Episode 129

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Episode Description

Our next guest, Art Bell, is a writer and former media executive known for creating, building, and managing successful cable television channels. His memoir, Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor, tells the story of how, while a financial analyst at HBO, he pitched the idea of a 24-hour comedy network that he then helped develop and launch.

Art chats with Bob about:

  • Developing The Comedy Channel, now known as Comedy Central & the surprise phone call from Mitzi Shore, owner of The World Famous Comedy Store.
  • The Difference between an Entrepreneur & Intrapreneur.
  • Understanding your tolerance level when it comes to handling money.
  • Finding your passion and doing what you love.

To learn more about Art Bell, visit his website and grab a copy of his award-winning memoir, Constant Comedy. @artbellauthor

Episode Transcription

Click to Read Full Transcript

Bob: [00:01:00] Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. And in this episode, we’re going to explore, question, examine, converse, dig deep, expose, laugh and cry about the money beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges of our next guest. Turn up the volume, listen, learn and laugh.

Hi, I’m Bob Wheeler from The Money Nerve. Welcome to week five March Money Mindset. Did you know, our mindset is the key to having a healthy relationship with money, our mindset colors, everything. Even if we don’t even see it, the more we can get in touch with our own emotional responses towards money, the more we can calm and manage our money jitters. This week, we are continuing our mission to help you have a more focused, intentional and conscious mindset.

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For this week only, we have reduced the price and you can enroll in mastering the emotions of money for $95. That’s a huge savings off our regular price. To learn more or enroll, visit themoneynerve.com/freshstart2021 and begin transforming your relationship with money. You’re welcome to share this offer with anyone that you know, who needs help with their money mindset and a big thank you to all of you who participated in the fresh start 2021 challenge. I hope that you were able to get more conscious and aware of your money habits, and I hope you found a few more dollars in your wallet.

Bob: [00:02:49] Well, I am excited today. Our next guest Art Bell is a writer and former media executive known for creating, building and managing successful cable television channels is memoir constant comedy. How I started Comedy Central and lost my sense of humor. It tells the story of how. While a financial analyst at HBO, he pitched the idea of a 24 hour comedy network that he helped then help develop and launch.

Art went on to hold senior executive positions in both programming and marketing at Comedy Central. After leaving Comedy Central, he became president of Court TV, where he was a guiding force behind one of the most successful brand evolutions in cable television. In addition to writing, he plays piano and jazz drums. He currently resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, and deer Valley, Utah, with his wife.

Art. I’m super excited to have you here.

Art: [00:03:37] I’m so happy to be here.

Bob: [00:03:39] Well, you know, I will, I’ll just start off with, I was excited because Comedy Central, like everybody knows Comedy Central and it certainly evolved over the years. But you’re sitting there, your, an HBO analyst financial analyst, which is probably the most exciting part of television, I’m guessing…

Art: [00:03:56] I found it to be.

Bob: [00:03:57] And then you came up with this idea. So while you were there, so you were sort of an entrepreneur, but you were working a day job, but you still had passion. Like ,what, how did this all happen?

Art: [00:04:07] Well, it starts when I was a kid. Yeah. I mean, that was, I loved comedy. I was fascinated by comedy. I thought, man, how did these guys, you know, watching comics on the ed Sullivan show you know, Alan King, Richard Pryor, those guys won the Solomon. John. I watched them. I thought what a great gift to be able to make people laugh. And I was about eight years old when I figured that out and I want it to, I want it to understand it. Yeah. For the rest of my life, I was fascinated with comedy. So when, you know, when I got to high school, a little bit of performance, but you know, mostly writing, I was like, you know, wrote some satire, got to college, did some performance again, sketch comedy, mostly and some and some theater.

But then when I was coming out of grad school, I said, wait a second. You know, what I really want to do is I want to work in an old comedy network. And then I looked around and there wasn’t one, right? And I said, well, there’s an old news channel. There’s an old music channel. There’s an all everything else channel, what the heck is going on here?

I thought about it and came up with an idea of how I would do it and everything and ruminated for probably three years before I actually mentioned it to anybody. But when I got to HBO. I had worked at CBS for a year before I got to HBO. When I got to HBO, I took it. Hey man. I’m like down that down the hall, practically from the people who do the programming, even though I was doing financial analysis and I said, what the hell?

