I'm an actor, a comedian, a standup comic who's about to shoot his next special in a week, and a podcaster. AMA.

Victoria's helping me over the phone since I'm driving. Let's rock n' roll.


Update: Hey, I really appreciate all the questions and the interest. Please come see - I'll be in NYC this weekend, Friday & Saturday, at the Gotham Comedy Club. 2 shows each day! So get your tickets there at the Gotham Comedy Club on 23rd Street. And the weekend after that, I'm shooting my live special on May 24th at the Irvine Improv - get your tickets here! http://irvine.improv.com

And I'd love to do this again.

Comments: 210 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

Mattb1130 karma

Hey Bryan, come up on the mic a little bit.

What book has had the biggest impact on your life?

Bryan_Callen14 karma

Well, depends on when you're asking.

As a young man, probably THE FOUNTAINHEAD. But now, I'm too old to be influenced. I know where I stand, and I know who I am.

Bryan_Callen20 karma

Somebody asked where are the berries:


Yeah, that was a thing that happened with my wife- I thought she hid the berries, turns out she brought them to school to make a snack for my kid's kindergarten class, so she used all the berries. I thought she hid them from me, so I flipped out. It's a good example of why I'm such an idiot, and why you should not take anything I say seriously.

Do as I say kids! Not as I do!

slothjizz15 karma

What are you reading right now?

PS - Your lithe, supple body is an inspiration

Bryan_Callen20 karma

Well, I already like that attitude.

Right now, I'm reading a book called THE PEACE TO END ALL PEACE, by David Fromkin, which is a very thick book, about how the Middle East came to be, and why the Middle East is the way it is today. It's a very, very good and important piece of historical work.

Another very important book to read, which I'm re-reading, is called WHY NATIONS FAIL.

There are two books everyone should read: one is GUNS, GERMS & STEEL and the other is the rebuttal to that book, which is WHY NATIONS FAIL. Which will give you an understanding of why some nations are prosperous, while others are not. It's a very important book.

sammyismybaby13 karma

Bit Killer Jones, Conversation Strangler Stevens, Mary Stuart Foley, Jason Statham, Morgan Freeman, Caribbean Tiger. Love the Ten Minute Podcast and Fighter and the Kid. Im relistening to all of them right now while waiting for new episodes. So awesome that youre doing this AMA. Few questions:

  1. Are there ever times when you or Chris Delia or Will Sasso just don’t really feel like being there and how do you overcome that and still be amusing for 10 minutes?

  2. So you get picked on a lot, between the podcasts you participate in (TMP, Fighter and the Kid, JRE). Do you honestly ever get sick of it or end the show thinking ‘yea fuck those guys’? I find myself feeling bad for you sometimes but you seem to just go with it so well.

  3. Who would you rather have as a boyfriend: Hector Lombard, Luke Rockhold, Connor McGregor or Urijah Faber?

Bryan_Callen28 karma

1.) Life is learning how to overcome that kind of stuff. Life is learning how to make it happen when you don't feel like it. Here's the bottom line - it's easy to be a gentleman when you feel like a gentleman. It's VERY difficult to be a gentleman when you feel like an animal. Character is defined in two words - self-control. So just assume the position in life. If you don't feel like working out in life, assume the position and do it anyway.

2.) Well, it starts with not taking yourself too seriously. I've never taken myself too seriously, which means that there's nothing I'm trying to guard or protect. I'm very honest with who I am, and a lot of times, the criticisms are spot-on. And when my friends are making fun of me, they love me. If it makes people laugh, I like it. Because it means I'm a part of the joke. That's a big thing young people should know - don't take yourself too seriously. Take your JOURNEY seriously, but not yourself. You're just a leaf on a very big tree. And your job should not be being a taker - you should rather be a giver. You should be in a position of service. If you're in a position of service - which means if you wake up in the morning to make people laugh - the special I'm shooting on May 24th is because it's in me and I want to get it out there so I can make people laugh. I'm going to put it out there, and start a whole new hour, and put that out there, you know?

