Cut Back on the Sugar.

What’s up, Folks?

You okay?

I’m okay.

I really want to thank you all for the amazing feedback on GLOW. It’s across the board amazing. So many of you love the show and what it is about and how it feels and my performance and the performances of everyone involved. It feels good. I’m proud of it. I know I wasn’t completely candid about how much I was involved in the show but I think that was a good call. It was nice surprise for people who know me to see that the part was much bigger than I implied. I’d like to think I did it on purpose but it probably came out of my own insecurity and fear. I didn’t want to oversell it or talk about my performance. I watched the entire series and I found myself moved and entertained by all of it. I had not seen most of it. I got choked up, laughed and found myself totally engaged as if I had nothing to do with it. It was a cool experience. I feel like I did a good job but I’m excited to get back into it and work even deeper into the acting. I hope we get another season.

So, I promised myself I would take it easy this summer. It’s been a long slog for what seems like years and I just want some time to think and feel and have a life. I’m trying to eat right and exercise more regularly and balance out life with all the information shrapnel raining down daily from the explosive administration in charge. It’s hard to get space. I don’t do drugs or have a deep spiritual life. I have been doing work around the house. Getting organized. Running. I find if I get up, caffeinate, stretch and hit the hills with a loaded play list of Verve, Black Angels and Spiritualized I can find some space, relief. I have to stay on top of my diet and activity. I got some blood tests back. It’s all pretty good. Cholesterol is under control and all the other stuff is good except for this one test. Apparently, I need to cut back on the sugar and carbs so I don’t get diabetes. What? I don’t eat that much sugar. Wait, does a couple of pineapples a week count as sugar? Does Wasa crackers slathered with Almond butter and honey count as sugar and carbs? I’m just glad I have good insurance through my union so I can be on top of this stuff. I’ve been through years with no coverage, not really able to afford COBRA or private insurance. It’s scary as you get older. A lot of people are about to be abandoned by the government and many left to live a compromised life and possibly die without insurance. Even if you have good coverage it would be decent to call your senators and tell them that it’s un-American to let Americans die for greed. Yeah, let them know.

I’m in the middle of a ten-episode documentary about Vietnam by Ken Burns which will come out in September. There’s so much I didn’t know. It’s devastating. I’m hoping to talk to him. So much of what we are dealing with culturally now was born in that era, through that conflict.

Great talks this week! Today I talk to Jenji Kohan about her entire career and about GLOW (I needed to know the story behind my casting). On Thursday, I talk to Jason Mantsoukas most about music, strangely. Great talks.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Keep It With the People.

People!

How goes it?

Everything is fine over here. I have some good days. Some not so good. I’m okay though.

GLOW, The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, the show I costar in with Alison Brie, is premiering this Friday. Wild, right? I can’t believe it’s finally going to be on. Seems like years ago that we shot it. Tomorrow, Tuesday, I will be appearing on The Today Show and on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. That’s provided the world doesn’t end or something else awful doesn’t happen. See, like that sentence. Why can’t I just tell you what is happening without undercutting it with some awful, if not the worst, possible scenarios. I’ll tell you why I can’t. It’s 2017 and that’s the way shit is.

That aside it’s all very exciting. I really like the feeling of having been involved with an amazing ensemble cast in a project I had nothing to do with other than as an actor. There’s nothing weighing me down right now as it is about to premiere. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? People say I suck? Who cares. It was fun to do and it looks great. The reviews have been pretty ridiculously amazing. So, I’m thrilled and curious to see how people respond to it.

I’m excited for William Shakespeare too. He seems to be having a moment. It’s not all him or his work. It’s due to the fact that there are these right-wing guerilla theater troupes and performance artists that are just getting the hang of disruptive performance. I think all art is good art on some level. It may stink as art, but people expressing themselves because they can and we have the freedom to do so is exciting and provocative and adds to the cultural and political dialogue and the advancement of society. 

It’s unfortunate that most of the creativity in the performance art of the right just seems to be to bully and eradicate the creativity of others. Even if it’s a classic piece of brilliant literature by one of the greatest literary minds of all time. And I’m not even that big a fan. The fundamentally hollow and proudly dumb display of theatrical disruption of Julius Caesar last week by some right-wing performance artists was only good in that it brought attention to the play, which I hear is amazing. The performance artist's action was fairly tragic guerilla theater and indicative of a complete misunderstanding of the point of the play. In order to make Shakespeare relevant, especially Julius Caesar, which is really THE play about politics, directors set it where they need to set it to make it comprehensible to modern audiences. There have been versions with depictions of modern-day politicians, including other American presidents, as long as the play has existed. I just saw a production of Othello set in a military barracks. It’s how you make the Bard comprehensible to new audiences like me. I have a hard time understanding Willy the Shake if it isn’t framed anew. I guess the performance artist who interrupted didn’t quite get that it was deeper than a depiction of our current president and that the central theme of the show is that democracy is fragile, the rule of law is paramount, and when you violate it you get chaos. Well, actually, if she wanted to further illustrate that point, she’s brilliant. I don’t think that was her intention. It was much more blunt and shallow than that. I get her tactics though.

Art and theater can be crass, horrifying, beautiful, funny, morally dubious, disturbing, abstract, poetic, etc. It can be political, personal, ridiculous, whatever. It is essential and must flourish at all costs, even at the costs of losing sponsors. Keep it real. Keep it with the people. The new guerilla theater and performance art coming from the right is about stifling expression and it is not ironic. Meet it with art that transcends and is brave.

I’ll tell you what I’d like to see. A tight, empathetic one act about the people that set out to disrupt Julius Caesar. Maybe set in a hotel room or an apartment the day of the play. Get on it. Don’t over write it. Feel it out.

Today on the show I talk to my amazing co-stars from GLOW, Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin about acting and what it’s like to work with me. Jk. Kinda. On Thursday, I talk to Sofia Coppola about her amazing new film ‘The Beguiled.’ Great talks!

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

 

Just Do the Damn Job.

Howdy, Folks!

How you all holding up? It’s all fucking horrendous, isn’t it? We can get through it.

I’m back home for a spell. All I’ve been talking about is getting some down time and I’m less than a week in and I’ve already had enough. I really don’t know how not to work. Obviously, I’m still writing this and I am doing the podcast so I’m not doing nothing but I thought I was going to take some time off the funny. The comedy. Maybe a month.  I get it in my head that I have nothing to say and I don’t have any new bits and I’m not really that funny. So, I decide to take some time off. That lasts about two days. Then I put in for spots at The Comedy Store. Saturday night. I got one. 