I’m going to go pitch the head of programming. Her name was Bridget Potter. And I said, I’m going to go pitch Bridget on my idea. And I did, she gave me an appointment. I went to her office. I’m like, you know, this kid who doesn’t know much about television or programming. And I say, Hey, Bridgette, I got an idea.

I think HBO should do an all comedy network. 24, seven common. She goes, stop right there. Worst idea I’ve ever heard. And I’m willing to tell you why. And she spent the next 10 minutes telling me why it was the worst idea she ever heard. No comedian would want to be on it. Nobody wants to watch that much comedy, plenty of comedy on television already.

I mean, you know, she went through it and they’re too expensive, too expensive. That was another thing. And that was, that was actually, you know, like any conversation you have with somebody about your idea, it gave me some information about, okay, here are some objections that I’m going to have to sort of figure out.

Bob: [00:06:19] So did you ever get a chance to go back to Bridgette and say, “Hey, Bridgette, here’s my really bad idea.”

Art: [00:06:28] It didn’t happen exactly that way. I’ll tell you how it did happen. Ultimately Michael Fuchs heard about my idea and I got a chance to pitch him. I hadn’t prepared for it. Someone said you got to pitch this to Michael and took me in his office.

And he liked the idea. So he said, look, Get it together, figure out what you have to do. And then give us a presentation in a couple of months about, you know, what it’s going to cost and what it looks like and what the opportunities are. And I want you to give the presentation. I said fine. So we set up the presentation and there’s about 30 executives in the room, including Bridget.

I give my presentation and there’s like huge applause. And Michael’s like, yeah, we’re going to do this. I want this thing up and running in six months, which scared the hell out of me, as you can imagine. But before he did that, he said, I’m going to go around the room and I’m going to ask each of you what you think of the idea.

And he starts with, you know, Larry Carlson. “I love it,” Stu Smiley, “I think it’s terrific.” Okay. And he gets to Bridget and she goes,” Oh my God. I just think it’s the greatest idea.” And then he went on and I’m like…

It’s worth pausing there because it’s interesting to think about why Michael did that. Why he asked everybody in the room. He wanted to make sure he was making the decision to launch this thing with all of his, all support of the support he needed from his top executives. He looked each of them in the eye and I’ll never forget that.

And it’s like, it’s a good lesson for managers.

Bob: [00:08:00] Yeah, no, that’s awesome. And so now I’m going to ask this question, cause I haven’t read your book yet. And everybody should read the book, especially if you love comedy. So Mitzi at the Comedy Store also had a Comedy Channel about the same time, and I believe Comedy Central was originally going to be The Comedy Channel.

Art: [00:08:21] That’s right when we started at HBO. What other name could you possibly pick for an all comedy network than The Comedy Channel. So we thought we were pretty slick and in those days, you know, you, you didn’t, you couldn’t look up on the internet to see what all the other Comedy Channels were, so we plowed ahead, thinking it to hell we’re HBO.

Who’s going to bother us. We get a phone call. It’s Mitzi Shore from, you know, from The Comedy Store. And she says, listen, I got to tell you guys, I don’t want you to use the name, The Comedy Channel, because I have a feed in my club of comedians. So when people were waiting for the show to start, I show that and I call it The Comedy Channel.

We hung up the phone and it was panic, as you can imagine, because we were like deep into putting this channel together. We had materials, we had promotions we had on here. We said, Oh my God, if we have to, if we have to change the name, now it’s going to cost us a million dollars. So the lawyer said, well, all we can do is, you know, we can go to court.

It would cost us a million dollars in court or, see if she wants to settle. So they went to Michael Fuchs and he said, all right, we’re going to have to settle. And he picked a number and he was going to offer the number, it’s in my book. See, that’s why you have to read the book because I’m not going to say the number.

Bob: [00:09:38] Don’t say the number.

Art: [00:09:39] And if you read my book and sit there and. The lawyer said, okay, we are going to offer Mitzi that number. And just before they called Mitzi called and she said, you know what, I’m not going to do anything about this. Life is too short. She said, go ahead and use the name. And that was it.

We never, we never made the offer. We never paid for it. She was cool. We were cool. The lawyers took complete credit for solving. No problem.

