Dispatches from the Head

This is it! The big week!

Coming in for landing, People!

This is it! The big week! The book, ‘Attempting Normal', drops on Tuesday and IFC’s ‘Maron’ premieres on Friday at 10/9c on IFC.

I feel flashes of dread and relief. I’m actually excited to see what people think. I think I’m prepared to deal with whatever happens, even the good things.

I wasn’t completely prepared to deal with my father’s panic. He’s concerned about how he is portrayed in the TV show. He had heard about one of the promos on IFC and called me worried, panicked a bit. He doesn’t get IFC. He is concerned about how the ‘public’ will see him. I told him that it is a fictional character based on him. I told him that Judd Hirsch is playing the character. I told him that the life of the character is not his life and that it is not real. It is a ‘fictional’ show and not a ‘reality’ show. He said, ‘Okay, that makes me feel better.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ Then he said, ‘What’s it on? IFC? No one really sees that anyway. Okay.’ The beauty of that last remark is that he didn’t say it as an insult or a dig. He said it matter of fact like closure on the thought process he needed to comfort himself with. He’s never listened to my podcast and now it seems he will not watch the show for any other reason than to see what his public is seeing. I love the guy but, boy, that was a rough moment. I could’ve easily regressed into an angry teenager but I didn’t. I really hope he doesn’t take it too hard.

As always, I appreciate all your support and I hope you all like all the me centric things that will be out in the world this week.

Milwaukee! I will be at the Pabst Theater this Saturday, May 4th, doing standup. If you want to be part of that come down.

Also, Apple's iBookstore selected Attempting Normal as their Editor's Choice this week. They've got an 'enhanced version' that's got six specially-recorded audio segments with more than 35 minutes of brand-new, never-before-heard stories and reflections I recorded only for this version. Download it on the iBookstore at iTunes.com/MarcMaronBook

We’re doing 3 shows this week! A pretty amazing chat with Hank Azaria on Monday, the live WTF from Vancouver on Wednesday featuring Margaret Cho doing a one woman show about my penis and Huey Lewis on Friday. Yeah, Huey Lewis. Wild, right?

Boomer lives!



WTF - Hank Azaria’s diet tips.

Full episode out 4/29


WTF - Mark Schiff is Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite comedian.

Full episode out 4/25


The Massive Decaying Ghost of American Industry.

Yes, Folks-

It’s all happening. My show ‘Maron’ on IFC is premiering on May 3rd. I know a lot of you know that but I should say it again. If you want to see clips you can go to ifc.com/maron and look at some stuff. I can’t believe it’s happening. I’m excited. Well, I’m trying to narrow my feelings to just excitement.

My book ‘Attempting Normal’ comes out on April 30th. You will know more about me than maybe you ever wanted to. That’s the only way I know how to do things. Don’t judge me too hard. I think the poster deal is steal available. If you pre-order the book here and send your receipt to attemptingnormal@randomhouse.com you can get yourself a poster of me while they're still available. If that sounds good to you, do it.

I will be in Austin at The Moontower Comedy Festival, April 24th through 26th. I’m doing a big solo standup show, some shorter sets and a massive WTF taping with a lot of comics. More than I have ever had on before. Some of the guests are Jim Norton, Maria Bamford, Dom Irrera, Janeane Garafolo, Michael Ian Black, Todd Barry and maybe even Bill Burr. Big. That’s all I’m saying. Big show. Get info for Moontower here.

Thank you Bethlehem, PA! What an amazing night we had. I had no idea that the venue was in the husk of the old Bethlehem Steel Plant. I had no idea I would be performing in front of an all-glass wall looking out onto the massive decaying ghost of American Industry. It is a giant dead steel plant that is lit beautifully from the bottom up and glows. It is haunting. It is a living monument to people who worked real jobs, pouring lava and hammering girders. I had no idea that a torrential downpour and lightning storm would explode while I was on stage performing. If you believe in a god he was basically yelling at me, "You call that a real job? Look behind you!"

On Monday I talk to some of the real pioneers of podcasting. Jonathan Laroquette and Seth Romatelli from the ‘Uhh, Yeah Dude’ podcast join me for some lively chat. On Thursday I talk to Mark Schiff. He is one of the NY comics that started with the Seinfeld generation. He was known as one of the funniest and still is. He has since moved into an Orthodox Jewish disposition and will serve as the antidote to Ari Shaffir’s discussion a couple of weeks ago. Good talk.

Thanks for everything.

Boomer lives!


The “Uhh Yeah Dude” guys bonded over pageant girls.

Full episode out 4/22


WTF - Jim Florentine can’t play music.

Full episode out 4/18

Jonathan Winters died.

Hey, People-

We lost a great one last week. Jonathan Winters died. We reposted his WTF episode yesterday as a remembrance of true original.

When I drove up to interview Jonathan Winters at his home in Santa Barbara on March 23rd, 2011, I had no idea what to expect. I was told that some days were better than others, that some times of day were better than others and that you were never sure what state of mind he would be in. He was 86 years old. Winters was a comedy genius beyond description, he was an original, an archetype, the real and only deal. I grew up seeing him on TV and in movies. He was hilarious, unpredictable and inspired. He was mythic. I was nervous. I had heard about the breakdown, the mental hospital, the depression, the drinking, but that was all part of his past, what he had gone through, what he had endured and survived. Winters was possessed by a comic muse that was perpetually at war with the darkness in his mind. He rode the edge of that darkness and mined it for the voices of the characters that spoke through him, that kept him company, that kept him sane and that made the rest of us convulse in a type of laughter only he was capable of finding within us. No one was like him. No one will ever be like him.

I can’t say that I knew him. I didn’t. I met him twice. The first time I was a guy with a mic for Comedy Central at the Montreal Comedy Festival in the early nineties. I was walking around interviewing people. There was a gala event and I was stopping entertainers who were going in to ask them questions. I walked up to Jonathan Winters and asked the question I was told to ask. Before I could get it out of my mouth I noticed Dick Cavett run up to the sound guy in my crew. I saw the sound guy take off his headphones and give them to Cavett. I turned to Jonathan and said something like, “Mr. Winters, have you seen any young performers that have made an impression on you or that you’ve enjoyed here at the festival?” He looked at me with grave seriousness and said, “I haven’t been able to get out to many shows. My wife is ill in the hotel room. I’ve been taking care of her.” It was not the answer I was expecting. I tried to be polite and appropriate and said, “I’m sorry to hear that.” He looked at me with the same stern earnestness and said, “I shouldn’t have flown her in air cargo. It's cold and there are animals down there.” At that moment I heard Dick Cavett howling with laughter behind me. I had been had. It was an honor.

The second time I met Winters I was in his home. We sat and talked for over an hour. He was frail but still larger than life. He walked with a cane. He sat down in a large-cushioned chair. I sat across from him. We talked about all of it: His childhood, the marines, his radio days, his breakdown, his movie career, depression, his comedy and his time in a mental hospital. He riffed and chatted with the humor, intensity and range that seemed to be timeless within him. He went in and out of characters. I was in awe, mostly speechless and laughing. It was a good day for him. It was an amazing day for me. I will never forget it. When his nurse came in and told me it was time for him to eat I figured I was leaving. He stood up and said, “I want to show you something.” I said, “Okay.” We walked slowly down a long hallway along a wall filled with dozens of pictures from Jonathan’s life. There were photos of family, movie sets, of him and other entertainers. It was a history of a man and a life in show business. He stopped halfway down the hall and he pointed at a very old photo that seemed to be lost among the rest. It was of a young boy with a dog. Jonathan paused, pointed at it and said, “I loved that dog.” He looked deeply sad for a moment. We continued walking towards a room at the end of the hall. We stood in the entrance of the room. In it was a four-post bed, Jonathan’s bed, and hanging from the ceiling were what seemed like hundreds of model planes of all kinds. Jonathan looked at me, smiled and said, “Those are my planes.” He gazed up at them with the awe and excitement of a child. It was beautiful.

On Monday one of my favorite chefs from Chopped is on the show. I went to Scott Conant’s restaurant, Scarpetta, and we talked about being a chef and he taught me how to make some really ass kicking spaghetti. On Thursday comic Jim Florentine moves through some heavy stuff. Good week.

Boomer lives!


WTF - Rob Schneider started as a trombone comedian.

Full episode out 4/11


My Brain needs a rest.

Hail, People-

Thank you, Indiana. The shows at Crackers were exciting and helpful. I’m trying to get this hour or so together for the taping of my special in a couple of weeks. I have to say a lot of things happened on stage that will never happen again and it was wild. I hope those that witnessed it had a good time.

I appreciate all the pre-orders for my book, Attempting Normal. If you haven’t pre-ordered and you want the book, please do here.

I will be at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Saturday the 13th. Should be a great show. I’m excited about performing there. Come out if you can.

NYC. I may be doing a secret show on Monday the 15th. I will let you all know.

I’m getting very excited about the show premiering on May 3rd and the book coming out on April 29th. I feel good about the work I did on both. I hope you all dig them. I must be freaking out on some level because my brain seems unable to process anything other than what is going on now or in the next few hours. My mind seems seized in its ability to process my schedule for tomorrow or beyond and to think about anything that is on that schedule. I guess its good but I think my brain needs a rest and I won’t be able to get it until May. I trying to stay the course and not snap.

I had the privilege of doing Chick McGee's podcast, Off the Air. He's one of the guys on The Bob and Tom Show out of Indy. They've been around for years. Not unlike a lot of terrestrial radio outfits they are feeling the crunch of the times upon them and Chick is doing his own podcast. I have to be honest. It got pretty fucking heavy and emotional, more so than most of my shows. You can tune in to my appearance on Thursday but he posts two a week. Check it out.

Dean Delray is on the show Monday. He is a real character. He’s a newcomer to comedy but not to life. He’s a very entertaining storyteller with a rare rock and roll enthusiasm for everything. Rob Schneider talks about where he’s been and what he’s been doing on Thursday.

Short update today. I’m a little burnt.


Boomer lives!


WTF - Dean DelRay wasn’t gonna happen.

Full episode out 4/8

I’ve been a little crazy lately.

Okay, People-

Indianapolis, where we at? I’ll be at Crackers Comedy Club in Broad Ripple April 4th-6th. If you can come out that would be great. I’m trying to get my hour special together so they will be fun shows. My buddy Ryan Singer will be featuring for me.

Check the calendar links on the left for upcoming dates in SF, Bethlehem, PA and Milwaukee, WI.

My book, Attempting Normal, is available for pre-order at your favorite bookseller through the link here. It will help with the success of the book if you want it and do it this way.

I’ve been a little crazy lately because of everything that is going on. Very stressed and a little tweaked. I’ve never been in this position before with so much on the line and so much of myself in so many different media being out there in the world. I did the dates in Chicopee and Boston that were make up dates for the ones I cancelled due to the snow storm. I hadn’t done a full hour plus of comedy in about three weeks. I was consumed with stress because I have absolutely no ability to compartmentalize without a lot of effort. It’s amazing to me that I’ve been doing comedy for more than half of my adult life and if I don’t do it for a few weeks I have no idea who I am and I think somehow all that experience just faded away. I guess that’s my process. I have to feel that my entire sense of self is on the line to re-engage wholeheartedly. Do or die. The shows in Boston and Chicopee were amazing. I guess because in my mind everything depended on it. In my heart I am just a comic and somewhere in there when it comes right down to it that’s how I define myself and that is all that matters when things get scary. It’s good to have something that important to you but even that is risky.

Today I will air the live show from SXSW with James Franco, Harmony Korine, Nate Bargatze, Peter Sagal and a very familiar heckler. It gets weird at the end of this show, folks. I was shaken and it’s not clear why. I will explain it all to you with a bit more detail on Thursday's show. On Thursday's show Jason Stuart talks about fighting against being stereotyped as a gay comic. Great guy. Good talk.


Boomer lives!


WTF - Jason Stuart has a hot mom.

Full episode out 4/4

Order Attempting Normal - NOW AVAILABLE

Marc Maron - Attempting Normal


Marc Maron was a parent-scarred, angst-filled, drug-dabbling, love-starved comedian who dreamed of a simple life: a wife, a home, a sitcom to call his own. But instead he woke up one day to find himself fired from his radio job, surrounded by feral cats, and emotionally and financially annihilated by a divorce from a woman he thought he loved. He tried to heal his broken heart through whatever means he could find—minor-league hoarding, Viagra addiction, accidental racial profiling, cat fancying, flying airplanes with his mind—but nothing seemed to work. It was only when he was stripped down to nothing that he found his way back.

Attempting Normal is Marc Maron’s journey through the wilderness of his own mind, a collection of explosively, painfully, addictively funny stories that add up to a moving tale of hope and hopelessness, of failing, flailing, and finding a way. From standup to television to his outrageously popular podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, Marc has always been a genuine original, a disarmingly honest, intensely smart, brutally open comic who finds wisdom in the strangest places. This is his story of the winding, potholed road from madness and obsession and failure to something like normal, the thrillingly comic journey of a sympathetic f***up who’s trying really hard to do better without making a bigger mess. Most of us will relate.

Praise for Marc Maron and WTF

“The stuff of comedy legend.”—Rolling Stone

“Marc Maron is a startlingly honest, compelling, and hilarious comedian-poet. Truly one of the greatest of all time.”—Louis C.K.

“I’ve known Marc for years and I can tell you first hand that he’s passionate, fearless, honest, self-absorbed, neurotic, and screamingly funny.”—David Cross

“Revered among his peers . . . raw and unflinchingly honest.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Devastatingly funny.”—Los Angeles Times

“For a comedy nerd, this show is nirvana.”—Judd Apatow


WTF - Ari Shaffir only needs 20%.

Full episode out 3/28

I’m very excited (nervous & full of dread.)

Shalom, Friends -

First off, thanks for all the cool stuff you all send me. I can’t thank you individually or it would take up a whole episode but I really dig the records, art, letters and stuff. Beautiful. I enjoy all of it. It makes me feel good.

Second. I will be in Chicopee and Boston this weekend. Friday I will be at the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee doing some standup and on Saturday I will be in Boston at the Wilbur doing a standup show followed by a live WTF with DJ Hazard, George McDonald, Sue Costello, Dan Crohn and Rick Jenkins. DJ was one of the first comics I ever saw live in a club and George hosted one of the first open mics I ever did. I’m really looking forward to seeing them and talking to them.

Third. Please check my schedule for upcoming dates in Indianapolis, San Francisco, Bethlehem, PA and Milwaukee. I will also be back in Austin at the Moontower Festival doing standup, live WTF and a screening of an episode of my IFC show ‘Maron’ which premieres May 3rd.

Fourth. You can preorder my book here and it would help me if you did. I’m very excited (nervous, full of dread) about it. That link will give a menu of options to the retailer of your choice or you can order at your favorite bookstore.

I just got back from a week in New Mexico. My girl, Jess, wanted to go to Carlsbad Caverns. She had been there when she was a little girl and I had been there when I was a drunk young man so both our memories were kind of hazy. It was amazing. There is really nothing else like it if you’ve never been there. I can’t say much about the town of Carlsbad other than we had to eat at a Chili’s. Had to. Enough said.

I went back to Los Poblanos Inn which is owned by some childhood friends of mine and their family. This is an unsolicited plug here—it is amazing. They have a farm and a restaurant; the grounds are historic and respected. I just can’t say enough great things about it. If you are ever in Albuquerque for any reason check it out. It’s reasonable, too! Get married there. There are two peacocks, pigs, goats, chickens and a cow hanging out there. You can touch them! I’m apparently a child. It worth making a special trip there. It's that fucking cool.

Saw my dad, too. I have to say I had more fun meeting the cow. I kid. He’s doing okay though if you were concerned. He wasn’t ill, not physically… never mind.

Adam Parfrey is on the show Monday. Adam is the publisher at Feral House and he had a profound effect on my brain for several years. I had put him in an almost mythological place in my mind. He was a dark master of some kind and I always wondered what it would be like to meet him. I’m glad it happened now that I am past the ill effects that his books had on my life and mind and we could talk like two relatively non-insane adults.

Strap in for some rebel Jew talk. Ari Shaffir hangs in the garage on Thursday. Not only is he a Jew, he was raised Orthodox and turned his back on it. Funny guy. High guy. Hope you dig it. We had fun.

Shalom, again.

Boomer lives.