Dispatches from the Head

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

Pets get old.

Hey, People!

I did it. I had Fall. I was in NYC for two days and, when it wasn’t cloudy or drizzling, the skies opened to give me about 4 hours of beautiful Fall weather. I wish I had stayed longer but I had to get to SF where it’s always kind of Fall. Doesn’t count.

It’s actually been a difficult few days. I brought the cat back to the vet for follow-up on the bladder issue. Monkey is so tweeked about the vet they had to sedate him just to get a urine sample. Monkey has a chronically inflamed bladder. No UTI. No crystals that we know of, just an inflamed bladder for unknown reasons. No sign of bacteria. The vet wanted to put him on more antibiotics after he’d just cycled through a ten day shot. He gave him the first dose and I brought him home and he was vomiting repeatedly. I think it was a reaction to the antibiotic because he was pukey after the last shot, but I was panicking and called the emergency vet who said he may be blocked. I didn’t think that was possible due to the tests and what I learned from the other vet but it made me more frightened. I didn’t know what to do. I had to leave early the next morning. I tried to get Monkey in a cage and he went wild and attacked me then went under the bed. I almost lost my mind and canceled my trip.

He eventually settled down. I left him in the care of a friend who is a cat person and he seemed to be doing fine. I am furious at my vet. He wants me to come back in two weeks to give him a blood test. He wants me to get Monkey an anti-inflammatory and wants me to try to administer an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory and I can't get that cat to take anything. Then he started talking about a biopsy. I just don’t know why they don’t do it all at once when they had him under sedation. The cat gets too traumatized to deal with this shit. It takes him a week to recover from a fucking vet visit. I don’t want to feel like I’m being taken advantage a bit by the vet for short money. He should know this cat. I’ve had him in there several times. I hate not being able to fully trust people you have to trust. He made no dietary suggestions or any alternative care ideas other than what he prescribed. I switched his food to wet food because several people told me I should and I’m trying to be less anxious myself so I don’t make him more anxious.

Pets get old, fragile, sick and it’s just hard and horrible. I guess I get afraid for myself as well. I love my cats. I just want everything to be okay. I want things to be in their place so I can be comfortable. I’m like a cat like that.

I’m sure I’ll let you know what is going on. My cats have been the only consistent things in my life for the last decade. Sometimes I forget how much of my heart I have invested in them. Sometimes that feels sad but at least I know my heart is working on that end.

Wow, sorry to be a downer. I’m feeling pretty good otherwise. It’s just what’s going on. The striped feral I hadn’t seen in months who I assumed dead, again, is back and fat. Haven’t seen Deaf Black Cat in a while but I’ll give myself a year before I fully freak out.

On Monday I talk to The Daily Show’s Larry Wilmore. We were a little tight on time but I think we got a good talk in. On Thursday I talk to the ‘Ol Rube' Bob Rubin, about his struggle with absurdity and sanity. Good talks. Good week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Snow would be fine.

Hey, People-

When is the heat going to relent? WE NEED RAIN. I need seasons. My cats are melting. My air conditioner is losing its will. I feel like my energy is being depleted upon waking up.

I thought both my cats were ill for days. I couldn’t understand why they both seemed so lethargic. I know Monkey was really just sick but he should’ve been over it. LaFonda never gets sick and she was sagging around. I thought my cats had Cat Ebola and I had the bad luck of having Patients Zero and One. Then I realized I was sluggish and exhausted. I thought maybe we all had Ebola and it would only be a matter of time until we were all bedridden and dying. Me and my cats, going out together, as it should be. Then it dawned on me that it had been about 100 degrees for several days straight and no matter how much air conditioner you have the weight of the heat will zap you of your life force. I can honestly say that I have had it with this relentless ‘good’ weather out here.

I think the lack of seasons does something to your brain. You don’t feel the time passing. You feel stuck in a seemingly eternal smear of okay days that don’t fluctuate. Because of this season deprivation my memory doesn’t engage in the beautiful nostalgia that comes in waves because of seasons. Fall was always very powerful to me. It seems that most of my memories of feelings, romance and just the excitement of being alive are all sourced in the crispness of fall. Because I haven’t fully experienced a fall in years I feel like those parts of my heart and mind that the memories are attached to have become atrophied and because of that my sense memories that are attached to the events are fading. I’m losing access to some of the most valuable and moving feelings of my life. I HAVE TO GET TO SOME FALL NOW.

Thankfully I’m heading to the East Coast this weekend for the New Yorker Festival and again in November for the The New York Comedy Festival. Hopefully the fall will hold up until then and it won’t be snowing yet. Though even a little snow would be welcome at this point. Fuck it, a lot of snow would be fine.

This week I talk to Chris Parnell on Monday. It’s another SNL story. I may get to all of them before my life is over. On Thursday I’m excited for you to hear the extremely powerful story of Ms. Pat. Patricia Williams came through some truly tough times to become the comedian she is today and she’s not afraid to share her truth. Strap in for this one.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Uncle-ing.

Hey, People-

Big weekend being the cool uncle.

My 15-year-old niece was in town for the weekend and I think we did okay. That’s a judgment on me. Let me rephrase that, we had a good time. I’m an insecure guy when it comes to spending time with kids. I don’t do it that often. I find that I am innately protective and make sure they are safe but I’m not always sure I’m connecting, which is a little uncomfortable for me. I didn’t say anything about it because I knew it was just me. What I did do was buy her whatever she wanted. That seemed to work. Is that the wrong way to connect with a 15-year-old or is that exactly what a good uncle who lives out of town is supposed to do?

I had shows at LA Podfest both nights so she was able to come with me and enter that world. I thought the world of loyal podcast fans would be a fine environment for her to be in. I was right. Good people. I’m not entirely sure that some of them aren’t emotionally her age. I’m not sure I’m not. I did feel like it would fun and safe for her to hang out and see a very specific world of performance and comedy and grown-ups doing cool shit. It was safe for about 10 minutes. We walked in and I was walking around with her declaring she was my niece to anyone who came up to me. I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea. I mean, she definitely looks 15 but I know some people think that I’m that guy. Not a pedophile but a guy that might date a women who looks fifteen. As we were walking through the lobby a large bearded man hurried up to us. He had a laminated pass on so I knew he was with the fest. It turns out he was part of the crew of Eddie Ifft’s ‘Talkin Shit’ podcast. I didn’t know him. He rushes up to me and my niece and says, ‘You want to come on the podcast. There’s a tranny.’ I said, ‘What? When?’ He says, ‘Right now. There’s tranny on and he’s got his dick out. You want to see it.’ I said, ‘This is my niece. She’s 15.’ He said, ‘Oh, shit, sorry. So, no, right?’ 'No, man.’ I said.

Now, I am in awkward situation with my niece for a couple reasons. Outside of the opportunity to look at an adult penis was the language problem. I said, ‘Tranny is not a nice word. The proper word is transsexual or transgender. I’m not sure what applies here.’ She said, ‘Okay.’ I said, ‘Sorry you had to go through that.’ She said, ‘It’s okay.’ I said, ‘I think we’re making the right decision not going to look at the penis don’t you?’ She said, ‘Definitely.' I thought that was some good uncle-ing. I would never have taken her in there but it had to be discussed. I’m not even sure it was legal in that moment for that guy to be soliciting that in front of a minor.

After the penis incident she watched me as a guest on Aisha Tyler’s show and it was fun. She probably learned more about me than she needed to know but I was okay with it. As we were walking out of the hotel Sam Tripoli was running around the lobby yelling, ‘Did anyone see where the girl holding the black dildo went?’ The fact that we had weathered the transsexual penis incident rendered this one harmless and funny. We had not seen the girl holding black dildo.

Obviously these were isolated incidents and we did other stuff. The following night she watched me talk to a panel of women on my live WTF and I had them all talk a little about where they were at when they were 15 and what they are doing now. I hope it made an impression. We did a lot of shopping. We went to the Griffith Observatory. We ate burritos and I gave her a couple of pedals for her guitar playing boyfriend. Cool uncle. Me.

This week I talk to Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on Monday. He is notoriously challenging but I think we did good. The new Weezer album 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End' comes out next week. On Thursday we have a Portland double-header of separate interviews with Ian Karmel and Ron Funches.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Texans.

Howdy, Folks!

I’m in Texas, again.

Before I talk about that I just want to thank the folks that came out to the Trepany House last Tuesday. It always pushes me to new places. I don’t expect to go there but having loyal fans is a double-edged sword. The place only seats about 140. Many of the people that came out had been to my other shows there. I asked. It was about 50/50. That means that half the room had seen some of the stuff I was working on which made me feel bad. I know the nature of the shows is to work stuff out. I try to tell myself ‘it’s a cheap ticket and they know the score’ but I still feel like I have to push myself to give the people that haven’t seen any of it and the people that have seen some of it something completely new and I do it, not for the whole show, but I get there. I talk about things I didn’t know I was going to talk about at all and that is where the new stuff comes from. The hidden well of ‘I don’t know, I hadn’t thought about that before.' So, thanks for coming out and pushing me and I hope to see some of you at the upcoming Tuesday shows.

I have to say I like Texas more and more every time I’m here. Most of my judgment of the place was based on old information. Old ‘growing up in New Mexico’ information. Old ‘being from the state next to Texas and having to deal with Texans’ information. There are many ski areas in New Mexico and Colorado. My family frequented a few of them during the winter. Taos in NM and Purgatory in Durango, CO, mostly. We liked to ski and we could do it pretty well. There are no ski areas in Texas that I know of. That apparently left them no other option but to come to our little secret ski areas and just take over sometimes. It wasn’t even that I felt that as a kid. Someone must’ve said something but generally if you saw people with all of the newest equipment and most expensive outfits with hair done looking like they were going out to dinner they were Texans. The other tell was their inability to really ski but they looked perfect if skiing were a non-motion activity. In my mind they got in the way and acted like they owned the place, any place. Texans.

I still feel that large personality of the people here, but the difference is they are here in Texas and it is large and they earned it somehow. Texas is it’s own country and the people that live here feel that. I’ve grown to appreciate it.

I rented a Mustang GT and drove from Dallas to Houston. I’m not really that guy but I can be that guy for four hours and I have to tell you it was great. Texas has some of the few stretches of flat open highway left in this world and I mean OPEN. AND a beautiful 75 mile an hour speed limit that you can push to 85. Felt good. Felt fast. Felt American.

Sunday was the last of the Oddball Festival shows for me. They’ve been great. These shows here in Texas and the two in Irvine have been the best ones for me. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m getting the hang of Stadium Comedy or maybe I just don’t give as much of a fuck at this point. Either way it’s been more fun.

Nick Frost came by the garage for Monday’s show. I love talking to people from the UK. I just know so little about growing up there and living there because I didn’t, so it was fun to talk to him. He has a great, surprising story of how he became an actor. I liked it. It was all based on friendship. On Thursday Tim and Eric talk to me and act a little less like Tim and Eric than usual. I have interviewed Tim before so this was a bit Eric centric.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Kallax shelving.

I am tired of me, People-

I’ve been told I need to take a break from myself for bit, a trial separation from me for a while. See how that goes. I hope I don’t get myself in trouble while I’m trying to get some space from myself.

I’m going to tell you all again that I am doing a series of Tuesdays here in Los Angeles at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. I need to keep working on my hour. I need to get it structured and polished. I need to do something I have never done before. I need to actually know what I am going to do next. I don’t like the idea. No one is telling me that I need to do this but me. I’m just very hard on myself about standup and I never feel like I work as hard as I could be so I’m going to try to work harder. I’m afraid that working harder might not mean being funnier. I don’t know though. Lets try it.

I was inspired by how smooth and solid Jim Gaffigan was at Oddball Fest. What a fucking pro. Made me mad and then motivated. Which is better than mad and self defeating.

I just assembled an entire piece of Ikea shelving naked. It is hot as fuck here today and there were no other options. And, yes, it is Kallax shelving. Anyone who knows anything about the sickness of vinyl and amassing records knows that Kallax is the record collector's choice. It is perfect for storing many records and yes, I got the biggest one available because apparently I’m out of control. It would seem dangerous to build furniture naked but no major tools are used and it all went fine. I did come up one wooden peg short. I don’t know where it went and I would’ve known if I lost it inside of me somehow. There was no way that would happen. Wait…

This week on the show, on Monday I talk to Dax Shepard about his career and childhood and stuff. It was a great talk. Exciting dude. On Thursday I talk to the director Nick Stoller about his relatively cushy rise in show business and his artisanal bread hobby. I’m a little hard on him but he’s a good sport.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I think I can handle it.

Yes, people. Yes.

I’m very sorry about the passing of Joan Rivers. She was the funny, filthy, raw, real deal. One of the best is gone. Sorry I didn't get to talk to her on my show. I talked to her on hers though. We were in bed together. She was great. RIP.

I will be doing a bit of a residency at The Trepany House in The Steve Allen Theater here in LA for several Tuesdays in September and October. Check the calendar at wtfpod.com for exact dates. These are workout shows so it will be a nice cheap ticket with all proceeds going to the theater. The other great thing about these shows is THERE’S A FREE PARKING LOT THERE. So, if nothing else, enjoy a night out where you can park easily. ALSO—NYC! I’ve added another show on November 7th at the Skirball Center for the NY Comedy Fest. So, come if you can. Should be able to get tickets to the late one. The early one is sold out.

I’m on a plane. I don’t usually sit by the window but I am today. At some point being able to get up and go to the bathroom without stepping over people became more important than looking peacefully out towards the cloud horizon or trying to figure out what those strange circles of crops are and what is growing in them. I guess age changes priorities. It’s nice to be by the window. It’s relaxing me. It’s easier to sleep here, too. Getting stepped over is just part of air travel. They’ll deal.

Thanks to all who came out for the two shows in Nevada City at the film fest there. It was kind of trippy playing in an old foundry meeting hall. The whole town is kind of trippy actually. From what I gleaned having done no research at all, Nevada City was at the heart of the gold rush back in the old gold rush days. Whenever that was. I’m going to speculate that Nevada City was essential in helping our country make the gold standard vital back when money was worth something. I’m going to say that Nevada City in some way was part of the heart of fueling American industry with the gold it needed. There are mining relics there like water cannons and rock crushers. Most of the architecture has a sort of western pioneer vibe. You can feel the ghosts of greedy bearded desperation hovering around. I have to assume there were many men who died violent death trying to get those rocks either out of the ground or out of another guy's bag.

Well, for environmental reasons of depletion and abuse, the gold rush is no longer upon Nevada City. The weed rush is. Apparently a lot of good weed is grown in the hills up there. Some of it legal, some of it not so much. It is the industry of the town. With that comes industry people like farmers, pickers, drivers and what not. I saw a lot of dreads, wispy facial hair, hats, sandals. For every three or four people I saw in and around the town of Nevada City, there were probably a set of disappointed parents in another state.

The interesting thing to me, and again I am speculating, is that as important as Nevada City was in building the monetary foundation of turn-of-the-century America with its gold, it is now helping to ease us through the collapse of that system with its weed. We cannot underestimate the importance of weed as we enter the big decline. I’m going to take it sober but that’s just me. I think I can handle it.

As you know, I can and do get a little starstruck. When that is compounded by the fact that the star is adorable and amazing it can get a little much. I think I kept it together during my talk with Anna Kendrick. You can be the judge. On Thursday I just tried to get a word or two in with Kath Griffin. It was good to see her. It had been a long time. We kind of new each other back in the day and I kind of didn’t like her then but we’re good now.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Relationships of any kind can be difficult.

Oh, man, People -

First off, LA folks or people visiting LA, I will be doing another Trepany House residency for several Tuesdays in September and October. September 16th, 23rd, and 30th and October 14th and 21st. These are under the radar shows that I use as a way to workshop new material. They’re always fun and weird and I always use my favorite younger comics to do some time to open the show. They are reasonably priced as well and all the money goes to benefit the theater. The links for tickets are on the left here on the email.

It’s always amazing. Every time I think that Deaf Black Cat has finally been taken by the wild and met a violent and/or lonely animal end he shows up. He’s looking good, too. It bothers me that he refuses to fully acknowledge that I am important in his life but it’s always good to see him. It had been a few weeks this time. I guess it’s hard to know the life of a wild cat. I imagine he has other benefactors in the neighborhood. Other people that have the same distant but genuine relationship with him but I don’t know. Maybe I should reach out and start some kind of cat co-dependency group in my neighborhood for people that enable ferals in a good way but have a hard time with the emotions around the one-sided nature of the relationship.

Relationships of any kind can be difficult. I recently had to end one. I have been keeping my private life private, for a change, so I can have one. I’m sorry to cut you folks out of the loop but I was finding that it put an added strain on the situation when I invite a few hundred thousand people into the room. I was seeing someone in another state and it just became too hard. It started to seem unfair to both of us. The distance, for me, was good initially. You can't just steamroll someone into complete enmeshment which annihilates any possibility of true intimacy. Sadly, that was also the thing that ended up making it so difficult to maintain. Longing is frustrating and commitment is terrifying to me at this time in my life. I really don’t know how to deal with making a practical decision when there is so much emotion involved. I’m beginning to understand why people stay in things that may not be great or just decide to be alone. The pain of beginning and ending things is awful and wears the heart down. I’m becoming cynical and I’m just going to pull back and try to figure out what I really want. It’s not bad to be alone as long as you’re not lonely---right? I don’t know. I’ll ask my cats. I’ll ask Deaf Black Cat when he comes back around, if he comes back around. Longing.

On Monday I talk to Mac McCaughan from the band Superchunk about music and about creating Merge Records, one the best and longest surviving indy labels out there. Alsoon Monday I talk about to Carol Leifer a life in comedy and her new book, ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying.' On Thursday I talk to Jay Bakker about what it was like to grow up with Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker and the struggle he has faced in surviving that and creating his own ministry.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

When in Texas.

Howdy, Folks!

That’s Texas talk. I’ve been in Houston all weekend for some R and R and hang out time with a gal.

Not unlike the South, which I guess Texas is, kinda, I’ve grown to like Texas--even the seemingly uninteresting parts. Houston was fun. I had some of the most amazing Indian food in my life at Pondicheri. You never know where you are going to have amazing Indian food. I had some of the best Indian ever in Phoenix once. It all depends on the focus and love of the folks who own the restaurant. Pondicheri is a bit hot rodded Indian fusion-ish but it was astounding to eat Samosas that didn’t taste like they had been sitting around for hours and that the cooking oil hadn’t been changed in months. I’m not saying that all Indian food is bad but a lot of it is uninspired. I like that I had amazing Indian food in Texas.

Also, it’s weird. I barely ever go to Art Museums in LA and I live there. If someone came in from out of town I would ask it they wanted to go to see some art. It’s an odd thing that somewhere inside me there is this pride that I know my city has some good art in it somewhere. I just don’t visit it much.

My friend in Houston suggested we go to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts to see the Jesús Rafael Soto’s Houston Penetrable. I had no idea what the fuck it was. From the pictures on the website it didn’t look that interesting. It looked like thin plastic tubing hanging from the ceiling that you could walk through. I kind of dug that it was feelable and interactive but it also seemed that it could be like going through a human car wash that actually only served to spread disease. In the pics there seemed to be a floating yellow disc shape hovering over the space. I couldn’t quite understand or see how it worked spatially. It looked singular but not that interesting. That is the problem with pictures. Sometimes you think they are enough and that the experience of seeing them is enough. That’s a good way to avoid engaging in almost anything that can be photographed, which seems to be everything.

We went to the museum and the Penetrable was definitely worth the admission. It was much larger than I could have imagined and it was a real brain fucker in terms of the illusion it created and its ability to displace space and create an illusion you could see and actually feel but not quite grasp. So, in that way it was provocative. Also, kids seemed to enjoy playing in it. It worked on a lot of levels. I hope I didn’t catch anything from the dangling strands.

The MFAH has an impressive collection of stuff. Lots of great Modern, African, Asian, Classical—all of it. It’s astounding how much art there is to go around. I don’t know why I am surprised. It seems that if there is money in a city there is art amassed. It was also the first time I saw Frederic Remington paintings up close. When in Texas you need to do some cowboy stuff. I did some highbrow cowboy art appreciation. I went from totally abstract and massive and being actually within the art to looking at the sad end of the American West on canvas—Art.

Today on the show I talk to Wanda Sykes. I have actually been trying to sit down with her for a couple of years. I am excited that it happened. I knew her when she started so we have history together and it was great to catch up. On Thursday Robyn Hitchcock hangs in the garage and we talk about his first band, The Soft Boys, who I loved and then we move through his solo career which is amazing.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

The South is trying to kill me with food.


Hey, Y’all-

As heavy as last week was, I have to say I am glad I had the interview I did with Robin Williams to put out in the world again after his death. I hope it helped ease some of the shock and pain of the loss.

I'm flying back from Charlotte, NC. It was my second time there inside a week. I went there for the Oddball Fest and then came back less than a week later to do The Comedy Zone. I had never done shows there before. It is an institution. A great old comedy room. I had no idea how I would do there in terms of people coming out but the turn out was great.

I honestly love the South these days. Every time I go back there, almost anywhere, I find myself more enchanted with it. It seems to be one of the only regions in the country that has not been totally plowed over by corporate interests and annihilating mall culture. Maybe I’m romanticizing but it just seem sincerely closer to the roots of what this country comes from, both the people and the landscape. Whatever once slowed the South down in terms of cultural progress is certainly changing but the good stuff that defines its cultural personality is still intact and charming. I really like going down there.

The one thing that I know is that the South is trying to kill me with food. I know I have a part in it but how can you go to NC and not cobbler yourself into a coma? How can you not eat grits everyday? How can you not eat at least three biscuits a day with or without gravy? Greens are good for you even if they are cooked with a hunk of pig, right? It cancels itself out, right?

I actually had a new food experience, which isn’t unusual if you don’t spend too much time down there. I was about to order my eggs and grits and biscuits and I noticed on the menu one of the meat sides was Livermush. What the fuck? I had never heard of it before and, quite honestly, I had never seen those two words together before. Not appetizing, but unashamed. I thought it is clearly a regional dish that didn’t need to seem appealing. It is what it is and I had no idea what that was. I asked the waitress and she said, “I don’t know if you’d like it if you didn’t grow up with it.” I thought that explains a lot of the Southern experience but I wanted to try it. I didn’t that morning but I went back to my room and did some research.

Livermush was thought to derive from the influence of German settlers in Appalachia before the Civil War. It’s not quite a sausage. It’s basically all the parts of the pig that you would maybe toss but when times are tough or if you just want to use every part of the animal there’s nothing odd about taking the liver and head meat and grinding them down and pressing them into a sliceable brick of meat. It’s one of those things that the modern brain thinks. ‘Why would I eat that if I could afford not to?" But most Southerners eat it because, “My grandma used to eat it and she made it for us.” Nostalgia is sometimes triggered by an acquired taste. I ate it the next morning. Loved it. Not everyday loved it, but maybe again when I’m down there. It's like the region: Interesting, rich, practical and slightly disturbing.

This week I talk to Family Guy writer Alec Sulkin about TV writing and language and stuff. Good guy. I liked talking to him. On Thursday I talk to Ty Segall who is this incredible prolific 27 year old musician whose music I happen to love. There’s no deep dark tales of struggle but if you want to listen to me fanboy the fuck out and hear a great song it’s a fun talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Oddball Festival has been great.

Oddball, folks. Oddball.

It's Bob Week on WTF. It was an honor and a true privilege to be able to sit down with the legend that is Bob Newhart. I went to his home in Bel Air and we talked for almost two hours. He changed the game and he did it never really having done standup before he became the biggest standup in the world. His first three comedy records really redefined comedy in my opinion. Obviously his TV shows were great but the standup has to be remembered for what it was: Genius. He’s had an amazing career in show business and, again, it was a true honor to talk to him. You’ll hear it Monday.

On Thursday I talk to another legendary Bob… Bob Mould. His band, Husker Du, almost invented Indie Rock. His band Sugar was monumental. His solo work is great. He has evolved as a person and an artist in a way unlike anyone I’ve talked to. I don’t want to spoil anything. This is a great week for the show.

So, I did it. Arena comedy. Outdoors. In Tampa, Charlotte and Atlanta tonight—well as I am writing this it is tonight. When you get this it will be done. The Oddball Festival has been great.

Before I tell you about it, if you live in Charlotte, NC, I will be back there this weekend at The Comedy Zone doing the big set. Also, NYC, if you want to see me, tickets for the NY Comedy Fest in November are going fast so you might want to get on that.

Oddball. I was nervous going in because I felt like I had spent the good part of the last decade getting smaller and more intimate with what I do. In my mind there was no way to do an outdoor amphitheater without getting bigger, like Old Maron big. I was wrong. I had been driving myself a bit crazy about what my set would be. I know it needed to be tight-ish and I felt like I had pick stuff that had defined tags because it’s going out to 10,000 people who may need to know where the joke ends. I really had no idea what 10,000 people sounded like laughing outdoors but I knew I needed to hear it.

So, the first night out, Tampa, I was second up after Brent Morin who did really well. The host, Jeff Ross, brought me up. I focused, I had picked the material, leaned into it (overcompensated a bit), and did well. Killed. I got it. The next night in Charlotte I pulled back, did a completely different set, relaxed, was more myself, killed harder. And I’m not a guy who likes to use the work killed. It was just feeling that size crowd responding was pretty intense and great. I’m glad I have the skills to do it. I earned them. Good to know I can be myself in front of 2-10,000 people with not much variation.

Initially I didn’t know how doing comedy in the environment would be or how the crowds would be but it’s great. It was a big show. Me, Morin, Ross, Reggie Watts, Hannibal Buress, Chris Hardwick, Aziz Ansari and CK. The crowds are there for comedy. They are comedy fans. All of us are on point and putting it there. I highly recommend the shows. If you want to see me do more than 15 minutes, come out to a club, but the event of Oddball is pretty awesome to see a bunch of great comics do big room comedy. The lineups vary from place to place. You can go to wtfpod.com to see where I will be but there’s great comics on all the lineups. Dig it.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron