All studio movies are the middle of the Bell curve. The only way to do something is to do it yourself. And the only way to do that is to not take any money from anyone or take as little money as possible from anyone and that's it.— Thomas Lennon
The most irresistibly Thomas Lennon quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual
The more people's money you take to do something, the more inputs you get.
That's the other thing about working on movies, the commitment is years.
That's one thing that's so frustrating about the process is that it goes on and on and on for years.
When you do a movie in the studio system, there's a committee.
A committee of six or seven people you answer to. There's two or three producers, a studio executive and one or two people above that studio executive.
We did one pilot for FOX which was about this couple that moves to a town, and we play everyone in the entire town. So it was like a Peter Sellers film.
Being a movie star is stressful as hell.
You've got to do crunches all day long. You've got to get up and learn lines.
I don't think you can teach someone how to come up with good characters or a story.
I never thought I would write the way that I write for the studios now, which is like, not little novels, but be someone who literally is more like, you know, sometimes I guess we describe, we're more Salieri than Mozart.
I was on the speech team, we called it forensics.
The level of acting that I bring to films in three dimensions.
I hope they make people sign some kind of waiver because if their mind explodes from my acting in 3D, it's not my fault.
The only guaranteed way to make something not very funny is to make it vague.
Old School has humongous laughs all the way through it.
Before any movie of yours gets made, it will be vetted by the studio's marketing department. So, you do have to answer the question: Who is your movie for?
Yes, I am complimented on my work in Kids in the Hall once or twice a week. It's a nice feeling.
Writing studio movies is the best job in the world... it's awesome.
I'm always doing what I can to look for and just feel out funny things that are happening in the scene and improvise off of them.
Our reward for Starsky and Hutch was getting to write The Six Million Dollar Man for Todd.
I guess I considered myself just sort of a sketch comedian, you know? Actual screenwriting hadn't really occurred to me as a viable job - I didn't really know anything about it.
The good thing about being a writer is that you don't need anything except for a laptop. You can really do your own work and if you're not manically compelled to write all the time before you do it professionally, it's probably not a business for you anyway.
If you're a studio writer, the funny better be on the page.
Nobody in Hollywood ever sets out to make a bad movie ever but about 99% of the time, that's what happens.
I feel like I'm the most well-adjusted character on the show, even though I'm sure the other actors would tell you the same thing about their characters.
People love that monkey torture.
I need to be spontaneous sometimes. Sometimes I find that the little detail or nuance that you add to it that's based on what's happening at the time that's not very rehearsed often ends up feeling like the funniest thing.
It's such a great thing to work with people and not have a plan.
Being a working person who works for the studios.
It's a minefield and there's tons of stuff you need to know. And people mess it up all the time.
There was so long from when we did the pilot and then when the show was eventually picked up by Comedy Central - and, in fact, we had to shoot the pilot twice.
Super Troopers is hilarious. Everybody always thought we somehow - we did Reno way, way before any of us had seen Super Troopers. It sat on the shelf for a couple years.
The first record I bought with my own money was Rio.
People kept passing our [ with Robert Ben Garant] script around, and suddenly we had this reputation as screenwriters, which we're not - we're sketch comedy guys.
You hate to see yourself do one draft of a script and then have somebody else come back in and change what you've done.
If you just want to be a writer, I don't care, for pitching, for writing dialogue, you should take an improvisation class. It's super important.
Kerri and I met at theatre camp when were 16 years old, which is pretty lame.
The rest of us met when we founded the State at New York University in 1988. Most of our adult lives have been spent bickering with these people.
Who is writing these screenwriting books? Not actually writing for the studios in Hollywood. These are people that have one or a half of a credit on maybe one movie, or none. So they're all theoretical.
Don't write something that is your passion project because all it will do is get the passion stomped out of you.
Waiting for opportunities in the entertainment industry is an impossibility;
they are not coming. You have to make your own.
I think people were not expecting us [with Robert Ben Garant] to, they were just like, "Well here come the writers," but we both were coming out of a sketch comedy background, so when we pitch a movie, we play every character in the film. You act it out, you perform it - you do a 10-minute performance of the movie.
Books are great for if you want to work on the craft of writing for yourself, or, you know, to write novels or indie films, stuff like that.
The best thing that happened during the filming of Out Cold is that I forged a friendship with Lee Majors that endured for almost 12 weeks.