An Odd Story.

Hello, Friends!

I am still in Toronto, Canada and what an amazing respite it is. Even though I’m working 12-hour days with an hour or so on each side for travel and hair and makeup it is great to be in Canada. To be away from the American cultural frequencies of aggressive entitlement, potentially explosive divisiveness, panic, fear, hate and the pounding storm of garbage information that we are inundated with every day in the political climate we are living in. Canada almost seems bucolic, even in the city. Low key, human, integrated, reasonably paced, inclusive and just pleasant somehow.

And the work has been truly engaging and fun.

As much as I have been acting lately, outside of ‘Easy’, I don’t think I am always able to fully appreciate or immerse myself in the art of it. I can do the work and all that it entails, like the waiting around, but to really get a flow going is elusive sometimes. Doing this movie up here has been pretty immersive somehow. I am a playing a guy named Ron Oberman, a Mercury label music publicist and Johnny Flynn is playing David Bowie. It’s really just the two of us for the bulk of most the work I am doing.

It’s an odd story that takes place in 1971 when Bowie took a trip to the US to promote ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ album. The label didn’t know what to do with it. His manager was losing interest. He was not a defined performer or well known in any way for anything other than what most thought was a novelty single called ‘Space Oddity.’ He arrived in the states without the correct papers to work. Ron was the label rep who believed in him but wasn’t really given any resources to promote Bowie AND he couldn’t play gigs because of the visa. So, Ron had to get creative.

It’s really a very small part of the life of Bowie but a touching story about him coming to some realizations about how he will move forward with his art and life. My part of the film is almost a buddy road movie.

The point is that as me and Johnny work these scenes we can feel the relationship evolve organically and it’s kind of beautiful. Despite whether anyone has an issue of how Bowie is depicted or whatever criticisms may come, this is really a movie (at least my part) about two guys, in different transitional stages of their lives, coming together to move through them.

I guess what I’m saying is the work has been rewarding so far. And I shaved off my mustache and I wear a decent wig and some old-style glasses. So, it helps that I don’t really recognize myself and I can be okay with being Ron.

Today I talk to Stephen Colbert about all the stuff. We talked at The Ed Sullivan Theater in the middle of a busy day for him like every day of his life doing that job. There was a hard out but I think we got to a lot. On Thursday I talk to Canadian comic Brent Butt. Funny guy who has done a lot of stuff that most of us know nothing about. Always liked him. I know I’m here in Canada but we actually talked back in the states. Great talks!

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Some Kind of Test.

The Midwest, People!

It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was pretty great to be honest.

First off, if you missed me saying so, I’ll be at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival July 26th and 27th. On the 26th I’ll be doing a GLOW panel with the showrunners and some of the ladies. On the 27th I’ll be doing a solo show at a nice little theater. You can get tickets through the link at wtfpod.com/tour

Second off, the film I did with Lynn Shelton, Sword of Trust, is opening in more theaters than I thought initially. They’re adding some! You can go to swordoftrust.com/tickets for all the info about where and when for that film.

 So, as many of you know I was hesitant about St. Louis for reasons that weren’t entirely clear to me but they became so through a strange sequence of events. Obviously, there’s a lot wrong with Missouri politically. Heinous, actually. That in itself is enough to be wary. That wasn’t really it though. St. Louis is one of those blue cities just surrounded by red. I just didn’t think I had a draw in that city though. I had been there once like five years ago. I played a rock club called The Firebird and I remember it wasn’t a great show. It was difficult. It was in a rock club I just barely sold it out and it’s only a couple hundred seats. Something about that experience had stuck with me enough to decide I didn’t really need to go back to St. Louis. 

 This time, heading into the dates, I had sold over 900 seats and ended up selling 1000-plus tickets. I definitely had people there. They were great crowds and I really had amazing shows. Did some new stuff. Built out a couple of longer bits I had been working on. I did a lot of riffing. There was no trouble. If there were people there with aggressively different opinions than mine they kept it to themselves. So, my audience didn’t have to deal with me dealing with the job of babysitting an infantile, aggravated, wrong-minded loudmouth. Something else happened though. 

The first night, Thursday, my feature act, Mary Radzinski, who was great, had to deal with a woman sitting up front alone who had a very distinct and disruptive laugh. It’s an odd problem to have as a comic. To have someone doing what they came to do and what you want them to do but it’s actually distracting to the audience and disruptive to your flow. She was nice, a bit odd, but it was a little tricky. 

 I got up there and I noticed it but somehow, I just ignored it. I didn’t acknowledge it or it would’ve consumed my set. Her laugh. Her over the top, loud staccato laugh. The set was great. I was actually so focused that it didn’t bother me at all. After the show the woman came up to me at the meet-and-greet and told me she had been at my show at The Firebird years ago. Then it hit me. Fuck. That’s why that show was not a good memory. I was completely distracted by her laugh. It drew too much attention. I was probably even a bit mean to her from the stage and it became the theme of that show. Annoying. 

 I identified the trauma. 

 The following night, Friday, I was backstage when Mary took the stage and I heard that laugh, again She was back for another show. It was like some kind of test. Mary got through about 5 minutes before she acknowledged her, by name, because she asked her her name the night before. 

 I couldn’t believe it. I went out into the showroom to see where she was sitting. So, once again, she was there sucking focus with that laugh. I got on stage and just said, 'Tonight will be an exercise in tolerance.’ I explained the conundrum of a comic being annoyed by an audience member’s laugh and it was a good riff. She faded into the background as I focused on the work. It wasnt her fault. It was just her laugh. 

 She didn’t come a third time but me and Mary were a bit traumatized and worried before each show. They were five great shows. 

 Today I have a very intense talk with Eve Ensler about her new book the apology. It’s moving and real and heavy. FYI. On Thursday I talk to veteran Boston comic Steve Sweeney about his new film, Sweeney Killing Sweeney. Great talks. 

