Larry Hankin talks Escape from Alcatraz and Plane, Trains, and Automobiles!
Today we talk to industry icon Larry Hankin about his time with Clint Eastwood on “Escape from Alcatraz” and his work with John Hughes, Steve Martine, and John Candy on Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!
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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas
Theme music by Good Co Music:
Larry Hankin – Interview
[00:00:00] Kenric: All right, guys, welcome back. Today is, is, is really cool because I grew up watching Clint Eastwood. So escape from Alcatraz was a big movie in our house. We watched friends in the nineties.
And Seinfeld and man, this guy here has been, I don’t know. Larry does say you’re one of the hardest working men in Hollywood might be an understatement because you’ve been an everything. So Larry Hankin, thank you so
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: much for coming to the show, man. Well, I, I tell ya I never paid any attention to that stuff.
So really don’t except when I do interviews, it comes up, you know, Hey shows. But I never, I never really knew that I did a lot of shows. I mean, you just, you’re an actor. You, you go out when you audition, you know, so it turned out that I was informed by interviews that I’ve done like 184 to 200. I [00:01:00] don’t know shows, blew my mind.
I did. Wow. That’s really amazing. Well, so, yeah, but, but the payoff, the payoff for that, all that was re recently, I’m saying in the last. Maybe a less year or less. Yeah. Let’s say two years around Christmas. So the last two Christmas times, I didn’t realize it, but. A lot of the shows and then like five to seven shows I’ve done in my lifetime, you know, they’re always on.
Right, right. They’re always on it’s, you know, they’re repeating all over the world around Christmas. I get like a huge amount of not big residuals, but residuals, but a lot of them, because I didn’t know that a lot of the shows that I’ve done, I say seven or eight. I shone around Christmas. I’m like a home alone or even in trains and automobiles, but there’s a couple of [00:02:00] them.
Yeah. So around Christmas time it pays off, it finally pays a liner residuals for Christmas. So that’s so it’s kind of cool. Finally, I got, Oh wow. I don’t have to work or do anything or audition. They just. I know this year, you know,
Kenric: how so you’ve been, I mean, To when, when was a escape from Alcatraz
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: 1970s I ever did. That was the first movie I ever did. What was that like that to be a huge hit, it goes on and on Clint, these two, it, you know, who, who knew I lucked into that. I would want it. I didn’t even want to audition for that in the middle of it.
I wanted to leave. I thought, well, I thought they were putting me on is really. What I thought the director Dunn Siegel, who is a great man. I love him. He passed on, but [00:03:00] I became great friends with him. He was a really good guy. But he was always putting me on. I mean, he finally told me, he said, that’s what they did back in the day back when he was making black wait and movies and working with stars, you know, and stuff always put each other on.
Cause I guess. It was really formal in those days. Yeah. If you watch, you know, black and white pictures of like the stage, even the crew had suits, you know, the guy behind the camera had a suit on, Oh, that’s crazy. Yeah. And so I guess they just had to release a little energy, so they were always, and so I got the short end, you know, during three months to filming.
So I, I thought during the audition that he was putting me on, yeah. I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t know how famous that guy was until I started making the movie and people would tell him me. So I thought he was putting me on and I started to get angry. Like, you know, why am I here? Why are you doing this to me?
So I wanted to leave. And finally, when he said I guess [00:04:00] he saw, I was bugged finally said to me w w when you audition was finally over, he just said, okay, you got the part. And I didn’t believe him because they never tell you that that’s like a no-no. So I thought, so he finally said, well, okay, you got the part.
And I just sat this staring at him and he goes, You don’t believe me, do you? And they said, no, no, I don’t because I just wanted to get out of there. I said, no, no I don’t. And he just said, okay, tell you what, why don’t you go home? And I was in the Valley. So it was going to take me 45 minutes to get home.
Sure. So I said, why don’t you drive home? Go home and sit by the phone and see what happens. Now. Get outta here. Yeah, that Susie exact quote get out of here. Is it, you know, sit by the phone and see what happened. I laughed. I said, you know, these people, man, I, you know, [00:05:00] there’s a last audition,
man. I get home in about 10 minutes later, the phone rang my agent and you got, you got the film, you know? Whoa, how did that happen? So, yeah, but, but a small one of my favorite movies and it was my first, but I also liked what I did. I was so maxed. I was so naive. I
Kenric: did. He just did whatever you felt, right?
Yeah. You know, it’s just. What was, what was eastward like working back
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: then? The above. Both of them are really great when you all started. Cause I was working on Alcatraz escape every morning. We got on boats extras. And so I, I really enjoyed it. There’s 200 extras and then Don Shiego Clint, the steward and me.
And I was so filled with awe [00:06:00] about Clint Eastwood,
Kenric: the biggest star in the world at that time.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Yeah. So it just blew my mind and he had a big, huge budget. So, you know, and then when I finally found out Don Siegel director, all these great black, you know, black and white movie stars, we would tell me stories about when everything.
So, but finally the awe. It wore off. I mean, that’s a great thing about the human condition. I mean, it’s just so except for fans that I don’t understand it doesn’t wear RA fans, but, but generally, whatever, you know, fear, anxiousness, whatever it, an emotional wear off after a while you just in, so finally about a month into it, it was just.
Dan Siegel and Clint, the student, me and two other guys 200 other guys in the crew were [00:07:00] making a movie that, so it was, it was just going to work. You just got to work and you just do what you have to do. And, you know, but I would hang out with the Clint because I loved hanging out with, with Don Siegel.
