Dispatches from the Head

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.


WTF - Adam Parfrey on the history of black magic in science.

Full episode out 3/25


WTF - E from EELS was in “This is 40.”

Full episode out 3/21


She wanted to see the bats.

I’m heading into the caves, People-

As I write this I’m a couple hours away from heading down into Carlsbad Caverns in Southern New Mexico. Jessica’s break fell on this week and she had been there when she was a kid and wanted to go back. I figured it would be a nice trip and drive and I could go back to the home state, which is beautiful. I’m not sure I ever made it into the caverns even though I grew up in the state and actually set out to see them twice.

The first time I almost made it there I was sent home from a class trip when I was caught with Patty Ryan’s boobs in my hands because Nick Kaplan ratted me out. Yeah, I remember that. Yeah, I’m using Nick’s full name. He couldn’t just let things be. He had to go tell the chaperone that I had a girl in my room. I don’t feel like revenge is necessary and quite honestly is was an 8th grade trip but I just want him to know that I remember.

The second time I tried to go to the caverns was much later, after college, with a girl who thought it would be cool. We were dating at the time and she had come out from Boston to New Mexico for a bit and we drove my Mom’s station wagon down there and fought most of the way. The car broke down when we got down there and we had to rent a car in Carlsbad - a Delta 88 - and cruised around in that.

Wait, we did go. We were in the caverns. I just remembered that as I am writing this. All I remembered before that last sentence was that big green car, drinking in a cheap hotel and fighting, but right now I’m getting flashbacks from the actual caves. She wanted to see the bats.

All I could remember was the cave of insanity that was the hotel room and I had repressed the actual cavern. I still don’t remember it that well. I’m glad we’re going back.

Dick Van Dyke is on the show Monday and I had a great time talking to him. I went to his house and he couldn’t have been more welcoming. Great guy. Really on his toes, too. He’s 87. On Thursday I talk to E of Eels in the garage. He’s a deep dude with some real stuff inside. He lays a couple of songs down, too.


Boomer lives!


WTF - Dick Van Dyke on Danville, IL.

Full episode out 3/18

WTF - Why does Marc make Lynn Shawcroft so awkward?

Full episode out 3/14


It’s hard to talk to artists about their art.

Howdy, Folks-

I am writing this in between things at SXSW. I just recorded a very intense live episode of the show with Harmony Korine, James Franco, Nate Bargatze and Peter Sagal. It’s hard talking to actors live sometimes. They are very sensitive and sometimes very serious. I was nervous about talking to Korine. He’s a real artist and by that I mean he is a guy with a specific vision that is unique and not necessarily accessible, yet that is all he does and he makes beautiful challenging films. It’s hard to talk to artists about their art, where does it comes from, what is their process. I was doing okay with it when, in the middle of everything while I was talking to Harmony, Eddie Pepitone, who I didn’t know was in the room, starts screaming from the audience telling me to lay off Korine and quit pestering him about his "art." It was spectacular. I had no idea it was going to happen and everyone, including Harmony, thought it was real. I almost wish I didn’t acknowledge him as someone I knew. There are moments like that when reality turns in on itself and everything become hyper-real. You should just leave it alone but, of course, I’m too sensitive for that and I got defensive in the way that I get with Eddie. I didn’t ruin it but I let my own feelings get in the way. It was close.

I forget the power that a joke or a ‘bit’ has. Sensitive people or people who take themselves very seriously are threatened by comics. The comic can effortlessly undermine almost anything with one line. It’s hard to deliberate when those moments are appropriate and I guess that’s the difference between a pro and just a smart ass. I was extremely nervous to talk to Korine and Franco. They are serious dudes. I made a joke at the end of talking to James and it got him prickly and a little defensive. It was awkward. Initially, I thought, that guy should lighten up. Why did he take it so seriously? Well, because jokes cut hard and there was some seriousness in it but this was also coming from the guy that had just been handed his ass by the hilarity of an Eddie Pepitone attack. So, I get it. Lesson learned.

You guys have that episode to look forward to.

This week, on Monday the powerful Leslie Jones talks to me in the garage about coming up in LA, opening for Katt Williams, going to high school with Suge Knight and the fierce desire to become a comic. On Thursday, Lynn Shawcroft talks to me about her life as a comic being married to a comic, Mitch Hedberg, and about her grief and loss in their tragic story. Both of these are great talks.


Boomer Lives!


WTF - How did Leslie Jones get to Los Angeles?

Full episode out 3/11


WTF - How do you pronounce Gina Gerson?

Full episode out 3/7


Podcasters are under attack from Patent Trolls.

Thank you Pacific Northwest! Hello to the rest of you!

Great shows in Portland and Seattle. I was feverish in Seattle and did a marathon, near-two-hour set. I wanted people to get their Maron’s worth. Portland was a blast. Was there for less than a day and had some Pok Pok wings, hung out with Ian Karmel and the theater almost flooded. The toilet broke. It had nothing to do with the wings. Just happened.

I will be at SWSX with the IFC folks and doing a live WTF there. Please check my schedule at wtfpod.com/calendar for upcoming dates in Chicopee, Boston (stand up and a live WTF,) SF, Bethlehem and Milwaukee. I will be shooting an hour special in NYC in April. I will let you know when and where.

I have to be honest with you people. I guess I don’t have to be, but I seem to choose to be. I think I am suppressing a shitload of anxiety and dread. Maybe I’m just putting them on the back burner and choosing to keep excitement on the front one. My book is coming out at the end of April and my show premieres on IFC at the beginning of May. Everyone in the world is going to have the opportunity to be sick of me all at once in at least three mediums. That’s negative. See, in my mind, my excitement is always diminished by my need to prepare for the negative. I know these things are going to happen and I know that, given the world we live in with all its wonderful access opportunities, I’m going to be filtering some shit coming at me. I can barely disengage with trolls in any format now, without a ton of stuff out there. All I’m saying is that I will have to work an Al-Anon program for the Internet. That’s a very specific joke but those of you who were on it, enjoy.

I’m actually thrilled with the way the book came out, as I am with the TV series. I want you know that. I am antsy for you all to see them both.

If you all weren’t aware yet you should know that some podcasters are under attack from patent trolls. Adam Carolla is actually being sued. A patent troll called Personal Audio claims to own the patent for podcasting and is suing Adam and some other podcasts and sent letters of coercion to me and about a dozen others. It’s serious bullshit. I know you’re thinking, “How can you patent ‘podcasting?’ That’s ridiculous.” It is ridiculous, even when you look at the patent, but now someone has to pay LOTS of money to prove that.

Patent trolls are companies who don’t make anything or don’t sell anything, but own patents and use them as a weapon to extort money from businesses and individuals, usually demanding licensing fees that are cheaper than actually litigating a case in court. A patent troll uses patents as legal weapons, instead of actually creating any new products or coming up with new ideas. Instead, trolls are in the business of litigation (or even just threatening litigation). The business model works because patent litigation is so expensive—often costing well into the millions of dollars. This means that when facing the threat of a patent suit, many will choose to settle instead of fight. Of course, this just further emboldens the patent trolls.

Podcasters are uniting to figure out a course of action and help each other. The EFF has been helping us and also asking us to help them support new legislation called the SHIELD Act to make Patent Trolling less prevalent. Please go here eff.org/shield and let your representatives know how you feel.

I may need more of your help around this problem in upcoming months. I will let you know.

Thanks to all of you who bought ‘Boomer Lives’ shirts, I was able to donate 700 dollars to Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (arf.net). We did a bit of research and I like what they are doing. It will go directly to saving animals’ lives. Thank you. I will send more as more shirts go onto your backs.

On the show this week is the astounding John Darneille of the Mountain Goats. He’s an amazing songwriter and musician with an incredible story. He’s also a great talker which is of course good for our endeavor. On Thursday the lovely Gina Gershon is on the show. She appears in an episode of my IFC show and here she is in the garage. Love her.


Boomer lives!


WTF - John Darnielle talks speed & HIV

Full episode out 3/4


WTF - Why did Darryl Lenox move to Canada?

Full episode out 2/28