I’ve been doing the same hour and a half for that last few months leading up to the special. Now, that the special is done, I feel like I’m kind of done with that material. Which is crazy. I could’ve toured for another few months on it before the special comes out. For some reason when I get through a lot of work I just start getting down on myself for not working hard enough. So heading into the spot on Saturday I made myself crazy thinking there was no point in doing it, I had no new stuff, I wasn’t into it, I wasn’t funny, I can’t do it anymore. Fucking stupid. Then I realized that I hadn’t been at The Comedy Store in a couple months and that place has always had a hold on me. It’s part of me. I have a relationship with it. And I guess I had been away too long and I was nervous the place wouldn’t like me anymore. Then I realized, ‘What the fuck is wrong with me? I should just go there and kill. Just do the damn job. Stop being so heady and hard on myself. Have a good time. Fuck it. Speak you mind.' So, I did that. 

It was good. I’m back together with the old haunted house of comedy. It’s a magic place. There are new bathrooms there. Which isn’t really a big deal to you but it’s kind of a miracle to people who have known the place forever. The new management is actually taking care of the old place. It’s amazing. New life. The place was packed.

It’s good to be home. Reconnecting to the house and the dumb cats, cooking stuff, fixing shit, playing guitar, talking to people in the garage, thinking.

Today I talk to Ariel Leve about her book. It was one of those talks that happen sometimes. Kindred spirit stuff. Also, Wheeler Walker Jr. stopped by and I didn’t really plan it but I’m a country music fan and he was in the neighborhood. On Thursday Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon talk about their new movie ‘The Big Sick.’ It’s good. Also, on Thursday Jim Florentine and I have a good short talk mostly about rock. Good dude.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

It Was Astounding.

Traveling the world, folks.

It’s horrible. I was just in London last week. I was nervous going because of the Manchester attacks. I was somewhat amazed that people were just going on with their lives. I’ve really grown to like London. I like being there. A week ago, I was standing on a pedestrian bridge just outside of the Tate Modern looking toward the London Bridge thinking I should go over there and check it out. That bridge means something else today. I’m sad for the people that lost people there and I’m just sad and scared in general for everyone. Things are chaotic and awful in a lot of places but….

I went and saw some Jazz.

Because I have somewhat dramatic expectations for results when it comes to the effectiveness of anything to solve any kind of problem I wonder about the power of art to fight fear and hate and make it stick in a big way. Then I realize I have to temper those expectations and realize that big ways are hard to come by and little ways are essential. Every little expression of human creativity and imagination is a celebration of the pure human spirit—without boundaries or restrictions or even rules. Context, maybe, but easy on the rules. All those little things represent the collective human voice in all its manifestations and if the context isn’t hammered into an ideological agenda it is elevating. Obviously, agenda driven art is elevating as well, and can go either way, but I’m about to talk about jazz.

When I’m in New York City I really have to fight falling into the same pattern of things that I always do when I am here. I want to experience stuff. I want to have my mind blown but I don’t seek it out as much as I should. Years ago, I stayed at a hotel across from Lincoln Center and just kind of moseyed over there and went into a symphony performance. It was mind blowing because I know nothing about classical music and it really didn’t matter. It was massive and amazing and human. Wood and wind. Breath. Every time I’m in NYC I check to see what’s at Lincoln Center but I have not gone since that one time. This time I went. I looked on the site and saw the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis was performing Thelonious Monk. I had to go. It was astounding. To see a live jazz orchestra in a beautiful theater was awesome.

What was transcendent though was realizing that jazz is a fundamentally American music. A form that can carry and elevate any type of musical improvisation from anywhere in the world. The night we saw the orchestra they had two soloists performing. Baqir Abbas, a Pakastani flutist and Hamilton de Holanda, a Brazilian wizard of the bandolim. I had to look up what a bandolim was. They both brought their unique musical styles and instruments (wooden flutes and bandolim) to the foundation created by Thelonious Monk and the arrangements of the Orchestra to create something unique and almost spiritual within the context and form of jazz. Inclusive, diverse, completely surprising and ethereal jazz. Art makes a difference. The human spirit prevails and transcends the culture of garbage.

The book event I did with Al Franked at BookExpo was hilarious and moving. I had a great time being his straight man and talking public service with him in front of people. Brendan and I had fun at our panel too. We’re actually a good comedy team. He’s been my straight man for years you just don’t get to hear it too often.

Today on the show I talk to veteran journalist and interviewer Leslie Stahl about her life in the world of news. I also talk to Demetri Martin a bit about his new film, ‘Dean.’ On Thursday, we have a double header featuring two unique independent musical artists, Mark Mulcahy and Phil Elverum. Beautiful heavy stuff. Great talks, the lot of them.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

A Crazy Few Months.

People!

This week is BookExpo at the Javits Center in NYC. I will be doing a sit-down talk with Sen. Al Franken on Friday to promote his new book. Also, Brendan McDonald and I will be doing a thing at The Book Con on Saturday to promote our new book. Come to both if you want. Good times. Books. Senators.

I’m on my way to London for a couple of days to do GLOW promotion with some of the ladies. I’m a bit worn out from all the traveling. It’s been a crazy few months. A lot of stuff. I’m raw and a little beat up. I don’t really like traveling internationally. I never really have. It’s a lot to manage. The time shifts alone are harrowing in their way. Moving through another country’s reality at half speed in a haze. I am looking forward to it this time though. Frankly, because I really want to make time to eat some Indian food there. There’s a place I love. Hopefully I can make that happen. Might go to the theater too. If there is time. It’s really a very quick trip. Hit and run. Yammer at cameras. Smile, smile. Turn on the charm. All against a mental backdrop of exhaustion. That’s the job sometimes. That’s everyone’s job sometimes.

Then in NYC for a few days doing the thing I talked about above. Hopefully I’ll have time for some fun things in NYC. Art, walking around, eating stuff, seeing friends and talking to strangers. I’d say that’s a pretty good list for good things to do any day, anywhere. When I get home, I’m going to try to take it easy this summer. I’m going to try to let my comedy evolve at its own pace as opposed to working towards something that is going to happen. I need to find some space to get where I am at. So much going on, everywhere, all the time. I have to get grounded. I have to figure out how I can help, get involved.

The wave of belligerence, willful ignorance, proud stupidity, violence and immorality that seems to be popping up randomly but consistently here in America is horrible. It’s awful. It’s un-American. Nasty business. The fact that no one seems to be processing much of anything and is in a constant state of reactivity is annihilating the bond between humans necessary to understand that it is all we are. We all have our issues and problems but we just want to live our lives and help other people live theirs. The fact that current leadership not only doesn’t address this but seems to encourage it makes it a bit evil and pretty fucking scary. There seem to be a lot of people that don’t give a fuck about democracy and are dead set on having a one-party, autocratic, fascist shit show as a national civic structure. It you believe in progressive values or just democratic decency we're kind of on our own out there. 