I would just stand by the camera. I never went into, I have three months. It’s just been around going, wow, man, this is cool. And he would tell me stories and stuff, but Clint Eastwood was interesting because there was only two things that he did. He never went into his dressing room or rarely did. He was always, Oh, he’s one of the producers too.
So I guess he was watching, but he would there’s two things he always did. What is your, these two barbells, you know, the ones you lift up with your hands and the hand barbells. Yeah. And they were Shuja really heavy. They were like, I couldn’t lift them. They were like 50 pounds leech. And what do you do here every morning?
He’d come out, we’d carry them out. And he put them next to the camera. Right. Then he would go [00:08:00] do his work or whatever. Well, whenever he wasn’t working, he would stand next to the camera and he would watch, and he would lift lift weights. That’s you know, and I would go over when he was working, I would go over because I would stand by the camera.
I try to It’s ridiculous. So that was the one thing that he always did. Note just noted that. And then the other thing was there was 200 extras who were the, you know, the other prisoners in the, and they would all eat what we eat together as a table, but he was always eat with them. Yeah, with the, with the extras.
So I would just eat with the extras and I would eat with him, you know, I’d sit at his table because, you know, generally in all the other things I’ve ever done is generally the cinematographer, the director, sorry, we needed one table and they would talk about, you know, w what the next shot was, whatever.
So as business, I never want to interrupt that. And I don’t think I had never thought I was welcome. I mean, it was there, you know, thing. [00:09:00] But he would sit with the extra, so I could sit with him cause I was like an extra, you know, I could, he would invite, you know, and the third thing about these two, this is a total piece of trivia.
You know, the, the poems you know, there once was a man from St. Ives who blah, blah, blah, blah, there’s limericks. He is a savant of liers limericks. Oh, really, you know, the guys would do the extras would try to, you know, we talked to them, you know, they want to know about stuff. They would ask him questions and answered them all.
But when I dunno, there’s Limerick came, came up and he happened to mention, answer a question with the lives limit, let him, he said, Oh, maybe I, that reminds me of a layer slimmer, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I think we should just rattle it off. And it was very fun. You know, some of them are dirty and stuff like that, you know?
So finally they, they sense that another guy has with [00:10:00] Dino, another lyrics to polemic. Yeah. And then after over a couple of days and weeks, we started to see that, man, he knows all of these liers limericks. So they started to test them. And no. And they would say, you know, one about an orange or a bucket or a lady or a, you know, or what’s, you know, a dirty one.
And in the three months I was there, he was never stumped. And he just, and he never repeated himself. That’s hilarious. I mean, that’s the weird thing. So Vaughn, you couldn’t stump him. He had a million though.
Kenric: So, so Johnny, just so I don’t know if you know Don Siegel but Larry’s right. This guy was an amazing director.
He’s he’s the director of two meals for sister Sarah. Coogan’s bluff. He was, he worked on across the Pacific. He worked on Casa Blanca. He worked on the hard way as the
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: detached director. So he knew movies. Yeah,
Kenric: you could see [00:11:00] because he works so much. He, he also did dirty Harry. So you can see all the stuff that cleaning them directly.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: it story about that. Yeah. I mean it came up. Yeah. Please let us know what he done. Segal. He, if you notice, you said a lot of Clint Eastwood movies he did about five. He taught Clint Eastwood, how to direct. On Alcatraz. He was teaching him and he, and that’s why he was always, he Clint, these was always standing by the camera.
He would talk about it. Yeah. Then if you notice there’s one scene in the movie where there’s a di there’s the infirmary of the, of Alcatraz and is a doctor examining conduct. Okay. The doctor is done Siegel and the director of that scene is Clint Eastwood. Oh, nice. And [00:12:00] Clint came that day dressed totally different every day came in the convict uniform.
And that was all we know. And he came dressed in a brand new jogging outfit. He had a, a land, you know, he had the lanyard thing where you’re looking, you know, the sun, you know, around his neck. He was totally different guy. And he was all spruced up at all, you know? Right. And bright and shiny. And he wanted, and he wanted to direct.
So, you know, but Clint wouldn’t with Dan Siegel, wouldn’t leave him alone. He wanted him to leave there clean. Didn’t want him just standing by him saying no, Don or give him that Ron Siegel said, okay, this, let me be the doctor. I just don’t want to leave. The set is a huge movie. I, so let me be around.
So these are, I believe the doctor he’s the doctor in the seat, [00:13:00] but he’s really checking out. Clint’s
that’s hilarious. Nobody knew I hated he didn’t want to be on. I mean, he tried to stay away from being full face. So it’s really funny though. That is funny. How Clint showed up all different. No, no barbells, no, none of that stuff. He was just wanting to be treated differently. He was serious because you generally hang around a joke.
I mean, it was only one scene, but what still went on with his day as an actor. That’s
Kenric: awesome. Yeah, I was wondering because you’ve run the gamut of movies and television. What’s the biggest difference for you when you’re, when you’re working on a movie compared to working on a series?
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Well, the budget, first of all.
Yeah. The, the, the [00:14:00] number of crew it’s huge, you’re doing mostly locations, there’s movies or movies. The interesting thing, here’s the difference to me as an, as a, as an quote unquote actor that I really take umbrage at the difference. And TV, when you addition, you don’t necessarily, and generally don’t audition for the director, the guy who’s going to direct you.
