Comedy and film icon Jim Carrey stopped by the Stern Show on Tuesday morning to talk to Howard about getting his start in comedy and becoming a major movie superstar – but the wildest story he told on air had to do with a bizarre vision quest he went on in the Mojave Desert.
Jim told Howard that around the time he took his trip, he was at a point in his life where he was searching for something more, spiritually speaking. Jim's always been the type of guy who knows that some kind of "magic" will happen and he'll get exactly what he needs when he needs it. So it was no surprise to him when he met a man who told him about a tribe and asked him if he wanted to do something a little different.
After Jim assured the tribe he was serious about this experience and fasted for four days, he was dropped off on a mountain with 12 ounces of water and a knife to fend off cougars.
After Jim's water was gone (it only lasted about 30 minutes) and the 120-degree sun was beating down on him, he grew weaker and weaker. He had been told not to lie down and had been cautioned about rattlesnakes. Eventually, he had to give in and get down on the ground. He told Howard he prayed to God, even though he's a nonbeliever, and told him he was scared.
Just then, Jim noticed that the mountain range was shaped exactly like a man lying down, so Jim got in the position depicted by the range and felt a wave of bliss surge through him. The mountain man even smiled at Jim and he felt he would be okay.
Check out the other highlights from Jim's interview (below).
Jim told Howard about the very beginning of his show business ascent. He auditioned for "Saturday Night Live" in Burbank, Calif. but he wasn't chosen to join the cast. Jim had something of a premonition that it would work out that way – when he arrived for the audition he heard someone yell "Don't do it!" as a page was about to jump to his death from the top of building.
As you know, Jim didn't need to join "SNL" to reach superstardom. Rodney Dangerfield was instrumental in Jim's success when he chose Jim to open for him. Even as Jim transitioned out of doing impressions and into doing stand-up comedy, Rodney let him bomb and experiment, knowing that was how an artist develops his act. Jim would remain grateful to Rodney forever.
Jim went on to become a king at the box office, with movies like "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," "The Mask," and "Dumb and Dumber." He successfully segued into serious acting work, too, in movies like "The Truman Show" and "Man on the Moon," where he played Andy Kaufman.
Actually, Jim told Howard he didn't really play Andy Kaufman, he channeled Andy Kaufman. He described basically living his life during that time as the oddball performance artist – so much so that director Miloš Forman didn't know how to handle it. If you've ever listened to Howard interact with Stern Show writer Benjy Bronk (who counts Andy Kaufman as a hero) you might understand what that must have been like.
See Jim Carrey in "Dumb and Dumber To" in theaters now.