Dispatches from the Head

I saw Selma.

One week down, People!

I have to say the first week of shooting the third season of ‘Maron’ for IFC went very well. It was fun! See, I just admitted I had a good time. Wild, right? Feels good. Maybe I could get used to that.

I saw Selma. I loved the way it was shot. So intimate. The intimacy of the horrible violence of the events playing against the intimacy of the portrait of the man that was Martin Luther King was mind blowing. So many close ups of David Oyelowo’s face and head, front and back, revealed the struggle in the streets against the struggle in his mind at every turn. His fortitude and vision expressed through movement and the bold intensity of softness, compassion and a strength that buckled but did not waiver or stop the righteous actions that needed to play out. The actor’s choices were brilliant and organic and understated. The menace of the typed out scene headings from an FBI log book gave the movie a haunting undercurrent. It illustrated the insidious preemptive calculations of the dark workings of a government that refused to represent its people until it was convenient and, if that didn’t come to pass, would do whatever was necessary to neuter the ‘threat’ of people fighting for their rights. I thought the film was stunning and disturbing. I needed to be stunned and disturbed into feeling the violent impact of the events being depicted. Events that happened in my lifetime. Events that echo in events that are happening now. It’s a heartbreaking reality that I don’t live in and don’t always really allow myself to feel or understand. I thank Selma for shaking me.

I’m embarrassed to admit that after seeing the movie I went to sleep and dreamt that I was bombing in front of a southern audience for a long time. I guess it’s okay that my subconscious is shamelessly self-centered.

I get caught up in my own shit. My limited turmoil. My repetitive patterns of emotional garbage. My insecurities. It becomes embarrassing. When it goes away for a bit I am relieved but I don’t really know what to do with myself. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I know that sounds odd but it is true. I spent my life struggling to be myself and then struggling to make a living on my terms doing my thing. Now both have happened and I have no idea how to move forward. I never really wanted anything other than those things. I guess I just have to keep my heart in the right place and open and it will be revealed. I could also buy a car—maybe.

Jimmy Dore is on the show Monday. He was one of the podcasters that was there before the rest of us. He had me on his show right when I was starting out and finally I am return the favor. On Thursday a guy who was inspired to do a podcast because of my podcast. Brian Koppelman talks to me about his life in music and film. Good talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I am making television.

It’s happening again, People.

The time has come. I am making television.

Today is day one of shooting season 3 of ‘Maron.’ I’ll be up early in my trailer running lines. It’s going to be a long day. All I’m thinking about is ‘I hope I don’t get sick.’ Not, ‘This is going to be great.’ My brain fucks with me so hard when I have things that I have to show up for where other people are depending on me or are scheduled and timed for specific reasons. If I am doing an interview I can noodle around an hour or two before and get into the zone. If I am doing the intro for the podcast sometimes it takes me half the day to get to the mic. Today I have to be on set. There are a lot of people doing a lot of jobs that make tv happen and this tv show has my name on it. I don’t really think about it all too much but I would like to be excited. The scripts are good. We’ve got two seasons under our belt. We know the terrain. I am comfortable in my fictional me. I want this season to be the best one so far. I just cant seem to get my head out of ‘I hope I don’t fuck this up’ mode into ‘This is going to fun’ mode. I’ve been that way my entire life. I'm beginning to think the trick might be in experiencing gratitude. It is not my go to. My default setting is ‘everything kind of sucks’ not ‘there are a lot of great things happening.’

I really just keep moving. I keep distracted. I rarely just stop or slow down. There is always something going. Even if I’m at home I’m always moving. It’s like I can’t stop out of fear that I won’t start again or something. I need to take a breath and be fucking grateful. My life did not have to turn out this way. It was not heading this way. I seem to have ended up on my feet and things are going well. I have decided to enjoy my life and feel happy. I’m a decent person. I worked hard. I deserve it. Shit. Did that sound convincing. I felt it all while I was writing it. Not now, though. Maybe I’ll just write that stuff on an index card and wear it around my neck in one of those things with the little plastic window where people with jobs put their security cards and driver’s license. Yeah. I’ll get on of those. I’ll call it my gratitude pouch. I’ll put a picture of my face with a strained smile in there as well.

We will be shooting 12 hour days, at least. Five days a week for two and a half months. But the podcast will go on! Must go on! My show is set in my neighborhood for a reason. I can scramble home at lunch and RECORD the show. Don’t worry, people. I got this.

