Time.com: Aisha Tyler on the Value of Failure (and Embarrassment)

The multitasking comedian has a new book — a new hosting job

Self-Inflicted Wounds Cover

Aisha Tyler might just be one of the busiest people in show business. She “plays” Lana Kane on FX’s popular animated series Archer and is a co-host of CBS’ The Talk. She does voice work for video games, including the upcoming title Watch Dogs. She’s the creator and host of the podcast “Girl on Guy.” She’ll be the host of the new incarnation of the classic improv-comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, premiering July 16 on the CW. And her latest book, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation, hits shelves July 9. Plus, she found a few minutes to chat with TIME.

TIME: So the subtitle on your book is Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation. Why expose your embarrassing moments?

AISHA TYLER: The first thing is that comedians have this special kind of—I don’t know if it’s learned or it’s innate—ability to inure themselves from embarrassment. For most people, the most embarrassing experiences of their lives, they don’t want to tell everybody, they go to therapy to get it out of their psyche. Comedians run to a group of people and tell those stories, love those stories. Beyond that, a lot of people come to me and say things like “I want to become a comedian but I’m too afraid to try, I’m afraid I’ll fail.” And I always tell them, “You will fail. Don’t worry about it. Things are going to be terrible for you—and that should never be a deterrent to you trying something.” You only get funny when you bomb. You never get funny when you kill. When you kill, you just go do shots and tell everybody how awesome you are. But when you bomb, you go home and you get better, you say “Oh my God I’ve gotta revamp all my life choices up until this point” and improve. Successful people fail. The path to success is through a minefield of failure. You can’t get to the other side without failing. On my podcast, all of my interviews are with people who are incredibly accomplished in their fields. And every single one of them comes and tells a “self-inflicted wound” story at the end of my show. Everybody has been a jackass at some point in their lives. Probably multiple times.

Read the entire Q&A here

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