Dispatches from the Head

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

I am barely connected.

I am barely connected, People-

I'm not talking emotionally. I am talking globally. The struggle with Time Warner continues. I'll tell you about it in a minute.

If you live in Cleveland, Raleigh, Austin, Chicago or Memphis, I'm coming your way. Click on your city for info. Also, I'll be at the Ice House in Pasadena next Sunday, April 6th. Okay.

Sadly, after pushing back at Time Warner as hard as I could the truth is like so many other truths that remain elusive, like God or dark matter. Who knows? I thought that something as simple as why I can't maintain an internet connection would be easily solved but, after spending hours of time and emotional energy searching for the truth, I believe that Time Warner has no fucking idea how to help me. They don't know. I have gone through the labyrinth, I have weathered the maze, I have run the gamut and on the other side is nothing. No answers. They don't know. That is why they have so many teirs and levels of support and customer service. It is a wall of people to absorb our pain, frustration, anger and disappointment. In doing that the void at the core of Time Warner hopes we will become depleted, apathetic and compliant. I know now it is on me to decide where I go from here. Time Warner's slogan should be: We're here, we're all you've got, we can't help you, at all, fuck you.

I have to be honest. I'm a bit out of the loop. I don't keep up. In my life I've probably seen 12 episodes of Friends and maybe 16 full episodes of Seinfeld. Seriously. Weird, right? So, when I ran into Josh Radnor at The Bowery Hotel in NYC last week I knew him primarily from Jill Soloway's film 'Afternoon Delight' and from having met him 9 years ago at a dinner party shortly after he got his role on 'How I Met Your Mother.' Between meeting him and today I've probably watched three episodes of the show. I'm not ashamed of that. It's just not my thing, I guess. When I asked him in NYC if he wanted to do WTF it was just because I liked the guy and he's achieved a tremendous amount of success in show business, on the sitcom, in making his own films and on stage. I didn't see me not knowing really anything about the show he's been doing for 9 years as an obstacle to us talking. I was right. It wasn't. We talked about it but the guy's got a lot more going than just that show. He's a grounded, thoughtful dude with a tight work ethic and I loved talking to him. On Monday night the final episode of 'How I Met Your Mother' airs. Monday during the day we post my interview with Josh.

On Thursday I talk to Lewis Black. Now, I've know Lewis for years. You all know Lewis from his many CDs, books and specials, but do you know his plays? Do you know that his dream and journey includes years and years trying to be a playwright? I kind of did but I had no idea to what extent. The talk we had was all new to me. Me and Lewis talked about his life leading up to him starting to do comedy. It is a unique conversation with a very powerful and prolific comedian about how he got that form of expression. I love this conversation.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
6

Jamming in NYC.

Here we go again, Folks-

Everyone okay? I am pretty okay. Little panicky but okay. I think I have to pull back on the coffee and hope. They're both making me edgy. I’m a romantic. It’s killing me.

I want to thank everyone for coming out to the workshop shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. They were helpful. I have one more tomorrow night and I may add a couple at the end of April. I’ll let you know.

Heads up! Three episodes this week.

I’m flying back from NYC as I write this. I was there for the IFC upfront party. It was a big shindig at The Roseland Ballroom, announcing their shows for this year and next year. They set up a roller skating rink. It was fun. I didn’t have to say anything but Fred Armisen got the idea that we throw a band together and do a few tunes. So, me and Fred and Scott Aukerman and a few of The Birthday Boys jammed. They rented us guitars and amps and set up all the shit. We rehearsed that day for a couple of hours. Fred couldn’t make rehearsal even though it was his big idea. He had to be with Seth Myers working on Late Night. So, me and the other fellas knocked out the tunes and just jammed to an empty Roseland. It was amazing to sing in that space. Our show was the second to last gig there before they close it down. We played Train In Vain and Dancing with Myself. Fred picked the tunes. It was a blast. We sounded pretty good.

