21 questions

Bernie Kopell Does Paperwork on the John

Name: Bernie Kopell
Age: 77
Neighborhood: Living in Chelsea; grew up in Ocean Parkway on Church Avenue.
Occupation: Actor/writer. He’ll be starring in the Off Broadway play Viagara Falls, which begins previews at the Little Shubert Theater next Monday, July 5.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Jack Dempsey (who had a restaurant on Broadway). When I was a kid, my father took me to the fights at St. Nicholas Arena. One night there was a big fuss, and we realized the great Jack Dempsey came in. My father said, “Get his autograph.” I was so nervous. I tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around with the sweetest smile and wrote ‘Good Luck Son’ - Jack Dempsey. I treasure that and have it to this day.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
It was a great treat to go to Lum Fung’s Chinese restaurant on 52nd when I was young. It tickles me that right across from our Little Shubert Theatre is Ollie’s, another terrific Chinese restaurant.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Understanding that I’m lucky enough to be in this privileged business, I do everything I can to make our audiences’ time with us fun.

Would you live here on a $35,000 salary?
Sure, I’d live at the Y.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
We flew in to see our pals Shirley Jones and her son Patrick Cassidy in 42nd Street.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
I give some, but my wife, the shiksa, gives way too much.

What’s your drink?

How often do you prepare your own meals?
I’m a bit boring in that I eat the same thing every morning, so I prepare that, but I do eat what my wife, the flame-thrower, makes for dinner.

What’s your favorite medication?
Whenever I feel I could use a jet assist — of course Viagara.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
Pictures of my beautiful sons.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
For years now my wife, Catrina, has been giving me free haircuts — so far it’s only cost me a million five.

When’s bedtime?
It depends on when the Viagara kicks in.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
At my age, we avoid the word old; we refer to it as Classic Times Square.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
He is the realization of the American Dream. And if I get points for sucking up, all the better.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
That my wife and kids are in California.

Who is your mortal enemy?
The Grim Reaper.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
About a half-hour ago.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
It made me feel it wasn’t a bad idea to keep the money under the mattress.

Times, Post, or Daily News?

Where do you go to be alone?
Doing paperwork in the john.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
The ability to ignore the racket, and enjoy the excitement and stimulation of this wondrous town.

Bernie Kopell Does Paperwork on the John