February 2006

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« Got Questions? | Main | Wisdom for Grads »

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.


Babylon 5 was my favorite Sci Fi Tv and I thought you'd be a shoe-in for Captain Simian. Too bad about your voice.

It took a while to get the old Battlestar Galactica out of my head, but once I gave it a chance I almost switched from Lipton with a dash of milk to double espreso mocha skim soy decaf latte. I like the plot, too.

Didn't you do a cameo in a Sci-Fi porno?

Probably not - but the guy who got eaten by an alien sure looked like you.


Battlestar Gallactica, huh? When my favourite show was Star Trek: TNG, I got a personalized plate that reads 12BEMUP. Now that BSG is the BEST SHOW ON TV, my wife asked what I'd ever put on a new plate. I thought for a moment and said, "FRAK." Scott, if they ever call on you to do a cameo, see if they'll let me tag along too; I already have my ACTRA card. *grin*

Dear Scott and Readers,

I have another exclusive, the comments of Kurt Westergaard, the guy who did the Mohammed Bomb-Turban cartoon with the death sentence on his head.

Note they were reported in a German paper, quoting a Scottish paper, where the comments have not surprisingly, disappeared.

It's just a part of my weekly round-up of European news over at The Dumb Ox, but I thought you all might be interested.


Thanks again for answering so many of your readers' questions. I gathered you combined some. But you did not answer at all one of mine, i.e., how is it your fiancee lets you spend so much time on your blog and email? (She must be as sweet natured as Mrs. Ox.)

All the best,
D. Ox

Hey, Yoggy! It is actually spelled "judgment". I know, it looks wrong, but check your Funk and Wagnall's. Okay, it's not as good as the Oxford, but it's funnier to say.


The questions bit was great. It's funny how rare you hear level-headed comment on fame and life in the media. There's this agreement on hysteria, it sometimes seems. But life is just life, your basic upkeep. Money can buy moments, but you have to be a decent person or it's wasted.

Guess I can't have all your money then! :P ;)

Man, you really like hearing the words "celebrity" and "you" in the same sentence, don't you? Did you choose a single question that doesn't have to do with your "being famous?"

BTW, yeah, you are probably rich, and yeah, people know what Dilbert is, but does that really make *you* famous? Or is it just your comic, and you just tag along, kinda like Britney's sister, or ol' Ashlee Simpson.

Well, I missed my window to ask any questions, but that's OK.
I enjoyed reading the ones you cherry picked and answered.
For all writers, you can't beat an essay done for American Paper by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (there were a collection of advertisements, published as essays on writing, literacy, even telling jokes, that American Paper sponsored around 1980, done by people such as Mr Vonnegut, Steve Allen, Dick Cavett, etcetera, very enjoyable and instructive). It's reprinted in his book Palm Sunday, check it out, very memorable.

Here are a few questions I always wanted to ask: Would you say that cache coherence and scatter/gather I/O, while practical in theory, have not until recently been considered typical? Moreover, would this solution often be considered private? Can we disconfirm the evaluation of Markov models, which embodies the suggested principles of machine learning? Finally, do multi-processors and introspective technologies always conflict with the confirmed unification of Internet QoS and compilers?

I am really curious abouts your belief in Affirmations, even though you seem to be a pretty skeptical guy on the whole. Does it really work for you, and if it does you would want to try it all the time, right? So, do you? I am curious because after reading about Affirmations in The Dilbert Future I have been trying them myself for a month now without success (I type them rather than write them down). i have set my self a deadline too and it is a month away. Dunno if I will be as successful with Affirmations...

yeah u're not daily show material. Thank god! Cause Bush is :)

I remember that News Radio, the Andy Dick guy had just discovered Dilbert and wanted to do a big story about it. I think that was the one.

So SpinTech magazine's "Is Scott Adams A Libertarian" bit wasn't that that big a deal for you I guess?
*declining slide whistle note*

You had a cameo on Babylon 5???!!! That's so cool! I just finished watching the series on DVD (ya, I'm behind the times, I know). I (also) know the question's already been posted, but to reiterate, which episode? I'll have to watch it again for a good chuckle.

Don't forget that you can catch Mr. Adams in June 2006 at the American Optometric Association meeting in Las Vegas. Is it pretty cool to be invited to speak to any association/group you want? Are you selective, Scott? Would you say yes to optometrists but no to other groups?

I sure hope you do this again. I wasn't fast enough...

Thanks for the Q&A on publishing because I have a comic strip at www.laughitoff.info that I am turning into a book.

I recommend the online book printer www.lulu.com. I've used them and they are tops. They didn't pay/ask me to say this :)

Do you ever write two strips for exactly the same joke and then submit them both because you are lazy/efficient/cunning/super smart? Example: 2/1/06 and 2/2/06.

I have a follow up question. Does your cat like to eat spaghetti?

daftsavant, it was season 3 episode 2 titled Review.

So you do all your work in the morning? Have you ever tried drawing Dilbert strips late at night? Could be better! Though the odds are against it, I suppose...

You underestimate your cameo on Babylon 5. Great scene.

So, did Garibaldi every find Dogbert? Hey! Sounds like a concept for a spin-off series: "Whatever happened to Dogbert?"

"PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - A Pakistani cleric announced a $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad as thousands joined street protests after Friday prayers."

This is one sick planet when cartoonists can't do what they do. No need to show this comment Scott, I just pasted part of the story in here in case you missed it. I'm sure you spotted though.

Thanks for answering those questions! None of the answers were remarkable, so I'm going to assume you were telling the truth. For example, if you claimed to have the ability to levitate, I might get skeptical.

Scott, if you know where Dogbert's nose would be, I'd like to know where his wagging tail would end up!

Over the years comics evolve. Both visually and textually. Dilbert is no different. Is there anything that looking back you think should be "devolved" (ok so that's not a word, but who cares).

You did not answer my question. You stupid lemon-eater.

Some opinions have educational value.

And today's blog was brought to you by your favourite supermarket, Safeways, Ingredients for life.

Does 'ingredients for life' sound like a activist group of anti-abortion vegetables ??

Looks like your done answering questions for now. If there is a round two though:

1) Is "Dildad" still at the all-you-can-eat restaurant and if so will he ever reappear?

2) I thought I remember reading (perhaps from a much earlier blog) that you have a sibling(s). Does Dilbert have any siblings and if not was that a deliberate decision?

That's pretty funny about The Dilbert Principle - your pic being right on the cover and all. Makes you wonder how effective those missing children posters are... I think I would really enjoy those moments where people said stupid things not knowing who I was. Have you ever had someone comment to you about disliking Dilbert or thinking one of the strips was really stupid because they didn't know who you were (I know you get plenty of people saying that who know who you are!)??

way to go... getting people to do your BLOG for you under the guise of audience participation... SLE

When will you become famous enough to have a $1 million bounty on your head?

Fascinating. When will you be getting married?

I have one more question: Did you intentionally spell "judgement" wrong in today's comic, perhaps to make the people coming out of the hole look dimmer, or was it just a mistake?

I'm curious how you do your strip. Is it still pen and paper or do you do your work on the computer? Is any of it automated? Do you still have to send in hard copy?

Have you ever gone on the Daily Show with John Stewart? If not, have you considered it? I consider it and The Colbert Report to be much more reliable news outlets then any of the ones you listed having appeared on, and when intellectuals such as yourself go on, there is almost always plenty of witty reparte(not to mention free press for your books to a large market of people with disposable income).

So...What DID the guy on the airplane do after you told him?

I'm really sorry you didn't answer my questions, I'll try harder next time. My mistake.


I really ought to read the whole post before commenting...and yeah, BG rocks.

I am teh suk.

How could you not mention your cameo on Babylon 5? That was GREAT!

I suppose we're now commenting on comments on comments?

By which episode, I mean "title", "season", "year", etc.

News Radio? Which episode?

I suppose technically I should leave my question in the previous post but I was never much for directions. My question is: How, or rather why, on earth did you end up studying hypnosis and how does one go about it? That seems like a very unusual vocation considering your employment history.

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