Dispatches from the Head

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

We feed, we don’t think.

I can’t stop working, People-

But I would. I really think I would, if I really didn’t have to.

Not knowing what you want to do with your life at 50 is a weird feeling. Obviously I know exactly what I want to do professionally and I’m doing it. What about the other stuff? What about the fun stuff? What about traveling, thinking, playing music, dancing? Well, not so much dancing but maybe a little dancing. What about broadening my mind? Getting back into really trying to understand art and politics and cultural criticism? What about writing an essay for the Paris Review or some shit? Its not that I’ve hit a wall with me, it’s just that I used to really have interests that were active and growing. I seem to be doing that with guitar but what about everything else?

Ok, I’ll admit it. I saw a French movie and it sent me spinning. I saw Michel Gondry’s ‘Mood Indigo.’ It wasn’t that the film blew me away necessarily because it didn’t. It was because it was so incredibly French in it’s approach to story. By French I mean existential and absurd simultaneously. The element that amazed me was the commitment to what seemed like some form of stop action photography. I’m sure there are tricks that are more advanced than that but that is what it looked like. It looked like every five minutes of film must’ve taken weeks to shoot. The story was tragic, really, but the approach was completely comedic, hyper-imaginative and lyrical, and almost completely unnecessary in terms of serving the story. Gondry clearly had a vision. Too much vision. It was daunting to watch at times. I didn’t think it was bad but it amazed me to see someone so committed to his imagination and execution of that imagination even if it seemed totally gratuitous.

So, days later I’m still trying to figure out why. WHY? There are no answers. The story was an emotionally tragic tale of love and death with a running theme of philosophical posturing and sychophancy. Gondry turned these fairly stale-seeming, almost hack, avant garde French film tropes inside out, almost literally, with crazy but organic-seeming film effects and sets. It was monstrously elaborate in its execution of animation elements and strange absurd tangents, but they all explored the themes set up in the human story and took them to a new French place.

I like having to assess and continue thinking about movies. I haven’t been doing it as much as I used to. I just saw American Hustle for the fifth time and I think I’m starting to understand why the people who liked it, liked it, and what David O. Russell was trying to do. I have faith in certain directors and if I don’t get their work the first time I will go back until I do. I am sorry I dismissed the film early on. It’s just that’s the culture we live in. We feed, we don’t think.

I was thrilled to hear all the amazing feedback from everyone about the season finale of ‘Maron.' I’m waiting to hear if we get to make more.

Three episodes this week! Monday I talk to the lovely and earnest Claire Danes. On Wednesday Eddie Pepitone stops by to talk about his new special AND I talk to Peter McGraw and Joel Warner who are the authors of ‘The Humor Code.’ On Friday actor Pat Healy talks about his film, ‘Cheap Thrills,’ and also about the time he lived at my house.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

A morning walk with Dave Attell.

Hey, Folks-

The anxiety is unbearable sometimes.

I have no idea when it got so out of hand but it is out of hand. I used to be able to at least wrangle my thoughts into a pen and realize I have no control over most of what will happen. Clearly the fence needs some repair because I am out of my mind. I’m just sitting here thinking about things that I have NO control over, none, and losing it.

I’m in Montreal. I just want to get out of Montreal. I’m sure I will. I had a fine time here. The shows were fine. The solo show was great. If you came out, thank you. It got weird but weird can be fine and fun.

Now, I’m here, exhausted, checking the weather and completely obsessed that my flight will be delayed or canceled. I am beating myself up for not taking the first flight out which would have been a nightmare but it’s what I usually do. So, the combination of obsessing about the weather and beating the shit out of myself for not doing something is exhausting me and it is ridiculous and I’m tired of it.

Okay, right now, before your very eyes, I’m going to let it go. As I write this I am realizing and deciding that the weather is out of my control and beating the shit out of myself is completely in my control. I’m letting go of the weather and putting down the bat. Things will work out the way they will work out and I did what I did. That’s that.

The highlight of the festival for me was taking a morning walk with Dave Attell. It wasn’t like an old guy exercise walk. It was just coincidental. I’ve known Attell for years but I rarely see him. If I do see him we talk for maybe five minutes. We had just done the new Opie and Jim Norton show live. It was ridiculous. It was nine in the morning. It was me, Judy Gold, Bill Burr, Robert Kelly, Nick DiPaolo, Ari Shaffir, Jim Jeffries and Attell sitting on couches in front of a live audience and no one was getting laughs until Pete Holmes showed up and everyone piled on him a bit. Good radio, poor Pete. Happens. After the show Attell wanted to get some food so we walked for about 45 mins up to Schwartz’s. We caught up and I guess were good for a year now.

I’ve had smoked meat. Attell had not. It was 11 in the morning. He was hoping for breakfast. Basically all they have is the smoked meat. Let me rephrase--the smoked meat is all you should get at Schwartz's. Attell wanted to get the turkey. The guy behind the counter told him not to get the turkey and to get the smoked meat. Attell was trying to be healthy. The guy knew the turkey was just packaged turkey and the smoked meat was really the only thing to get but Attell didn’t realize he wasn’t at a deli. It was a smoked meat dealer, that’s it. The guy relented, served Dave half-and-half, turkey and smoked meat. He set the sandwich down in front of Dave and said, “This is a first. In 86 years this has never been done.” They had never served a half turkey, half smoked meat sandwich in the history of Schwartz’s according to this guy who had been there for over 30 years. I guess what I am saying is that I was happy to be there for this historical moment in Canadian Judaism. I hope they make a note in the records.

Exciting Monday. I will post my lengthy conversation with Mike Myers. He doesn’t talk publicly much so it was a big deal. It was great talk, actually. Lots of great history and stories. On Thursday I have an amazing chat with comedian Adam Ferrara about family, dads and a bit of car talk. Good week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

My fears of drunkies were abated, a bit.

Okay, Friends-

I’ll be at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal this week. I’m doing a solo show on Saturday 7/26 and I’m sure I’ll be doing some other sets around the fest. Check their website for details if you can find them.

Say farewell to the comments section at wtfpod.com. I know most of you didn’t really post there. It wasn’t really a community or fun in any way. It was like ten trolls, a couple of assholes and a few people that enjoyed the show. So, enough. You will be able to post through Facebook, however that works, and at the very least the anonymity element of being a douchebag is gone. Lets see who reveals themselves.

I want to really thank The Comedy Works in Denver for some great shows this past weekend. It is one of the best true comedy clubs in the country. There aren’t that many. The crowds that came out were awesome. My fears of drunkies were abated, a bit. I still stand by what I said and that is that Denver is one of the drunkiest cities I’ve worked in. I know that some folks took umbrage with that but maybe I wasn’t talking about you and it doesn’t make it untrue just because of your civic pride. Everyone was pretty well behaved. A woman did puke and had to be removed from the early show Friday. The EARLY show. Drunky. For your information, that has never happened to me before, anywhere. No biggie. I didn’t even realize it was happening. Even the Bachelorette party at the second show Saturday was tolerable. I had to pummel them a bit out of the gate to set the tone of what I would and wouldn’t tolerate but after that it was okay. The mother of the bride had to be removed from the show for being a drunken loudmouth but the 8 women were fairly well behaved.

I can’t tell you the strange anger that comes over me and I imagine other comics when they see a bachelorette party being seated. To me it means I will have to babysit a bunch of rude buzzed women as they try to make the show all about them. Usually they aren’t there to see any comic in particular. They're just there ‘wooo.' It’s awful. I have no idea who set that tradition in motion or why it persists. My issue with it is, and this is one of the reasons why comics will avoid comedy clubs if they can, it can ruin the show for fans that came to see me. Look, I can manage myself better than most on stage and I won’t take any shit or let someone ruin the show entirely but it will be a different show. I will be defensive and in fight mode. I’m not saying that won’t be entertaining but it will be hands on, somewhat hostile and very unpredictable. That being said, I’m a pro and it was a very engaging and amazing show. They wanted me to abuse the bride. Done. Overdone, even, and it was spontaneous and awesome. I enjoyed every minute of it and I believe the crowd did as well. And that’s why comedy clubs are great. I forget. It is kind of part of the job and it is fucking exciting.

I was being bitchy about maybe not coming back to the club because I want my fans to have a good time. I thought maybe next time I should do one night at small theater. I won’t do that. I will go back to the Comedy Works for as long as they will have me because sometimes you just have to get down in trenches and do the dirty job of standup at a real comedy club. It’s what I do.

On Monday I have a long conversation with Leonard Maltin about how he became Leonard Maltin. I enjoyed it. He’s the ultimate movie nerd. On Thursday Denny Tedesco talks to me about his epic journey to complete a documentary called ‘The Wrecking Crew.' It’s about his father Tommy and the crew of studio musicians that played on some of the biggest records ever, made them hits and went unrecognized. It was a great talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I’m out of my mind.

Little manic, People-

First off, Denver, I will be at the Comedy Works this weekend, Friday and Saturday, July 18th and 19th. I’m doing four shows. If you are around and can handle your liquor I’d love to see you at those late shows. Denver is drunky. Help me out.

Everything is going great and I’m out of my mind. I think my mind is obsessing about little things to keep the bigger things in the background. I went to the desert for a couple of days and that was peaceful but it took until I got in the car to drive home for me to regress right back into manic insanity. I have no idea what is going on.

I stopped at the outlet mall on the way back from the desert. Something hypnotic happens at an outlet mall. Even thought you aren’t really getting great deals, you feel like you are going to, so you feel almost high. The first store I went into was the Levi's store. I was beside myself. I love Levi's. I always buy stuff at the Levi's store but most of the time it doesn’t fit or it just doesn’t look or feel as good as it did in the store. THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS. THERE WAS NO REASON TO THINK IT WOULDN’T HAPPEN AGAIN.

Within in minutes of being in there I found these amazing jackets. They were cut like classic Levi's jackets but they were a fine corduroy. They were definitely cool. I liked them. A lot. They were actually a real bargain. Half price. This is rare even for an outlet store. I had to have at least two of them. I tried them on. They looked perfect. It was like I was born to have these jackets. I got them in Large and the guy at the counter even told me that things run small with Levis. I couldn’t wait to get home to wash them and rotate them into my clothes rotation.

I drove an hour and a half home and when I got there I immediately put the jackets into the washer. Then I hung them to dry. When they were dry I tried them on again and THEY WERE HUGE. I was livid. How could I have bought them without noticing that? I couldn’t get over it, literally. For two days I was beating the shit out of myself and I had to stop myself from angrily driving back to the store an hour and a half away and buying two more of the exact same jacket. They were just hanging in my closet. They might as well have been clown costumes. I couldn’t let it go. It’s hard for me to even write about it now. Livid.

And that’s how I don’t freak out about the important things.

Great shows this week! On Monday I talk to The Amazing Johnathan who has a hell of a story and situation at hand. Amazing talk. On Thursday I talk to a true pop music genius, Jack Antonoff--another amazing, deep and sad story of transcending pain.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron
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