The Breuer Episode

Thanks to this excellent piece by Brian Koppelman at Grantland, there's some renewed interest in Episode 435 - Jim Breuer, particularly this section of the interview:

Jim: Now this is interesting too… you were up for SNL as the news guy and Lorne sat me down, and I swear to God, here’s how it went. He goes, “Jim, we’re thinking about using Marc Maron as the update guy. Do you have thoughts on him?” This is exactly what I said I went, “Um, okay. I think he’ll be the best news guy you’ve ever had in your life.” I really said that. I said, “You need to know a lot of people have problems with him.” I go, “He pisses people off but… If he’s for the news guy, I think you got a homerun.” I go, “Am I best friends with him? No. Do I love the guy? No. However, the guy would be a monster news anchor. I really feel that way Lorne.”

Marc: Oh, my God.

Jim: He’s like, “That’s pretty much the feedback I get from everyone.”

Marc: Come on. Are you fucking with me now?

Jim: No, I swear to God I’m not. I swear to God. That made me really like you.

Marc: Come on.

Jim: I swear to God.

Marc: I’m obsessed with that meeting, you know. I mean, I talk about it all the fucking time. I’m obsessed with that meeting with Lorne.

(Transcription service provided by

You can hear the rest of that story and find out Jim Breuer redeemed himself in Brian Koppelman's eyes by listening to it here.

And let us know if you like reading excerpts from the interviews. It's something we might try more often.

I’m sick.

Hello, People-

I’m fucking sick.

I’m not going to ramble too much here. My head is killing me and I can't breathe and I have to get up to shoot at 6 am. Things are going well aside from this sickness. I don’t know what it is. Flu or a cold or a hybrid. I can’t tell anymore. I am very angry that I am sick and I would like to blame someone. I’ll let you know whom I chose.

This is a big week of three shows. On Monday I’m posting a show I did live at Bumbershoot in Seattle with Scott Aukerman, Jon Wurster, Mike Vecchione and Kyle Dunnigan. It’s a nice, tight live show. Just a heads up, Jon and Tom Scharpling have been doing The Best Show on WFMU for more than 13 years. It is a staple for comedy aficionados 'round the world. It is a genius show and they are doing their last one tomorrow, Tuesday night. If you want to tune in, go to Congrats Tom and Jon for an impressive run. You changed the world a little.

On Wednesday Allan Havey is in the garage. He was one of the guys I used to see in NYC when I was starting out. He’s a very funny man and influenced a lot of people. He's one of the great club comics. I think he didn’t like me, but I think that about everyone at some point.

Some of you remember when I had Hank Azaria on he talked about his therapist Phil Stutz who sounded like an awesome character. Well, he is and he’s in the garage on Friday.

That’s all I got. The sicky has got me sad.

Enjoy the week!

Boomer lives!


One hundred million downloads!!

100,000,000! What the fuck, people?

Seriously. This week we will have served our 100,000,000th download of WTF.

Astounding. If only I could have had a dollar for each one, or even a quarter, a nickel even. Eh. I don’t need the money. What would I do with it? It would ruin me. I’d buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need, get tired of it, get rid of it and end up in a mansion sleeping on a futon on the floor eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with the same problems I have now. Maybe. I’m not willing to risk it.

I’ve been insanely busy with one thing: Shooting the second season of ‘Maron.' I have to say the process is a bit easier mentally and emotionally having been through it once before. I’m actually having a good time. Which is an unusual feeling for me. I think the scripts are stronger than last year and the stories are all interesting and personal and FUNNY. I just want to be an okay actor. I know it seems that playing yourself should be a no brainer but it is really a version of myself that I am playing and God knows the role of me in real life is a pretty taxing undertaking. I think it may be a little easier to play the fictional me. I know what’s going to happen with that guy.

I want to talk about today’s episode a bit. I was excited to finally get to talk to Will Ferrell. Quite honestly, I don’t think there is a funnier human. I told him as much. I know if I watch a Will Ferrell movie, even if the movie isn’t great, I will get at least one solid deep laugh that will keep happening when I think back on the scene for at least six months, and that’s not nothing. So, what were my expectations knowing I was going to interview one of the funniest people in the world? To laugh, right? I had never met Will before. I had no idea what his life was like or who he was really. I only know him the way you know him—as a funny guy who is always funny when you see him. So, there was some part of me that was sort of grinning with expectation before he even got to my house.

I didn’t know if he would come with an entourage of handlers or just a publicist or what. He was a few minutes late so of course I started thinking he wasn’t coming. I wasn’t important enough. He forgot. Not the case. He came rolling up my street in his electric Rav 4, alone. He was very mild mannered and nice. Grounded. We went into the garage and just talked like people. The grin of expectation faded and I just got to know Will. The amazing thing about him is his talent is so refined and honed that he can turn it on and off in a second. He can effortlessly be funny as fuck in a SECOND. Amazing. Great guy. Great talk. Enjoy.

On Thursday I talk to Yakov Smirnoff. It was a pretty amazing talk. There was no one bigger in the eighties in terms of an identifiable hook, but once that hook became irrelevant you would think he did, too. Not the case. He’s been working ever since and actually is a college professor as well as an entertainer. Very interesting journey.


Boomer lives!


The spirit of vigilance and tolerance.

Okay. Holidays, Folks -

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving thing. I just realized it’s sort of a soul palate preparer for the rest of the holidays. It gets your heart and mind into the spirit of vigilance and tolerance necessary for the next round later this month. I don’t mean to be cynical but dealing with family is always a bit jarring for better or worse. Obviously it can be wonderful but sometimes it takes some effort to get to wonderful.

I ended going really low key for Thanksgiving. I went somewhere where I knew virtually no one. I went with my friend Duncan to his friend’s place. They were willing to take in a single stragler. I had other invites but for one reason or another they didn’t work out. Some because of me, some for other reasons. I didn’t want to be around too many couples at a small thing or at a family thing that was unfamiliar. So, I went to a pretty large gathering and just got lost in the mix and ate compulsively for an hour. I wasn’t completely lost. When the food was coming out of the oven there was a mild panic in the room. It seemed that no one had the know how or confidence to cut into the bird. There’s a bit of stage fright involved in stepping up to the Turkey. I volunteered. I can take apart a bird pretty effectively. I didn’t know anyone in the room except my pal and they placed the main attraction in my hands. I was nervous but I just focused in with some dull knives and plattered the thing. It worked out. It was about me for just the right amount of time and I provided a service. I was happy to do it. I’m a giver. It was no easy thing. Folks, if you have knives, sharpen them. Nothing is worse than a dull blade for food or murder and you never know what you’ll need it for given your situation.

In other news, I called my dad. I hadn’t talked to him in months. It had been since the TV show aired. He was mad at me for the way I portrayed him which I thought was kind and endearing. In my mind he got off easy. He was upset though and I didn’t feel like I owed him an explanation or an apology. So, I just didn’t call him for a while. It was his birthday the other day, so I just called him and wished him a happy birthday and we talked to him for a while. He told me he was upset and that it was hard for him to take. I said he’ll be okay and I go easier on him this season. I’m glad I called. We’re too old to have tension. On some level I won. I think sometimes that’s all it’s about. You just want to beat your dad once. Now that’s behind me we’ll see who wins the life race, the final event.

This week I talk to Lou Barlow from Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. Love talking to that guy and hearing him play and sing. It was great. On Thursday one of many of the members of The State and many other shows, like Party Down and Eastbound and Down, Ken Marino is in the garage. There are only a few more members of The State left for me to talk to. I’ll get them.


Boomer lives!


Be Thankful

Be thankful, people!

I love this time of year because winter in LA feels like fall everywhere else. The air is crisp, it's raining occasionally and I can wear a beanie if I want to. I like to wear wool hats. I like dressing for colder weather. So, I’m layering up even if it’s unnecessary.

This is the first year in a while that I’m not going to my mother’s for Thanksgiving. I will find something to do. I’ve been invited a couple of places. I’ll try not to sit at my house by myself though that is definitely an option. It might not be bad but I think it’s a bold action. I think if you sit holidays out when you have the opportunity to spend them with other people and it is an intentional celebration of sadness. Though sometimes spending time with other people can be even sadder. Tough call. We’ll see what I decide. I do know I probably won’t be cooking. Or I could actually just cook for myself. Maybe I should sit at home and eat scrambled eggs on Thanksgiving just to be contrary. We’ll see.

