I had a very difficult childhood. I was surrounded by people who had both parents, which made me feel different. Having a bit of a rougher existence early on, it made me appreciate the work ethic that my grandparents instilled in me.
I love comedy and I would write things to myself as an exercise in writing. I didn't do well for years, and I quit. I started to break down why I was afraid and started to look at people I admired, like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Freddie Prinze, George Carlin and all.
I never realized I could love people as much as I do now.
It's a great day in America when white people, black people and Latinos can all come together and pick on another minority.
It's not even about black and white anymore, because so many people are from mixed backgrounds and mixed ethnicities, and it's just a great time to be able to pull all that together.
It was June 4, 1979, the first time I went on stage. I didn't know I could do it but I knew I couldn't not do it. I quit everything in my life and this was the one thing I couldn't quit.
I didn't come from a background where I saw a lot of loving couples. All my aunts and uncles were either split up or fighting all the time. The only healthy relationships I saw were on TV.
When I look at the Gospel, I see how it is speaking to me at this time. I see how to be to others and it helps.
When things are bad, it's the best time to reinvent yourself.
The first night was awful because I was so afraid, and I was never more afraid because it was going out of my character to be outgoing and to be vulnerable and to be out there and onstage. My hands were sweaty and I couldn't swallow, and I drank a bottle of wine to calm my nerves.
So I started to relax and would work on my act eight hours a day, sitting at a desk writing at my grandmother's house, and I would put on Richard Pryor Live on Long Beach and would play it like a loop and think and write.
David Letterman is the best late-night talk show host right now, hands down, and has been since he first took the desk.