Dispatches from the Head

WTF Preview with Jillian Lauren

Full Episode comes out 12/8

I better watch my thoughts.

Well, crew-

The shows at The Arlington Drafthouse in VA were great! Thanks you all for coming out and thanks to you all for the cookies, brownies, cat toys, dreidel-shaped chocolate-covered marshmallows, Oreo Truffles, coffee, art and the Kenneth Tynan book. I’m glad it was my cheat day and I hope I don’t get diabetes. At least when I’m obese I'll have more time to read because I won’t be moving around as much.

I really didn’t have time to do anything in DC while I was there. I was put up right across the street from the Pentagon. There is something in me, some paronoia, some old radical wiring that gets activated in DC. When I saw the Pentagon from the hotel I thought, ‘Wow, that’s close. I better watch my thoughts.’ My THOUGHTS! What the fuck? There was some part of me that believed for a second that there was someone in a room, in the Pentagon, culling thoughts out of the air and out of the brains of people within a few mile radius of the world’s largest subverted pentagram. I was amazed at myself. They can't do that. Can they? Aren’t they more concerned with monitoring the emails of everyone around the world for trigger words like BOMB, TERRORIST, EXPLODE and PRESIDENT.

I was a little embarrassed when someone from the audience asked me to comment on the 3rd amendment. In that moment I did not know why they would bring that up and, quite frankly, I did not know what the third amendment was. It’s the one about letting soldiers stay at your house only during war time. The National Defense Authorization Act passed in the senate while I was there. So, I had to do some research. Apparently, from the spin I gleaned, it declares the United States a sort of perpetual battleground/war. This could usurp the amendment’s power to protect us from a police state and all that comes with it. The idea behind the act is to allow the military to deny suspected terrorists a lawyer, due process or any civil rights whenever they deem necessary. I can't pretend to understand the language or the particulars but as a recovering knee-jerk liberal the problem with these slippery slope measures, at least in design, is how the label of ‘Terrorist’ will evolve in the future. Will it one day grow to include a comic using the words BOMB, TERRORIST, EXPLODE and PRESIDENT in an email as a satirical statement and example of how such legislation and fears could backfire.

Please let me know if a member of the military visits you in response to this email. Sorry to drag you into it. Sometimes you really have to fight the good fight to preserve liberty and freedom.

If you are actually experiencing any fear in this moment, isn’t that a problem?

On the show this week: On Monday I talk to Anthony Bourdain about food, drugs, truth and travel while sitting in a hotel in Brooklyn. On Thursday my neighbor and author Jillian Lauren talks about being a member of a harem and her new novel. Good stuff. Hope I am not renditioned to Burbank.

BTW. The signed Coop poster is now available in the merch section at wtfpod.com. They are numbered and there are only 75 of them. So get them while you can.


WTF - Anthony Bourdain Preview

Full episode out 12/5

WTF Henry Phillips Preview

Full ep out 12/1

Swimming upstream to spawn & die.

Okay, whoa, people!

First off, I will be at the Arlington Draft House this Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2nd and 3rd. If you are in the neighborhood, come down.

Now, thank you Seattle! Friday night at the Neptune Theater was awesome. I don’t know if any of you really knew this but it was my first legitimate theater gig. In my mind it was. I have played theaters before but this was the first one-night-only over 500 seat theater show for me. We sold it out. 800 people showed up and it was a blast. I want to thank Mike Drucker for doing the opening business. He was hilarious and did a great job.

I have been to Seattle many times but this was by far the rainiest. I went up for the week with my girlfriend thinking November was a great time to vacation in Seattle. I know it rains there, a lot. I adjusted to it. I thought I adjusted to it but come day 3 of nonstop cold, dark rain my head was getting a little fucked. I now understand why many people in Seattle don’t dress for the rain or use umbrellas. Two reasons. One, what’s the point. Two, denial. With the amount of rain that pours down why not just transcend the chronic dampness of street and spirit by not acknowledging it at all. Stubborn acceptance. It’s not sad to be wet. Then, on top of that denial, let's pour cups and cups of the strongest coffee in the world into that spirit until it hums and sings the rain away. The vibrations buzzing off the bodies of people in Seattle actually repel water. Genius. When the humming and singing is done, how about some fancy artisanal regional beer or ale or cider—maybe something thick and pulpy—something to take the edge off the caffeinated rain repression.

I think everyone in Seattle is swimming upstream to spawn and die on some level. You definitely need coffee for that. I love it up there. I would live there. Maybe someday I will and when I do I will have a very long beard.

Thanksgiving was nice. We did a vegetarian thing at the Café Flora and it was nice. I have a hard time not screaming at veggie restaurants but I managed. We also went to a place called Sutra and did another veg thing and it was even harder not to scream in there. The food was good but they actually ring a small gong-like bell before eating and thank the farmers and the land. It was nice and genuine but I wanted to scream a little. The food at both places was great.

Great shows this week. I talked to Penn Jillette when I was in Vegas and he was a much sweeter guy that I ever imagined. Great talk, great stories. We covered a lot of ground. On Thursday the wonderfully dark, songwriting comic Henry Phillips shares some tales and some tunes. We jam a bit. It was groovy.

Wish I was still away.


Alternate Histories

As heard on Episode 229 - Get the Alternate Histories Holiday Cards in the Etsy Marketplace. Use WTFPOD at the checkout for 20% off your order.
Alternate Histories Holiday Cards

Penn Jillette Preview

Preview of Monday's episode with Penn Jillette, he talks about going to clown college, check it out!

WTF - Dr. Stephen Dansiger

Dr. Stephen Dansiger talks about helping the community heal after the Crown Heights Riots, check it out!

Give thanks.

Okay, People, here we go-

First, there are still few tickets left for the show at The Neptune Theater in Seattle on Nov. 25th and all the shows at The Arlington Draft House in Arlington VA Dec. 2nd and 3rd.

Seattle people. If you want merch bring cash. I am yet to get a phone that enables me to do credit cards. It is on the way but won’t be here for the show. I am hoping to have the hand screened Coop posters at the show and they will be 50 bucks. They are beautiful. I hope they dry in time.

That said, I am happy and nervous to be alive, as usual. I really don’t think I am in a mid-life crisis at all. I’m trying to ease into a mid-life acknowledgement and acceptance. I have been a lot of places and had what seems to be several lives. I have been flat out busted a couple of times. There have been plenty of peaks and valleys. Sometimes I forget what I have been through and where I have been and it all comes rushing back when I see someone from some other life I had. That is, if I recognize and remember them. Those awkward few minutes of trying to place someone into the context of my history: did we fuck, did we fight, do I owe you money? That is sometimes the only way I know I am getting older. There have been so many faces, places and people. My mind has a hard time holding on to them the way it used to. I can't place them. I saw someone last night that I hadn’t seen in a while and she had been through some hard times. It was very moving to hear that she had struggled and made it out of the tunnel. I remember how she was when she was younger and now we’re both older, wiser and a little more beat up. Sharing that weird, raw vulnerability that comes from just surviving and not giving up or dying is one of the most moving exchanges available to us, even if it only lasts a few moments. It makes me realize that getting older is in some ways pretty fucking sweet.

Mary Lynn Rajskub is on Monday’s show. I have some history with her. Well, more with one of her old roommates but it was great to talk to her. I have always felt she was a bit of genius. On Thursday my old friend Dr. Stephen Dansiger talks to me about creativity and his own painful journey from rock stardom, through drugs and alcohol, into mental hospitals, beyond disappointment, heartbreak and ultimately into sobriety, getting his PhD and starting a family. Awesome tale.

Thanksgiving is here. Despite what you may think of the holiday and its inception try to feel a little non-holiday related gratitude. It is a difficult feeling for me to summon up. It doesn’t come naturally. I have to open my heart and let it set in. I have a lot to be grateful for right now. Things are better than okay but things have been tough in the past and I’m sure they will be again for some reason or other. I know a lot of people are struggling right now. Just know you are not alone and it probably isn’t you’re fault. So, try to give yourself a break and find something to be thankful for and spread a little love around if you can. Go ahead, do it. Reach out to a stranger. Do something nice for someone less fortunate. Eat some good food. Hold a baby. Hug an old person. Be present. Be grateful to be fucking alive.


WTF - Mary Lynn Rajskub on her kiss with Rush Limbaugh

Full episode available Monday, 11/21. Do it!

Clean Shaven at the Philharmonic.

Clean Shaven at the Philharmonic.

Okay, Pals-

First off, heads up! Me, Neptune Theater, Seattle, Nov. 25th, still some tickets left. Me, Arlington Draft House, Arlington, VA, Dec. 2nd and 3rd, still some tickets left. Come out if you are in those areas.

How is everyone? I am a bit weirded out. I took a stealth trip into NYC to shoot a couple of scenes in an indy movie. I play a corporate consultant. The film is called ‘Wifed Out.' They asked me to be clean shaven. I don’t think I have seen my face in I-don’t-even-know-how-many years. I buzzed off my stache and soul patch. It was like amputating an identity limb. It wasn’t painful but it is interesting to realize how much of your image is hanging from facial hair. It feels good. I don’t think I will keep it smooth. I like the face configuration I’ve settled on but I just wanted you all to see what’s under there.

Clean Shaven

Be nice. I’m very vulnerable right now.

I got into NYC on Friday night. I had very little sleep. I was staying at a hotel directly across from Lincoln Center. My plan was to go out and grab something to eat and then crash because I had an early call time, 5:30am. I walked out of the Empire Hotel. The weather was perfect, crisp, fall, New York. It had just gotten dark. I looked over at Lincoln Center and it was buzzing with people. Lincoln Center houses the Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Ballet and The New York Philharmonic. There are three different buildings. I decided to go see what was going on. I thought this is what New York is all about. Spontaneously immersing yourself in real deal culture and art. There was no ballet going on at the NYC Ballet. There was an opera happening at The Met, the Philip Glass Gandhi opera. I asked if the guy in the window if there were seats.

He said, “Sure”.

I asked how long it ran.

He said, “about four hours.”

I said, “I can’t do four hours. Is there someone I can talk to about tightening it up?”

I walked over to The New York Philharmonic. They were doing Strauss Don Quixote and Beethoven’s Pastoral. “Do you have seats?’ I asked. The woman in the window said yes.

“How much for the best seats?” I asked.

“129.50. Center seat, Orchestra, ten rows from the stage.”

“How long is the thing?” I asked, trying not to let on that it was the most important question.

“About two hours.”

“Perfect. I’m in.”

So, I sat, alone, center orchestra, covered in cat hair, surrounded by people who look like they were cast in a later Woody Allen film and took in the jams. It was fascinating and beautiful. I know nothing about classical music but I do know how to listen and all I can say is the Beethoven was definitely a good choice to close with. It rocked.

On the show Monday, from Party Down and Parks and Recreation, the mysterious Adam Scott talks about his path as an actor and how he ended up funny. On Thursday writer and humorist Merril Markoe talks about being one of the original writers on the Letterman show, her new book and stuff. Enjoy.


WTF Live with Molly Shannon & More

Preview of Thursday's Live WTF from the Steve Allen Theater with Molly Shannon, Neil Hamburger and Andy Kindler.

Writing and cured pig.

Thank you, San Francisco! Hello to the rest of ya!

Just got back from an amazing bunch of shows in SF. We sold out all 6 shows and every audience was great! A quick thanks to the folks that brought me the slow carb diet friendly muffins. That was very thoughtful. I know you would’ve made something richer and more decadent but it was very sweet and I ate 6 of them... in 12 minutes. I’m not sure that is the way they are supposed to be used but I am so carb starved it felt like I had no choice.

I’ve been getting a lot of writing done and frankly I am not having a good time. Revisiting things that I have put behind me is not the greatest way to spend an afternoon, whether you are doing it nostalgically with sadness or trying to write it out to process it in a different way. I’m trying to make myself the good guy in the story but I just didn’t act like one all the time. I guess that is what writing reveals if you want to do it honestly. I know I am changing so hopefully by the time I finish writing it will have a bit of a heroic ending. Minor heroics. I’ll settle for a little bit of change for the better.

I stocked up a bit on cured pig while I was up in SF. I love Boccalone. I also bought some Salami and something called Cotechino. I think it’s encased in pig skin and has rinds in the sausage itself. I have no idea what the fuck to do with it. So that will be a side project this week. I don’t know about all this freedom to eat meat. I may be lean but my heart is clogging. Vanity over health. God bless America.

I’ve had a couple of guests lately that have been pretty thoughtful about faith and belief and the desire for both. I’m speaking of Norm MacDonald last week and Rainn Wilson this Monday. As I get older it is getting less frightening in terms of who I am in the world and in my body but more frightening in terms of when I leave this world and my body. Can’t catch a break from a fear of some kind.

Thursday is a live WTF from The Steve Allen Theater in LA featuring Molly Shannon, Neil Hamburger, Harris Wittels, Andy Kindler, Eddie Pepitone and Jim Earl. It was an amazing show. Hope you dig it.

Quick reminder: Seattle, Neptune Theater. Nov. 25th. Love to see you there.

Tickets here: http://stgpresents.org/artists/?artist=1665


WTF - Rainn Wilson talks about his faith

http://www.youtube.com/wtfpodchannel Subscribe!

Full episode out 11/7

WTF - Chris Rock talks about his early days with Eddie Murphy

A preview is up now for my WTF interview with Chris Rock, do it!