Dispatches from the Head

I’m out of my mind.

Little manic, People-

First off, Denver, I will be at the Comedy Works this weekend, Friday and Saturday, July 18th and 19th. I’m doing four shows. If you are around and can handle your liquor I’d love to see you at those late shows. Denver is drunky. Help me out.

Everything is going great and I’m out of my mind. I think my mind is obsessing about little things to keep the bigger things in the background. I went to the desert for a couple of days and that was peaceful but it took until I got in the car to drive home for me to regress right back into manic insanity. I have no idea what is going on.

I stopped at the outlet mall on the way back from the desert. Something hypnotic happens at an outlet mall. Even thought you aren’t really getting great deals, you feel like you are going to, so you feel almost high. The first store I went into was the Levi's store. I was beside myself. I love Levi's. I always buy stuff at the Levi's store but most of the time it doesn’t fit or it just doesn’t look or feel as good as it did in the store. THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS. THERE WAS NO REASON TO THINK IT WOULDN’T HAPPEN AGAIN.

Within in minutes of being in there I found these amazing jackets. They were cut like classic Levi's jackets but they were a fine corduroy. They were definitely cool. I liked them. A lot. They were actually a real bargain. Half price. This is rare even for an outlet store. I had to have at least two of them. I tried them on. They looked perfect. It was like I was born to have these jackets. I got them in Large and the guy at the counter even told me that things run small with Levis. I couldn’t wait to get home to wash them and rotate them into my clothes rotation.

I drove an hour and a half home and when I got there I immediately put the jackets into the washer. Then I hung them to dry. When they were dry I tried them on again and THEY WERE HUGE. I was livid. How could I have bought them without noticing that? I couldn’t get over it, literally. For two days I was beating the shit out of myself and I had to stop myself from angrily driving back to the store an hour and a half away and buying two more of the exact same jacket. They were just hanging in my closet. They might as well have been clown costumes. I couldn’t let it go. It’s hard for me to even write about it now. Livid.

And that’s how I don’t freak out about the important things.

Great shows this week! On Monday I talk to The Amazing Johnathan who has a hell of a story and situation at hand. Amazing talk. On Thursday I talk to a true pop music genius, Jack Antonoff--another amazing, deep and sad story of transcending pain.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
2

I am going to the desert.

I’m on a search, Folks -

If I make it back from the desert I will be in Denver at The Comedy Works, July 18th and 19th.

I’m heading out today for a sojourn into the desert. I am seeking tranquility and heat. I am going to Joshua Tree to await some kind of sign or find a talisman that will ground me and give me the power to keep my shit together in the face of mundane annoyances. Is there a Saint of Mundane Annoyances?

I am honestly going to the desert. I need some time to re-groove, pull out and get some balance. I don’t really know how to do that. When you are self-employed it’s hard to know when to take a break because it’s not always clear what is work and what isn’t. I do know that I work my ass off. I don’t know how to take a vacation, especially alone. I travel a lot to do shows but not to relax. What do you do? Just go some place and sit there? Well, I will go to the desert. Perhaps I will come upon the Trickster or a snake or some lizards or just some guy with some wisdom wandering around on meth. Who knows?

I want you to know that I will be taking some time off of the social media platforms. I need to get back to basics. I need to do some reading and some meditating and some thinking of my own thoughts that I will then write down. That’s right. I am going of the grid. I will probably be off for several hours if I can handle it. I will let you know how that goes.

I will make sure to keep all my chakras open and clean the ones that are dirty so they are all humming when I get back. I will keep a journal the hours I am away. So, get ready to hear some tall tales of a wandering mystic or maybe one aggravated story of an anxious Jew.

Gabriel Iglesias is on the show today. I had never really met him and it was a pleasure to talk to the guy. It used to be that everywhere I went he had just been there and sold out every show. On Thursday my old friend, comedian and writer, Brian Frazer talks about his days as a professional body builder and paralyzing anxiety. Good stuff.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
5

I almost lost my shit.

Holy shit, I almost lost my shit, People-

Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival tickets are now available. I'm doing a few of the dates. Go get em if you live near em and want to come.

This week was quite a run. I haven’t been jamming the road like I did this week in a while. I started in Lawrence, Kansas and it was a great show. They have a great little festival going on down there with the Free State Fest. It was a hell of a night. I did over an hour of standup then they screened an episode of my show and then I did a Q & A for another hour. It was a great night. I like doing Q&A because then something has to happen that never would've otherwise. That’s exciting.

The day after Lawrence I flew to St. Louis through Chicago. I know, weird, but that’s the way it had to be done for some reason. I need to pay more attention to how I am booked to fly. The lack of logic can shred my brain sometimes. I think it may have been the best, if not only, way to go. I played The Firebird in St. Louis which is a rock club. I generally don’t like playing rock clubs but it was seated and intimate and I thought the show went pretty well. I’ve never played St. Louis in my life and it was good to see the folks there. I was staying in a hotel with a view of the Arch. I’m not sure what the point of that thing was initially but it is one of the greatest free standing pieces of mind blowing sculpture in the world. I love looking at it. I also had frozen custard at Ted Drewes. I love looking at that as well AND eating it. Fuck.

On Thursday I flew back through Chicago to Indianapolis and then drove to Bloomington for five shows at the comedy mecca that is The Comedy Attic. It’s sweet little room that has some real magic in it. I love playing independently owned clubs with owners that are real comedy fans. Jared Thompson, the proprietor at the Attic, is on top of shit, almost a little too on top of it, but that’s his charm. He treats comedy and comics with respect and it makes a big difference in the shows you’ll see there. If you live in Indianapolis it is totally worth the drive out. It is a far better club than anyplace in that city. At the Attic you see club comedy how it is supposed to be seen, up close, intimate, no distance between you and the comic. The shows were great, the crowds were great and I love being in Bloomington for a few days. They have one of the best indy record stores there called Landlocked Records and I just basically hung out there for a couple of days talking to Heath, the owner, and listening to music. I bought some cheap records. Old cheap records. Embarrassing old cheap records. Guilty pleasures. (Journey among others.)

So, getting to losing my shit. I have to leave Indy at 1:45 for Chicago and then to LA. I did not know that I had 35 minutes to connect. I didn’t catch that when I okayed the reservation. IMPOSSIBLE. Chicago is a clusterfuck of an airport and to get from the regional commuter fight terminal to my connecting flight is like a half a mile walk. I freaked out. Knowing I had a very small chance of making the flight and getting home with ample time to record today's intro and get it to Brendan in New York, so I laid down a panicky, aggravated intro in the car on the way to the airport as back up. Then I get to the airport in Indy and the 11:45 hadn’t even left yet at 1:00 and there was a late flight to NYC at the gate where my flight to Chicago was supposed to park. Fucked. I was able to get on the 11:45 by an act of pure will because the gatekeeper was at the end of his rope. It took off at 1:50.

I made it to Chicago for the sprint to my gate. I made it to the gate and the guy there wanted me to put my duffle bag in the ever shrinking carry on gauging frame. I said it would fit. He said you can't get on until you do it and you need to see the agent because your ticket has been changed. I said, “Fuck.” Then I smashed my bag into the frame, it fit, then I pulled it up quickly and it was stuck to the whole apparatus which came up with my bag. I said, “Goddammit, this is bullshit!” As I wrestled it out in what became a bit of a tantrum scene. One of the gate people said, “Don’t handle things with anger.” Embarrassing. I guess masturbation is out. Made my flight. They had upgraded me as well. I’m an asshole.

This week on the show, on Monday David Huntsberger shares a life story like none I have heard. On Thursday I get deep with Rosanne Cash. Amazing talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
5

I can’t relax.

Out of my mind, People-

Not really. It’s just that I never seem to really slow down. I have no idea how to slow down.

I will be in Lawrence, Kansas, St. Louis and Bloomington, Indiana this week. I know the Lawrence and St. Louis dates are sold out but I’m not sure about Bloomington. I’ll be there at the Comedy Attic Thursday through Saturday. It’s an intimate room. Good things happen in intimate rooms. Even if they aren’t good, things still happen. I guarantee this: Things will happen that will never happen again. In a good memorable way or just a memorable way. Is that cryptic? IT WILL BE UNIQUE AND GOOD. That’s what I am trying to say. I know that your memory goes as you get older. I also know that the desire to use all caps grows as well. I don’t think they are connected. OR ARE THEY?

I can’t relax. I think maybe I’m afraid to or I just don’t know how. I do things that are supposed to be relaxing but my brain won’t have it for very long. I had a great weekend. I had someone in from out of town. I wanted to take her places. We went out to eat a couple of places, we went to the movies and we went to Venice Beach. I never go to Venice Beach. I live about as far east in LA as you can. Going to the West Side is like going to another country to me but I wanted to take her. I wanted to walk along the beach and I wanted soft serve ice cream. Not sure where that urge came from. What part of my past. It is not something I generally crave but I can’t shake it now. So, we went to Venice.

Venice is a multi-culti clusterfuck parade of all kinds of people casually and comfortably not giving a fuck how they look. It’s spectacular. There are also a separate bunch of people in Venice who go way out of their way to look way weird but that’s usually their job. We eventually saw some people with the soft serve so we knew we were close. We got the cones and headed away from the fray to the water’s edge and walked, shoeless, eating ice cream. The day was perfect. The ocean has been providing consistent solace and meditative calm for people for centuries. I could see the hills of Malibu in the distance. I was with someone I enjoyed being with and it was going well for about 9 minutes. It was going well until my brain said, “Fuck, I have to get those hard drives looked at. What the hell happened to that back up drive?” I don’t need to give you the backstory on this. Maybe another time. The problem was the panic that took place was a useless waste of being present for what life is supposed to be about. I had to shake it off. Focus. I have to get the hard drive in my head working properly as well.

Craig Gass is an impressionist but he’s also a guy with a hell of a story. I had a good tak with him that you will hear today. On Thursday I talk to Romany Malco about how he ended up becoming a comedic actor. Fun week. Dig it.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I just have to be present and the rest will come.

Hola, People-

First off, I’m sorry if the dates I posted for the Oddball Festival aren’t synching up with the tickets going on sale or if the dates are being moved. It’s not on me. I got the dates, now it’s out of my hands. Check my calendar for updates. I know I am coming to the cities listed. I appreciate all of you who thought I was doing an amphitheater tour and were a little concerned. Nope, it’s a festival. I’m not U2.

I love Chicago. I always have great shows there. I want to thank everyone who came out to The AV Club’s 1stAnnual 26th Annual Comedy Festival. It was a great show. I didn’t know it would be so good. I never know. I choose to always think everything is going to be a struggle and frankly I’m tired of it. I don’t know if I can explain the panic I put myself through before a big show. Cycles. I’m tired of the cycles. I’d like to think I am on the precipice of being content or at least confident enough at this point not to act like I have no idea how to do standup the day before a big show.

I realized something in Chicago though. A big show is different from a little show in one way only--the size of the room. I am always the same size. I don’t need to think I need to get as big as the room. The room has to adapt to my size. I made myself crazy: My new hour isn’t tight enough, I brought the wrong shirt, I drank too much coffee, I shouldn’t have napped, I have to pee, I don’t know which stuff to do, I’m going to be disjointed, I’m going to be defensive, I’m going to be disappointing, I’m not really that funny, I’m due for a bomb. The morning of the show I could feel my entire being shouldering itself for a mediocre show. Some part of me thought there was no way it wasn’t going to happen. Some part of me was trying to defeat me to protect myself against disappointment and level fear. I never saw it so clearly. I never really understand that I have been on stage for more than half my life. I just have to be present and the rest will come. Something will come.

I got on stage in front of a sold out crowd and wrestled myself into the present and had a great show. That’s what I do. I wrestle myself into the present and then wrestle my heart to open - that’s the show. Things happened that will never happen again and that’s what a good show should do. That’s what I think it should do. Structure and polish is overrated. I like making something happen. Something did. Thanks for coming out, Chicago.

I actually couldn’t be more excited about today’s guest, Billy Gibbons. I don’t know what your life was like but I grew up with old ZZ Top on the radio, the pre-beard stuff, the good stuff. I loved talking to Billy. He’s the real deal. I had no idea that he was going to show up with this strange little cigar box resonator guitar and do a rendition of Billy the Kid off of Ry Cooder’s version of the traditional tune. Astounding to be sitting there for it. Happy to share it with y’all. As a counter balance to Billy, Josh Groban talks to me on Thursday. I knew nothing about his world of music but he lays it out for me and he’s a good egg. Great story, too.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
3

I snapped. Lost it. Old school.

Hello, my friends!

I feel depleted. Like I have said all I can say. Empty. Or, maybe it’s just hot out. Yeah. That must be what it is.

Also, there is the issue, now that I am alone and not really dating anyone, of what to do with time. I seem to be a 50 year old man with no idea how to have free time. I always have some kind of work to do but I should be able to take a few hours and do something fun. Nope. Like today I have some writing to so I drank about a pot of coffee, I went to Target to buy a new toilet seat, they didn’t have them and I came home and passed out for two hours. I woke up and felt like someone hit me in the head with a pillow repeatedly. Then I stumbled around for an hour trying to figure out what to say here. Good times.

I did five sets of comedy at The Comedy Store over the weekend. I actually had a great time until the last set. I snapped. Lost it. Old school. I had just done a great show for like 300 people in the Main Room and there was an hour between that and my set in the Original Room. I was second up. I went and I was having a perfectly nice set. The crowd was great except I heard some chatter coming from stage left, mid-room, people talking to each other. I asked, “Can you not do that? Please.” Then I went on with my show. I wasn’t planning on doing any of the material I have been doing about anger. I was having too sweet a set. Then, more chatter, so I asked, “Can you shut the fuck up over there? Seriously. Just shut the fuck up.” The tone was intense but not completely stage rage. They wouldn’t stop so I said, “Shut the fuck up. Do you want to leave? Do want to stay in the show? We have a long night here so shut your fucking mouths.” This was jarring to the audience and even to me a bit. A few people applauded. Then, the dumb fuck I was yelling at tried to crack a joke that went nowhere. I said, “Just shut up!” again, it was awkward, then I had to get back into my act. So, I did the anger material. Worked out. They had just seen what I was talking about. I guess it’s a testament to my time in the game that I could get the crowd back immediately after a moment like that. I don’t think they left though. I think they were a little shocked but real shit does that. It felt a little embarrassing, like old behavior. I just hate when half-drunk dummies have no respect for the show. This guy was classic fuck. Just dumb middle-aged man that thought he was the funny guy. I left. I don’t know if he shut up or not. I do know that some of the comics were thrilled that I unloaded on him. That makes it feel good.

I have a lot of new dates on the calendar you should see if I’m coming to your neighborhood soon. I’ll be doing sets on The Oddball Festival and some club dates.

Today on the show is the amazing Giovanni Ribisi. I’ve always thought he was a brilliant actor. I was excited to talk to him. On Thursday I talk to the Southern Man that is Billy Wayne Davis. He’s one of the young guns out here trying to make it happen.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
2

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