Dispatches from the Head

Albuquerque was intense.

Hola, People!

Just sitting at the Albuquerque ‘International’ Airport in all its heightened Southwest-style glory waiting to get on a plane to LA.

Before I get into to my trip home just a heads-up on some upcoming gigs. I’m heading to Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis and Bloomington, Indiana, in the near future. If any of those are near you and you want to come check the calendar at wtfpod.com for dates. I also have forthcoming dates with the Oddball Festival this year. Will let you know about that and fall tour dates as they come up.

Thank you all for watching and enjoying ‘Maron’ on IFC. The show is doing very well this season and there are many great episodes coming up. Thursdays at 10 in most places and 9 in some on IFC.

The trip to Albuquerque was intense. I was supposed to get there on Thursday and stay for a few days but my plans changed. I was offered a roll on ‘Girls’ and I flew to NYC on Thursday instead to do that. It was one scene but it was a blast and no, there was no sex or nudity involved. I was concerned I wouldn’t have enough time with my dad in Albuquerque but I flew in there on Saturday morning and it turns out it was exactly the right amount of time to spend with him. The benefit show went great. Genevieve Mueller and Matt Peterson were great local openers and I think we raised a good chunk of change for The Endorphin Power Company.

It was mind blowing to see some of the people that showed. I saw people I hadn’t seen in 30 years. I never thought I would be that old. Someone showed up with pictures he took of me when I was 24. I just stared at them wondering what happened to that kid. I said that out loud and some guy said, ‘The same that that happened to all of us. He got old.’ It wasn’t too sad but, shit, the surefire way to remember you are your age is to see someone you haven’t seen since you were kids. You have to assume if they look that way you must in your own way be aging. Of course, it’s hard to acknowledge when you are just looking at yourself in the context of your life. I’m rambling. I know I don’t look 24 anymore but I think I could pass for 40—no? I can, right?

I ate as much Mexican food as possible in 24 hours. I do not feel great. I have been on a food bender and I'm not happy about it. Someone gave me a brick of fudge. Is fudge a regular part of anyone’s life because is it some crazy good shit. I’m very close to throwing it away angrily but every time I try I shave a little piece off and wrap it back up and stash the rest. Just like cocaine.

It was good to see my dad. It seems everything is fine. We talked, hung out, he told me what I ‘needed’ to be doing in a few areas, we ate bagels. All good. I’m grateful about that.

On the show this week I talk to Chris Cornell on Monday about Soundgarden and singing and Seattle. On Thursday the hilarious Rebecca Corry talks dogs, dad and relationships. Great shows this week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
5

Thank you Brendan McDonald.

Holy shit! 500!

Are you fucking kidding me? I’m not sure I thought I would do anything 500 times that wasn’t eating or masturbation related but I have and I have shared it with the world. I’m truly happy about what we have achieved with the show. I feel like I have done something with my life.

Something I don’t talk about much is the impact that my producer and business partner, Brendan McDonald, has on the show. I’ve been working with Brendan on and off since I first started doing radio at Air America. He’s a wizard. He shapes the show and is my go to person with any questions about almost anything. He’s a brilliant producer and he now works with me full time on the show. His mark is on every episode and may not be something you all pick up but it is indelible. I want to thank him here and make sure you all know his contribution. He was there at the beginning.

I know many of you have been racking your brains about who the guest on this episode would be. We were, too. We reached out to many of the people you would think I would want to talk to. I know some of you think that I have my pick of anyone in show biz and they would just come at my beck and call but, no. That is not the case. As we moved toward the 500th we realized we weren’t going to get any of those guests. They were not moved by this milestone in my garage. Fine. As we closed in on the show Brendan and I realized that the guest was not what the show was to be about and that was better off. The 500th episode should be a show about the show and about me and where we are now. I know the show has evolved over the last 5 years and I know I have as well. We didn’t want to do a greatest hits show or a retrospective. We wanted to talk about the amazing achievement that is WTF and about where it is now and where I am now in terms of the challenges and changes I am dealing with in my life.

Many of the challenges I face have to do with the emotional cost of being as transparent as I am with my life and feelings on the show. It is what I do. It does not come without a price. I have alienated wives, girlfriends, friends and my father doing it the way I want to do it. In this 500th show I reckon with that through some carefully selected clips from the past and some very current talks with important people in my life, past and present. That’s all I’m going to tell you.

I wouldn’t be where I am without you. I mean that. I am glad we have the relationship we do. I appreciate you. Thank you.

On Thursday I will give you the live one-on-one talk I did with Vince Vaughn in Nashville. We had fun. I think you will have a good time listening to it.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I am now officially a paid musician.

Hello, People!

I know I repeat myself. I know I repeat myself. Here are some gigs coming up. Before I get into them I just want to remind people who live in the LA area that if I am around I will usually perform at The Comedy Store. I don’t put these gigs up on the site or in these updates because I book them week to week and they are only 15 minute workout sets. You should check the schedule at The Store or my Twitter feed if you want to see me there.

That said, I will be in Albuquerque on May 31st. I’m excited to perform in my home town. I think it will be a good show. There are dates coming up in Chicago, Bloomington, IN, Lawrence, KS and Charlotte, NC. Check the dates to see if you can make any of them.

Flying back from Nashville, Tennessee as I write this. I had a good time at The Wild West Comedy Festival. I interviewed Vince Vaughn for a live WTF. I’ll be putting it up next week. It’s no easy thing doing a live one-on-one. That’s why I don’t do them too often. I know you may think ‘What’s the big deal? You just sit there and talk to the guy in front of 300 or so people.’ That’s the big deal. The people. It’s tough to have an intimate talk in front of an audience. I was very nervous and anxious about the show. I didn’t know Vince at all. In my mind we are totally different types of guys. I was paranoid he would hand me my ass somehow just because he seems to have that kind of personality. I didn’t know if we could even have a connected talk in a live situation or ever. I drove myself pretty nuts moving towards the show.

I usually do live episodes of WTF with several guests and I don’t worry about going too deep. I do the group shows for entertainment and laughs. The tricky part about sitting and talking with someone else in front of an audience is you don’t want to neglect the audience. If you spend lot of time on stage there is an instinct there that kicks in. I will always be aware of the crowd probably to a fault but when I talk to someone else in front of people I just don’t know what will happen. When I interviewed Jeffrey Tambor live in Austin it was brutal for a while. I rolled with it but it was not easy for the first bit. He enjoyed making it difficult and that was what made the show entertaining. I can take a hit for the team when the team is me but it is nerve racking.

Vince was great. We are different types of guys. He did hand me my ass but it was good hearted and funny. There was a theme to the show, a through-line that revealed itself as we moved along. I realized that a good live conversation is really no different than a good improvisation. There were callbacks and his instinct for live performing is acute and spot on. It was a fun show. We talked afterward and he noticed the difference in what you can do in conversation with an audience present and that pull to not exclude them. We both thought it went well. I think you’ll like it.

For those of you keeping up with my slight obsession with David Berman of Silver Jews I met him in Nashville. He didn’t want to do an interview right now. He’s going through some stuff but we had a great conversation and maybe it will happen in the future.

I also did a studio session while I’ll was there. Yeah, I am now officially a paid musician. I ran into a guy named Jon Phillip at a restaurant. He’s a fan and also the drummer for a band called Trapper Schoepp and the Shades. He was with Tanner Schoepp, the bass player, who is also into WTF. They said they were recording down the street. I asked if they needed me to play guitar on anything and THEY LET ME! I spent the day in a recording studio cutting a track. It was amazing. I had a blast. We did it at Brendan Benson’s studio and he was producing. They threw me a little cash afterward which I thought was a nice gesture because I just wanted to play. I hope I make the cut.

Today I talk to RuPaul Charles on the show. I had no idea what it would be like to talk to him but I certainly thought I had an idea of what he would be like and I was wrong. Way wrong. What an amazing guy. We had a engaging and helpful talk. It helped me anyway. Ru has his shit together and I needed to hear some of that. On Thursday, you'll hear my conversation with Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show which hasn't even happened yet. Hope it goes well.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
2

Gigs, thanks & ice cream.

Hello, People-

Couple of gigs you should know about. This Friday, 5/16 at 7pm I will be at Zanies in Nashville. On Saturday, May 31st I will be at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque for a benefit show. On Saturday, June 14th I will be in Chicago for the 26th Annual First Annual Comedy Festival. June 26th through 28th I will be in Bloomington, Indiana at The Comedy Attic. Tickets for all of these shows are on sale now. Grab them if you are in the area.

Thanks for all the great comments on the premiere episode of ‘Maron’ on IFC last Thursday. I’m glad everyone liked it. I had sort of a bittersweet premiere party here at my house. Knowing I don’t drink, IFC sent me a crate of ice cream the day of the premiere. Six assorted pints with chocolate and caramel sauces and fancy sundae dishes. Oh, and nuts and sprinkles as well. I didn’t really know who to have over for the show. I didn’t really want to have anyone over. It seemed sad at first but then I realized it was a perfectly fine way to watch my own show. So, I sat there on my couch with a sundae I made myself and watched me on TV. It was weird but I didn’t have to worry about anyone else in the room liking it or feeling like they had to laugh.

