The Pros.

Rock, Folks.

It happened and I can’t say that I was that nervous.

I guess when you’ve spent more than half your life taking the stage in all situations whether or not you have a guitar strapped around your neck doesn’t matter that much. Being on stage is being on stage. The expectations are different and that made me nervous but I was comfortable up there.

I hosted the benefit show for The Blues Foundation and The Americana Music Association. As some of you know I had the opportunity to sit in with the band lead by Jimmy Vivino. We did an old Bluesbreakers tune called ‘Steppin' Out.' I had done a few bars of it on Conan with the band but this was different. We did the whole song and Slash sat in as well. Me, Slash and Jimmy. I talked to Slash on the podcast a little while ago. Great guy. He knew I played guitar but I don’t think he registered me as a ‘guitar player.’ I was just a guy who plays guitar. I mean, who doesn’t at some point. When we rehearsed the tune a few days before the show I did alright. Slash texted me that I sounded good. That was amazing. Of course, I didn’t believe it because I’m me and I never think I’m good enough. At guitar. Some things I know I’m good at. I mean, I’m 55. I can’t think I suck at everything. That would be annoying to me and everyone else.

I know I am not a professional musician. I do know I can play a few things pretty well. I practice. The thing I always seem to learn over and over when I am around real musicians is they have committed their lives to a magical art. I am always amazed and excited at how consistently they nail songs and take you on that journey. I play to play. Not to do the job. I practiced for the song. I didn’t just play. I ran it. My fingers hurt by the time I got to the show. I did my hosting job for a bit and when it was my turn I took the stage with my guitar strapped on and brought out Slash and we all laid into it. I wasn’t freaked out. I just wanted to play well. To nail it. One take. Like a pro. The great thing about playing with great musicians when you are not one is that you have a little room to be clunky. They’ll carry you. It’s not on you. I thought I was a little clunky in parts but it sounded great. I was happy with my playing. It was pretty fucking cool to be standing there trading riffs with Jimmy and Slash. I don’t really have a bucket list but that was certainly something I didn’t ever think would happen in my life and it did and I am grateful and excited to have done it. I want to do it more. Don’t worry. I’m not starting a band but I want to get better. I don’t want to be a pro but I’d like to sit in with pros on occasion. It’s just fun as hell.

Watching everyone that night was just mind blowing. Larkin Poe. Lucinda Williams. Shemekia Copeland. Tash Neal. Leigh Anne Womack. Joe Louis Walker. Doyle Bramhall II. Tal Wilkenfeld. John Prine. Spectacular.

And Bob fucking Weir. He broke it open into that space that only the Dead can create. He’s a portal into the space the Dead created and he keeps it open. It was beautiful to watch and listen to.

Unforgettable night all around.

Today I talk to John Cleese. We recorded it a while ago in a studio before I got the new garage set up. Thursday, I talk to Eric Idle. Python week. Great talks.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Opening Up.

Hola, Amigos and Amigas! 

How are you? Holding up?

I have to say I’m always a bit hesitant about performing in Phoenix because of… Arizona. I love Arizona as a geographical place. I’ve been going there for years. Not just to perform but I have family there. Sometimes I just can’t wrap my brain around the people. Politically. I FORGET that there are DECENT people everywhere in this country. Rational, good hearted, concerned, properly informed folks. They may be surrounded by bamboozled wrong-minded hostile morons but they live their lives and fight the good fight.

It’s not that politics should define what I think of a place but at this juncture in history I can’t keep silent. I know what I am saying about the current situation is funny but funny is subjective. I can deal with outbursts of intolerance and I usually can make it funny or, at the very least, disarm the situation but, beyond a certain point, babysitting adult children of wrong-minded beliefs is a draining bummer for grownups who can listen and enjoy without making it about them while I am being paid to make it about me.

That said, there was an amazing crowd at Standup Live and it was nice to see and meet my Phoenix people. Thanks for coming out if you were there.

My brother lives in Phoenix and it was good to spend a day with him and his son. I don’t see him enough. As I get older I’m realizing its important to see and spend time with family. Whatever was stopping me or making me not prioritize that, i.e. selfishness, is shifting. Whatever reason you may have for not showing up or spending time with your family make sure it’s really worth it because you can’t get time back.

I’m softening as I get older or opening up more or some shit. I think it’s good.

Today on the show I have a very engaged and exciting talk with Busy Philipps. Liked her before I met her. Now I like her more. Which is usually the case. On Thursday I talk to character actor Richard E. Grant. You know him. He’s great. The talk was really good. I like meeting people who you’ve seen as a lot of different people over the years.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

We're All We Got.

People!

Rise up! Or, don’t fall into a massive depression, give up and not get out of bed. If you can’t handle that, at the very least, set your alarm to wake up and vote on Nov. 6th. Maybe even get up and about on Nov. 5th in case you have muscle atrophy.

It’s hard when bullies and douchebags keep winning. Makes you feel like there’s no justice in the world. There very well may not be. We do know that everyone dies. Cold comfort. I would just prefer it not be at the same time at the hand of a sociopath or because we just let it all slip away slowly. Being complacent or detached from what is happening is not the way to go.

Bullies with power push vulnerable, rational, righteous and decent people to a breaking point. When they break and lose it in anger the bullies laugh and laugh at the raw pain of emotions. There is no shame in losing it. Anger is the proper response. They will gloat and keep bullying and pushing from all sides in hopes we crumble into ourselves in a hopeless depression and/or until we start taking it out on each other.

I did a couple of shows last week at Dynasty Typewriter. They were intimate shows. Thursday’s show was an amazing improvisational riff night. I got a lot of work done on bits and stories I’ve been working on. The audience was engaged and connected and gave me freedom of mind. On Saturday night it was different.

As many of you already know, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was itself an assault on women and on the integrity of the court and our constitutional standards. The emotional, spiritual, psychological and political assault on women is really at the center of it. All women. The women who support him are doing something else with their trauma. It was probably already there in a ‘Daddy knows best’ kind of way. Or a ‘Daddy was mad all the time, now I’m like him because I don’t want to make him mad' Laura Ingraham-ish kind of way. They aren’t my immediate concern. It was also an assault on progressive men and people without power in a general sense.

While I was waiting to go on stage Saturday, the day of his confirmation, I could sense a very specific quality to the laughter that my opening act, Ryan Singer, was getting. I had heard it before. It was traumatized, desperate, scared laughter. The only other time I have heard it was working in NYC the weeks and months after 9/11.

People come not to lose themselves or for distraction but for some kind of relief. A human interaction that could provide a little release of the toxic reality that has infused us. It is laughter that comes in explosive, clipped outbursts that recede quickly. It was painful but the show was great and I expressed my sadness and hopelessness in the moment and we moved through it together with humor.

The fact is, political shifts towards dictatorship, authoritarianism, tyranny, and fascism have all happened in many countries all around us, all the time. We just thought we were the exception. Why wouldn’t we? This is America. I guess we took too much for granted. It’s here. Now.

I know I feel heavy-hearted and angry and powerless. It would be easy to draw inward. Internalize that anger and become paralyzed with depression or defeat, but l wont. We shouldn’t. It is still America. We have lives better than most people anywhere. And we can focus our energy on what we can do, getting other people to step up, speak our minds and fucking vote and help each other. We’re all we got.

Great talk today with Charles Demers. He’s a comic from Canada who has opened for me a few times. He’s sweet, smart guy. He’s also a writer and political activist in Canada and able to speak personally about politics in a way we don’t here. Great talk. On Thursday I talk to musician Kurt Vile. Quirky guy who makes great sounding records. Good talk.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

A Unifying Magic.


Okay, Folks.

For those keeping up—I might not lose my nail. We’ll see.

Writing the Sunday afternoon. Thought it would be a quiet Sunday morning here as I slowly plod through my Sunday jobs. Recording the intro and ads for today’s show. Writing this. Then I retweeted a political cartoon which stirred up a shitstorm on both sides. It wasn’t even my work. I just thought it was disturbing and powerful. Deep cutting satire that could facilitate mind blowing realizations.  Which apparently it was and did.

I realized that this country doesn’t need to be like Russia to stifle voices though it’s heading that way. It happens almost organically now through troll culture and immediate and available emotional reaction portals. Faceless and nameless vigilante mobs and chaotic reactionary clusterfucking. Why say anything? Why not just walk with your head down? Not out of fear of Big Brother or the secret police. Just out of fear of the annihilation that comes from social media for having an opinion or liking something provocative. Good times. End Times.

Now I’m listening to Sun Ra which is not relaxing in any way. Its provocative and difficult and challenging and genius. I’ll hang in with it. It’s not supposed to be relaxing. I think it’s supposed to do the opposite. A journey through aggressive creativity.

Speaking of music, I hosted the Silverlake Conservatory of Music benefit again last night. I did it last year because Flea needed someone to do it at the last minute. This year I was in ahead of time and it didn’t freak me out as much. Benefits are kind of tough. You’re performing for people who spent hundreds of dollars to eat, which they are doing while you’re up there. It was good though. Mo Ostin was honored and he spoke about the importance of music education and how music can change the world. Lately I’ve been so cynical I see almost all entertainment as distractions from the urgent crumbling of our culture, country and our environment. I can’t see it saving the world. It can barely raise awareness anymore let alone facilitate actual action because most people just consume and move on in a shark-like manner, swimming away from self.

Then I saw these kids playing all kinds of instruments and singing and realized I would be lost in a sea of darkness if I didn’t have a musical outlet. It’s not about a career or even being good. It’s about appreciating music and the elevating effect it has on the heart and others around. Dancing, swaying, singing along, rocking, drifting, whatever it brings is a celebration of being human with other humans as well as a soul salve for the players and singers as they engage their creativity and expression. It is a unifying magic. So, I was wrong. It can change the world. I used to believe. I didn’t. I do again. Kids.

We’re going to need a lot of soulful fiddlers to hedge the burning.

Today I have an exciting, funny, weird talk with Anna Faris. She brings those things out of me. On Thursday I talk to the amazing Sissy Spacek. Good talks!

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

The Scary Monster.

Morning, People!

Never a dull moment during this cultural/governmental clusterfuck under the reign of President Fuck You (Dumpster Fire) Shit Magnet. But I hope you are managing your mind and doing what you can and are prepared to stay the course and vote and keep speaking your mind.

Phew. There.

I’m worn out. I got back from Denver today. I did four sold out shows at The Comedy Works there and they were cathartic and, I hope, exciting to witness for all the folks that came down. I have to girder up a bit for Denver because even though my audience comes out it can be a pretty drunky zone. The weed-beer-altitude combo makes a bit of a loopy environment sometimes. And there was a giant craft beer convention in town which I didn’t know about. I walked around the city and it was just filled with doughy, bearded beer nerds ambling around in their brewery tribal alcoholic jerseys. It all turned out well. Great shows. Great crowds and only one drunky problem.

She was fine all the way through the show until literally the last seven minutes of the set when she started wooing after everything I said which, as some of you know, is actually worse than saying shit to me of any kind. Woos are hard to work with. I told her assertively but nicely to stop because I saw her having fun the whole show. She said she would. It was my last bit which requires some space and to build the tension. Right after I told her to stop she did it again immediately and my monster came out. I told her she had to ‘Get the fuck out.’ Assertive, again, but full of the bile that erupts from me in the face of glib drunken belligerence. They asked her to go. I felt bad but I just regrooved back into my bit and it went great. I don’t it like it when the nice audience sees the scary monster but I think they understood and I didn’t let him out for long.

After two shows on Saturday I’m pretty wiped but also amped simultaneously. It’s a good feeling, really. It feels like I did the job. That second show can be work. It’s not that the audience is bad or anything like that. It’s just late and they’re drinking and you have to possess that earned sense of pacing and how to lean in when necessary. I know how do comedy. I do the job. I’m good at the job. I don’t always register that because I’ve been doing it a long time. But to stay in it for an hour and half, take chances, be present, find new things and stay funny and engaged is the job. I’ve worked a lot of years to master it and be at the point where I can enjoy it and still evolve. It’s a good feeling when I let myself have it—being happy and proud of what I do up there.

I’m grateful people appreciate the work.

Today on the show I talk to Joan Jett and a bit to her producer/manager Danny Laguna. It was great to see her and hear her story. It was also something to witness the dynamic between the two of them. It’s funny and sweet. On Thursday, blockbuster producer Gale Ann Hurd talks to me about her journey from Roger Corman’s world to producing things like Terminator and The Walking Dead. Great history.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Still a Fan.

People!

“It’s all happening.”

It’s always amazing to me when people find out I’m in the movie ‘Almost Famous.’ I think that’s common knowledge by this point. Particularly because I use the clip of me from the movie in the opening sound montage of WTF. It wasn’t a major part, but I’d like to think it was memorable. It’s a few seconds longer in the director’s cut. Much more substantial.

I thought everything was going to take off for me after that. It did not. That was filmed in 1999.

I guess it’s amazing that I am still in show business when I really think about it. I wasn’t really in show business for most of my career. I was trying to succeed in show business. I was getting by on the margins of show business. It now seems like I am in show business. I still cannot shake the fan part of myself or the awe and excitement I feel when I see certain celebrities. I still see myself as a guy who does comedy and has a little following and I talk to people in my garage.

I went to the Netflix Emmy party last night. I am in an Emmy-nominated show. GLOW. You know that. I had a few realizations at that party.

I realized that I am, indeed, in show business.

I realized that I don’t really feel like I am most of the time. I didn’t take a limo to the party. I could’ve. I drove AND parked on the street. It’s just easier to me. 

I realized that I am still a fan and I get excited to see certain people and nervous to meet them if I even can. As we were walking up to the party I ran into Carol Kane and Diane Keaton. I had met Carol before. We did a movie together. I had never met Diane Keaton before and I couldn’t really believe I was. She knew who I was! I asked her to be on the show. She said, “Why? What would I talk about.” So, I don’t think that’s happening.

In the party I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out the right moment to introduce myself to Jeffrey Wright. I did finally. Apparently, all I had to say was “I love your work. Great job.”

I got very excited to see Jodie Foster there. Could not get the nerve to introduce myself.

I met Tina Fey for the first time. Asked her to be on the show. She said, “I’m around.” We’ve tried before. We’ll see.

Met Hannah Gadsby for the second time and for the second time asked her to be on the show. She said she wants to. She wrote my number down in a pad she had. We’ll see.

Said hi to Lorne Michaels. Talked for about 45 seconds. We had a laugh. I walked away. Seemed like the right amount of time.

Had some laughs with Norman Lear.

Made Leslie Jones laugh.

Finally ended up hanging out a bit with Jason Mantzoukas and Nick Kroll. We had a lot of laughs. I like hanging out with the funny people. Then…

I thought, ‘Where are all the guys I came up with?’ And I realized that the ones that made it already had their time. They may still be around, working, but they had their breaks and their high points in their careers years ago. I saw it happen. I resented it, usually. Now is my time. If you are lucky enough to have a ‘time’ you just have to work as hard as you can before that window closes.

Most of the people from the world of comedy who I see at parties are at least ten years younger than me. I’m like that uncle they think is cool, or maybe their parents' funny friend.

I also realized I’m grateful to be doing what I want to be doing and earning a living and known by and friends with such talented, funny fucking people.

Today on the show I talk to Kristen Bell. The conversation happens after I made her lunch with some leftovers I had because she was starving. Felt like we’d been friends for years. On Thursday I have a great talk with Slash. Lot of guitar talk. Great guy.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

I Came In Hot.

Hello, Folks!

L’Shana Tova, Jews! Happy 5779!

How are you all holding up? I miss Minnesota already. I was just there. The weather was perfect. What a relief to be in the nice cool breeze of the Midwest. What a relief to be on the road.

It’s almost impossible to clear my head when I’m home. There’s always something to do. Something coming at me and when there isn’t, I find something. I guess it’s just my nature or maybe it’s just the nature of being self-employed and basically having three or four jobs. Podcast, standup, writing and acting. Shit never stops. I’m not complaining because I love the work but I can’t get a break. Because if I have an hour-and-a-half of free time each day there’s still a ton of routine maintenance and house shit and errands and food stuff to do. So, getting out on the road gets me some space. Physically and mentally.

That’s not always great either. My mind can get pretty out there, but then I reel it all in and see what’s at the end of the hooks and fillet those monsters on stage.

The crowds in Minneapolis are great. Smart people, cultured people, polite people, sweetly passive-aggressive people. I’m sure there are plenty of assholes there but I think they are polite.

I’ve been aggro, short-fused, ready to pounce for a week or so. Not sure what is going on. Maybe I just feel over-extended. When I got to Minneapolis I just wanted to get my room set up and lock in, relax, write, think. I came in hot. Told the guy at check in I wanted a water kettle so I can make my tea in the room. He said they didn’t have one. I thought, what kind of upscale hotel doesn’t have one? I don’t always stay at upscale places but lately I’ve realized that I have no wife or kids and I’m not sure why I’m not spending money on nice things. It pissed me off that they didn’t have one. I told him they should get one, they’re cheap. He said it wasn’t his job, basically. That just pissed me off. So, after I checked in, I walked to Target and bought one. Fifteen bucks. I stomped back to the hotel with it under my arm, not in a bag, to make a point. I was so ready to just righteously, aggressively but causally, go in there, tell him it was cheap and they could keep it. I had even planned to tweet a pic of it and tag the hotel with some snotty, snarky bullshit remark. I had my cause.

It's sad when the world is out of control and scary that the battles we chose to fight can be stupid and petty just to feel like we have control of something, anything.

I got back and he was gone. A pregnant woman was now behind the counter. She saw me walk in, steamed, carrying the box, and she said, 'Oh you bought one. I found you one. It’s in your room.’ Defeated and humbled I say, ‘Thanks.’ Then the killer line. She says, ‘I can return that for you.’ It was perfect. Polite and annihilating. Masterful passive-aggression but genuine. She would’ve done it. I said, ‘Nah, I’ll do it tomorrow.’

I was in Minnesota for 24-hours and I had been to Target twice and returned something. That’s the life I’m living. 

I need to be humbled a bit. Taken down a notch. It grounded me. Got me level for the shows.

Thanks for coming out Minneapolis.

Today I talk to Billy Eichner about how he became Billy Eichner. On Thursday I talk to comic/writer Adam Cayton-Holland about his memoir which moves through his sister's suicide. Heavy but also funny and sweet. Good talks.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Nice and Slow.

People! 

Back home for a minute. I’ve been out there doing the road jester thing pretty hard the last few weeks. I’ll be doing it for few weeks more. It’s good. I like the time away sometimes. There’s something about being in a hotel room in a strange town that is relaxing.

I was in Bloomington, Indiana. That town is not strange to me. I’ve been going there for years. It is a strange town in general, though. I’ve never been able to quite figure out why but it is. Something weird always happens when I’m there. Not this time, though. It might be me. I think I'm less of a magnet for weirdness than I used to be. I’m a bit more grounded. I think if you exude the weird, needy vibe, the weirdness will come try to fill it.

I had a very productive, relaxing time there. I got work done. Big work. Did the thinking. I wandered around scribbling the thoughts in my notebook. Stopping on sidewalks and parking lots when they were being delivered. I finally got some reading done. Just the act of sitting and reading. I read almost an entire Baffler which is not light fair generally. Great magazine. Just thinky. I locked in though. Felt good to put new ideas in the head. It lights up my creativity. Spreads my mind out. I also have an advance copy of the new Sam Lypsite book ‘Hark.’ It's fucking hilarious. Very excited for him. He’s my pal.

I had no car there so I was just walking around in heat and rain. Smoking cigars. Thinking. Processing. Pulling things together for the shows I was doing at night. I would push my brain pretty far out there and try and hold it out there and get on stage in that place. Riffage. I’ve been to the Comedy Attic many times. I can’t quite explain why but for me it’s a magic space. It’s a tight little room and I can one-brain it on a good night. Get into the deep groove. No filter. No second guessing. People come there from miles around, literally. Fans were there from Detroit, St. Louis, San Diego, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philly. One guy was seeing me for the 11th time. He brought his kid who was finally old enough to come to the show. It’s crazy. Very humbling. Some of them know though. They know that’s where shit happens. A small, tight room. Best kind of space to do real club comedy. The deep stuff. Taking the risks.

The crowds are amazing. It feels like I’m visiting friends I haven’t seen in while when I work there.

It’s a totally different pace there. It’s nice and slow. I napped, ran, went to a local gym in a corrugated steel structure. Walked back and forth to the Kroger to stock up my mini fridge with shit I can eat. I ate good food at The Farm. Bought some wax at Landlocked Records. It’s nice knowing a town a bit. How to do it.

Today I talk to a behind-the-scenes guy. Dan Schlissel has been running Standup Records for years. He’s put out two of my CDs and re-issued another. He’s recorded so many great comics. Today he talks to me. On Thursday I talk to guy who was in a great band back in the day, The Beatles. I was able to talk to Paul McCartney at a Capitol Records event in front of a crowd that didn’t know he was the surprise guest. The deal was I’d do it if we could release it as a podcast. So, dig that on Thursday. Great talks!

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

That Guy.

Hola, People!

How’s it going? I’m okay. I’m all strung out on cigars again but I guess there are worse things. I can kick any time. Tomorrow.

It’s just that I have a porch now. I love sitting on the porch. I’m sitting here now writing this. Cigars and porches kind of go together. Cigars, porches and never-ending nicotine addiction all go together. Beers and summer cocktails go with porches too. That’s not an option for me. I guess just sitting here with an iced tea would be good. I do that too. With a cigar. Sometimes. Goddammit.

Some housekeeping—I’ll be on Conan tonight. I believe it is a full-on comedian show. My pal Dean Delray will be making his television debut doing standup and I think Bert Kreischer is the other guest on panel. He’ll be on WTF on Thursday too. My Bloomington shows and Minneapolis shows are sold out but I believe there are still tickets for The Denver Comedy Works, September 21-22 and Standup Live in Phoenix. There are still seats for the big show at The Beacon in NYC for the NYC Comedy Fest in November on Nov. 10. Please go to the festival site for tickets before you complain that $1000 is too much for a seat because you went to a scalper site and didn’t realize it. Pay attention, people.

I had an amazing time shooting in Chicago. Love that city. It will be the last time I play Jacob Malco in Joe Swanberg’s Netflix show ‘Easy.’ I worked with Jane Adams again. She’s always amazing. We went deeper this time than the other two episodes we did together. I also do a scene with Melanie Lynskey who is one of the best actors ever. It’s all improvised, so the entire process is one of discovery. It was profound stuff.

Also, I like to keep you up to speed on some of my personal life. I’m sure you sometimes wonder if I ever become friends with people who I interview. Most of the time it’s a one-time thing and I don’t know the people before and I don’t really follow up. There are some people who I really hit it off with and I still don’t follow up. I’m a professional and I don’t want to be a pest or ‘that guy’ from the podcast reaching out. But… I knew Tracy Letts lived in Chicago so I asked him if he would have some deep dish with me and we did it. It was a blast. Love that guy. Good hang. Lou Malnati’s. He was skeptical at first because it’s sort of a tourist joint but they nail that pie. Had some laughs over a Classic—double cheese and sausage.

Today I talk to Jo Koy. I’ve known about him for years but only met him recently. He’s a worker. Real road comic. Good talk. On Thursday I talk to comic Ian Bagg. I’ve known him for years, just seeing him around. Since back in the day in NYC. Got to know him too. Also, Bert Kreischer and talk-jam on that episode. Great shows!

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Gritty.

What’s up, Folks?

How’s it going. I’m okay. I’m in Chicago. I love Chicago. Gritty people here who give zero fucks about their health, it seems. I like that though. It’s commitment.

I just took a walk along the water and there is some kind of massive air show going on. This was the second day of it. When I got here I went up to my room at the hotel, eighteen floors up, and saw a profoundly menacing jet rocketing along the edge of the lake, way too low. Sadly, my first assumption wasn’t ‘air show.’ It was ‘uh oh.’ I guess I operate at that level of fear and panic that some kind of military action could just unleash at any moment. And, sadly again, I would assume that it would be our own military attacking our own city. I know, crazy, right? Could never happen. Right? I was thinking this is how the president is showing his dissatisfaction with the Chicago police. Strafing the South Side. Crazy, though. Right?

It was interesting to see the thousands of people lakeside watching planes and jets do tricks. All kinds of people. It seemed like every ethnicity was represented. Every size and shape of human showed up. All types of food were being grilled on many types of grilling apparatus. People brought chairs and tents. It was messy, gritty, half-nude and sweaty. Just relaxing and watching the gutted menace of jets with no agenda other than to entertain. I jogged past all these people of all kinds half giving a shit about the planes, out for a day in the sun on the beach. I wondered what the contrast would be between this crowd and whoever would show up at the military parade that the president wanted but couldn’t have just yet. Because what I was jogging past, in all its sweaty diverse beauty, was what America looks like. I can’t imagine that an audience for a military parade assembled by this president would look like what America looks like. I assume it would look like a nationalistic aspiration of intolerance and dominance by a narrow ideological swath of a minority of this country. Angry monsters who failed the test of tolerance out of a core fear of the other and submersion in paranoiac mythology.

Anyway, it’s nice here in Chicago. Weather is great.

I’m not entirely out from under my own reading of the eschatological signs that I make up. The water creeping up. The skies full of smoke. The land burning. The bees dying. The explosion of ticks and lizards. Coyotes out during the day. The new nature. Just the scary things will remain. I talked to my mother the other day and she got off the phone by saying, ‘I have to go feed my Iguanas.’ It wasn’t code. My mother doesn’t own iguanas. My mother is not losing it. After a little research I found the there is a massive Iguana problem in South Florida and I guess my mother is just helping it along. It’s my favorite end times tableau to date. My weird mother out in back of her house feeding dinosaurs. Hail Satan.

Today I talk to the eclectic and country Shooter Jennings about experimenting with music, country western and his dad Waylon. Also, a little chat with Rob Riggle today. On Thursday Belly’s Tanya Donelly and I catch up after 30 or so years. We worked at a restaurant in Boston together back in the day. The new Belly album is great. Also a little bit of Jason Bateman on Thursday too. Good talks!

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Nineteen Years.

I had 19 years sober on Aug. 9th. Few days ago. Crazy.

I didn’t mention it on Thursday because I record the day before and you never know what can happen. Maybe I’d hit my head Wednesday night and think the last 19 years had been a dream and I was 35 years old and I would head to a bar, have a few drinks, get some blow and wonder where all my stuff was and whose house did I have keys to. That wasn’t going to happen. I actually just spaced it. Yes. I know it seems like something you would be vigilant about and would always have it situated firmly in the front of your mind but that is not the case. Thankfully.

Yes, I amazed and happy and grateful to be sober but It is something I just am now. It’s not a struggle or a fight or hard. It just is. When I tweeted I was 19 years sober a lot of people responded with things like ‘what an accomplishment’ or ‘that’s hard work’ or ‘how’d you do it?’ These are all fair things to ask or say but the truth is if you stop drinking and do at least some of the work, eventually you won’t think about drinking or doing drugs every second of the day or really at all for that matter. One of the core promises of the program is that the obsession will be lifted. It happens at different times for people but it happens. Jesus, if I still wanted to drink and use every day after 19 years that would suck. I don’t. If I do, I do it on purpose to see what my brain does. It knows it can’t. Deeply.

Over time, if you don’t drink or use, you don’t. Though you have to remain a vigilant because you don’t want to one day just think you can because it’s been a while. I’ve seen people do that and die or never come back. If you are an addict or alcoholic you should be scared to death of drugs and alcohol because, with your help, they are definitely trying to kill you.

Thanks for all the congratulatory feedback. I’ll take it. I earned it. It is just who I am now and I am grateful for that. It is an amazing achievement that really does happen one day at time. Early on it was a minute at a time. It is better. It is good. 

In other news, LaFonda was sick but I think she’s going to be okay. I went into it a bit on the show.

Today I talk to Jimmy O. Yang. He’s a quirky, funny guy. I really liked meeting him and chatting. On Thursday I talk to guitar legend Joe Walsh. That was a tricky talk. No easy flowing convo but it was great to hang out with him. He’s very sober by the way.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Vibes.

What’s up, Folks?

I’m in the air, in a little plane, flying out of the Utah desert.

I really want to thank everyone in Salt Lake City for coming out. I’ve been to Wiseguys quite a few times at this point. Enough to have seen a few different locations come and go. The one downtown is an odd space but a good club. We sold out four shows which I think is about the maximum amount of people I can draw in SLC. About 1,000. Maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit but it just feels like all the people in that city who are into what I do come out. I’m not complaining I appreciate it. It’s just an odd place.

I always seem to forget what it feels like to go there until I get there and I always go back so I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s sort of a fascinating vibe. There’s certainly no place else like it. There’s just there’s an awkward vibrating balance going on there. It’s not tense that I can tell. You do feel the presence of the Mormon history and it weighs on the place but it's kind of engaging and mysterious. That and the heat and the high altitude and the sterility of the downtown area make for a kind of dark but interesting vibe. I always walk around for hours when I’m there, even in the heat. It’s a good place to get worn down and think for some reason.

The shows are always pretty exciting because by the fourth show, the late one on Saturday, I’m pretty loopy from walking and thinking and I always seem to improvise there. Finding the through line for the new shit. It was a wild show.

On a less mystical note, they have a great farmer’s market there on Saturdays in Pioneer Park. A lot of fruit, vegetables, baked good, food and crafts. I bought some wooden spoons from a wooden spoon guy. I got tired of looking at my wooden spoons so a spent a little bread for a handcrafted wooden spoon upgrade.

Today on the show I talk to Jay Leno. I know, right? I didn’t think that would ever happen but it did. There were a few very specific things I wanted to cover with him. Back in the day he was one of the best comics working, well-respected, prolific. Then over time, because of several events, a lot the comic community seem to sour on him and lose respect for him. We talk about that a bit. On Thursday the very charming, very funny, very Irish, Chris O’Dowd and I talk about the things. Great talks!

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Community.

Hello, People!

I snuck off to Montreal for two days and I didn’t tell you guys. Sorry.

Also, I’ll be in SLC, Utah at Wiseguys Comedy Club this weekend, Aug. 3-4. Go to wtfpod.com/tour for the ticket link!

I haven’t been to the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal for a few years and I generally don’t go. A couple of weeks ago I was asked by the guy in charge if I could help him reach out to the creators of GLOW, Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive, because he wanted to see if they could receive the comedy writing of the year award at the festival. So, I helped him out and they were into it. Then they asked if I could present them with the award. I was honored to. They gave me my big break and I love the show. So, the festival flew me up and put me up for a couple of days and I did the presenting.

It was actually a perfect amount of time and I forget the good parts of the festival because when I was younger I was so full of panic and dread about the sets I was doing because all the audiences were about a third industry and every set counted. That’s exactly the kind of pressure that used to make me choke and be consumed with anxiety. Now, I don’t give as much of a fuck. I’m established enough that the festival doesn’t do anything for me career-wise and most people know me for better or worse.

I did get one set in up there on Andy Kindler’s Alternative show and it was fun. I had a very decadent dinner with Dean Delray and some Cuban cigars. I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in years and that was moving and fun. I forget just how much of a community this industry is. I forget that I’ve been in this business in earnest since my early twenties and all the people that surround it - execs and agents and managers and comics and club owners - have known me since I was a kid. It’s nice to check in. Especially since I’m not sweaty and angry and full of panic anymore. At least not about show business.

The truly great moments of the trip happened around the awards show. I was able to introduce Liz and Carly to my world. I introduced them to Chapelle and Tiffany Haddish, Howie Mandell, Maria Bamford and others. We all met Hannah Gadsby for the first time. The show itself turned out to be very moving. I presented them. Deon Cole presented to Lil Rel Howery. Howie presented to Jo Koy. Maria presented to Hannah. Kevin Hart presented to Tiffany and all the winners got a little choked up. It was sweet.

It was great reconnecting with people. I have a community. It’s just one full of outsiders and weird individuals. Unlike me. Totally stable and normal. I’m so glad they all accept me.

This week is good. Today I talk to Mila Kunis about being a religious refugee and Ashton Kutcher and acting and a lot of other stuff. Also, today, I talk to Iliza Schlesinger about her stalker and new special. On Thursday I have a very intense, interesting talk with the actor, Luzer Twersky, about leaving the Hasidic community to live a normal life and pursue his dreams. Great talks!

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Older.

People!

Dad was here. I’m happy I have the opportunity to assess the current distance between apple and tree.

I made it through, and you know what? It was good. It was nice to hang out with him for a couple of days. I don’t think I could’ve made it more than that but I was able to deal with him for that amount of time a not get sucked into the misery/worry vortex that is his mind.

I must be getting a bit more forgiving as I get older. I think that should happen naturally. Who has the energy to maintain lifelong resentments after a certain point? I mean, a couple of little ones, sure. Not big ones. I think the fact that I have become somewhat successful in what I do tempers my problems with him and also makes his innate attempts at diminishing me or dismissing me a bit impotent, which is good. Bottom line though, he is proud and in awe of what I have done and that is nice.

He is also getting older. When you don’t see your dad for a year or two and he’s in his seventies it can be jarring when you do. He’s going to be 80 this year. He and his wife and I went on a little hike with a very small incline and he just couldn’t handle it. It really hit me that he’s fragile and old. So, I didn’t make him hike or make him feel bad about not being able to do it like he might have done to me when I was younger. I should’ve. Kidding. There’s always some part of your brain that keeps your parents where they were when you were a kid. Now the reality of where he is at is bigger. I felt it. I’m glad he is still around and we can spend time together now. Again, two days max but I am glad.

I’m also realizing things about him that I don’t think I saw the same way years ago. He’s an envelope pusher, a risk taker. I always knew him to be a bit manic and impulsive, irresponsible, which could appear like he was taking risks, but I don’t think he ever put much thought into it. I now know differently. Listen to today’s show for the story.

Today and Thursday I talk to people who have been on the show and who I thought were going to be short talks on different episodes but they turned out to be medium talks and we paired them up. David Sedaris and Bo Burnham today and Sue Costello and Jim Gaffigan on Thursday.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

It's All Gravy.

We did it, folks. 

Something.

GLOW got Emmy nominations for all kinds of awards—hair, makeup, titles, casting, cinematography, stunts, production design, directing and BEST COMEDY! AND Betty Gilpin got nominated for Supporting Actress in a Comedy. She’s amazing. It’s so great that happened. She is a real envelope pushing actor. A real risk taker at every point of her approach and that makes her character beautifully complex. She had a lot of heavy lifting to do first season in order to make her situation believable. The attention is well-deserved.

I got a lot of tweets saying I was robbed and Alison was robbed. I don’t know how Alison feels but I do not feel like I was robbed. I don’t really like the whole idea of having competition imposed on me. Life is dire enough. Sure, I tried to get nominated because why wouldn’t I but I didn’t really feel disappointed. I think it would’ve been great to get that kind of respect from my peers but I’m not really the award-winning type of person for whatever reason. I just do the work. It’s all gravy for me in a lot of ways. I didn’t think I was going to have the opportunity to do any of the stuff I am doing. I work hard, I like it and so do you. That’s really enough. I did buy some fancy clothes for the other award shows I went to and for TV and I would like to wear them more. I guess that’s the real bummer. I want to dress up. Maybe I’ll just wear my fancy suits around the house more. Maybe I’ll buy myself a trophy and wander around giving acceptance speeches to my cats. Truth is I was better second season. See, maybe I did really want to get nominated. Of course, I did. There, I admitted it. But I think I’m getting better at it and that’s what’s important. Both acting and admitting things. Competition stinks and if it isn’t sports its usually suspect in terms of how it’s all decided. Like elections.

In other news, I got my 23 and Me genetic results back. It actually just said JEW. Seriously. 99.5 percent Ashkenazi Jew with a smattering of "broadly European," whatever that means. Probably Jew too. I have no hereditary disease propensities and there were some details that were just odd. Like, they knew I could smell asparagus in my pee. I’m glad we have these advances to confirm these important traits that we pass on generation to generation.

Today I talk to Gus Van Sant about his new movie 'Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ and a lot of his other movies. There’s some surprising stuff about his starting out as an artist that I thought was interesting and fun to know. On Thursday I talk to Daveed Diggs about his new film, ‘Blindspotting.’ It’s a very personal and brutally beautiful film about his hometown of Oakland. We also talk about ‘Hamilton’ and track and stuff. Great talks!

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Repair.

Hot enough for ya, People?

Ridiculous. It’s happening and it’s all of our faults. We ruined the planet. Time to adapt or leave. I know, I know. And go where? Maybe devolve and grow gills and move back into the water. 

Happy Monday!

I’m weird. I like it when it gets up around 113°. It’s mind-altering. That has been known for centuries. It’s like time spent in the desert. That’s when you see things. Manna and burning bushes. You don’t need drugs, you need heat. As someone who has been sober for almost 19 years, I welcome the occasional natural freebie. It seems that my metabolism slows down in the heat. My blood feels like mud in my veins. I’m a bit queasy. Light-headed. Spaced. I don’t move much. 

I spent some time over the weekend dealing with boots. Polishing. Bringing them in for repair. I sat out on my porch in the 100° heat and slowly, methodically polished up one of two pairs of White’s boots that I had been neglecting. It’s a Zen chore. After the polish I had to bring the unpolished pair in for new heels. When I get it in my head to do something, especially non-urgent tasks, I get them done compulsively asap. The guy I used to go to for boot work retired or died. His store is gone. The last time I was in there he didn’t seem great. He was rolling a respirator around. Hopefully he’s just sitting at home, breathing easier. I don’t know. 

I reluctantly went to another old man across the street that I had gone to in the past. I was nervous to go there because the last time he didn’t have the right sized sole for my boots and he said he would make them work, trim them, grind them down. TMI. I just want them to look and feel right. I don’t need to hear about unnecessary challenges and making do. They looked fine, great even, but the experience stuck in my head. I didn’t think it could happen again. When I went back he didn’t have the right sized heel. I thought, ‘fuck.’ It was huge. He said he would trim it and grind it down. Of course he needed cash so I walked three blocks in the 100°-plus weather to the bank. 

In minutes I was almost hallucinatory, sweating, riding the edge of heatstroke. But I liked it. A haze was closing in around my vision, everything slowed down. I felt the earth screaming as air-conditioned cars whizzed by. ‘We’re so fucked,’ I thought. We gambled like children trying to get away with something and now we just wait to get caught in the catastrophic disaster of the big shift on all fronts, for the worst. ‘Nothing matters anymore,’ I thought, nearly passing out. 

I made it to the bank and back. Paid the old man. Went home. In two hours my boots were done. I went back. They looked perfect. He said, ‘You were worried but I love what I do so I do great work I am proud of.’ That seemed like a solid reason to live. I took those boots home and polished them perfectly to match those perfect heels.

Today I talk to the wise and talented Boots Riley about music, life and his new film ‘Sorry to Bother You.’ Good talk. Also, a little talk with Bobcat Goldthwait, too.  On Thursday I talk to the one and only Ray Liotta about his career, life and New Jersey. Great talk. Plus a short drop-in by David Sedaris. 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Pause.

Well, Folks.

I’m about done doing everything I always wanted to do. Not quite but most of it. I’m not stopping right away because I have other things to do. Though I do think it’s time I look back and retroactively enjoy my life and accomplishments. I’m always so busy ploughing through, doing the next thing and working that I really don’t even take a minute to process what I have done. Well, not just ploughing through and working but not really giving myself much credit either. I think that’s how I stay humble. Just beating myself enough not to be happy or think I did good enough. It’s a bad loop. A curse. Something I need to record over. Dumb. Life is getting shorter.

Example. GLOW, the show on which I am a featured member of the cast, premiered last Friday and I forgot to mention it on my own damn show. I didn’t tell you guys. I forgot. What is that about? Obviously, a lot of you figured it out but still. I know there’s been a lot going on re: the end of the world and our democracy but still. I know I get focused on what I am going to say and what I am saying but still… I spaced promoting a very big thing in my life, on my own show.

Part of me probably thought, ‘well, we did that a long time ago.’ I finished with my feelings about it already. Now, I have to make that right. I watched them all, again. As someone who plays a part you have no idea how the whole thing is going to come out. It came out so fucking good. I’ve seen how excited people are by the show. I’m happy about that. I guess part of me doesn’t think any of it is real until people react to it. The reaction has been great. And, I think I did a good job. I’m proud of my work. And now I’m telling you about it. I had to take pause and let myself have that so I don’t just plough through thinking I did fine and it was okay and what are doing now...

Honestly, I’m thrilled about the show. The second season is better than the first and that was great. I like working with everyone involved and this season really allowed me to let Sam have some depth and take some chances as an actor a bit. It’s amazing working with all the actresses (and Chris Lowell) because they make me better and they’re amazing. I want to congratulate everyone who is involved with the show and thank everyone for watching it.

Today I talk to the all too nice Paul Rudd. I tried to find some dark in there but couldn’t really. Great guy, great talk. On Thursday I go on a tight, easy ride in the mind of Peter Fonda, no helmet. It was before he went (rightfully) nuts on Twitter and pushed the envelope a bit. Good talk.

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Aware.

People!

Everyone hanging in as well as possible? Ok.

I’ve got nothing new to say today. My computer seems to be one of the Apple Macbook Pro that is entitled to a free keyboard replacement or repair. I’ve been battling with this thing for months thinking it was somehow my fault. Some of my emails look like I’m having a stroke while writing them. Now, I just have to get over to the Genius Bar to get it taken care of. It’s ridiculous that I’ve literally stopped using my computer most of the time as opposed to getting this thing fixed. It’s exciting. You live in mild misery long enough out of laziness when you do get it remedied it's life changing. It’s like waiting to pee just because it will feel better when you do. Addict brain.

Speaking of addiction, my big shift to tea a half year ago or so is paying off. It’s blossomed into a very diverse, reliable compulsion with equipment and variety. There are strainers and blends and greens and blacks and scents and brewing temperatures. It’s crazy. I know the difference between First and Second Flush Darjeeling. I know the difference between Irish and English Breakfast teas. None of that is as important as knowing which ones get you high. For me it’s Organic Assam. That shit clears mind and makes everything shiny.

Please stay engaged and aware. We have to remain awake and focused and informed. We can’t fall into ourselves. Try to keep clarity. Assam. Conscience. No killing yourselves.

Today I talk to Lil Rel Howrey about coming up in the black comedy scene of Chicago and his new movie. Great guy, great talk. On Thursday I talk to Comedy Store lifer Eleanor Kerrigan about starting as an actress, being a waitress and getting into comedy. We talk a lot about Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore. It was recorded before she died and there’s a lot of insight into who she was towards the end of her life. Great talk.

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron