Dispatches from the Head

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.


Boomer lives!


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.’


Boomer lives.



I don’t have a lot to say.

Hello, Friends-

Hope all is well.

I don’t have a lot to say today. It’s been a crazy week of shooting. My whole life is shooting ‘Maron’ at the moment. I’m exhausted but the show is coming out great. All the episodes are coming together well. I am actually going to direct the last episode and I’m excited about it. I’ve never done any directing before but the crew I am working with is amazing and I’m looking forward to it. The story is comedian-based and I will be working with the infamous Joey Diaz. I actually conceived the part with him in mind and it's going to be a blast working with him. I can’t tell you anything about the story but It’s a good one.

I’ve been using a lot of comics on the show. I love hanging out with comics on the set. Kindred spirits busting balls. Good times.

As I write this I am watching '12 Years a Slave' trying desperately to figure out whether or not it is a good movie. I'll let you know what I think.

Health update. Since I got the cholesterol numbers I’ve been trying to eat better, and I have been. Something happened. Some folks sent me some dried posole and chiles from my home state of New Mexico and I couldn’t help myself. Had to whip up a batch of red chile and pot of posole and pork. One day isn’t going to kill me, right? Right? I’ve been exercising, too, so that should fix it, right? One pork day a week should be okay I think. Fuck getting old. Fuck genetics. I’m okay.

Monday is a live show from The LA Podcast Festival with Dave Anthony, Aisha Tyler, Dana Gould, Paul Gilmartin and Jimmy Pardo. This was great live show. Everyone was awesome. On Thursday things are a little tricky. I went to Harry Dean Stanton’s house to interview him. I had just seen the documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy talk because he barely talked in the film about him. It was a beautiful movie but I still couldn’t get a sense of him. Then I talked to him and I couldn’t get through, really. Then I talked to the director, Sophie Huber, who had once had a romantic relationship with Stanton to try to figure out what we were all trying to figure out about him. Interesting talks. Mysterious man.


Boomer lives!


Everything is going all right.

Holy shit, folks-

If there are some of you that aren’t subscribing to the premium app or are new to the show I would say now is a good time to do that. We are going to start creating some exclusive premium content. The first installment will be my producer, Brendan McDonald, and I talking about some of the lesser known episodes. By lesser known I mean that I know some of you will see a name that you don’t recognize and perhaps not listen. We are going block by block in 25 episode chunks giving some backstory of the show and reflecting on some of the episodes. So, get the free app and upgrade for a few bucks to get in on that.

Everything is going all right. I have been having an amazing experience shooting season 2 of ‘Maron.' So much of the stuff that I was freaking out about making season 1 just isn’t there anymore in my mind. I think we have some great stories and some great co-stars and cameos. The early cuts of the first few shows look amazing and that’s not always the case. I am relaxed and in the present with the work. Again, I’m not sure if that is peace of mind and wisdom or complete anxiety paralysis but I will roll with it. I read recently that stress can affect your short term memory. I’m looking at that as a plus.

I don’t know if you know this about me but I am kind of obsessed with the late 60s-early 70s Hollywood. I have it mythologized in my mind. I am fascinated by the fact that Hollywood is an industry town and that industry is show business and at that time it was a relatively small community. There were a few networks, a few studios and a few labels, and everyone was running around the hills going to parties and getting fucked up. Some part of me wishes I lived back then before everything got broken wide open and most things became garbage. Maybe I’m romanticizing it but the whole town seemed to have a dirty integrity to it that is now gone leaving only the dirty and unoriginal to procreate.

Ed Begley lived through that time and was running around the hills high as kite and he shares some pretty great stories with me on Monday’s show about what this town felt like in the era. On Thursday the intense and brilliant Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus blasts me with his truth and makes his music make complete sense. Rock.


Boomer lives!


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