Dispatches from the Head

Just get rid of it all.

Okay, People-

Almost a week into the New Year and I’m exhausted.

Let me hip you to a couple of things that I’m sure many of you know. The first season of ‘Maron’ from IFC is now available on Netflix. If you weren’t able to see it because you didn’t get IFC or you don’t know what IFC is, here’s your opportunity to either love it or hate it all at once. I’m very excited that so many people are getting to watch it.

Also, I want to make sure you all know about the WTF app. You can get the free app on your device and download the most recent 50 eps. If you upgrade for a few bucks you can stream all 459 episodes anytime. That’s the way we do things now, Everything, all at once.

The hiatus has been harrowing in a good way. I had to re-engage with my life and the pile of papers, books, records, CDs, mail, etc. that had been piling up for a month. It is an amazing thing to organize and purge. It makes you realize how little you actually need and it might actually be much better to have almost nothing. Who has the courage to do that? Just get rid of it all. I need my things that make me feel like I have things that mean something to me. Someday I will have a garage sale.

Today we resume shooting of ‘Maron’ season two. It’s been a trip. I think I am in a much different place on all levels since we shot the first season. I’m not as freaked out. I think the scripts we are working with are amazing and we got them all written before shooting began. So, I am able to focus on the acting and also keep a sense of what works best comedically and emotionally for the scenes and the episodes as we shoot them. I’m working with a great team of people AND I am having more fun this time. I think the fact that I’m not hung up on the future or another season or what’s going to happen next or whether people will like the show or mired in emotional chaos is also helping. You can’t second guess yourself based on speculation because that’s like being imprisoned in your brain and your sentence is fear. I’m not sure where some of this peace of mind is coming from. Whether it’s age and wisdom or I’m repressing so much stress and panic that my brain is no longer processing fear properly. Either way I’m good with it.

A couple of SNL veterans on the show this week. I talk to Andy Samberg today on the show. He’s a good kid. As you know sometimes it’s tricky for me to talk to well-adjusted young people who are focused and grounded and have found success but I did okay with him. He’s a talented, funny dude who works hard. On Thursday Will Forte talks to me about how he had no real intention of being a performer and how he went from being on a successful TV writing trajectory to SNL to being in a movie opposite Bruce Dern and being amazing in it. We also talk a little OCD.


Boomer lives!


WTF - Andy Samberg is not smart.

Full episode out 1/6


WTF - Artie Lange talks about Luna Lounge.

Full episode out 1/2


Happy New Year!


Firstly, my IFC show 'Maron' is now available on Netflix if you didn't get to see it. Dig that.

Secondly, hope you all made it through Christmas and your expectations of the New Year are tempered and reasonable. I generally do an early comedy spot and run home. I don’t want become part of someone else’s bad night.

I had a pretty great time in Phoenix hanging out with my brother and six of his kids and step kids. I told you I was hoping to buy my niece an electric guitar. Well, it happened. I took her to Guitar Center and sat with her and explained to her the difference between humbuckers and single coil pickups. She didn’t know there would be an amp involved. She only knows a few chords. We decided on a white Squire Strat because I thought that would give her more sound variations. We got a little acoustic amp that had a gain knob on it so she could make it dirty if she wanted. I’m not sure she knew what she was getting into but whoever has been giving her lessons has taught her the riff for Smoke on the Water and Sunshine of Your Love. Some things never change. I was taught those exact same things. She’s taken it upon herself to try to learn the opening riff of Sweet Child of Mine as well. She was doing it all on an acoustic. When we got everything set up in her room and she plugged in for the first time and heard the sound of her first amplified chord her reaction was just heartwarming. She is a pretty quiet 16-year-old girl. She’s very smart and together. Just to see that weird feeling of owning loud rock power moving through her guitar and coming out of that amp was beautiful. I hope she keeps it up and learns how to rock out.

I took my 14-year-old niece to the mall and bought her first pair of real Doc Martens. I was impressed and happy she wanted the classic black with no shine to them. I was happy to help out with whatever they represented to her. I think there’s still some fight in those boots.

I took my 12-year-old nephew and his step brother to laser tag and we won. We have certificates to prove it. All in all, a great weekend and I think I left a pretty cool uncle which is actually important to me. I love those kids.

Oh, yeah. I also turned them all on to Black Sabbath Vol. 4. Just trying to help.

This week is a pretty big week, show-wise. On Monday the lofty and thinky Father John Misty talks some heady talk and plays songs on my guitar. On Thursday the inimitable raconteur and traveller to hell and back Artie Lange lays it out. Great talks.

Happy New Year!

Boomer lives!


WTF - Father John Misty talks authenticity.

Full episode out 12/30


WTF - Billy Braver’s timing is off.

Full episode out 12/26


Merry Merry.

Merry Christmas-

I mean that.

I don’t care what you believe in but culturally we are pressured to take this time off and be inundated with not-so-subliminal messages of coercion to buy and be peaceful and fucking enjoy the season—trees, snowmen, ornaments and bearded fat men. Go out on the streets filled with young Santas dressed in plaid, wearing tuques and drinking IPA and say, "Merry Christmas, little hipster Santa. Did you lose your reindeer, you drunk dummy?"

I don't feel bullied to buy this year because I don't really have anyone in my immediate life to buy for. It's fine. It's good. It's great. Alone is okay for Christmas.

Despite all of the xmas bullshit, from which I am way removed, I do like this time of year. I know I’m not digging my car out of snow but it is a reflective time and a time of transition. I hope you get everything you want and that people enjoy what you got them. I hope you eat well and that the season didn’t break you financially. I hope you don't hurt yourself or others and I hope you do something charitable and truly giving.

And also, break some shit if you have to. It helps sometimes.

I had a ridiculous plan to drive to Albuquerque and stay at the Los Poblanos Inn and just sit in the room and wander around my home town alone. I guess I wanted to use the fuel of the forced festive tone of the season to go down the dark nostalgia hole and retrieve something from my past and sit with it like a sad Ghost of Me Past. Oh, and I was also going to spend some time with my dad. Some part of me thought that would be relaxing. Things changed. Given that I was sick as dog, if a dog was sick with a flu/cold thing last week, I decided against a 12 hour drive into melancholy and my dad. I was too tired and too sick on all levels. I need to just hang out and re-groove my life. Shooting 13 hours a day for weeks on end zaps you.

I will say that I honestly think the second season of ‘Maron’ is looking great. I don’t just say that kind of thing lightly.

So, I’m just going to recoup. I’m going to fly out to Phoenix for a couple of days and re-introduce myself to my brother’s kids. I heard my niece started playing guitar and she’s got her mind on an electric and the only big gift I will buy this year with joy in my heart is my niece’s first electric guitar. I hope she wants to go axe shopping.

This week director, writer and former child actor Jason Woliner joins me on Monday. On Thursday a comic from the 70s, Billy Braver, joins me. I wanted to talk to Billy about what it was like to quit comedy because I had seen a little doc called "Saab Story" about him but the tone of interview became "dreams die hard but don’t really ever die."

Saw Deaf Black Cat today so he’s alive and….

Boomer lives!

Merry merry.


WTF - Jason Woliner will force you to quit college.

Full episode out 12/23


WTF - Phil Stutz is a good audience for comedian patients.

Full episode out FRIDAY 12/20


The Breuer Episode

Thanks to this excellent piece by Brian Koppelman at Grantland, there's some renewed interest in Episode 435 - Jim Breuer, particularly this section of the interview:

Jim: Now this is interesting too… you were up for SNL as the news guy and Lorne sat me down, and I swear to God, here’s how it went. He goes, “Jim, we’re thinking about using Marc Maron as the update guy. Do you have thoughts on him?” This is exactly what I said I went, “Um, okay. I think he’ll be the best news guy you’ve ever had in your life.” I really said that. I said, “You need to know a lot of people have problems with him.” I go, “He pisses people off but… If he’s for the news guy, I think you got a homerun.” I go, “Am I best friends with him? No. Do I love the guy? No. However, the guy would be a monster news anchor. I really feel that way Lorne.”

Marc: Oh, my God.

Jim: He’s like, “That’s pretty much the feedback I get from everyone.”

Marc: Come on. Are you fucking with me now?

Jim: No, I swear to God I’m not. I swear to God. That made me really like you.

Marc: Come on.

Jim: I swear to God.

Marc: I’m obsessed with that meeting, you know. I mean, I talk about it all the fucking time. I’m obsessed with that meeting with Lorne.

