Ullman Show at the time, and Heide Perlman, Rita’s sister, who is equally vertically challenged, said, “My cousin is directing that.” Anyway, I get on the set and this big guy comes up to me and goes, “Hi, I’m Heide’s cousin.” I went, “That’s impossible,” but yes it was. I don’t remember much about [the movie]. I just sort of made shit up as we went along, but I remember talking to Christopher Reid.
AVC: Kid, from Kid ’N Play.
SM: From Kid ’N Play, right. I just thought he was a terrific, smart guy. I mean, just a really savvy and really decent guy. I don’t know what’s happened to them. Everyone has their 15 minutes, myself included, but that’s mostly what I remember, being terrifically impressed with him.
Stone Cold (1991)─“Lance”
SM: It was the movie that would never end. I don’t know what the original shooting schedule was, but I think I worked close to 20 weeks on the thing. I guess we shot in ’90, and it was before the first Iraq war, and then we did reshoots in L.A. It went on and on forever. I mean, it was a great payday for me. In those days, you’d actually make money in movies. Really, it all changed about five years later. They said anybody fourth-lead or less gets scale plus 10, take it or leave it, and that’s pretty much been the edict by which we’ve all worked or tried to work. That’s why it’s so hard to make a living these days. This whole system of quotes in movies: You made X amount of dollars per week on your last movie. Will they match your quote, or will they do better than it? Or if they didn’t match it, then it would be a no-talk clause, which meant that it was sort of under the table and understood, but you didn’t talk about how much less you were making. Then the studios realized there’s no dearth of talent out there. There’s no lack of good actors, so if you don’t want it, just go on to Plan B. I remember doing Mod Squad not long after that. That’s a studio picture for MGM, and I worked for scale. Take it or leave it. But before that, I was making money in movies, and Stone Cold was an example of that, but it was something I think I was supposed to be on for eight weeks.
AVC: This was the movie that was supposed to make Brian Bosworth, who was an NFL linebacker at the time, an action hero, but it didn’t turn out that way.
SM: No, it didn’t. Quite honestly, I thought Brian was okay in the thing. He’s become a better actor since then. But yeah, they had this persona to sell, and his manager, who was also a producer on the movie, was very clever. We actually had to shut down one day because Brian had to go to Seattle to have his shoulder examined by a physician to determine that he was in fact unable to play [football], at which point I believe he collected 7 million [dollars] in an insurance policy, because they’d been that smart. What’s interesting during that movie was he started out about 250. He was this rock. But we were shooting in Biloxi forever. We were in Mobile for a couple weeks before that, then we were in Little Rock for about the same length of time, and it was just hot. The whole sun was just blistering, and Brian just naturally lost weight during the making of the film, and so by the end of the film, I don’t think it’s really noticeable, but he was down to about 210, which he said was his natural playing weight. He wasn’t an inherently big, big guy. I mean he’s big, don’t get me wrong, and he was saying when he was playing in the NFL that he had to bulk up eating cupcakes and stuff like that, keep his weight at 250 or whatever it was before Bo Jackson ran over him. But that was an interesting movie because they fired the director two weeks in. His name escapes me right now. It got taken over by an action director who’d been a stuntman named Craig Baxley, whose father is a stuntman named Paul Baxley, and there are a lot of dangerous stunts on that thing.
AVC: The movie was basically one big stunt.
SM: Yeah, I mean that whole thing when they fly the motorcycle [into] the helicopter, that was in Little Rock. That was [signed off on by] Clinton’s successor at the time. He must have been crazy. But actually, they had this helicopter or the shell of a helicopter on this huge train and they flew the bike into the thing having no idea whether it would actually work or go out the other side. It was like, “Everybody, hold your breath.” They had the best helicopter pilot going. He subsequently died a while ago. He had to fly this Huey down the middle of Central Avenue, which was interesting ’cause that’s where the whole school desegregation thing happened in the late ’50s. He had three inches of clearance on either side from these high-tension lines, and I’m standing there with Richard Gant, and he and I are playing FBI guys, and I’ve got this plugged-up 32 and I’m supposed to be firing at this helicopter, and he’s giving me a haircut. I mean, literally. I thought it was my bravest performance, not just standing there on the deck as this chopper went right over my head. But the end of the movie I made up, the whole thing where they’ve got Lance [Henriksen], and he’s bloodied but unbowed, and he grabs the cop’s gun and he goes to shoot Brian, and I blow him away and we pan across. They were sort of stuck for an end, and I said, “And then I should be wearing little earrings.” You know, I’ve come around to his way of thinking. I’m not the uptight FBI guy anymore. And they go, “Okay, we’ll do that. Do you have a hole in you?” I said, “I did, but it’s probably healed up. It’s been years since I’ve worn an earring.” So literally, while they’re lighting this shot, I get into a car with a driver and we go to some mini-mall and find somebody who pierces my ear and puts a staple in there and we shoot it…. It was scheduled to be an $8 million movie, and I don’t know what the final cost was. I’m sure they didn’t recoup their money. Maybe they have now. But it was, well, it was a clusterfuck.