 Enjoy!

 Boomer lives!

 Love,

Maron

Waste Responsibly.

Me again, Folks!

I don’t even know how many people even read these anymore. I guess I could check. There’s a way to check, I think.

Well, if you are reading, here’s what’s up:

I made it back from Vermont. It almost didn’t happen, actually. I can’t stand small regional airports. Especially on a Sunday. There’s only one flight out to wherever you need to go. If something goes wrong with the one plane there’s no other planes there to use, none coming in and there might not be anyone there to fix it or get a part if needed. Yesterday the issue was something more expansive. 

From what I could understand there was a GPS satellite issue with all the small model jets of the type was I on. There was no way to navigate them, any of them. That’s what they said when we were told to get off the plane. Then the charade begins. The re-routing and re-booking of flights when a flight is canceled or delayed hours. Trying to hustle a connection. I was flying into Chicago and I was told every flight after the one I was missing was booked. Then you have to get on the phone with the airline because there’s no reason to believe the gate agent outright. I weaseled a middle seat in the back of coach on a later flight out of Chicago. We took off three hours late from Burlington but made the connection. When I got to the gate they gave me an aisle.  I was supposed to be in first. I took the hit. I’m no diva and I wasn’t going to wait until today to get another flight so I could fly first.  It’s good to be in coach every once in a while. Humility.

And don’t any of you judge me as some elitist, rich, snobby, entitled, spoiled person. I have no kids, no wife, no debt. I win. I can fly first. Life is short. I want to waste my money responsibly on things I like and give a bunch to charities I think are good. That’s it.

The Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington was good. It was actually kind of trippy once I was able to appreciate it that way. It’s an intimate club but it’s got high ceilings and a lot of new concrete construction which makes it a little hard as opposed to soft. Not hard as opposed to easy. The lights were a bit harsh. It was hard to see any of the audience. The stage is elevated a bit. It annoyed me at first but once I got used to it the effect of the place kind of made you feel like you were floating in space up there. I did some serious riffing and got a little loopy on a couple of the shows. Got some work done. Things happened that will never happen again. Including a German chemist climbing on stage and hugging me, freaking out the crowd and then later being thrown out of the club. You shouldn’t do hallucinogens and go see comedy unless you can really handle your high.

I got out a bit. I went to Red Rocks Park with my old friend Jim who came up from New Hampshire. We had great day. Hiked around, talked about all the stuff. I met some new people, ate some great food, walked around town a lot, saw people I didn’t know three times in one day (small town) and did some good shows. Thanks Burlington.

Today on the show I was honored to talk to Mavis Staples. What a great human. On Thursday I talk to comedic actress and producer Jamie Denbo about her new show. Great talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

The Real Work.

Hello, People.
 
Today try to take a minute and reflect on the sacrifice the people in the armed forces have made over the years doing their duty. 
 
Then eat some food. 
 
I want to thank the people of Madison, WI for coming out to Comedy on State over the weekend. I had five sold out shows. They were great. Really fun, productive and, I believe, entertaining shows. Dina Hashem did a great job opening and the club itself is really one of the best, if not the best, in the country. 
 
It’s not always clear what makes a club better than others. Could be the sound system, low ceilings, how the stage is situated, how it is seated, how big it is. The Comedy on State club is just a beautiful, intimate venue and the staff and owners are great. They give a shit. They treat comics well and just run a tight ship. Great green room, too. That matters. 
 
Doing clubs is the real work. Refining bits. Up close with the people. One mind. Push the envelope a bit. 
 
A confluence of seemingly karmic events kind of humbled me over the weekend. Having just read Fantasyland by Kurt Andersen, I was in the middle of an advance copy of a book called It Came from Something Awful by Dale Beran. The first was about magical thinking in America and the second was about the evolution of 4chan and the internet communities of toxic nerdom and how it contributed to political clusterfuck we are living in. It also covers the struggle between toxic and progressive nerd culture. 


I recently got into a twitter spat with some of the hate nerds about Game of Thrones and before that I pissed off the non-hate nerds with my take on Marvel movies. Through all that, and up until the other day, I never really thought about the women nerds. They just didn’t fit into my limited conception of the culture. Dale Beran’s book laid it out in its entirety and just by coincidence the hotel I as staying at was hosting WisCon, a feminist science fiction convention. 
 
There were all kinds of people there. Many races, many genders. All seemed sort of touched, in their own time zone, on the fantasy spectrum. Outside of the norm for sure. Being around them made me a bit giddy. I felt like the weirdo. It was moving somehow. It humbled me. It blew my mind. Reintroduced me to a sensitivity for the unique people. The brilliant ones that don’t fit in and have to live with that and then embrace it. It was just nice to see them all in one place. Enjoying each other. I have a bully in me. I have to make sure it stays in check. The only way to do that is respect others. Understand. Empathize.
 
Today on the show I talk to Timothy Olyphant. Good guy. Good actor. Good talk. On Thursday, after spending years of my life trying get on (and then get back on) his show, David Letterman sits with me for a chat about his early days as a comic. Things he really doesn’t generally talk about. Great talk. 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Seattle.

Pacific Northwest, folks!

I’m back from Seattle. I was really only there a day. Three nights, one day. That’s how that worked. 
 
As I mentioned I went up there for the opening night of the Seattle International Film Festival. Sword of Trust, the film I’m in, was the big opening night film. I was up there with the director Lynn Shelton. We did a full day of press stuff. Some local TV which is always sort of surreal for some reason and lots of radio hits. 
 
The film screened for about 3000 people. Most of whom had no idea what it was or what to expect. There were there for the event. It was interesting to note the difference between the SXSW premiere and the screening in Seattle. SXSW was a bunch of young, excited festival goers who were laughing almost immediately. With the Seattle crowd, the laughs were earned. Once they got the hang of the film, about ten minutes in, the laughs started coming and didn’t stop throughout the whole film except during the deeper, more emotional moments when you could hear a pin drop in the place.
 
It was very gratifying to see the movie get genuine laughter again. It was also cool to watch it with different eyes: My own. When you watch something you are involved with, you see it the first time really only paying attention to yourself. The next time you see it you pay attention to everything but you are probably a little overly critical. The third time and every time after that you really watch the movie. Seattle was my third time and I really watched the movie. It’s good! Okay, I’m biased, but the audience thought so, too. 
 
Lynn and I did a Q and A afterwards and I went on a bit of a rant in the middle about conspiracy theories and stupid people that I think surprised everyone because they aren’t used to Q and As breaking into basically a short standup set but I think they dug it. 
 
Also, while I was in Seattle, after much inner struggle, I ate some fried scallops at Jack’s Fish Stop. Amazing. I do it every time I’m there which has been quite a bit over the last 25 years. I love them but I know they are bad. Fried. And they have grilled salmon now. I really didn’t know what I was going to get until the words were coming out of my mouth. So ridiculous. Food is fun and it’s not like I eat them all the time. I eat them hardly ever. I don’t want to be on my death bed thinking my life was shy a few fried scallops but I also don’t want to be on my death bed sooner than I should be because of fried scallops. Tricky. Fuck it. Eat ‘em once in a while. 
 
Today I talk to the amazing Lisa Kudrow. I mean, who doesn’t love Lisa Kudrow? She’s Lisa Kudrow. On Thursday I talk to Duff McKagan from Guns N' Roses. He’s all cleaned up and sharp as a fucking tack. Great talks. 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Real Authentic.

Another week, Folks!
 
How are you all? Today my cat LaFonda decided to throw up all over my bed. Exciting. She’s okay. It’s a cat thing. 
 
There are a couple of things I should tell you about. First, the film that I made with Lynn Shelton, Sword of Trust, will be the opening night, big deal event at the Seattle International Film Festival. I will be there. I’m excited. I get to wear one of my two suits that I bought. I just have to decide which one. The nice one or the really nice one. I think if you pay attention to my press you will start to see that I wear the same shit over and over again. Sometimes I let a few years go by but if you ever ask yourself when you see a picture of me or see me on TV, “Is that the same shirt (or suit or jacket or pants) that he wore on that other thing?” The answer is yes. Of course it is. 

I’ve often asked myself how other performers (men) always look so amazing in their clothes and always wear something different and fresh (I used italics) looking. They must own hundreds of suits and cool shit. Nope. They have stylists! I don’t know why I didn’t assume that. Naïve. I know the women do. I’m on a show with a bunch of women and if they do an event, famous designers just lend them their best stuff and a stylist helps them pick it out and they always look amazing. I don’t know why I never assumed dudes do this. 
 
When I was in NYC I was getting back to my hotel and it was late and as I was getting my key a man and a woman wheeled in a rolling cart with a stack of shoe boxes on it and several garment bags. The guy told the women at the desk he was going up to Jason Mantzoukis’ room. I thought, ‘I know Jason.’ I was at the elevator with the two of them and the cart and I asked him what’s going on. He said the John Wick premiere was tomorrow. Then I realized the guy was a stylist and Mantzoukis was getting hooked up.
 
When I got to my room I immediately texted Jason, ‘I hope you can find a dress you like.’ Because I’m an asshole. I also thought, ‘If he can do it, so can I. I’m not in the John Wick movie but I do things sometimes.' Then I realized I would have to try everything on. It wouldn’t feel like my stuff. I’d probably think it looked funny on camera which has been my experience when I wear shit that isn’t mine. So, it’s not going to happen. I’ll stick to my two suits, four shirts, three pairs of jeans and 3 jackets. Keep it real. Authentic. Lazy. 
 
The other thing I wanted to tell you is the new season of Joe Swanberg’s Easy is up on Netflix. It’s the third and last season and I’m in episode six. It’s called ‘Blank Pages’ and it’s really one of the best things I’ve done in my short career as an actor. It’s an improvised show and I’m working with Jane Adams (genius) and Melanie Lynskey (another genius). The subject matter is powerful and relevant. I’m very proud of it and I’d like you to watch it. 
 
Today I talk to Anjelica Huston about being Anjelica Huston. I was nervous. She’s Anjelica Huston. On Thursday I try to talk to Kyle Mooney. He wasn’t easy but I like his work on SNL. He’s an odd fella. Very funny. Good talks!

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

The Big Question.

Flying, People!
 
I’m in the air. Flying into NYC to do some talks. I’m not going to be lecturing. I’m going to be talking to some people. 
 
I was supposed to be doing a GLOW screening event and that got moved or cancelled or something but I kept the trip. Figured I’d line up a few interviews and wander around NYC in the rain apparently. It’s always raining when I’m there. I don’t know if it will be but my phone told it probably will be. 
 
It’s strange. As our government seems to be progressing towards irreparable corruption into a different, single party, authoritarian system I feel it to be even more pressing to get my own shit straight so I can see clearly who I am and what is really happening. So I can work from there with more understanding. Obviously, I have a good deal of my shit relatively straight but as I have been talking about on the show there are a few obstacles that I need to clear. It’s about personal truth. All this talk about authenticity, wholeheartedness, mindfulness is all well and good but… when it comes right down to it, ‘you are who you are.’ What the fuck is that? That’s the big question. Who are you who wanders around and talks to the people? Is it totally selfish? Is it helpful? Is it being of service? Is it righteous? Is it garbage? Is it a waste of time? Is it just more distracting fodder? Is it amazing? Is it awful? Do you love it? Is it fucking true to yourself, really? These probably could all be answered with a yes at one point or another. 
 