Bob: [00:10:08] That’s so awesome. Well, you know, one thing I do know. With Mitzi, it was never about the money. It was always about comics and it was always about comedy. You know, she even helped

Art: [00:10:15] You knowwhat,that’s admirable because if you’re in this business to make money, you know, sometimes you don’t, you have to be in this, but you have to be in this business to love it, which is why I got into it.

Bob: [00:10:26] Absolutely. I mean, she even actually helped set up The Laugh Factory with Jamie Masada. She gave, gave him some old chairs and helped him because like she was all about comedy. So that’s, that’s such a great story. And I’ve always wondered that little piece because I wasn’t around when all that was happening. I was still a baby. So let me ask you this. Where are your parents supportive of you going into television and comedy? Did they you were a financial analyst, I believe you previously told me your dad was a CPA. So were they trying to get you to be like the smart and stable kind of job or w w what, what was your childhood like in terms of encouragement and. Things about money and success.

Art: [00:11:03] Well, I grew up in the sixties and in the sixties the idea was to pick a profession that was going to put you slightly ahead of the pack. You know, you can become a doctor that’s the best because doctors make money, you can become a lawyer. That’s kind of second best CPA.

If you’re, you know, you’re out of ideas. After that, there wasn’t too much on the menu for my parents. My mother was a piano teacher. And she was, you know, an artist. I mean, and the one thing she kept telling me is for God’s sake, don’t go into the arts. Don’t go in entertainment.. Don’t go into media.

I shouldn’t say it exactly that way, but you, so you can’t make money in it. You know, if you’re an artist you go in because you love it, but you’ll, you’ll starve to death. Yeah. And. So I went to college and I majored in economics and I became an economist, which wasn’t on the list either. My father said, Oh, I hate economists.

They don’t want what they’re doing. Yeah. But anyway, became an economist. And I worked for three years in consulting in Washington, DC. And I actually found myself making more money than I ever would have imagined. It wasn’t a whole lot of money, but you know, when you’re a college kid and you grew up sort of middle-class, it’s like, Hey, I got a car, I got an apartment.

They pay me every week. This is great. And I really did love it. I really did love being an economist. I was smart. I was, and those were my smart days. But then I decided I wanted to do something else. I wanted to go into television. So I went back to business school, came out and I got a job with CBS.

Now, most of my friends at business school were going to Wall Street and we’re making lots of money. And my father’s expectation was that I’d go to Wall Street and make lots of money. But I said, no, I’m going to CBS. I want to work in the entertainment industry. And I told him when I, when I was making at CBS, what the offer was, and he says, Oh, wait a second.

Isn’t that pretty much like half as much as you were making as an economist in Washington two years ago, before all this education, I said, “yeah, dad, dad it’ll work out. It’s all gonna work out.” But I was being paid nothing. When I came out of business school and my friends were like, “are you crazy?” And I said, “Oh, that’s what I want to do. you know, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll do something else.” That’s all.

Bob: [00:13:06] How did you have the the gumption to stick with it? Like what was the inner voice that said everybody else is telling me, go for the money. And there’s a part of me that’s saying go for what makes me happy. Maybe.

Art: [00:13:22] I’ll tell you the turning point for me was when I was in business school, actually I didn’t go back to business school necessarily to get into television, some form of entertainment. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but there was, I was at Wharton and they had the Wharton Follies, which was a musical comedy review.

Second year I wrote the entire thing and it was really, if I may say so myself well-written and very funny and got a lot of great feedback. Now we realize it’s only that kind of a thing, but I also realized how much I loved writing comedy and how much, and the fact that I was good at it, you know, I sort of had a feeling for it and I thought, okay, then, you know, this is ridiculous.

I’m just going to do this. And I knew I wasn’t a performer. I thought maybe I could be a writer. And then I said, well, you know what, I’m just going to go into the business and look around and see if I find something I like to do. Which is what I did .

Bob: [00:14:07] Well, that’s awesome. And I, you know, as, as you were talking, I was thinking to myself most people would say a financial analyst or a CPA, but like myself, can’t be really all that funny because we’re so, you know, we’ve gotta be so left-brain and.

It’s like, so did you get that? Did you be like, well, you can have a sense of humor. You’re you’re an economist.

Art: [00:14:29] Bob, you hit about six myths in that one sentence. Okay. First of all, two words for you, Bob Newhart. What was his profession?

Bob: [00:14:36] Oh my God. He was a CPA and he worked for the state board of equalization, California sales tax.

Art: [00:14:41] France Kafka, one of the funniest guys in the world. He also was a bureaucrat. Actually. I’m kidding. He wasn’t that funny, but he was, he had a day job. A lot of people have day jobs. Yeah. Funny people are all over the place. I don’t know if you noticed, but there’s a lot of funny people. I, you know, I’m, I’m reminded of it. A few stories where, for example, Lenny, Bruce used to say he was the second funniest guy he knew, but his, he had a friend who said was hysterical, was really his, his idol.

So, you know, there’s no shortage of funny people. I think the differences are, they’re funny. People who are willing to get onstage and have everyone look at them or go on camera, even worse, you know, with extreme closeups and everything. I mean, that’s a leap being funny is important to people. Personally, I have found. Yeah, certainly certainly my friends growing up, or one of them be funny, certainly the guys and the women who were funny. Of course they were girls in high school. I love the funny girls. I always fell for the funny girls, you know, and, and yeah. Still do I’m married. My wife’s very funny, but that’s, you know what I mean?

I mean, you know, comedy, it’s humorous such an important integral part of life and certainly my life that no, it doesn’t, it’s not limited by what your occupation is. Absolutely not.

Bob: [00:15:57] Yeah. And would you say Early on. You always wanted to be an entrepreneur, like even though you were working in the confines of a nine to fiver.

Art: [00:16:06] No, I wouldn’t say that, you know, entrepreneurship was kind of a different kettle of fish in the sixties, you know? I mean, now kids grow up with a, you know, Baseball cards with their favorite entrepreneurs on them, you know, Tesla and you know, and the guys, all those guys in Silicon Valley, we didn’t, we had no, there was no role model that I can actually think of.

Who was an entrepreneur. I mean, in my own hometown, there were a couple of, and I mean, two wealthy guys and they were both builders. You know, they, they were real estate guys. They built. Track housing. I sure as heck didn’t want to do that. No, I don’t think I ever wanted to be an entrepreneur. I think I wanted to be smart and useful in that order.

Bob: [00:16:48] Yeah. And you talk about being an entrepreneur and an intrepreneur.

Art: [00:16:55] Yeah. You know, intrapreneur, that’s a term that I never heard until after I was one. And I think that term came up in the mid nineties. Okay. After I had started The Comedy Channel, but what an intrepreneur is, is someone who starts a business inside an existing company.

So in my case, I started The Comedy Channel inside of HBO and. So much of being intrepreneur is similar to be an entrepreneur. I mean, you have to be a visionary. You have to see what the thing is going to become in 10 years, not tomorrow, but in 10 years you have to be passionate about it because there’s enough people who are going to tell you, it’s a stupid idea.

It’ll never work. This is going badly. Ask me about the first year of Comedy Channel you know, all kinds of things that are going to make ordinary people who want visionary and passionate. I don’t mean that as ordinary. I just meant people who aren’t as invested in it, as I was say, okay, uncle I’ll stop.

You know, I’ll do something else. So yeah, that, that the difference is when you’re inside a company, you not only have to do all those things. You have to navigate the politics of the company. The good news is you’re not. You’re not in the same resource starved position that you sometimes are as an entrepreneur.

You’re not raising money every three months. You’re not asking for, you know, where can I hire a cheap accountant because you’ve got a whole finance team behind you. You know what I mean? So that’s the advantage. I will say this. I I’ve worked at several companies in my life. And I’ve also been a consultant to several other companies, not necessarily in the entertainment business.

And I’ve seen that companies have a real, very hard time starting new businesses inside for a variety of reasons. Number one, The idea of competing with themselves always comes up, you know, new Coke and Coke. I don’t know if you remember that whole fiasco, but you know, the big question was, Oh my gosh, we’re going to put out this new version of Coca-Cola.

Are we going to compete with ourselves and end up worse off that’s, you know, that’s one of the reasons.

Bob: [00:18:54] And did you find like that other people within the company were, yay, go art, go, go, go. Or like, wow. How did he get so lucky or like, were there high fives?

Art: [00:19:06] I don’t think anybody thought of me as lucky. It was hard work and it was, I was in the spotlight, which was something I had not really bargained for. And I was also, I walked into this situation, not knowing anything about the comedy business. I know I loved comedy. The first time I met Stu Smiley, who was the head of comedy programming at HBO.

They teamed us up. First thing you said to me, what do you know about comedy? And he didn’t say it in a nice way. Like, I’m gonna go to help. He said, what the hell do you think you’re doing? And I had to learn the comedy business while I was doing it. So I would say it was a mix. There were certainly a lot of people I worked with at, at HBO who were very enthusiastic about it.

Everybody wanted it to succeed because Michael Fuchs was, the chairman wanted it to succeed. You did what he said, but truthfully, you know, There were some skeptics and I think Stu was skeptical for awhile. And the first year was very hard and a lot of people, including me, thought they were going to shut it down any minute.

Bob: [00:20:06] I was just going to ask that, were there any moments of like, Oh my God, what have I done?

Art: [00:20:10] Several actually when I first pitched Michael sort of inadvertently, you know, ended up in his office and he said, what are you talking about? A comedy network pitched him the whole thing. And he said, Hey, I like the idea.

Let’s see if we can, you know, Take it to the next step. I, I said, what have I done at that point? Cause I didn’t really expect anyone to say yes. Right. But I get the poker face and I went about my business. The next time I think was really when we launched the launch of the, of the Comedy Channel and the day we launched.

I was just so impressed by the fact that we had to come back and all the work we had done in the last nine months to put all this programming together, we had to come back the next day and do it all over again because your 24 hours of comedy, you’re constantly shoveling programming into that and we didn’t have that much to start with. So, yeah, that was the other one.

Bob: [00:21:06] And what was your biggest I don’t want to say like proud or pride, but like yeah. When you look at the whole process, like what part do you feel like, you know, what this felt really accomplished or I feel really happy that this happened.

Art: [00:21:22] I can certainly say that today. I mean, I get up in the morning. I don’t think of it as every day, but you know, April, March the 30th anniversary of Comedy Central, you know, so the idea that I can look in my rear view mirror and see something that I, you know, I’ll put together started and then help create it it, that it’s still standing.

And not only that it’s become kind of a cultural icon and it’s brought so many people, happiness laughter and careers. Careers, all the people who’ve been employed over the years and all the people who got to flex their creativity in ways that probably wouldn’t have existed if there weren’t a Comedy Central. Yeah. So all I’m very proud of all of that.

Bob: [00:21:59] Yeah. That’s awesome. I’m wondering if you’ve had any conversations with your dad since that talk about not going to Wall Street and taking half the money and how your parents viewed it after the fact.

Art: [00:22:13] Well, of course, I’ve had plenty of conversations with like that about my life and career. I mean, most memorably, he said, I don’t know, a few years ago when we were talking about it, he said, well, you’ve had a great career. You know, you’ve really done some wonderful things. So I think he came around to the whole idea, certainly, but along the way, again, my parents knew nothing about television and they used to say to their friends and everybody else.

We have no idea what Art does, seems to be making a living. What can I tell you? You know, and, and for, for their friends, and this is really an exaggeration, but you know, again, their generation, if you weren’t a doctor, a lawyer, they didn’t quite know what you did. So that was, that was pretty much it. No, I, listen. I think my parents were ultimately proud of, of my of my trajectory.

Bob: [00:22:56] Did your parents, when you were a kid talk a lot about money, was that, did you guys have money conversations? Did you talk about goals and benchmarks or the meaning of money or the power of money? Like what was that like growing up in terms of money?

Art: [00:23:12] It wasn’t really explicitly talked about, although the fact that my father was an accountant, you know, he was a CPA and was dealing with people who were you know, at various points along the, the wealth scale. He had clients who were extremely wealthy. He had clients who were farmers, you know, and extremely poor.

And I did spend some time working for him when I was in high school. That that was really kind of the biggest The most complete view of, of money on a personal level that I saw because he’d have clients come in and say, Oh my gosh, you know, Hey, I can’t pay you because I don’t have any money or I, you know, I need help the businesses flailing.

As far as in the home about what we talked about money, I wouldn’t say we talked a lot about money. I always got the impression. That my father spent a lot of money, whatever he had and my mother saved a lot of money, whatever she could. And that was pretty much the dynamic. And that that’s, that’s it. I don’t know if I became, it’s actually interesting. I have two brothers. I have one brother who’s like me, who doesn’t like to spend money and find it. Horrifying any, you know, whether it’s $10 or $10,000, it’s like, I’d rather not. Thank you. And I have another brother who spends money. Like my father did, like, you know, let’s buy another car. That’ll be fun.