Miami Vice / Dear John / Civil Wars / NYPD Blue (1984-2005)—various
AVC: You seemed to pop up on virtually every primetime drama and comedy during a certain 15-year period. Was that standard for a working up-and-comer at the time?
SM: It’s an indication of how things have changed. Miami Vice was cast out of New York. I was still living there at the time, and that was a ball. I went down to St. Croix and shot that back when I was doing Tracey Ullman. I also recurred on Dear John, which was an interesting pickle I got myself into, because it was [executive producer] Ed Weinberger, who was Jim Brooks’ partner or ex-partner, and I became a political football of sorts. Jim would say, “If you want Sam, you’ve got to send a car for him because I’m going to need him, so you can only have him for three hours.” But you got inside that world and there was work. And you didn’t read necessarily. I remember [Steven] Bochco was sort of the lone standout, because he made everybody read. I remember I couldn’t or didn’t want to read, for Civil Wars, and I got cast, which was unusual. Now, I also read about 10,000 times for NYPD Blue and I got the penultimate episode, finally.
AVC: During the Mark-Paul Gosselaar era?
SM: Yes, but that’s the way all my stuff was with Dennis [Franz], which was great. No mark on Mark-Paul. Literally the next to last episode, I take over the precinct, and I’m such a tool that Dennis says, “Oh, to hell with it. I’ll become captain and take over the job,” and that’s the way the series ends.
The Wizard (1989)─“Bateman”
SM: Somebody told me, “You know people like movies that you’ve forgotten about, like [C.H.U.D.] and The Wizard?” People come up and quote lines from The Wizard, and I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. It was [directed by] Todd Holland, who of course went on to much success with Garry Shandling [on The Larry Sanders Show] and so forth. I had a good time on the set. It was interesting, ’cause Christian Slater was breaking out big, although the star really of the moment was Fred Savage. I thought Beau [Bridges] was terrifically tuned into what was happening. He took the work seriously—not without a sense of humor, but he was just always there and focused. Christian at the time I think was exploring his particular persona, and he was… what can I say, he was completely enamored of Jack Nicholson. Every time they’d basically wrapped a shot, he’d go “Can I have one more?” and he’d do it à la Jack. And they’d go, “Fine,” and then we’d move on.
SM: The first job I had, the first week I was a regular, they hired a 17-year-old kid to play my daughter’s date, and it was Matt Perry. I thought this kid was a star right away. It was not easy for him for reasons I won’t go into, but he was terrific and came out like a champ. I said I’d known Jennifer [Aniston] briefly and I knew Courteney [Cox] through a mutual friend. I didn’t know the others, but I got to, and Matt LeBlanc in particular is one of my favorites. I did a few of those, and they were always terrific. And it was funny, because [my] kids were little when I first started it, but by the time I finished the last episode I did, they knew who Jennifer and Brad [Pitt] were and the whole thing. Jennifer was always as sweet as could be. Security by then was very tight for obvious reasons, and we’re shooting and we’re, and Jennifer says, “Why don’t you have the girls come down and we’ll hang out?” So the girls had come down, and I had gotten them tickets plus one, so they each had a pal, and I took them around to makeup, and Jennifer’s just hanging around in there by herself and she goes, “Hi guys, what’s going on?” And you know the old Lenny Bruce bit about how he turns around and it’s an oil painting? That’s what happened. They completely froze. Couldn’t speak a word. That was enjoyable. But I’ve seen this happen so often that it’s almost commonplace. You see somebody blow up like that and you marvel at it, because you’re also taken in by it. You’re going, “Oh my God, look how big they are. Wait a minute, I know that person.” [George] Clooney is somebody like that.
AVC: You did an episode of ER with him, right?