It’s weird when you get a certain amount of clarity to see that in some ways you may be living alongside of yourself. It’s almost dissociative. When, all of a sudden, you see that you’ve been holding yourself back out of habit, fear. That needs to stop. I don’t look back on my life with regrets, but I do look back and think, ‘Wow, why couldn’t I be okay with who I was, ever?’ That’s a little painful. I am almost okay with myself. I’m not sure how that will manifest if I ever get there but maybe we’ll see. 
 
I have a very distinct love/hate relationship with almost everything in my life. 
 
I started logging my food again. So, that’s good. 
 
Great shows this week. Today I talk to a lifer. The actor Dennis Quaid is always good. I feel like I’ve known him my whole life from seeing him in stuff. I was happy to hang out with him for an hour or so. On Thursday I do a rare two guester with Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine. I really loved their show PEN15 and it was great hearing about their relationship and their stories and how the show came about. 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Rationalizing.

Nuts, People!
 
Too many nuts. Cashew nuts. Too many. I ran out and I’m afraid to get more. I’m hoping maybe the world ran out. Unlikely. Getting doughy from the nuts. Healthy doughy. Nut doughy. 
 
Feeling a little better emotionally, mentally. Taking some action. I don’t love taking action but understanding is not doing. I get what’s up. After years of trying to get a context to understand why I am the way I am, I have one. Great. I built the box. Now, how the fuck do I get out?

I went to see a new therapist. When I say new that doesn’t mean I have been going to one. I have one I went to. But again, understanding is not doing. And knowing doesn’t mean anything. Repetition of what you know about yourself and doing things over and over again doesn’t help too much. Actually, it is the opposite of help. Sometimes I think therapy means you pay someone so you can rationalize your problems aloud. They make suggestions. You take them. Maybe try them, probably not. Come back the following week and re-rationalize. 

 Sadly, the things that make us sick of ourselves are sometimes all we know. 
 
So, this new therapist doesn’t want to talk. She wants to do EMDR therapy. Now, I’m stubborn and I don’t love too many new things and I generally don’t do things that many people have told me might make me feel better, i.e. meditate, mostly. I tried EMDR once. I like the idea of it even though I have no idea how it works and it seems kind of bullshitty. Though people I trust say it works. You hold a couple of doohickeys in your hand that alternate a vibration that somehow distracts part of your brain so you can tap right into the amygdala and rework some connection between actual trauma memories and the way it is affecting your behavior and thought patterns today. Sounds like a hokey racket but again, it has been proven to work with PTSD, which apparently we all have if you had at least one crappy parent on some level. 
 
I’ll let you know how it goes. Maybe you’ll just hear it. Hope it works and I can feel it. 
 
Today I talk to the legendary Jane Fonda. She been a star longer than I’ve been alive. I went back and watched a few of her old movies and realized that I didn’t remember or really absorb what an amazing actress she is. Go watch Klute. Astounding. Just right there in the pocket. So good. And Coming Home. Again, amazing. Hell, she’s just great. It was honor to talk to her. On Thursday I talk to the producer Irwin Winkler. Another legend. Fifty years in the game. Produced some to the best movies of all time. Great talks.
 
Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Three Grades of Fatty Tuna.

Hi, People! 
 
San Diego was much better than I expected. 
 
I’m not sure why I had an aversion to San Diego but I was wrong. I don’t know if it’s a great place or what is really going on there. I know people seem to go there to party. The streets were filled with people wandering around in shorts and different types of beach party/nightclub outfits. Some carrying drinks. I was downtown though.  I have no point of reference for the big picture. I do know that the crowds were great and The American Comedy Club is a sweet little venue. It’s a real comedy club. Basement-style. There’s something about low ceilings and a subterranean environment that make for a good laugh hole. 
 
I didn’t have a great attitude going in. I had done a bunch of big venues lately and as much as I love doing clubs, the five-show haul in a beach city had me dreading it a bit (even through all the shows were sold out). I assume that people who live in beach areas live there because they’re laid back and enjoy life. My other assumption was that I wasn’t going to sell many tickets because after a nice day by the water people would think, ‘Do we really want to do that to ourselves? I love Maron but today was so relaxing.’ On top of my skewed negative expectations, it took me five hours to make the 120 odd mile drive on HIGHWAYS. Why? Because Southern California sucks. I’m a traffic baby. I can’t stand it. 
 
Needless to say, with the lingering jet lag from my Europe trip and the fact that I was running on three hours of sleep and I had just spent five hours in traffic (on a road that would’ve been fine if I was MOVING) I was a bit loopy and cranky. I felt hungover, beat up. Like I did back in the drug days on the third day of a three-day run. Then, something magical happened. 
 
My fans came out and that room just had the amazing comedy club electricity that comes when people are scrunched together in a small basement comedy room. The sets were sizzling. There’s was riffing and big bits and crowd work and weirdness. Sometimes I forget that I am and always have been a club comic and I know how to do that shit. 
 
I would definitely go back to San Diego. I really don’t have any sense of the city but I had great shows and some of the best sushi in my life. Seriously. In my life. At a place called Azuki Sushi Café. I mean, I would go back just for that fish. Three grades of fatty tuna. Are you fucking kidding me? It might be worth the mercury poisoning. It’s all about moderation.
 
I was thrilled to speak with Brené Brown. If you don’t know here from her TED talks or her books you can watch and read those but she has a Netflix special out now as well. I needed to talk to her. I’m having a bit of a rough time in the emotions department. You can listen to that today. On Thursday I have one the funniest talks I’ve done in a long time with comedian/actor Brian Callen. We go back but I didn’t know him that well. Good time. Great talks. 
 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Three Grades of Fatty Tuna.

Hi, People!

San Diego was much better than I expected.

I’m not sure why I had an aversion to San Diego but I was wrong. I don’t know if it’s a great place or what is really going on there. I know people seem to go there to party. The streets were filled with people wandering around in shorts and different types of beach party/nightclub outfits. Some carrying drinks. I was downtown though.  I have no point of reference for the big picture. I do know that the crowds were great and The American Comedy Club is a sweet little venue. It’s a real comedy club. Basement-style. There’s something about low ceilings and a subterranean environment that make for a good laugh hole.

I didn’t have a great attitude going in. I had done a bunch of big venues lately and as much as I love doing clubs, the five-show haul in a beach city had me dreading it a bit (even through all the shows were sold out). I assume that people who live in beach areas live there because they’re laid back and enjoy life. My other assumption was that I wasn’t going to sell many tickets because after a nice day by the water people would think, ‘Do we really want to do that to ourselves? I love Maron but today was so relaxing.’ On top of my skewed negative expectations, it took me five hours to make the 120 odd mile drive on HIGHWAYS. Why? Because Southern California sucks. I’m a traffic baby. I can’t stand it.

Needless to say, with the lingering jet lag from my Europe trip and the fact that I was running on three hours of sleep and I had just spent five hours in traffic (on a road that would’ve been fine if I was MOVING) I was a bit loopy and cranky. I felt hungover, beat up. Like I did back in the drug days on the third day of a three-day run. Then, something magical happened.

My fans came out and that room just had the amazing comedy club electricity that comes when people are scrunched together in a small basement comedy room. The sets were sizzling. There’s was riffing and big bits and crowd work and weirdness. Sometimes I forget that I am and always have been a club comic and I know how to do that shit.

I would definitely go back to San Diego. I really don’t have any sense of the city but I had great shows and some of the best sushi in my life. Seriously. In my life. At a place called Azuki Sushi Café. I mean, I would go back just for that fish. Three grades of fatty tuna. Are you fucking kidding me? It might be worth the mercury poisoning. It’s all about moderation. 

I was thrilled to speak with Brené Brown. If you don’t know here from her TED talks or her books you can watch and read those but she has a Netflix special out now as well. I needed to talk to her. I’m having a bit of a rough time in the emotions department. You can listen to that today. On Thursday I have one the funniest talks I’ve done in a long time with comedian/actor Brian Callen. We go back but I didn’t know him that well. Good time. Great talks. 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Old Friends.

I’m back, Folks.

I don’t feel that jet lagged but I don’t know. Part of me thinks I’m sleeping right now. Like, when I’m writing this. I may be. Reality has become tenuous and my perception is all I know and I may be asleep right now. Jet lagged. 

 I have to say I still love Ireland more than almost anywhere on the planet and I don’t have any Irish in me, sadly. As much as I had hoped for some. And you would think a person like me, whether I show it or not, who is a bit needy wouldn’t love the Irish people as much as I do. The last thing the Irish are going to do is heap any unwarranted praise on anyone. Or much praise at all. I know I’m generalizing but it is the vibe I get. They’ll effortlessly take you down a notch without you even feeling it at first. It’s a beautiful skill. If I’m honest, that is what I do to myself inside all the time. So, it makes sense. I feel the Irish understand me in a very personal way because they are like my inner voice. 
 
Here’s a very short play I wrote based on a real experience I had in Ireland when I arrived and stepped up to the customs agent and handed him my passport:
 
      (I had him my passport)
Customs Agent: What are you doing in Ireland? 
Me: I’m doing a stand-up show at Vicar Street. 
      (he’s looking at my passport) 
Customs Agent: I’ve never heard of ya. 
Me: That’s fine. 
      (he stamps my passport)
 
I think I’m going to write more plays. 
 
I was in Dublin for a few days and just by coincidence my old friend Jim Loftus was there as well. Jim is one of my best friends and we just don’t see each other that much. It’s important to see old friends. Especially the ones that really know you and get you. There’s nothing better as an old man now to hang out with a friend you’ve known for almost forty years and when you do you just pick right up where you left off. No weirdness. No distance. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get back into that old groove but it comes if you give it some time. I suggest allotting a few hours, at least three, and at least one meal to really get back to it and do the deep friend work. We rented a car a drove to Glendalough about an hour outside of Dublin. Old cemetery, old church, a bog, sheep, mountains and grass. Stunning. We walked and talked and ate at an old Irish restaurant and got it all covered. Had some laughs, moved through some time. Beautiful. 
 
I really don’t know where the Irish would be if their country wasn’t so fucking beautiful to counterbalance their generally slightly dark but passionate disposition. 
 
The food in Dublin is just so fucking good. I had some of the best meals of my life there. No shit. There’s something about the produce, fish and meat there that is transcendent. The bread, damn. So good. Oh, and the butter. Crazy. The places I went were just amazing: The Winding Stair, The Pig’s Ear and Ely’s Wine Café. Great. The Wicklow Heather Restaurant up near Glendalough was pretty great too. Food is good. 
 
Thanks to all the folks that came out Vicar Street for the show. It was a great one for me. 
 
Today I talk to actress Christina Hendricks about her journey through Mad Men and her new show Good Girls. On Thursday I talk to Mark Arm from the band Mudhoney about rock life and the Seattle thing. Good talks!
 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Things I've Done.

Good day, Folks!

Still in London. On to Dublin on Tuesday for a show Thursday. It’s been great, really.

Despite my own brain and fighting old feelings and the residue of old fears, this trip over the pond has been great. Here are some things I’ve done.

Manchester:

Ate in the basement of a Buddhist center. Being served by seemingly sad people who have found some peace was an oddly emotional moment.

Got a tentative shave by a barber who I think needed the practice shaving. Not a great experience but I was happy he was proud of himself when he didn’t hurt me.

Did an odd interview on a BBC radio show. Unnecessarily contentious because the ‘interviewer’ had something to prove to another ‘interviewer' (me).

Did a not so weird interview on a BBC Morning TV show. Though one of the hosts made an ‘uh oh’ face when I called Trump a monster. He is a monster.

Did an almost two hour long set in a packed sweet-sounding theater. A lot of riffing. Great crowd.

London:

Did more BBC radio. A show called ‘Loose Ends’ which was like a roundtable and one of the other guests was Mavis Staple. MAVIS STAPLES. Talking about singing for Dr. King and being proposed to by Bob Dylan. Such an honor meeting her. Some days I love show business.

Ate at a plant-based restaurant. It was good. Cauliflower.

Got my boots shined at a cobbler around the corner. Made me want to be a cobbler.

Smoked a Cuban cigar.

Did a show for 1900 people at a venue designed for symphonies. There were moments between bits where I deeply realized I was just a little guy on a huge stage and I was all alone. The crowd carried me. It was kind of beautiful. Grateful for my fans. Special people.

Slipped. Tanked the regimen. Ate British pork pie, filet mignon, Dover sole. A fan gave me vegan baked goods: cross bun, cinnamon roll, banana bread, carrot cake, sausage roll. In a fury of insecurity and need for reward I ate half of each in about a three-minute pig-like feeding flurry.

Laid down. A sugar sponge. Did the other thing. DIDN’T EVEN BRUSH MY TEETH. I’m a fucking outlaw, man.

Did laundry at a launderette. Humbling. Human. Meditative. 
 
Dublin:

I’ll let you know. 
 
There are new tour dates! It’s a lot but here:
 
August 9th in Portland, Oregon at Revolution Hall.
 
August 22nd in Dallas, Texas at the Majestic Theater.
 
August 23rd in Austin, Texas at the Paramount Theater.
 
August 24th in Houston at the Cullen Theater at Wortham Center.
 
September 6th in Vancouver at the Vogue Theater.
 
September 7th in Seattle at the Moore Theater.
 
September 20th in Chicago at the Vic.
 
September 21st in Detroit at the Masonic Temple.
 
September 22nd in Minneapolis at the Pantages.
 
October 10th in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater.
 
October 11th in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
 
October 12th in Boston at the Shubert Theater.
 
October 18th in Nashville at the James K. Polk Theater.
 
October 19th in Atlanta at the Tabernacle.
 
and October 26th in San Francisco at The Masonic.
 
There will be a fan presale for tickets this Wednesday, April 10th at 10am to Thursday, April 11th at 10pm. Just go to the venue websites and use the password Buster.

The official on-sale date for all venues is Friday, April 12th, except for the Kennedy Center. That's on sale April 19th.

You can always go to wtfpod.com slash tour for more info on all these dates and venues.
 
Today I have an engaged, intense chat with Vincent D’Onofrio. He directed The Kid. It’s a western. Good talk. On Thursday one of the two remaining KITH members I haven't had on yet came over. Bruce McCulloch and have nice talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Institutions.

Hey, Folks!

I’m in New York. I’m doing one of those hit-and-run trips. I have a little scene in a movie to do today then I’m off to the UK for the shows there. There are still some tickets available for the London and Birmingham shows if you want to come. I think, since I spread out my shows there, people who would’ve traveled to come don’t need to now. I know who my people are. I know there’s a ceiling to my audience but come if you can.

I love NYC, kind of, for a few days. Maybe not. It’s hard to find what was great about this city sometimes but I also know we’ve both gotten older and gone through some changes. I have to be honest, though. The fact that the Lower East Side has turned into to some kind of chaotic-bridge-and-tunnel-international-touristy-dumb-drunk-bro-dumb-girl-dumb-dumb-shit show is hard to take. I’m sure I’ve covered this before, but NYC is really some kind of theme park caricature of its former self. It’s okay. Some of the institutions are still holding.

Every time I come here now I get it in my head to check out what’s going on at Jazz at Lincoln Center. I don’t see jazz anywhere. I know it’s around, but I don’t get out much. So, I landed at Kennedy, checked into my hotel, didn’t even change, walked briskly to the subway, got up to Lincoln Center with a few minutes to spare and was sitting in a sweet box seat for another flight of another kind. Marcus Miller (who I knew NOTHING about) put together a continuous  musical evening comprised of a selection of later Miles Davis work (which I knew a little about). He was the bass player for his band during that electric period. He surrounded himself with great players:Russell Gunn, Marquis Hill, Alex Hahn, Brett Williams, Alex Bailey, Vernon Reed (yup, that guy) and Mino Cinélu. Then they just went for it with selections from ‘In a Silent Way,’ ‘Tutu,’ ‘Bitches Brew’ and more. It was great. I can really lock into listening to an improvisation on almost any instrument. I can feel the musician preparing to launch into space once they’ve laid down the basic riff. It’s exciting when the get out there and when they land, if they land.

When I walked in, the usher said, ‘there’s no intermission and you can come and go as you like.’ I thought, ‘what a great definition of free jazz.’ What a great definition of life.

Today I talk to the amazing and gracious John Lithgow. On Thursday I have an informative and exciting conversation about music with T Bone Burnett. Great talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Aspen.

I’m high, People!


Altitude-wise. And surrounded by high people. Colorado.


Well, all my anxiety about Aspen was unwarranted but real nonetheless. It turns out that a lot of my weird feelings were from childhood. Also, from having bad shows there in the past, but a lot of bad memories from ski trips I went on with my family. It’s weird how that stuff lingers or leaves a residue on all your adult thoughts. I know it doesn’t sound like heavy trauma and it isn’t. Things that are supposed to be fun, with all the expectation around having that experience, when they turn to shit and emotional clusterfucks they seem to leave a deeper impression in the neural pathways. Days ruined from outbursts of rage over a missing hat or the wrong socks or frozen toes or… Dad. It was rare when we were getting ready to hit the slopes in the morning that someone didn’t end up crying, if not all of us. That all came back to me up there for some reason.

The Wheeler Opera Houser where I performed is a beautiful little theater built in the 1800s, I think. I’d been there before but I have no real recollection of it because I was so stressed out the other times I’d been there. It’s a sweet venue. It’s odd. There is a part of me that freaks out before a show. It isn’t based in anything anymore. It’s an old pattern. A dead tendril. A phantom limb. I will get it wagging though. And as soon as I step on the stage for sound check I realize I am home.

 

The show was fun. Got through some new stuff. Dealt with a couple ‘where are the jokes’ Republican folks. All-in-all, good times. I couldn’t breathe right and my brain was a little tweaked from the altitude but there were no major skids. I stayed on the wire. 

 

Aspen is a weird place. Some of the richest people in the world own houses there that they go to for a few days a year. Really rich people go there to ski. Some regular folks, too. Then there are the people that live there year-round and work the work. They see some shit. They know what’s up. They have special chips on their practical shoulders. 

 

I walked past a guy sitting in front of a storefront on the street and as I passed he said, ‘You want to buy a house?’ He was a realtor. Selling homes like drugs. I said, ‘Is that really an impulse buy?’ He said, ‘Sometimes. It’s an emotional thing.’ I told him I didn’t have my check book. Aspen. 

 

Today I talk to Rob Lowe about Rob Lowe. Better guy than I thought, I think. On Thursday me and Phoebe Robinson resolve some of the smaller racial tensions and questions and talk comedy, too. Great talks. 

 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Personal Garbage.

Hey, Folks!

The whole daylight savings thing has really fucked me up somehow. Not only do I not know what time it really is but I’m having trouble knowing what day it is. Maybe it’s a deeper problem. I think it’s because I’m done shooting GLOW and back to my self-employed schedule which doesn’t really have a differentiation between weekdays and weekends. That probably sounds better than it is. All it really means is that I am always working for the most part.

Cat update: Buster is doing well. Monkey is old. LaFonda is old. The oldies are doing well too.

It’s been a busy few days. I had to move the studio. I'm having major work done on the garage and it might take a while. So, I moved the studio into the house. Now the weirdness of going through the house and out the back door then into the garage will replaced with the weirdness of coming into the house and walking upstairs and into a room. It’s all very cozy. I can’t tell you what a trip it continues to be to have guests come over. It’s just so odd in a way. This is the way show business works now. And really no one thinks it’s weird anymore. It just is. I’ve gotten a lot compliments on the new place from fancy people. That’s nice.

I moved everything myself again. In small batches. I put all the books under the house. When I moved the books from the old garage to the new garage I didn’t go through them. Took them all. I had an opportunity to go through them this time. Didn’t. Not sure when that’s going to happen. There are hundreds of them. I know I don’t want many of them. I just can’t seem to bring myself to get rid of them. It’s weird moving things alone. Slowly. It kind of rekindles your relationship with your personal garbage. I think you have a better shot at getting rid of things if you move frenetically, with help, quickly. It doesn’t give you time to reengage with artifacts that may be meaningless. Maybe none of them are truly meaningless. Most of the shit I hold onto are markers of some part of my life but even those are getting hazy. I guess that’s why I keep things. To remember. 

Today on the show I talk to rare person. There is truly no one like her and I don’t think she does these interviews much. Amy Sedaris. I love her. Special person. You never know where you are going to go when you talk to her. On Thursday I talk to musical genius Tal Wilkenfeld. She has an amazing new record coming out. Maybe I’ll even play the song we composed for the Lynn Shelton movie I’m in called ‘Sword of Trust.’ The song is called ‘New Boots.’

Enjoy!

Boomer and Buster live!


Love,

Maron

Vinyl.

Heavy weather, folks.
 
I know I can’t complain but I can be nervous. Scratch that, terrified. The weather has been fucking crazy. The hills around Los Angeles look like fucking Scotland. Which is great. I guess. We’re not in a drought anymore but it all feels like an ongoing bad omen. My friend sent me a pic from Minneapolis of almost six feet of snow. Which is not so great. I’m going to start reading a book called The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. It was sent to me by the publisher and why not diminish the little hope I have a bit more. I mean, I have a little downtime. 
 
GLOW Season three has wrapped. The wrap party was last night and it was exciting to see everyone who worked on the show. I am so shitty with names. I’ve worked with people for three years now and I still can’t remember people’s names. My brain is going. Actually, I’ve always been this way. It was fun and sad to see everyone. A show becomes a world. The world ends at the ends of shooting until next year, hopefully. Now I want to see the fucking season. That’s really the weirdest thing about working on a show or a movie. I have no idea how it will all come together. I was sort of off on my own story line this season. A lot of stuff happened with a lot of the characters and I have no idea how it all goes down. So, I am excited to watch the show I am on. 
 
Buster Kitten is still seemingly doing well. He likes the prescription kidney food. Which is odd according my vet because it doesn’t taste great. That’s one of the benefits of having a weirdo cat. 
 
On another note, a musical one, people have always asked us about putting together a compilation of the songs from the show, and we always wanted to but it's a tricky thing to do, logistically. But we got hooked up with the folks at Newbury Comics who were interested in doing something with us and, in partnership with them, we've put together something really special. 
 
Record Store Day is on April 13th, and for this year's Record Store Day, we're releasing an exclusive limited-edition vinyl album called In The Garage: Live Music from WTF with Marc Maron. 
 
It's got ten acoustic performances with J Mascis, Melissa Etheridge, E from Eels, Karen Kilgariff, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Nick Lowe, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Aimee Mann, and Dave Alvin. I actually played with Dave on that track. 
 
All of these artists were extremely generous in allowing their performances to be featured on the album, and Brendan and I are donating our proceeds to the charity Musicians on Call, who bring music to the patients of healthcare facilities, to add a dose of joy to their day. 
 
Again, Record Store Day 2019 is happening April 13, so pick up your copy then. Participating stores can be found at recordstoreday.com.

Today I talk to actor Alfred Molina who is one of the most memorable character actors of all time. I love the guy. Great talk! On Thursday we release the fifth installation of The Marc and Tom Show. This is me and my friend Tom Scharpling from The Best Show just… talking. It’s always great to talk to Tom. 

Enjoy!

Boomer and Buster live!


Love,

Maron

The Return.

Buster lives, People!


Sadly, I have to start this missive marking the passing of a fellow comic and unique human. Brody Stevens passed away last week. He was a one of kind person. An authentic, charismatic, funny oddball. He exuded an intense engaging energy that could blow right through you and it was all uniquely him. He battled hard with depression. He was very open about it. It was an ongoing narrative with him publicly and personally. You could SEE him fighting it. He made many people happy and was loved by the entire comedy community. Last week he lost his battle with depression and took his own life and it was devasting. It's like a necessary turbine driving the Comedy Store machinery has been turned off forever and the place will have to adapt and run without it. Brody will be missed. RIP.


Some good news now. I haven’t written in a week (and last week’s shows were done ahead of time so I could only speculate) but Buster Kitten is seriously on the mend. I don’t want to say cured because I won’t really know until I bring him to the vet for tests this week but I’m pretty grateful. I brought him home from the hospital and he was the sweetest cat I’ve ever seen. Totally affectionate and cute. Very not Buster but I thought it was good. I quarantined him in a room and gave him his IV fluid daily. He seemed to know he needed them. I fed him the special diet kidney food and gave him all the love I am capable of giving, i.e. slightly more than I am able to do with humans but still a little tempered. 


For the four days I had him isolated and recuperating, he remained the sweetest cat in the world. Then I let him out into the general population. Because he was home for a few days he didn’t smell alien to the oldies, Monkey and LaFonda. They didn’t hiss at him.  Everyone was sort of minding their own business for a day. Things were weird. The oldies didn’t quite know what was happening. I always think when a cat returns, the other cats think he came back from the dead. They had grieved and accepted his passing. So, when he comes back, it’s a bit jarring. They had also had a pleasant reprieve from being bullied and beat up by the little fucker. When that wasn’t happening, I thought Buster was a changed cat, docile, resigned. Then day two, in general, happened. 


I heard the panicked scrambling of LaFonda's little feet on the wood floor and then her hissing. Later that day I heard Monkey squealing and running. Buster is back, baby. I felt bad for the oldies for a few minutes but then I saw Monkey baiting Buster and I thought, Oh, shit. He knows he can’t win but he’s having a good time. LaFonda packs a pretty good punch so he eventually lays of her a bit. I think everyone here is actually happy the little fucker is back to his old self. It was nice to spend some time with him when he was needy and affectionate but hey, who can stay in that zone? I gotta let Buster be Buster.


I’ll let you know how the tests go.


Don’t forget to send any questions you have for our 1000th episode. Anything you want to know about past episodes, past guests, things from my life, things from life in general. Send your questions to wtfpod@gmail.com and put 1000th Episode Question in the subject.


Today on the show I talk to the savagely funny Andrea Savage. Love her. Her show ‘I’m Sorry’ is great. On Thursday I talk to Gary Clark, Jr. about, you know, guitar. Great talks!


Enjoy!


Boomer lives!


Love,

Maron

Hoping and Doing.

Sad, People.

My new little guy, Buster Kitten, is really sick.

It came out of nowhere. He was throwing up the other day. That happens when you have cats. I brought him in before for the puking and the vet didn’t find anything. I thought it would be the same this time. It wasn’t. 

I took him in the next day. The vet did some blood tests and came out and told me that Buster was in kidney failure. It was devastating. The cat is only 2 ½. I’ve been through a lot of shit with many different cats. It’s just so sad. I have no idea what caused it. It could be an infection, a toxin, cancer, congenital. I had to take him to the animal hospital and he’s been in the ICU over there for two days now. Getting fluid, antibiotics and care. He has energy and is peeing but he’s not really eating and his kidney numbers aren’t getting better. I’m getting an ultrasound for him tomorrow. Maybe we can get a few more answers. Maybe its treatable. Maybe things will turn around. I was blaming myself. Maybe I left something around that he ate and poisoned himself. Maybe I should’ve brought him in earlier. I guess that’s what some of us do. Blame ourselves. I don’t think I had any control over what happened. I just hope he gets better. 

I know people say that cats to cat people are like their kids. They aren’t quite but for those of us who aren’t great at relationships with people all the time and/or don’t have kids, our pets are what we can handle and emotionally manage. I’ve never really felt bad about not having kids. I know in my heart that I’m not cut out for it. Emotionally. For me, my cats are caring, emotional relationships I can handle and manage. There’s a consistency to it. They don’t grow up to be doctors or make millions of dollars but they are there, relatively steady, individual in personality, loving enough—consistent. My relationship with my two old cats Monkey and LaFonda is the longest I’ve ever had. We all understand each other and show up for each other in the ways we can and it’s good. It’s not sad. 

All that being said, I really hope Buster makes it. He’s a unique cat. I love the guy. I understand the limitations of the relationship and I’m doing all I can to see if I can help him.

Today I talk the lovely Tony Shahloub about his career and the new season of Mrs. Maisel. Sweet guy. On Thursday I talk to Yeardley Smith who is the voice of Lisa on The Simpsons. We talk about her interesting life and career. I also reveal a surprise guest appearance on my show and on another show that I was part of. Great stuff all around.

Enjoy!

Buster, live!


Love,

Maron