Dispatches from the Head

WTF - Paula Poundstone on staying in comedy.

Full episode out 5/21

WTF - Danny McBride can memorize lines.

Full episode out 5/17

Too Jewy?


I will be doing a live WTF at The Googa Mooga Festival in Brooklyn this weekend. It is a special engagement. I had no control over the ticket prices or venue situation. I am sorry if you feel left out. The good news is I will share the show with you soon. I will also be performing at the Bonnaroo Festival in June. This week I am appearing on Piers Morgan on Monday and Conan this Wednesday.

I’ll be slowing down on my performance schedule a bit in the summer to start writing the IFC show and work on a second draft of my book. I will keep you all abreast of what goes on and where I will be appearing.

I’m sorry about the greeting. Too Jewy? I spent the weekend at my niece’s Bat Mitzvah in Phoenix and I feel like I’ve had my fill of Jewish for the year. Outside of what emits from my being involuntarily on a day to day basis, I’m all filled up. While I was sitting there at the temple I realized Bat and Bar Mitzvahs are a unique opportunity to observe the full life cycle of the Jewish person. In most cases it seems to end up with complaining—from my observations. I’m not complaining, yet, right now.

As I write this I am sitting poolside at a resort in Phoenix with my mother, my brother and his wife, his 3 kids, her 4 kids and my girlfriend Jessica. I can’t remember the last time I have been with my mother on Mother’s Day. She’s thrilled that my brother and I are both here as well as all her grandkids. I don’t always acknowledge these occasions but they seem to be important. I’m trying to realize that life doesn’t last forever and I should experience these family moments and appreciate them. That usually lasts about 20 minutes, half-hour max, then I’ve had enough. I hope you connected with your moms just enough to not have had enough. Either way, they are why we’re here, for better or for worse, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for that (depending on the day). I know my mother reads this so I just want to say, “Thanks, mom. You did the best you could, so you claim, and we ended up okay. Happy Mother’s Day.”

Great shows this week. On Monday is the Live from San Francisco Sketchfest show with Laraine Newman, Will Durst, Pete Holmes, Geoff Bolt and Arden Myrin. I remember it as being big laughs and big fun. On Thursday I’m happy to post a rare and hilarious interview with Danny McBride. Hope you dig it.


WTF - Craig Ferguson does not have a fragile ego.

Full episode out 5/10


I can turn just about anything into a smoothie.

Yes, Folks!

First off, thank you Phoenix! I had a great time at Stand Up Live. Thanks for coming out! It’s a beautiful club and it was great to see everyone.

It was a little weird being back in Phoenix. I have a lot of history there. My first wife was from there and my brother currently lives there. On top of that some very old family friends were visiting town. They read that I was performing and reached out to me. This was a family that lived next to my Grandma Goldy in NJ. I knew them all of my life. There were two boys and two girls and one of the girls, Jodi, told me that I was the first diaper she’d ever changed. That tells me a couple of things. I helped someone learn a valuable skill and my mother wanted nothing to do with me. She also told me that my grandfather taught her everything she knew about sports. I remember my Grandpa Jack would sit for hours watching sports on TV. Any sport. It didn’t matter. I always felt like I had disappointed him because I wasn’t into to sports. Jodi told me that she would go over to the house when she was a kid and watch sports with Jack. He would have two TVs going and she said he had two phones going, too, so his bookies could get through. I had no idea that he was a compulsive sports bettor. Maybe it was better off I didn’t get into sports with him or I would’ve become a compulsive gambler and, as most of you know, my plate was pretty full just being an addict. I think I dodged a bullet there.

Well, I bought a Vitamix blender. I know they’re expensive. I’ve been thinking about getting one for years and I just buckled. I bought one. Needless two say in the two days that I have owned it I’ve made no less that 4 smoothies. I’m in the middle of making one now. I really hope it holds my obsessive focus long enough to justify the expenditure. We’ll see. It might go the way of the Sodastream that was the center of my life for a few months. Though that was significantly cheaper and really not as exciting. I can turn just about anything into a smoothie. There’s no end to it. That’s a lot more compelling than making things bubbly.

On the show this week: On Monday, from The Hangover and her new film, Natural Selection, Rachael Harris. It turns she’s not really a bitch. She just plays one a lot. I loved talking to her. On Thursday, Craig Ferguson talks about his original stage character and his long, weird-luck journey to The Late Show. Good guy.



WTF - Rachael Harris’s presidential crushes

Full episode out 5/7


Howdy, Folks-

Let’s do this Phoenix thing. If you are in the area come out to Stand Up Live on May 3rd. I’m doing one show and I’ll bring some stuff. It will be great. I haven’t done standup in that area in a long time. Love Arizona. I have family there. I’m looking forward to the desert.

Thank you, Austin! The Moontower Comedy Festival was a tremendous success. It was their first year and they did a hell of job. All the shows were great. They treated me good and I really appreciate you all coming out. I also had a great time hanging out with all the other comics, some I hadn’t seen in a long time. I was able to see Steven Wright live for the first time and that was really fucking special. Love that guy. It was really the most organized and well-run festival I have ever been involved with. Congrats, Moontower! I hope I see you next year.

Let get to the meat of the matter -- BBQ. When I go to Austin the challenge for me seems to be how much slow-cooked meat can I load into my being before I leave either Austin or this mortal coil. The shameless shoving of cooked pig into my face is something I only do in BBQ towns. Austin is a big one. I usually go to a place called Sam’s but the last few times I was there they were shut down for stolen meat, which is better than bad meat. They were open again and I went there my first day out. It wasn’t the same. There was no love in the place, the brisket was tough and the guy working there complained for about 10 minutes about being unable to keep flies out of the joint. It’s the only place I’ve ever been that has BBQ mutton which was great but not enough to get back in there. I kept hearing about this place Franklin's as being the best in town but the rest of description involved waiting in line for hours and they may run out of meat. Fuck that. I heard the same about the guy who taught the guy who owns Franklin's so I thought fuck that, too. I had driven out to Salt Lick on another trip—didn’t love their sauce. I didn’t want to go to Lockhart because it was another mythic joint that was played out. There is part of the BBQ thing that makes you want to find the secret best place that no one really talks about or knows. I found it, for me anyway.

I was rambling on about Sam’s to some locals and some large woman in a wheelchair that looked like she might be in it because of eating too much BBQ suggested Opie’s in Spicewood.


It already sounded amazing—just the name. Me and my buddy Josh drove out on Highway 71 about 40 minutes and came upon this place and I just knew it was the shit. We walked in and a guy rushed up to us and asked, “Do you want to see your meat?” He opened this large cylindrical tank next to the door and said, “Pick it out.” There were Pork Chops, Links, Brisket, Beef Ribs, Pork Ribs and Pulled Pork. I had never been to an open casket BBQ joint before. It was amazing. Here are some food pics.



On the show this week, a poolside chat with Chelsea Handler on Monday and my hotel room chat in OKC with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips on Thursday. Hope you dig it all.


WTF - Chelsea Handler paid $500 for cigarettes.

Full episode out 4/30

WTF - Bob Zmuda on Andy Kaufman vs Tony Clifton

Full episode out 4/26

Please Remember to Stretch.

Oh, man, People-

I am tired. I'm sitting here at the airport in Portland wiped out. I did five shows here and they were hands-on, real, raw standup. I’m losing my voice. I’ll get to that in a minute. Thanks to everyone who came out to the show. Good times.

This week I will be at the Mohawk in Austin on Thursday for the Moontower Comedy Festival. I’m looking forward to getting back to Austin. I’ll be doing a couple of other shows there as well. You can check the schedule because I don’t even know what they are. On May 3rd I am doing one night at Stand Up Live in Phoenix so if you are in the area it would be good to see you.

I need a rest. I’ve been going non stop for months and the three days at the weird nice spa in Santa Fe wasn’t enough. My voice is raspy. I wish it were just because I was worn out but in actuality I think I sprained it during a fight. Jess and I got into an argument over some bullshit. I don’t even know what it was about. She claims I am just stressed and taking it out on her. I, of course, argued that couldn’t be it and, of course, that became the argument. Stupid. So, I yelled. Now, for the last 3 days my voice had been fucked up. This is all part of getting older. The last time I played softball I didn’t stretch and I pulled my hamstring. The last time I went running I didn’t stretch well enough and hurt my foot. The point is, you have to warm up. Sadly, when you are about to have a loud argument over nothing there isn’t much time for vocal exercises. Maybe the better way to think about this is I just shouldn’t be screaming like a child because my voice is my livelihood. Better still, maybe I shouldn’t be screaming like a child because I am a grown man and it’s just hurtful and embarrassing.

Please remember to stretch. You’re not a kid anymore.

Today, Monday, is the last day to pre-order the First 100 Episodes in MP3 files on a two DVD box set, which includes a live WTF video from The Bell House in Brooklyn featuring Artie Lange and Ira Glass. It’s a beautiful box and we’re real happy with how it came out. It's officially available on Tuesday.

Today on the show, the amazing James Mercer, lead singer of The Shins. We share a common hometown of Albuquerque and he actually sings an acoustic version of his new single ‘Simple Song.' Also, you learn in this talk that I have a hard time distinguishing mice. For all you Andy Kaufman fans, Bob Zmuda is on the show on Thursday. No matter how you feel about Zmuda this show is intense. He is an amazing raconteur and full of stories. Enjoy.