We have to look out for each other. That’s why it’s important to recognize the heroes of everyday life. Two men gave their lives on a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon standing up against a racist assault on two women. A third is still hospitalized with serious injuries. They were stabbed by an ex-con who had been radicalized by American White Supremacists. My heart goes out to their friends and families. They had no agenda in their actions other than being decent Americans trying to help someone under attack by a violent racist. 

Also, I’d like to thank all journalists who put themselves in the line of fire seeking truth from reactive monsters who think that might is right and promoting ignorance and lies is the path to power. Thank you. You are true Americans doing a profound and important service. Thanks to your work this has actually been one of the most transparent administrations in history. Much to their chagrin. It’s also important to start distinguishing between a ‘leaker’ and a ‘whistleblower.’ Think on it. We’re seeing a whistleblowing pipe organ. It’s an elevating instrument of truth. 
 
Speaking of doing the right thing and engaging in civic duty and responsibility, I talk to Senator Al Franken on Thursday's show about the work of government for the people. Today I talk to Jake Fogelnest about his journey from hip kid phenom through the bad stuff into the man stuff. Good guy. Good talk. Also, my pal Ron Funches stops by for a little bit.

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

It Was All Over.

I’m back, Folks.

It’s been a pretty good few days. I couldn’t track exactly why until I thought about it. I’ve had this strange feeling of relief the last few days and I realized having this president away, out of the country, is what it must feel like when your abusive dad or stepdad went on a business trip. You get a little breathing room. Obviously, we’re getting updates but it still feels a little better knowing he’s gone for a week. 

It was great to be in Chicago. I love Chicago. A real American city. I shot another episode of the yearly show ‘Easy,’ created and directed by Joe Swanberg. This time I grew the beard out to work with Michaela Watkins. It was like a fantasy come true. I love her. I’ve had her on the podcast but I never thought I would get to act with her. I didn’t think I would get to act at all in anything but that seems to have been proven incorrect. I’m no genius actor but I think I do a pretty good job. 

‘Easy’ is all improvised. Like, for real improvised. There's very little to go on other than we figure out where it should begin and end after a few takes. It’s very exciting. I have a lot in my head at all times just bouncing around looking for a way out so I like doing it. The character I play is painfully like me other than being an opportunistic ass which he doesn’t realize until the last minute and I’m not sure he even realizes it then. It’s his charm or flaw. Depends how you look at it. 

I’ve been out on the road for a couple of weeks. It’s predictable to watch my principles around food crumble out there. I have a cholesterol issue. I’m on fucking medicine for fuck's sake. I’m not sure if it’s working. I have to go get some blood work done. I’ve been really good about eating almost no animal products other than fish. But when you’re in Chicago you almost feel like you are being disrespectful if you don’t eat the good stuff. 

I buckled for some Lou Malnati's pizza and it was only a matter of time before nothing mattered. We ate a couple of times at some place called Neco. Then we went to a place called The Bad Hunter and it was all over. How could I not eat burnt coconut ice cream and steak kabobs? Not together. You know what I mean. It’s just interesting what the brain can justify when you want to believe it’s okay to act a certain way or do what you want. Reason dissolves. Belief in a moment is all you are honoring despite knowing the truth. It’s ridiculous and human and the source of most of the problems in the world. Obviously, I’m not talking about eating. You get my drift. 

Today I talk to Griffin Dunne about a lot of things. He’s doing an amazing job on the new Amazon show ‘I Love Dick’ with Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn. I also hang out for a bit with my old pal Bill Burr. Always good to talk to Bill. On Thursday rock Zelig and impresario Danny Fields talks to me about the Beatles, Warhol, the Doors, the Stooges, MC5, the Ramones, etc. He was there for it all. It was a lot to wrangle. Great talks. 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Morbid Curiosity.

America, People!
 
How’s it going? Just checking in. Are we holding up? Don’t buckle. Strap in. Stay awake. Have some coffee, but not too much, it will turn on you. 
 
I think I’m feeling physically better for those of you who are keeping up with the nuance of the occasional updates about my tummy. I think a lot of what I was feeling was just the stress of converging on the end of a tour and the end of America as we know it. Work and awful paradigm shifts are stressful on their own. When they are happening simultaneously in full force it’s hard not to feel them on a cellular level even if you aren’t aware of the toll they are talking. Need those reprieves and that’s up to you. 
 
I’ve been a few places since we last talked. I was in NYC doing some GLOW promotion. It was pretty crazy. Press junkets are hardcore. A lot of talking. A lot of repetition. A lot of energy keeping up the old charm and excitement while talking to about fifty different press outlets in a day. It was good though. It was nice to hang out with Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin and feel the excitement of people about the show. 
 
After NYC, me and Brendan McDonald took the train down to DC. Yeah, where it’s all going down, and by down, I mean down. Train travel is relaxing once you get on the train. Converging to get onto the train is harrowing. Waiting at Penn Station, looking at the big board for your track number to drop, sprinting for the gate with hundreds of people, scrambling to get a seat and then holding that seat. After all that, it’s nice. I did splurge for first class Amtrak tickets this time which made that process a bit easier but I still felt a panic. If you don’t travel by train all the time it’s a little hard to know what to do in a crowded station because it all happens so quickly. We went down there to do an interview. No, not with that guy, with another guy. You’ll see. 

Then Brendan went back up to NYC and I went to Philly to do the penultimate (yeah, I just used that word) show of the tour. It was at the Merriam Theatre and it was great. I brought Nate Bargatze with me again because he consistently makes me laugh. It’s fun. Laughing. We got in a late night roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone. The next morning, we went back down to DC for the last show of the ‘Too Real Tour’ at the Warner Theatre. 
 
I was nervous to go to DC. I hadn’t been there since the thing happened. I didn’t know if the ‘carnage’ discussed in the inaugural speech would be apparent. I didn’t know if DC wouldn’t feel like the capital of the United States now that someone is leading it who has no desire to unite us and in fact does the opposite. Was I going to feel estranged from my country in its main hub? I can feel that at home. 

I was surprised and excited that I didn’t. DC was full of all kinds of people. Diverse. Engaged. Doing things. Taking it in. I don’t know why, it gave me hope. Or, at the very least, a fleeting good feeling. What is going on in the buildings there, the ones that still have employees in them, is the opposite of hope. Craven legislators systematically destroying hope with new laws, deregulation and political malice. Not good. I always like going to DC though. I still feel great to be an American walking around there. Weird. Dumb, maybe. Naïve. 

It is different now looking at the White House. I’ve been there a lot with different parties occupying the buildings. This is the first time I looked at it with perverse fascination and apprehension. Morbid curiosity. "Is he in there? What’s he doing in there?" I pictured and felt the chaotic energy of irresponsible, erratic fits of power and abuse. It was haunting. The White House looked haunted. It was a bit sad. 
 
My sold out last show at The Warner Theater was fucking awesome though. What a way to end it. In that town, all full of the beans and the spirit of fighting the good fight and cats and stuff. Great crowd. Great night. 
 
Great shows this week. Today I talk to Joel Hodgson. The calm mad genius who created Mystery Science Theater 3000. I also talk to Jonah Ray today about some stuff. On Thursday, former pro-wrestler AJ Mendez-Brooks talks wrestling and dealing with mental illness. Also on Thursday, I spend a bit of time with our old friend Fred Stoller. He’s a little worked up. 
 
Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

We Had Pizza.

People!

Everything okay? It’s going to have to be enough. Waves of horrible, waves of amazing, hovering below or above a baseline of okay. I’m sitting here listening to a re-issue of Hüsker Dü's ‘Flip Your Wig.’ So, I’m good. 

Here’s a reminder! You can preorder the new WTF book WATING FOR THE PUNCH: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast. Go to WTFpod.com or MarcMaronBook.com to get it. And if you want an advance copy, come to Book Con on June 3rd in New York City. I'll be there with Brendan McDonald talking about the book. You can get a copy before anyone else and we'll be signing them. Go to TheBookCon.com to get your tickets. They're 35 bucks right now, but the price will go up in a few weeks. 
 
It’s been an interesting few days. I’m coming down from taping my special. I had a few days to rest, kind of, not really. Actually, I went right back to work. No reprieve really. Then, my mother came in to town. So, I had to handle that. I have to say it wasn’t bad. It was good. I was glad she came out. It’s just that I don’t do much. I don’t go out a lot. I don’t really do things too often. When someone comes into town you have to make some plans or else things can get ugly. She wasn’t staying at my house so I had to make up for my small house by getting out and doing stuff. 

Sarah and I took her to the Huntington Gardens the first day and were not prepared for the temperature so we all almost passed out. It was pretty though. Things are prettier sometimes when you are about to pass out. The next day we went to Broad Museum. We saw some good stuff. It’s a hell of a collection. It's amazing that there are enough Warhols in the world for me to see some I have never seen before. There was some good early Ruscha stuff and an old Deibenkorn I liked. We had dinners. We went to LA MOCA and saw the Kerry James Marshall show. I saw it in NYC. Just got better. We took in some theater at The Actor’s Gang and watched ‘Harlequino: On To Freedom.’ It’s Tim Robbins new show. I learned things. There were good masks. I had a screener of Aza Jacobs new film ‘The Lovers’ which I liked but I think my mother said, "It’s kind of slow." It was, but that’s what made the tension so effective. Good movie. That guy can shoot. 

Did I mention we had pizza? We had pizza. 

Then, the last day she was here I woke up ill, buggy, gross. I don’t think it had anything to do with her. I rarely get sick but I was (am) a little sick. Just been going too hard, I think. Happens. It was good to see Mom. 
 
I’ll try to feel better and you all can enjoy the shows this week. They are great ones. Today I talk to John Michael Higgins. He’s the guy who is in all the Christopher Guest movies and you always wonder who he is. Now you will know. I also do a shorter chat with my friend Maria Bamford. I love her. It’s always great to spend time with her. On Thursday, you can listen to me and Kevin Bacon. Just like in the movies, he doesn’t disappoint. Good guy. Solid. Great talk. 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Gratitude.

I did it, People!

More on what I did in a second. But first, if you're getting this email, it means you're able to win an advance copy of WAITING FOR THE PUNCH: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast. It doesn't come out until October, but 50 of you will get a copy now. Just go to this link to enter the sweepstakes. Winners will be selected at the end of the week.

After months of rambling and noodling and honing and whining and treading the boards I taped two shows in Minneapolis for a Netflix special. It went very well. No regrets, yet. There’s still the edit. I have no idea what I look like or what my pants or shoes or shirt or hair or beard look like in the footage but one thing I do know is the stage and lighting and audience look fucking amazing. I did my job and I enjoyed it. 
 
I respect the job more now than I ever did. I feel the work. I feel the craft. I have control over it. I mean, I have been doing standup for more than 25 years and for many of those years I leaned on a lack of discipline and persistence and just balls-out compulsion to speak to propel me. I still do that when it comes to creating the bits. I have honed five to fifteen minute sets for TV but it never really felt like it represented me because I was sort of stiff, just doing bits. Now when it comes time to tighten them up and do a special, I do the job and I stay in it. I guess I’m sort of amazed by it. Up until a week ago I was still freewheeling through almost two hours of stuff without a through line or much form. Over the last week, I found the theme and the call backs and what to cut. Up until the night of the show I was making tweaks. When it came time to step on the stage I knew exactly where I was going, what I was doing and how to punch each bit. I knew there wasn’t any room to really improvise but I felt present and open and funny except for the almost crying part. Because of the almost crying part I knew I was in it, not just the bits. 
 
I didn’t cry and it didn’t last long. I had been downplaying the special for the whole time in my head leading up to it. No fear. No anxiety. I had made it not special in my head. It was just part of what I do sometimes, I told myself. That’s how I managed the process. It was good. It worked. When I stepped on stage for the first show and he crowd was applauding I was overwhelmed with emotion. I’m such and idiot that I really didn’t even know which one. I knew it wasn’t bad and it was probably a good feeling but I also knew, not unlike when I did Carnegie, that I couldn’t cry as my opening bit. This was a special being recorded for fucksake. So, there it is. The first 20 seconds of my first show taping I’m really just fighting back tears. Gratitude, I think that’s what it was. Maybe a little joy but I don’t know. Okay, joy too. The set went great. The second show, no tears to fight back. Just full on, balls to the wall, wide open, comedy. It was a blast. 
 
It was an amazing event all around. Great crew, great director, AD, lighting designer, set designer, line producer, sound guy, everyone else, all of them. They couldn’t load in until the morning of the show and they filled that blank canvas of the Pantages Theatre up beautifully. It was stunning. Putting on a show. The work. 
 
While I did my special, across the country, the president was doing one of his terrorize, polarize, a lying and a stealing, hate your neighbor revival road shows. That hung with me in the back of my mind. Scary times. Be funny. Be real. 
 
I’m so glad I chose Minneapolis for the special. I’m happy the dates leading up to it were in the Midwest as well. There are great audiences in the Midwest. Grown up, polite folks who listen and understand. I’m very proud and happy I’ve cultivated the audience I have. I like them. Minneapolis was the perfect place to do the show. It has a history of performing arts and creativity and the folks show up. Thanks for that. 
 
Today you can listen to a profoundly interesting talk I had with Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh. He’s the real deal. A possessed artist. On Thursday I talk to the very funny and sweetly odd Wendi McClendon-Covey, and my buddy Al Madrigal stops by of a little bit. 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

The Show is the Work.

How’s it going, People?
 
You all hanging in? As of this writing, in this moment, now, I am ok. Wait. No, I’m fine. 
 
Big news out of the gate here… The WTF book ‘Waiting for the Punch’ is now available for preorder. It’s great. I had no idea about some of the amazing things people told me until I saw them in print. This isn't just a collection of interviews. It's a running narrative of about 200 people working through all the messiness that is life. It's big, it's funny, it's heartbreaking, it's really something special. We are so proud of it. Get it here!
 
I’m always amazed at my commitment and preoccupation, obsession, with little bullshit aggravations. I know what is going on. I know why my brain does it. It’s sort of like the opposite of spirituality but seeks to serve the same ends. When things are terrifying and out of your control, which is most things, why not get completely preoccupied for a few hours with a scuff on your new boots and obsess about what an asshole you are for not paying more attention to walking and what you do with your feet? Then, over time wrestle that attack on self and events that are natural and out of your control into some kind of acceptance. Boots get scuffed. They’re boots. Stupid. 
 
This pattern of panic and anger at little things is exacerbated by me having actual big things happening as well. I am taping my Netflix special in Minneapolis on Saturday. I’m playing it off like it’s not a big deal but in terms of what I do, it’s a big deal. There are cameras, lighting, a crew and a theater involved. I have to have my act together, be aware of what I’m doing, not dick around too much, tighten shit up and commit to a shirt. Instead of thinking about all that, I’d rather totally focus on the scuff on my boot. Actually, I’ve let that go and moved on to the need to clean out my closet at home. Pressing stuff. 
 
Also, the ever-present possibility and reality of the world coming unhinged or destroyed seems to be pervasive and a boot and/or cluttered closet isn’t really an effective stop gap against it permeating my being every few minutes. Acceptance. Courage. Be present. Do what you do. We all get scuffed up. 
 
That all being said I did three sold out shows at the Aladdin in Portland, Oregon over the weekend and they were great. Really great. I love the crowds there. I love the city. Even though every time I’m there I feel the presence of some kind of old timey darkness that seems to come up through the ground. I’ve grown to believe that there is a détente between the groovy, progressive, odd human trip of Portland and the disgruntled ghosts beneath it that creates a loaded but energetic vibe to the place. And there’s really good food and coffee there. I don’t know if bizarre facial hair and artisanal products will prove to be an effective defense in the long run against the sucking darkness of the Earth Spirits but it is holding for the time being. 
 
The show is the work. I am honing an hour and half down to about 70 minutes which is a task. I don’t like honing that much. I don’t like having a time limit. I don’t like polishing and trimming a set. It makes it feel like work and can suck the impulsive spontaneity out of the creative juice of the thing BUT it is part of the craft of artisanal standup comedy. It ultimately is very satisfying and even professional to reign it in and pull it together. Also, I’ve never done a set for an hour long anything, i.e. a special or CD, that didn’t get thrown off track by some unseen, unexpected moment or event on the night of. I welcome it. I work with the ghosts and impulses of structures, humans, wires and currents in the moment. We’ll see what happens next Saturday. Come to the taping if you are in or around Minneapolis. Don’t take this as an invitation to throw a fun wrench into the works. 
 
Today I talk to veteran director Walter Hill who made some great movies. I love talking to directors. It was a great chat. A bit of a rock and roll show on Thursday. I recently got turned on to the music of this guy Mac DeMarco and found myself sort of mesmerized by it so I had to have him over to figure out why. Also, singer/songwriter Mark Lanegan, who has one of the greatest voices ever, will be in the garage. 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Good Guy.

Alive for now, People.

It was harrowing weekend filled with the percolating fears that I guess we’ll be experiencing for as long as this shit show continues. Today we live. I hope you had a nice Christ day or Jew day or just another Sunday. I’ve been busy with Buster Kitten bullshit and performing for terrified people who turn to comedy to make them stop screaming inside for an hour or two. Maybe I’m projecting.  Maybe it’s me managing the screams.

I was distracted with another level of panic, anger and loss. The demon cat. I mean that. I believe that Buster Kitten may be a demon. I have felt that from the beginning. I’m only half-kidding. Things happen in our lives that demand meaning beyond the event. Buster arriving out of what seemed to be thin air on my porch at about two months old is one of those events. Again, maybe I’m reading into. Maybe I’m projecting but this cat seems to be possessed with something human and alien simultaneously. The body is that of cat but what that vessel holds is a mystery. As is true with most cats, I guess, but if I want to live in some kind of mystical comic book that’s my choice. I’m grounded though. I’m okay. It’s not some kind of manic episode. I know what I’m doing with my brain. I oiled my old boots. Staying busy. Staying connected. Grounded. Old boots.

The Buster broke out though. Those of you who listened on last Thursday know that. It was stressful but I’ve dealt with quite a few of these animals. I’m callous. I can’t afford to get too emotionally invested in a demon cat that came out of nowhere for unclear reasons or ones that haven’t been revealed yet. He pushed the screen out of the bedroom window and vanished. Asshole. Spent the day walking around shouting ‘Buster’ and there was no sign or sound of or from him. Dummy. I nailed in the bedroom window better. Then, hours later, after dark, we went out back and called and heard his high-pitched mew under the deck. We looked under there and he was rolling around in a pile of pine seeds just being all cute and cat like. That’s what demons do. They fool you to dissolve your suspicion and anger at them so they can continue with their agenda. I grabbed him and brought him back in. 

First thing he did was take a big demon dump. Then he ate. Then he conked out. The next day he was very sweet, a different cat. He was affectionate and vocal and pretty supportive of me in my state. Good guy.

Midday I decide to take a troubled stress nap. Upon awakening I went out back to open the garage and the entire bedroom screen had been pushed out from the top. What!? I felt like an idiot or at the very least a shitty handyman. I went around front and got a glimpse of old Monkey darting under the gate. Shit, the retired cats are out too. Turned out LaFonda wasn’t. I went through the house and yelled ‘Monkey’ and he came back in immediately. The outdoors is a bit much for his house-wired perception. No Buster in site. I thought, ‘Fuck it, he wants to live out here so bad, so be it.’ I couldn’t hold that frame though. I love the guy and he was just becoming sweet. I had to let it go though. Callous. Cats leave. 

