Dispatches from the Head
I hope all you mothers had a nice time being treated nice.
I am in Portland as I write this. On the desk here in the hotel room is a Voodoo Doughnuts box that is almost empty and a NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit. I am living the life. I’m doing a reading from my book at Powell’s and I will be full of Doughnuts and snot. Good times. I have to pick what pieces I’ll be reading but all I want to do now is lay down.
It’s a weird feeling having as much of me out in the world as there is right now. I hope I don’t run out. I know I have to take some down time over the summer to regroup and live a life so I can generate some new stuff. I’m not sure I know how to be home anymore. I’ve been away so much. I have dreams of relaxing, starting an exercise regimen, buying a new house, maybe getting married, having a baby, whoa. Holy shit. I better book some more road dates. I just saw the rest of my life flash before my eyes in those last few sentences. It will be good. I’ll probably hit two out of the five.
I did The Tonight Show last week for the first time ever. I know you know that I have talked shit about it. My general feeling is that I don’t watch it, I never really watched it with Jay and it’s sort of a circus. So, I never tried to get on. Truth be told I used to like Jay Leno and I really don’t have anything against him. Whatever went down with the late night debacle was more business politics than personalities. Either way, I have a book to sell and a show on the air and I wanted to do The Tonight Show. I wanted to do it when Conan had it but he never got to me. So, I went on with Jay. It was a bizarre experience. Not because of the show but because I had never met Jay, ever. He came into my dressing room before the show and we talked for like a half hour. He sort of explained himself to me and was shocked that I was coming on because he assumed I didn’t like him. We talked like comics. It was wild and odd. I think it went well.
Noah Baumbach came to my garage a couple of days ago. I don’t usually put a show up right after I do it unless it’s part of the way I can talk to someone but I would have done it for Noah anyway. I love his movies. They are raw and personal. The Squid and the Whale is a masterpiece and Greenberg seemed to be about me somehow. His new film, Frances Ha, opens this week and I wanted to help him get that out there. I don’t talk to a lot of directors so I was excited. I will post that show today. On Thursday I talk to the co-creator of The Simpsons, Sam Simon. I went to his house. Sam has cancer bad and I wanted to talk to him. He didn’t really want to talk about TV too much so we talked about cancer, weed, vegetarianism, whales, animals, Poker, Groucho, Elvis, money and The Simpsons a bit. Hope you dig it.
Full set HERE
What an amazing few weeks it’s been. I want to thank all of you for showing up for me and ordering the book and watching the show and listening and, honestly, being there for all this. I appreciate it.
Now, the book tour begins. I will be doing book events at Powell's in Portland on May 12th, at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles with Judd Apatow moderating on May 15th, at the JCCSF in San Francisco on May 17th, at The 6th and I Synagogue in DC on June 11th, at Barnes and Noble Union Square in New York City on June 12th, at the Summer Reading Series in NYC in Bryant Park on June 13th and at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square in Cambridge MA on June 14th. Please check the schedule to the left of this email for dates and places.
Since I’ve last written I have had the honor a pleasure of being interviewed by both Howard Stern and Terry Gross. I appeared on the Opie and Anthony Show and Jimmy Fallon’s show as well, but I feel like I know those guys. I wasn’t freaking out or nervous about it. With Terry and Howard I was freaking out and nervous for similar reasons. They both do intimate interview shows. They both have their own style. I am generally pretty comfortable on a mic and more than willing to talk but these two are the standard bearers of the one on one interview—something I have become known for as well. I’ve listened to both Howard and Terry a bit, neither regularly, but I had a sense of their styles. Terry is smooth and disarming and Howard is aggressive and disarming. I really didn’t know how Howard was going to come at me. I had never talked to him or met him. I didn’t know if he was going to dig something up and blindside me with something that would make me uncomfortable. Then I realized there is nothing that I really haven’t talked about publicly.
When you are walked into Howard’s studio by his producer, Gary, Howard is already talking to you as Gary puts the headphones with a built in mic on your head. It is disarming and jarring but I get it. I was excited he wasn’t wearing his sunglasses. I could see his eyes and connect. He came at me with my jealousy and anger issues and it was perfect. He was gracious and present and it was a pleasure to talk to the guy. Terry is not in the room, almost ever. I had talked to her when Jerusalem Syndrome came out and she chose to talk to me about ‘blue’ comedy for a lot of the interview. It was okay but I couldn’t figure out why that was the topic. This time we talked a lot about talking to people. We talked about my father. We talked about having kids and I actually made her laugh so much she snorted a bit. I love the fact that she left it in. Then, she brought up porn and we talked about that, for a while. She didn’t include it in the show but it is up on the NPR site. For some reason Terry Gross likes to talk about dirty things with me. I’m very flattered.
It was a big deal for me to talk to these two professional interviewers. I was very aware of their styles and it was an honor to be in conversation with the best.
