Answer to Your Questions
Q. What's the most interesting thing that's happened to you as a result of your fame?
A. I had a bit part on one episode of the sitcom News Radio. The episode involved one of the characters loving Dilbert comics. They hired an actor to play cartoonist Scott Adams, and I played “angry guy in line to buy coffee.” I was literally such a bad actor that I couldn’t portray myself. I even blew my one line as “angry guy” and they had to shoot the whole scene again from the beginning. Embarrassing.
Q. What is the most surprising or unexpected thing you have found out about becoming a celebrity?
A. When I make mistakes, people often blame themselves. I could drop an anvil on a stranger’s foot and he’d apologize for being in the way. The weird part is that he’d mean it.
Q. Could you basically get any chick you want?
A. As a recently engaged man, let me say for the record that I only want one chick and I got her. So technically the answer to your question is yes. I have heard of guys claiming to be other famous cartoonists to get women. Impersonating Bill Watterson is especially effective.
Q. Does your being famous make it difficult to make new close friends? Also, did that ever cause you a problem in your dating life?
A. It probably helped, in the sense that I’m easier to be around when things are going my way.
Q. What did it feel like when you made it "big" and started gettting some major dough? Did you do anything crazy like buy a Ferrari. If you did buy a Ferrari, do they feel as cool as they look?
A. It happened slowly, so there was no lottery-winning moment. I kept my day job for six years after Dilbert launched.
Q. Do you ever find yourself staring at you bank account and contemplating your fame and just say, "Holy sh*t, I still can't believe this is for real"?
A. Not exactly that, but I often think it feels like a good dream.
Q. Have you ever been asked to sign a hot woman's breasts or draw Dilbert on them?
A. Not yet. But if I draw Dogbert, I know where his nose will be.
Q. Do you ever fall into the trap of thinking that because you are a minor celebrity then your opinions are more important than anyone else’s?
A. I think opinions have entertainment value and that’s about it. It’s not as if people change their views because someone made a better argument. And rarely are opinions based on adequate information. So from that perspective, all opinions are equally (un)important.
Q. In 1997, you had a cameo on the TV show "Babylon 5," which at the time was your favorite TV show. What is your current favorite show, and if you were offered a walk-on opportunity, would you do it? (I know that the union was not happy about your last appearance.)
A. I’m addicted to Battlestar Galactica. I actually joined the Screen Actor’s Guild in order to do my little TV bits. I don’t think the union minded. I doubt I will be asked to do a walk-on again.
Q. Do you just write/draw a bunch of cartoons at once and then take the rest of the week off?
A. I do one per morning, as soon as I wake up. Including weekends and holidays. The only exception is when I’m traveling. So sometimes I have to do two per day to get ahead.
Q. I was actually wondering if you didn't feel somehow deprived, as a celebrity, not being recognized in public. Have you been on the talk shows?
A. My type of minor fame is quite comfortable. No paparazzi or tabloid coverage. I’ve been on Charlie Rose’s show, Good Morning America, The Morning Show, CNN, and lots of news and interview shows. I’m not famous enough or quirky enough for Letterman, Conan or Leno.
Q. How often do people recognize you in public?
A. Locally, it happens all the time, especially in my own restaurants. When I travel I’m rarely recognized. On the road, the only people who recognize me are people who have seen my speeches or attended book signings. But there are a lot of them.
I was once on a flight where the people on both sides of me were reading my book, The Dilbert Principle. My picture is right on the back cover. The guy on my left asked me if I’d ever read it. I said, “Yes, several times.” (I finally told him who I was just to see the look on his face. Priceless.)
Q. How does it feel going from total obscurity to being the object of worship by geeks and office slaves worldwide? Being famous has to be really cool, right?
A. It is cool, but it has much less impact on daily life than you’d think. 99.9% of my day involves ordinary stuff like going to the ATM, buying groceries at Safeway, doing the laundry and whatnot. And virtually all of my work is done alone. I always wondered why famous people sometimes referred to themselves in the third person. Now I understand – it’s because the “famous me” seems like a different guy.
Q. What "list" do you consider yourself to be on as a celebrity? Like Brad Pitt and company are considered "A-list", while Kathy Griffin is a self admitted "D-list" celebrity. What list do you think you are on?
A. Kathy Griffin was the voice talent for my Alice character on the Dilbert TV show. She’s great. I think I’d be a D-.
Q. I've done some fictional writing -- short stories of a fantasy/sci fi nature. I'd like to try and get them published in a magazine, but have no clue how to proceed in that regard. Any suggestions?
A. The bookstores have lots of how-to-publish books. Publishing for Dummies is good. So is Writers Markets. And I especially liked Stephen King’s book called On Writing.