Things I've Done.

Good day, Folks!

Still in London. On to Dublin on Tuesday for a show Thursday. It’s been great, really.

Despite my own brain and fighting old feelings and the residue of old fears, this trip over the pond has been great. Here are some things I’ve done.

Manchester:

Ate in the basement of a Buddhist center. Being served by seemingly sad people who have found some peace was an oddly emotional moment.

Got a tentative shave by a barber who I think needed the practice shaving. Not a great experience but I was happy he was proud of himself when he didn’t hurt me.

Did an odd interview on a BBC radio show. Unnecessarily contentious because the ‘interviewer’ had something to prove to another ‘interviewer' (me).

Did a not so weird interview on a BBC Morning TV show. Though one of the hosts made an ‘uh oh’ face when I called Trump a monster. He is a monster.

Did an almost two hour long set in a packed sweet-sounding theater. A lot of riffing. Great crowd.

London:

Did more BBC radio. A show called ‘Loose Ends’ which was like a roundtable and one of the other guests was Mavis Staple. MAVIS STAPLES. Talking about singing for Dr. King and being proposed to by Bob Dylan. Such an honor meeting her. Some days I love show business.

Ate at a plant-based restaurant. It was good. Cauliflower.

Got my boots shined at a cobbler around the corner. Made me want to be a cobbler.

Smoked a Cuban cigar.

Did a show for 1900 people at a venue designed for symphonies. There were moments between bits where I deeply realized I was just a little guy on a huge stage and I was all alone. The crowd carried me. It was kind of beautiful. Grateful for my fans. Special people.

Slipped. Tanked the regimen. Ate British pork pie, filet mignon, Dover sole. A fan gave me vegan baked goods: cross bun, cinnamon roll, banana bread, carrot cake, sausage roll. In a fury of insecurity and need for reward I ate half of each in about a three-minute pig-like feeding flurry.

Laid down. A sugar sponge. Did the other thing. DIDN’T EVEN BRUSH MY TEETH. I’m a fucking outlaw, man.

Did laundry at a launderette. Humbling. Human. Meditative. 
 
Dublin:

I’ll let you know. 
 
There are new tour dates! It’s a lot but here:
 
August 9th in Portland, Oregon at Revolution Hall.
 
August 22nd in Dallas, Texas at the Majestic Theater.
 
August 23rd in Austin, Texas at the Paramount Theater.
 
August 24th in Houston at the Cullen Theater at Wortham Center.
 
September 6th in Vancouver at the Vogue Theater.
 
September 7th in Seattle at the Moore Theater.
 
September 20th in Chicago at the Vic.
 
September 21st in Detroit at the Masonic Temple.
 
September 22nd in Minneapolis at the Pantages.
 
October 10th in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater.
 
October 11th in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
 
October 12th in Boston at the Shubert Theater.
 
October 18th in Nashville at the James K. Polk Theater.
 
October 19th in Atlanta at the Tabernacle.
 
and October 26th in San Francisco at The Masonic.
 
There will be a fan presale for tickets this Wednesday, April 10th at 10am to Thursday, April 11th at 10pm. Just go to the venue websites and use the password Buster.

The official on-sale date for all venues is Friday, April 12th, except for the Kennedy Center. That's on sale April 19th.

You can always go to wtfpod.com slash tour for more info on all these dates and venues.
 
Today I have an engaged, intense chat with Vincent D’Onofrio. He directed The Kid. It’s a western. Good talk. On Thursday one of the two remaining KITH members I haven't had on yet came over. Bruce McCulloch and have nice talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Institutions.

Hey, Folks!

I’m in New York. I’m doing one of those hit-and-run trips. I have a little scene in a movie to do today then I’m off to the UK for the shows there. There are still some tickets available for the London and Birmingham shows if you want to come. I think, since I spread out my shows there, people who would’ve traveled to come don’t need to now. I know who my people are. I know there’s a ceiling to my audience but come if you can.

I love NYC, kind of, for a few days. Maybe not. It’s hard to find what was great about this city sometimes but I also know we’ve both gotten older and gone through some changes. I have to be honest, though. The fact that the Lower East Side has turned into to some kind of chaotic-bridge-and-tunnel-international-touristy-dumb-drunk-bro-dumb-girl-dumb-dumb-shit show is hard to take. I’m sure I’ve covered this before, but NYC is really some kind of theme park caricature of its former self. It’s okay. Some of the institutions are still holding.

Every time I come here now I get it in my head to check out what’s going on at Jazz at Lincoln Center. I don’t see jazz anywhere. I know it’s around, but I don’t get out much. So, I landed at Kennedy, checked into my hotel, didn’t even change, walked briskly to the subway, got up to Lincoln Center with a few minutes to spare and was sitting in a sweet box seat for another flight of another kind. Marcus Miller (who I knew NOTHING about) put together a continuous  musical evening comprised of a selection of later Miles Davis work (which I knew a little about). He was the bass player for his band during that electric period. He surrounded himself with great players:Russell Gunn, Marquis Hill, Alex Hahn, Brett Williams, Alex Bailey, Vernon Reed (yup, that guy) and Mino Cinélu. Then they just went for it with selections from ‘In a Silent Way,’ ‘Tutu,’ ‘Bitches Brew’ and more. It was great. I can really lock into listening to an improvisation on almost any instrument. I can feel the musician preparing to launch into space once they’ve laid down the basic riff. It’s exciting when the get out there and when they land, if they land.

When I walked in, the usher said, ‘there’s no intermission and you can come and go as you like.’ I thought, ‘what a great definition of free jazz.’ What a great definition of life.

Today I talk to the amazing and gracious John Lithgow. On Thursday I have an informative and exciting conversation about music with T Bone Burnett. Great talks.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Aspen.

I’m high, People!


Altitude-wise. And surrounded by high people. Colorado.


Well, all my anxiety about Aspen was unwarranted but real nonetheless. It turns out that a lot of my weird feelings were from childhood. Also, from having bad shows there in the past, but a lot of bad memories from ski trips I went on with my family. It’s weird how that stuff lingers or leaves a residue on all your adult thoughts. I know it doesn’t sound like heavy trauma and it isn’t. Things that are supposed to be fun, with all the expectation around having that experience, when they turn to shit and emotional clusterfucks they seem to leave a deeper impression in the neural pathways. Days ruined from outbursts of rage over a missing hat or the wrong socks or frozen toes or… