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American actor & writer (1957- )

Get a good dog. We have not picked up food in the kitchen in 15 years.

PAUL REISER, Good Housekeeping, June 2011

We all hold on to some image of the family we want, based one way or another on the family we had. Lots of people are thrilled about the families they came from, others couldn't get away fast enough. Most people fall into that vast middle ground: great affection mixed with a few ideas for improvement. A couple of things they wish could have perhaps been done differently.

PAUL REISER, Familyhood

When people talk about wanting to "have children someday," what they really mean is that they want babies. Nobody wants an angry adolescent. Nobody wants an obnoxious seven-year-old trying to wear out dirty words they just learned in school that day. What they really want is cute, adorable babies who love you and need you. The bad stuff is just the price you agree to pay for having the good stuff.


When my son said, "I can't stop thinking about girls," I said, "That's not gonna stop. Congratulations. You're in the club. From now until the day you die, one way or another you'll be thinking about girls."

PAUL REISER, Good Housekeeping, June 2011

The way I figure, there are two types of people: those who get it and those who don't. If they get it, there's nothing to explain, and if they don't, there's no point in trying to explain. They don't get it. Move on.

PAUL REISER, Couplehood

I've come to realize that making it your life's work to be different than your parents is not only hard to do, it's a dumb idea. Not everything we found fault with was necessarily wrong; we were right, for example, to resent, as kids, being told when to go to bed. We'd be equally wrong, as parents, to let our kids stay up all night. To throw out all the tools of parenting just because our parents used them would be like making yourself speak English without using ten letters of the alphabet; it's hard to do.

PAUL REISER, Familyhood

Three has always been tougher than Two. Think of any of your famous threesomes. The Three Stooges? Look at the anger there. My bet is that before Curly was born, Moe and Larry could play together for hours without even a single poke in the eye. Huey, Dewey, and Louie? Donald Duck never had a moment's peace. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly? I rest my case.


Having a baby dragged me, kicking and screaming, from the world of self-absorption.

PAUL REISER, Good Housekeeping, 1997

From the minute we're born, boys and girls stare at each other, trying to figure out if they like what they see. Like parade lines, passing each other for mutual inspection. You march, you look. You march, you look. If you're interested, you stop and talk, and if it doesn't work out, you just get back in the parade. You keep marching, and you keep looking.

PAUL REISER, Couplehood

Marriage is just an elaborate game that allows two selfish people to periodically feel that they're not.

PAUL REISER, Couplehood

They're not the sharpest people - babies. So, you must be everything to them.

PAUL REISER, Good Housekeeping, vol. 225, 1997

In some cultures they don't name their babies right away. They wait until they see how the child develops. Like in Dances with Wolves. Unfortunately, our kids' names would be less romantic and poetic. "This is my oldest boy, Falls off His Tricycle, his friend, Dribbles His Juice, and my beautiful daughter, Allergic to Nuts."

PAUL REISER, attributed, Dad, This Joke's For You (Brown, 2004)

That's the nice thing about doing stand-up. There's no development, you just go out there and get an immediate response as to whether something is good or bad. Getting a laugh is the best measure of how well you're doing.

PAUL REISER, The Examiner, Jun. 19, 2013

I'm working on a show that I've wanted to do for a long time, I'm co-writing it with a friend of mine. There's a very different type of structure, trying to turn it into a half-hour comedy, it's a one-camera film, but it's a very different structure and I've never seen done before. I know it can be done. It's just multi-character, multi-plots to make it funny. And it's about how random people affect each other without knowing each other, and that actions have consequences. That something you do might affect someone who's never met you, like you said this, and you miss the light, so the guy behind you misses the light, which causes the guy behind you to be late for his thing. And to me what's fun about this is the randomness, you're never quite sure where to look, it's like a shell game. Like, oh, do I look over here? Nope, we're actually following this guy.

PAUL REISER, Stumped Magazine interview

The biggest thing I remember is that there was just no transition. You hit the ground diapering.

PAUL REISER, attributed, Working Parents, Thriving Families (Palmiter, 2011)

When I'm writing for a book, it's much more reflective process. I have certain things that may not translate well to the stage, but, when they're on the page, people can really get into them. My first two books were aiming to be funnier, but the third was more about deep exploration. Things about being a parent and growing older that I thought would be perfect for a book.

PAUL REISER, The Examiner, Jun. 19, 2013

Jerry Lewis played on the very first season of Mad About You, and he played basically himself, but he was called some other name. He said he's never done it; he'd never done a half-hour of [sitcom] television. This was 1992 or '93. And I said, "Well how is that?" And he goes, "Nobody ever asked me." It's like the pretty girl at the dance; everybody's too afraid to ask.

PAUL REISER, A.V. Club interview, Apr. 14, 2011

I can't get past the fact that food is coming out of my wife's breasts. What was once essentially an entertainment center has now become a juice bar.

PAUL REISER, attributed, It's a Man's World (Brown, 2005)


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