I’m personally very excited about the shows this week. Dan Vitale was a mythic person to me. When I was starting out in NYC at the old original Improv, when it was on its last legs in the late eighties, Dan was a regular there. It was probably the only place he worked at that time. He was an aggravated force of nature. A raw sweating nerve. I had no idea who he was or where he came from but people used to mumble that he was about to break big and he blew it. He was Lorne Michael’s golden boy and threw it all away. I never knew the whole story. He was just this guy that couldn’t control the monster within and it took him down. Today I get the whole story. It meant a lot to me.

Wednesday's and Friday’s shows are connected on many levels. I am a Drive By Truckers fan but I was never a total nerd for them. I dug a few of the records but wasn’t real familiar with the history or the guys in the band. Patterson Hood, the main guy, and I started emailing each other. He’s a fan of the show and wanted to come on. I was into it. I did not know Jason Isbell’s solo work before I did a gig with him in Minneapolis recently. I found out he was in the Truckers for some of my favorite albums of theirs. I crammed all of his solo work into my head the days leading up our show together. His new album ‘Southeastern’ is a bit of a masterpiece. I asked if he would talk and we did in my hotel room at 12:30 at night. He’d had very little sleep and had to be up in a few hours to hit the road again. We recorded a talk and a performance of his song Elephant.

Jason grew up around Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Patterson Hood did as well. David Hood, the bass player of the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, is Patterson Hood’s dad. By the time Jason Isbell was playing guitar around town Patterson had moved to Athens, Georgia. They had never met. David Hood took a shine to Jason and took him under his wing musically. Jason and Patterson met years later and Jason joined the Truckers. The through line of Muscle Shoals, David Hood, Alabama and The Truckers made for some amazing conversations. I hope you dig them.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I’m that guy.

I'm that guy, People!

I’m that guy. The one who is out on his porch in his boxers and slippers re-hanging the hummingbird feeder he just filled up and then standing there waiting for the first bird to come. I don’t think its such a bad guy to be.

I am coming to Cleveland, Raleigh NC, Austin and Nashville in the upcoming months. Check the calendar to see if that interests you.

Also, I have two more ramble, flounder and soul wresting shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. I have no idea whether they are sold out or not. Tomorrow Geoff Tate will be opening for me and on the 25th the amazing Moon Zappa will be joining. See if they have tickets here.

Well, the dream has taken a hit. I have been consuming music almost constantly since I’ve been on this vinyl bender. Tragedy hit the other day. I turned on my tube amp and one of the tubes literally caught on fire on the inside. Smoke came out of the bottom where it plugged into the amp. I freaked out. Shut the power off and assessed. I could see how this would be the moment that an engineer thought maybe there’s a more effective way to deliver the electrical thingy necessary to run this machine without the possibility of wires and stuff blowing up inside a glass airless jar. I’m paraphrasing the words uttered that lead to the birth of solid-state technology. I’m using layman’s terms here obviously so everyone will understand.

I called the place where I got the amp and they said they had the tube I needed and the amp probably needs to be biased and for me to just bring it in. The problem was they closed in an hour and I couldn’t get there. This is not a big issue. I want you to know that. It’s just that I had no idea what a vinyl junkie I had become. I can’t bring this piece of equipment in untilTuesday and I have all the records sitting around waiting to be played and I feel like I am letting them down. I also haven’t been in my house quietly in like a year or so. It’s not bad. I guess there is a price to be paid in patience and inconvenience when you want to time travel back to the days of analog purity. I’m just lucky they still make the tubes or my spaceship wouldn’t run at all.

I tried kohlrabi. Not great, but good. It felt like something I should be eating at least every so often. Maybe raw isn’t the way. I’ll do some research.

On Monday you can listen to me and Lena Dunham talk about art and stuff. We had a very nice chat. I enjoyed her. On Thursday I go out to the edge a bit with Duncan Trussell. We talk cancer and hippy metaphysics. Good week of chats.
Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
6

New shows.