They have what is called, you know, the casting director. Right. Bullshit. That’s not a director at all. What you’re doing is casting director. So you’re cast by a casting director and then on the set, the day of the shoot to the director, and he’s got to deal with this. They send me this time, you know, so, you know, sometimes I would show up and the gun and how I auditioned was not what the director [00:15:00] wanted to be doing on the set.
So I’d have to change my. Thing, you know, and I don’t do this. What you’re telling me, I do that when I was hired for me, man, it would just get me all weirded out. So I, after a while, when I started to see what was going on, I really didn’t want to audition for TV shows. Cause it’s not the people you’re going to deal with the actor.
I mean, yeah, you’re not even auditioning is sometimes they would have an actor. Audition with you, you know, for the audition, but then it’s not the actor who, well, that’s, that’s a small thing. I mean, after a while, it’s just the whole auditioning for TV bothered me because of that, because of the directors
Yeah, that makes sense though, because you don’t know what you’re walking into at that point.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Yeah. And I don’t think the ad, the directors [00:16:00] particularly liked it either because they don’t know what they’re getting the movie you’re dealing with the guy and, and John Houston. Was the, I mean the great directors I’ve worked with three to my mind.
Great. Yeah. Siegel Hughes, all the other directors, John Houston is just like Don Siegel. I put him in that category, the good ones, the great ones. They just real people. And they’re operating on a whole other level than anyone else around. Dude, I mean, a storytellers on a map on a great scale.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: getting past them. Yeah. And. They just I would follow them around like a puppy, man. I’m just doing it. Sure. Well, why did you change that? And, you know, we would always go, I don’t know, Larry, I think I’m going to be fired
[00:17:00] because he knew us so curious, Oh, this guy, I got to play with this guy and he would. I don’t know already, like one time he would go, he’d say, Oh, the worst one was he come up to me and he’d go. I mean, that was the difference. Then it come into the question. That was the main difference and the budget and also.
Also the, the casting was of a, of a different caliber of actors because of the salaries and the expense. Got it. Got better. Dan Siegel would come up like one time. Cause I never considered myself an actor. I’m a standup comedian. I’m actually a stand up. Social anthropologists is what.
Kenric: I love that title, man,
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: love that title, [00:18:00] but he, so he comes up to me and I’m playing cards because you have to go out at eight in the morning, even if you only had one shot, it was in the afternoon.
Eight o’clock you get on a seven 30, get on the boats and you stay there until the boats go out at eight o’clock at night. Yeah. And there was one boat that would go back in the afternoon for, you know, an executive or producer, but you had a wrangle to get on that, to get off the Island right in the middle of the day.
So you were there and some playing cards with the other crew that wasn’t working on, this particular shot. And they look up in this, Don Siegel is standing behind me and he goes, what are you doing? Larry? Now I had one shot. It was the last shot. My last shot of the movie was in the middle. It was where I were, where I’m left behind where I’m in the shell.
And I left behind and he said, what are you doing? Larry? And I said, well, I’m playing cards. He says, [00:19:00] you know, you got a scene coming up. I said, yes, this afternoon, it’s around three o’clock. You know, this is the morning. Yeah. So he goes, yeah, well, it’s an important scene. I go, okay. Okay. I just want to play cards
and the other guys are in there. They were all crew. They just, what the hell is going on because he’s interrupting in the card game and I didn’t. Right. So I’m going, yeah, well, I’m playing cards and he says you know, you have to cry in that scene. Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah. I didn’t know that. Okay. Yeah. Okay. You think you can cry any standing there?
You’re thinking. Yeah. Yeah. I, I don’t know. I, I don’t know. Well, well, you better know because I need you to cry. Okay. I think I can cry. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Cry. I think he should go into your dressing room and practice. [00:20:00] Okay. Okay. Now. No, I’ll do it later. I mean, if you can’t cry a bit of slap yourself around until you can cry and he kept on doing that and finally said, okay guys, guys, and I put my car.
Calms down. And I said, okay, I’m going to my dressing. I don’t know what the hell he was doing. He never was like that at any other time. So I didn’t, so I just go on my, and I really tried to cry and I riling Riley down and I can’t, I don’t know, you know, memory or whatever, and I’m slapping myself. I’m literally slapping myself.
He said, slap yourself. Okay. It’s not working. So I said, Oh fuck. Now I’m now I’m, I’m really thinking he stood behind me. He needs me to cry. I can’t cry. Yeah. So I find that in your head, I got it. Backstory. I’d never done a backstage and my first movie story. So he got a [00:21:00] backstory. Okay. So I go looking for him now it’s after lunch now.
I go looking for him. And I said, Don, can I talk to you for a second? Yeah. What is it Larry? See, I don’t, I don’t think my character would cry in that scene. Right. What do you mean where my backstory was a backstory? What’s that about? Well, the back story is see that he’s not the kind of guy and who would, who would cry in that particular situation.
And. I’ve been working on that back story, which yeah. I’ve been working on the backstory for all the other scenes in the movie. So this would be,
Kenric: I promise I have this back story. So,
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: so, so this, would you just follow along and what I’ve been doing? Okay. Just a second. He says to me, he said just a second because Carol who’s his girl Friday.
She just follows him around. Yeah. Notepad and she takes notes for him. [00:22:00] This is Carol. Would you come over here please? She’s about 28 and she’s really cool. Cool lady. Yeah. And Carol, would you come over here for a second? Carol. This is Larry’s the actor he’s in the show. You know, Roquet Cal is Larry Larry’s count.
