The Discomfort.

People!

How’s the end of the world going for everyone? I’m okay. 
 
I was just up in Northern Cali and the wildfires are obviously devastating and awful. My heart goes out to anyone who lost homes, people, pets, cars, just awful and terrifying. The air in San Francisco was thick with smoke and the stink of burning everything. I really hope they get them under control soon. 
 
Brendan and I did our comedy team act at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission theater last Friday. It’s always great to see the fans come out and hang a bit. It was good talk. The sound was rough and I personally think the chairs were too comfortable. I don’t like working movie theaters. Those seats are designed for passive engagement. Our voice was coming out of the surround sound system so most people could hear us talking into the mic then, a split second later, hear it come out of the speakers. It was hard to adjust, but we managed. I didn’t snap or lose my shit. It was close. Felt like I was tripping. I feel that way always in SF. Untethered. Tweaked. 
 
We sold a lot of books at both live events. I’m glad it’s getting out there. 
 
I have to put on my Sam pants today and I think they will be too tight. I’m so fucking uncomfortable. Is it worth it to get off nicotine if I'm going to put on weight? The worst. Hate feeling chubby. Now I have to start shooting the new season of GLOW and in my mind (and pants) Sam is a little chunkier. Marc doesn’t like being chunky but I imagine Sam doesn’t really give a fuck. That will be the challenge of my acting this season. Not giving a fuck that Marc feels porky and Sam doesn’t care. I’ll use it. Thrive on the energy, the discomfort. Looking forward to getting back into the show, just not the pants. I tried to stay good and lose some weight before shooting so I had room to gain a few crafty/catering pounds but that didn’t fucking happen. I quit the shit and my metabolism got all sluggish because I’m not jacking it up and I got the middle doughy part going on. Fuck me. Fuck it. Fat. 
 
Today I talk to the amazing Tracy Ullman about her show on HBO and her life. On Thursday Egyptian comic and dissident Bassem Youssef talks about his experiences creating Egypt's version of The Daily Show and then being forced to flee the country. 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Focus on Doing Good Things.

Hey, Folks!

So much horror and sadness has happened since the last time I wrote one of these updates its baffling and terrifying. That is the age we live in. Baffling and terrifying. The pace of it. The persistence of it. Remember, that’s the plan. Stay checked in but keep some space for yourself to stay sane. I will keep talking to you and talking to people. Try to keep it human, keep it near the heart.

Man, this drinking tea thing and no nicotine or coffee has slowed things down. Made me think about life. What makes it worth living and what to do with it. Some things are out of our control, most things. Some things aren’t. I guess we should focus on doing good things with those things.

Maybe I have to start drinking coffee again.
Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast. As you'll see when you get it, the book is dedicated to you, our listeners, and that's really true. We wouldn't have done it if you hadn't stuck with us for eight years. If you haven't preordered a copy, it comes out tomorrow, October 10th, and you can get it anywhere you get books. Or you can still go to marcmaronbook.com and order it there. 

Some other things you might want to know. I'll be doing an AMA on Reddit tomorrow at 12:30 PM Eastern. So, go to Reddit and ask me some stuff. 

Tomorrow night, I'll be at the Union Square Barnes and Noble in New York City, along with Brendan McDonald. We'll do a little talk, take some questions and sign some books. That's at 7PM.

On Wednesday night, I'll be on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

And on Friday, Brendan and I will be at the Alamo Drafthouse in San Francisco for a talk, Q & A and signing. Go to Litquake.org for tickets to that.  

Again, thanks for all your support with the book. It's been almost three years to get to this point, and we're excited for you all to read it. 
Today I have two separate conversations with the Brothers Bridges, Beau and Jeff. I thought it was only right to post them together. On Thursday, I have a pre-accident talk with Marilyn Manson. I don’t know if he’s doing the tour he mentioned. I hope he’s all right.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

A Huge Fan.

How’s it going, Folks?


Firstly! We're a week and a day away from when Waiting for the Punch comes out. It's exciting. Brendan and I want to thank everyone who has already preordered the book. We can't wait for you to read it. And if you haven't preordered the book yet, but you've been listening to me talk about it for the past few months, and you've been thinking that you might get it, if you're a longtime fan of this show and want a great representation of what we do here, or if you're a new listener and you want to get an idea of what's been happening in this garage for the last eight years, if you have any inkling of getting the book, do us a favor ad preorder it now. 

This is actually a big week for the book and preorders mean a lot in the publishing industry. It really helps stores decide whether they are going to order more copies of the book, which is a huge deal. So, if you're planning on getting a copy - for yourself or as a gift - go do it now at marcmaronbook.com. And you can still upload your preorder receipt to enter the sweepstakes to win a Casper mattress or a luggage set from Away. 

I’m a little premature on this but it just happened so I want to talk about it. On Friday night, I went to see John Hammond, Jr. play at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. I don’t know if I have really talked about John much but I am a huge fan of the way he plays and sings. He’s a deep, astounding performer and a real blues purist. 

I guess I should tell you now. I talked to him in the garage last week and it was one of those talks where I think it was clear I was a huge fan. It won’t be up for a while but I loved it. 

I hadn’t seen him perform in years. I think the first record of his that blew me away was ‘Mileage.’ It’s just him and a guitar and a harmonica going at it. The truth of it is, he’s been putting out records and performing for over 50 years and I bet many of you don’t know who he is. He has like 30 records out. He’s been around since the mid-sixties and came up playing real blues during the folk era in Greenwich Village. He’s primarily a solo performer but he did some records with bands here and there throughout his career. If you want to check him out, listen to any record between ’64 and ’70 to get a foundation. Country Blues, So Many Roads and Source Point are good ones. Check out the line up on So Many Roads too. Amazing. 

Anyway, I went to see him and he blew my mind. He blows my mind when I just listen to him too. He channels the real shit somehow. It’s astounding. He just sat on a stool with his harp holder hanging around his neck, alternating between an acoustic and a National steel resonator guitar and just laid down some deep true blues. 

I don’t see many acoustic shows. Actually, I don’t go to many shows at all. But just an artist wrenching feeling out of a guitar and harmonica is so human, so organic somehow. I really don’t know how he goes so deep. I talked to him in the garage and hung out with him and his wife before the show and he couldn’t be a nicer guy. He did not seem haunted but anything but man, when he starts singing and playing, it is the real deal. Deep, sad lonesome longing blues goods. Maybe when you hear the talk you can figure out where it comes from. I just felt honored to be there talking and watching him. It’s just me and room full of people a decade or two older than me. They may actually know what’s best.

Today I talk to screen legend Elliott Gould about his experience in show business. It was cool to talk to him. On Thursday, we have a special show for you. There is no audio book of Waiting for the Punch, but we're going to take the entire first section of the book and turn it into a podcast for you. So that will be a little unique peak at the book on Thursday. 

 Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

I Got Choked Up.

Hey, Folks!

How are you? Enjoying the ride? Careening. That’s the political momentum that we are living through. Careening. Terrifying all the time. The guy at the controls of the ride is enjoying pushing the capacity of the equipment and making people nauseous and scared. Some people still seem to be excited and enjoying themselves. They might be morons.

Couple of things. I'm excited to tell you that we're setting up some live events for the release of Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast. New York City! I will be at theBarnes and Noble at Union Square, Tuesday evening, October 10th at 7pm. That's the day the book comes out. So, come by, hear me and Brendan do our thing, get a signed copy of the book. It'll be great. Then, San Francisco! Come see us as part of LitQuake. We'll be at the New Mission Alamo Drafthouse. Same deal: We'll talk, we'll answer questions, we'll sign books. Go toLitquake.org for tickets to that one. 

These are fun events for me and Brendan to do. We like talking to the fans of the show and answering their questions and it seems fun for people to see our dynamic which is the dynamic that drives this show. Me in front of the mic and Brendan behind the scenes. Well, now he’s out in front of the mic too. Always exciting.

So, I was invited to a screening of three episodes of the new season of Joe Swanberg’s ‘Easy.’ I am featured in an episode reprising the character I played in an episode of the last season. The way Joe works is completely improvisational. So, much of the story and narrative points are generated day of and many come from my personal experience. I was working opposite Michaela Watkins, who I love, and we got into some heavy stuff. Improvising. She plays my first ex-wife who I hurt badly when I left her and then wrote about it all in a graphic novel. I know those who know me can hear some similarities. I won’t deny that. But the wild card is what Michaela brought to the table from her life and experience and how we move through the scenes emotionally. She is brilliant and I got choked up watching the stuff. I know that sounds odd but it happened. It’s not narcissistic, sometimes I just don’t quite connect to my feelings until I’m fictionalizing them and I can watch it happen. I know that’s not something everyone can do but I’m grateful I can because I can honestly say I think it’s over. I think I may finally have some closure over all that crazy emotional injury I have and that I caused through my two marriages. I just felt it in a moment. Contrition. Like I hadn’t before. I don’t know if other people watching the scenes unfold will have similar feelings. I did though and It was heavy. All the episodes I saw were good. I think it’s going to be a good season.

Today I have a somewhat heavy but fun talk with Pete Davidson. On Thursday, I talk to Tom Colicchio the chef. That was fun. Good talks.
 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

My Favorite Song Ever.

People!

What’s up? Are we living it? Yes. What is it?

First off, the release of ‘Waiting for the Punch’ is one month away - October 10th. So, go preorder your copy now at wtfpod.com or marcmaronbook.com, and upload your receipt on the preorder page to get a bookplate signed by me. I’m signing bookplates all day long. I don’t want any remainders. The book is great. I’m not just saying that.

Also, thanks again for all the positive feedback for my Netflix special ‘Too Real.’ Again, I’m real proud of it and I’m glad people are digging it. I’m happy so much of the feedback is about the structure and attention to the craft of standup. I’ve been doing this a long, long time. I’m happy that it shows, finally. Kept it tight.

Okay, a cool thing happened. I’m wary to share things sometimes because I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m too happy. I am not. Unfortunately, happiness doesn’t seem to be contingent on good things happening or things working out or accomplishments. It is elusive when your brain sees it as the opposition. That said I had a cool thing happen. 

If you are a regular around here you know that I’m a big Randy Newman fan and I had an amazing talk with him on the show. As I said on the show, I kind of wanted to hang out with him more. Well, his manager reached out and invited me to a benefit show that he was performing on for the Silverlake Music Conservatory. Then it turns out that me and Sarah would be sitting at his table too. I knew nothing about it. All I knew was I was going to see Randy perform. The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Anderson Paak were on the show as well. Had to look up Anderson. 

The day before the show event I get a call from Flea. It’s his event. He started the conservatory and his host, Magic Johnson, bailed. So, naturally the first call would be me. Makes perfect sense. Oddly, he had no idea that I was going to be there anyway. I didn’t really want to work because that would mean dread would sink in and I have to host the thing. But I did it for the kids AND I would get to bring Randy up. I did okay. Got some laughs. I was probably a little too dark for the event but fuck it I was there to help out. 

Long story shorter here—the Peppers were great. They sang with kids from the school. I had never seen them. PowerfuI. I brought Randy up after them. It was just him at a piano doing some of his classics. It was amazing. The weird combination of the biting wit and beauty of the songs mixed with his natural vulnerability of just being up there alone and his age and gravitas was just perfect to me. Then, he played ‘Guilty’ because I had requested it and it was mind blowing. A few tears came out. They do any time I listen to that song. It’s like my favorite song ever.

Ken Burns is a genius filmmaker. His new doc is The Vietnam War and it is devastating, eye-opening and brain changing. It is its own event for sure. It should be a requirement for all Americans to watch it. In many ways, we are still living in the America that specific war unleashed. Today I talk to Ken and his co-director Lynn Novick about making the massive ten-part masterpiece. On Thursday, the amazing Kathy Bates talks to me about her life and career. Intense person. Great talks.
 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Real Hot.

Hey, Folks!

Right out of the gate I should tell you that my new Netflix Special ‘Marc Maron: Too Real’ premiers tomorrow, Tuesday, September 5th! I think I was funny and it looks fucking great. Check it out. Queue it up. Do what you have to do.