WTF, Seriously, WTF People-

There may be some tickets left for my floundering, rambling and soul wrestling shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. I believe this Tuesday is sold out but there may be seats left for March 18th and 25th shows. Go here for tickets.

There are new shows up on the site schedule as well. Go to wtfpod.com. I may be coming your way.
This week I will share with you The Tale of Two McDonalds. Well, The Tale of Macdonald & McDonald. I’m a huge fan of The Kids in the Hall. I’ve always liked them. It has been my desire to eventually have them all on the show. So, when my assistant told me Kevin McDonald was available to come on the show, I jumped at the opportunity to schedule him, which we did.

The day he was coming over I was going over the history of The Kids and seeing what he has been doing lately when the doorbell rang. I answered the door and there was a publicist there. She said the Kevin was about 5 minutes behind her. I thought it was odd that Kevin would have a publicist because that is usually something that happens with bigger guests on a press junket, but I was happy things were going well for him. The publicist asked me if I had gotten the movie. I told her I hadn’t. I asked what role Kevin played in the film. She said he directed it. I thought, great, things are really going well for Kevin. I wasn’t worried about not seeing the movie because there was a lot of Kids history we could talk about and then he could frame the film for me.

We sat there for a few minutes. It was a little awkward because something didn’t feel quite right. Then, a boyish looking man appeared at the door. I let him in thinking, ‘Wow. Kevin has a whole press entourage with him.’ After a few awkward beats it hit me that this was the man doing my show. I had no idea who he was. I did not recognize him. I assumed that his name was Kevin. It was. It was Kevin Macdonald, the Scottish filmmaker about whom I knew nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Not wanting to be disrespectful, I was going to soldier through and not mention what was an incredibly surprising and difficult situation. I told the two of them that they were a little early and that I needed to do a couple of tech things. I went into the garage and got Kevin Macdonald’s info up on Wiki and IMDb. All I had to go on was the movie he was at my house to plug. Thankfully I had seen one of his other movies, The Last King of Scotland, and he had done a doc on Mick Jagger. I had enough to get through a good chunk of time. I did what I could. It was awkward. It was not a full episode and I knew the thing that had to do be done was track down the Kevin McDonald I was expecting and release them together. So that is what you will hear on Monday.

On Thursday, Annabelle Gurwitch returns to the garage solo to talk about her new book, I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50. I love talking to her. It’s okay to be middle aged—just haaaard sometimes.

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

The show must go on.

Let it rain, People!

Not really. It’s been a nightmare here for the last few days. I know it’s just rain. I know that the state actually needs the water. I also know that I rely on a hole in the cement of my driveway to get rid of the water that becomes a small lake in front of my garage. I have no idea where the hole leads to. It is not a drain. It is not a pipe. It's is a hole and I have always known that I will have to do something about building a real drainage situation but I put it off and relied on the hole. Never rely on a hole.

For ten years that hole worked and in the middle of a torrential downpouron Friday the hole backed up, the lake in the driveway was rising and my livelihood was at stake because the garage was in jeopardy of being flooded. I had no idea what to do because my brain thinks the only solution is to jackhammer up the concrete and install a legitimate drain. As the water was rising and I was out there squeegeeing the water with a large push broom I thought that would be my weekend -- constant vigilance and wetness watching over my garage. I called an architect friend of mine who immediately suggested sandbags. What? The one thing I know to have diverted water for centuries did not enter my mind. So, I went off to Home Depot with Dean Delray and Brenton Biddlecombe who just happened to be in my hood record shopping in a downpour. We got the sand and the bags. We got back to the house and filled them and laid them out. We secured the garage! Thank god for comics wandering around with nothing to do on a Friday afternoon in the rain. The show must go on.

Maybe some of you saw me presenting an Independent Spirit Award the other night. Yup, that was me. The man made in his own garage standing there with Aubrey Plaza presenting the John Cassavettes award. I couldn’t believe I was there sitting in the room with Bruce Dern, McConaughey, Pitt, Reeves, etc. It’s weird that I have felt like an outsider of this business for so long that actually being asked to be part of it feels strange but exciting. I am also a latent fan of movie stars and it is always very hard for me to see them as just people at a table or people waiting for their cars at the valet but that is what they are—just people. Damn. There’s no Santa.