SM: George I’d know, from this other misbegotten adventure. We tried to sell a TV pilot with Victoria Jackson as the lead, and we trotted it around from network to network. Needless to say, as every network passed it looked bleaker and bleaker. We became friends during that. I was doing that Friends episode, and it was near the ER Warner Bros lot. I go over there and see George, and big hugs and “How you doing?” and by this time he’s finishing his run on ER and he’s taking off as a movie star. I think he’d already done Out Of Sight. So we’re laughing and so forth, and I’m eating with him and we’re just bullshitting, and this little woman comes over and she said, “Can we take a picture with you?” Not to me obviously, to George. And he said, “I’m actually eating right now, so if you could hang on…” but she was insistent. She wasn’t pushy particularly, but in a nice way. She said, “I’m a doctor actually from Ohio and I’m here with my friends,” and she points across the street and these other three little ladies, they wave back. And George is like, “Fine.” So George puts his arm around these old ladies and he towers over them. He’s 6 feet tall. He’s a head taller than these women. So he takes everybody’s Kodak Instamatic or whatever and takes a little picture and hands it off, and they’re happy and they run away. And George turns to me with this evil smile on his face and points to his nametag, the “ER” that’s on his lab coat, and he says, “This is the best picture they’re going to get of me.” He says when people get to be a pain in the ass like that we know to take the picture and cut my head off. So then they’re going to be waiting for the photo, [but] here’s no picture. George has been decapitated. I thought it was mean and funny.
Fast Forward (1985)─“Clem Friedkin”
AVC: This is kind of a cable classic, but not many people remember Sidney Poitier directed it.
SM: He was just sublime. He still is. I just adored him. He just is wonderfully open, forthright, funny, smart, all of the above. He was tremendously supportive of me when doing that movie, and it was a thrill, but there were a lot of young actors, and they were all the kids, and really this movie was sort of ahead of its time in a way.
AVC: It was trying to be at the forefront of a certain dance-craze trend.
SM: Right. Quincy Jones did the music. I got to meet him later when I did a pilot with his daughter Rashida, which is another story. The only thing I thought was kind of funny about the movie was that Sidney would work with these kids. The ones who were perhaps less sure of themselves hung on his every word, as they well should, but you see sort of mini-Sidney Poitier portraits from time to time, which was great. They all had the same kind of sincerity and this earnestness that Sidney brought to the screen as an actor. They were doing what he said to do.
The Sopranos (2001)─“Dr. John Kennedy”
SM: I actually flew to New York to do that one, and it was right around the World Series in 2000. [We] shot that over two weeks, 10 days, something like that. And the script was so perfect, you couldn’t caulk it up. I mean, basically, all you had to do was let the words read. People came up to me on the street out here when it aired and said, “God you were so good. That was just great work.” I went, “Let me tell you something. That was easy. Who’s The Boss? That was hard.” I mean, to take a sitcom thing and try to turn it into something original or at least new or alive, that sometimes is a lot harder, because it’s all in the words. If the writing is there, then you’re going to be a better actor, it’s that simple. Freaks And Geeks is another example.
Sunshine State (2002)─“Todd Northrup”
SM: I know I started to say Raising Arizona [was] a terrific set. I’d have to say Sunshine State was a close second. It was a terrific movie and hugely underrated.
AVC: Working with John Sayles must be a great experience.
SM: Yes, I worked with him twice actually. I did Baby It’s You with him as well, which was sort of an exception because he didn’t write it. But I really enjoyed working with him on Sunshine State. I thought he’d grown as a director so terrifically. I think it’s just a terrific movie. I’m sad it didn’t get more exposure. We shot in a little place called Amelia Island, not far from Jacksonville. We’d basically get together every night with Gordy Clapp or Perry Lang, Miguel Ferrer, Tim Hutton, and Edie Falco, and we’d all go out to dinner. Mary Steenburgen. All 12 of us, and just sort of take over some place, and they were always terrifically welcoming. At one point I thought, “You know, this is great. If I was making money on this, I’d really be happy” But it was a very memorable experience and very enjoyable.
The Golden Girls (1990)─“Mr. Kane”
SM: They offered that to me and they said, “Jerry Orbach’s on,” and I said, “Well, I’ve got to do it.” I thought the world of Jerry Orbach, like most people. He was a fascinating guy, not just as an actor. As a pool player, as a golfer, as a creator of crossword puzzles—he was just dynamic in a very sort of laid-back way. In a diffident, New Yorker style.
AVC: Not aloof, but just cool.
SM: Right, genuinely cool. I came around the corner, and I’m looking at Jerry Orbach talking to [Empty Nest star] Richard Mulligan, two of them in profile with cigarettes hanging from their lips, and I go, “Here’s my series now. He’s my Jewish uncle, and he’s my Irish uncle,” because I’m in fact Irish and Jewish. I thought, “Well that’s alchemy. That’s chemistry.” So I’ve been very fortunate.