Reprints Sunday, February 15, Greg Behrendt has made a pretty good career out of six words. The stand-up comic and former consultant for "Sex and the City" was the source of "He's just not that into you," a line that Carrie's boyfriend Berger said to Miranda about one of her dates in the last season. Then Behrendt and "Sex" writer Liz Tuccillo said it to the world in a book, and Behrendt went on Oprah, and had a short-lived talk show that aired on the WB network, and wrote a relationship book with his wife, and starred in a recent six-episode show on SoapNet in which he helped couples in trouble.
This month, a movie inspired by the phrase came out, with Behrendt in a cameo as a priest. I said it genuinely to somebody at work about their relationship. We weren't sitting around and thinking about things to say.
I genuinely said, "Well, that guy doesn't want to sleep with you, he doesn't really like you, he's just not that into you. Whenever I answer a question, it is as though you're asking me and I'm your brother, because you know, when you love somebody you kind of cut the [expletive].
You know them well enough that you can call them out and say, "No, that guy's a retard. Go on a date. Rather than him picking you up at four o'clock in the morning, maybe you should go on a date. How did that all happen? It's like this gift bag. Suddenly if you're a person in the world that has an opinion, people offer you stuff. And so, you know, I got offered a talk show, and, you know, they were just adventures you had to take.
I don't know how you turn down a talk show. Is it part of your goal to get someone to get professional help? I'm not the last stop. I never should be. We're the red light to let you know that your engine's having trouble. But you gotta get it to the shop. If I'm the last stop, you're in trouble. Does your standup hit on relationship issues?
I talk about everything: I talk about life, I talk about being old, I talk about going to see a concert and having my chain wallet taken from me.
This happened when I went to go see the Foo Fighters. The guy was like, "I'm going to need to take your chain wallet and your skull belt," and I was like, "Why, because of the war on terrorism? I've found that when I just sort of let life happen, all these opportunities came. You couldn't pick this career out as a young person: And ride that wave.
But I'm going to wait until I'm 39, 40 years old for it to happen. You're listening to me? I guess I was supposed to say that sentence at that time. You know, I don't. I feel like there was a moment in time that happened in the zeitgeist where it was the right time. You have to understand, a lot of things lined up for that to happen. You know, I was a dude that said it, yes, but I also worked on the most female-approved television show in history, and then I was also endorsed by Oprah, so I had help.
You have your band and stand-up. Any other projects coming up? I have a DVD coming out. I don't know if you've seen recent shots, but it's all high and tight now. That was the first thing I'd ever done on television and I took one look at it and went, "Jesus, who has that hair?