I called him on and off for two days. Nothing. Sarah saw him for a second under the deck at some point but then he vanished (in thin air). Then when we pulled into the driveway late at night we caught a glimpse of his Abyssinian silhouette and watched him dart under my neighbor’s fence. He was close. I put food out and went and did comedy to help myself and others as we all stare down the world’s barrel with no control over the trigger.

I came home after the show. Got out of my car. Shouted for Buster a couple of times. Heard his dumb meow just beyond my neighbor’s gate. Saw that he ate the food. Kept calling. Nothing. Sat on the ground in front of the gate with his toys for a half hour. Nothing. Fuck him. I went to sleep.

I woke up and called him out front. Nothing. Walked to the door and there he was just standing out back looking at me. I opened the door and told him to come in and he ran off. Then I walked outside to try to get him and he ran by me and went under the house. I sat there and called him. Put food out. Waited. I knew he was under there but it was starting to look like I would have to trap him or just leave him outside. I called and called and then said fuck it. Just as I was about to get up he walked out from under the house with spider webs on his ear and came right up to me and rubbed against my leg. I picked him up and brought him in. I hope this Rumspringa is over. Today he is nothing but love but that’s how these demons are.

Today on the show I have a short chat with an old friend of the show, Moshe Kasher, about his new show on Comedy Central. I have a long chat with comedian Baron Vaughn about his journey and his new doc about his dad. On Thursday I have a great, smart talk with W Kamau Bell about his show on CNN and his new book. After that I have nice goofy chat with Amanda Peet to round the episode out.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

One of the Best.

Sad news, People.
 
Before I start verbally noodling on about myself and my life I want to pay some respects. We lost two great comics this week. One was at the beginning of her career and the other was at the end of his. 

Death is sad, tragic, but the death of someone young and seemingly in their prime is just unfair somehow. Lashonda Lester opened for me in Austin just a week or so ago on April 1st. I booked her on a video I saw. I did not know her. I had not met her until I got to the venue the night of the show. What I saw on that video was the real deal. A funny, authentic, hard working comic who had her own voice. When I saw her live, same thing, but I also felt that she was a good person. A big-hearted person. She passed away on April 6. She had health problems which she talked about in her act. That’s an honest comic. The best kind. It’s a great loss to the comic community. Would’ve been great to see what she would’ve done. 
 
Don Rickles died last week as well. Don was old. Don was great. Don had a long, rich, life. Don was one of the funniest people I ever saw in my life. He was one of the guys that planted the seed in my brain that I think ultimately lead me to become a comic. I remember watching some hour special he did when I was a kid. He was on stage, talking to someone in the front row which I think was him dressed as an average guy. A split screen thing. My memory is fading in some corner. Don said, “Nice suit. Did that come with two pairs of pants and a yoyo?” I don’t know why but I thought that was hilarious. It barely makes sense. His timing was amazing, perfect. His intensity was barely hiding a rage that made him endearing. I used to look forward to seeing him on the Dean Martin Roasts. When he leaned in on the dais and spoke to an aging Jimmy Stewart at the other end and said, “Jimmy, we spoke to your family, you’re doing fine.” Killed me. Just so succinct. To dismiss Don as being insensitive or incorrect somehow is to fail to contextualize him properly, you hockey pucks. He was one of the best, if not THE best of his generation. No doubt. I loved him. I’m sorry I never got to talk to him. I tried. 
 
The shows have been great out on the road. I brought old Dean Delray with me to Boulder and Denver this last weekend and we had a blast. Always good to travel with someone who is funny and, just as important, likes the same shit you do. We went record shopping, ate healthy shit, talked about music for two days straight. I’m trying to get this hour and forty-five-minute set I’ve been doing down to 70 minutes for my upcoming Netflix special taping in Minneapolis. I’m not there yet. I’m not sure I’m even trying that hard. I am arranging stuff into to chunks and trying to find a through line. So that’s a good sign. Not knowing what to cut because I like it is good problem to have. Come see the taping if you live in the Minneapolis region or even if you don’t. I’m doing two shows at The Pantages on Saturday April 29th. There are still some tickets available. I also have shows in Portland, Madison, Milwaukee, Philly and DC coming up. Go to wtfpod.com/tour for tickets to any of them if they are available. 
 
Today I talk to Anne Hathaway. I was a little fanboyish bordering on inappropriate but I was very happy to have her over to talk. On Thursday actor Michael Chiklis and I catch up. He didn’t know that we share some geographical and people connections. Good talks. 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Peach Cobbler.

Howdy, Folks! 

Austin, man. Fucking Austin. Love it.

Before I get into it just a heads-up that there are shows coming up in Bolder and Denver this weekend and Portland the weekend after that and then the Midwest run culminating with my special that I’m shooting in Minneapolis on April 29th. Then there’s a night in Philly and one in DC after that. All the links for all of the shows are at wtfpod.com/tour. Dig it.

I had some serendipitous good times in Texas. I got to Austin a day early so I could hang a bit. I like it there. It was the first time I played the Paramount without being part of the Moontower Fest so I wasn’t sure how it was going to sell but we just about sold the place out. I had the whole day before the show to wrestle with the idea of going out to Opie’s BBQ for some meat. I hadn’t eaten any in months and after some power rationalizations I realized, again, life is short, why not make it shorter if it’s worth it. It was worth it. 

I drove out Spicewood and the owner Kristin set me up with a few slices of brisket, a few pork ribs, some spicy corn, the free butter beans and the fucking pecan cobbler. What? Yes. Pecan cobbler. Nuts. I told her I’d set her up with some seats at the show because she thought it was sold out. Then she told me she was going with a friend and that friend was Chuck Woolery. The retired game show host and a vocal conservative. I told her that I’m doing some material on the scoundrel at the helm of the country and she said Chuck has a good sense of humor. I said fine. In my mind, Chuck Woolery storming out of my show isn’t the worst thing that could happen. In fact, it would’ve been hilarious. He didn’t. Apparently he loved it. I’m getting ahead of myself.

After my meat coma nap I was having some coffee at Jo’s, hanging around, and I see Jimmy Vivino walking down the street. He’s the guitar player from Conan’s show and a friend of mine. I ask him what he was doing in Austin and he told me he was just there to hang out with Jimmy Vaughn and sit in with him at C Boys Heart and Soul up the street. I was like, I fucking love Jimmy Vaughn. He is honestly one of my favorite guitar players. Jimmy told me to come up. I told him to come to my show. He did, for a while. 

