Off the Clock: A Conversation with Actor and Comedian Larry Miller

Feb 5, 2016

Flickr/RCR

You may not recognize his name, but you probably would recognize his face. Larry Miller has made hundreds of appearances in television and film. KBIA’s Steve Dawson talked to Miller about his beginnings as a comic in New York City, and how he met one of his closest friends, Jerry Seinfeld.

Miller said he saw Seinfeld perform for the first time at a New York City club, but didn’t have a chance to introduce himself that night.

“I was on the crosstown bus a few nights later to go back to the comic strip and I saw him on the bus, I walked over to him, introduced myself and said, ‘Yeah I’m Larry Miller, I saw you the other night, and you were terrific. I want to be a comedian and I’m going to audition there and start moving up the ladder.’ It was great, that’s how we first met. He used to say, ‘to this day I wish I had taken a cab.’”

Miller first appeared as the Doorman in Seinfeld in 1995.

Miller is known for his positive approach to life and gives words of encouragement to beginning actors and comics.

“Whenever somebody comes up to me on the street and says, ‘Oh hi, I’m an actor too,’ and then they get embarrassed and say, ‘Well I’m not really an actor, I just do local theatre and this and that.’ I always interrupt and say, ‘please don’t ever say that again.’ I always say that with the biggest smile. ‘You’re as great an actor as me or Laurence Olivier. And you know what? Just keep doing that.’ You should be as proud as you can be when you say that to someone passing through.

After a particularly fun night on set with his co-stars from the Christopher Guest films, the next day, Larry reflected on the experience with co-star Bob Balaban.

“He just stopped, waved at me and said, ‘Come here, come here.’ He was smiling, excited, he was almost shaking he was so happy. And he said, ‘Do you think we could do that again like last night? Just sit around and play a game like that?’ He was lit up with pleasure and I said, ‘You know what? That’s a great idea, I hope we do,’” Miller said. “You can never really plan something like that.”

KBIA’s Steve Dawson will soon launch a new podcast on KBIA.org where he talks with comedians about their craft.