Larry, would you tell Carol, I want you to listen to a tech. Larry just told me, Larry, tell you Carol, what you just told me, but backstory color. So I go, well, I don’t know where it’s going on now. And she doesn’t know what’s going on either. So I go, well, I told him that my backstories, blah, blah, blah, and my character would cry and I’ve been doing it and he wouldn’t cry in this.
Yeah. And then they stopped and we’re both bewildered. She looks at him and he goes to her. What the fuck is he talking about? He turns to me and he says, look, I got a scene. I got a movie, I got an [00:23:00] entire movie and it looks like we’re standing on Alcatraz. He is pointing to get the ceiling like. Because I got an arc here of just 200 testosterone filled guys who all they want to do is escape or fight their emotion.
But anger, I need another, I need another emotion here, Larry. So right about here, right about there. I need somebody to cry another emotion, you know, who’s there. Larry, you that’s your scene. It’s coming up in two hours now. You got to cry. Okay. Thank you, Carol. Thank you, Larry. When he walks away. Oh my God.
Fuck. What’s. I mean, he was, he hollered at me. I mean, you know? Yeah. So I go into my dressing room and I, I. Two hours I’m sitting there just crushed. I don’t know what to do. And finally, the a D comes in, says, you’re out, man. [00:24:00] Okay. Sorry, go out to the set. They got it all set up in my cell and you know, okay, everybody’s gone.
I, I can’t get out. I’m sitting there and he goes, Oh, so I walk in and he goes there. You ready? Larry? Oh,
Kenric: my God. I’m not going
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: to cop. I will not cop. I’ve never caught. So he goes, you already have that already? I go, yeah. Yeah. It’s okay. Shit down there. And then he gets his big Panaflex camera about that far away.
It’s if you look in the movie, it’s a close up, man. It’s almost in my nose. Like that and it peaks in. He goes, you’re ready, Larry. Okay. She’s okay. And action. Larry action. And I go, it’s not happening. He’s dry. Okay. Cut. Hey Ralph, bring it in. So this guy, Ralph, his crew [00:25:00] guy comes in, you know, there’s the old, tiny perfume bottles that the grandmother had.
They had the little,
Kenric: the little pump and the hose.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Well, this guy is big guy. Ralph comes in with a little grandma’s perfume bottle and he sticks it in between the camera. He goes and there’s miss goes by my face. And all of a sudden I start to cry and Don goes, rolling. Rolling action.
Thank you, Larry. That was great. Thank you. So what the fuck just happened? He said once he went to green, you know, it makes all actors get that. It makes you cry. He knew the entire day that that’s what was going to happen the entire eight hours or seven. I don’t know. Six hours. Yes.
[00:26:00] Kenric: You just got in your head to get you into that space
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: on that?
No, I think he just wanted to fuck with me with,
he said, that’s all we did. And, and by the way, the crew, that was Malpaso his crew, that was, that was Clint Eastwood’s crew. They work with him on every movie with Don Siegel for all of the other five movies while he was directing and teaching Clinton. Yeah. They knew what had just happened that in front of everybody, Don Siegel had put me on next day, I sensed that they, the crew were trying to put me on.
He’s a wall. Whoa, he’s the guy in the barrel. Okay. We can, we can fuck with Larry. Great. So that’s what they [00:27:00] started to do. And I started to, I got, gotta get out of there barrel. Oh my God. I have to do something weird and extreme, only gonna be about five days, but I finally found it. What happened was I was acting most of my scenes with Clint, with Clint Eastwood.
Yeah. And there was always a ritual that they had. You held action. Clint only wanted to do one take. Okay. And he, if you wanted to do another take, you had to, you had to tell him. Yeah, Don seek a lot of talent. Yeah. It never happened. He does take one, blah, blah, blah, blah, cut. Don Sega would walk up the clinic.
They would totally ignore me. Like I wasn’t there. It was just me and Clint. You would come to the gun and say, how was that for you? Clink and co would say that was good for me. And she said, okay, moving on. And that’s how it went for three months. And somewhere in, in some are in there. I just got fed up with being ignored.
Completely. [00:28:00] Never speak to me. How was that for you? Clint? That was fine for me. Moving on. Okay.
Kenric: I guess
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: I was okay. It was a one day I just got fed up and I said, okay. So he goes, well, how was that for you? Clint? Clint goes, Oh, it was fine for me. And I said, Oh, I just a second. Oh my God. Whoa. The dummy spoke.
What is it? I’d like to do it again. I think I can do it better. Clint goes, yeah, we’ll I can’t and he walks away. So boom, that just, the crew just loved that and they laugh. It was a big laugh. Okay. Now I’m really screwed. And some have a gun. Five days later, this is what happened. He comes up to me and he comes up, got down.
Dante condenses as after you clean Quintas. That was okay. Clinton [00:29:00] said, Oh, I don’t think he even realized it. He said exactly what I said. Clint use would shed. I think I’d like to do it again. I think I can do it better. And I said, well, I don’t think I can walked in
We were on tier C C you know, you can only walk two ways down that way or down that way or income resell a third way, but the camera was hanging out over the railing, photographing into the cell. And it was just two people talking, but it was this way, everybody and the crew and all the equipment was this way.
So I couldn’t walk down that, wait a hundred, walk down that way and exit stage left [00:30:00] away. Yeah. So I started walking in behind me is silence. And I thought I’m going to be fired. I don’t care. I can’t take the barrel anymore. Sorry. I don’t care. And I kept walking and it’s just silence back there. And the door kept on getting further and further away.
