Dispatches from the Head

WTF - Dylan Moran & Marc talk head shops.

Full episode out 12/13

I’m full of meat.

I’m full of meat, People-

First off, Florida, I will be at the Fort Lauderdale Improv January 4-6. It will be Mike Lawrence and me. Should be interesting. Will be funny.

I have to say that the shows in Philadelphia were great. We sold out all five and the audiences were awesome. Thanks for coming out if you did.

Now, on to the meat. I have a geographical eating disorder. If I travel to a city I insist on eating whatever regional cuisine they have to offer. Especially if it’s something I can’t really get anywhere else and it’s fundamentally bad for me. Philly is a meat town, meat sandwiches to be more specific. I have been to Philly before and had one of the best sandwiches in my life there at DiNic’s. It was Italian Pulled Pork with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone on a long roll. It was fucking spectacular. I had it two years ago and still think about it. So, needless to say, when my plane landed at 5 PM I had the driver push it as fast as possible to get me to Reading Terminal to grab a sandwich at DiNic’s before it closed at 6. I made it, but they were out of the Italian Pulled Pork. I didn’t freak out, much. I had 3 days to meat it up. During my stay I ate the sandwich at DiNics. I ate a Paesan at Pesano’s and a Roast Pork at John’s Roast Pork. My entire trip was about comedy and sandwiches. Not so bad but there are other things in Philly. Like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Did I make it down there to take in the roots of America? No. I did not. None of the sandwich places were nearby and I don’t really know too much about that stuff anyway. What was I going to do? Go down there and read half a brochure and then speculate about history. I do know this: DiNic's was the best sandwich. Next time I'm in Philly it will be Cheesesteak-centric. I did not get to that this time.

st maron

I did make it over to the Philadelphia Art Museum. I did not take the Rocky picture. I went in to see Dancing around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp. I had an hour before the place closed. So I ran, cramming abstraction, sounds, splatter and screens in my head. It was amazing. They were some musicians in the middle of the space playing Cage music. A guy with a computer plugged into a box of wires, a guy playing a guitar laying on the floor with a tuning fork and a guy blurting and running through an alto sax. I had a belly full of meat from South Philly and I was wandering through the work of the defining visionaries of the American avant-garde. Whatever happened down there in Independence Hall enabled what I was experiencing to happen. America. Noise is music.

On Monday enjoy the live WTF recorded at Riot LA with Andy Dick, Ron Lynch, Chris Garcia, Lance Bangs, Eddie Pepitone and Jim Earl. It was a doozy. On Thursday the Irish comic Dylan Moran hangs in the garage.

Boomer lives!


WTF - Mike Lawrence is T-Shirt loyal.

Full episode out 12/16

WTF - Jay Mohr & Marc Maron bro out over the stones.

Full episode out 12/3

WTF - How the Korean war made Budd Friedman turn atheist.

Full episode out 11/29

Tastes settle in better overnight.

Look at yourselves!

How is everyone feeling after the gluttony? I don’t even want to hear from anyone who says, “It wasn’t so bad. I didn’t overdo it.” To hell with you. I overdid it and then I overdid it again the next day. Then I proportionately beat myself up.

Before I get into the food thing, the “Boomer Lives'” t-shirts are going fast. I'm not sure if I'm going to make more so grab them if you want them. One dollar goes to help animals somehow. Working on that. I also filled the merch store with stuff for the holidays if you want to gift that shit. Do it up.

Leftovers taste better than the actual meal. So much fury and energy went into preparing the food that by the time I sat down to eat it I could barely taste it. I inhaled though. I don’t know why I do that. I literally spent two and a half days preparing like 6 dishes and a turkey and gravy and I swear I ate two plates of the stuff in like 7 minutes. The next day I paced myself and enjoyed the meal. I think tastes settle in better overnight, too.

Everything went well in Florida with the mother. I only had one meltdown and it was Brussels sprout related. I’m sure a lot of you have Brussels sprout related trauma of one kind or another that probably happened when you were younger. I love the things. This wasn’t a sprout related trauma but a Whole Food related rage. As many of you know, I don’t like shopping there, at all. I always feel like I’m being ripped off and that they really aren’t that good at being grocers, i.e. rotating and paying attention to stock. I went in there with Jessica to get some ingredients for her vegetarian-option dinner and I just decided to go ahead and buy the Brussels sprouts there. I was going to roast them. I bought 7 of the little netted bags of them. I usually buy the stalks but the ones they had looked nasty. That should’ve been a red flag.

You can’t really see what is going on in those bags. I started to prep them late Wednesday night and as I went through them my rage escalated. Two out of three of the little fuckers were browning. That’s not unusual but as I peeled them back they were browning all the way through. Some of them were slimy. I was livid and screaming at vegetables, my mother, my girlfriend and maybe even God. Mostly I was cursing Whole Foods. I should’ve gone back but it was too much of a pain in the ass. I was able to save enough to serve but fuck Whole Foods, again. Fuck them.

Outside of that everything went pretty well.

I’ve very excited about today’s show. Back in the early 90s the band Dinosaur Jr. had a profound effect on me. I had never heard anything like them before and I’ve been a big fan ever since. Jay Mascis is the genius behind the band and I talk to him in the garage. He is not a big talker but I was honored to have him. Hang in if you don’t know him. If you do, I hope you dig it. He plays two songs at the end that will blow you away. On Thursday the old emperor himself is on the mic—Budd Freidman. The man behind one of the clubs that spawned modern comedy—The Improv. Good history here. I used to be terrified of the guy. I still am a little. Enjoy.

Boomer lives!


WTF - J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) is from Amherst

Full episode out 11/26

WTF - Ed Crasnick thinks Marc lives too high up.

Full episode out 11/26

I am writing this as a 15 year old.

Holiday time!

I’m going to my mother’s today. More on that later.

First things first. I will be at Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia, PA on Dec. 6th through 8th. I can’t wait, actually. I need to get back in the long set groove. I need to work some shit out and I need you to witness it. It should be fun or whatever that feeling is I get when I’m not thinking.

Also, out of respect for Boomer I have created a limited run of ‘Boomer Lives’ t-shirts. This is a very WTF specific thing. So, if I see you in one I know you are a real deal WTFer. I will be sending a dollar from each sale to an animal-related charity. I haven’t figured out which one. If anyone has any ideas let me know. I miss the little ginger fucker. The deck isn’t the same without him. Just some mean looking strays hanging around now.

So, my mother’s house. Florida. Those of you who have been listening a while know I do the Thanksgiving thing every year in Hollywood, FL. I cook for 17-24 people in a kitchen that is not prepared to cook anything. It’s a ‘heat up’ kitchen not a ‘cook in’ kitchen. I love doing it. Because I am only there a few days I feel like a chef that has been flown for an event. The only difference is I don’t get flown or paid and it’s my mother’s house so I leave emotionally drained and infantilized. I have to say that knowing I am going down there always screws up the couple of weeks before I leave. I have come to believe that the emotional regression starts a week of so ahead of me leaving. I am a 49 year-old man. I am usually about 30 emotionally. So, it’s a short jump to the 10 I will be by Thursday. I am writing this as a fifteen year-old.

I do wish you all a great Thanksgiving. Eat well. Deal the best you can. If you get aggravated, remember this whole life thing is not that long so don’t waste too much energy on shit that can’t be fixed. Try to stay as close to your actual age as possible. I’m going to try to convince the pissed off kid in me to realize that whatever he is expecting just isn’t going to happen. I don’t know how he’ll take it. I’m sure he will just take it out on his mother.

Monday I talk to the very challenging and brilliant director Todd Solondz about his insistence on being dark and weird. On Thursday I talk to the highly Jewish and neurotic Ed Crasnick about what he is doing with his crazy.


Boomer lives!


WTF - Todd Solondz is a rebel.

Full episode out 11/19

WTF - How Keith & The Girl Started their show.

Full episode out 11/15

I wrapped!

Here we go, People-

PHILADELPHIA! I will be at Helium Comedy Club December 6-8th. Don’t wait to get the tickets. I haven’t been there in a while.

I wrapped. That’s show biz talk that I have never been able to utter because I have never been in anything to wrap really. I completed shooting 10 episodes of ‘Maron’ for IFC. I have to say that it was an amazing experience that I really had given up on ever happening for me. I had genuinely let go of the dream of doing a television show. The fact that I was able to do one with a network that afforded me the freedom to be myself is amazing. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity. The crew was amazing and I really just felt like we were all working together to create something. I never really considered that it was all resting on my shoulders. I think if I did, I would’ve freaked out. All said, I only freaked out like two and half times and they were minor freak outs. They mostly revolved around shirts I thought were too tight. Not about that fact that we were shooting 9 to 15 pages of script a day and I was in every scene.

Now I get to see if anyone likes it. We are editing now and I am a bit surprised at how personal it all is but what else did I expect me to do. The airdate as it stands now is June 2013. I wish to hell it was sooner but that seems to be out of my control. I let you know how the edits are coming along. I couldn’t have done it without all of you.

I’m trying not to go down the audiophile rabbit hole. I bought this new equipment and now I want to buy records like they’re crack. I went to get Jessica a burrito the other day and there was a record store down the street. While I was waiting for her food I ran down there because I decided I needed to understand and wrap my brain around Captain Beefheart. So, I barged into the store and muttered “Beefheart” and grabbed a re-release of ‘Mirror Man’ on clear vinyl and an unopened ‘Trans Europe Express’ by Kraftwerk for no reason other than I never really got them. I went back to the burrito place and her food was not even ready yet. There was a heavyset bearded man behind me on line. He was a Buddha of some sort. The guy at the counter asked what records I got and I told him and the bearded Buddha asked, “You trying to catch up?” I left with the food and was actually moved by the question. Was I trying to catch up? Do we ever catch up? I guess I should have went back and asked him but maybe I had all the information I needed.

Monday I talk to professional wrestler Colt Cabana. I learn a lot about the similarities between comedy and wrestling but also about art, life, expression and being Jewish. Yeah. All that. On Thursday I talk to Keith and the Girl. They were some of the original podcasters and were a big help to me when I was starting out with the medium. They are also interesting, funny people. Dig it.

Boomer lives!


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.