Bob: [00:24:33] And did do you and your wife talk a lot about money? Did you ask her about money when you first got together? Was that part of any conversations? Was there any conscious intentional conversation around money?

Art: [00:24:46] No. I, you know, we, we pretty much, we met, fell in love and decided to get married at the time. It was just before, or just as I was putting comedy channel together at HBO. My career was certainly not, you know, Preordained to be successful at that moment. Right. I was on the cusp of either being very successful. We’re having to find other work essentially. And I think she knew that and it just, it wasn’t a problem, partly because she, at that time was a consultant and making a nice living in herself.

So it’s neither of us expected that we would starve and neither of us projected that when we’d be well-off, wealthy or anything else, you know, we just didn’t know, but it wasn’t a primary consideration at all.

Bob: [00:25:32] What would you have done different? If, if there’s anything, if you said, Oh, I wish I could have gone back and just tweak this a little bit differently in terms of finances. I wished I had….

Art: [00:25:42] yeah. I, to tell you something very personal. I wish I wasn’t so afraid of money. I really have a hard time with it. I really have always been a little bit depressed by the whole concept. I didn’t like to deal with it now when I was working. Full-time at corporations, you know, I I had the, I spent less time on it just cause I was working.

But since, you know, since I’ve retired and even before that, I will say all along, I just didn’t like to do it. I didn’t like to balance a checkbook. I didn’t like to think about what we had to spend. We were never you know, in tough shape, we never were scraping for food or rent or anything. Although I was fired from Comedy Central which is horrible.

I’m just you the left. I just gave you the last chapter. So now you don’t have to read the book previously. You did have to read the book. Now you don’t have to put any like And that was the first time in my life. Actually, the only time in my life I was fired and it was a shock and it was at that point, I had a wife, a mortgage and a kid.

And so it it was pretty difficult from a financial point of view to, to stare down the barrel of that future, because I didn’t know if I’d get another job. Right. I did obviously. That was, that was the only time I was scared, but most of my, most of my adult life, I have been really uncomfortable with money.

And the funny thing is you asked about my parents and their feelings about it. I think it must’ve been something going on in my house. I probably should talk to a psychiatrist about this, but. A couple of years ago, I was out to dinner with my brother and his wife. And I was there with my wife and the check came and I pulled out my credit card.

Didn’t look at the check and handed it to my wife and my brother didn’t look at the check. He pulled out his credit card and handed it to his wife. I said, what are you doing? He says, I don’t even look. I don’t want to know. I don’t know how much it costs. I just wanted to enjoy it. Melissa takes care of everything.

I don’t care and that’s, that’s the way I do it. Now. My wife, Karen takes care of everything..

Bob: [00:27:51] Yeah, no, I, you know, it’s funny. I am sort of the same way when I take my staff out and when I take my staff out, if I’m paying attention, I’m like, wait, they had another drink. They had an app, so I have deal with paying for it. I mean, I pay for it, but I don’t want to know the details because I’ll be like, wait that they didn’t eat their whole plate. I’m going through everything.

Art: [00:28:11] So you got the same disease I have. When it snows, I start panicking cause the guy’s going to come and plow, you know, I hope it doesn’t snow a whole lot. Cause he’s going to charge us more. It’s just, you know, and of course. At this point, it’s, you know, for me, actually in the last 30 years, it’s completely ridiculous to think that way to not buy a shirt because it costs $25. You know, it got ridiculous, especially when it was something I needed and my, wife would say,” for God’s sake, just buy the thing. Well, yeah. And that’s, that’s the way I live. That’s the way I work..

Bob: [00:28:44] That’s awesome. Yeah, my, my, my benchmark is 25 bucks shirts and pants, over that I start to panic.

Art: [00:28:52] I haven’t bought clothes in two years. It’s been great. Who needs them? Who needs them?

Bob: [00:28:57] Oh, well we’re in our fast five. So I’ve got five fast questions. Just top of the mind. Here we go. What was the last podcast you listened to?

Art: [00:29:04] It was called living out loud.