Sometimes you just don’t know what you will get when you talk to an actor. Today I talk to Jason Schwartzman who is just as much of a sweetheart as you would think. Great guy. Fun talk. On Thursday I talk to the amazing and spectacular Andrea Martin about SCTV, her book and just life, really. I love her.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,
Maron

Giving up the dread.

Hola, Friends-

First off, I had a great time at Largo last Thursday. If you were among the people that came out for the show---thanks for coming out. It’s a very strange experience to do long sets without my friend, Nicotine Lozenge, in my mouth keeping me grounded. It went great. I can manage my emotions without a crutch. Who knew? I did. It’s just been a while and apparently I would rather make myself feel like I’m about to have the worst set in my life then just keep positive. It’s more exciting that way and everything feels like a victory when it’s not a total disaster. Ridiculous. I’m done with it. The dread. I’m nervous about giving up the dread. I dread being without dread.

We are heading into the last week of writing for the third season of ‘Maron’ on IFC. A week from today we begin shooting the show. The insanity begins. We shoot an episode in three days. The pace is crazy but I feel ready. I’ve been running, eating well and focusing on keeping my shit together. It’s going to be good, right? Yes. Seriously? Yes. I’m ready. Sorry, I’m talking to myself. It’s going to be amazing.

I did something a little out of the ordinary this week. I’ve been feeling a little weird for not talking about the Bill Cosby situation. It is something that is happening in the world but Cosby is a comedian. My show is part of the community of comedians. I have not figured out a way to talk about it because I’m not sure what my feelings were or where I stood because I was copping out with the ‘due process’ excuse. Look, everyone deserves due process and everyone is innocent until proven guilty—in court. In life, it just doesn’t always work out that way. I found myself saying, "If he did it, he’s a horrible sociopathic serial rapist." If he did it? Well, this is not going to court and he’s not going to cop to it. There will be no due process. The statute of limitations is presumably up in most cases and, let's be honest, the powerful are above the law. So, I have to have an opinion. Given the number of accusations it’s become pretty clear to me that he did it. What does that mean? What happens now? I knew that Judd Apatow has been pretty outspoken on keeping the conversation alive about Cosby on Twitter so I thought I would give him a call and talk about what the reality of the accusations, the lack of response and the reality that Bill Cosby did some awful shit means at the very least to our community. It was a good talk.

Along with Judd on Monday I have a long chat with Jeff Garlin and I actually got a few words in. On Thursday I talk to Mike Judge about his career but we also caught up about what it is like to grow up in Albuquerque, NM, which we both did.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I need it out.

We are in it, People

Is this year dragging? Slow start. It will pick up. Kidding. I’m not that cynical. I am ready to get back to work. I’ve done all the vacationing I can handle. It’s been nice but life starts to lose its meaning when everyone is just sort of ambling through the world half awake and hungover. That’s my take anyway. Obviously I’ve been working but the timing of New Year’s Eve into this last weekend just seemed to make everyone loopy and lost. I will be glad to get back into the writing of Season Three of ‘Maron.’

Speaking of the TV show, thanks for all the amazing feedback on Season Two. I had no idea that so many people hadn’t seen it until it went up on Netflix over the holidays. I am overwhelmed by the reaction. It felt like no one had actually watched when it was on television. Just humbled and happy people like it so much. We’re coming into the home stretch of the writing process for this season and I think the stories are great. It’s going to be good. I’m looking forward to shooting it.

I’ve been going through old shit which is a hit or miss experience. I need to throw shit away. I need to give shit away. I need it out of my house and life. I negotiate with objects like a hoarder. I have a stack of t-shirts from places or times in my life that just don’t exist anymore. Obviously the times in my life don’t exist except in my selective memory of them but there were things I wore that were essential to those times. They were magical objects that I needed for safety or to define who I was. They are devoid of meaning now other than to use as portals to how lost I was when I needed a t-shirt to protect me. Also, so much of the stuff that I have in my house has to do with women I have been with. I still use the Fiestaware I got for my first marriage. On the surface I don’t think it has any meaning other than I am lazy and the plates are still good but know I think it may be a way for me to hold onto whatever grief resides in the corner of my mind about my life. So, I’m getting rid of a lot of shit. I am not defined by my past relationships and I can afford fucking new plates.

Stripping shit away is the way I’m starting the year. Let's get to the truth of me. Still no nicotine going on five weeks. Clearing shit out of the way. Looking for the pure.

Outstanding shows this week. Directors! On Monday I talk to Paul Thomas Anderson and on Thursday I talk to Richard Linklater. These guys are visionary filmmakers. It was an honor to talk to them.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Metaphor day.

It’s almost over, People!

The second season of my TV show ‘Maron’ is now available for your viewing pleasure on Netflix. I believe it is only in the US for now. I will let you know when and where it will turn up next, when I know.

As we head into the new year I am not reflecting on this last one. They all run together. I don’t seem to have a sense of delineation except vaguely through people I was with at this time last year or any of the years behind me. I can gauge the evolution of my emotional state by recollecting a screaming me at another time. I can report that my anger has eased a bit. It is in me but it is old and tired because it never got what it wanted or needed almost fifty years ago. I’m in negotiations with my anger. It has agreed to ease if I grieve what I missed and lost only as much as I can handle. So, no time line, just agreed to feel the sadness when it comes for as long as I can handle it at any given moment. It is a finite quantity. It is not bottomless. I am not committed to sadness or anger. I’m just now processing it. It comes in waves. Once the nicotine was removed that was really the last damper, the last filter, the last warm prize, the final sublimater. It’s a bit raw now but I am staying on the bull and it is slowing down. I guess today is metaphor day.

I don’t really know what to do to replace the mental food that was nicotine. I’m doing okay. No cravings, really. Just the angry residue of a deep, old habit dug into my neural pathways. I’ve been running, hard, up hills, for miles. It’s not as good but I like that I am building up endurance. It’s good to be able to run for a while. Just in case you really need to run for a while.

I went to Desert Hot Springs with the painter over Christmas. It was an amazing way to spend a holiday that really didn’t factor into our lives. I got her some cool rocks and a brass Ganesh and she got me some drinking glasses and an airpop popper and a Nehru jacket and a Terry Reid record. We just had a quiet time up at The Sagewater Spa. We brought a bunch of food and books and movies and hung out. We went to Joshua Tree for a couple of hikes and we co-existed without fighting. I would go as far to say that we had a good time. I can admit that. We had an awesome time.

On Monday I battle it out with Jason Nash. He’s a comic I’ve known for years and I have had an issue with for years. Maybe it’s just in my mind. We’ll find out. On Thursday I talk to the amazing Melanie Lynskey about her movies and life. Love her. Good week.

Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

When it gets still.

Merry Happy, Everybody!

I’m a moron and a bad Jew. I had no idea when Hanukkah started and now it’s almost over and I have done nothing. I’m just waiting for it to get still in LA. I love when LA is still.

I don’t know if I am not a good party or dinner guest, but I will be honest with you. I was invited to one holiday party and another at the last minute. I think I’m an okay guy, good talker, entertaining, fun to be around. Am I delusional? Unless no one I know is having holiday parties. I can’t believe that, though. It’s just odd to me that I have these beautiful conversations with people. Some of them make me feel like I’ve gotten very close to people and not one out of the 550 that I have done invites me over for a little dinner or a party. Weird. Well, two did. I knew them before I started the podcast.

Maybe this is all too personal to me. I assume that my conversations are icebreakers for what some part of me thinks will become a lasting friendship. I guess not, for the most part. It’s ridiculous. I’m just a show people do. A personal show where we share emotions and stories and maybe a coffee and go our own ways. I think these feelings are compounded by the fact that I’m a bit nostalgic. I’ve lived many lives. There have been many people that have gone away. Bits and pieces of all them come back to me in memory when it gets still. It’s hard not to be melancholy when you are sitting alone.

Speaking of people who get attached to their subject, on Thursday I talk to Larry Grobel who did a good many of the famous Playboy interviews. Back then, or at least when he did them, interviews could go on for weeks, even months. So, to honor that, I interviewed Larry in two different sessions to see if it would really make a difference. Point being, he got very close to some of his subjects just by virtue of spending time with them. He went to Brando’s island. Does that mean they are friends? Hard to know when you are the interview guy. I talk to him about that.

On Monday, I have an absolutely amazing conversation with Melissa Etheridge. She sings a song off her new record. too. It was just great. Just listen to it.

Happy holidays! Be safe.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Where I’m at.

Hi, People-

It’s an unusual week. We are doing three episodes. Today, Monday, I will run a re-edited version of my two-part interview with Louie CK. It is re-edited in the sense that I contextualize the episode at the beginning and both parts are now in one episode. The reason we are doing this is because Slate is commemorating 10 years of podcasting today with a ranking of the 25 Best Podcast Episodes of All Time. The WTF with Louie CK is ranked number ONE!

Frankly, I’m excited to re-post a great episode that isn’t for a tragic reason. I know many of you have probably heard the episode before but to be honest with you there are a lot of people that haven’t and I want them to listen to it. I think that some of you might even listen to it again. I just did and it moved me. I actually hadn’t listened to it since I had the conversation and I was surprised how immediately all the emotions came back. I can report that Louie and I are friendly again. We talk when we can and hang out sometimes as well. The last time I was at his house and he was showing me his stuff he actually said it was exciting to be able to share things with me without me getting jealous. So, that’s progress. I was still a little jealous, but don’t tell. It was minor. I don’t really need a boat.

Let me catch you up on a few things stream of consciousness style. Still off nicotine and coffee. Too much tea. Lots of tea. Starting to hate tea. Not sure the no coffee thing is going to stick but the no nic has to stick. Done with dependence. Fat. Is. Coming. Pants are tight. Metabolism has changed without the nic which will surely drive me back if I can't get it under control. Vain. Don’t know how to exist with fat. Cats are good. Fountain is gone. Gave away. They didn’t like it. Ghost of dead feral that died under the house haunts me a bit. Poor guy. No sign of Deaf Black Cat lately. I always think he’s dead then he comes. Hating tea a bit. Niece was in town. Had a good time. Other niece. Not the one that’s been here before. Definitely think it’s better I’m not a parent. Buying records compulsively. Not good. Crazy. Why? Why? Why? Do I really need REO Speedwagon’s ‘You Can Tune a Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish?' Do I? No. Did I have it in high school because my dead friend Dave liked it? Yes. Did I listen to ‘Roll with the Changes’ a lot? Yes. Do I NEED it? Do I? I bought it. Two bucks. That’s where I’m at. Chubby. Jonsing. Rolling with the changes. Confidence not great with fat. Fuse short. Painter is good. We’re doing okay. No crazy shit. Fat…fat. Fuck. Craving.

On TUESDAY we will post my talk with St. Vincent, a.k.a Annie Clark. She’s intense and together. Interesting artist. On Thursday me and Adam Goldberg get a bit unruly musically and talk about a variety of things. We kind of match crazies. Good times.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

It will level off.

Crawling out of my skin, Folks -

First. Largo at the Coronet. Me. January 8th. I’m going to do at least an hour of ‘polished’ material. As polished as I get anyway. That’s the plan. Real show. Real venue. Come if you can or tell your friends.

I’m in my fifth day of nicotine withdrawal and it’s very uncomfortable. I’m in and out of crawling out of my skin. I know some of you have been through this with me before but I don’t see it as a failure. I’ve been on and off some kind of nicotine delivery system since I was fourteen. For the last decade they have been ‘better’ than cigarettes. Gum. Snus. Lozenges. I just don’t think any of it is any good. I'm sick of the dependency. It is real. It is deep. It is tough to kick. I had at least a half a 4mg nicotine lozenge in my mouth almost at all times right up until I went to bed. I have no idea how much I was on or how that compared to smoking. I just know I was strung out on it AND coffee. I was chasing that buzz, that balance all day every day. I was drinking about two pots of coffee a day. It speaks to my profound adaptive addiction strategy that happened outside of my reasoning and choice. I was medicating heavily on shit that wouldn’t fuck up my life and could keep me level. It just became too much. I began to hate it. Just the smell of coffee was repelling to me. So, welcome to that bottom.

I am now a raw, open nerve with seemingly no real defense against emotions. I don’t know how I forgot what it was like to pull away the buffer between me and the weight of the world and my own emotions. All my senses are amped up and even my skin feels sensitive. I can smell things too intensely. I went to a show last night and the smell of the people in front of me—the smell of the soap they used—almost made me gag. It wasn’t the smell of their bodies, it was the smell of whatever they were using to cover up the smell of their bodies combined with the smell of their bodies that was disgusting to me. My brain is spinning. The only thing holding me together is reactive OCD. I’m doing a lot of cleaning. Came very close to taking apart my washing machine yesterday. I’m doing a lot of cooking. You’d think I was running a small restaurant over here. I’m doing A LOT of eating. Trying to keep it healthy. I’m eating these disgusting licorice candies that only I like compulsively as well. It will level off. Then I will just have to deal with the boredom of my brain chemicals at low tide. Life.

