Andrew Bergman has been a unique and irresistible voice of comedy for over forty years. As a screenwriter, film director and now librettist for Broadway’s critical hit Honeymoon In Vegas, Mr. Bergman has made his mark as an indelible force of American comedy. Of course, Honeymoon In Vegas – both on the stage and screen – is his most popular work, but Andrew has contributed to a number of classics – cult, commercial and everywhere in between. He wrote the screenplays for The In Laws, The Freshman and It Could Happen to You and also directed films such as Isn’t She Great starring Bette Midler and Nathan Lane. For Bergman, this only skims the surface! We are so happy to have comedy great Andrew Bergman On the Couch!
What do you consider to be your best asset?
Cool under fire, like Richard Nixon always described himself. In truth, I kind of like writing under the gun. Always amazed what one can come up with on a deadline. Also, my nose is pretty good, considering what my grandmother's nose was like.
What was your proudest moment?
Professionally, getting the Lifetime Achievement in Screenwriting Award from the Writer's Guild of America meant a great deal to me, because the approval of one's peers is a huge deal. The flip side is that it also means your peers no longer feel threatened by your existence.
What is your favorite drink?
Tito's or Luksosowa vodka is a reliable friend, summer or winter. Also, I’m very fond of Bulleit Bourbon, and Tesseron XO cognac. But, ultimately, a cold glass of seltzer always brings happiness.
What is your favorite food?
Italy has the greatest cuisine, bar none; all you Franco-philes can bitch to your heart's content, but it's true. Then again, if you want to gain a quick fifteen pounds I recommend New Orleans, a unique and beautiful city, which I just visited for the first time.
What is your favorite condiment?
Pete's Bar-B-Q Sauce, from White Oak Farm in the Berkshires, is pretty fine.. Also have to tip my cap to Maille Apricot and Curry mustard, although Tony Danza swears that the truffle mustard is unbeatable.
What is your current obsession?
The continued excellence and joy emanating from “Honeymoon In Vegas.”
If you could give up one of your vices, what would it be?
My inability to wait in any line for more than thirty seconds. It's not that I really want to give it up, but it would be easier on those around me.
What is the one professional accomplishment you long for most?
It happened. I always wanted to write a musical and here it is. The experience has been everything I could have dreamed. A film producer pal of mine lost a million dollars of his own money on a musical and told me he would do it again tomorrow, even knowing that he'd lose all that cash. I feel exactly the same way. I have had no more electrifying professional experience than our opening night.
What is the one thing you waste too much money on?
Ecstasy. (Just kidding.) My parents were German refugees; the concept of wasting money is as foreign to my experience as space travel.
What is the one activity you waste too much time doing?
Watching baseball games on the tube. No question.
What do you consider to be the single greatest threat to your health?
What is the single best trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
Love of family and as much laughter as you can manage. My dad was a very funny man. He was a newspaperman who wrote material for Victor Borge in his spare time (and for spare change).
What is the single worst trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
Keep as low a profile as possible. If you're hiding from the Nazis, it makes perfect sense. If you're making a career in show business, not so much.
What in the world most thrills you?
At the current time, the warp speed development of my grandson Henry who’s about to turn two.
What current trend in popular culture most irritates you?
Not surprisingly, the addiction to PDAs. People are never really with you and no one on the street can make eye contact. There is nothing more appalling than the panic among audience members when the cell phone announcement is made and they are torn away from the breast. It is a horrifying sight.
What was the single most embarrassing moment you've ever experienced on the job?
Here's the thing: I am not easily embarrassed, which probably doesn't say much for me.
What is your favorite place in the world?
There are many places I love, but the Berkshire hills–for their beauty, history, and cultural richness–have genuine magic.
What is the most important trait you seek in a romantic partner?
That she be married to me. Happily, I have found that.
Do you prefer the company of dogs or cats?
Neither. I prefer smart, funny people.
What would have to happen to make today the best day of your life?
George Burns used to say, “Every morning I read the obituaries; if I'm not in there, I get up.” I have been unbelievably blessed in life and love, and in having had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most talented people ever including the extraordinarily gifted people who have shaped “Honeymoon In Vegas.”
What is your personal motto?