Bob: [00:29:08] Okay. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Art: [00:29:14] I would say go scuba diving.

Bob: [00:29:17] Cool. I’d be afraid of the sharks, so it would have to be in my pool. If you had to choose one chore, would it be cleaning, cooking or yard work ?

Art: [00:29:24] Cooking.

Bob: [00:29:25] All right. What’s the most expensive thing you ever bought for yourself? Personally? Not including a car or a house.

Art: [00:29:35] Ah, I bought a nice piano.

Bob: [00:29:37] That’s a good investment. I play the piano. Love it. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done.

Art: [00:29:42] Starting the comedy channel. I would have to say anything that I’ve ever done. Yeah.

Bob: [00:29:47] That’s and it paid off.

Art: [00:29:49] Yes. Yes. It’s paid off.

Bob: [00:29:52] So if we’re we have our M and M moment or money and motivation, sweet spot, what would be a practical piece of advice you would give or a wealth, wealth wisdom, something that you’ve learned along the way you know, something like handing your wife the bill, and letting her deal with the emotions of of running up the charge, but are there’s there’s something out there that like you wish maybe somebody had said to you when you were younger?

Art: [00:30:16] Yeah, I, you know, and it’s going to be, it’s a really simple thing. And it’s, it’s about saving. And the idea that if you start saving, when you’re 20, instead of when you’re 40, you’re going to end up with so much more money at the end that you can rely on. And I know that’s hard, it’s hard for most people to save, partly because it’s easy to spend.

Totally because you don’t have a lot of disposable income all the time, but even when you don’t have much put something, put a buck aside a week, put. Anything and put it in a place where it has a chance to earn some money, not the bank, you know, but find your way to some, to, to the stock market as quickly as you can, because the chances are that’s going to grow beautifully over the 50 or 60 years. You watch it.

Bob: [00:31:04] Yeah, absolutely. And leave it in there

Art: [00:31:07] And don’t touch it. When when the stock market crashes don’t don’t even look,

Bob: [00:31:12] I so appreciate you coming on. I so appreciate hearing the story. And again, I recommend everybody go out and read the book. I’m going to go read the book. I have a personal investment in, in knowing the rest of the story. But you know, one of the things that I’m really appreciate what you talked about is what I really heard was even though there’ve been things you’ve been afraid of, or even if dealing with money, sometimes isn’t the most fun, even when you’re being an analyst, you’re still following your passion.

You’re still looking for what makes me happy. Probably what makes me laugh and and, and still going for it, because I think a lot of people out there think that you don’t have to be afraid or you have to have all the answers to go forward. And the truth is we’re all just sort of winging it. When we’re going out there.

I mean, we have an idea, but. We’re going blind. We’re going out there blind. I think.

Art: [00:31:58] Everybody has those moments throughout their career. It’s the idea that you’re faking it, that whatever you’re doing, you’re getting away with it. Or you’re not smart enough, or you’re not as smart as the other guy or all those things.

They occurred to everybody. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve started, because that’s the way humans are built. So if you’re going to let that stop, you. That’s not going to be helpful,

Not going to help. Keep moving forward. Keep moving forward. Where can people find you online and social media?

Well, we can start with my website, artbellwriter.com. I’m on Facebook as @ArtBelllAuthor . I have a Facebook page art bell author, and they can buy my book at Amazon. And the book again is called Constant Comedy: How I started Comedy Central and lost my sense of humor. It’s a memoir, it’s personal, it’s funny. And I think it’s a, I think it’s a great read and I certainly recommend it. So go out and buy it and you can find out more about, as I said more about me on Amazon, you know, my biographies all over the place. So .

Bob: [00:32:59] Awesome. And we’ll be sure to put up links and all that so we can get it, get it to people easy. Yeah. I so appreciate it. I want to say to our listeners, please, don’t forget to share the love, follow us on, give us a like on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram search for Money You Should Ask, all one word. Subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast player. Visit Apple podcasts and search for Money You Should Ask or click on the link below.

If you prefer to watch our episodes, head over to YouTube and subscribe to our channel. For more tips tools, or to learn how to have a healthier relationship with money. Visit themoneynerve.com. That’s nerve, not nerd . Art. It’s been such a pleasure. I so appreciate getting to connect.

Art: [00:33:36] Thank you. Thank you.

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