I just want to tell you about tomorrow’s show. I had the opportunity to talk to Larry King. I think it came through the folks that work on his Internet show. I don’t know if I would have interviewed him if it were just my decision. I guess I’m saying I wouldn’t have sought him out. I have nothing against Larry King per se. We do the same thing in some way. I just would not have thought to interview him. He’s a real guy. He’s is like a media truth of some kind: An archetype, a singular presence, an institution. I'm not going to put a value judgment - good or bad - on it. I’m just saying I didn’t seek him out. I think it was primarily because I couldn’t picture the person in there. I had absolutely no sense of who that guy is. I agreed to the interview and even made the trip to his place in Beverly Hills. I was given the time of 10:15 as when I was supposed to be over there. I waited out in the street in my car because I got there early. When I rang the bell I was greeted by a woman, walked into the entry way and waited for Larry King. He came out of the back house and said, “You’re late.” I wasn’t. We had been given different times. It got so uncomfortable for a few seconds that I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. He said he wouldn’t do the whole hour. I guess as punishment for my perceived lateness. At that point I wasn’t sure I cared one way of the other. I was cranky, he was cranky. I just wanted you to know that going in.

On Thursday comedian John Heffron talks a bit of shop and then we get into the real stuff. Great guy.

Have a great week and be nice to your family if you can.


Boomer lives!


The Boston Comedy Festival at The Somerville Theater

Hola, People-

Just went back and forth to Boston in 24 hours. Crazy. I went to accept the Comedian of the Year award from The Boston Comedy Festival at The Somerville Theater. It was an honor. I started in Boston. All of my early memories of working as a comic are in New England and the award means something to me. Those were tough days, lean years, crazy times. I bled a lot all over the New England countryside. It was like my own Revolutionary War of emotions.

They gave me the award after the finals of a competition. It was pretty intense to watch a bunch of new comics doing their best eight minutes. I hadn’t seen that in a while. Joke efficiency and hunger. It was great. Nothing was lost on me. In 1989 I lived two blocks from that theater in an attic in a house full of the kind of people that lived in houses with other people. It was a transition house. It was a holding pen for people between kid and grown up. It was one of those places that no one really knew who owned it but the one guy who had been there the longest—longer than he should have—paid the guy. I have definitely come a long way and I am grateful.

I did make time to stuff meat into my face at Redbones. I was living in that hood when the place opened 26 years ago. The owner, Caryn Whitney, came down to the restaurant when I was there and we hung out and caught up. It’s very weird to have known someone that long as an adult. It was great to see her. The food there is still awesome. It’s amazing to see a place become an institution.

Big week of shows! I know nothing about wrestling so I talked to one of the biggest wrestlers in the world! CM Punk is on the show Monday. On Thursday I have a lovely chat with Edgar Wright about his career and movies. Great guy. Great talk.


Boomer lives!


Return to planet Marc.

Hey, Folks-

Hope everyone is well. I can now report that I saw Gravity. Yes, in 3D. I had a weird type of high expectation. A lot of people I respect said it was great but they couldn’t explain why. There was really no critical talk about it or any specific analysis. It was really just, "What? You haven’t seen Gravity yet. You have to see it. It’s great." I didn’t find anything compelling about the ad campaign nor did I have any interest in seeing a "Space" movie. But, not unlike any cultural phenomenon, if I am not part of it I am outside, left out, in cultural limbo, outer space. Unlike the characters in the film all I had to do to get back to Planet Earth was see the movie.

I liked it. It made me feel very isolated and anxious and relieved over and over again. I can get those feelings in real life. Not necessarily repeated in that order or connected and not always with relief, but a lot of money went into me transcending my own feelings into no gravity and broken equipment. It was a very well done movie. I just recently saw 2001 again and the ballet of space vessels is very satisfying when done well. It was done very well in Gravity. I also had no idea what a hurling piece of fragmented satellite shrapnel could do to a man’s head. Now I do. So, there’s that. Also, between us, I love Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Who doesn’t?

On the personal front I think it’s time to get to ground zero of me. Check in with the baseline. I am seriously entertaining the idea of getting off the nicotine lozenges and the caffeine and the sugar, all at once, of course. I also have been entertaining the idea of regular exercise again. I will give you a heads up if I do these things, any of them, so you can prepare yourselves for what I imagine will be a temporary change of tone. Right now it’s just a fantasy, an idea. I do think I want to end the recurring cycles of anxiety, aggravation and relief and return to Planet Marc. We’ll see.

Three shows this week! On Monday Illeana Douglas talks to me about her life and career. She is an intense quirky woman. Love her voice. On Wednesday one of my favorite underrated bands, The Figgs, are all in the garage. It was a little unruly but a good time with some good music at the end. On Friday another unsung hero of modern comedy, Barry Crimmins, talks about his harrowing journey that moved through horrendous abuse as a child to performing for the Sandinistas. Heavy episode. I think you’ll dig it.


Boomer lives!