I just couldn’t finally, as I got near the door, finally, I hear Clint Eastwood go. Hey, Larry, come back. What’s going on? Come here.
And so I walked back and then he’s gone. Come on, come on back. And then he goes, okay, I get it. He said, hi, sorry. Yeah, I don’t think you said, sorry, but he didn’t know I get it. But, so we were okay. We were friends from now on and I was out of the barrel. Well, man, those are a couple of days with, with the crew.
You, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of crew, [00:31:00] but wow. That’s my, that’s my, my Alcatraz stories. I’m all sweaty just from telling you it’s a great story though. Yeah, it is, you know, that’s show business. Yeah.
Kenric: Well that being your first movie, that’s kind of a crazy experience to start off
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: young,
Kenric: but moving forward, what was it like with John Hughes?
I mean, he kind of
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: wrote. He, he was very he was very shy. No, I, I, I heard from John Candian and Steve Martin that, you know, they were invited to his house and they were talking and joking on the set cars, trains, planes, and automobiles. I didn’t have that. John Hughes was kind of, I think he didn’t know where I was coming from.
I [00:32:00] was a little too quirky. He, he, he just let me go, but he never. He never said anything to me or
write me in the fact that one day he was gone to a party after, after the show, after the shooting about eight o’clock, he said he’d pick us up, but he only invited two other actors to go with them in the limo with his wife and his kid. No, it was just his wife. Him me. I can’t remember the other actor who is, I don’t know.
And, and we went to this party, so, you know, he must have liked me. I mean, because he invited me to go. That was kind of special. I thought that was nice, but I never had any conversations with him and I never, Oh, that’s interesting. Oh, you just say sit over there or. You know, he knew that he knew the character, your audition was a movie.
[00:33:00] He had the, you know, the character I was going to play. So, I don’t know, of course, ed McLaren, who played the wife, my wife in that show the rest of the time. I knew her. I knew her way before I knew her back in San Francisco when she was in. I just knew her for a long time before we ever got into movies know just as actors But after that movie eating, McClurg always introduced the one who were mad at him.
This is my husband. Now,
when you’re ready, why don’t you introduce me? You know, this is Carl Carl. This is my husband, Larry.
Oh, that’s funny. I know why you introduced it because we played, you know, I never shut her up. I never said anything. I always accepted it.
[00:34:00] Kenric: That’s great. So many great movies, but you’re in a lot of,
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: yeah, there is one thing that is special about John Hughes mentioned it. Yeah, when I played Doobie. There, there was only time when we were in the cat and that was there’s the shot of the cab driving up to the motel.
That’s the only time where John and Steve and me were actually a real cabin. I actually drove in. Other than that, it’s the drive. You know, that’s what we were talking there in the back. That that was on a sound stage. And all the things that were passing by. Yeah. The sound stage was dark crews, crews, and dressed in kind of very dark outfits, black.
Like Chinese, no theater would run by with bushes and lights. You don’t have to give the impression that driving, [00:35:00] but so weird. Yeah. It’s just the dark sensei thing was that I could see that it’s guys running by with hedges and lights. Crazy. I mean, for real, they’re going to the, camera’s going to see them.
I can see them, but now it looks like we’re driving. Movies is magic. So anyway, we’re doing the scene. Now the scene is three pages, which is. Okay. And the scene that you see on screen is a scene that was on the three pages, right? So we shoot we’re on a sound stage. There are two of them in the back. I’m Doobie, I’m driving.
We do the three scene, John Hughes. There’s two cameras, one shooting through one window to about them. And one to me. John Hughes is sitting outside of the cab. The cab is just a shell of a cab. [00:36:00] It’s actually up on, we are up on, on boxes. There’s no wheels on it is no engine. It’s just a shell we’re sitting inside.
And John Hughes is sitting on a soap box outside of the shotguns window, you know, and he’s got the spirit then he’s just talking through the window to John or Steve or to me. Okay. Yeah. Do it again. Do it again. Cut. Okay. Thank you. Okay, now we’re going to improvise. He says. Okay. Cool. Don is from second city.
I’m from second city in the committee and Steve is just a genius. I mean, Martin. Hello.
He writes, I just blew and blew both John and our minds. Okay. He goes, okay. So, and this is how he directed it. He says, eh, John candy, John and [00:37:00] Larry. You do the scene as written, Steve, you D you, you improvise said anyone, but he did it. It does it twice. Okay. Okay. Steven, John, you do the scene as written, Steve, you Larry, you improvise.
Well, okay. The John candy, same thing. Okay. 201, two, and one, two and one round. And we do this for a couple of hours. Okay. Oh. And then he says, okay, now improvise everybody in provides. Yeah, we do that. Okay. Says, okay, I’m leaving for a second. Be right back. He leaves. And then he’s gone for a long time. I mean, w we’re sitting there, we’re talking and.
W w what happened to John and the camera guys are sitting here, standing around, and then all of a sudden his voice is in the cab. I can shoot you. [00:38:00] You can’t see me and not appear on TV village, Ellie, looking up at the top of the soundstage there’s little room with this stairway, just going along the wall.
It’s three stories. Oh, wow. And he’s up in there and he saw me I’m up in there in this little room. Okay. We see this little room, we, okay. So now we’re going to improvise because obviously he’s got, now he’s in TV. He can do, he can watch the camera. So that’s why he’s up there. So he goes, okay. Now improvise.
