He's Eating.

Hello, Friends!

I’m not sure if there are still tickets left for my special tapings at REDCAT on Oct. 30. It’s a fairly intimate space but there are two shows that night, 7pm and 10pm. If there are tickets you can get them at wtfpod.com/tour along with tickets to upcoming shows in Philly, DC, Boston, Atlanta, Nashville and SF. Good times.

Monkey update. I don’t know if I’ve kept you in the loop entirely. I have a hard time remembering shit these days. I guess I could just look at last week’s update. Either way, I went into a little panic with Monkey this week. He has been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and I was given what seems like a million little pills by the vet. I know, you’re thinking how the fuck are you going to get your cat to take pills. Nightmare, right? I’ve never been able to give my cats almost any medicine, ever. These pills are small though. I use pill pockets. Theyre these little wads of sticky, chicken flavored, cat crack with a pill slot carved out and you just stick the pill in there and close up the hole and HE EATS THEM. Amazing product and I’m not being paid to say that.

He did ten days of one pill a day and I’m about a week into two a day now. A few days ago he was completely lethargic and gagging and I thought he was on his way out. He wasn’t putting on any weight but he was eating. I just thought he was dying. He’s 15. Then, all of sudden, he was back. Focused. Energy good. Obviously, I don’t think he will live forever, but if he’s happy I can keep him around for a bit. There’s still a lot more pills but they seem to be working, I think.

I talked to some people who had the same problem with their cat and had him irradiated, zapped. To kill the thyroid. They said it worked but they had to keep the cat in the basement for ten days because it was radioactive. Crazy. I’ll stick with the pills for now.

Today I talk to the human embodiment of The Comedy Store, Argus Hamilton. He was one of the original Comedy Store comics and he’s the only one of his generation that still works there. On Thursday I talk to my GLOW co-star, comedian Jackie Tohn. Great talks.

Enjoy!


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Happening.

People!

Everybody relatively ok? I am. Edgy. Eating. Itchy on the inside. But okay.

I’m trying to see the events in my life as more than just part of a process or the past or just some shit that happened. It’s weird how quickly things fade into the past for me. Stuff just blows by and it feels like things that happened last week could’ve happened years ago. I’m going to try to really engage with what is happening in my life. I’m starting to drift a bit.

Like, last week was kind of monumental. Aside from having a birthday and going to the premiere of a big movie I have a small part in, I got to jam with a great punk rock band. I know, it’s crazy. Middle aged me ripping a lead on Neil Young’s ‘Keep on Rocking in the Free World’ with Titus Andronicus. IT HAPPENED!

Patrick Stickles texted me to tell me he was in town with the band and they were playing at The Bootleg Theater. He asked me if I wanted to come see the show. I said, ‘Fuck yeah!’ He then asked me if I wanted to maybe bring my Goldtop down and jam on the Neil song. I said I could probably manage that. I checked out the chords. Very doable. Easy, even. When the time came to go. I loaded up my axe but when I got there I got cold feet about bringing it in. I don’t want to walk in with my guitar in front of all the kids to play one song. Patrick had said he’d have one there if I needed it.

It was the last song of the night. I realized during the penultimate song of the night that I may not be too clear on some of the changes in the song. So, I ducked out to the john and loaded it up on my phone and listened. Walked back in the room just in time to brought up on stage. We played it, exchanged some leads, wrapped it up. Someone tweeted a vid of my lead and I have to be honest, I’ve watched it about ten times a day since Thursday. I love playing guitar.

On Friday I had a 56th birthday. I bought some records, relaxed, reflected, had a nice dinner with someone. Perfect.

On Saturday I went to the premiere of Joker. I have a small scene in a big movie and I have to be honest, again: I showed up for work. I held my own. It was cool to see me on the screen with one of my heroes, Robert DeNiro. Thrilling actually.

I am noticing my accomplishments from here on out. Not blowing past them.

Today I talk to Marilu Henner about her insane upbringing and life in showbiz. On Thursday, if everything works out, I will be talking to Danny DeVito about Danny DeVito.

Enjoy!


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

The Ritual.

Motor City, People!

Let’s get some dates out of the way here. I will be playing Los Angeles at DynastyTypewriter on October 5th and 6th. This is a small venue so you should get tickets if you want to come. Also, if you’ve seen me a bunch of times recently, wait it out until my special taping which has been moved to LA. I don’t have specifics yet but I’m going to need my LA people there. 

I head to Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Boston October 10th, 11th and 12th. That's Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. In DC, I am playing the Kennedy Center. It’s big. So, if you want to see me and you are in the DC area that would be a good time. I like when rooms are close to full. It makes me feel better about what I do. 

I’ll be in Nashville, Atlanta and San Francisco, October 18th, 19th and 26th. These are the final dates of the run of this hour-plus. I love all these cities and I’m looking forward to all the shows. 

So, Detroit. I really didn’t know what to expect. Like most people I’ve heard that the city was pretty beat up and might not be coming back. I have to say, it’s a wild mix of desolation and excitement block to block. It’s definitely unique and has its own vibe. I wouldn’t call it charming but it’s intense. New business, artists, boarded up buildings, vacant lots, space. 

The show was at The Masonic Temple which I believe used to be the biggest Masonic Temple in the country or world. It’s this old, gothic complex of theaters and secret hallways. Masonic temples are darkly charged spaces in general. Any ritual space has its own frequency, its own atmospheric hum. I was in the smaller theater. It seats about 1800 and I got about 1200 in there. I could feel the presence of generations of men sitting in the room and doing the rites and rituals, wearing the costumes and hats and holding the sacred objects in bizarre varied acts of witchcraft collected over the centuries from different disciplines and cultures to seal the oaths of the brotherhood. I’m just glad I didn’t have a heart attack and die on that stage. Because even though it’s a defunct space I have to assume that ritual spaces are always in use even if there is no one there overseeing the ritual and I didn’t want to be the final turn of the sacrifice of the Jew rite. 

I made that up but there’s got to be something similar in the Masonic texts. 

I ate a Lafayette Coney Island hot dog. That was after the show. Arguable, if I had eaten it before, the odds of me clutching my chest on stage would’ve been better. 

Toronto was amazing. I got about 2200 into the room. Felt full. Great crowd. Rosebud Baker opened for me and did a great job. 

Chicago is always a great city for me. I sold out The Vic and the show was amazing. Me and my opener Jonah Ray plowed through a medium Lou Malnatis Classic pie in a park before the show. That’s my sacred Chicago ritual. 

Great show. Unhealthy food. Lots of plane travel and mediocre sleep. The life. 

Today I talk to the mystery that is Byron Allen. He started out at The Comedy Store as a teenager and now is a media mogul. He actually owns The Weather Channel. On Thursday I talk to Jeannie Gaffigan (Jim’s wife) about her new book that’s about her brain tumor. Heavy, heartening stuff. Good talks. 

Enjoy!


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Space Travel.

People!

No nicotine for two weeks! Yup.

Good morning. How was the weekend? Hope it was fine. Good, even. Mine was pretty good. I did the work. The big work.

Friday morning, I flew up to Vancouver. I love it there. I think I’ve told you all that before. Probably many times. Now more than ever the relief of being out of the psychic pollution and daily assault of American media and behavior is a true fucking relief. Vancouver is pretty too. Something modern and old and craggy island-like simultaneously.

The place I stay up there is one of my favorite hotels anywhere and I can’t even explain why exactly. I’ve stayed there twice and both times I found it to be oddly peaceful and relaxing which is saying a lot coming from me. It’s the Rosewood Georgia. I think it’s an old classic place that has been given new life. Maybe it’s full of good ghosts, I don’t know. I just like the place.

Charlie Demers opened for me at The Vogue Theatre. A beautiful crowd of people showed up. It was a solid show. Funny. Poignant, for me. Without the nicotine, performance seems to be even more immediate to me. Moving. Very engaged.

The folks from Love Jules Leather brought me some sweet new shoes they made for me. I ate some Greek food. Got out. Less than a full day.

Seattle was Seattle. I always like being there. I’ve been going there for years. It’s kind of a magical place. The Pacific Northwest is magic. Sort of a gray magic. Not dark, not light. Gray. Lot of possibilities. I haven’t had coffee much in years now and I had two macchiatos inside four hours and it set my mind on fire. Good times.

The show at the Moore was hot. Literally hot in that old building. I’m not big believer in ghosts but The Moore has them and they’re annoying. El Sanchez opened the show and they were great. Good personal comedy. The crowd was amazing and we all sweat through a nearly two-hour set.

I saw some old friends up there and ate at the same restaurant three times. It was close by. Lola.

Every time I go away, even if it’s just for two days, it feels like I’ve been on a space mission. I kind of have. New town, new food, new people, new place to sleep, then I step out onto the stage and out into my mind and take off. Space travel.

Today on the show I chart the rugged seas of Bruce Dern’s mind. On Thursday, Danny Huston and I talk about his mythic father, growing up in Europe and making a poetic film. Great talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

I'm Wired.

Lit up, People!
 
I’m doing it. I’m in it. I have been off nicotine for a week. I know, I know. I’ve been here before. It’s always exciting though. Manic. Crazy. Wild eyed. 
 
Withdrawal from anything sucks. The challenge of riding out a craving until it passes is crazy. It’s all being generated from your own head and you literally have to wrestle with yourself. Wrestling with yourself as an emotional foundation is a little intense. I’ve been doing it for years over one thing or another and I’ve finally started to relent a bit around general life and brain stuff but everything gets reinvigorated when you pull out that nicotine. Fuck, man. 
 
My brain is trying to fucking function after being starved from all that jacked up dopamine intake. I’m not even sure that is what’s happening. It feels like my brain has to regroove to work on its own juice. My body feels thick. My metabolism just cranked down immediately. Like it was trying to keep up with a machine on the fritz and is now going to operate at its normal speed. Fat speed. 
 
That’s always what gets me back on the shit. That feeling of weight. I’m exercising and eating pretty well but when the machine drops down to normal speed it's challenging. I wish I didn’t give a fuck. I wish it didn’t bother me. I wish I didn’t feel like a piece of shit when I put on weight but… I do. It’s the way I’m wired. I really want to be done with this shit. 
 
I do like when my brain is on fire though. Good times. 
 
I’m really excited about the conversation I posted today with Dale Beran. It dovetails nicely with the Kurt Anderson talk from a couple weeks ago and also with all this ridiculous reaction to the joke I made on Conan about Marvel Cinematic Universe fans: The world of fantasy and the roots of the frustration that pushed it into the mainstream that is manufacturing a creative monoculture in film and a troll-based garbage-scape in politics. 
 
As a middle-aged guy there is a lot about the engines of contemporary culture that I don’t understand, that I am not proficient in. So, it’s very exciting and informative to be given a proper context to understand the fall of our democracy and the homogenization of our entertainment and the adolescent drivers that guide it all. Great talk today with Dale.

On Thursday I talk to Edi Patterson about working with Danny McBride on Vice Principals and The Righteous Gemstones and other things comedy and acting related. 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Expansive.

Wow, Folks.

How’s it going? I’m off. A little fragmented and jagged. The road. Lack of exercise. The world is on fire. Unhealthy food. Unnecessary troll battles. It all adds up.

I did get some kind of reprieve in the midst of it all. Dean Delray and I had a great little Texas tour. It’s fun to travel and drive with someone you get along with and like the same music. 

 We landed in Dallas on Thursday, rented a car. We did the show at the Majestic Theatre that night and it was amazing. Great audiences in Texas. I never know what’s going to happen but I’ve learned that you can’t quite generalize a state in terms of who you think lives there. There really are good people of all kinds almost everywhere in this country. I’ve had a relationship with Texas forever. I grew up next door in New Mexico. It always seemed like its own country to me and it kind of is. Expansive.

The need to eat barbeque becomes almost overwhelming when I go to Texas. I generally try to do it just once at Opie’s but for some reason the urge was too strong and we found ourselves at the Pecan Lodge in Dallas minutes after checking into the hotel. It’s not an old school place but the meat was serviceable. Good. Meat sweats and meat naps started hours into the journey.

After Dallas, we made the drive to Austin. Well, actually, to Spicewood for some Opie’s BBQ. We share a deep love for AC/DC and we rocked it for almost four hours in a Chevy Malibu through the flats and hills of Texas. It was a perfect drive. I’ve been driving all my life and there is a Zen to hit with the right music and we hit it. There’s was head rocking, air guitar playing, some air drums, maybe a little air bass, some singing. Texas gets short shrift for its beauty but when you are rolling through it and you feel the massive context of what it is, it is a stunning expanse. Only made better by Highway to Hell pounding out from the inside of car. Rock vessel.

 Opie’s always delivers. When you climb out of a rock vessel after hours driving it feels like you’ve just landed on another planet. This was Planet Meat. Kristin, who owns the place, always takes good care of me. We had amazing meal and set out for Austin. That night at the Paramount Theater was stellar. We both had a great show. 
 
The next morning we set out for Houston. Overly meated and a bit heavy and laid back. We cranked up the Grateful Dead station and rode one concert all the way to Houston. I think it was from ’72. It was an entirely different tone, obviously, but it was right. Texas looks different with the Dead blasting. Everything is warm and flowing. 
 
We got to Houston and ate some Indian food at Pondicheri. First thing. I love that place. Then we checked into the hotel. Crashed for a couple hours then headed out a few blocks to the theater at the Wortham Center. Amazing show. Great crowds all over the Texas we covered. 
 
Did some hotel room troll battling after posting what I thought would be a conciliatory tweet to Marvel fans to stop acting like religious fanatics defending their belief system. It didn’t go down well. They responded like religious fanatics defending their belief system. I’m all for having a good time but big business escapism and fantasy shouldn’t be so charged that it affects the core of who you are. But maybe that’s just the raging inner child that can’t accept or understand why everyone doesn’t like what it likes. I know, I’m in the joker movie. Doesn’t erase my opinion. 
 
Today I talk to Betty Gilpin! She’s my co-star on GLOW and has done a lot of acting in a lot of things. I love her. On Thursday I talk to Blues legend Buddy Guy. He tells me a couple of stories that were just beautiful if you’re a blues person. Personal anecdotes about people that were so specific and mind changing. Great talks!

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Overly Familiar.

Another Monday, Folks.
 
Don’t be upset. It’s good that they keep coming. Both for you personally and the world. 
 
I hope you all had a good or not bad weekend. I think I had some fun. It’s hard for me to Identify sometimes. 
 
Before I start rambling here, I’m sure some of you already know that Peter Fonda died. I have reposted the chat I had with him last year. It’s available in the free feed, as is the talk I had with his sister, Jane, if you want to round out the Fonda experience. Jane is very alive and it was an enlightening conversation. They both were. 
 
On Friday night I went to a secret society meeting to do the highly sacred ritual of the taking of the cake. I got sober in NYC. When you celebrate a year sober there it’s an anniversary. Here in LA it’s a birthday. So, with a birthday, comes a cake. Your name and year count is announced and you are presented a cake by people who are important in your life or part of your sobriety. My buddy Jerry gave me my cake. You don’t get to keep cake. Everyone is presented with the same cake. They just switch up the candle count. You blow them out and talk for a minute. I said a few words of gratitude, got a laugh with something and then surprised myself by saying, ‘My life is good.’
 
My life is good. I have a hard time even writing that down. Feel like I’m asking for trouble. 
 
On Saturday I went to a party on Sarah Silverman’s roof. It was her party. She has it every year. I haven’t been in a few years. I was either out of town or just spaced it. I tend to avoid parties because I’m not sure if I like what they bring out in me. I mean, I have a good time. I’m excited to be there. Show business is odd though. Between us, there’s still a big part of me that is a fan. Some part of me that doesn’t really accept the life I’m living or that I am part of it, the community. I tend to act overly familiar with everyone even if I don’t really know them at all. Which is weird, I think. I mean, I’ve talked to many of them for an hour or so but I don’t hang out with them. I see them at things occasionally but I am always very excited to see them because I like their work. So, I get real huggy and I do things like touch Jason Mantzoukas’ beard. 
 
I don’t know if I’m annoying or people accept that it's just me. It's exhausting how excited I get at parties. I get all filled with the juice. 
 
There was actually a handwritten sign hanging by the door when you walk into the party stating that you couldn’t ask anyone to be on your podcast at the party. It was kind of a joke but not really. I saw people I’ve known for years like Conan. Then I found myself talking to Larry David. He knew who I was. I had met him a couple of times. I love the guy. I don’t know him. I’ve watched his show, a lot. I’m fascinated with the guy. We don’t hang but he felt totally familiar to me. Thank god he knows who I am or I would’ve been annoying. Maybe I was still annoying. I don’t know. 
 
I talked to Albert Brooks too. I love him. I love his work. His sense of humor. I just love the guy. I would love to have him on the show. I didn’t ask. He knows. I was just thrilled I could talk to the guy and that he knows who I am. The two times I have seem him out in the world he has said something like, ‘You have your microphone? Let’s do it now!’
 
My life is good. I like being part of the community I am in. I just still get a little excited. A lot excited. It’s okay. 
 
Today I talk to the amazing actress Patricia Clarkson about her career and her Emmy-nominated performance in HBO’s Sharp Objects. On Thursday I try to keep up with the writer David Shields about his books and his documentary about Marshawn Lynch. Great talks!


Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

A Navigator.

Sad days, People.

I really hope you all are taking care of yourselves and your minds.

It’s quite enough that that world is on fire and our culture is imploding on a day to day basis without a beautiful artist taking his own life but that is what happened. Again. The risk of being so sensitive, empathetic and troubled by the struggle that it becomes unbearable is something that many of us have had to reckon with. We fight the fight. 

I did not know David Berman well. I didn’t know him at all, really. We spent a couple of very intense hours together in Nashville a few years ago. I came to his music late. Fairly recently. Within the last ten years. Everyone who knows his work and loves it has loved it since the beginning. The mid-nineties when the first three Silver Jews records came out. 

I had listened to some of his stuff a few years ago and was very taken with him as a person. I felt we were kindred spirits somehow but he couldn’t hold in what I spend so much energy trying to manage. The inescapable dark weight of existence when the eyes you are looking through feel the futility of it all, yet grab onto the simple habits and charm of humans just trying to get by. 

The songs are all touched. He was one of the acute navigators of the darkness using a turn of phrase and mind-altering packets of words to spark light and humor into the slog, into a song, a poem. 

Years ago, when I was mildly obsessed with him as a human, I reached out to him in Nashville where he was living. I was doing shows down there and he and his wife came out to one of my shows. I asked him if he would be on the podcast. He said he wouldn’t but he would tell me his story. I think it was the next night or maybe after a show when the two of us drove to a restaurant in his car. It was late. We were two of only a few people there. I ate. He talked. He told the story of himself. His struggle with his truly awful father and his inability to accept or integrate the idea that they could be of the same genetic construction. He talked about his complete paralysis creatively in light of what his father unleashed on the world. What he told me that night was a tale of mythic proportion, almost Greek in nature. He talked of his spiritual search and his struggle to find a way through and a way to conquer or at least make right or correct the sins of his father (you can look him up - Richard Berman - I don’t want to give him the space here). 

It was a harrowing emotional tale. Fraught. I could feel his anger and hurt profoundly. 

We kept in touch a bit, not much. I hadn’t really thought or heard about him in years and then a new album appeared, ‘Purple Mountain.’ It was pure Berman. Really personal and really tight and really great. It came out like a month ago. I listened to it. It was perfect. It was Berman at his best. It was all there. The darkness being managed by the words, the thoughts, the humor, the pithy, fun tunes anchored in the heaviness. 

So, I reached out to the guy I once talked to a long time ago. On July 18th I wrote:

  
  ‘The new record is great. if you want to come on the podcast it’s an open invitation.

      Marc’


Three hours later he wrote back:

  
  ‘marc,

     i wld be happy to do your show

     after a little more time has passed

     say this winter or spring when ive

     had time to reflect on what its been

     like to jump back in the pool after

     eleven years sequestered inside.

     ill give you better material, and be a more charismatic guest, no doubt, 

     after ive had time to make these necessary psychic adjustments;

     i dont want to "show myself" when im still in the

     process of making them...

     dcb’


On August 7th he hung himself in Brooklyn. He was 52. He was a beautiful artist. A true poet. Here’s a short one from a while back from one of his two collections of poems that were published.


      And the Others

 
      Some find The Light in literature;

      Others in fine art,

      And some persist in being sure

     The Light shines in the heart.


     Some find The Light in alcohol;

     Some, in the sexual spark;

     Some never find The Light at all

     And make do with the dark,


     And one might guess that these would be

     A gloomy lot indeed,

     But, no, The Light they never see

     They think they do not need.


Rest, David Berman. Rest. 

Today on the show I talk to Bashir Salahuddin about GLOW and his two new shows. Great guy. Smart, funny. On Thursday I talk to the amazing character actor Stephen Root. Great talks.


Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

How to Work.

Hey, Folks.

Very grim days.

It really feels like the seams are all ripping as the evil and the angry push through and find ways to destroy any sense of security or safety we may have once we leave our homes. It comes down from the top directly through the channels that go straight into the minds of the unstable who have wrapped their brains around an ideology of hate based in their own sickness, enforced by repetitive talking points. The mentally unstable should not be able to arm themselves and domestic terrorism, passively encouraged by the current administration, must be recognized for what it is. They walk among us.

On a lighter note, I really enjoyed my time in Raleigh, NC. I took a listener's advice and took a drive out to Seagrove in search of ceramics. It’s a pottery hub. My friend Brian Jones who makes the mugs I give to guests on the show introduced me to some potters out there who then introduced me to others. I met a bunch of them and bought a bunch of stuff. I think part of me is always looking for life change options. Seemed nice. The life of a potter. Just spending hours on the wheel, pounding clay, hanging out in the country, firing up the kiln, glazing. Seems meditative. Honest. I would probably have to learn how to work with clay but there’s no reason I can’t dream. I could open a little shop. Maybe call it ‘I’m Trying Pottery.’ Keep the prices low.
North Carolina is beautiful. It's a nice drive out into the country. Pretty, but there is a menace to it. Maybe I’m projecting but there does seem to be a real undercurrent of something awful. I’m probably not projecting. You can feel it. Once you drive past the 15th ‘Thank You, Jesus’ sign - the exact same sign - it starts sink in. They start to feel more like a warning and a threat rather than a declaration of gratitude.

The shows were really exciting. I’m finding that performing in areas that are really surrounded by a unified wrong-mindedness is very cathartic for me and the audience. I think I got a little heavy and dark on that last show. The fifth one. By then I’m loopy and don’t have much of filter. It was funny. It was just the deep, dark kind of funny. In all honesty after staying away from politics in a straight up way for years it’s kind of exciting and necessary to be talking about it a bit now. Feels necessary. Like it’s my civic duty.

I like the criticism from the rancid peanut gallery, ‘Stick to comedy. Leave the politics to…’ To who? Washed up morning zoo jocks who, after years of failure and irrelevance, morphed into Fascist enablers dumping their broken egos into a hackneyed wave of brain altering bullshit hate points for dum dums? Yeah, those guys know better.

Today on the show I talk to the singular Walton Goggins about his new movie “Them That Follow’ and a lot of other stuff including working with Danny Macbride and Robert Duvall. On Thursday I talk to Greg Kinnear about his new film ‘Brian Banks’ and life. Good talks!


Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

It Takes Awhile.

Good morning, People.

I’m sitting in the Montreal airport two hours too early watching the sun come up listening to Wynton Marsalis’ first album. I really had no idea. I’m trying to wrap my brain around the whole Jazz thing so I’m reading a book by Nate Chinen that he sent me himself. At the end of every chapter there’s a list of the albums that he talked about. There so much I don’t know and may never know but I now know that Wynton Marsalis is a monster on that fucking horn and a genius.

I know, I know. You knew that and I’m late to the party. There is no late to the party. The music is always there waiting. Sometimes it takes a while.

I got an amazing email, out of nowhere, through my website from the actual Donald Fagen saying, “I knew you’d eventually come around.” Hilarious.

How’s it going with you? Exciting times. Watching our racist shitbag of a president gain confidence and watching once reasonable people lapse and buckle into intolerance and garabgemindedness is an ongoing horror. I hope you’re all holding up and holding onto something inside yourselves that is righteous and provides a sliver of hope.

At the very least, maybe have a fun breakfast or a nice piece of melon. Listen to some music. Enjoy the company of people you like. Help someone out. Don’t kill yourselves.

The Just for Laughs Festival up here in Montreal was fine. I did a nice, solid 1:50 show for people who wanted to be there. Got some work done. Looking forward to pounding it out more in Raleigh, NC this weekend. I also did a GLOW panel with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Betty Gilpin, Britney Young, Kimmy Gatewood and Rebekka Johnson moderated by Rachel Bloom. It was a fun panel. Packed out room. Everyone seems excited about the new Season which drops August 9th.

AND August 9th is also my sober anniversary. Twenty fucking years, people. That is crazy. As I was walking out of my room at the hotel this morning at four a.m. I saw a group of young women following some dude down the hall to what I assume was a party in someone’s room. They were all clearly hammered. I guess they were having fun? As I walked by with my bags one of them slurred, “have a good trip.” I said, “Thank you.” I didn’t judge them. I’ve been there. I am just so fucking relieved it wasn’t me going to that party. Grateful.

Of course, it would’ve have been much sadder if I were going because I’m fucking 55 years old. I get the whole youth thing. I get it.

Because of my excitement about his book Fantasyland, I sought out Kurt Andersen and talked to him about it and other things. He started SPY magazine back in the day and is a smart, thoughtful guy about some big things. That talk is up today. On Thursday I talk to Juston McKinney. He’s a comic that started a few years after me in Boston. He used to be a cop and his story is kind of crazy. Good talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Waiting.

Opening weekend, Folks!

I hope you’re surviving our steady shift into authoritarianism and the relentless heat of climate change.

I know you may be tired of hearing me talk about it but I guess this is the way things are done now. You annoy people until whatever you are repeating lodges in their brain one way or another. This is how word of mouth promotion happens and fascism.

‘Sword of Trust’ opened here in LA over the weekend and I did some more Q&A with Lynn Shelton, Jon Bass and Jillian Bell at the Nuart. The crowds were great. The movie keeps getting laughs. It’s been fun to see. I know it will all fade into the past. I know that this whirlwind of press and excitement will dissipate and life will go on as before.

I didn’t expect any of what is happening. That was the best way to experience it all. It happened. I wasn’t waiting. I was present for it without expectation.

I’ve decided to stop waiting. In general. It seems like the best way to go through it. It tempers disappointment and when good things happen it's surprising. It will all end. We are living in the end. No need to ruin your mind with anticipation, expectation, negative or positive fantasy. I guess I’m also fortunate in that my brain seems incapable of thinking too far ahead or knowing what the fuck I’m supposed to be doing or where I’m supposed to be more than a few days out. I don’t know when that happened. I hope it’s not my brain failing.

That said, you can go to swordoftrust.com for information on all the ways you can see the film in theaters and streaming.

I’m back in LA. I’m back in my house. My cats seem happy I’m home. My old cats have gotten very affectionate in their old age. Maybe that happens with all animals as they get older. You let go a bit. Vigilance gives way. You realize you made it this far, relax a bit.

My little brother came out over the weekend just to hang out. It was fun. No pressure, no reason, just to spend some time together. This whole idea of making time for people is becoming pressing to me for some reason. I guess I realize that I can stay busy and keep plowing through life without even really taking time to think about what has happened or what is happening. Which happens just by virtue of how much I have to do. It’s strange about being self-employed. You really don’t know how to stop working. I have to take time to be with people that I love or like or want to spend time with. The time gets away from us. Apparently life is about that time, not about plowing through.

I spend time with Geena Davis and you can listen to that today. The education of me continues. Learning. On Thursday, another chapter in the oral history of The Comedy Store. I talk to Tom Dreesen about the strike, Letterman, Sinatra, the streets. Great talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Airports.

Hey, People!

How’s it going? I’m doing okay. Busy as fuck.

Tonight in Chicago, I'll be at two screenings of ‘Sword of Trust’ at the Music Box theater, doing a Q&A with Joe Swanberg after the movie.

This Friday, July 19th, the movie opens at the Nuart theater in Los Angeles, Opera Plaza Cinemas in San Francisco, Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, E Street Cinema in Washington DC, TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York.

Go to SwordofTrust.com for details and theaters.

I’m sitting at LaGuardia airport right now. I feel like I haven’t been here in years. I think I have. A couple of times. When I was a kid I remember flying into LaGuardia all the time when I visited my grandparents in New Jersey. I remember my Grandpa Jack picking us up and driving us across Manhattan to Jersey. It felt like a long drive. It was. I always remember the massive graveyard you drive past. Same with JFK. They’re like a reminder. Have a good trip! You’re going to die at some point. Welcome back and, oh yeah, you’re going to end up here at the end of the trip of your life.

They seem to be completely rebuilding LaGuardia. Another monument of my early life erased by architects and progress.

It’s been a whirlwind here in NYC. Lynn Shelton and I did 6 screenings and Q&A sessions for the movie. We did a bunch of radio and print interviews as well. The movie is getting great reviews pretty much across the board. It’s kind of surprising. I didn’t even think she would be able to pull a movie together out of what we shot in two weeks a year or so ago in Birmingham, AL. She’s an editing wizard. You just don’t know what going to happen with small budget indie films. It seems to be striking a chord with people. It’s really connecting with audiences and getting deep laughs. I know what they sound like. I’m a professional.

I went to the Whitney Biennial and put some new art in my head.

I had dinner with my friend Sam Lipsyte and his wife.

We hung out with Ira Glass who moderated two of the Q&A sessions and had a passionate discussion about personal things. Yes, Ira can do that.

I met Ben Sinclair who was also a moderator as was Josh Radnor and Brendan McDonald.

Tom Scharpling did one too. Me, Lynn, Tom and the mighty Patrick Stickles went to a diner so I could eat rice pudding afterward. Party.

Lynn’s friend Heidi Schreck is doing a show on Broadway called ‘What the Constitution Means to Me.’ She’s been pestering me to see it for a while and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I mean, that title, right? I finally relented and we saw it. I’m an idiot. I’m an idiot for not going to see it sooner and I’m an idiot for really not knowing much about the constitution and what it really means. I know what it means and I have a general sense of why it’s important but maybe I’m not so clear on how it all effects our daily lives and the future of freedom, especially for women. Heid frames the show around personal experience as a teenage debater and she moves through the historic injustices perpetrated on women by interpreted constitutional permissiveness and what needs to change. It’s a moving, educational, personal show beautifully balanced by some real funny moments. Everyone should see it. Seriously.

My dad and his wife and my aunt came in to see the movie and we all went to Russ and Daughters Café for some deep Jew food. Smoked fish and pickled tomatoes. Bialys and Bagels. Rye bread. Chopped liver. An unspoken historical struggle of the Jewish people is how to get the smell of raw onion off your hands. It was great seeing my family.

Today on the show I talk to Sean Lennon about his music, his mother, his father, his brother, the world and loss. On Thursday I talk to director Alex Ross Perry about his movies and movies in general and tea. Great talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

A Shaker.

Earthquakes, People!

Will it ever stop?

Just when the news keeps getting worse the Earth decides to rattle and shake. A reminder. We are small and vulnerable and kind of meaningless. I guess we need to be reminded. I’m not always sure to what end other than terror. We are okay out here though, today.

I actually missed the minor quake by the time it reached LA. I was in Ojai. I felt the second one a bit. Reality shifting. The wobble of the frame. The horizon line undulating. When the point of view from the ground where you stand starts to buckle you realize that anything you can manufacture in your mind, with or without drugs, is no comparison to seeing the asphalt on the road ripple. It didn’t get there today.

I was here for the Northridge quake in ’94. That was a shaker. I never felt more helpless and amazed.

On another note, Sword of Trust opens this week in New York City. Thursday night, there's a screening and Q&A at the 92nd Street Y. Then, starting Friday, it's playing at the IFC Center and Landmark 57 with Q&As Friday and Saturday night at both theaters and Sunday afternoon at Landmark. Next week it opens in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, CA, Washington, DC, Toronto, Cambridge, MA, and Westchester, NY. You can go to swordoftrust.com to see where it’s playing.

I hope you had a safe a good long weekend and did what you wanted to do as an American on a day for all Americans. I didn’t engage at all, really. I was up in Ojai trying to achieve some r & r. I didn’t go see any fireworks. I didn’t go to a BBQ. I just laid low. Went on a hike. Ate some pretty good food. Got a massage.

I honestly don’t love SoCal. No matter how much I try to there’s something about the dry dusty haze that hangs over almost all things pretty here that just make me edgy and uncomfortable. That and the fires and quakes and the parade of the entitled. Like individual cities built on vanity moving through the dust.

I’ve even gotten a little less tolerant of old hippies. Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky.

I had a kind of amazing talk with David Lee Roth that you can hear today. He’s a real stream of consciousness warrior. He almost speaks in his own language. I loved it. I remember when the first Van Halen record came out. I was a freshman in high school and it changed everything about rock music. Everything. Talk about a ripple in the fabric of reality. Almost every car door was open in the parking lot blaring Eddie’s Eruption. It was like something had been pulled down from the guitar gods and delivered. It wasn’t like I was a huge fan but how can you not love that first record.

I remember going to see them at the Pit in Albuquerque. We had great seats down on the floor of the arena. I feel like the opening band was called The Cats. I don’t know. I don’t know what Van Halen played either. Some kid who was in my graphics class who generally creeped me out came up to me with a pipe and asked me if I had ever smoked hash. I said no. Took two hits and passed out on the floor. There might have been puke involved. I’m sure I was drinking before and I’m sure I have no recollection of the show. Ah, high school. Good times.

On Thursday I talk to Nahnatchka Kahn about her journey as the daughter of Iranian immigrants to achieving amazing success as the creator and showrunner of Fresh of the Boat. Good story. Good talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Cities.

Canada, People!

I love being in Canada. I am very relaxed there and the people I met and encountered were very nice.

I’m back in LA now. It was a fairly grueling shoot. It seemed to be almost all night shooting after a certain point. Ending the day at 3am type of thing. It threw off my entire sense of time. Now I’m trying to adjust.

I had forgotten what it felt like to be perpetually sleep deprived because of work. I did do morning radio for a couple of years so the flashback of just feeling loopy and kind of out of it all the time wasn’t unfamiliar. What was also familiar was being able to step in and do the job despite that. It’s kind of amazing how some life lessons work. Who knew that being able to function and actually do a good job in a sleepless haze would come in handy?

The final night of shooting was daunting. We wrapped at 3am. I got back to my hotel at 4am. Came down, packed. Decided that any sleep is good sleep even if I have to do it in segments. Slept from 4:30 to 6:30. The car picked me up at 7. Got to Toronto airport at 8:15. Checked in. Sat in the lounge for a couple of hours. No sleeping. Got on a plane. Took off at 11. Slept for an hour on the five hour flight. Landed at 1:30. Got home at 2:30. Showered. Drove to Santa Monica for a 4:45 photo shoot. Introduced a screening of Sword of Trust with Lynn Shelton at 6. Went across the street with Lynn and did an interview for the LA Times. Went back to the theater for a Q and A with some of the cast and crew. Drove home. Literally could not keep my eyes open.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t dream all the events in that last paragraph but it felt like I did. I was pretty loopy and vulnerable all day. Felt good. Loopy. Vulnerable. Eyes crossing. Giddy.

While I was in Canada I was able to make some news with my dark poetic description of the part of Hamilton I was staying in. It was not good news. Click bait that translated essentially to ‘this American shit on the city we all shit on but he’s an American so fuck him.’

I didn’t shit on it. I called it as I saw it. I did get around a bit after my initial descriptive reaction. It's a lovely place with a lot a great parts. I will get to the waterfalls next time. It was clearly a great city at one point not unlike a lot of American cities that were industry towns for years and the industry left. It is now in a transition and everyone hopes it takes. So, I ruffled some feathers but it was not my intention.

I know from living in areas that became gentrified (Lower East Side and Highland Park) that nostalgic civic pride reluctantly aligned with aggressive rebranding meant as an invitation to new investment and new people that might change the make-up of the area doesn’t solve endemic issues of poverty and waste. I guess if you just believe in the rebrand you can romanticize the marginalization of a large chunk of your population, let them die off or disappear. Then deal with the cynical perception of the problem as progressive push back and an inability to accept the new tension as the raw charm of diversity.

People start romanticizing being pushed out of their preferred living preferences into something compromising because they aren’t rich. Not poor, just not rich enough to live where they want. It can be exciting. It is certainly not in any way the same as being homeless like the people that are displaced by gentrification. The aggravated acceptance-turned-lifestyle shift is not as sad as the people at the bottom who are forced into a Darwinian adaptation issue. The truth is we aren’t wild animals and there should be a human solution but those tend to be backburnered by the rebrand. That’s just the way cities come back to life sometimes. The new realty becomes exciting. Partially in a sad way as the raw human chaos is accepted and integrated into the new urban landscape as ‘flavor.’ Seen it a lot. Been part of it without wanting to or setting out to be. Most of how we live in this world is some kind of Faustian bargain we enter to live the lives we think we are entitled to.

Today on the show I talk to Stephen Dorff who is a fucking great actor and a great guy. On Thursday I talk to comedian Jamie Lee about her life, her books and her funny. Good talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

An Odd Story.

Hello, Friends!

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

And the work has been truly engaging and fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Some Kind of Test.

The Midwest, People!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 I identified the trauma. 

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

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

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

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

 Enjoy!

 Boomer lives!

 Love,

Maron

Waste Responsibly.

Me again, Folks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

The Real Work.

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


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

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron