The real laughs always come from something very small and surprising—although another one they didn’t get in “The Jerk” is when I’m hitchhiking to St. Louis. My character’s name is Navin Johnson. A guy pulls over in his car and asks, “St. Louis?” and I go, “Uh, no, Navin Johnson.” I told the line to Carl Reiner [the movie’s writer and director] and we laughed for forty-five minutes. It’s so stupid! But in the movie, it just kind of goes away.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.