And what is, what he’s doing now, which blew all of our minds is he’s going okay. Just improvise the scene. We improvise diseases. Okay. Cut. Okay. John, you know, remember when you said, blah, blah, blah. And the scene before when I was downstairs and John, you said this. Okay. So say that when Larry says this, when Larry says that, so Larry, you say what you said, and he has it, you know, Larry, you said, blah, blah, [00:39:00] blah.
So all of a sudden, the three of us realized that all the improvisation that we had done before he went upstairs, Go ahead and memorized it. Cause he’s saying, you know, well, in the second improv, you said this went in the third one. Larry said that. So say that when we, and he was like switching and saying, okay, that’s crazy.
Just driving us batty, man. When you are now trying to remember improvisations from before, roll down, John. Totally had it all down. So that’s what we did the entire day. We, in the morning we did the scene as written and then for the rest of the day, we improvised or did bits from the writing and stuff.
And then he dismissed us in the movie. Now I go to see the screening in the movie. The scene is what we did in the morning. Probably the first or second [00:40:00] take.
Okay. It’s going to me, man. That was, I loved working with John and Steve, so I loved it. Okay. Now last year. So when was that movie made? Years and years ago, right? Yeah. Last year. I’m in a delicatessen, some of Hollywood famous Hollywood delicatessen there with a friend. And I hear, Hey, Larry, how you doing? I look around and it’s a Chris Columbus.
Yeah, the director with his kid and another friend there. They’re having lunch. How you doing? You go, Oh my God. I got, I got, let me say hello. So I go Hey I, I go over to the table and his anal. Ha hi, Chris. How you doing? Blah, blah, blah. I, listen, I want to ask you something go. Yeah. He shows that he should.
[00:41:00] I want to, I, yeah. Should you, you see John Hughes as well? I think he had passed away already, Joe, but do you ever hanging around with John? You, you ever been? Oh yeah. Yeah, because I directed, Oh yeah. He directed another movie, something like that. I don’t know. He goes, yeah. I have a question for you. You know, and, and and, and.
And transplants and automobiles. I am surprised to see a Doobie. Do you know anything about that scene? He goes, Oh no, Chris Columbus said it to me. He said, Oh, by the way, I saw the movie and I thought you were great in it. And I saw I transplants in automobiles and he said, no, no, the other movie. What what, what are the, what are the movie?
The yours? My she’s having a baby. No, no, no, no, no. The film short, this is Christopher Columbus in the contestant is saying no, no, the film short, what films should [00:42:00] Johnny Hughes, you know, the films short that you made with John Hughes and Steve Martin and John candy. I didn’t make any films ship. Yes, you did.
As Doobie in the cab, I go, Oh, wait a minute. Tell me about it. He goes, I went to John Hughes birthday party a couple of years ago. And as a an entertainment for all the guests, he showed a film short, a 10 minute film, short of Doobie and John candy and Steve Martin and in a cab driving to somewhere and it was hysterical and I saw it and I go, Oh my God, that’s what he was doing.
That would have been a film short with three funny guys. And I said, wow, Whoa. He’s just, it was great. It was great. I said, do you know what happened to it? He’s just no, he’s do you know anybody who saw it? He says, no, I don’t remember. It [00:43:00] was years ago. Yeah. And John had died already. So was that’s a mystery to me to this day.
Ah, God, that’d be awesome. Unused story, right there is. Wow. But I think what he was doing, John was doing was he had us, he had three funny guys. He had a movie crew and he had the whole day set aside. He thought, what the fuck man might as well use it and make my own little film. Yeah, which is really good.
I’ve never seen it and I would love to, but man, that, but that made my day when Chris that’s awesome. That’s awesome. It must be funny. I mean, those two guys, I mean, I laugh at it.
Kenric: I still watch the Steve Martin standup. The, what do you do? Like two of them in the late seventies, early eighties.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Yeah, a couple of weeks, didn’t go.
Well, a couple of months ago I was watching some HBO special, special comedy, [00:44:00] special naughty with an audience, HBO comedy special, but it was too funny guys. Yeah, it was a, you know, them they’re two hysterically. Funny guys. They were doing a two man show. And they said, and then they stood up on stage in the middle of the show when they go, okay.
So here’s a, here’s a spot where we improvise us too. We are improvising. We call up somebody from the audience to help us improvise, which, you know, we used to do that second city. I mean, it’s a standard procedure, but he said, so one of the guys says, but. We know that Steve Martin is in the audience tonight and we would like Steve to come up and improvise with us.
And Steve, would you do that? And then the camera turns and Steve goes, yeah, he waves. He gets up and he says, okay, you know, and he goes up on the stage and they go, okay. And they sit at a table and they set up the premise. You know, they’re, they’re [00:45:00] sitting at a table there. I think it was, they were having breakfast together, a lunch eating thing.
They said, okay. So they started to improvise. Now, these two guys I’ve seen that they had worked together for years. They’re really funny. Yeah, I get that. But this is Steve and I really, it didn’t look like set up or anything. And they said, this is not a setup. W he, he said he would do it. Okay. Come on. And Steven him did like a 15 minute improv and S and they couldn’t tap Steve
take blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And Steve would just. Ooh.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you want, you want that to happen? That is awesome. You know, those two guys, I’m from second city, I use improvising and I just was [00:46:00] blue and I had improvised with them, you know, Virginie and still the guy just. I can’t explain that she
Kenric: just flips it on. It just stays on
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: he’s shit. Yeah. I mean, I mean, I can’t figure it out and I’m an improviser, but if they would ask me out of the audience to go up there, I don’t know if I could keep up with those guys.