I was on stage and it was a great show. There are great audiences in Austin. I did an hour and half and bolted out to watch the Jimmies jam. It was amazing. It’s a little place. There were like 100 people there, maybe. Just seeing Vaughn play was awesome. I hadn’t seen him live since I saw The Fabulous Thunderbirds when I was in high school. I asked him if he remembered playing the Golden Inn in Golden, NM. He didn’t even pretend to remember. I respected that. It was great meeting him. I was there for three hours. Closed the place at 1:30 (haven’t done that in years) and walked back down to the hotel with Vivino who was staying across the street. We talked tone, groove, phrasing, guitar shit. Great night. Thanks Austin.

Today on the show I talk to Hank Azaria for a bit and then the New York Times comedy critic Jason Zinoman for good long one. He just wrote a book about David Letterman called The Last Giant of Late Night. Good read. Good talk. On Thursday for our 800th episode I talk to our very first guest Jeff Ross who has actually never had a full hour treatment. Should be good.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Never Again.

Back in Canada, Folks.


Feels pretty good. Relaxing. Vancouver. I’m going on tonight (Sunday) so I can't let you know how the show went. Hopefully it went well. I am feeling the nag of something wanting to occupy my body. Like a cold trying to take hold. I have limited bullshit preventatives with me: oregano oil capsule, a few EmergenC packets and some mysterious Chinese herb capsule. I’ll take that one first. Who knows? Maybe something exciting will happen.

I played Seattle last night at The Moore. It was a great show. Great crowd. I’ve been stretching out doing close to two hours trying to find the hour I like. I love my fans and I appreciate that many of you know me pretty well and have a weekly relationship with me but if you are sitting in a room with 1500 other people we can't really have a one on one conversation—at least not for more than a couple exchanges—or I might get aggravated. In other words, there was an annoying fan sitting right up front and I might have gotten a little harsh. There seemed to be drinking involved so maybe she doesn’t remember it as clearly as I do. If you are in an audience it's nice if you act like an audience member. If there is a beat or a moment of quiet, it’s good. Don’t feel compelled to fill it. Just wait. I’m a professional. You might miss something if your mouth hole is making sound.

On Friday night I performed in Oakland at The Fox Theatre. What a beautiful theatre. Loved the place and the crowd. It was pretty wild. Some old friends of mine came down. People who had never seen me do that big a venue. People who knew me when was just a sweaty, angry guy in a half-filled club yelling at the crowd. I think they were proud of me. Sometimes I don’t acknowledge how far I’ve come and it's nice to get a reality check on that. I just blow through life. Maybe enjoying it and being proud of myself would be good. I don’t want to get too big in my head though. Have to keep that tempered with panic and insecurity. On it.

I recorded today's show a few days early because I lost my discipline around some dangerous behavior. How long after you dump a cup of coffee on the keyboard of your computer before you start stupidly putting the cup of coffee right next to your computer again? It feels like I was on top of it for a while but apparently not the other day when I knocked half a cup over right on the thing. Coffee will end up on computers and iPhones will end up in toilets. Rules of the universe. Somehow I acted quickly enough, sopped it up, turned the machine over, put it outside and didn’t touch it for hours and it worked. I couldn’t be sure though. I was going to record today in Vancouver but I didn’t know if I could send the file if my computer had wet brain. Seems good now. Getting a new one anyway. No cups of coffee next to computer! No. Never again.

Today on the show I talk to someone I feel had been part of my life for decades because he has. I’ve been seeing Paul Shaffer off to the side on my TV screen in some form or other for years. It was great being able to talk to him. On Thursday I talk to Paul Beatty who wrote ‘The Sellout.’ Loved that book. Smart guy. Good talks.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Another Great.

Okay, Folks. I am okay. Ish. 

If you are in the Bay Area and want to see me in Oakland at the Fox this Friday there may be some tickets left but it’s close to selling out. It’s the same with Seattle at The Moore on Saturday. I believe there are still tickets for The Vogue in Vancouver for Sunday. If you are in Minneapolis and want to come to the taping of my special on April 29th at The Pantages I would get on that now. There are two shows that night. Cool.

Chuck Berry is dead. The King is dead. Long live the King. If there is one guy whose ghost will always be active in rock music it's Chuck. No matter what you thought of him as a person that sound is the shit. Okay, he was kind of an asshole and a perv but that riff, that signature riff, changed my brain. I’ve been chasing that Berry bounce and that riff around for most of my life. The first time I heard Roll Over Beethoven was when I was around nine. It was on the Beatles' Second Album. I followed that song to Mountain’s version and then finally to Chuck’s. It changed my life. It left an imprint or perhaps a neural pathway or river where almost all music had to ride down into my heart for years. It took me to the blues to the Stones to jazz to country. It was the gateway riff, the Rosetta Stone of my connection to music. Yesterday, the day after he died, I was at Gimme Gimme Records and the Chuck Berry box set had just come in. Mint condition. I listened to all six albums straight through. Rock on. RIP, Chuck Berry.

Another great poet warrior who had an impact on my life died two days before Chuck: Derek Walcott. I took a playwriting workshop with him in college. My friend Steve Brill and I wrote, acted in and directed a show in the class. Derek was a big presence who was powerful, creative and aggressively encouraging. He was the kind of guy that inspired you to eat life. He also wrote a recommendation for me when I had the dumb, drunken idea that I could get into Yale Drama School using a photo booth strip as my headshot. He wrote it for me standing in his bathrobe smoking a cigarette on an old Underwood typewriter atop a file cabinet. I had just woken him up at his house as I was leaving Boston for my ill-fated and ridiculous audition in New Haven. He was a good sport about it. I don’t think he thought I had a hope in hell of getting in but I was cocky and not aware of how humbling life would be moving forward. Always. Somehow. RIP, Derek Walcott.

Today on the show I talk to the very humble, very funny Paul Rust about his show ‘Love’ and about coming up in Iowa and LA. Good talk. Decent human. On Thursday I move through faith, religion and life stuff with Reza Aslan. Real thoughtful talk. Engaged. Good shit.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Check In.

How are you, People?

I have been doing the big traveling. I was out east last week for New Hampshire, Connecticut, Montreal and Toronto and then went home for three days and turned around and came back for New Haven, Troy and Burlington. I need to go home sometimes. Check in. Remind the cats who's using the house they own. Play some guitar. Cook a meal. Get mad about something wrong with the house. Drive my car around. Then, I turn around and go back out. It’s a lot flying but sometimes you just have to go home for a minute so you don’t start feeling lost, untethered.

Sarah came with me on this trip and it’s been pretty great. Only one dumb fight over nothing! Well, it wasn’t over nothing. It’s the old "Is That Joke About Me, Because If It Is It’s Not Based In Reality" thing. So, it was a negotiation and we worked it out. The joke was not about her and I make that clear now. See, I’m being an adult capable of compromise. These things can happen when you talk about yourself or use your life for your creative thing. It was not a deal breaker but I did pout and make the evening miserable.