(Transcription service provided by Rev.com)

You can hear the rest of that story and find out Jim Breuer redeemed himself in Brian Koppelman's eyes by listening to it here.

And let us know if you like reading excerpts from the interviews. It's something we might try more often.

WTF - Allan Havey keeps it tight.

Full episode out 12/19

I’m sick.

Hello, People-

I’m fucking sick.

I’m not going to ramble too much here. My head is killing me and I can't breathe and I have to get up to shoot at 6 am. Things are going well aside from this sickness. I don’t know what it is. Flu or a cold or a hybrid. I can’t tell anymore. I am very angry that I am sick and I would like to blame someone. I’ll let you know whom I chose.

This is a big week of three shows. On Monday I’m posting a show I did live at Bumbershoot in Seattle with Scott Aukerman, Jon Wurster, Mike Vecchione and Kyle Dunnigan. It’s a nice, tight live show. Just a heads up, Jon and Tom Scharpling have been doing The Best Show on WFMU for more than 13 years. It is a staple for comedy aficionados 'round the world. It is a genius show and they are doing their last one tomorrow, Tuesday night. If you want to tune in, go to WFMU.org. Congrats Tom and Jon for an impressive run. You changed the world a little.

On Wednesday Allan Havey is in the garage. He was one of the guys I used to see in NYC when I was starting out. He’s a very funny man and influenced a lot of people. He's one of the great club comics. I think he didn’t like me, but I think that about everyone at some point.

Some of you remember when I had Hank Azaria on he talked about his therapist Phil Stutz who sounded like an awesome character. Well, he is and he’s in the garage on Friday.

That’s all I got. The sicky has got me sad.

Enjoy the week!

Boomer lives!


WTF - Yakov Smirnoff & Marc lived in the same house.

Full episode out 12/12


One hundred million downloads!!

100,000,000! What the fuck, people?

Seriously. This week we will have served our 100,000,000th download of WTF.

Astounding. If only I could have had a dollar for each one, or even a quarter, a nickel even. Eh. I don’t need the money. What would I do with it? It would ruin me. I’d buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need, get tired of it, get rid of it and end up in a mansion sleeping on a futon on the floor eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with the same problems I have now. Maybe. I’m not willing to risk it.

I’ve been insanely busy with one thing: Shooting the second season of ‘Maron.' I have to say the process is a bit easier mentally and emotionally having been through it once before. I’m actually having a good time. Which is an unusual feeling for me. I think the scripts are stronger than last year and the stories are all interesting and personal and FUNNY. I just want to be an okay actor. I know it seems that playing yourself should be a no brainer but it is really a version of myself that I am playing and God knows the role of me in real life is a pretty taxing undertaking. I think it may be a little easier to play the fictional me. I know what’s going to happen with that guy.

I want to talk about today’s episode a bit. I was excited to finally get to talk to Will Ferrell. Quite honestly, I don’t think there is a funnier human. I told him as much. I know if I watch a Will Ferrell movie, even if the movie isn’t great, I will get at least one solid deep laugh that will keep happening when I think back on the scene for at least six months, and that’s not nothing. So, what were my expectations knowing I was going to interview one of the funniest people in the world? To laugh, right? I had never met Will before. I had no idea what his life was like or who he was really. I only know him the way you know him—as a funny guy who is always funny when you see him. So, there was some part of me that was sort of grinning with expectation before he even got to my house.

I didn’t know if he would come with an entourage of handlers or just a publicist or what. He was a few minutes late so of course I started thinking he wasn’t coming. I wasn’t important enough. He forgot. Not the case. He came rolling up my street in his electric Rav 4, alone. He was very mild mannered and nice. Grounded. We went into the garage and just talked like people. The grin of expectation faded and I just got to know Will. The amazing thing about him is his talent is so refined and honed that he can turn it on and off in a second. He can effortlessly be funny as fuck in a SECOND. Amazing. Great guy. Great talk. Enjoy.

On Thursday I talk to Yakov Smirnoff. It was a pretty amazing talk. There was no one bigger in the eighties in terms of an identifiable hook, but once that hook became irrelevant you would think he did, too. Not the case. He’s been working ever since and actually is a college professor as well as an entertainer. Very interesting journey.


Boomer lives!


WTF - Will Ferrell on why he made local beer commercials.

Full episode out 12/9