Joking around is no laughing matter for Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron Cohen, Henry Winkler, Don Cheadle, Ted Danson, and Timothy Simons. Some of the world’s biggest comedy star sat down for a revealing talk with The Hollywood Reporter recently and discussed the ups—and mostly downs—of their chosen profession.

ON FAME

Cohen said, “I was scared of becoming famous, really. And I managed to get away with it because I was lucky enough to have my characters be famous in England, but no one knew what I looked like. I was able to have the success without any of the… can I call it ‘hassle’?”

Carrey said, “People create your life. They take elements that are true and they put it in an article so that article looks legit, and yet there’s so much of the article that isn’t true. So that’s something to teach you that, ‘Hey, you know what? In order to go forward, I have to let go of what this creation is.'”

Winkler added, “I wish I knew how to not worry as much. To navigate to where I wanted to go, where I dreamt of going, without eating myself alive from the inside. I was worried about everything — about losing it, about not getting it, about not being good enough. I was like a bowl of Jell-O before it went into the refrigerator.”

ON BEING BROKEN

Carrey said, “I act because I'm broken in a lot of pieces and acting gives me a chance to reconfigure those pieces into a thousand different things that are positive for people to watch. And eventually I will be ground down into a fine powder and …”

Danson said, “I'm with everyone else. A little bit broken, not badly, and wouldn't know what else to do, literally. And, hey, acting is a noble f•••ing profession. I do think we're curing cancer. It's an amazing thing to make people laugh.”

ON UNREALITY

Carrey said, “Well, I ultimately found that even the me I created wasn't real, so that left me in an odd situation. Many of the things I do have to do with the disappointment of creating a winning personality in the world and then, eventually, for your own sanity and freedom, letting it go. I mean there's The Fonz sitting right here who can speak to that.”

Winkler said, “What you're saying is exactly right. And people come to you thinking you are other than you are. And it's like a drug, you want to believe you can walk on water. You have to just hold on and realize you are not any taller, you don't know math any better, you are not smarter because people think you are wonderful on TV or in the movies.”