Dispatches from the Head

The spirit of vigilance and tolerance.

Okay. Holidays, Folks -

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving thing. I just realized it’s sort of a soul palate preparer for the rest of the holidays. It gets your heart and mind into the spirit of vigilance and tolerance necessary for the next round later this month. I don’t mean to be cynical but dealing with family is always a bit jarring for better or worse. Obviously it can be wonderful but sometimes it takes some effort to get to wonderful.

I ended going really low key for Thanksgiving. I went somewhere where I knew virtually no one. I went with my friend Duncan to his friend’s place. They were willing to take in a single stragler. I had other invites but for one reason or another they didn’t work out. Some because of me, some for other reasons. I didn’t want to be around too many couples at a small thing or at a family thing that was unfamiliar. So, I went to a pretty large gathering and just got lost in the mix and ate compulsively for an hour. I wasn’t completely lost. When the food was coming out of the oven there was a mild panic in the room. It seemed that no one had the know how or confidence to cut into the bird. There’s a bit of stage fright involved in stepping up to the Turkey. I volunteered. I can take apart a bird pretty effectively. I didn’t know anyone in the room except my pal and they placed the main attraction in my hands. I was nervous but I just focused in with some dull knives and plattered the thing. It worked out. It was about me for just the right amount of time and I provided a service. I was happy to do it. I’m a giver. It was no easy thing. Folks, if you have knives, sharpen them. Nothing is worse than a dull blade for food or murder and you never know what you’ll need it for given your situation.

In other news, I called my dad. I hadn’t talked to him in months. It had been since the TV show aired. He was mad at me for the way I portrayed him which I thought was kind and endearing. In my mind he got off easy. He was upset though and I didn’t feel like I owed him an explanation or an apology. So, I just didn’t call him for a while. It was his birthday the other day, so I just called him and wished him a happy birthday and we talked to him for a while. He told me he was upset and that it was hard for him to take. I said he’ll be okay and I go easier on him this season. I’m glad I called. We’re too old to have tension. On some level I won. I think sometimes that’s all it’s about. You just want to beat your dad once. Now that’s behind me we’ll see who wins the life race, the final event.

This week I talk to Lou Barlow from Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. Love talking to that guy and hearing him play and sing. It was great. On Thursday one of many of the members of The State and many other shows, like Party Down and Eastbound and Down, Ken Marino is in the garage. There are only a few more members of The State left for me to talk to. I’ll get them.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
1

Be Thankful

Be thankful, people!

I love this time of year because winter in LA feels like fall everywhere else. The air is crisp, it's raining occasionally and I can wear a beanie if I want to. I like to wear wool hats. I like dressing for colder weather. So, I’m layering up even if it’s unnecessary.

This is the first year in a while that I’m not going to my mother’s for Thanksgiving. I will find something to do. I’ve been invited a couple of places. I’ll try not to sit at my house by myself though that is definitely an option. It might not be bad but I think it’s a bold action. I think if you sit holidays out when you have the opportunity to spend them with other people and it is an intentional celebration of sadness. Though sometimes spending time with other people can be even sadder. Tough call. We’ll see what I decide. I do know I probably won’t be cooking. Or I could actually just cook for myself. Maybe I should sit at home and eat scrambled eggs on Thanksgiving just to be contrary. We’ll see.

I just want to tell you about tomorrow’s show. I had the opportunity to talk to Larry King. I think it came through the folks that work on his Internet show. I don’t know if I would have interviewed him if it were just my decision. I guess I’m saying I wouldn’t have sought him out. I have nothing against Larry King per se. We do the same thing in some way. I just would not have thought to interview him. He’s a real guy. He’s is like a media truth of some kind: An archetype, a singular presence, an institution. I'm not going to put a value judgment - good or bad - on it. I’m just saying I didn’t seek him out. I think it was primarily because I couldn’t picture the person in there. I had absolutely no sense of who that guy is. I agreed to the interview and even made the trip to his place in Beverly Hills. I was given the time of 10:15 as when I was supposed to be over there. I waited out in the street in my car because I got there early. When I rang the bell I was greeted by a woman, walked into the entry way and waited for Larry King. He came out of the back house and said, “You’re late.” I wasn’t. We had been given different times. It got so uncomfortable for a few seconds that I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. He said he wouldn’t do the whole hour. I guess as punishment for my perceived lateness. At that point I wasn’t sure I cared one way of the other. I was cranky, he was cranky. I just wanted you to know that going in.

On Thursday comedian John Heffron talks a bit of shop and then we get into the real stuff. Great guy.

Have a great week and be nice to your family if you can.

Enjoy.

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron

WTF - Larry King on why he interviews.

Full episode out 11/25

7

WTF - Edgar Wright’s must-watch list.

Full episode out 11/21

2

The Boston Comedy Festival at The Somerville Theater

Hola, People-

Just went back and forth to Boston in 24 hours. Crazy. I went to accept the Comedian of the Year award from The Boston Comedy Festival at The Somerville Theater. It was an honor. I started in Boston. All of my early memories of working as a comic are in New England and the award means something to me. Those were tough days, lean years, crazy times. I bled a lot all over the New England countryside. It was like my own Revolutionary War of emotions.

They gave me the award after the finals of a competition. It was pretty intense to watch a bunch of new comics doing their best eight minutes. I hadn’t seen that in a while. Joke efficiency and hunger. It was great. Nothing was lost on me. In 1989 I lived two blocks from that theater in an attic in a house full of the kind of people that lived in houses with other people. It was a transition house. It was a holding pen for people between kid and grown up. It was one of those places that no one really knew who owned it but the one guy who had been there the longest—longer than he should have—paid the guy. I have definitely come a long way and I am grateful.

I did make time to stuff meat into my face at Redbones. I was living in that hood when the place opened 26 years ago. The owner, Caryn Whitney, came down to the restaurant when I was there and we hung out and caught up. It’s very weird to have known someone that long as an adult. It was great to see her. The food there is still awesome. It’s amazing to see a place become an institution.

Big week of shows! I know nothing about wrestling so I talked to one of the biggest wrestlers in the world! CM Punk is on the show Monday. On Thursday I have a lovely chat with Edgar Wright about his career and movies. Great guy. Great talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
2

WTF - What do you call CM Punk?

Full episode out 11/18

1

WTF - Barry Crimmins chose stand up over shop lifting.

Full episode out Friday 11/15/13

2

WTF - The Figgs & Marc Maron talk about when they first met.

Full episode out Wednesday 11/13

Return to planet Marc.

Hey, Folks-

Hope everyone is well. I can now report that I saw Gravity. Yes, in 3D. I had a weird type of high expectation. A lot of people I respect said it was great but they couldn’t explain why. There was really no critical talk about it or any specific analysis. It was really just, "What? You haven’t seen Gravity yet. You have to see it. It’s great." I didn’t find anything compelling about the ad campaign nor did I have any interest in seeing a "Space" movie. But, not unlike any cultural phenomenon, if I am not part of it I am outside, left out, in cultural limbo, outer space. Unlike the characters in the film all I had to do to get back to Planet Earth was see the movie.

I liked it. It made me feel very isolated and anxious and relieved over and over again. I can get those feelings in real life. Not necessarily repeated in that order or connected and not always with relief, but a lot of money went into me transcending my own feelings into no gravity and broken equipment. It was a very well done movie. I just recently saw 2001 again and the ballet of space vessels is very satisfying when done well. It was done very well in Gravity. I also had no idea what a hurling piece of fragmented satellite shrapnel could do to a man’s head. Now I do. So, there’s that. Also, between us, I love Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Who doesn’t?

On the personal front I think it’s time to get to ground zero of me. Check in with the baseline. I am seriously entertaining the idea of getting off the nicotine lozenges and the caffeine and the sugar, all at once, of course. I also have been entertaining the idea of regular exercise again. I will give you a heads up if I do these things, any of them, so you can prepare yourselves for what I imagine will be a temporary change of tone. Right now it’s just a fantasy, an idea. I do think I want to end the recurring cycles of anxiety, aggravation and relief and return to Planet Marc. We’ll see.

Three shows this week! On Monday Illeana Douglas talks to me about her life and career. She is an intense quirky woman. Love her voice. On Wednesday one of my favorite underrated bands, The Figgs, are all in the garage. It was a little unruly but a good time with some good music at the end. On Friday another unsung hero of modern comedy, Barry Crimmins, talks about his harrowing journey that moved through horrendous abuse as a child to performing for the Sandinistas. Heavy episode. I think you’ll dig it.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!



Love,
Maron
3

WTF - Illeana Douglas talks about her time in Astoria.

Full episode out 11/11

2

I am 50 years old.

Okay. I’m okay, People-

I’m cooking at home and starting to function like a person again. There is a dull ache to being present and aware of being alone but there is also the beauty of space. Mental and physical space.

Before I forget I want to hip you all to my friend Jerry Stahl’s new book. If you don’t know Jerry he’s most famous for his memoir "Permanent Midnight" and his amazing old Hollywood tome, "I Fatty." He’s a dark and fevered humorist. His writing blasts. His new book "Happy Mutant Baby Pills" is out tomorrow. Jerry and me will be doing a reading this Friday November 8th at the Last Book Store in downtown LA if you want come down. Should be dark and fun.

It’s odd. I think I’m just really settling into the idea that I am 50 years old. I didn’t think it mattered when it happened. Then again I was in the middle of a breakup and spent my birthday alone in a hotel room in West Hollywood. It is hitting me now. The reality. 50. I don’t think I feel bad. I might actually feel great. Can't tell. It really depends on which angle you take on any given day. I don’t seem to have as much control over the angle as I would like. It seems that some days everything seem kind of meaningless and I wonder what the point of it all is. This has always been one of the big questions once people realized they could fill their time. On some days life is full of meaning and purpose and I am thrilled to be part of the living. On some level, I am 50, twice divorced, childless and living alone. It is amazing. I may have won. I just have to accept that certain things may not happen for me and which of those things are actually things that I want or things that I have been lead to believe I should want.

Family propaganda is very powerful and is supported by the biological fact that we are here to make more people. It is also disseminated by people who are in the thick of it and, in a lot of cases, trying to make themselves believe that they have done the right thing. We are animals able to ask questions and make choices. Maybe there are plenty of people already here and it’s okay to sit this one out and think about why some days my life lacks meaning and purpose. It’s because some days, it does.

A big three-episode week is upon us! On Monday the lovely Sally Kellerman talks about her career in show biz and some of the biggest names of old Hollywood play a part in her story. It was great to talk to her. On Wednesday I will release the Live WTF from the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal featuring Big Jay Oakerson, Tig Notaro, Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers and Eddie Izzard with a little Andy Kindler thrown in. It was a very wild show in terms of stories and personalities. On Friday Booker T. Jones talks to me about the old days at Stax records and a fifty year career in the music biz. Amazing. Dig it.

Enjoy.



Love,
Maron

Boomer lives!