I mean, are pros, you know? And so, wow, man, you know, that’s the thing about great people. They’re great for a reason. There’s a pop up too, and there’s nothing in between. Yeah.
Kenric: Yeah. So Larry, all these years in Hollywood, you’re, you’re working on a book. When can we hope to read?
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Wow. Wow, man. Well, with, with books, it’s like showing screenplays how to get it.
I’ve been trying to sell screenplays. It’s pretty high because right now, because of the COVID thing, [00:47:00] nobody’s in their office anymore, everybody’s working from home. Well, you don’t have their home address. So you call, you know, William Mara. So whatever agency or agent and you just get a a message or a secretary, well, I’ll pass it on, but they won’t because they don’t know who you are.
Right. You know, so, so I’m, I’m looking for ways. So as far as the book goes, I have one connection of an author. I’m a guy who has been published. So he said, when I finish it, I should give it to him and he’ll send it in for me. I don’t know right now I’ve, I’ve typed, I, I put it on tape. Yeah. Like these stories that I’m telling you.
I just told all of them. I got somewhere there’s nine hours of me. Talking to somebody, one guy at different times [00:48:00] collected nine hours worth of telling stories about clan, about this, about that, and what additions. And and then he just sent me this guy, take them, or just send me six pages of typed.
I’ll be typed and I just retyping it, you know, taken out the ums and AHS and taken out long pauses or things that weren’t interesting or adding my little. 2 cents to typing and I read it and sent it back to him and he said, it’s, it’s great. But it’s six pages. I’ve got to have at least 150. I think we’re on the way, guys.
Really? You won’t have a problem in the can, man.
Kenric: I got a feeling you will have a problem. Get to 150 though.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: No, I mean, when he did send me the paper, because there’s a, there’s an app. Now this blows my mind. Yeah, it’s taken over the [00:49:00] world. There’s an app. Now. I don’t remember the name cause I just passed it on from, to the guy that you take a recording and it works for zoom too.
Yeah. You take a recording and you, you just feed it into the app and you, and you type in what you want taken out. You M. U H and there’s a thing for spaces like one causes and what it does is it does it perfectly. Cause I heard it back perfectly and it spits out. A typed transcription with the arms ERs and spaces taken out.
And then I took that typed out, works on Microsoft, and I just retyping it with my little tweak to it. Yeah. It’s amazing. So, no, it, it goes really fast. I did, I did I did one page a day. That’s what we 150 days, I guess. You’re [00:50:00] right. We have our
Kenric: way when we edit it, when we edit out audio, when we do this, we put it into a program called descript, that’s it?
Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, that’s what we use to edit all of our stuff. Yeah.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Amazing. It’s crazy.
Kenric: So record your voice and do a bunch of control words, and then you can type out what you want it to say. And it’ll say it back to you in your word and your voice. Yeah. It’s pretty insane. It’s pretty insane. Yeah.
Yeah. But it’s, it’s not quite a hundred percent. Cause you can still kind of tell that it’s not quite, it has a little digital quality to it, you know?
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: But all I need is the typing, you know, so I don’t have to pay a typist. And for me to type what I’ve already said and correct it with the ums in spaces out was really easy.
I mean, just as a creative writing task, it took me for hours. You know, you sit down and you work on it for hours. Boom. Well, I, I guess how it worked was no hunks. [00:51:00] No, I would say the Clint Eastwood hunk. I take me a date of an incident that yeah, so that’s when it’ll, it’ll be ready, I’m looking forward to it.
I mean, when I, when I typed it out and was ready to send it back to the guy to read the guy who taped it and I read it to myself, I said, wow, man, this is going to be really cool. I mean, I was pressed by it. Well, you got, you said you can have it, you can type it out, put it in and have it speak. That blows your mind stuff.
Yeah, it blows
Kenric: my mind. You know, it’s a little scary.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: The guy I sent it to called me and said something like what you said, Holy cow, this thing is amazing. Cause he’s a freak for that kind of stuff. Turned me onto it. Has used it professionally and he was telling me about, but I just looked at it and said, no, [00:52:00] it’s I, I can,
I, but I did look at the, a little there’s a little synopsis of what it could do that. And I go, Holy cow. But the guy phoned me and said, man, you should see what the, you should just send it to me. That’s how I send me the finished thing.
Kenric: It’s crazy. It’s awesome.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Awesome. Hey, here’s something you see these things.
That’s my, those are my paintings. I paint not for a lift. I just paint, but I have a website. That’s what I could tell you. Yeah, please. The real Larry hankin.com cause somebody owns Larry hankin.com and he tried to bribe me into paying them. Yeah, man. That’s my name, steal my name,
the real Larry Hankin, and my paintings are on there. So you can buy my paintings. They’re they’re that big. Or you can have them put on a t-shirt, [00:53:00] which is a lot cheaper. I think that’s cool box or something. I might have to get a t-shirt. Yeah, there’s like 40 of them and my film shorts. I have a lot of my own functions that I make.
Kenric: were nominated for Academy award with, with a diner. Yeah. What was the, what was the experience like?
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Not what you think. No. Nothing I have ever done is what you think. Nothing,
Kenric: nothing goes normal for
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Larry Hagen. I think it’s normal for life. If you really want to know, come on, man. I mean, movies are not what you think, not what you think being rich is not what you think money, not what you think.
So anyway what I was. It’s a long story. I cut it short. I handed it in and one of the things, I didn’t think it was good enough when we finished it all. It was a lot of, a lot of problems with it, but we got it done. I didn’t think it was ready for [00:54:00] prime time, but the cinematographer wanted to hand it in.
I told them not to. Cause it was my, my money. It was my phone. Yeah. I told the cinematographer not to hand it in, but he needed a credit. He needed a job. I don’t blame him, but I, and he called me up and he, and it’d be, because first of all, the reason I didn’t want it to, to hand in. And he says, I don’t know where I got this, but I believe that in my heart that if you hand in something to the Academy and it gets refused, You can never hand in anything ever again, what?
No, where I got that, but that’s why I told them not to hand it in. And I was very adamant about it and he said, okay, man, you know, very disheartened, but each it okay. Bout three weeks later, he calls me up. He said, I got good news and I got bad news. Oh man. Cause we had gone through so much trouble making that day.
Yeah. I said, okay, well tell me the good news. [00:55:00] No, no. I said, tell me the bad news. Is it the bad news is, look, man, I need a job. I handed it in. Oh man. I told you that too. Yeah. Yeah, I know, but I got to work. No, but. Oh, fuck. All right. Okay. Well what’s the good news it’s been accepted.
That’s a great reaction.
Don’t ever do that again, man. Don’t if I see no, don’t.
I swear. I did that. I swear to God.
I had a, but yeah, I called them back. [00:56:00] Oh, my God. That’s such a roller coaster. Well, and then, you know, so I a roller coaster. Okay. So that was the, that was the best part. So now we had a go, but to go, man is a whole other that’s nothing like it. Yeah. I had to buy a tuxedo. I or at least rent one. Yeah. I had to buy my girlfriend a whole new outfit.
She had, she, I had buy it. I mean, you know, went to Beverly Hills, took a Ghanim. I dress her. I don’t know what outfit we had a rent, a limo. Can’t go to Volkswagen beetle. Yeah,
by the way, in my Volkswagen beetle, I don’t have that anymore. That was really a transportation vehicle, but I’ve gone to invitation, major award things [00:57:00] in the beetle. And here’s what happens, you know, you drive up with the limo. Yeah. You know, a guy opens the door to it’s a bit, it’s a big thing, you know, drive up a, the limo, but you get in line.
So his limo limo is his lady Gaga, limo, limo, limo, limo, VW transportation.
So cause like this limo drives up. Limo drives up Volkswagen beetle that comes up through the side of the window, sir. Would you pull out and go over to that please? I had to, they made me wow out and go and park in another area. So close it up. Limo limo. I actually didn’t want my, my [00:58:00] VW transportation vehicle pulling up to this major theater.
Oh man. God man. So, so then we get in and you know, we, okay. Then we get it. So we’re all, you know, there’s timers and clicking and all that. Walk the car. Okay. You know, that’s kind of cool, but. They don’t click as much when I walked by.
That is the walk, you know, do, do, do, do, do do. It’s like this it’s like this. Okay. Yeah. You hear that. And the flashing.
That was me.
Oh my God. [00:59:00] Yeah. They have no compunction about not taking your picture. Right. It’s like, you could see it, man. It’s like this from my point of view, it’s like this.
Kenric: Oh, my God.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Fuck.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: man. Show business show business thing is like, you think it is nothing. Even fans are not like you think they are right.
Kenric: Right. Well, Larry we’ve been on for over an hour already. Can you believe that
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: it was so fast? Yes. I mean, I, you know, gentlemen just goes until they get bored.
Kenric: I don’t think, [01:00:00] I think it’s impossible to get bored with you, man.
I’d love for you to come back if you’re ever
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I love doing these things. I don’t have to rehearse.
Kenric: We didn’t even get into all the other things that you have going on and all the things that you’ve been in. So I’d love to have you on again.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Great. By the way. Oh, thanks.
Kenric: We try. We try and be too.
I got to adjust because I like, if I can get this up like this, then it’s not so bad. Right. Then I’m looking right at you.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: Oh, I see. The
Kenric: thing is down here. So it looks like I’m always looking down
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: at you. I have to, I have to wear these glasses. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t work blurred. So you just slurred? I can’t talk if I can’t see.
I don’t know.
Kenric: Yeah, I get ya. I get ya. Well, it’s been a pleasure chatting with you. We’ll let’s set up another time because this is. This was more than funny.
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: W w what is today? Today’s Saturday at 11 o’clock. Well, Fridays are Friday, Thursday, [01:01:00] Fridays, and Saturdays between 10 and noon is okay with me.
No, I keep that open for a week. Let’s
Kenric: yeah, let’s get it back. We’ll I’ll have Jeff set it up for us because that’d be perfect. Yeah. I would love to go in, cause I’d love to talk about your, your time on friends. And I know you, cause I know you have some fun, you got to. Sure. I know that you were one away.
Yeah. Well, cause I know you’re one away from being a reoccurring character
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: and you had, so let’s,
Kenric: let’s let’s table that one for next time, because
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: yeah, exactly.
Kenric: Well, let me thank you so much for taking your time out today, man. We really appreciate
Larry Hankin – COMBINED: it. Thank you guys. I really, I really appreciate it. I
Kenric: really thank you.