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Mike Bullard dropped out of school to become a cop. He wanted to solve murders. But not enough people get murdered in Canada.

So he started doing stand-up on the side.

The police force didn’t like this.

So he quit.

And became a stand-up comedian.

But how did he get the confidence to start a new career?

I wanted to know because this is what we all struggle with. We spend time on things we hate. And sacrifice what we love.

We want to know… how do you get permission to start over? How do you choose yourself?

Mike said he got the confidence early on.

He went on stage. Told the third joke he’s ever written. And then, three days later, he heard Steven Wright tell the same joke on Johnny Carson.

People told him to sue. They said, “Aren’t you mad?”

He wasn’t.

“That’s what gave me confidence,” he said. “That’s how I knew I knew what I was doing.”

Now, he’s starting something new again. At 62 years old. A podcast called, “You Too.”

You’ll hear how he’s doing it in this episode:

Ep. 498 – How to Quit the Stable Job You Hate For Something Better: Mike Bullard on His Journey from Cop to Comic


  • Find out how to start making extra income on the side. [0:00]
  • Episode preview [1:58]
  • Mike and I talk about which investment I DON’T recommend [5:40]
  • Why Mike doesn’t let people pay him in bitcoin [6:45]
  • I introduce Mike Bullard, the greatest TV host in all of Canadian history [8:13]
  • Why Mike Bullard left his job as a cop for comedy. [8:56]
  • The common mistake people do in life is to keep doing the things they hate and sacrifice the things they love. Mike jokes that the resentment gets so big that you leave your family. And start over [9:16]
  • The importance of balancing responsibility and freedom. [10:00]
  • Why Mike joined the police force. And why he quit a few years in [10:29]
  • How he got his start in stand-up [11:08]
  • Mike wrote his first jokes 31 years ago. I got him to say them on the show But he said, “This will be the first time I’ve used them since. And it will be the last time.” [13:01]
  • Mike tells the joke that “made him.” [14:01]
  • How to get rid of a scarcity mindset. [14:35]
  • Give yourself permission to wing it. [15:50]
  • How Mike made his talk show stand out [17:35]
  • The two kinds of crowd work. And how to learn them [18:34]
  • Two rules for MCs. [19:34]
  • Mike and I swap comedy revenge stories [20:44]
  • The difference between a stand-up and an MC [23:49]
  • Mike tells us the most pressure he’s ever felt in his life [24:42]
  • I asked Mike, “What does it mean to be spontaneous? And how do you practice that muscle?” [26:15]
  • Mike doesn’t drink. And doesn’t do drugs. So people hated him… the club owners did. He said the owner of The Comedy Nest would call up comedians to his office. And say, “You did great tonight. Want some coke?” Most comics would say yes. Weeks later, they’d go to get their pay. And it was always short
  • hundreds of dollars. Then the club owner would say it was because he deducted the cost of the coke. Mike never fell for this. So they hated him. [28:54]
  • Mike says there are two kinds of comedians: comics (these are the people who are naturally funny. And have been their whole life). The second kind are “knowledegists.” Like Jerry Seinfeld. [30:44]
  • How Mike makes up jokes on the spot [31:55]
  • “The difference between pros and everybody else is you don’t get nervous. And you don’t get lackadaisical. You get excited everytime before you get up. You come in, you look at the room, you look at the people, and you build up some excitement inside yourself before you set foot out there. That’s the key to everything. Excitement.” [33:51]
  • How to get over being nervous. And learn to build up excitement [34:17]
  • Why Mike’s favorite smell is stale beer [35:23]
  • I asked Mike what makes comedy so addictive… and his answer has everything to do with choosing yourself. He said, “You just wrote, produced and starred in a show that was completely dependant on you. It all comes down to you. Stand-up’s a one-man show, a one-woman show. It’s a one person show.” [36:11]
  • A key to choosing yourself: bypass the gatekeepers. Mike says how he did this. And got his own talk show [40:31]
  • Show recommendation: “The Eric Andre Show” [43:11]
  • More proof that you don’t need to take the traditional path to be successful [43:38]
  • How Mike hustled to get from a small network in Canada to the main network [44:33]
  • The power of fame [47:33]
  • Is the talk show format dying? [48:32]
  • Another key to choosing yourself: don’t quit your day job. Mike did corporate investigation at Bell, the phone company. And did stand up on the side for 8 years. He didn’t quit his main source of income until 6 months before landing the TV show. [50:38]
  • How Mike caught someone who embezzled $12 million [51:06]
  • The interrogation tactic Mike says guarantees a confession [53:07]
  • Mike has seen all types of corruption in business. But he says that he’s never seen a woman steal money. “They’ll fuck up your whole life,” he said “But they
  • will not steal money.” [56:06]
  • Which two famous people have no soul… according to Mike [56:36]
  • How to respond if a cop ever calls you in and asks, “Do you know what you’re here for?” [57:15]
  • Book recommendation: “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell [58:22]
  • If you want to read the book Mike read to learn if people are lying is called, “The Kinesic Interview Technique.” But he also said it can be used against you [59:08]
  • I ask Mike if he believes in micro-expressions [59:47]
  • Why growing up in an Irish family is like growing up in a comedy club. [1:00:39]
  • How to use vision to succeed [1:02:41]
  • The difference between a sociopath and a comedian [1:03:34]
  • Comedy special recommendation: Dave Chappelles “Sticks & Stones” and Bill Burr’s “Paper Tiger” [1:04:30]
  • Proof that the media is biased about comedy [1:05:03]
  • Why great comedians go beyond the line [1:07:36]
  • Show recommendation: Will Smith’s show on Facebook called, “Bucket List,” specifically the episode with Dave Chapelle [1:08:53]
  • Louis CK’s brilliance about absurdism [1:10:02]
  • Mike predicts who the next comedian will be to hit a home run [1:12:15]
  • Why money leads to courage [1:13:47]
  • Suprising fact: Canada is way more censored than we are here in the U.S. Hear how they do it. [1:15:02]
  • Mike and I tell some of our more controversial jokes [1:15:48]
  • How to be more relaxed when you’re under pressure [1:17:25]
  • Everyone bombs. I asked Mike how he handles this. [1:19:25]
  • Why Mike is getting into podcasting [1:20:28]
  • A day in the life as a talk show host. Mike breaks down what his work day was like [1:21:25]
  • Celebrity stories: Mike’s best and worst talk show guests [1:24:23]
  • Before you switch jobs. Listen to this. Mike says, “The biggest mistake I ever made…” [1:28:49]
  • Why Mike doesn’t mind burning bridges. [1:31:05]
  • Why podcasting is making Mike feel liberated [1:34:15]
  • What made me want to do a podcast… all the way back in 1997. [1:36:10]
  • Podcasting tip: follow what intrigues you [1:37:00]
  • I thank Mike for coming on the show and recommend his podcast called “You Too” [1:39:25]


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