3.) You're driving a very hard bargain! I don't know. I guess - Luke Rockhold is a LOOKER! But you're running a hard bargain man! I'm all kinds of being pulled in different directions! I do know that I have a fantastic hardon right now and I can't explain it!

Why is my partner in crime Brendan Schaub not involved?! He's a looker too!

brennan129613 karma

How do I look as good as you when I turn 90?

Bryan_Callen23 karma

Well, I would say: Holy Ghost Power (you've got to be one of God's favorites, because he whispers in my ear EVERY Day).

But here's the REAL answer: moderation, and do what you are supposed to do. Listen to that little voice. You'll be a lot less stressed. Most stress comes from the fact that we're lying to ourselves and the people around us. Follow your primal impulse. And realize that there's no escaping plain old death.

buffalomurricans11 karma

Are you gay for Joe Rogan?

Bryan_Callen37 karma

The answer is a resounding: yes.

In fact, you can say that I produce estrogen every time I'm around Joe.

And my breasts swell.

AND my rear perks!

Soden3310 karma

I loved listening to The Bryan Callen Show, but it seems to have ended…Is it done for good or will we get more episodes eventually?

Bryan_Callen20 karma

We're taking a break, because the response to the Fighter & the Kid has been SO overwhelming - it's been so surprising, but we just keep growing by 100,000 listeners a month, it's just been NUTS. We got 1.5 million downloads last month! So it's just been this incredible growth, and I have to dedicate all my attention to that podcast, because it's become a monster. But I will be back on the Bryan Callen show soon.

Frajer7 karma

What was your favorite Mad TV sketch?

Bryan_Callen12 karma

Probably... when I played the Terminator, and came back and saved Jesus? Or the Octaroon, where I was 1/8 African-American, and I took offense at all things.

suddenlyhugo7 karma

How do you feel that your pronunciation of "moustache" hasn't reached critical mass?

-your fan (singular)

Bryan_Callen9 karma

Well, I'm outraged that people don't say mooos-tache.

So I suppose that sometimes things take a while to blossom.

throwawaytimeson7 karma

With Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, do you think UFC (and MMA) in general has a PR problem? How long can Ronda and Cain be relied upon as major attractions for the sport? Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA. NOW DANCE POOL BOY!

Bryan_Callen25 karma

Alright, so I can't dance because I'm in my car, but I am moving my rump vigorously against my seat.

Now, let me explain the biggest challenge to UFC & MMA: it's very difficult, in that sport, for somebody to be a champion for a long time. And that's because of the injury rate, the evolution of the sport, because the margin for error is so small, it's so taxing on your body. So the biggest challenge for the sport of MMA and especially the UFC is getting people invested - because remember, people invest in PLAYERS. People invest in teams, but people invest in PLAYERS, like Michael Jordan or Derek Jeter. You can identify with that athlete, how great they can be, how many records they can break. The problem with that is a lot of these titles are revolving, or it's really hard to stay on top for a long time. It's also hard to fight more than twice a year, so people have trouble investing in it.

Bryan_Callen23 karma

And the UFC has to realize - they are making a collective misstep - their problem is making the UFC the star, and every other sport makes their players the star. People don't identify emotionally with the UFC, they identify emotionally with human beings. You have to create stars in your fight force. Your fighters cannot be treated like so much meat, like a bunch of elephants with a revolving door. Very bad business practice, in my opinion. You have to make stars of your individuals. Now it's not easy to do that, but that's what I think is needed. That's the challenge.

vaginalabyss6 karma

What has been the most awkward moment of your career and why was it the "I think you'd be surprised" podcast with Schaub and Rogan?

Bryan_Callen22 karma

The most awkward moment of my career was when I was doing MadTV and I had to wear high-heeled sneakers, a blond wig, and a Speedo, and I was playing a pool boy, and I remember dancing and thinking to myself This is the point of no return. I will never be a serious dramatic actor. I just sold my soul, and it was worth it.

10JQKAs6 karma

Big fan of Fighter and the Kid and 10 Minute Podcast. Two questions, one serious one not so serious.

One podcast I think you talked about being in your late 20's and struggling, what were some of the "a ha" moments that helped you through that period?

And who would win in a fight - you or Brendan Schaub with both hands tied behind his back and hopping on one leg?

Bryan_Callen15 karma

I think that some of the "A Ha" moments were knowing that everybody I had looked up to had had those tough moments in their twenties - and the fundamental difference between my 20's and 40's is this. In my 20's, I thought I had to add things to who I was, and in my 40s, it's more what NOT to do - what not to think about, what NOT to say, who not to spend time with , what NOT to worry about. It's the law of subtraction, not of addition. And that's a big, big lesson I learned later in life.

If Brendan Schaub had both hands tied behind his back and hopping on one leg - he's sitting up right next to me - I'd beat the living tar out of him. And BY THE WAY - I want both his legs on the ground, I am going to pepper his face, until that big man falls like a tree!

chinabull866 karma

What is your favorite movie and favorite actor of all time?

Bryan_Callen8 karma

Well, RAGING BULL - duh.

Robert DeNiro!

But Daniel Day-Lewis is pretty damn good.

MichaelWarlock5 karma

what is the most painful thing you've ever experienced (non physically) and how did you manage recovering from it?

Bryan_Callen19 karma

The most painful thing I ever experienced, non-physically, was probably realizing that I was not going to be the actor I thought I would be. Hahaha! That's been a long, slow, 20 year realization.

So basically, it's been pain for 20 years.

snakeman885 karma

What percentage of your current income is from fighter and the kid?

Bryan_Callen13 karma

It's becoming significant. Probably at least 30%.

android345445 karma

Hello Mr. Callen, when exactly did you realize you were turning into ian McKellen?

Bryan_Callen6 karma


That just made me laugh out loud.

Four_Eyes265 karma

Best non-fiction and fictional book you have ever read? -I know tough question

Bryan_Callen7 karma

The best non-fiction I've read is anything by Joseph Campbell. And probably the best fiction I've ever read was a Pulitzer Prize winning book called INDEPENDENCE DAY by Richard Ford.

Marvey-Chan4 karma

Bryan, do you live hard?

Bryan_Callen0 karma


I live hard, because I get my protein from Onnit.com! If you wanna live hard, you gotta be hard!

beernerd4 karma

Do you notice any differences between audiences when you go from city to city?

Bryan_Callen7 karma



HUGE differences.

Miami, which has a lot of Latin people, is always an amazing show. There's something about that culture that is so festive, and celebratory, and they come to laugh. And then you go to other places - which will remain nameless - rich white people are the worst audiences.

I like a lot of color in my audiences. A lot of color.

jasonianfootsoldier4 karma

Hi Bryan! I'm a huge fan of your stand up and an avid listener of the Ten Minute Podcast!

I just have one question - How do you possess that much manliness? TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.

Bryan_Callen6 karma

Well, just take my "Man workshop."

OR you can listen to my other podcast, The Fighter & the Kid, and we talk all about being a man. We got about 1.5 million downloads last month, and we cover all things man. It's the best! And you will laugh. We cover all things man, and comedy!

mathguy82884 karma

Hi Bryan! Big fan ever since Joe brought you on his podcast back in 2010. The shows you two do together are awesome. One thing I notice when listening to you is the vast amount of knowledge you seem to have for many subjects. I was wondering if you could share a couple of your favorite books?

Bryan_Callen10 karma

Well, again, I like reading authors & people who've done a lot more thinking about the big questions than I have. So I like somebody like Joseph Campbell for younger people, because he'll get you started on your way. And I like philosophy - I like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Seneca, and then - to pull it all together - Joseph Campbell.

Bentumbo4 karma

pancakes or waffles?

Bryan_Callen15 karma


Use 3 eggs, whole milk, really good flour - and forget about it.

And if you melt the butter the right way, and use real maple syrup, there's nothing better. It's what the French figured out a long time ago.

I LOVE BUTTER! The secret to cooking is butter!

twel53 karma

I know you choose the "Ostrich-e" for your guard animal. If there was a second line of defense, what would it be?

Bryan_Callen6 karma

Oh - angry bees.

twel53 karma

Which Greek god best embodies the manliness that you display in your stand up?

Bryan_Callen14 karma


Well, Zeus is the God of Thunder.

I'm probably more like Pan - sort of that permanent erection guy, tiptoeing through the forest.

Jisher773 karma

Hey Bryan, big fan.

One question: how did you get your skin so tight fitting?

Bryan_Callen11 karma

Well, I hold my face in a bucket of ice for hours.

And I peel it - I do a lot of skin abrasion, on my own, with sandpaper.

Sometimes I ride a horse at top speed through a swarm of locusts, and all that on my face hurts really badly - but it makes my skin REALLY smooth.

OR - OR - I run through sandstorms.

Peaches56163 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA! I love listening to your podcast and when you are in Joe's as well as your standup. Two questions really.

How does writing sketches compare to writing jokes?

Also do you think some comics are more suited to be watched on television compared to live and vice versa?

Bryan_Callen7 karma

There's no answer to the second question. I mean, it just depends. Some comics are better live than on TV. But I'm shooting my second special on May 24th at the Irvine Improv, where you can see me shoot live, and you can tell me if I'm better live or on TV. I want that challenge, I want the answer.

Sketches involve more than one person, they involve characters. Jokes can be solitary sometimes. Again, it depends.

SinclairUX3 karma

When are you going to start moving a little closer to the mic?

Bryan_Callen6 karma

When you stop asking me silly questions.

jdbdawg3 karma

Recommendations on how to get into the podcasting game?

Bryan_Callen3 karma

Well, be interesting.

Immerse yourself in the space. And talk about what YOU think is interesting. Talk to people who are more interesting than you are. And good luck!

Wichop3 karma

Even though I #HatechaBryan I kinda 'ppreciatecha. Who's your favorite character from 'Ten Minute Podcast' and why?

Bryan_Callen3 karma

Probably Shana.

CrosbyStan2 karma

Who are the top 5 comics currently, in your opinion ?

Bryan_Callen3 karma

Top 5 comics:

  • Dov Davidoff
  • Sebastian Maniscalco
  • Bret Ernst
  • Iliza Shlesinger
  • Kevin Hart

SCFack2 karma

Biggest advantage you feel you have over Big Brown?? Can be to do with anything.

Bryan_Callen7 karma

Well, I'm smaller, so I can crawl through narrower tunnels, and hide in smaller compartments.

hellionnm2 karma

Bryan, I'm not going to lie - I have no idea who you are.

If I were to watch one thing to best summarize you, what would that be?

Bryan_Callen6 karma

I would say listen to - not watch - the Fighter & the Kid. That is me at my best, and that is me at my most authentic.

beingthelizz2 karma

Thanks for TFATK, really helps me laugh throughout the day.

The big question is, pie or cake? Follow up, why is it pie?

Also why is your favorite Kevin Bacon movie Tremors?

Bryan_Callen2 karma

Well, you made my choice FOR me when you said PIE, but it's 100% cake. I like a moist cake.

I'm not a dough eater. One of the reasons I stay so tight, and American, is because i don't eat a lot of sugary, cake-y stuff.

WAIT - I'm gonna say Pie. There's nothing like Banana Cream Pie. It's m'uhfavorite.

Brendan's gonna blow his nose now.

Here you go buddy!


Bryan_Callen3 karma

The greatest Kevin Bacon is without doubt a movie called DINER.

If you haven't seen DINER - you ain't living.

harper_dog2 karma

Dogs or cats?

Bryan_Callen5 karma


I like jungle cats. I like panthers as a spirit animal.

sarlucic2 karma

Hi Bryan, why do you use twitter to watch porn?

Bryan_Callen5 karma

Because I like my porn in the palm of my hand. I like it small, I like it small. I like it miniature. So I can barely make out who I'm looking at.

backstreet212 karma

what do you think of seymour hersh's account of the osama bin laden killing?

Bryan_Callen2 karma

It feels like that would be a tough thing to pull off. But i haven't read the account, so I don't know enough about it to comment.

thuggy071 karma

Who is better with the ladies? A prime Rogan (circa '95), Big Brown, or The Kid (current)? Big fan, thanks!

Bryan_Callen3 karma

Well, you gotta understand that Rogan and Schaub took my workshop back inna day - I have my degree in sexual artistry, I mean, I have my PhD - so I was rated Number One Lover of all time by the International Lovers Association. It was a 10 year study, they looked at everybody, and I guess my love-making is "earth shattering" (that's what THEY said). Apparently when I make love, birds fall from the sky.

So it would be Bryan "The Kid" Callen.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Bryan_Callen3 karma

Not only do I love women, I understand women.

Lakoustic1 karma

Hey Bryan, I recently saw you in Edmonton and laughed my ass off. My question is regarding comedy clubs dropping the checks during the last 10 min of a show. How much does that affect your closing, and does it happen everywhere, or just here? Also, your thoughts on our city?

Bryan_Callen4 karma

I don't notice when they drop checks anymore, because I'm just doing my thing. And I love Edmonton, and I love performing in every city in Canada. I love Canadians - they're smart, they don't take themselves too seriously, they're very polite, and they love to laugh.

clawsdrawn1 karma

Hey Bryan! Just saw you in Portland and thanks again for the bike commute laughter/info. 2parter... *If you could have any guest for your podcast who would it be? *If you could have any (time machine scenario) guest from history for your podcast who would it be?

Bryan_Callen2 karma

Well, I just answered that. But I would say probably - in history? It would probably be either the Buddha, or Jesus Christ, I got a lot of questions.

Well... Jesus Christ... I wouldn't mind having Hitler on, so that at the end of the interview, I could drive a stake through his heart to see if he really was a vampire.

I don't think I'd get arrested for killing Hitler. I think I'd get acquitted. I'd be like "Hey Adolf, thanks so much for your time, and let's see how you handle this spike in your heart!"

Four_Eyes261 karma

Other podcast recommendations? - i.e. Joe Rogan's Podcast, Tangentially Speaking, Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, The Tim Ferriss Show, RadioLab - am I missing any?

Bryan_Callen4 karma

OK, Dan Carlin's should be your #1 no matter what.

RadioLab - 100%.

And of course, Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan. Those are the four I would recommend.

And the mother of all podcasts is the Figher and the Kid itself. I mean, that would be considered the hog of all podcasts.

Hot_diggidy1 karma

If you ate yourself would you be twice the size or disappear?

Bryan_Callen8 karma

That's a good question.

It's called "autocannibalism."

I think it's been done? I think I'd need a lot of local anesthesia and a saw. And I'd probably need a lot of salt, and meat tenderizer - because I'm so shredded. I had my muscles tested, and they are the same exact consistency as bullmeat.


ImBigRthenU1 karma

Who's got a bigger Hog... Schaub, Rogan or yourself?

Bryan_Callen7 karma

You know, I've never seen Rogan's. And Schaub, I've not really gotten to know Schaub's hog on a level I'd like to. So I'm just going to assume he's got a nub.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say I dwarf both of them.

I would call mine a hog and I would call theirs piglets.

ExtortedRage1 karma

Sounded like you were fascinated with ants on the JRE , why'd you left the field?

Bryan_Callen3 karma

Why'd I leave the field of ants? I'm not fascinated with ants. Apparently, though, if you were to kill all the ants of the world, the earth's ecosystem would only last 5 years before it collapsed - that's how integral ants are. And if you were to get rid of people, Mother Nature would flourish. So it seems like ants are more necessary than the 6 billion people on the planet.


As they say in French - Vive Les Ants!

ohPac0 karma

Where can I watch your upcoming special?

Bryan_Callen2 karma

It's going to be at the Irvine Improv on May 24th - http://irvine.improv.com

It's almost all sold out for tickets - 7 PM and 9:30 PM - there's still tickets left for both, but the 7:30 is almost sold out.