Response to IFC’s ‘Maron’ has been very good. At least what I am getting directly. There have been great reviews and some heady, okay-but-thoughtful reviews. I don’t mind the criticism. I really don’t. Really. If it’s smart I can learn from it. Can’t wait for everyone to see more episodes.
We’re doing three shows again this week. On Monday Community’s Gillian Jacobs hangs out and talks about, among other things, choosing Julliard over Harvard (crazy). On Wednesday, also from Community as well as Mad Men, Alison Brie, lays it out, pretty bare. It’s a great talk. On Friday I will air a live WTF from The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater featuring Jeff Richards, Christina Pazsitzky, Jason Nash, Matt Kirshen and Jim Earl.
This is it! The big week! The book, ‘Attempting Normal', drops on Tuesday and IFC’s ‘Maron’ premieres on Friday at 10/9c on IFC.
I feel flashes of dread and relief. I’m actually excited to see what people think. I think I’m prepared to deal with whatever happens, even the good things.
I wasn’t completely prepared to deal with my father’s panic. He’s concerned about how he is portrayed in the TV show. He had heard about one of the promos on IFC and called me worried, panicked a bit. He doesn’t get IFC. He is concerned about how the ‘public’ will see him. I told him that it is a fictional character based on him. I told him that Judd Hirsch is playing the character. I told him that the life of the character is not his life and that it is not real. It is a ‘fictional’ show and not a ‘reality’ show. He said, ‘Okay, that makes me feel better.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ Then he said, ‘What’s it on? IFC? No one really sees that anyway. Okay.’ The beauty of that last remark is that he didn’t say it as an insult or a dig. He said it matter of fact like closure on the thought process he needed to comfort himself with. He’s never listened to my podcast and now it seems he will not watch the show for any other reason than to see what his public is seeing. I love the guy but, boy, that was a rough moment. I could’ve easily regressed into an angry teenager but I didn’t. I really hope he doesn’t take it too hard.
As always, I appreciate all your support and I hope you all like all the me centric things that will be out in the world this week.
Milwaukee! I will be at the Pabst Theater this Saturday, May 4th, doing standup. If you want to be part of that come down.
Also, Apple's iBookstore selected Attempting Normal as their Editor's Choice this week. They've got an 'enhanced version' that's got six specially-recorded audio segments with more than 35 minutes of brand-new, never-before-heard stories and reflections I recorded only for this version. Download it on the iBookstore at iTunes.com/MarcMaronBook
We’re doing 3 shows this week! A pretty amazing chat with Hank Azaria on Monday, the live WTF from Vancouver on Wednesday featuring Margaret Cho doing a one woman show about my penis and Huey Lewis on Friday. Yeah, Huey Lewis. Wild, right?
It’s all happening. My show ‘Maron’ on IFC is premiering on May 3rd. I know a lot of you know that but I should say it again. If you want to see clips you can go to ifc.com/maron and look at some stuff. I can’t believe it’s happening. I’m excited. Well, I’m trying to narrow my feelings to just excitement.
My book ‘Attempting Normal’ comes out on April 30th. You will know more about me than maybe you ever wanted to. That’s the only way I know how to do things. Don’t judge me too hard. I think the poster deal is steal available. If you pre-order the book here and send your receipt to email@example.com you can get yourself a poster of me while they're still available. If that sounds good to you, do it.
I will be in Austin at The Moontower Comedy Festival, April 24th through 26th. I’m doing a big solo standup show, some shorter sets and a massive WTF taping with a lot of comics. More than I have ever had on before. Some of the guests are Jim Norton, Maria Bamford, Dom Irrera, Janeane Garafolo, Michael Ian Black, Todd Barry and maybe even Bill Burr. Big. That’s all I’m saying. Big show. Get info for Moontower here.
Thank you Bethlehem, PA! What an amazing night we had. I had no idea that the venue was in the husk of the old Bethlehem Steel Plant. I had no idea I would be performing in front of an all-glass wall looking out onto the massive decaying ghost of American Industry. It is a giant dead steel plant that is lit beautifully from the bottom up and glows. It is haunting. It is a living monument to people who worked real jobs, pouring lava and hammering girders. I had no idea that a torrential downpour and lightning storm would explode while I was on stage performing. If you believe in a god he was basically yelling at me, "You call that a real job? Look behind you!"
On Monday I talk to some of the real pioneers of podcasting. Jonathan Laroquette and Seth Romatelli from the ‘Uhh, Yeah Dude’ podcast join me for some lively chat. On Thursday I talk to Mark Schiff. He is one of the NY comics that started with the Seinfeld generation. He was known as one of the funniest and still is. He has since moved into an Orthodox Jewish disposition and will serve as the antidote to Ari Shaffir’s discussion a couple of weeks ago. Good talk.
Thanks for everything.