W: Did it freak you out that it all started with the death of someone close?
ED: It's hard to say what I felt like at the time. I mean, yes, I was very aware that basically her death kind of put me on a better path . I just think that things happen the way they're supposed to happen. I don't think that there are accidents. That made me very introspective; it made me start thinking about a lot. I could have just gone out and gotten drunk every night, and spiraled out and just felt sorry for myself, and become a rebel. I went the other way. I decided I wanted to figure things out. I wanted to find out what all this is about.
W: How did you reconcile that introspection with your orderly, goal-oriented sideI want to be famous; I want to have money?
ED: The first step is the desire and saying it out loud. I don't think I knew that at the time . It's too weird that I would just write something that fast and then my first response is thinking and saying, I'm going to be on Johnny Carson and be the first woman to be invited over to the couch.
W: And seven years later you were.
ED: I remember watching Roseanne [Barr] on Johnny Carson and she was killing. It was her first appearance, and I just watched, and I thought, He's going to call her over for sure. And he didn't. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that he didn't call her over, and for whatever reason, it happened [to me].
W: The call to the desk was a huge deal.
ED: The fact that he wanted me to sit down and talk to him, it catapulted my career. [But] that's not why I wanted to do it. I wanted to do it because I knew he would appreciate it, I knew it was smart, I knew it was different, and I knew that nobody was doing what I was doing . That's all I wanted. I wanted people to get me.
W: Samuel Beckett wrote that "nothing is funnier than unhappiness," and there's a cliché to the effect that comedians are unhappy people. Is it possible to be happy and funny?
ED: I'm really happy. And I'm pretty funny.