The Amazement of the Kid.

Hey, People!

It’s odd. You do something for almost your entire adult life and some part of you somewhere inside doesn’t register that experience or wisdom. Some part of you stays insulated, young and scared. 

I don’t think the idea of ‘self-parenting’ ever really registered with me. I understand it as a concept, intellectually, but I don’t think I’ve ever consciously engaged it, ever. I do it. I don’t do it well. I do it instinctively because I have no choice at my core if I want to succeed at anything. After a point it’s really about persistence and rising to the fucking occasion no matter what, over and over and over, until that sad, scared kid can't dictate your emotions or confidence. That doesn’t mean it’s not a struggle sometimes. I think too much and a lot of that thought goes into me trying to talk myself out of the fact that I’m okay. I’m more than okay. I am doing well.

I’ve just been surprised lately that waves of insecurity and self-hatred are coming at me intensely. In a way they haven’t in years. I’ve been struggling to interpret them. Why now? I mean, I talk about this shit all the time but when I’m sitting in my hotel room feeling like I don’t work hard enough or I’m a fraud or I’m not funny or I’m fat or I have no real friends or I’m not capable of being happy or I don’t know who I am or or or… I have to really try to source where that shit is coming from.

I was just in Boston at the Wilbur for two shows and they were really great. The crowds were amazing and I had a good time on stage. So, why was I laying in my hotel room before the shows full of dread and fear about whether or not I could do them? I know in the past that was the way I prepared. I didn’t want that to be the way but that was just the way my brain worked. I would freak out to the point where the show seemed like it a matter of life or death. My whole sense of self relied on how I did. Sometimes things would work out and sometimes I would be so shattered it would take days to put myself back together. It doesn’t help in any way to allow that much panic and anxiety to fuel your life. You’re adding a mountainous obstacle to something that is already challenging. 

I come from panicky people who were never really capable of making me feel like everything was going to be okay because they didn’t believe it. Even if it was a lie, it’s not a horrible thing to tell a kid. Let them learn on their own that it may not be okay for while or ever but there’s nothing wrong with convincing them that it will be eventually be okay so that they can use that idea to get through the times when it's not. I never really had that. I never believed it. So, now that things are okay, for now, why should I believe it?

So, while I was laying there in my room in Boston, a place where I went through a lot of difficult changes and emotional upheaval earlier in my life, both professionally and personally, I did not think it was going to be okay. The parts of me that were created there, in college and then doing horrible comedy shows, were triggered. It was definitely not okay then. I was not okay. My parents were right. It’s not okay. So, that kid takes over occasionally. The kid that knows deep in his heart that it will not be okay. Fortunately, the man I am has been through a lot of shit and may not be perfect or right most of the time but is capable of walking that kid across the street, over the mountain the kid made, to the club to do my job and be present for it, to the amazement of the kid.

Today I talk to Katie Couric. How can you not love Katie Couric? On Thursday I sit down with one of the best songwriters ever, John Prine. It was a treat to be with both my guests this week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

A Necessary Occupation.

Yes, People.

Heading into the first week of shooting and I’m nervous. I’m trying to keep that a nice healthy nervousness as opposed to the paralyzing anxious nervousness that would do me no good. I’m going to try just calling it excitement and see how that works. Sometimes giving something a new name works. Yup, it’s working. I’m excited. Yeah, that’s what I am. EXCITED.

So, shoes, boots. They need work. They need to be fixed. Everyone needs a shoe guy. I guess not everyone but people who wear shoes that need to be resoled do. I pretty much only wear boots of one kind or another. I don’t know if I can fully explain the joy of getting your boots resoled. It’s like adding life to hurting, old friends who you’ve grown to rely on to carry you through life. It’s a very personal relationship one has with their shoes. All it takes is a shitty shoe repair guy to fuck up that relationship. You don’t want to put your feet friends into an uncomfortable situation with a repair job that isn’t quite right. It might kill them. So, your relationship with your shoe guy has to be one of trust. They have to be the real deal. They have to have the grit and experience to work their magic. It’s a fucking craft, man. It’s a life. It’s a necessary occupation.

I went to a guy in my hood a couple of times. This guy George. He’s an old dude. I think he may be Armenian. He has an edge to him. He’s a big guy. He smokes in his shop, which I like. When you walk into a shoe repair place there should be smells: Leather, oils, glues and cigarettes. George had all that going on. Also there should be old, dusty display cases with purses that never sold and hooks with old laces and maybe a shelf of polish and shoe products that look like they’ve been there for years. I mean, you can get that kind of shit online or at other stores. That’s not their business. What’s essential in that space is their expertise. George had it but was a little too detached and a bit angry. He said he used to do subcontract work for Red Wing as he poked around in his supply of heels looking for the size that would fit my boots. He put them on in a few days and also sharpened some knives for me. This guy had two old timey skills but the heels didn’t look or feel quite right. My boots weren’t happy. There was no love in his work and my boots were mad at me for letting him fuck with them.

So, I brought my other boots to a guy I kind of remember having worked on my shoes once before, Haruts on Eagle Rock Blvd. I walked in and there was a little, old man there at the counter. He was attached to a portable respirator that had about 30 feet of tube so he could move around the shop. That’s commitment. All the requisite stuff was there but I felt a little uncomfortable for him. He said he just got out of the hospital a while back and was just getting back into work. I’m ashamed to say I felt weird leaving my boots there because if he died before he fixed them I wasn’t sure if it would be easy to get them back. I wanted him to have the work though. It was clearly his life and I was willing to lose the boots or deal with the sad possibility of him not making it to have him work on my shoes. I left them there for a couple of weeks and picked them up the other day. When I turned them over to see the new soles and heels I got a warm feeling in my whole body. It was fucking art. They were beautiful. He had molded the heels and sole perfectly to the boot with little divots in the arch and a light polish on the sole itself. There was a lot of love and craft in it and I just looked at him standing there behind the counter with his tube beneath his nose and said, ‘Great job!’ He put out his fist for a little bump and wandered back into the shop. I don’t ever want to wear them. I just want to be able to turn them over and look at them for as long as I can feel that feeling of warmth that comes from seeing a job well done.

Today I talk to comedian Geoff Tate. He’s an Ohio guy and we get into some good stuff about narcissistic parents. Also, today I talk to Nick Kroll and John Mulaney about their show ‘Oh, Hello’ which is opening on Broadway. Thursday is a Jazz double-header with two separate talks, one with music critic Ben Ratliff and the other with sax wizard Kamasi Washington.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Deliverance is Tenuous.

Hi, Folks.

Just a heads up, there are a few tickets left for my Carnegie Hall show on November 4. If you want to come you should snag them. I’m also going to be in Boston at The Wilbur Theatre on September 24. There are some tickets left for the late show. On October 21 I’ll be in Santa Barbara, CA at Campbell Hall at UCSB if you are in the area. I’ll be doing two LA shows in October, one at Largo on October 22 and one at The Ice House on October 23.

It’s been a good week. After I spent a few days in New Mexico I flew to NYC to meet up with Sarah. Her opening at Galerie LeLong was great. I lot of people came out. I want to thank all of you who heard about it on the show for being there. What was interesting to me was that so many of you are artists. So many listeners that introduced themselves to me told me they were painters. I guess it's nice to have some conversation going on in the background when you are focusing in on that canvas or chipping away at that rock or assembling that assemblage or moving it all around on a screen. I’m amazed at the type of people that listen to my show. It makes me happy to know that so many of you are out there trying to summon the spirit of expression through art. 
I get cynical and self-involved often, as you know. I’m not always thinking about what it takes for creative people that aren’t in my world to keep creating and keep taking risks. I get insulated. My relationship with Sarah has engaged me with painting and fine art in a way I have never been engaged. It has also let me see the insane focus and determination and creative impulse and confidence required to do art, to paint. I mean, shit, I talk and think. Occasionally I say something inspired or spit out a little poetry. I engage with people. It’s immediate. I commend all of you who are out there alone in a space with the raw materials and tools you have chosen as your ritual instruments of your craft to make the magic that is your being and catalyst of transcendence. Art is a tough racket. Deliverance is tenuous. Carry on.

After NYC I went up to Rochester to do four shows at The Comedy Club in Webster. The place is a great comedy room. It’s the real deal. All of my shows were hot as fuck. Literally. I guess it’s unusual for the area to have temperatures in the 90s for as long they have. I guess the AC just couldn’t hold up under the pressure of the humidity. I don’t know. I do know that after every show I was drenched with sweat. It was really the only time that has ever happened to me from actual heat on stage. I did four hour-and-a-half shows and within twenty minutes of being on stage for every one I was soaked. The audience was hot as fuck too so we were all in it together. I think we might have lost a few pounds or at the very least sweat out some toxins. It was a comedy show/sweat lodge. A mystical ritual. Thanks for coming out!

Today I talk to Ron Perlman. Ron was in a couple episodes of the last season of ‘Maron’ but I’m sure you know him from all his other work. Sweet guy. Good talk. On Thursday my comedian pal Chris Garcia talks about his trip to Cuba where he met a lot of his family for the first time and he also talks about having a parent battling dementia. Great talk. Good guy.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Pristine But Hazy.

Hola, Amigos!

All the new tour dates and rescheduled dates are up at wtfpod.com/tour if you are curious about upcoming shows. There are still a few tickets for Carnegie Hall in NYC on Nov. 4 and The Wilbur in Boston on September 24! If you are in the Rochester area I am doing four shows at The Comedy Club this weekend September 9 & 10 and I think there are a few tickets left for some of them. Just a heads up.

I’ve been back in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM for two days now. I did a benefit show out here and it went great. I raised some money for The Endorphin Power Company which is a facility that provides temporary housing for people who have become homeless because of drug abuse. I was happy to help out and we sold the Albuquerque Journal Theater out. It was a great show.

I like coming back more and more. Some part of me would like to live here again. I don’t know if that’s a healthy part of me or a nostalgic part of me. I mean, you can never go back home, right? Or why would you want to? It is beautiful here, but as amazing as the landscape here is, what is there for me? I guess there’s some part of me that is the same as the landscape. It exists here and doesn’t change much. It remains basically the same over the years. 

I haven’t really lived here since I graduated high school. Most of my memories are from the 70s. They are pristine but hazy and poorly kept in my mind. I went to Duran’s Pharmacy for some Carne Adovada immediately upon arrival. There was a stout, middle-aged man sitting down at the other end of the counter from me, looking at me. I didn’t recognize him but I was in my hometown so he felt familiar somehow. As he was leaving he came up to me and said, "Hey, Marc. It’s me John ___." I was floored. He lived across the street from me. We weren’t really friends but back in junior high or maybe my first year of high school, back when there was really only pot and not weed, we had gotten high in his treehouse and I was so fucked up that I had to go home. My mother caught on and told me to go in my room a play guitar. "They say you play better when you’re like that," she said. My mother didn’t really have a knack for punishment. 

My point is, there was no way I would have recognized him. No way. But when he started talking he had this nervous kind of stoner laugh that would happen every few words and that was the portal, which was John, which was the part that was pristine in my memory. That laugh. That and how he looked back then which I could see in my mind but it was hazy. Now, he was a different size and shape and had the gradual breaking down and shifting that time levels on us. It was good to see him for a minute.

Today on the show I talk to Joseph Arthur. He’s a musician and artist and kindred persistent spirit. I also talk to Peter Bebergal about his rock and roll book ‘Season of the Witch: How the Occult Save Rock and Roll.’ On Thursday I spend some time with Billy Crystal. He needs no explanation.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

They Overstepped.

How’s it going, People?

I do believe my Carnegie Hall show on November 4 will sell out. It is selling well and we are still a couple of months out. You should get your tickets if you want to come. Also, my special ‘More Later’ is still on presale at wtfpod.com until September 1 and then it hits iTunes and it will be a bit more expensive. It’s good. I like it.

On another note my partner (girlfriend, significant other, chick) Sarah Cain has a big show opening in NYC on September 8. It’s called ‘Dark Matter’ and it will be up at the Galerie LeLong in Chelsea. Some mind-blowing floor painting. It’s going to be very cool. If you are in the city you should check it out. Come to the opening.

Galerie LeLong
http://www.galerielelong.com/exhibition_works/3885

Things are okay over here, I guess. I had a bit of an ant problem but I dealt with it. I didn’t deal with it personally but I had contact bug killers come and wipe them out. Entire communities of ants destroyed. Cities,  even nations of ants, leveled. It’s sad when I think about it like that. I have become death to ants all because they were eating the cat food and a few were in my bed. Usually I can live at piece with a few ants and a spider or two but they overstepped. They got ambitious. Tried to take over. I have enough on my hands with cats moving me out; I don’t take that shit from ants.

Buster Kitten is turning into a cat. He seems pretty smart. He might even be on the cat spectrum. He kind of has his own frequency. He seems to be able to fetch which is a pretty exciting feature for a cat. They all seem to be getting along. The older ones are still slightly annoyed but there is a tolerance happening. I’m trying to get them all on the same food. Monkey has been on CD medicine food due to his propensity for getting urinary issues but I read that there is actually no medicine in the food and it really isn’t that great of quality. I’m not sure why I am telling you all this. I guess I need to get some support for just putting them all on high-grade wet food. 
I found some master list of the best cat foods and ordered a crate of this expensive fancy food that I think is made in New Zealand and not one of the three cats liked it. So, I guess Deaf Black Cat, the insane feral outside, will be eating very well for a while. They all seem to like Wellness brand wet food which isn’t on the list as being bad but it isn’t on there for being good either because they can't source the origin of the ingredients. Writing that I just decided that the list is pretty snooty and I think it will be fine. Buster is watching these words come up on the screen and I swear to god he’s reading.

Great shows this week! Today I talked to my pal Robert Kelly for a long one. I love him. He’s a sweet, filthy man. It was a great talk. On Thursday I talk to Jeff Feuerzeig and Laura Albert. Jeff made a documentary about Laura’s controversial alter ego called ‘Author: The  JT Leroy Story.’ Intense talks. Great week!

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Musical Blue Balls.

The heat, People!

First, you can now get my special, More Later, as a digital download. It's available exclusively at wtfpod.com until September 1 for $7.99. Get it now before the price goes up when it goes on iTunes. There's a link on the homepage as well as in the merch section. I know a lot of you didn’t see it so here it is!

Phoenix. I drove out to Phoenix with Ryan Singer to do two shows at Standup Live. We needed to drive. Sometimes you need to drive through the desert. It’s a reset. It’s nice to get into the zone of flying through the desert in vehicle. Focused. The mind just spreads out to the horizon. Standup Live is a beautiful big venue and I wasn’t even sure I had the fans in Phoenix to fill up both shows. The place seats like 550. Well, we sold them both out, clean. It was beautiful and the shows were really good. If you came out, thank you. You saw some one-of-a-kind shows. If you got shut out for whatever reason, I’m sorry. I will be back to that club in the future and I’ll make it up to you.

We drove back Sunday and I’m kind of punchy.  I got angry at technology in a very specific and beautifully timed way as we drove home. Ryan and I decided we hadn’t listened to The Beatles in a while and we needed to listen to Sgt. Pepper's all the way through. We did. It was actually exciting and great. Well, of course it is. It prompted me to shout, “I don’t care what anyone thinks or says... Sgt. Pepper's is way better than Pet Sounds!" I yelled it. Then we moved on to Abbey Road, which I love. Especially that B-side. That run of songs that all fit together. My dad used to play the 8-Track in the car when I was kid. It is ploughed into my brain and always gets me high. Especially the transition from Mean Mister Mustard into Polythene Pam. Kills me. 

So there we were. Singing. Air drumming. Air strumming. Mean Mister Mustard comes to an end and… we lose coverage. We are suspended waiting to air jam the opening chords of Polythene Pam and we are frozen. Nothing. Musical blue balls. No resolution. It was awful. We had to sit in desert silence for an hour just to recover.

Amazing talks this week. Today I share a conversation I had with Alan Alda in a New York City hotel room. Great guy. Thoughtful. Awesome. On Thursday French comedian Gad Elmaleh talks about trying to do his act entirely in English and the challenges of straddling both worlds.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

I Don't Hit People.

Hallo, Freunde!

The Carnegie Hall pre-sale for my November 4th show went amazingly well. Glad you got your tickets if you did. They are on sale to the general public now and there are tickets available but I would get them now if you want to come.

I’m reading what I think is an important book about America that you all should know about if you don’t. It's rare that I get so worked up about a book is so compelling and written in such a way that I can't put it down or shut up about it. I was like that about ‘Fast Food Nation.’ That book blew my mind on a lot of levels and impacted the way I saw the world. It was good journalism. 

The book I am reading now is ‘Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.’ It’s written by Sam Quinones who is a journalistic storyteller of the highest degree. It basically does what ‘Fast Good Nation’ did for fast food to Black Tar Heroin and oxycodone. Black Tar was, oddly, a franchise business model as were the ‘Pill Mill’ Pain Management clinics. It is a stunning journalistic journey that follows the history and narrative trajectories that lead to this entirely new style of cultivating drug addiction and the business around it and how it happened. I just love this book. I don’t want it to end. I mean, I want the problem to end, but the book is so engaging. I’ll try to reach out to Sam and see if I can talk to him for a bit.

I was called upon to engage my manhood in a way that isn’t really used that often but it went well. My girlfriend was having some neighbor issues. They’d been going on a while. I had been hearing about them for months. The couple next door wasn’t cleaning up after their dogs and the smell of shit was wafting into my girlfriend’s house and the dude was being belligerent about cleaning it up, for months. There was also a parking issue. The guy decided that the public street in front of his house was his property and if he couldn’t park there he would just park in front of my girlfriends driveway occasionally. Again, he was belligerent about it and a bit of a dick to her. I told her I would talk to him. I saw that as just a man-to-man talk about growing the fuck up and being a responsible adult dog owner and accepting that sometimes it’s hard to find a parking spot where you want. Simple stuff. She didn’t want me to make a scene. 

So, the other day she calls me in the middle of a squabble with the guy who was half-parked in her driveway and being belligerent about it. I’m not a fighter. I don’t hit people. I have a certain amount of bluster and bravado and cocky swagger but I’m not about kicking people’s asses. I jumped in my car and went over there having never seen this dude before. I saw them in front of Sarah’s house. I stopped my car in the middle of the street, jumped out, slammed the door and stepped to both of them and said, ‘What’s the problem? Do we need to call the cops to work this shit out?’ 

The dude, who had shorts and no shirt on and a little hipstery side part to his hair and an incomplete beard just started stammering and apologizing like I was holding a bat. It was a little pathetic but I let him. He told Sarah and me he was doing everything he was supposed to yada yada and I actually thought he was going to start crying. I told him things were cool and found him a parking spot up the street. Apparently he was yelling about us after the ‘altercation’ that we were ‘unenlightened’ people who resolve problems by ‘fighting’ and we were ‘animals.’ Wow, I guess me pulling up in my Hybrid Camry with my Stooges T-shirt on really threw the guy. I mean, I am a real Neanderthal dummy. How could I be mistaken for anything else?

I am excited to say the force of nature that is Werner Herzog is on my show today. Astounding man, great talk. I also talk to Godfrey for a bit about his new Showtime special ‘Regular Black.’ On Thursday the hilarious Kristen Wiig will hang out with me in the garage. She is one of the funniest.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

One Thing I Never Thought.

Hola! People!

Well, I have some news.

A lot of things have happened in my life that I never expected to happen. Almost everything, actually, bad and good, has been a surprise.  I had few expectations and only one or two goals but they were about personal growth and creativity, not about things, really. A few years ago I had to let go of most of my dreams because they became a burden and really just a mythology to judge myself against my own failure. I let them go, for reals, and things started happening.  Everything changed.

One thing I never thought would happen is happening. OnNovember 4th, 2016, barring any tragic events, I will be performing at Carnegie Hall. Yes, I will be doing a solo show at Carnegie Hall. It’s very exciting. I don’t even like writing or saying it because I don’t really believe it’s happening. That’s also how I manage things when I don’t want the very idea of them happening to crush me. I’m not doing that. I'm very excited.

On some level it's just another theater venue… but it's not. We all know that. It’s a magical place that means something to everyone. I haven’t done the NY Comedy Festival since maybe its first year. The festival is producing the show and they invited me. I’m very grateful for that.

http://nycomedyfestival.com

So, now you know why I've been hitting boards, working on the new stuff. I want it to be good. I want it to be the best I can do. I want to honor that revered hall and I want to honor myself and be as fucking funny as I can be and do something I’m proud of and then I guess I can just quit. Right? Probably not.

Some other equally if not more important news is that on Tuesday August 9th, 2016, I will celebrate 17 years of being clean and sober. Holy fuck, right? I don’t know how that happened. I do know without it there would be no Carnegie Hall date, probably no podcast and maybe no life. Like, I would literally be dead. Who knows? I do know that it is the singular most important achievement of my life. One of the amazing surprise benefits of the doing the podcast is how many people I have heard from that have gotten help and support for their addictions because of my openness about mine on the show. I’m very moved and grateful to be of service in that way. It was never my intention. I never expected it. I am humbled and excited it happens. It’s one of greatest gifts of the show for me. It helps me stay sober.

So, thank you.

Today on the show the painfully pleasant Seth Meyers shares his journey in the biz. Great guy, good talk. On Thursday I talk to - well, I spar with - Godfrey again for a bit and then spend a while talking to the very funny Lauren Lapkus. Good shows. Good week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Something Lurking

Yes, People!

I’m still in Bloomington, IN as I write this. I’m taking a late flight out so I can fly direct. I didn’t want to get up really early to make the drive to Indy so I just hung out. Time moves slower out here. I like it. I’m starting to realize just how much the pace of a city or any environment dictates how fast you brain spins. Time can really sludge by in some places and I welcome it. Life is short, stretch it out, slow it down.

I’ve been to this town many times. I like it here. Something about it feels odd. Like there is something teaming under the surface. I think that’s just the way the Midwest feels to me. I like the people, I like the country, I just know that there is always something lurking, something hidden, something maybe a little or a lot unsavory and perhaps evil and unsaid. Sometimes folks are just uncomfortable and awkward and I’m just reading a lot into it. If what is hidden is repressed because people are afraid of revealing something for whatever reasons, that just means they’ll be a good audience. I’ll give them the opportunity to open the valve, blow out some darkness through laughter. I love performing in Bloomington.

Relief valves. I was walking down the path that used to be a railroad track but is now a recreational walkway along side the entire town. I’ve been walking it everyday since I’ve been here and I follow it to Hopscotch Coffee. This morning I was passing by the Kroger’s supermarket and there was a woman outside screaming into her phone. She looked middle aged, a little rough, but together. She was screaming, “I don’t want any of it! I don’t want you to shoot me up with anything”! Quite a fragment. Dark stuff going on. 

I went and got my coffee and I came out and I could still hear her screaming because she was walking toward the coffee shop that was on the path. I could see that she did have a phone but she wasn’t talking to anyone. It was a prop to enable her to make her mental sickness a little less obvious. She was screaming, “You can't fix what you have with medication. You need to be in prison. You shoot up people and cut their hair, dude. You pushed me out of my own house." I felt bad for her. I wanted to listen to her for hours.

The Comedy Attic is a perfect comedy club. It only seats like 160. It has a low ceiling. The audience is seated tightly and people sit with strangers at tables if there are two couples and it’s a four-top. This is a one-mind venue. There’s very little (like zero) distance between performer and audience and if you lock into a groove, it’s pure connected comedy. People drove hours to see the show because I wasn’t coming to their city any time soon, maybe. People from Cincinnati, North Dakota, Chicago, Louisville, Dayton. It’s very humbling for me to know that people make these journeys. I always get nervous about it. I hope they feel that it is worth their trip. I will say though, seeing a comic in a real club doing the job is better than any theater show you will see a comic do, for sure. Very happy that people came out. Great audiences. All five shows were sold out.

Today I talk to Roseanne Barr about comedy, mostly. I like her. She’s the real deal. On Thursday Eric Andre and I work through an old beef and get some closure and have a great talk. Smart kid.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

I've Been Tense

Hello, fellow humans.

I’ve added some dates to the tour schedule on the site. Going to Troy, NY, New Haven, CT, Charlotte, NC, Durham, NC, Chicago and Nashville. Check here for dates and tickets!

There’s a lot of drama in the house at the moment. Cat drama. I have this sweet little crazy kitten, Buster. All he wants to do is play. Unfortunately, my two old cats are not quite into it. I think they will be but now it’s just a heartbreaking little cat drama where Buster gets met with hisses and growls and an occasional swat. He is very persistent and refuses to see these gestures as anything but a temporary misunderstanding. I hope he’s right. I can’t take it. I project all kinds of human emotions onto to these dumb animals. If I’m not careful I could possibly go out and get two more kittens just so Buster doesn’t grow up an only kitten with really old foster parents that had no choice in the situation but to be there.

I’ve been tense. I’m not sure why really. I guess it just happens. I’ve been cranky and hostile and a little angry. Wait, there’s plenty going on the world that would make me those things. Oh, yeah. I internalize some things because I don’t feel like engaging. Then, I engage. I start talking about politics on stage and there is a tone that comes out of me that is familiar to me. I lived in it. It’s intensity, anger. It was the tone I used a lot in my standup when I was a younger man. Then the tone starts to permeate my life. The anger starts to bleed into everything, like I am being consumed by it. Then I am walking around defensive and hostile. There is self-righteousness to it. Some righteous anger is genuine and necessary. Some of it is a justification for something else. Something scary or a pattern I know needs to be corrected in myself. Something I am protecting even though it is not good for me. How do I make the anger into the human feeling it is masking? That is always the challenge on any level with anger. I’m on the other side of it now, a bit. I have to communicate it personally and creatively with some compassion and hope I am not annihilated by the vulnerability. I know this is vague but it makes sense to me. It’s abstracted so I don’t get too angry.

I have been engaging trolls, though, and that’s like anger crack. 

Great talk with Jane Lynch today. I really admire her and like her and think she is one of the most uniquely funny people alive. On Thursday I talk to a man that ALWAYS makes me laugh, comedian Brian Scolaro. Funny people this week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

People Dug It.

Good times, People.

I’m tired. I’m so tired I’m a little cross-eyed. I got up really early to get a really small plane out of Salt Lake City. We were stuck at the gate for a bit because the pilot told us there was haze in Burbank and we might need to circle. We didn’t have enough fuel to circle so they needed to put more fuel in the plane. Then we waited longer. Then the pilot told us that the fuel trucks were out of fuel and they went to put more fuel on the trucks. Eventually the fuel trucks fueled up and fueled up the plane. I appreciated the honesty of the pilot. It was still a bit annoying.

Again, I want to say how thrilled I am that so many people have responded so positively to the last season of ‘Maron’ on IFC, specifically the finale. That was a hard episode to write and execute just like I envisioned it. I wrote it and Rob Cohen directed and I was nervous about it. I didn’t want to direct it. It takes a lot of time and replay to direct myself and we usually don’t have the time. Rob had directed plenty of episodes so I knew he could do it but I was a little obsessed, particularly with that last scene with the kid and me on the park bench. I needed that to be framed and feel a very particular way. So, I got behind the viewfinder a bit and tweaked it so it was just right. As a few people have commented and picked up on, I had the final shot of The Graduate in mind. I really needed that sense of ambiguity and closure. I feel like it worked and from all the feedback it seems like it did for viewers too.

I didn’t get any Emmy nominations for the show. I kind of knew I wouldn’t. It would’ve been nice but on another level, who gives a fuck? It’s sort of a rigged system and the network didn’t step up to pay the necessary money for promotion and do the necessary politicking for the show. Instead they did absolutely nothing. It probably wouldn’t have been nominated even if they had. So be it. The show lives. I love it. People dug it. Onward.

Got back from Salt Lake City this morning. I really like it there. It’s odd. It’s odd that I like it there and it’s an odd place. When people ask me what it’s like I realize there is really nothing to compare it to. It is its own thing. It is pleasant and weird. There is an energy there, a feeling of space and calm that is partially the desert and partially the Mormon factor. It is their town. No doubt about that. It seems now though there are more non-Mormons there and more coming. Like they’ve loosened up somehow. I don’t know that they have but maybe there’s more business in the city and enough lapsed Mormons who still live there to give it some balance and make it feel almost like a normal place. I’ve always liked it. 

I’ve been there to perform like four times. The audiences are always good. I always visit Temple Square to feel the energy at the source and to visit Space Jesus. I like walking around there. The heat beats down and it all seems almost hallucinatory and there is a certain type of brainwashed person that is actually very nice.

Today I talk to the revered and amazing James L. Brooks about most of it. Like Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, The Simpsons, Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, Albert Brooks, etc. Great talk. On Thursday I talk to Chuck Klosterman about a lotof thinky things. It’s exciting.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

I Hope I Can Handle It.

Be careful, People!

Humans of any age are sucked into the allure of controlled explosions and sparkly things. If you are an adult among adults be as stupid as you want but factor in the amount of alcohol you consumed. If you are an adult among children introducing them to the fun of fire and noise be alert and careful and try to show them the safe way to play with dangerous shit.

Think about freedom and sacrifice today but remember there’s no reason to sacrifice your fingers for fun.

So, the kitten, yes. I think I told you that a little tiny black kitten showed up on my front porch last week, crying at 2:30 in the morning. I went out there, but it ran off. I assumed it was feral but it really didn’t look old enough to be totally wild. I have seen no other kittens in the area so I don’t know where it came from or why it chose me but it did. I fed it a few times and monitored it on my fancy surveillance camera and figured out when it was coming around. Then Sarah came over with her trap. She is an expert cat trapper. She got it first try. We brought it over to her house for quarantine and entry into domesticity. Turns out he wasn’t old enough to get all mean and wild and he’s a sweet guy. I named him Buster. 

I have been getting my second bedroom room prepped to take him in. You need to really limit the things that a kitten can destroy because they can destroy literally everything. It’s been a while since I’ve had to deal with a kitten. They are so cute and when you turn the lights off to say goodnight you really can't even anticipate the havoc they can wreak. You get up in the morning and open the door and shelves are destroyed, floor boards are up, all your shoes are garbage, light fixtures are dangling and things you forgot you even had in the closet have to be thrown away. In the middle of it all is an adorable, sleeping kitten. Little fuckers. So, Buster in coming to live here today, I think. I hope I can handle it.

Very excited about today’s guest. Jeff Goldblum is just one of those people who I feel I’ve known my whole life. He always seemed familiar and genuine and around. I was thrilled to find that he is the guy you would think he is. He is very true to himself and fun to talk to. On Thursday I talk to John Caponera. He’s a hard-working comic who I used to love watching at The Comedy Store. Chicago guy. Real deal. Good talks, both. Also on Thursday I talk to Adam Devine about his new movie ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ which I am in for a few minutes. It's the opening scene, so that’s all you are required to watch.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

I Earned That.

Yes, Humans!

Hey! Emmy voters! I know that’s only a few of you, if any. I just wanted to say that my EPIX special ‘More Later’ is up for consideration in a few categories as is my IFC show ‘Maron.’ Voting ends today, Monday. So, if you weren’t going to vote or if you have a few slots you haven’t filled in yet keep me in mind. I’m very proud of both and it’s the best work I’ve done to date. Thank you for your consideration.

Tour dates are up at wtfpod.com/tour. Spokane, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Bloomington, Rochester and Salt Lake City are available and there are several shows at each venue so you have sitter options. Hope to see you somewhere.

I have a bit of good news that I’m almost embarrassed to share. After all my complaining and anger and panic about the frequencies pummeling me from the AT&T cell tower that is above my office, I have closure.  After several teams of people came over to assess and decide and try to explain the problem, a couple of dudes from a subcontractor actually solved it. They were cool guys, young guys, nice fellas. When I told them my dumb problem and amplified the noise on my stereo to show them it was coming from their equipment they did some troubleshooting to identify the source and figure out a plan that involved some seriously high-end copper mesh. They laid that shit down on the roof, soldered, grounded and protected me from the frequencies and, more importantly, enabled me to listen to records without going out of my fucking mind. They enjoyed the challenge of it which I thought was cool. People who like their jobs are nice to deal with. 

I know not everyone has the ability to get the attention of major corporations who run roughshod over our lives everyday and don’t follow up with customer service or even address complaints. I do. Sometimes. I earned that. It took me a long time to have a voice that I could put out in the world without anyone dictating what I could or couldn’t say because of this or that sponsor. So, I use it sometimes.

In all honesty it made me a little nervous because I’m a little paranoid and I didn’t know how annoying I was really being. Where do they draw the line before I’m Tilda Swintoned, Michael Clayton-style. All it takes is one middle manager afraid of losing his or her job to consider you an obstacle. And when it becomes impossible to hide or blame, who the fuck knows what they will do? They could’ve just turned up the juice and fried my brain. Didn’t happen, yet. So, thanks AT&T for dealing with the issue. Please help others who have problems with your, at times, bad service.

I had an amazing talk with a reluctant John C. Reilly that is up today. Enjoy that. There’s a little bit of me and Brett Gelman talking about race as well. There’s nothing better than two white, liberal Jewish guys talking about race. Enjoy that, too. Thursday is a double-header of genre film directors with Joe Dante and John Carpenter.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Good For the Brain.

Drifting, People.

I have a lot of comedy club tour dates coming up in Pasadena, Spokane, Bloomington, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Rochester and one night in Albuquerque. You can see them at wtfpod.com/tour Come if you are around! I will be touring more extensively later in the year. I think. We’ll see. I’m drifting.

I was just out in Desert Hot Springs for a few days with Sarah. I’ve been going to a place called The Sagewater Spa for years. It’s a small, seven-room motel with a hot springs pool. There’s something magic about it. We just go up there, bring a bunch of food to cook, and hole up and soak. I think I really relaxed. It’s hard for me to tell but my mind just eased up and spread out. It was relatively quiet in the head. It felt odd but okay, like I should do it more often. We went out to Joshua Tree and took a nice hike and took in the expanse. Desert Space. Good for the brain. Spreads it out. Makes the life seem small and the problems of the day-to-day seem silly and tedious. It levels the mindscape. It’s nice to have that space but the issue that arises for me is if that space is available, why not leave it open? Why not just mark it as a personal park in the mind? No buildings.

I start to fantasize about another life when I got out to the desert. Not necessarily a desert life because that would involve desert people at times and that’s not always a good thing. It’s interesting, sometimes scary, but challenging. But what if I became a desert person? How long does it take to scare people, most of whom are there to relax, with your intense gaze and leathery skin?

We visited Sarah’s friend, Andrea Zittel, at her compound in Joshua Tree. I think that would be the way to go. To have a spread with the space to do the work we do and the land to mind our own business while doing it. Or, we thought, maybe to buy a spa and just live there year round and run it. Maybe both! Then it would be hard not to become the desert equivalent of B & B owners. Which is not great. 

Then I started thinking about my life revolving around the two restaurants and one or two stores that are close and I started feeling isolated in my fantasy and wanting out. Then I realized that I really only go to two restaurants and one or two stores in the city I live in. Then I decided I have to go out and explore and do other stuff where I already live. Phew. That was close. Almost moved to the desert.

Today I talk to the mythic but very real Neil Young. Yes. It was intense for me. On Thursday I have a blast of a talk with the comic Deon Cole. We also check in with Dweezil Zappa and the struggle he's up against with his new tour. Great week! Great talks!

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

It's Tragic On All Levels.

Horrible, Folks-

I feel bad. The fact that mass shootings have become something we live with is fucking awful. The fact that some people, including legislators, just see it as the cost of doing business and the price of ‘freedom’ is ridiculous. It really seems like nothing can change because of a baseless paranoia that has become ideology thanks to a persistent, hypnotic messaging that feeds on the fear of the hateful. If it didn’t change when a bunch of six-year-olds got killed it’s not going to change when a bunch of adults at a gay nightclub get killed. And now the argument to arm everyone and/or ethnic purging is hammered by the same messengers because the shooter is one of 'them.'  It’s tragic on all levels.

My sympathies go out to everyone in America. My condolences got out to everyone who lost someone. My frustration and anger remain.

How do you justify your troubled mind? What beliefs do you hold to get you through and are they moral and decent? The fact that this question can have answers that vary almost 180 degrees is so fucked up.

We’ll see what happens. Might be the end of the grand democratic experiment. But I have still have hope. Aggravated hope.

This week on the show I talk to the hilarious Louie Anderson on Monday about his career and its resurgence on ‘Baskets.’ On Thursday I talk to Chelsea Handler about her bold foray into the talk show formant on Netflix and other stuff. Good talks all around.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

I Have to Make It Happen.

I’ve almost had it, People!

Time to quit, again.

Time to get back down to the baseline.

Maybe if I write it out it will happen. Sometimes getting things down on paper is magic like that. I’m exhausted from what I am doing to my brain and my body. I act like it’s not a big deal and I don’t talk about it like I should talk about it but here it is. It's not that big of a thing but it’s starting to feel like it.

My coffee consumption is insane. I am drinking about ten cups a day. It doesn’t have the same effect on me as it did. I can now drink coffee an hour before I go to bed and still sleep. My nicotine lozenge consumption is nuts-- all day, almost all the time. I chase one with the other - coffee, lozenge - to find balance. When neither are working I use sugar. Its amazing what the addictive brain will do. I’ve found a nice little triad to spin around in all day long. Obviously those who have been listening a long time have been through this shit with me before. My stomach hurts. I’m almost always nauseous. I wake up groggy. It’s fucking ridiculous. I’ve been exercising so now I want to get my mind and inside my body in shape. I’m not sure when I am going to pull the rug out from under myself but I am thinking about it. A lot. I feel gross and I know I am in an addictive cycle that just won’t go away. I have to make it happen. All those dumb negotiations with myself around these various less destructive substances have to stop. So, I will make it happen. Not today, of course, but soon. Yeah, tomorrow. Shit. I don’t know if I can do it tomorrow either. You get where I am at.

In other health news, I’ve decided that the issue at my office is more than just about a buzz in my stereo. I’ve been doing some poking around and it seems that working literally inside a cell tower may be bad for you. Like, for your brain. So, I want it off the building in which I work. Given that AT&T cant seem to stop the horrendous frequency that is pounding into my equipment I imagine the levels of waves pounding into my person must be beyond acceptable. And who decides what levels are acceptable and provided the testing for said levels? I’m assuming AT&T. So, not really impartial. If anyone knows anything about testing levels of RF and other waves that are emitted from multi-platform cell towers please let me know. I really want someone to test my space.

Great shows this week. Today I talk to the amazing George C. Wolfe about his career in producing, directing and writing theater. I also talk to Daniel Nazer from the EFF about the status of the ongoing patent troll issue and why podcasters should still be concerned. On Thursday graphic novelist and comic book artist Daniel Clowes and I talk about creativity, comics, inspiration, etc. You know what I do. It’s a good one. Also on Thursday I talk a bit to Ezra Edelman about his new documentary, OJ: Made In America. 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

This Is How I Gamble.

Enough already, People!

I’m talking to myself. Primarily about food but I guess that is my problem.

I’m just in it. I’m doing a lot of standup sets and some things never change. If there are a few guys around and we’re all jacked up from doing multiple sets, it's time to go somewhere not that healthy and eat at midnight. It’s just the way the life is. It’s a reward to a degree but most of the time it’s just to hang out where there are people and talk. It’s a beautiful thing actually but it may kill me.

It’s interesting how I justify food. Usually I go through time of not eating so well and then I kind of lock down and eat healthy for a few weeks then slowly slip back into the bad for a few weeks and it just goes on like that—for my entire life. The discipline to just eat moderately and healthy alludes me. I think it’s because it's no fucking fun and there is nothing better than stuffing your face with horrible satisfying garbage. And even if it's not garbage, just things that aren’t that good for you. I guess life is something you want to go on for as long as possible but when you are staring down at certain menus it seems like chocolate bread pudding and vanilla ice cream might be worth taking a few days off on the back end—I mean anything could happen, right? It might not contribute to your demise at all. This is how I gamble I guess and I’m not sure there is real joy in depravation. So, I will continue to negotiate with food and shame. That said, I hope you are having a nice Memorial Day and that you don’t burn your meat. I think that is good advice any day.

I’m doing as many sets as possible here in town. Almost exclusively at The Comedy Store and a few at Largo. It really is wild to realize that most of the nights of my adult life have been spent in rooms waiting for and watching comedians. Through everything that has happened in my life physically, mentally, emotionally this has been the constant. This has been what grounds and defines me. I understand it. I live it. How do I grow it? That’s always the big question.

Today I have an amazing talk with Chris Gethard.  I also spend a bit of time with Quincy Jones, the comic. On Thursday Joe Wong talks about doing comedy in China and Doug Stanhope talks about his dead mom. Great week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Again and Again.

I’m a little nuts, people!

It keeps coming around to that.

What the fuck is wrong with me sometimes?

I really don’t know why some part of my brain needs to feel shitty for me to create stuff but it does and I don’t seem to have much control over it. I’m just trying not to let it ruin the rest of my life. I hate even feeling this shit, let alone writing it down. Everything should be good. Things are good. I’ve got more than I need in so many ways and I’m doing good work. When it comes down to standup though that’s a different part of the brain altogether. I’m trying to figure out whether or not it is all born out of emotional sickness and whether or not it is actually correctable. Is there a place I can come from with my creativity and comedy that isn’t rooted in discomfort and anger? I don’t know. Would I want to come from that place? I thought I did for a few minutes the other day but then I almost bored myself to sleep and got angry about it. 

It’s all coinciding with my stupid self-awareness of being at this juncture, with these thoughts and feelings, again and again and again. Whatever growth I think I’m making is external in most of the core ways. Some things are great and have helped me feel like I’m doing good work and I feel good about that. I’m making a living, which is great. Deeper down it seems I really need to be not happy with myself in order to create. I know this is almost hackneyed in its conceit but I haven’t felt like I have been keeping myself unhappy or embracing unhappiness in order to do what I do lately. I’ve been feeling pretty good. The issue is I am looking down the wrong side of the barrel of the need for a new hour of standup. I guess I have to pull the trigger to get where I need to get with it and blow my brains out emotionally or make my life difficult or …TRY NOT TO. 

Maybe that’s the struggle. But that’s always the struggle. I really need a new way. I really need to be saved or I need to save myself or at the very least just be okay with the process. Be patient. Stay open. Sounds awful.

Great guests this week on the show! Today the angelic mystical genius of the harp Joanna Newsom is here. I love her. On Thursday I talk to playwright Stephan Karam about his process, his experience and his hit show ‘The Humans’ which is now on Broadway. Also on Thursday Josh Brener, my assistant guy on ‘Maron’ (and Big Head on 'Silicon Valley') will hang out a bit.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron