It’s hard to talk to artists about their art.

Howdy, Folks-

I am writing this in between things at SXSW. I just recorded a very intense live episode of the show with Harmony Korine, James Franco, Nate Bargatze and Peter Sagal. It’s hard talking to actors live sometimes. They are very sensitive and sometimes very serious. I was nervous about talking to Korine. He’s a real artist and by that I mean he is a guy with a specific vision that is unique and not necessarily accessible, yet that is all he does and he makes beautiful challenging films. It’s hard to talk to artists about their art, where does it comes from, what is their process. I was doing okay with it when, in the middle of everything while I was talking to Harmony, Eddie Pepitone, who I didn’t know was in the room, starts screaming from the audience telling me to lay off Korine and quit pestering him about his "art." It was spectacular. I had no idea it was going to happen and everyone, including Harmony, thought it was real. I almost wish I didn’t acknowledge him as someone I knew. There are moments like that when reality turns in on itself and everything become hyper-real. You should just leave it alone but, of course, I’m too sensitive for that and I got defensive in the way that I get with Eddie. I didn’t ruin it but I let my own feelings get in the way. It was close.

I forget the power that a joke or a ‘bit’ has. Sensitive people or people who take themselves very seriously are threatened by comics. The comic can effortlessly undermine almost anything with one line. It’s hard to deliberate when those moments are appropriate and I guess that’s the difference between a pro and just a smart ass. I was extremely nervous to talk to Korine and Franco. They are serious dudes. I made a joke at the end of talking to James and it got him prickly and a little defensive. It was awkward. Initially, I thought, that guy should lighten up. Why did he take it so seriously? Well, because jokes cut hard and there was some seriousness in it but this was also coming from the guy that had just been handed his ass by the hilarity of an Eddie Pepitone attack. So, I get it. Lesson learned.

You guys have that episode to look forward to.

This week, on Monday the powerful Leslie Jones talks to me in the garage about coming up in LA, opening for Katt Williams, going to high school with Suge Knight and the fierce desire to become a comic. On Thursday, Lynn Shawcroft talks to me about her life as a comic being married to a comic, Mitch Hedberg, and about her grief and loss in their tragic story. Both of these are great talks.


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