I thought the show looked great. I hadn’t seen it since we edited it. I was really happy that Chris Hardwick and Michael Ian Black were willing to play dicks and be mean to me. It was a stretch for Hardwick but it was pretty natural for Michael. I thought it was funny that Sarah Silverman appeared on the premieres of both Louie’s show and mine. Weird coincidence. I like that we are a tight knit bunch of friends in our little comedy community. This week Ray Romano is on the show. To my knowledge he hasn’t been on Louie’s show.

I talked Rhys Darby today on the show. I have no sense of what New Zealand is like. I hear it’s beautiful. I have no idea what it would be like to live there or what the comedy scene is like. I was educated by Rhys. He’s a very funny guy. On Thursday I talk to Shepard Fairey. I have always been curious about his work and how it all got started. The ‘Obey’ meme has been present everywhere in the world since he unleashed it years ago. It’s a pretty amazing story how he got from Andre the Giant to President Obama.

Short and sweet today. Tired.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
2

Mortality on my brain.

Here we go, People!

Couple of dates here up front. I will be in Nashville at the Wild West Comedy Fest interviewing Vince Vaughn for a live WTF. That might be sold out but I was told I will be doing a solo show at Zanies over that weekend on May 16th at 7PM. I will be in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM doing a benefit for the Endorphin Power Company on May 31st at the Hispanic Cultural Center. I will be in Chicago at the 1st Annual 26th Annual Comedy Fest on June 14th. I will be in Bloomington IN at The Comedy Attic June 26th- 28th. Come out if you are around.

I went running about two hours ago and I’m still sweating. I’ve always taken a long time to cool down. Weird. I’m trying to exercise more because I don’t want to die. Then, sometimes, I think I’m going to die when I do exercise. It’s tricky in my head. I take my driver’s license with me when I run in case I go down I will be easily identified. Then, sometimes, I think that is morbid and a jinx. I assume a lot of people have died because they were afraid they would jinx something or they were too proud or embarrassed to take care of themselves properly. Get a colonoscopy if you are 50 or older. I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to that just won’t do it because it’s embarrassing. It’s one of the few preventable cancers but some people are just so afraid of being ass date raped for their own health. They roofie you. You don’t know what’s happening. After it’s over there is no shame just the hard facts about the inside of your ass. Grow up. Go get some pics of your colon.

Back to the running and being 50. I didn’t think I was going to feel the shift in my heart and mind to middle age but it put the mortality fuck on my brain. Like, ‘Fuck, now what? How much time do I have? Am I going to wake up?’ I know I’m being a bit dramatic but there is still some shit I have to get straight before I shuffle off. I guess it doesn’t make any difference once you’re gone but maybe I could get it all right for a bit before I go. All I know is I went to a wedding by myself and was never more aware of compulsive emotional eating than I was when I was shoveling cheese and salami into my face during the reception. That is the edge I am riding. I think I ran off the fat and cholesterol from the reception but I did have my ID with me just in case. I don’t want to die because I’ve been eating my feelings away as opposed to having them. Okay, I’m done. Morbid.

Today on the show Jared Harris talks to me about acting, animal work and his father, Richard Harris. I’m very into talking about dads right now and this one was a good one. On Thursday Benmont Tench talks about being the keyboard player for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers since the beginning and about music in general including his new solo album. Good shit.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
5

Crankies, a car ride & barbecue.

Howdy, People-

The new season of ‘Maron’ on IFC premieres May 8th. 10/9c. Set your machines!

I am doing one more show at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater tomorrow, Tuesday, April 29th. Come if you want. I’ll be doing a benefit for the Endorphin Power Company in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on May 31st. Haven’t been home in a while. I hope we get a good turnout.

I’m flying back from Austin, Texas. Just did the Moontower Comedy Festival for the third year in a row and they let me play the big room. I freaked out a bit when I got there. I got it in my head that it was crazy to take the midnight spot at a huge theater. The festival told me it was a great spot because I wouldn’t be competing with anything else. I thought, yeah, other than sleep and alcohol but I took the gig because I love the festival and I love Austin. I was just sure no one was going to come and proceeded to be a cranky closet diva all day. I was irritable anyway. My rental car was shitty and there weren't enough outlets in hotel room. Am I becoming that guy? No. I caught myself with the help of Bob Goldthwait.

I saw Bob wandering in the lobby when I got there. We go back. He’s directed many episodes of my television show. I love Bob. He seemed cranky, too. We’re both cranky, sensitive-prone guys. I said, “I have a rental car. Lets get out of here. Lets go get some barbecue at Opie’s.” He said, “Great. I need to get out of here for a bit.” And we lit out onto the highway to Opie’s. We talked it out. Got the crankies out of ourselves. We went over the middle-aged problems, comedy issues, life challenges, romance bullshit, processed all the big stuff on the 40 minute ride. The payoff at the end of the journey was a mountain of meat for me. Bob had a bunch of sides. He’s a veggie. The folks at Opie’s were so nice. Sometimes all it takes to set things straight is another cranky guy and a car ride. Oh, and meat. A lot of meat. I know my cholesterol is a bit high but I was in Austin. Right? Damn. It was so fucking good. I’m dying. No, I’m not. I’ll jog. Yeah.

I talked to Judy Greer for Monday’s show. I love Judy Greer. Who doesn’t love Judy Greer? If you are asking yourself, "Who is Judy Greer?" we will talk about that, too. It’s actually kind of where the title of her new book comes from: ‘I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star." She is charming. Did I mention I love her? On Thursday the elusive and amazing Stephen Malkmus hangs out in the garage. I initially didn’t know how this was going to go but we listened to records before we talked and that eased us into it. Pavement is one of the best rock bands ever. It was great to talk to him. I listened to Unfair off of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain four times in a row yesterday. I did.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
7

Some thinking about Jesus.

Hullo, Folks-

Hope you had nice Jesus weekend. I did.

First things first. I will be doing two more shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater tomorrow, Tuesday, April 22 and next Tuesday, April 29 at 8PM. Come if you can. They’re fun shows.

Flying back from Raleigh, North Carolina, as I write this. I did four shows with Ryan Singer at Goodnights. They were great shows. The more I go to the South, the more I like it. It was Easter weekend so I really didn’t know what to expect but the shows were packed for the most part and the audiences were amazing.

I did some thinking about Jesus over this Jesus weekend. I have no point of reference for Jesus in my life. I’ve never had him my heart or mind as anything other than a guy I’ve seen paintings of that some people think is God. It’s odd when you have never had a relationship with God that functions the way that type of relationship is supposed to function. I really have had to engage empathy to understand faith in specific ideas of God. I actually thought about Jesus all of Good Friday. I did a little research because I don’t have the events of that day plowed into my brain like I imagine some Christians do. The events that are in the bible that is. What really happened is anyone’s guess. I never thought I would be able to relate to Jesus as a comic but after reading the story of Good Friday (which was clearly the absolute worst day for Jesus) I understood a few things about humanity and related as a comic.

From what I gather Jesus was in trouble. Pilate didn’t think he was in the kind of trouble that he should die for so he sent Jesus over to the Jew judges and let them take the case. They didn’t think he should die either so they sent him back to Pilate who had a very rambunctious crowd on his hands. He didn’t want to take the case so he let the crowd decide. If I understand the story it seems that Jesus was crucified because of a shitty crowd. I can relate to that. Been there. Obviously I’m not comparing myself to Jesus in any real way. I wouldn’t die for anyone’s sins but I have crashed a few relationships and made a few bad decisions along the way and I think too much and I think some people get some solace out of that. Happy to help. Hope you all had a good Easter and Passover. I can’t even talk about Passover. Sadly, I didn’t even think about it. I am a bad Jew.

On Monday I talk to the infamous Alan Bursky. He may not be a name you recognize but in some circles he is an important character in the history of modern standup. I had never really met Alan but I had heard his name for years. The story was that it was his gun that Freddy Prinze used to kill himself. What I found out from talking to him was that he is like a dark Zelig that was there at the birth of The Comedy Store for all of the early weirdness and is still out there doing it. Great talk. On Thursday I get the lowdown on the music that set the stage for punk rock. Wayne Kramer of the MC5 lays it out: Distortion, The White Panther movement, the sixties, Jazz, Iggy, drugs, jail and staying alive. Amazing. Dig it.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
1

I witnessed something in Cleveland.

I’m flying, folks-

No, nothing happened to make me elated. I’m actually in the air writing this. Well, that’s not necessarily true. There are many things happening in my life that make me elated. I just have to make sure I acknowledge them and not be one of those idiots who isn’t grateful or enjoying anything. It’s hard when you are wired like that. I have to make note that life is more than okay right now or I’ll just blow through it wondering when it’s supposed to happen. Luxury problem. I know. Just reminding myself. Hope you folks are good.

I had a great time in Cleveland. Yes, you read that right. I really appreciate all the folks for coming out. I didn’t know I had so many fans there. It made the shows great and makes me want to go back. I ate good bad food there and the people were really nice.

I did have one experience that I will remember for a long time. I’ve been in show business half my life. I was barely in it for most of that time but it is the life I have chosen. I witnessed something in Cleveland that had profound meaning to me. It was a signifier of everything wrong in the world of entertainment and maybe the world itself. It was incredibly creative but profoundly stupid. It happened on morning radio. Obviously. I was taken to a radio show by the guy who works for the comedy club. When we arrived there were men in their underwear running around the hallway in a panic with buckets. A producer of the show came out to give me a breakdown of what was going on. I have done a lot of morning radio. I have been in weird porn situations, racist situations, degrading contest situations. I know the terrain. For some reason what the producer of this particular show told me was an end of something for me. He said that they were getting ready to fire the vomit cannon. The entire studio had been covered in plastic and some guys had rigged a leaf blower with some kind of funnel apparatus and from what I gleaned one dude drank a gallon of milk so he could puke, dump it in the funnel and spray it into the mouth and all over another dude. I’m not a pompous guy. I am 50 years old, though. I’m a grown ass man and I wanted to get the fuck out there. It wasn’t even about following that garbage which it did become about eventually. It was just that who the fuck wants to be part of that shit after a certain point.

When they finally shot the cannon it backfired puke all over the ceiling of the studio, the on place they didn’t cover in plastic, and the entire hallway smelled like vomit. I was livid and ready to bolt. They scrambled around trying to clean up like the tragic man-children that they are and they set me up in a different studio where the host interviewed me. It was actually a great interview. He’s a great radio guy. I asked him why they did the puke cannon. What was the point? He said that if I picture being younger wouldn’t it be something I’d think of doing. Not in a million fucking years. It’s not shocking anymore. It’s not really funny. It’s just desperate and stupid. Which is fine but who cares.

I haven’t been getting along with my father and I don’t know if it’s going to come back around which makes this week kind of special. I had booked Jason Reitman to do the show weeks ago and then out of nowhere I got the opportunity to interview his father Ivan Reitman two days later. It was endearing to talk to a successful director who is the son of another hugely successful director and hear the mutual respect and admiration they had for each other. I was envious. I’m putting both of those interviews up this week. Jason on Monday and Ivan on Thursday.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
3

The new paperback cover.

Shalom, People-

I made it out of my nephew's Bar Mitzvah physically alive but emotionally annihilated. Good times. Nothing like seeing the family to re-introduce you to all the things you’ve been running from in yourself. Hands on, man.

I’ll be at Hilarities in Cleveland this weekend if you are around.

My book ‘Attempting Normal’ comes out in paperback tomorrow. I’m excited about it. It’s a new cover. I like it. I didn’t love the hardback cover but I thought it was fine. I had accepted it. Then I interviewed David Sedaris. He said that when I do the paperback I should make sure they re-think the cover. He loved the book. It was very flattering. He thought the cover of the hardback was too silly. He thought it looked like a comic’s book but it didn’t read like a comic’s book. There are certain expectations out of comic’s memoirs and he thought the essays in my book were more writerly. He thought it was a writer's book and not a comic’s book and that the cover misrepresented it. Again, I was very excited that he felt that way about my book.

Needless to say my editor heard the Sedaris interview and took the discussion to heart. Because in publishing the words of David Sedaris go a long way—to the bank and also in defining the modern comic memoir and how it is presented. Without my knowledge I assume work was feverishly underway at my publisher's to honor the request and suggestion of David Sedaris in reference to my cover. Obviously a cover needs to be eye catching. That is essential but for that cover to relate to and honor the contents of the book is tricky. Some would say unimportant. Once the customer makes the buy it’s really on them. Again, the word of Sedaris isn’t taken lightly. So, after months of what I imagine was brainstorming and sketching and deep thought about how to present my book as something literary as opposed to a silly book written by a stand up comic I was sent the first design and I can only say that when I opened the email and saw this I was dumbfounded and in awe.



I thought it was a practical joke. Even though I didn’t know my editor to be a joker or prankster in any way I thought this was his first attempt and it was a doozy. Then I figured out that the artwork was sent to me in earnest. This was where they went with David’s advice. This was my more literary cover. When I realized that this was the real proposal for the artwork I lost my shit a bit. This is what I wrote to my editor:

“I'll be honest with you. When I first saw the cover I really thought you were making some kind of joke. Like it was a joke cover. That was my first gut reaction. After what Sedaris said publicly about it not coming off like a 'joke' book or a 'comedian' book this is what you guys came up with? Wow.
It's your product. You sell it how you want. I am not on board with this unless someone is really good at persuasion. But, again, it's your product. You guys know how to sell things, right?
Maron”

I couldn’t help myself. I had to send the highly anticipated cover art to Sedaris. It was on his suggestion that they changed it. This is what I wrote to him with the above art attached:

“David-
Thank you so much for continuing to be so supportive of my work. I appreciate it.
Since you inspired some re-thinking regarding my cover. I really thought you should see this.
Enjoy.
Maron
P.S. There is no fucking way this will be the cover.”

This is what he wrote back:

“Dear Marc,
I'm happy to hear that won't be the cover. Too much blue!
Sincerely
David”

I laughed and laughed. What a beautiful comic beat. He is a true fucking genius of wit. Seriously. So, after all was said and done this is the new paperback cover. I love it.



On Monday's show one of my oldest friends in comedy, Todd Barry, talks to me about the days when neither of us could get on stage and about his new special, ‘Crowd Work.' It was great seeing him. It had been a while since we hung out. On Thursday the truly hilarious Karen Kilgariff talks about her journey through standup and writing for the original Ellen show and now musical comedy. She also performs a couple of her genius songs. Great shows this week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
5

I am barely connected.

I am barely connected, People-

I'm not talking emotionally. I am talking globally. The struggle with Time Warner continues. I'll tell you about it in a minute.

If you live in Cleveland, Raleigh, Austin, Chicago or Memphis, I'm coming your way. Click on your city for info. Also, I'll be at the Ice House in Pasadena next Sunday, April 6th. Okay.

Sadly, after pushing back at Time Warner as hard as I could the truth is like so many other truths that remain elusive, like God or dark matter. Who knows? I thought that something as simple as why I can't maintain an internet connection would be easily solved but, after spending hours of time and emotional energy searching for the truth, I believe that Time Warner has no fucking idea how to help me. They don't know. I have gone through the labyrinth, I have weathered the maze, I have run the gamut and on the other side is nothing. No answers. They don't know. That is why they have so many teirs and levels of support and customer service. It is a wall of people to absorb our pain, frustration, anger and disappointment. In doing that the void at the core of Time Warner hopes we will become depleted, apathetic and compliant. I know now it is on me to decide where I go from here. Time Warner's slogan should be: We're here, we're all you've got, we can't help you, at all, fuck you.

I have to be honest. I'm a bit out of the loop. I don't keep up. In my life I've probably seen 12 episodes of Friends and maybe 16 full episodes of Seinfeld. Seriously. Weird, right? So, when I ran into Josh Radnor at The Bowery Hotel in NYC last week I knew him primarily from Jill Soloway's film 'Afternoon Delight' and from having met him 9 years ago at a dinner party shortly after he got his role on 'How I Met Your Mother.' Between meeting him and today I've probably watched three episodes of the show. I'm not ashamed of that. It's just not my thing, I guess. When I asked him in NYC if he wanted to do WTF it was just because I liked the guy and he's achieved a tremendous amount of success in show business, on the sitcom, in making his own films and on stage. I didn't see me not knowing really anything about the show he's been doing for 9 years as an obstacle to us talking. I was right. It wasn't. We talked about it but the guy's got a lot more going than just that show. He's a grounded, thoughtful dude with a tight work ethic and I loved talking to him. On Monday night the final episode of 'How I Met Your Mother' airs. Monday during the day we post my interview with Josh.

On Thursday I talk to Lewis Black. Now, I've know Lewis for years. You all know Lewis from his many CDs, books and specials, but do you know his plays? Do you know that his dream and journey includes years and years trying to be a playwright? I kind of did but I had no idea to what extent. The talk we had was all new to me. Me and Lewis talked about his life leading up to him starting to do comedy. It is a unique conversation with a very powerful and prolific comedian about how he got that form of expression. I love this conversation.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
6

Jamming in NYC.

Here we go again, Folks-

Everyone okay? I am pretty okay. Little panicky but okay. I think I have to pull back on the coffee and hope. They're both making me edgy. I’m a romantic. It’s killing me.

I want to thank everyone for coming out to the workshop shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. They were helpful. I have one more tomorrow night and I may add a couple at the end of April. I’ll let you know.

Heads up! Three episodes this week.

I’m flying back from NYC as I write this. I was there for the IFC upfront party. It was a big shindig at The Roseland Ballroom, announcing their shows for this year and next year. They set up a roller skating rink. It was fun. I didn’t have to say anything but Fred Armisen got the idea that we throw a band together and do a few tunes. So, me and Fred and Scott Aukerman and a few of The Birthday Boys jammed. They rented us guitars and amps and set up all the shit. We rehearsed that day for a couple of hours. Fred couldn’t make rehearsal even though it was his big idea. He had to be with Seth Myers working on Late Night. So, me and the other fellas knocked out the tunes and just jammed to an empty Roseland. It was amazing to sing in that space. Our show was the second to last gig there before they close it down. We played Train In Vain and Dancing with Myself. Fred picked the tunes. It was a blast. We sounded pretty good.

I’m personally very excited about the shows this week. Dan Vitale was a mythic person to me. When I was starting out in NYC at the old original Improv, when it was on its last legs in the late eighties, Dan was a regular there. It was probably the only place he worked at that time. He was an aggravated force of nature. A raw sweating nerve. I had no idea who he was or where he came from but people used to mumble that he was about to break big and he blew it. He was Lorne Michael’s golden boy and threw it all away. I never knew the whole story. He was just this guy that couldn’t control the monster within and it took him down. Today I get the whole story. It meant a lot to me.

Wednesday's and Friday’s shows are connected on many levels. I am a Drive By Truckers fan but I was never a total nerd for them. I dug a few of the records but wasn’t real familiar with the history or the guys in the band. Patterson Hood, the main guy, and I started emailing each other. He’s a fan of the show and wanted to come on. I was into it. I did not know Jason Isbell’s solo work before I did a gig with him in Minneapolis recently. I found out he was in the Truckers for some of my favorite albums of theirs. I crammed all of his solo work into my head the days leading up our show together. His new album ‘Southeastern’ is a bit of a masterpiece. I asked if he would talk and we did in my hotel room at 12:30 at night. He’d had very little sleep and had to be up in a few hours to hit the road again. We recorded a talk and a performance of his song Elephant.

Jason grew up around Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Patterson Hood did as well. David Hood, the bass player of the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, is Patterson Hood’s dad. By the time Jason Isbell was playing guitar around town Patterson had moved to Athens, Georgia. They had never met. David Hood took a shine to Jason and took him under his wing musically. Jason and Patterson met years later and Jason joined the Truckers. The through line of Muscle Shoals, David Hood, Alabama and The Truckers made for some amazing conversations. I hope you dig them.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I’m that guy.

I'm that guy, People!

I’m that guy. The one who is out on his porch in his boxers and slippers re-hanging the hummingbird feeder he just filled up and then standing there waiting for the first bird to come. I don’t think its such a bad guy to be.

I am coming to Cleveland, Raleigh NC, Austin and Nashville in the upcoming months. Check the calendar to see if that interests you.

Also, I have two more ramble, flounder and soul wresting shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. I have no idea whether they are sold out or not. Tomorrow Geoff Tate will be opening for me and on the 25th the amazing Moon Zappa will be joining. See if they have tickets here.

Well, the dream has taken a hit. I have been consuming music almost constantly since I’ve been on this vinyl bender. Tragedy hit the other day. I turned on my tube amp and one of the tubes literally caught on fire on the inside. Smoke came out of the bottom where it plugged into the amp. I freaked out. Shut the power off and assessed. I could see how this would be the moment that an engineer thought maybe there’s a more effective way to deliver the electrical thingy necessary to run this machine without the possibility of wires and stuff blowing up inside a glass airless jar. I’m paraphrasing the words uttered that lead to the birth of solid-state technology. I’m using layman’s terms here obviously so everyone will understand.

I called the place where I got the amp and they said they had the tube I needed and the amp probably needs to be biased and for me to just bring it in. The problem was they closed in an hour and I couldn’t get there. This is not a big issue. I want you to know that. It’s just that I had no idea what a vinyl junkie I had become. I can’t bring this piece of equipment in untilTuesday and I have all the records sitting around waiting to be played and I feel like I am letting them down. I also haven’t been in my house quietly in like a year or so. It’s not bad. I guess there is a price to be paid in patience and inconvenience when you want to time travel back to the days of analog purity. I’m just lucky they still make the tubes or my spaceship wouldn’t run at all.

I tried kohlrabi. Not great, but good. It felt like something I should be eating at least every so often. Maybe raw isn’t the way. I’ll do some research.

On Monday you can listen to me and Lena Dunham talk about art and stuff. We had a very nice chat. I enjoyed her. On Thursday I go out to the edge a bit with Duncan Trussell. We talk cancer and hippy metaphysics. Good week of chats.
Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
6

New shows.

WTF, Seriously, WTF People-

There may be some tickets left for my floundering, rambling and soul wrestling shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. I believe this Tuesday is sold out but there may be seats left for March 18th and 25th shows. Go here for tickets.

There are new shows up on the site schedule as well. Go to wtfpod.com. I may be coming your way.
This week I will share with you The Tale of Two McDonalds. Well, The Tale of Macdonald & McDonald. I’m a huge fan of The Kids in the Hall. I’ve always liked them. It has been my desire to eventually have them all on the show. So, when my assistant told me Kevin McDonald was available to come on the show, I jumped at the opportunity to schedule him, which we did.

The day he was coming over I was going over the history of The Kids and seeing what he has been doing lately when the doorbell rang. I answered the door and there was a publicist there. She said the Kevin was about 5 minutes behind her. I thought it was odd that Kevin would have a publicist because that is usually something that happens with bigger guests on a press junket, but I was happy things were going well for him. The publicist asked me if I had gotten the movie. I told her I hadn’t. I asked what role Kevin played in the film. She said he directed it. I thought, great, things are really going well for Kevin. I wasn’t worried about not seeing the movie because there was a lot of Kids history we could talk about and then he could frame the film for me.

We sat there for a few minutes. It was a little awkward because something didn’t feel quite right. Then, a boyish looking man appeared at the door. I let him in thinking, ‘Wow. Kevin has a whole press entourage with him.’ After a few awkward beats it hit me that this was the man doing my show. I had no idea who he was. I did not recognize him. I assumed that his name was Kevin. It was. It was Kevin Macdonald, the Scottish filmmaker about whom I knew nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Not wanting to be disrespectful, I was going to soldier through and not mention what was an incredibly surprising and difficult situation. I told the two of them that they were a little early and that I needed to do a couple of tech things. I went into the garage and got Kevin Macdonald’s info up on Wiki and IMDb. All I had to go on was the movie he was at my house to plug. Thankfully I had seen one of his other movies, The Last King of Scotland, and he had done a doc on Mick Jagger. I had enough to get through a good chunk of time. I did what I could. It was awkward. It was not a full episode and I knew the thing that had to do be done was track down the Kevin McDonald I was expecting and release them together. So that is what you will hear on Monday.

On Thursday, Annabelle Gurwitch returns to the garage solo to talk about her new book, I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50. I love talking to her. It’s okay to be middle aged—just haaaard sometimes.

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

The show must go on.

Let it rain, People!

Not really. It’s been a nightmare here for the last few days. I know it’s just rain. I know that the state actually needs the water. I also know that I rely on a hole in the cement of my driveway to get rid of the water that becomes a small lake in front of my garage. I have no idea where the hole leads to. It is not a drain. It is not a pipe. It's is a hole and I have always known that I will have to do something about building a real drainage situation but I put it off and relied on the hole. Never rely on a hole.

For ten years that hole worked and in the middle of a torrential downpouron Friday the hole backed up, the lake in the driveway was rising and my livelihood was at stake because the garage was in jeopardy of being flooded. I had no idea what to do because my brain thinks the only solution is to jackhammer up the concrete and install a legitimate drain. As the water was rising and I was out there squeegeeing the water with a large push broom I thought that would be my weekend -- constant vigilance and wetness watching over my garage. I called an architect friend of mine who immediately suggested sandbags. What? The one thing I know to have diverted water for centuries did not enter my mind. So, I went off to Home Depot with Dean Delray and Brenton Biddlecombe who just happened to be in my hood record shopping in a downpour. We got the sand and the bags. We got back to the house and filled them and laid them out. We secured the garage! Thank god for comics wandering around with nothing to do on a Friday afternoon in the rain. The show must go on.

Maybe some of you saw me presenting an Independent Spirit Award the other night. Yup, that was me. The man made in his own garage standing there with Aubrey Plaza presenting the John Cassavettes award. I couldn’t believe I was there sitting in the room with Bruce Dern, McConaughey, Pitt, Reeves, etc. It’s weird that I have felt like an outsider of this business for so long that actually being asked to be part of it feels strange but exciting. I am also a latent fan of movie stars and it is always very hard for me to see them as just people at a table or people waiting for their cars at the valet but that is what they are—just people. Damn. There’s no Santa.

This week we go back into the darkness of The Comedy Store with Allan Stephan who was one of the original Comedy Store guys. You all know I’m obsessed with the place so go with me on this one. The charismatic Billy Connolly is with me on Thursday. That will be exciting. He's generally electric.

Also, I have extended my run at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater through all the Tuesdays in March. So, you can try to get tickets for 3/4, 3/11/, 3/18 and 3/25 here!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
1