I'm literally driving in the middle of the night, and my phone rings, and my manager says, 'How would you like to be the host of the Daily Show?' I get out the car, and I didn't have legs. You know in those movies where there's an explosion? But instead of the sound of the explosion, you hear the silence. That's literally what happened.
Maybe it's because I come from a very utopian world of being a comedian, but I'm used to many live comedy performances going on in any city I'm in, and each of us is trying to be the best at what we do. I don't think of it as a competition so much as a thriving comedy economy.
The truth is, people don't know me. When people don't know you, they're going to try to get to know you as quickly as possible, because you're now taking the place of somebody that they love dearly, or somebody that they hate sincerely, and so they need to know who you are.
The first purpose of comedy is to make people laugh. Anything deeper is a bonus. Some comedians want to make people laugh and make them think about socially relevant issues, but comedy, by the very nature of the word, is to make people laugh. If people aren't laughing, it's not comedy. It's as simple as that.
I'm not a confrontational person or comedian. I think we can explore more things if one of us is not fighting with the other. I take it easy. But I do like comedians who are very different from myself: I love dry comics with deadpan one-liners. I look on and think, 'That's amazing; why didn't I think of that?'