New Haven was exactly what it is and I believe has been forever. The city where Yale is. The Ivy league fortress is nestled into the middle of what I believe is a pretty rough city at times. We were staying almost on the campus and it was nice. There was a time where all I wanted to do was go to that school. I even had a truly embarrassing audition for Yale Drama School. I think I’ve talked about it on the show before. We went to the Yale Art Gallery and it was amazing. It has one the best collections of modern art I’ve ever seen and I’ve been to a lot of museums in my life. I thought I had seen most of the modern art made by the big modern art people but nope. They had Picassos, Kandinskys, Rothkos and more. Early stuff. Shit I had not seen. I don’t even like Kandinsky but these were old ones and I think I finally got it. You have to go give art some attention. Check in with the portals to the other planes wrenched out of the brains of the creatively free. It’s important.

After the art gallery we went back to the hotel to have some coffee in the lobby bar and I noticed a couple sitting across from us. I thought I recognized the man. Then I noticed the woman he was sitting across from was Meryl Streep. I knew the guy from being the guy that is always next to Meryl Streep at events and award things. It was kind of amazing to see her just sitting there talking to him and eating bread and some charcuterie. I didn’t want it to seem like I was staring so I just checked in occasionally. I saw her eat some food, drink some water and check her phone. I have to say she was brilliant. I mean, really committed to all of it and it seemed so natural. She is the best actress. Even in real life, so good.

Today I talk to Kevin Nealon who I have been putting off because I thought he had a problem with me. So, we talk about that, of course, and other stuff. On Thursday I talk to documentarian Louis Theroux about his new Scientology doc. Great guy. Great talk. Funny.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Connect

Bonjour, Folks!

Sorry. I was in Montreal. It felt appropriate. That’s the limit of my French as well. Impressive, huh?

I’m actually en route to Toronto as I write this. I’m on a huge plane. 777. I don’t think I’ve been on one. It seems like a good machine. Smooth flight. Spacious. I’m looking out over the Canadian expanse. It’s pretty up in Canada. Quiet. I used to think it was too quiet, maybe even a little dull. I have to be honest though. After the last few months in the States it was real relief to be out even if it was just for a few days. I felt the difference immediately upon crossing over the border. I’ve never felt that before. I’ve never felt relieved to leave America. The amount of instability, panic, anger, sadness and chaos that is permeating the culture and country has made it very scary. I needed the brief reprieve. All those things have infused northward but it’s different. There’s a bit of distance and a different order up here. I liked the calm.

The shows have been great. I want to thanks all the folks who came out to the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut. It was a sweet show. Nice venue. It was an old school so it had that school auditorium feel to it. It has been around a while so I imagined there were plenty of audiences in that space over the years that were there because they had to be there. Assemblies, high school musicals, a history of bored students and supportive parents. Maybe some show biz dreams were born on that stage. I project though. Sometimes good, sometimes real bad.

After the show the women who runs the place said there were some people outside that said they were with me on a teen tour. I couldn’t believe it. I went on a Baron Teen Tour probably almost 40 years ago now but I remember a few of the guys on the bus with me. We played poker compulsively and I would always lose and I always wondered if they were playing me with a hustle they were working, a team cheat. I was in deep. I had to wire my aunt for cash to feed the sickness. Sure enough one of the guys that came back was one of those guys. They were there with wives. Middle-aged now. It was great to see them. I was happy I remembered them. It’s odd what your brain holds onto. I liked them but I had to ask if they cheated. He said no way. He said I was just a bad poker player with shitty luck. I believed him. That adds up. It’s still true. That’s why I don’t gamble. I’m a bad bluffer.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire was an amazing show as well. The Music Hall is a beautiful historic venue. I loved going back to New England. Had some fried scallops and haddock. It’s not what I’m supposed to be eating but I had to. I really like New England people. They are their own thing. Rough but real. My old friend Jim came down and hung out and the next day me, Jim and Ryan Singer drove up to Montreal. It’s important to spend time with old friends and remember who you were and realize who you are and be grateful for what you have and connect.

Great talk today with SCTV alum Eugene Levy. I loved hearing the stories about the Canadian comedy world that birthed so many amazing funny people. On Thursday I talk to Fred Melamed. Look him up. You’ll know him. Great actor and an interesting guy.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Moved By It.

Show biz, people!

Sorry. I’m watching the Oscars as I write this. I’m already crying for no reason. Just seeing everyone. Song and dance at the start always gets me. Kimmel is doing great. I don’t know, I just have a soft spot for the whole thing. Mind you, I’m in the first half hour here and it might be different if I was writing this two hours from now.

Given what is bombarding us all on a daily basis and what is happening to the political and cultural dialogue in this country it was genuinely moving to see artists owning themselves and what they do and the joy and responsibility of putting it out in the world. For the first time in years the Oscars felt relevant and important. Also, Kimmel was fucking hilarious. Did I mention that?

I’m not going to write too much here because I want to watch. I do want to talk about a couple of movies though. Yesterday, somehow, I got some reprieve from the assault of terror that my brain is putting me through in response to what is happening politically in this country. I was just okay for some reason. I went out with Sarah and had some Indian food. Then we went to see the film Kedi. I knew nothing about it other than Sarah said it was about cats. Obviously, we are cat people. She is a little more than me. I was not all in but I just wanted to be out and doing something. It was pretty amazing. It’s about the thousands of wild cats that have inhabited the streets of Istanbul for centuries and the people they affect. It was a beautiful film and actually celebrated humanity and spirituality through the city’s relationship with these cats. I was really entertained and moved by it. Of course, at this point, just waking up and not being consumed by darkness is moving so I’m an easy audience but it was a really beautiful film and it moved me.

The other film I wanted to talk about was actually directed by my guest today, Raoul Peck. The film is ‘I Am Not Your Negro.’ It is a documentary about James Baldwin. I knew very little about James Baldwin. I had recently watched a debate he had with William Buckley on YouTube and was drawn in and blown away by the depth, humanity, intensity and fury of his intellect. I was ashamed of myself for never having explored his work. I always knew about him but I didn’t rotate him in. My loss. There is still time to learn and be moved by his work because it is always here. The documentary is a life-changing introduction to his work or an elevation of his work if you already know it. It is prescient and disturbing and relevant. It is about the problems and struggles that have corroded the core of this country for generations. It has never been more important than it is now to witness and allow this film to punch you in the brain and change your perception and engagement. It was an honor to talk to Raoul about the film. It is a unique talk for my show.

On Thursday I talk to the very funny actress Jennifer Coolidge. I love her work. I always wondered what she was like.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron