Full episode out 11/11
Full episode out 11/8
Okay. I’m okay, People-
I’m cooking at home and starting to function like a person again. There is a dull ache to being present and aware of being alone but there is also the beauty of space. Mental and physical space.
Before I forget I want to hip you all to my friend Jerry Stahl’s new book. If you don’t know Jerry he’s most famous for his memoir "Permanent Midnight" and his amazing old Hollywood tome, "I Fatty." He’s a dark and fevered humorist. His writing blasts. His new book "Happy Mutant Baby Pills" is out tomorrow. Jerry and me will be doing a reading this Friday November 8th at the Last Book Store in downtown LA if you want come down. Should be dark and fun.
It’s odd. I think I’m just really settling into the idea that I am 50 years old. I didn’t think it mattered when it happened. Then again I was in the middle of a breakup and spent my birthday alone in a hotel room in West Hollywood. It is hitting me now. The reality. 50. I don’t think I feel bad. I might actually feel great. Can't tell. It really depends on which angle you take on any given day. I don’t seem to have as much control over the angle as I would like. It seems that some days everything seem kind of meaningless and I wonder what the point of it all is. This has always been one of the big questions once people realized they could fill their time. On some days life is full of meaning and purpose and I am thrilled to be part of the living. On some level, I am 50, twice divorced, childless and living alone. It is amazing. I may have won. I just have to accept that certain things may not happen for me and which of those things are actually things that I want or things that I have been lead to believe I should want.
Family propaganda is very powerful and is supported by the biological fact that we are here to make more people. It is also disseminated by people who are in the thick of it and, in a lot of cases, trying to make themselves believe that they have done the right thing. We are animals able to ask questions and make choices. Maybe there are plenty of people already here and it’s okay to sit this one out and think about why some days my life lacks meaning and purpose. It’s because some days, it does.
A big three-episode week is upon us! On Monday the lovely Sally Kellerman talks about her career in show biz and some of the biggest names of old Hollywood play a part in her story. It was great to talk to her. On Wednesday I will release the Live WTF from the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal featuring Big Jay Oakerson, Tig Notaro, Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers and Eddie Izzard with a little Andy Kindler thrown in. It was a very wild show in terms of stories and personalities. On Friday Booker T. Jones talks to me about the old days at Stax records and a fifty year career in the music biz. Amazing. Dig it.
Full episode out 11/4
Full episode out 10/31
Lou Reed is dead. I spent the entire day Sunday listening to as much Lou as I could. I loved that guy. Reed has been extremely important to me for most of my adult life. Of course, I came to him late, but that was a generational thing. He became part of my personal music mythology. He was one of the anchors. He was one of the pillars of genius I built my understanding of music on. He was one of the true poets. He was like Baudelaire. He was out there on the edge of sanity, drugs, sexuality and New York in a raw, tender way. He could make the worst of all of them beautiful and the best of all of them fragile and human. He was a difficult artist that took a lot of risks with what he created. He was always challenging, always looking for truth. Rest in peace Lou Reed. You are the only one. Thank you for what you left behind.
Sometimes Deaf Black Cat just sits out in back looking at my door. I see him out there. I always assume he wants food, sometimes he just relaxing. That is, relaxing as much as a deaf cat can which isn’t much. I brought some food out to him this morning. I have to be careful to go slowly when I bring the food out or he will bolt and will not come back until the next day. I set the bowl down and went back into the house. He gave me stink eye for while. I stood at the door looking out and he took a few gulps of food in between looking at me. Then he stopped and just sat beside the bowl looking at me. I have projected that he is just looking out for me. He has become my living spirit animal and Boomer is my mythic spirit animal. So, I stood there looking into Deaf Black Cat's eyes for a while and I realized that he probably wants some wet food -- cat crack for ferals. I have only given that cat wet food once and that was to trap him in a cage. I have to assume that has to be one of the more traumatic moments for a wild animal: To be tricked into a cage with something really special and good then to hear that trap door come down. The moment that you know you’ve been duped and now you can’t get out. That has to be terrifying. It amazes me that he still wants the wet food. I wonder if the memory of the food is so sweet and good that the memory of the trap is secondary, if nonexistent. I think that is a hazy line with all of us animals. When something feels or tasted so fucking good you forget about the trap you are in or the one that you might find yourself in.
Johnny Knoxville is in the garage on Monday. I had great talk with that guy. And yes he did have an injury. He had a splint on his arm. On Thursday Elijah Wood talks to me about everything. Good kid. Good actor. Good talk.
Boomer and Lou live!
Full episode out 10/28
Doing better, People-
I have no gigs to report. If you are in Los Angeles I do shows around here pretty often. They are week to week and I try to get them out there on Twitter. I’ll keep you in the loop on any big shows I have coming up. I’m locked here in LA for the duration of ‘Maron’ production. I plan to do a tour in spring.
Things are quiet here at home. Very quiet. It’s weird to be alone. It’s been a long time since I have. I don’t remember the last time I was really alone. It’s very odd and sad. I find that the hardest thing for me to do outside of everything here at the house is cook my own food. There is something too lonely about cooking for myself. It also made me realize just how much of what I did in my life was a reaction to her being here. Good things and bad things. I guess that’s what being in a relationship is. Being in a constant state of reaction. Connected. Well, I am definitely disconnected. It is sad and strange. I have a lot of room in my mind and my heart is a little empty and heavy.
Over the weekend I decided to clean out my house. Everything that I haven’t used or looked at in over a year is going. It’s time. I want to have as little in my house as possible. If I need to run, I need most of it to fit in my car. Things just stack up. I use two sets of sheets. I had like 40. It was like a history of failed relationships in fabric. That would be what the art installation would be called if I did that kind of thing. I got rid of the linens, books, clothes, wires and appliances. I gave away a motorcycle jacket to a guy who rides motorcycle. I wasn’t getting any use out of it and I guess I don’t want to try to look like a guy who rides motorcycles anymore. I haven’t worn it in 20 years.
I am doing better in general. Again, thanks for all the nice emails of support. I appreciate them. I’ve also been leaning on a small group of pals almost constantly. That’s what pals are for—to lean on when you need to lean. I know when I will be getting through this. I’ve been through something similar before. Eventually I will get tired of hearing myself talk about about it to other people and decide that they are as tired as me and I will slowly stop.
On the show this week: Moon Zappa and Jim Breuer. Moon and I go way back. I think at some point in my life I was madly in love with her. In the late eighties we were friends. She’s a pip. Love talking to her. On Thursday Jim Breuer is on the show. I had judged Jim. I thought he was something that I find he clearly isn’t—a douchebag. He’s an earnest dude with a great story. Jim even provides a piece to the Lorne Michaels tale that I never thought I would hear. It took balls to tell me what he told me but I am glad he did.
Full episode out 10/24
Full episode out 10/21
Full episode out 10/17
The truth, people-
Hello. How are you? If you are in the Bay Area this week I will be at the Nourse Theater in conversation with Adam Savage from Mythbusters on Wednesday, October 16th. It’s a City Arts and Lectures event. Should be cool. I assume I will be sitting in a comfortable chair next to Adam, chatting. It’s always weird sitting in a big comfy chair next to someone in the same kind of chair and we’ll be the only things on stage. Two people, two chairs, cozy and isolated in a big space in front of people. Should be good.
I’m glad everyone is digging the new special, "Thinky Pain." As the days go by I become more proud of it. By the time I finished overseeing editing and waiting, I never wanted to watch it again . I don’t really need to. The positive response has been overwhelming. I think it’s the best standup work I’ve done. It looks like my life’s work. Every set I do feels that way. It becomes less about the material and more about the ongoing conversation of my life. So, more to be revealed as time goes on.
On the show this week, I'll fill you in a bit on what has been a couple of the most difficult weeks of my life. It’s weird to have the relationship with you that I do. I can’t keep things hidden because I would feel like I was being disingenuous or dishonest. I don’t think most entertainers have the same problem.
The reason that it has been awful is that my relationship with Jessica has ended. I ended it. We had big plans and hopes and it’s over and I am heartbroken and very sad. As you know I am not the easiest man to live with and we had a very lively and passionate and difficult relationship at times. We have been trying to make things work and move forward but it just became too hard and too toxic. It takes two to toxic. I love her very much and I care for her more than anyone I’ve ever been with and I couldn’t make it work. Ending a relationship with someone I still love and care about is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and there’s guilt, sadness, disappointment, heartache, loneliness and anger that I am dealing with and will deal with for a while. I know it was the right thing to do. I want her to be happy and have the life that she wants to have. It just can't be with me. She is a great person with a big heart. I have work to do on myself and I want to be happy as well. I just couldn’t do it in the relationship we had.
I’m not sure I’m cut out for relationships. I keep screwing them up. Maybe someday. Harry Nilsson has been helping me through it.
This week, I talk to Natasha Lyonne about one of the most harrowing drug phases I have ever heard or talked about on the show. The talk was recorded before the release and success of "Orange is the New Black." We talked just before it came out. I’m thrilled for her success and thankful that she shared her story with me. On Thursday I talk to the food critic, Simon Majumdar. I didn’t know what to expect. When I saw him on Iron Chef he always sort of annoyed me but I wanted to know what a food critic’s brain was like and it turns out he’s a sweet smart guy with a nice story. Hope you dig.
Thanks for being there for me.
Full episode out 10/14
Full episode out 10/10
Full episode out 10/7/13
I made it to 50 and I am doing okay. Thanks you for all the birthday greetings and congrats dispatches.
Before I start rambling I just want to invite everyone to come to the LA Podcast Festival. I’ll be doing a live WTF there on October 4th with Dana Gould, Jimmy Pardo, Dave Anthony, Paul Gilmartin and Aisha Tyler. Come if you can.
On the other front, yeah, I made it to 50. I believe I am in good health and I am succeeding in many ways. I am not freaking out. I am doing better than okay. I am doing well. Yet I can’t seem do relationships right. I am trying. Hard. My heart is heavy and I appreciate the fact that you all have had to hear it in my voice over the last few episodes. Thank you for bearing with me if you have actually been listening. I will get through whatever is going on. I am just trying to be a better human. It is a struggle to grow—at 50. I believe it is possible but it can be just fucking awful.
My little Jewy brother told me that my birthday fell on Simchat Torah this year. I am not a god person nor am I a spiritual person but if I am feeling a little emotionally battered I will bend toward the mystic on occasion. I was born on Kol Nidre. I am either a child of collective semitic shame or atonement. I guess that is up to me to decide on any given day. Either way given that it is such a holy day there must have been some mystical significance to that being the night I was born. Again, I only believe that when things are weighing heavy on my heart. The fact that my 50th birthday fell on Simchat Torah, which is the day that the Torah readings for the year end and begin at the beginning again had importance because I am going through some stuff. So, I will look for meaning. Clearly the god that I am unclear about has a plan. I’m not sure what that is but it has something to do with growing through shame and trying to behave differently. Or it has nothing to do with me and I’m just being grandiose and narcissistic and projecting self importance onto serendipity and mythology to feel meaning in my life and find strength and hope. In other words—I believe when it is convenient.
I came to the Meat Puppets late. I guess it’s never too late for music but when I first heard The Meat Puppets II in the late eighties it was a pretty mind blowing bit of business. When I had the opportunity to interview Curt Kirkwood in Austin I jumped at it. He’s a real straight forward guy for a psychedelic genius. I hope you dig the talk. One of the great livers of the wild life will be on the show Thursday. The devilish raconteur that is Joey Diaz laid it out in the garage. Strap in your brain to dig his tales. Great talk.
Full episode out 9/30
Full episode out 9/26