This week we go back into the darkness of The Comedy Store with Allan Stephan who was one of the original Comedy Store guys. You all know I’m obsessed with the place so go with me on this one. The charismatic Billy Connolly is with me on Thursday. That will be exciting. He's generally electric.

Also, I have extended my run at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater through all the Tuesdays in March. So, you can try to get tickets for 3/4, 3/11/, 3/18 and 3/25 here!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
1

I bought a bike.

Okay, Folks!

Last week at the Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater went great. Thanks again for coming out. If you want to come see the process of me figuring out what to talk about on stage there are at least two other opportunities. I will be doing the rambling self-wrestling workshops on March 4th and 11th at 8pm. I will have someone opening for me. Last week was Nate Bargatze. I’m not sure who it will be for the next two shows. You can get tickets here.

I bought a bike. I’ve bought bikes before but I really feel like I am going to ride this bike. Don’t you? I mean I didn’t get a bike that would pressure me. You know the kind. They have 29 gears, fancy handle bars that you have to hunch over to use, a tiny seat set way up and those dumb thingies that you have to put your feet in to pedal. I’ve decided those are dangerous. Not just the pedal thingies but fancy bikes in general. They seem to have expectations that I can’t live up to and I am not going to try anymore. I bought a cruiser. It has 7 speeds and ‘Hey, I’m riding a bike because it’s fun’ handlebars. It’s simple and badass. I’m going now to see if I can equip it with saddlebags or a basket of some kind because in my mind I’m going to be running all my local errands on that bike. I guess the trick now is to find a badass bike basket. I don’t even know if they exist. I’m hanging on to hope. Hope for a badass basket.
If you’ve never been called a sociopath apparently you aren’t making an impact on the people around you. Like narcissist, sociopath gets bandied about like regular people have the ability to diagnose psychiatric disorders based on their own feelings about someone. If you’ve been called either of these names I have to assume that the caller was not happy with you and there is a good chance they spent several years with you. I’m speaking in general terms here, hypothetical.

On Monday’s show I have a conversation with Jon Ronson who wrote a book called ‘The Psychopath Test’ which I read and found informative, compelling, personal and funny. It is also full of conscience or at the very least, self-awareness, which means that Jon is not a psychopath. Though he wasn’t entirely sure at points. On Thursday the always-talking Tom Arnold talks to me. It’s actually a revealing chat that made me see Tom differently. Hell of a story.

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
4

I had a great time in Minnesota.

Snow, people, snow-

LA folks! I will be doing some shows at The Trepany House at the Steve Allen Theater! These are what I call ramble, flounder and wrestle shows. I need to find some new material and the way I do it is by splaying myself open in front of a room full of strangers as I try to figure it out. The shows are 8 dollars and all proceeds go the benefit the theater. You can get tickets here.

I didn’t tell you that I was going but I was in St. Paul, Minnesota for the night last Friday. I went there to appear on Wits, the radio show with John Moe. It was Minnesota in February so it was fucking cold and there was snow on the ground. No problem. Living in LA after living in wintery places for most of my life leaves me with a bit of craving for a taste of the white stuff. I was happy to be there and cold. Appearing on the show with me was Jason Isbell and his wife Amanda Shires. Many of you were telling me that I should interview him. I had no idea who he was. Then my friend told me he was in the Drive-By Truckers who I like and I was curious. Turns out the Truckers albums that I was familiar with were the ones Jason was on. This compelled me to bring my recording equipment with me. When I got to St. Paul I immediately downloaded all of Jason’s solo work, listened, loved them. Then I asked him on Twitter if he wanted to do the show. He said yes.

Everything was fine at the show. We did the sound check, we all ate, we rehearsed, we started the show and the first act went great. I went back in my dressing room at intermission to find that my iPhone and charger had been stolen from the DRESSING ROOM. IN MINNESOTA. This killed my last bit of belief in people being good. I was livid. That feeling when you lose your phone is one thing but knowing someone had all of me that was in that phone, it was like someone cut me open and stole an organ. I only had a few minutes to freak out, go to the Apple phone tracker to see if it was nearby (wasn’t). Then I emailed my mac guy who did his magic and had the phone locked down and killed from space. I was amazed that I went out for the second act of the show and didn’t ruin it for everyone. I had a great time actually. I did some singing and guitar playing. I let it go. I had done all I could about the phone. I called Moon and changed my password on Twitter. Those seemed most important. Then I went back to the hotel and Jason Isbell and me had a chat. He was a trooper. He was going on two hours sleep and had to be up at five to hit the road. Real deal. Good talk. We even recorded a song Alan Lomax style in the room. The Wits show made it right by buying me a phone the next morning. I had all my info delivered from space and was ready to go.

Got on a plane and as soon as I did it started snowing. If there is one thing I love about Minnesota is that they are not afraid of snow, they work with it, they fly in it. I loved the fact that we were held up briefly but there was never a question that we would leave. That is a big city problem. In Minnesota, they fly in the snow.

This week one of the most respected hard working comics around, Billy Gardell, is on the show. On Thursday the amazing comedian and writer for Conan O'Brien, Laurie Kilmartin, joins me in the garage. Great talks. Real deal people. Dig.

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
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Eating in NYC.

NYC, Folks!

Just getting ready to leave NYC. Had a really great time here. I think I needed the rest and needed to get out of LA after wrapping season 2 of ‘Maron.' I also had some business here that I don’t think I am at liberty to really talk about but let's say it went well. Everyone who was involved seemed happy with it.

I’m a bit anxious. I hope I can get out of NYC. I think I should be able to but I have become terrified of the weather in terms of travel. They used to fly in snow but not so much anymore. We’ll see. There’s a bit in the forecast but maybe we’ll get out.

Let me break down what I put in my body while I was here. I think you all should know. First night here we went to Angelika Kitchen. Healthy shit. The best macro joint on the planet though I’ve only eaten at maybe three. It was a good way to start. After eating there some part of you thinks, "why not eat like this all the time," and then, the following night, the Carnegie Deli steps in and shows you why you can't. A pastrami sandwich, matzoh ball soup and a slice of cheesecake later you think, "I don’t think I can ever eat again." That passes. Next day, Mogador Café for tagines and groovy Moroccan sides, mint tea, solid. Next day, Veselka, hot borscht and perogi. Then Russ and Daughter for just two fillets of matjes herring which almost cost me my new relationship. It’s a rocky initiation into the latent culinary yearnings of eastern European Jew lineage. She didn’t like it but she tried it. I think her immediate response was, "foul." Last night up we went to Scott Conant's NYC Scarpetta and had an awesome meal. I believe I may have a heart attack but I also believe this was just the trip to push me into a healthier food and exercise regimen. We’ll see. Both could happen.

And, yes, I am dating Moon Zappa. So, there. It’s been fun and grown up and AGE APPROPRIATE. Lots of crying (good kind) and laughing and talking and learning how to be in a relationship in a healthy way and other stuff (shy).

Do you know what Dr. Bronner’s All in One Soap is? Have you read the label? Do you remember the first time you saw the label and thought, "What the fuck is this?" I do. Through some weird coincidences I was able to interview David Bronner who is the grandson of Emmanuel Bronner who is the guy who wrote that stuff on the label. I was curious and obsessed about it. Interesting talk. On Thursday, if all goes as planned, the amazing Ron White will be on the show. I love Ron. He’s the real deal. I’m looking forward to talking to him.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

He will be missed.

Sad news, People-

Being someone who has struggled a bit with addiction, it’s always tragic to hear about someone who loses that battle. When I heard Philip Seymour Hoffman was dead from an overdose of heroin it hit me right in the guts because I know he was always fighting that demon. Drug addiction is the closest true parallel to demonic possession that I know of. Having been possessed myself there is no worse feeling than being held hostage in your own body and mind by a demon that is hijacking and dictating all of your decisions. The demon is using your will to kill you in the name of relief and euphoria. That is the horror of the disease of addiction and I am sad that it took Hoffman. He will be missed.

On other fronts we wrapped the second season of ‘Maron’ last week and I spent the day editing the episode I directed. It is just fucking amazing what a good editor can do and how quickly you can look at options and make dramatic changes to a story. The entire directorial process is very exciting. I would like to try it when I am not in every scene and I can actually sit back and say action every time and not have to shout cut from the set I am on. Sadly, a cut was called a beat too early on one occasion. I blame the director. He’s the new guy. Again, very excited about the new season. I think they are good shows and I’m not a guy who says that about something I do.

My crazy cat LaFonda has a cone on her head so she won't pick at her stitches on her lip. She had a little cyst removed. So, now my life is full of crazed feline fury and tweak. Never a dull moment. She’s been under the bed for two days giving me stink eye when I look at her. The stink is tempered by the ridiculousness of the cone. I feel bad I am putting her through that. I will take it off soon.

Comic and writer, Morgan Murphy joins me in the garage today. We have some dicey history so that should be good. On Thursday the engaging and earnest Langhorne Slim hangs out with me and sings a bit. I love this guy. I feel like I’ve known him since he was a kid because I have. I interviewed him on the radio like 8 years ago when he was just starting out. We’ve both grown up a bit since then. I think.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
1

I went to a modern dance thing.

Okay, Action!

So, folks my special ‘Thinky Pain’ is now available on DVD for purchase at wherever you purchase DVDs if that is something you would like to own. It’s there for you to have.

Also, did you know if you put chia seed in coconut milk over night it makes almost a pudding. This was an amazing thing that someone showed me and I am beside myself about it. I just put chia seeds in a one-to-four ratio with some unsweetened coconut milk with a little Stevia and let it set in the fridge overnight and woke up to this awesome pudding thing. It was a life changer that I thought I should share.

Last night I went to a modern dance thing. It was Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance troupe. The thing was called FAR. I know nothing about dance, zero. It was wild to see. I think it’s easy for most of us to dismiss ‘modern dance’ as being this ridiculous mode but I have to say I was impressed and moved. I hate that I dismiss things as something I wouldn’t like just because I make it ridiculous in my mind. Dance is one of the important arts and I was reticent to go because I think I was traumatized by a modern dance performance in college. That was 30 years ago. I don’t think I’ve gone to a modern dance performance in thirty years because it seemed ridiculous to College Marc. Many things were ridiculous to College Marc. He was an ‘art’ guy but for some reason dance wasn’t part of it. It was an astounding performance. It was only an hour (perfect). I drifted in and out a bit but the great thing about modern dance is that if you space out and come back you can get right back on board because you probably didn’t miss any plot points.

I went with my friend Moon, her daughter who is 9 and her daughter’s friend who is 8. Like me they were very excited initially. As I strained to keep focused on the dancers and was beginning to drift I looked over at the two girls about twenty minutes in and they had moved into glazed almost nap mode. So, that gave me pause because I realized I had the attention span of an 8 year old when it comes to modern dance. I forced myself to hold steady and lock in for the rest of the show. It was challenging but amazing. I cried a bit for reasons I don’t understand. I guess that means it was good art.

I am directing the last episode of Maron this week. I am not nervous but I am doing something I have never done before and excited to learn and feel what it is like. I will let you know how that goes and whether or not I sent us over budget with my vision.

This week on the show Simon Amstell talks to me on Monday. He’s a comic from the UK who I have surprisingly way too much in common with. On Thursday Spin writer Marc Spitz talks to me about his journey through drugs and music. For most of it, we were blocks away from each other in NYC in the 90s. It is all in his newish memoir ‘Poseur.’

Enjoy!

Boomer lives.



Love,

Marc
5