I couldn’t do this (which is another reason I don’t have kids):
He said a long custody battle with a girlfriend over their son, Cole, forced him to curtail his TV appearances and visibility beginning in the mid-1980s, when Brenner lived in Aspen, Colo.
“In a nutshell, I couldn’t work more than 50 nights a year (out of town) or I’d be an absentee father,” he said. “That was when they were giving out the talk shows, the sitcoms” [at the height of the “comedy boom.”]
He was asked if he regretted his decision.
“I didn’t even make a decision. I didn’t even think about it. How could you not do it? I don’t mean to sound noble,” Brenner said. “Besides, I come from the slums of Philadelphia and everything in my life is profit. My downside is what most people would strive a lifetime to get to.”
Decades ago, he had burned out on filmmaking — “You don’t change the world by doing documentaries,” he told “CBS Sunday Morning” in 2013 — and decided to give comedy a try. He was on the verge of quitting when his effort to impress talent bookers at “Tonight” worked.
His career soared after his first appearance in January 1971. He went from being nearly broke to overwhelmed by a then-hefty $10,000 in job offers the day after he was on the show.