I just got back from a party at Jeff Ross’s house. He’s lives up in the hills and when I was driving back it started to pour for a few minutes and I was just hoping it was long enough to put out the fires that are eating up the hills of Burbank and Glendale. Every day it’s hard for my brain to pass up the opportunity to connect the apocalyptic dots and feel like we are full on in it to end it. Floods, fires, the unleashing of nuclear devastations, etc. 

The weird thing is I kind of like it when it gets real hot. I can rephrase that. Real dry hot. Humidity can go fuck itself. There’s something about dry heat that is mind altering for me. Granted, as you know, I don’t do any drugs or elixirs and now I’m off the nicotine and coffee caffeine so I’m pretty planted in the real when I’m not falling down a hole inside my head. To walk out into 104 degree temperature and feel the water in my body actually start to burn out of me and not even collect on my skin because it evaporates is the beginning of the buzz. That weird feeling of lightheadedness and the heated atmospheric weight of the air crushing down on me and literally baking my body is kind of relaxing for a bit. As soon as I’m about to pass out—back into the AC. I’m just trying to find a positive spin and a little hope for species adaptation in these end times. For those of us who don’t believe in some sort of savior driven evacuation of the planet to the eternal happy place, we have to gird up the loins of our minds and prepare for the worst of what those who want it to end one way or the other are doing.

I’m focusing on gut flora. Trying to get the bacterial blossoms in my lower guts leveled and sated and healthy. Between coffee and nicotine, I don’t think they’ve had a good go of it. So, I’m trying to get them buttressed and populated. Eating the krauts and kimchi. Shooting back some probiotic sour milk tasting things that boast like 45 billion of the little guys that I’m supposed to host and feed. I was told that they need prebiotic stuff to eat which is like cold cooked yams, jicama and asparagus. So, I'm eating that. Apparently unrefined sugars get the bad bugs going. Trying to stay away from those. Just trying to get the guys in the gut balanced because that is the operational source and core of the vessel apparently. I did just eat a hearty slice of oven baked mac and cheese at Jeff’s. Hopefully there was something for all my bugs.

Today I talk to Warren Hutcherson. We started together as comics and he’s gone on to work as writer for many shows. I always like his jokes. We haven’t talked in years. On Thursday Lorde and I talk about Peter Green, Paul Simon, Phil Collins, pop music and keeping it sad. Great talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Some Relief.

Hey, People.

I’ll keep it brief. It’s hard to be too glib or self-involved or detached knowing that we are losing an American city and there are thousands of people whose lives have been devastated in hours. Houston is underwater. It’s an awful catastrophe and my heart goes out to everyone who is dealing with that as their present situation. It’s just horrifying.

Find out what you can do to help and stay vigilant about what this implies on a cultural level, political level and survival of the species level.

Almost everything on every level seems to be at a breaking point if not already broken. I will try to keep providing some relief the best way I know how--talking about my own bullshit and to other people about theirs.

Today I have a very engaged talk with actor Jay Baruchel. Sharp kid. Great actor. Decent human. On Thursday, I talk to one the most amazing drummers in the world Steve Jordan. We talk jazz and Stones and Letterman and Lee Morgan. Good talks!

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Push Back.

Damn, People. 

The army of unfuckable hate nerds has, at least partially, been radicalized by American white nationalist terrorist organizations and we have a president who refuses to condemn Nazis outright for fear of alienating a good portion of his base. Good times, America. End times, American-style. Tragic disaster of a situation. National fucking emergency. We’ll get through it, right? Fight the good fight, right?

I guess there’s some solace in that these groups look a ragtag travelling circus of angry teenage boys, old racists and militia doofuses. I think I actually saw some homemade wooden shields, Darth Vader helmets and a couple light sabers. Misguided, alienated boys. I guess that's the fodder of every army. There was loss of life and it is sad. It’s important to remember that this is a minority and we have to stand up to the hate nationally and in our own lives. This shit infuses the culture in weird ways like a virus that brings out the worst in some relatively good people. There’s a difference between having differing opinions and seemingly encouraging a permissive environment for evil ideas, hate and violence. Sure, you can say we have freedom of speech but when you do shit that is fucked up there needs to be consequences. We can all agree on that and push back whenever we see it.

 How will authoritarianism evolve here? By people not thinking it’s happening or by not paying attention and thinking it doesn’t really affect or change their lives. This shit affects everyone, even if you are sleeping, literally or metaphorically. And it's happening. 
 
On a lighter note, I think America will be the best damn authoritarian country in the world because when Americans set their minds to something they can do anything and be great! Relax. Joke. 
 
It was sadly perfectly timed that I’m posting a talk I had with Kareem Abdul Jabbar today. We talked a few weeks ago but his comments about white supremacy were prescient and necessary to hear today after this embarrassing tragedy of a weekend. On Thursday, I talk to Jennifer Jason Leigh about a lot of things but she’s in this new movie called ‘Good Time’ which is menacingly good. 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

A New Coin.

Okay, People!

I’m having a window of caffeinated sanity and peace of mind. It will pass. Let’s seize it.

I always forget that during this time of year I get more nuts than usual. I get squirrelly. I get more uncomfortable in my own skin than usual. I get the deep soul itch. I get angry from the inside. Then, I realize, this week is my sober anniversary. It’s wild how consistent and true it is that as one approaches the marker the brain revolts from the dark place a bit. It wants to take you back, take you down. Get you on its level.

I had a dream a few days ago. That was the tipper. That was when I realized what was happening. In the dream, I was just sitting at a bar. I was a well-worn bar. The kind that real drinkers drink at. I was with Dean Delray for some reason. It’s odd because he doesn’t drink either. All I really remember about the dream was that I was ordering another Jack and Coke and I was smoking cigarettes, Marlboro Reds, like I used to when I was a kid. That’s all that really happened in the dream. Just me waiting for another drink and feeling my lungs. When you smoke a lot there a specific feeling in your lungs that is kind of always there. It’s a wet ache. You feel it when you breathe. I remember feeling that and I remember knowing I was drinking and was no longer sober and I remember wondering whether or not I would cop to it. When I woke up I felt relieved but it felt too real. Then I realized all this stuff was happening because I was approaching another year marker of my sobriety.

If I don’t spin out and wind up in a hotel room in Desert Hot Springs on a meth and vodka tear I will have 18 years sober on August 9th. Right in time for a new coin. I just lost my old one. Happens. Fell out of my shorts pocket I think. I thought it was a sign and now I think it was just a sign to make room for the new one. I go in and out on the coins. Some years I don’t have them and I don’t really care but now I kind of like them. They represent a serious chunk of time. I hope Sarah the painter gets me another one. I didn’t tell her I lost this one. It’s not accurate anymore anyway. Maybe someone will find it and get started towards that 17-year marker.

I am maintaining some sanity during my downtime summer. I tend to get a little OCD-ish when I have a lot of time. I think it makes me feel better. With the world coming unhinged and the country in turmoil sometimes it’s good to go through that box of wires and cords. You know all those cords that come with equipment that you don’t even know what they are for. You assume someone does or that you will learn what they are for but that fades and they go in the box. Some of the wires are outdated and useless but they’ve never been used so you better save them. I got them all organized and I have the box ready to go. Where? I don’t know. I hate to throw them away. Giving them to Goodwill seems stupid. That’s just what needy people need is unusable cords and wires for unknown equipment. Maybe I’ll just put them on the street in the box and write ‘Free Wires and Cords’ on it. Then I’ll be checking to see if anyone is taking them. I should throw them away or maybe just leave them in the box on my deck until they eventually find their way back into the garage and I go through it again next year the week of my 19th year sober. I can only hope.

Today I talk to the very smart and amusing Lucas Brothers. I had a great time with them. On Thursday, I talk to Canadian comic Mike MacDonald, not the other one from Boston. It’s a harrowing story but he’s still alive, man.
Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Amplify It.

Hi, Folks.

How are you holding up? 
 
I’m okay. I’ve been doing more comedy than I thought I would this summer. I guess that’s really what I do. I did three spots at The Comedy Store on Saturday. Stacking them up like it’s a night in NYC back in the day. 
 
I spend a lot of time tooling around the house doing random shit in between checking the news and managing panic. OCD-like behavior and comedy seem to keep me sane and connected to my life and not my mind which is on fire much of the time. Oh, and Sarah the painter does her part to keep me present and connected too. Though I really try not to lean too hard on her but maybe I should. There’s a fine line between draining someone with your needs and actually being there for each other. I guess it’s only a fine line for the drainer. Me. The drainee just gets exhausted. She’s really good at managing her resources and me. It's better I fester about cleaning a chair or going through a box of wires than starting shit with her for NO reason. In other words, the chair is clean, the wires are separated and organized, and Sarah still likes me. Summer. 
 
My right eye is fucked up. That’s another thing I do when I make a little time for myself. Zero in on everything that is going on in my body and amplify it. See, I know how to have a good time. I’m not sure what is going on and I don’t like it. There are many precedents in my life for feeling shitty for no clear reason. I did go see my trumpet-playing hard bop optometrist, Dr. Elliot Caine. He flipped the glass in the hanging, numbered mask and got me dilated and looked into the goo in my orbs and checked me for the Glaucoma while talking jazz the whole time. It was eye-opening. My prescription changed a bit. Of course, right after I just got new lenses and new frames but maybe that will resolve the issue. More new lenses. The nausea, lightheadedness and dizzy feeling. If not, time to make the rounds. I’m so glad I have good insurance. Everyone should feel that. It’s nice to know that you can go to a doctor when you need to. 
 
I have to think that with the free time in this particular era, stress is a factor to my queasiness. I talked to former Vice President Al Gore for today's show about the slow cooking of the planet and the repercussions of using the atmosphere as a vapor sewer. It’s some hard truth. And it is truth. I really don’t understand the ignorant pushback against climate science other than that some people are so greedy and entrenched in a fossil fuel paradigm that they are willing to hedge their bets to hold power and money. Much of that money they invest in brainwashing angry people into thinking climate change is bullshit. I guess they are afraid of renewable energy because it is hard to commodify the sun and wind. All you can do is harness them and that’s not good enough. Fuckers. 
 
So, Al Gore today and Thursday I talk to Rory Scovel. He’s a very funny guy and he lives down the street from me now. I do a short chat with Maz Jobrani as well. 

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

An American Genius.

Okay, People!

How is it for you? Are you keeping a balance? Are you compartmentalizing the terror and dread, doing what you can, appreciating life in the midst of the blight? Hope so.

I know it’s hard. Hope is elusive but it does make being engaged in the real deal more urgent.

None of us know what this perfect storm of fascist Christian ideologues, billionaire libertarian psychopaths, their legislative minions and their brainwashed foot soldiers will achieve but they’ve all been working on it for years and we shouldn’t be that surprised. The goal is for Capitalism to consume and neuter democracy in the name of money for the moneyed and in the name of liberty for unenlightened. The fact that a man-child prince of chaos and maniacal insecurity helms this overheated vessel is a minute-to-minute cause for panic. It’s hard to manage. 

Comedy is booming. The economy is good. In America, when in fear, we turn to fun stuff with desperation and craven hunger. See, there's a balance. That’s how the system works. Extreme capitalism.

By the way, thanks to everyone who has preordered WAITING FOR THE PUNCH: Words to Live By from the WTF Podcast. Whenever you preorder the book, you can submit your proof of purchase for an exclusive bookplate, signed by me. Check it out here

On the "engaging with life and appreciating what I have" front I talked to one of my heroes this week. Randy Newman is an American genius. I think I was in junior high when someone turned me on to his albums ‘Good Old Boys’ and ‘Sail Away.’ Some kid had gotten hip to them by his hippie dad and they made their way down the time pike and blew my mind for good: his voice, his deep-rooted, elevated piano, his respect for the American song book and his deceptively cutting lyrics. Scathing lyrical satire. Perfect balance. The dark stuff. The real funny that makes you think.

I had been trying to talk to him for a few years and with the release of this new record ‘Dark Matter’ it happened. I listened to his first five records on a loop for weeks leading up to the talk and I realized I had always been listening to them and I still am. When I was in college Randy used to appear on Letterman’s show frequently and I loved it and made point not to miss his appearances. He always appeared defeated and sharp and his wit was what was saving him it seemed.

When we talked I tried to keep my fanboy-ness in check and just really talk to a man whose brain I have loved for years in a genuine way. It was a true honor and pleasure. So much so that I did something I’ve never done before. The day after we talked I reached out to his management and told them that if Randy every gets bored or has some time on his hands I’m available to hang out any time if I’m in town. Lunch, coffee, whatever. They were polite and told me they’d get the message to him but I felt dumb and I don’t imagine it will happen. So, I’m happy we had the talk and that you can listen in.

On Thursday, I have an amazing talk with David Alan Grier. So much I didn’t know and couldn’t know really. Smart, talented, funny man.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Faulty Equipment.

Hello, Friends.

It’s hot. Some days I don’t know if I’m dying or sick or exhausted or it's just hot. Well, two of those are inevitable.

I’m taking it easy this summer but I really don’t know how to take it easy. Physically I seem to be doing less but mentally I’m on fire. I thought that with some success a bit of my insanity would be relieved. Some of it has been but some of it is just as active and intact as always, like a bad gear and a faulty gasket. It is outdated, limited equipment that only does one thing at one speed but is so deep in the engine it is intrinsic to all the other parts that have been updated and replaced. I have to get in there, update that machinery or install some kind of separate bypass box. The problem with the old parts is that they seem to be fueled by panic and negativity and they are feeling like that are being phased out so they are overworking now. It’s annoying and it's fucking up the engine a bit. I’m aware of it and I’m going to the mechanic.

One of the ways the faulty equipment seeks to stabilize the engine is to keep everything the same. The same patterns, same ticks, same self-regulation. It doesn’t adapt to new things or want to introduce new fuel into the system. I have never felt more compelled to take in new things and to pursue things I am interested in and push my creativity in a different direction. If I don’t do that, what’s the point of anything? Engaging is what life is. I engage with people all the time and it has definitely expanded my emotional capacity, my intellectual capacity, my knowledge, and diminished my negative and false assumptions constantly. It’s good. Shaking up that system, getting to some truth. I need context. Life context, other than just being alive and moving through the day-to-day. Need some meaning. I get it sometimes.

I talked to David Remnick who is the editor of The New Yorker. That magazine is a context and it is a noble context. Journalism, poetry, humor, theater, film, music, literature, visual arts. It’s like an applied liberal arts education every week. It is the context for a rich life of the mind and heart. It is something I aspire to. Because of my inability to compartmentalize and because of my outdated engine parts I can get hung up on one thing, one story, one piece of journalism and it will just seize up the machine which will then just spin in the mud of panic and negativity and make everything else seem pointless when it is exactly those other things that are the life preserver. We need to take them in and also create them. I know I’ve talked about this before. The human spirit, resistance, anger, pursuit of truth and justice need to be balanced with seeing the progress in good things in life and art. See, just writing that shows that I clearly know where the torque knob is on the old parts and I can adjust it. Maybe, I can get it working for me and not against me. Maybe I can torque it into a new place.

Today I talk to the amazing Edie Falco about her legendary roles and her life. As I said, I talk to The New Yorker’s David Remnick on Thursday.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

He's Hilarious.

Hi, People! 

You good? Holding up? Staying cool? Tempering your contempt? Good.

Before I get into it just wanted to give you a heads up that my friend Brian Scolaro has a new comedy album out. It's called "Stupid Time: A Sketch Album." You can get it on iTunes or allthingsrecords.com. He cracks me up. Always like watching him. You can listen to him on episode 728 of WTF. Goofy bastard.

Holy shit. I’m just now listening to David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ and it is so fucking powerful and great. Maybe it would’ve helped me grieve better or maybe I wasn’t ready. I don’t know. Listening now is a pure experience. I’m through the loss and I can just listen to it. It feels like one of his greatest records. The band he has working with him is perfect for this final stage. Raw, jazzy, precise, just out there enough to carry him home. It’s very exciting in my living room as write this. I miss knowing he’s on the planet but I think he’s much bigger and more present than he’s ever been now that he has shuffled off.

So, I had an exciting weekend. As some of you know, Senator Al Franken and I did an event at Book Expo in NYC a little while back. A few weeks ago, he asked me to do an event with him here in Beverly Hills. I said of course I would. When we did the podcast together I had not finished his book. I told him that. It was a funny moment. When we did the NYC event I told I had finished his book, which I had, and he was happy about that. When I agreed to do the event out here he emailed me and said I would have to read the book a second time. He’s hilarious.

The show was sold out pretty quickly so we added another show. What was so great about doing the show, other than he’s a very funny guy and a thoughtful and decent senator who deeply cares about people, is that we got into a rhythm. I knew which of the funny stories I wanted to hear again and which of the thoughtful stories were great and I could basically be his straight man. I threw in some jokes but it was just great watching the stories land and being in it with him. All the shows were different. There was new stuff. Al is a big Grateful Dead fan so we wanted to leave plenty of room for riffing. We even did a 12-minute drum solo using our knees as drums and an a cappella, nonverbal, sound-based space jam so people could get up and stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. It was a three-hour show. Kidding.

Today is the last in our series of GLOW-specific episodes. This is a great one for writers because I talk to ALL the writers. The first talk I did was at the production offices where we shot the show. There I talk to the main writers Rachel Shukert, Nick Jones and Sascha Rothschild. The second part of the show I talk to the creators/showrunners Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive in the garage. Great talks all around.

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Celebrate.

Happy 4th, People!

Some pointers:

Don’t set yourself on fire either by lighting a massive firework or misunderstanding your grill.

Don’t lose any digits mistiming your M-80 lob.

Watch the meat.

Don’t drink yourself into a blackout. 

Don’t lose your shit on your kids, parents, friends, neighbors, pets, spouse, or meat.

Don’t make a side dish you’ve never made before because the recipe looks interesting. Stick with what you know instead of spending the day asking guests at the party if they liked a disaster. 

Limit celebratory gun play. Remember if you shoot into the air that bullet will come down somewhere.

Go easy on mixing alcohol with drugs, guns, swimming and recreational vehicle use. 

Stay away from political talk with people who aren’t like-minded. Why fuck up your day? 

Think about what America means to you and what you can do to make it better. 

Pie.

This Fourth there will be people celebrating the America we are living now and some terrified and angry about it. Fortunately, food works for celebration and sadness. Enjoy the people that are in your life. Do something nice for someone you love and for someone you hate. Remember, this country is all of ours---for now. Let’s try to keep that way. United. Even though we have a leader who is dead set against that.

Today I will be continuing my GLOW-themed shows by talking to Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and Kia Stevens. Chavo is from a dynasty of wrestlers and is a legend in the game. He was the trainer on set and trained all the actresses for the show. Kia is the only member of the cast that is an actual wrestler. Some of you may know her in the ring as Awesome Kong and Kharma, or you know her on GLOW as Tamee, aka Welfare Queen. These aren’t promotional interviews. They are conversations about a world of entertainment that is unique and culturally relevant. Especially now when our president is one of the greatest heels of all time. It is also a launching pad to other creative ambitions which Kia and I talk about. It’s not an easy life but to people who love it, it's totally worth it.

On Thursday, I talk to film director Jeff Baena about his new film, ‘The Little Hours.’ He co-wrote ‘I Heart Huckabees’ with David O. Russell and wrote and directed ‘Joshy’ which is a great little movie. He’s sharp.

Great talks all around!

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Cut Back on the Sugar.

What’s up, Folks?

You okay?

I’m okay.

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

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

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

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

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Keep It With the People.

People!

How goes it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

 

Just Do the Damn Job.

Howdy, Folks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

It Was Astounding.

Traveling the world, folks.

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

I went and saw some Jazz.

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy! 

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron