Dispatches from the Head

WTF - Father John Misty talks authenticity.

Full episode out 12/30


WTF - Billy Braver’s timing is off.

Full episode out 12/26


Merry Merry.

Merry Christmas-

I mean that.

I don’t care what you believe in but culturally we are pressured to take this time off and be inundated with not-so-subliminal messages of coercion to buy and be peaceful and fucking enjoy the season—trees, snowmen, ornaments and bearded fat men. Go out on the streets filled with young Santas dressed in plaid, wearing tuques and drinking IPA and say, "Merry Christmas, little hipster Santa. Did you lose your reindeer, you drunk dummy?"

I don't feel bullied to buy this year because I don't really have anyone in my immediate life to buy for. It's fine. It's good. It's great. Alone is okay for Christmas.

Despite all of the xmas bullshit, from which I am way removed, I do like this time of year. I know I’m not digging my car out of snow but it is a reflective time and a time of transition. I hope you get everything you want and that people enjoy what you got them. I hope you eat well and that the season didn’t break you financially. I hope you don't hurt yourself or others and I hope you do something charitable and truly giving.

And also, break some shit if you have to. It helps sometimes.

I had a ridiculous plan to drive to Albuquerque and stay at the Los Poblanos Inn and just sit in the room and wander around my home town alone. I guess I wanted to use the fuel of the forced festive tone of the season to go down the dark nostalgia hole and retrieve something from my past and sit with it like a sad Ghost of Me Past. Oh, and I was also going to spend some time with my dad. Some part of me thought that would be relaxing. Things changed. Given that I was sick as dog, if a dog was sick with a flu/cold thing last week, I decided against a 12 hour drive into melancholy and my dad. I was too tired and too sick on all levels. I need to just hang out and re-groove my life. Shooting 13 hours a day for weeks on end zaps you.

I will say that I honestly think the second season of ‘Maron’ is looking great. I don’t just say that kind of thing lightly.

So, I’m just going to recoup. I’m going to fly out to Phoenix for a couple of days and re-introduce myself to my brother’s kids. I heard my niece started playing guitar and she’s got her mind on an electric and the only big gift I will buy this year with joy in my heart is my niece’s first electric guitar. I hope she wants to go axe shopping.

This week director, writer and former child actor Jason Woliner joins me on Monday. On Thursday a comic from the 70s, Billy Braver, joins me. I wanted to talk to Billy about what it was like to quit comedy because I had seen a little doc called "Saab Story" about him but the tone of interview became "dreams die hard but don’t really ever die."

Saw Deaf Black Cat today so he’s alive and….

Boomer lives!

Merry merry.


WTF - Jason Woliner will force you to quit college.

Full episode out 12/23


WTF - Phil Stutz is a good audience for comedian patients.

Full episode out FRIDAY 12/20


The Breuer Episode

Thanks to this excellent piece by Brian Koppelman at Grantland, there's some renewed interest in Episode 435 - Jim Breuer, particularly this section of the interview:

Jim: Now this is interesting too… you were up for SNL as the news guy and Lorne sat me down, and I swear to God, here’s how it went. He goes, “Jim, we’re thinking about using Marc Maron as the update guy. Do you have thoughts on him?” This is exactly what I said I went, “Um, okay. I think he’ll be the best news guy you’ve ever had in your life.” I really said that. I said, “You need to know a lot of people have problems with him.” I go, “He pisses people off but… If he’s for the news guy, I think you got a homerun.” I go, “Am I best friends with him? No. Do I love the guy? No. However, the guy would be a monster news anchor. I really feel that way Lorne.”

Marc: Oh, my God.

Jim: He’s like, “That’s pretty much the feedback I get from everyone.”

Marc: Come on. Are you fucking with me now?

Jim: No, I swear to God I’m not. I swear to God. That made me really like you.

Marc: Come on.

Jim: I swear to God.

Marc: I’m obsessed with that meeting, you know. I mean, I talk about it all the fucking time. I’m obsessed with that meeting with Lorne.

(Transcription service provided by Rev.com)

You can hear the rest of that story and find out Jim Breuer redeemed himself in Brian Koppelman's eyes by listening to it here.

And let us know if you like reading excerpts from the interviews. It's something we might try more often.

WTF - Allan Havey keeps it tight.

Full episode out 12/19

I’m sick.

Hello, People-

I’m fucking sick.

I’m not going to ramble too much here. My head is killing me and I can't breathe and I have to get up to shoot at 6 am. Things are going well aside from this sickness. I don’t know what it is. Flu or a cold or a hybrid. I can’t tell anymore. I am very angry that I am sick and I would like to blame someone. I’ll let you know whom I chose.

This is a big week of three shows. On Monday I’m posting a show I did live at Bumbershoot in Seattle with Scott Aukerman, Jon Wurster, Mike Vecchione and Kyle Dunnigan. It’s a nice, tight live show. Just a heads up, Jon and Tom Scharpling have been doing The Best Show on WFMU for more than 13 years. It is a staple for comedy aficionados 'round the world. It is a genius show and they are doing their last one tomorrow, Tuesday night. If you want to tune in, go to WFMU.org. Congrats Tom and Jon for an impressive run. You changed the world a little.

On Wednesday Allan Havey is in the garage. He was one of the guys I used to see in NYC when I was starting out. He’s a very funny man and influenced a lot of people. He's one of the great club comics. I think he didn’t like me, but I think that about everyone at some point.

Some of you remember when I had Hank Azaria on he talked about his therapist Phil Stutz who sounded like an awesome character. Well, he is and he’s in the garage on Friday.

That’s all I got. The sicky has got me sad.

Enjoy the week!

Boomer lives!


WTF - Yakov Smirnoff & Marc lived in the same house.

Full episode out 12/12


One hundred million downloads!!

100,000,000! What the fuck, people?

Seriously. This week we will have served our 100,000,000th download of WTF.

Astounding. If only I could have had a dollar for each one, or even a quarter, a nickel even. Eh. I don’t need the money. What would I do with it? It would ruin me. I’d buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need, get tired of it, get rid of it and end up in a mansion sleeping on a futon on the floor eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with the same problems I have now. Maybe. I’m not willing to risk it.

I’ve been insanely busy with one thing: Shooting the second season of ‘Maron.' I have to say the process is a bit easier mentally and emotionally having been through it once before. I’m actually having a good time. Which is an unusual feeling for me. I think the scripts are stronger than last year and the stories are all interesting and personal and FUNNY. I just want to be an okay actor. I know it seems that playing yourself should be a no brainer but it is really a version of myself that I am playing and God knows the role of me in real life is a pretty taxing undertaking. I think it may be a little easier to play the fictional me. I know what’s going to happen with that guy.

I want to talk about today’s episode a bit. I was excited to finally get to talk to Will Ferrell. Quite honestly, I don’t think there is a funnier human. I told him as much. I know if I watch a Will Ferrell movie, even if the movie isn’t great, I will get at least one solid deep laugh that will keep happening when I think back on the scene for at least six months, and that’s not nothing. So, what were my expectations knowing I was going to interview one of the funniest people in the world? To laugh, right? I had never met Will before. I had no idea what his life was like or who he was really. I only know him the way you know him—as a funny guy who is always funny when you see him. So, there was some part of me that was sort of grinning with expectation before he even got to my house.

I didn’t know if he would come with an entourage of handlers or just a publicist or what. He was a few minutes late so of course I started thinking he wasn’t coming. I wasn’t important enough. He forgot. Not the case. He came rolling up my street in his electric Rav 4, alone. He was very mild mannered and nice. Grounded. We went into the garage and just talked like people. The grin of expectation faded and I just got to know Will. The amazing thing about him is his talent is so refined and honed that he can turn it on and off in a second. He can effortlessly be funny as fuck in a SECOND. Amazing. Great guy. Great talk. Enjoy.

On Thursday I talk to Yakov Smirnoff. It was a pretty amazing talk. There was no one bigger in the eighties in terms of an identifiable hook, but once that hook became irrelevant you would think he did, too. Not the case. He’s been working ever since and actually is a college professor as well as an entertainer. Very interesting journey.


Boomer lives!


WTF - Will Ferrell on why he made local beer commercials.

Full episode out 12/9


WTF - Ken Marino’s biggest influence is Cheech & Chong.

Full episode out 12/5


The spirit of vigilance and tolerance.

Okay. Holidays, Folks -

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving thing. I just realized it’s sort of a soul palate preparer for the rest of the holidays. It gets your heart and mind into the spirit of vigilance and tolerance necessary for the next round later this month. I don’t mean to be cynical but dealing with family is always a bit jarring for better or worse. Obviously it can be wonderful but sometimes it takes some effort to get to wonderful.

I ended going really low key for Thanksgiving. I went somewhere where I knew virtually no one. I went with my friend Duncan to his friend’s place. They were willing to take in a single stragler. I had other invites but for one reason or another they didn’t work out. Some because of me, some for other reasons. I didn’t want to be around too many couples at a small thing or at a family thing that was unfamiliar. So, I went to a pretty large gathering and just got lost in the mix and ate compulsively for an hour. I wasn’t completely lost. When the food was coming out of the oven there was a mild panic in the room. It seemed that no one had the know how or confidence to cut into the bird. There’s a bit of stage fright involved in stepping up to the Turkey. I volunteered. I can take apart a bird pretty effectively. I didn’t know anyone in the room except my pal and they placed the main attraction in my hands. I was nervous but I just focused in with some dull knives and plattered the thing. It worked out. It was about me for just the right amount of time and I provided a service. I was happy to do it. I’m a giver. It was no easy thing. Folks, if you have knives, sharpen them. Nothing is worse than a dull blade for food or murder and you never know what you’ll need it for given your situation.

In other news, I called my dad. I hadn’t talked to him in months. It had been since the TV show aired. He was mad at me for the way I portrayed him which I thought was kind and endearing. In my mind he got off easy. He was upset though and I didn’t feel like I owed him an explanation or an apology. So, I just didn’t call him for a while. It was his birthday the other day, so I just called him and wished him a happy birthday and we talked to him for a while. He told me he was upset and that it was hard for him to take. I said he’ll be okay and I go easier on him this season. I’m glad I called. We’re too old to have tension. On some level I won. I think sometimes that’s all it’s about. You just want to beat your dad once. Now that’s behind me we’ll see who wins the life race, the final event.

This week I talk to Lou Barlow from Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. Love talking to that guy and hearing him play and sing. It was great. On Thursday one of many of the members of The State and many other shows, like Party Down and Eastbound and Down, Ken Marino is in the garage. There are only a few more members of The State left for me to talk to. I’ll get them.


Boomer lives!