Dispatches from the Head

WTF - Daniel Smith talks about anxiety.

Full episode out 11/8


Hey, Folks-

Hope you are all holding up! I hope all of my East Coast fans and friends are doing all right considering what that side of the country went through. I hear some of you got your power back and some of you are still a bit fucked. I’m just sending some WTF love your way.

I will be at The Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia, PA December 6th through 8th. I’m looking forward to the grit and edge of Philly. Come out if you can.

On a side note, vote. Be a grown up and go do it. If you don’t like the candidates, vote on the props. Vote for stuff that will make a difference in your community and/or state. Don’t ditch the whole process. Some of it works.

This week I bring you an interview with Shelley Berman. He’s an old timer and a very important comic. His seminal work was done in the late Fifties and early Sixties. He was contemporary of Lenny Bruce and a unique voice. I went to his home to talk to him because I felt like he had gotten short shrift in the history of comedy. He was the first comic to win a Grammy for one of his three gold records and also the first comic to play Carnegie Hall. He was huge. I didn’t really even know about him until a few years ago when I bought one of his records because I had heard his name and he was sitting down on the cover. His bit ‘The Department Store’ changed the way I viewed stand up. It was so well paced and timed. It was long and beautifully constructed. I’m sure his sitting influenced my desire to sit lately.

At some point his career took a turn. I didn’t confront him with the story of him losing his temper on national television. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. He was trying so hard to be even tempered. He was very revealing about how he came into his act and point of view and also about the person he thinks became an obstacle to his success. It was a tough interview because it was really the first time that I felt like I was talking to someone who had profound disappointment but still persevered and did what was necessary to keep moving forward. I didn’t realize these things until the drive home from his house. Show business is brutal and so much of it hinges on the fickle turns of cultural relevance and shallow popularity. That, mixed with a volatile personality, could kill a career. When I spoke briefly to him about his tenure as a teacher at USC I didn’t realize until I left that that was what kept him alive and relevant. I’m sure it wasn’t his plan but it was where life took him. It was also interesting to hear his side of working with Larry David. I am a romantic when it comes to comedy. I never want to believe that it’s just casting.

On Thursday, the author Daniel Smith talks to me about anxiety. We are kindred spirits and his book, Monkey Mind, is a beautiful thing if you have the anxious bug and even if you don’t. He’s a funny smart dude.

Be well. Stay dry.


WTF - Pauly Shore remembers drug Marc.

Full episode out 11/2

I guess I could use the cat box.

Here we go-

Big week. Three shows.

I really wanted to relax this weekend but my house decided to fall apart. When you have an old house the only way you really learn about what is holding it together or how to fix anything is for something to break. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t fantasize about plowing the entire house down and building some kind of kit house in its place. Does Ikea make houses? I think I could handle putting that together. I’d only need an Allen wrench and maybe a hammer and screwdriver. If they don’t they should get on it.

I was getting ready to go out on Saturday night with my friend Chris. He was coming over. I was waiting, just listening to my new tubes and vinyl. I got up to go to the bathroom and there was a puddle beneath the toilet. It wasn’t sewage so that was good but something was leaking. I wasn’t dealing with a geyser of poo or some seeping shit disaster. Anything toilet related needs immediate attention, especially if you only have one bathroom. Unless you want to be going out in the yard you have to get someone on it. You don’t want to be that guy. Pissing of the deck is one thing. Shitting in the garden is an entirely different thing. I guess I could use the cat box. Maybe then they’d know who’s in charge.

I called a plumber and apparently the fixture on top of the cast iron pipe that fixes the toilet to the pipe was nothing but rust crumbs. So, the toilet, which I always knew was wobbly was just luckily positioned over the hole most of the time and the screws that held it down we screwed into nothing. Finally what little of the seal was left disappeared and flushed water was leaking out the bottom. Cut to all day Sunday and 800 bucks later my toilet is now locked and sealed onto that pipe and look at what I learned. I knew none of what I wrote before.

The plumber also scoped my old ceramic pipes that run down to the sewer and I am happy to report there were only a few roots creeping in. It reminded me to go to the doctor. I may need to get my arteries scoped to see if there are any roots creeping in or grease build up.

This week we wave Tim Heidecker from Tim and Eric on the show Monday. On Wednesday we have a hilarious live WTF from The Trepany House featuring Dave Hill, Moby, Aries Spears, Jake Fogelnest, TJ Miller, Mike Bobbitt and Jim Earl. On Friday I talk to the man that comedy raised, Pauly Shore.

No Boomie. Boomie lives!


WTF - Tim Heidecker was intimidated by Marc.

Full episode out 10/29

WTF - Chad Daniels examines the garage

Full episode out FRIDAY 10/27

WTF - Why Jimmie Walker left the Comedy Store.

Full episode out WEDNESDAY 10/24

My Brain Shorted Out.

Yes, People!

I am here. I will be at Helium in Philadelphia on December 6-8. Looking forward to being back there. Good crowds, good food.

My life is consumed with my shooting schedule. I am not out in the world much. I don’t have a lot to report other than my brain shorted out last week for a couple of days. Apparently I had put as much in it at once as it could take and it just was full and refused to work. After I shoot all day I have to come home and cram lines into my head for the next day. Given that this show is about me and centered around me, there isn’t a scene I am not in for the most part. There isn’t a real ensemble because that isn’t in the budget. There are recurring guests but it is me-heavy. We are shooting about ten pages a day, out of order. That’s a lot of lines. I am not complaining. I seem to be rising to the occasion but my brain just wouldn’t take anymore and everything became very immediate. I got angry at my head and was a bit of a bitch in the morning but we all got through it. By ‘all’ I mean everyone on the crew. I didn’t snap or hurt anyone. That’s progress.

We’ve completed shooting five of the ten episodes. I’m sorry but I’m going to be a little cagey about what I say to you all right now. I don’t want to be a spoiler for my own show. Though I am dying to.

This week is a triple-header. On Monday, I am releasing the live show from the Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival. This was a long one. They actually shut off the electricity and air conditioner because they wanted to close the theater. On Wednesday, I talk to Jimmy Walker for a very long time. He likes to dish. There’s a lot of good comedy history with him. On Thursday, Chad Daniels from the Midwest. Great comic. Good talk. I think he surprised himself with this talk.

No Boomer. Miss him.

Love you all.

WTF - W. Kamau Bell says Marc can talk about race.

Full episode out 10/18

Boomer lives! I’ve decided that.

Yes, People!

Just trying to start with a positive. It’s been a bittersweet week but I think life is just like that depending on how many events you string together in your memory package.

The past week of shooting the IFC show was great. We cast Judd Hirsch as my father and working with him was a privilege. We did 3 days of work and I think if I would have done one more I would’ve been talking like an old Jewish man. That was compounded by the fact that Andy Kindler was playing my friend ‘Andy’ on the shows we were shooting. Lots of Jew power on set. I’m doing the work and it feels good. I have not looked at one scene of footage. I think I will wait on it a bit. Feels good though. Bobcat Goldthwait is directing the two we shot and it was wild to be working with him like this. I was proud of both of us.

My car battery died on Saturday. One of two of my days off was spent dealing with that. I chose not to lose my shit because I realized I was an adult and this shit happens. I don’t always make that choice. I got up and drove to this used stereo store to look for some old speakers and a receiver. I decided that I want to listen to my records and hear them like I heard them in high school -- through shitty speakers and a cheap receiver. I went outside and tried to start my car. It was dead. I was going to call AAA and I stopped myself and called my buddy Ryan Singer. He came over and jumped my old Camry with his old Camry. I didn’t know if it was the battery or the alternator but then again I don’t even really know what or where the alternator is so I was just doing some non-car-guy speculating. It was enough to make me a little worried. It’s a fucking Toyota though, nothing really breaks on a Toyota. I was nervous but not freaked out. So, we got it going and went to lunch. After lunch we went out to the car. Dead. Jumped it again. Went to Autozone. They charged the battery and we went to get coffee. Came back and they declared the battery wasted. Got a new one and went our separate ways. The point is that it was great to spend the day with Ryan. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. We got caught up, did some guy talk, doing guy shit, car-centric. We felt like men, single men with no kids with time on their hands. It was good.

After the battery situation I went to a high-end stereo store to see what I could find. There is literally one high-end stereo store in LA. I’ve been a bit obsessed with MacIntosh amps since I was at Third Man Records and saw that Jack had a wall of them. I thought I would price a system. For an amplifier and a set of speakers, midrange, about ten grand. When the fuck did that happen? I’ll wait it out.

No sign of Boomer yet but Boomer lives! I’ve decided that.

This week on Monday, the voice of SpongeBob, Tom Kenny, talks in his own voice, mostly. On Thursday, a full hour with W. Kamau Bell and we talk race, yes, race. He wanted to!



WTF - Tom Kenny talks voice acting.

Full episode out 10/15

WTF - Jonah Ray wants to be friends with everyone.

Full episode out 10/11

He was a good cat.

Okay, People-

The first week of shooting of my IFC show was awesome. I really have no precedent in my life for what is happening. I’ve done a few little things here and there but now I am shooting 12-13 hour days and it is an amazing experience. Everything I have done in my life has lead up to this. I think if this had happened even five years ago I would have been out of my mind with panic and insane. For some reason that is not happening. I guess I know the reasons. I had a hand in all of the writing, the casting, the set, the car, the selection of cat, the locations and the clothes so I’m sure that all has something to do with my comfort level. I think I am doing a pretty good job playing the part of me. It’s not as easy as you think. I’m a fairly complex character. I’m glad I’m familiar with most of my motivations.

No good news on the Boomer front. I’m losing hope. I put out some flyers in the surrounding homes and I’ve been keeping an eye out but no sign. It’s heart breaking but when you have an outdoor cat you always sort of prepare for this. There are a bunch of signs around the hood for other missing cats. That is not a good omen. There may be Coyotes in the hills. I really don’t want to think about that. I’d rather think of him eating in someone else’s place and happy. If I entertain the Coyote scenario it’s Boomie with the Trickster spirit being taken on some kind of vision quest or heroic trek only to return with ancient wisdom.

I have to say I have learned something about the nature of hope in the last week. The feeling of hoping that Boomie is okay runs deep. I want that. I want him back. The hope that he comes back is powerful because I know if he does that everything will be okay for at least a little while. That is the hope of return realized. Hanging on to that hope is tough. Boomie has made me understand Jesus better. The idea that someone is going to come back and take you with him to the best place ever is pretty heavy—that one requires faith which I don’t have. I’ll just wait it out and see if Boomie comes home. I’m not ready for Jesus.

If he doesn’t come home I will have to just appreciate the time we spent and remember him well. He was a good cat.

On Monday I am embracing the Black comedy community so back off. I talk to Ali Leroi, John Davies and R.C. Lambert about the film Phunny Business which is a documentary about All Jokes Aside, the now defunct comedy club in Chicago. On Thursday the Nerdist's Jonah Ray talks about growing up in Hawaii, music and the funny. So dig that.

Hope you are all well.


WTF - Ali Leroi talks about choosing writing over stand-up.

Full episode out 10/8