Decision: creating a backstory for his Waiting for Guffman character
"Waiting for Guffman was a very daunting, intimidating experience. It was one of the very first things I ever did, and it was with a personal hero of mine, Christopher Guest. He had hired me because he'd heard this thing I'd done on the earlier Joe Frank radio shows where I was O.J. Simpson's butler or manservant, and Joe was interviewing me. That kind of got passed around Hollywood, and… it doesn't sound like me. It's me doing a black voice. But [Guest] wanted to meet that guy, so I came in, and obviously I didn't look anything like that, so he was interested in that, and he hired me to do this brief thing. 'You're going to be a professor, and you're into aliens.' 'Okay, great!'
"Ten days later I'm on a plane to Austin, and while I was on the plane, I came up with all these ideas, all this backstory and who this guy is, even though I knew it was going to be very brief, and I had this idea for an outfit and all this stuff. And I get there, and the cast of the movie had broken for lunch. 'Oh, Mr. Guest wants to see you.' 'Oh, great!' I'd literally come from the airport with my bag and went right to the set and sat down. After about five or ten minutes of sort of hovering, when he had a break -- because he was answering a lot of questions -- he said, 'Oh, great! Glad you're here!' And then I told him my ideas, and he was, like, 'Yeah, no.' [Laughs.] He just shot 'em all down. In a polite way, but he shot 'em down.