"I'm going to take it easy for the next year," says Miller. "I'm 52 years old, and I had a talk with myself. I said, 'You know you cannot live your whole life thinking about your career, you gotta think about your life.' I've got a 15- and a 12-year-old, and I love my wife, I want to be with her. I'd like to go do a few things in the world and hang out and have fun."
The veteran comic -- whose seventh HBO special, "Dennis Miller All In," debuts Jan. 21 -- adds, "I've done pretty well. I don't have to bust my a-- right away. I'm going to try to do a few things I've always wanted to do -- go to Africa, enjoy my kids and stay out of the way till it comes my way again." He notes that he used to listen to radio psychologist Dr. Toni Grant, "who used to always say 'Life is not a dress rehearsal,' and that always made sense to me. I used to think, 'She's right. This day is what it is. It isn't like 'Well, it'll be there the next day.' Today is the day."
While he admits to having mellowed off-stage, don't make the mistake of expecting Miller Lite in his upcoming HBO special.
"The main topics are the environment, the war on terror and," he says, "illegal immigration. We gotta do something because I live in California, and if you go down to Tijuana on any given night with a pair of night vision goggles, it looks like the start of the Boston Marathon in ponchos. I don't have anything against Mexican people; they seem nice to me. Just sign the guest book on the way in. You gotta do that at a cheap motel, of course you should do that at our border."