Ian Edwards is one of my favorite people to see and talk to out in the world. I’m glad we sat down and talked in the garage for today’s show. Chris Rock calls me on the phone today as well to talk about his new movie. On Thursday Jenny Slate slays me. I love her. So talented and so funny and so familiar feeling to me for some reason. Jews.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I think it was the chopped liver.

I’ve almost made it through, People-

I’m still here. Yes, I am still in Florida as I write this. Pray for me.

I am leaving this morning. So, if something drastically dramatic doesn’t happen in the next couple of hours I will have made it through the Thanksgiving ordeal and the days that surround it without too much drama or aggravation. It’s a miracle OR maybe I’m just finally growing up. But that seems ridiculous.

I believe I detached. I shut down a bit. I was mentally and emotionally constipated. Then, after the feast, physically as well. I didn’t want to lose my shit on any level. So, I shut down a bit. It happened innately. It wasn’t a choice. I think I do it most of time when I come here but it used to be like a simmering. Like I was a bomb waiting to go off. I didn’t quite feel that. I think I was actually doing the right thing. I engaged as much as I could and I behaved like an adult instead of child—for the most part. I didn’t snap. Well, maybe twice. Twice at my mother and once at her boyfriend. What are you going to do? It happens. They’re annoying. The cooking went well. The food was the best I had ever done. Seeing my aunt and uncle and cousins and their families was great, actually. I couldn’t quite understand why things went well and why I didn’t feel aggravated the whole time. Like I said, I am older and things are better with me in general but not really emotionally. I’m working on it. Coming along. There was some other force at work. I think it was the chopped liver.

Every Thanksgiving my Aunt Barbara makes chopped liver. This is a Jewish thing. Many of you don’t know chopped liver. Usually it’s a recipe that’s been in the family for years passed down from one grandmother or the other. The recipe my aunt uses is my Grandma Goldy’s. When I was a little kid in Jersey everyone used to gather at Jack and Goldy’s in Pompton Lakes. When I lived there as a young kid and up until I was in college I would visit that house and the family would congregate there. Eventually my grandparents moved to Florida. They are both gone now. The fact is, now maybe I see what’s left of my extended family on my mother’s side once a year at Thanksgiving. It had been two years this time. As I said everything went fine but there is always a weird distance. People get older, they have their own problems, there is sickness and death, kids are getting older. They have lives that I have nothing to do with. So, it’s weird dropping into their lives for one yearly meal. There can be a sadness to it. Especially if emotions are triggered somehow. This year, for some reason, Barbara really nailed the chopped liver. Just nailed. I had one bite of it and it triggered the amazing feeling of family unity and warmth that existed at Goldy’s when I was a kid. I couldn’t stop eating it. It leveled whatever detachment or aggravation or sadness I had and brought everything together emotionally for me. My entire emotional history was sated by a spread on a cracker and I enjoyed the day. Powerful.

On Monday I speak to the amazing Norman Lear a lot about his early days in television up through All In the Family. Great talk that could’ve gone on for hours. It was late though. He’s 92 and he still came to the garage. On Thursday Chrissie Hynde hangs out in the garage. Intense story. Intense woman. The new record is great.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I am going in with a good attitude.

Give thanks, Folks-

This is it for some of us. We are entering the fire this week. We will come out stronger.

I’m going to keep this short. If we can (I know I’m not talking to all of you, but those who I am talking to know who they are) let's try to keep our shit together this Thanksgiving. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been with family for this clusterfuck but I am going in with a good attitude. I going to be patient and openhearted and I’m going to try to appreciate my family. I am going to have personal boundaries, especially while I’m cooking, and I hope everyone respects that. Mom, you know who you are. She reads these.

It’s weird as we all get older that if you really realize it and appreciate it there’s no reason family stuff has to be a nightmare. I know we all have resentments and trauma but some of that is on us to fix apparently. Most of the time the perpetrators (and I’m using that term brashly and comedically ) are clueless as to their part in it anyway. Obviously there are some traumas worse than others and I am not in any way trying to trivialize them, but as time goes on and I learn more abut myself, my particular set of traumas are getting more trivial to me which is spectacular. What am I going to do when I’m free of them? When you press the culprits for answers after a certain point they’ll comply and agree just because you’ve become so consistent in annoying them and that is never satisfying. More often than not, they think they did the best they could. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Whoops, see. Still a little mad. Not quite free.

Nope, this year I’m going to appreciate that I am alive and those others in my family that will be there are alive and this being alive business isn’t that long a run at its best. So, I guess what I am saying is give thanks but also try to forgive. Damn, I can’t believe I’m writing this stuff. Mom, don’t use this email against me when I lose my shit at some point during the week. I will try to limit it to one tantrum.

Today I talk to the lovely, amazing and funny Julia Sweeney about all of it and I mean all of it. On Thursday the too-good-looking-to-be-as-cool-as-he-is Rhett Miller talks about life and music and plays a bit.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

My panic knows no bounds.

I’ve got nothing, folks.

Busy. I am immersed in writing the show. I am doing one more long set at Trepany House and then it’s mostly production from here on out. The stories are coming along and the writer’s room is humming. The real trick is not putting on 20 pounds from eating shitty snacks at the office. It seems when there is a creative lull in the room the only thing to do is dump granola bars, chips, yogurt, candy and whatever is there into the mouth of the lull until something funny or a story point comes out of its mouth.

I almost lost my mind over bullshit today. You know why? Because I like to lose my mind over bullshit. It keeps me away from losing my mind over bigger things because I don’t need to lose my mind. My panic knows no bounds and I am sick of it. Things are going well, so instead of accepting that and just doing the work, some part of my brain feels like things aren’t going well. At least I've grown enough to know not to fuck up what is going well. Instead I just drive myself crazy over a book I can’t find. Which I did. I was literally beside myself with self-judgment and anger because I couldn’t find a book that was sent to me as promotion for a guest. I decided over the twenty minutes that I was looking for it that I was an idiot, not good at what I do, irresponsible, disorganized, not well represented, disrespectful and possibly in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.

I’ve never seen so clearly my need to beat the shit out of myself with things, people, behavior. It’s right there. I just have to stop. It sneaks up on me though. I think I do things just so I can beat the shit out of myself instead of just doing what is right or deeper and good for me. Which means I am more comfortable beating myself up then growing. I guess it’s pretty obvious but when you work it out on paper it just seems like a stupid waste of time. I’m such an asshole. See, did it again.

Monday I talk to John Mulaney. John is a sharp young comic who has a show on the TV. From all appearances it looks like the show is not going to make it. I talk to John about how that feels and where he is with his career. It’s hard to get the big shot and feel it not go the way you want it to. On Thursday me and Bret Easton Ellis are a couple of middle age guys sitting around talking about what that’s like. We’re pretty smart so it’s not just ‘these kids today’ talk, but it's slightly elevated ‘these kids today’ talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

That voice.

How are ya, People?

I’m doing a couple more shows at The Trepany House and that will be it for a bit. Tomorrow, Tuesday November 11th and the 18th . There should be a few tickets left. Grab 'em if you want them.

I want to thank everyone who came out the The Skirball Center at NYU for my New York Comedy Festival shows. They were great. I had psyched myself out a bit. I really wanted the shows to be structured and tight so of course they were kinda structured and pretty tight. I felt good about the shows. It is odd to me that I just can't let myself feel great about things very often. There’s this part of my brain that insists I’m never as good as I can be. I guess that’s a good thing to have in your brain in terms of constantly trying to be better and do better work but I’m not sure I’m doing that. I mean, I work hard, but is it really hard enough. See, that’s the voice. I think it’s just something I seem to do to keep myself in check and humble and never quite happy. That’s how we like it. Right, people? Honestly, if there were a way to remove that part of my brain and turn that voice off I’m not sure I would do it. I mean, who else would I talk to when I’m lonely? I need to be in an ongoing negotiation with the part of me that thinks I suck to find any balance at all. It’s been better lately. Occasionally that voice begrudgingly tells me he’s proud of me. Progress.

I have to tell you people that performing at the Boston Garden at the Comics Come Home benefit on Saturday was spectacular. What a great show it was. I had a lot of fun. As some of you know I started in Boston so I have a weird relationship with the city. I learned how to do comedy but those were tough gigs, tough days, some of them a bit traumatic. So to kill it Boston-style for 12,000 people was great. I got to see some guys I hadn’t seen in years. Joe Yannetty is a comic I used to do open mics with in the mid-eighties and I hadn’t seen him in almost 30 years. He just beat throat cancer and did a great set and I love seeing that guy. It was like a reunion. I did the very first Comics Come Home and this was the 20thanniversary. It was great seeing Denis Leary, Lenny Clarke, Tony V, Bill Burr, Jimmy Fallon, Robert Kelly, Adam Roth, Cam Neely and Jim Gaffigan. I met the Boston Bruins and it was amazing and I know nothing about hockey. What a blast. I hope we raised a lot of money for the Cam Neely Foundation.

Today I talk to Dave Ross. He’s great young comic and I really enjoyed talking to him. On Thursday the brilliant Allie Brosh talks to me in the garage. Her blog and book Hyperbole and a Half makes me laugh more than almost anything. I was so glad she came down from the mountains to hang out.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

The blues.

Hello, People!

I’m heading to NYC this weekend and I’m excited. I’ll be there for the NY Comedy Festival. I hope to see some of you at the shows. Sorry if you couldn’t get tickets. Next time.

I’m also doing a couple of more shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater on November 11th and 18th. Should be some seats left if you want to grab them.

One other thing... This is a heads up that Brian Jones has made another batch of mugs up in Portland. You can try to snag one. I don’t know if they will sell out immediately or not but here is the link to his shop.

Cat fountain update: They won’t go near it. Both Monkey and LaFonda acknowledge that the fountain is there. They don’t know why it is there but they know their food is near it so they tolerate it. I am not giving up on them one day drinking out of it with joy and excitement. For now I will just have to see it as a calming sound for me as I do stuff in the kitchen. The gentle sound of a futile idea gurgling in the background, a sort of failure zen tone as I load the dishwasher or cook or eat over the sink like a lonely idiot.

Look, I like guitar. I like to play blues. I don’t listen to a lot of blues if I am not playing along with them. I don’t seek out live blues too often. I appreciate it deeply but I just don’t know who does it well anymore or, more specifically, who makes it new. Well, I went to see Gary Clark, Jr. and The Tedeschi Trucks Band the other night at The Greek. One of Derek Trucks' guys set me up. I had met Derek briefly when we appeared on the same Conan show. I knew he was good. I had heard he was a wizard and had been since he was a kid. Obviously having your uncle be a member of the Allman Brothers Band is a good influence for that blues-based southern gumbo-style rock and roll, but a gift is a gift. I had the record. I listened to it a couple of times. Susan Tedeschi is amazing. But I couldn’t lock in or identify what was great about them. Then I saw them live and it was mind blowing. He has taken the guitar, specifically slide guitar, somewhere it has never been. His phrasing both with and without slide is uniquely his and just odd and jarring and exciting to listen to. She is an earnest blues player as well and her voice is astounding. The band was mind-blowing. They take a form that is arguably tired and turn it inside out with originality and musicianship and make it totally their own. The whole concert was spectacular to witness. Gary Clark, Jr. is a little more gritty and loose as a player but it wasn’t until he got up there and jammed with Derek that I really saw him play the blues. Keeping up with Derek pushed some serious licks out of him that he made his own as well. Taking the blues, a simple musical form, and making it totally your own is the challenge of it. They all did. They all owned it. It was great. I’m quitting guitar playing. Derek did it all for everyone. Okay, I won’t.

You like him or you don’t or you find him annoying or you think he is wonderful. No matter how you feel about him, the provocative Dr. Drew Pinksy is on the show Monday. We had an honest talk about a lot of things. Speaking of guitar the virtuosos, Jimmy Vivino talks and plays on Thursday’s show. He’s a lot more than just the band leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan O'Brien Show. He’s got stories, man. AND he lets me jam with him.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Cat fountain.

Okay, Folks, here we go!

First off, I’m doing a few more shows at The Trepany House here in LA at The Steve Allen Theater. The shows are tomorrow, 10/28, as well as 11/11 and 11/18. All Tuesdays. I won’t keep you out too late. They’ve all been sold out so grab tickets. They’re fun shows.

Well, in the continuing saga of Monkey and his bladder I went out and bought a fountain. I was told by some people that cats love to drink out of a fountain of running water. That it was their preferred way of drinking. Sure enough there are several models and brands of cat fountains to choose from. I, of course, had to get the ‘good’ one. I bought my cats a porcelain cat fountain that I assembled while the majority of men in this country were watching football. I’m proud of that. I have nothing against men who watch football but their attitudes towards us no-sports folk are actually much worse than our thoughts about them. We know that many of them are limited emotionally and intellectually and that we threaten them with our disinterest. As a man, I built the shit out of a cat fountain, played guitar, did some writing and reheated some Indian food. That is serious man shit. While men were watching monsters beat the shit out of each other for a ball and running the emotions that they are unable to access or express through the plays of a game that has nothing to do with them, I was sending big fat distorted blues riffs into the ether. I was fighting evil with my Gibson 335. Yeah, that’s right. A fucking Gibson 335. That is a man’s guitar. Fuck football. Let’s see fatty football guy get off the couch and push his feelings through some tubes out into the streets. You want to have a pissing match with me, football guy? My dick is so big it was annoying the neighbors but it was melodic so they didn’t complain.

Oh, yeah, so I’m not sure monkey likes the fountain. He doesn’t seem to know what to do with it exactly. We’ll see what happens.

Some of you may be familiar with the infamous censoring of Bill Hicks on Late Night with David Lettermen. On Monday I talk to the comic whose set was used to replace Hick’s on the actual broad cast. Bill Scheft tells me what happened from his side of the event. It is a side that has never really been talked about other than when Letterman had Hicks' mother on to apologize, which was pretty fucking great. I don’t know where you stand on Camper Van Beethoven or Cracker but I fucking love them both. David Lowery, the front man of those bands, talks to me and plays a song on Thursday. It’s a good week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Cats and caffeine.

Hi, People-

I don’t even really know how many people read this. I like doing it. When Sunday comes I always freak out about getting this written but I’ve gotten used to freaking out about it. I just hope that people enjoy getting a personal email from me just catching you up with things in my life or what I am thinking. You all are actually the only people I write to consistently.

Lets start with cats. Monkey is alive and perky and running around like crazy. He’s bounced back from whatever it was that I may have been overreacting to OR NOT. You just never know with that bladder stuff. I started giving him only canned food and actually mixing it with a little more water to get him overly hydrated. Then I called my vet and asked them if they carried that c/d food for urinary issues. I CALLED THEM. My vet didn’t recommend it. One of you guys did. They DID have it. The receptionist had to ask my vet if it was okay to prescribe. This is the vet that wanted me to come in AGAIN in two weeks for a blood test and biopsy because of the general inflammation of his bladder. Look, I hope I’m not the asshole here by thinking I was being taken advantage of by the vet and I hope Monkey remains well for a while but here is what I think and I’m going on a hunch: He’s had chronic bladder issues. I’ve seen blood in his urine in the box before. I just didn’t know that’s what it was. He had a UTI. The antibiotics got it. He still has the inflammation that he’s lived with for years. I now give him only wet food and for a while I will give him the special food. He’s seems awesome at the moment. I WILL change vets because if you are going to be a doctor of any kind the very least you can do is be attentive to your patients and up to speed on the issues with the patient and the patient’s owner in this case. DO ALL THE TESTS WHILE YOU HAVE THE CAT UNDER. Especially if you know the cat gets severely traumatized going to the vet. Fuck it. I’m letting it go. I’m okay. Monkey is okay. LaFonda seems fine. Deaf Black Cat is good. Scaredy Cat is back around. The raccoons are fine. Hummingbirds are fed. Squirrels weird me out a little.

I am deeply addicted to caffeine and nicotine. I am now driving around with a thermos full of coffee in my car at all times and I have part of a nicotine lozenge in my mouth almost always. I gotta kick. I HAVE TO KICK. I’m hoping that saying it out loud here will help me choose a day. Not tomorrow, but soon. And that statement is how years go by without action. I’m aware. I get it. Hey, it’s not heroin, right? I just don’t need this shit anymore. Tiring.

Today, Monday, I talk to Martin Starr. I really didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t necessarily think he was a ‘talker’ by what I knew of him but he wanted to do the show and I wanted to get to know him. It turned out to be a really good talk. He’s a solid human. On Thursday I talk to Andre Royo. You may know him as Bubbles from The Wire. He is a fucking dynamo. Real NYC kind of cat. It was a blast talking to him.

Stay Ebola free!

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron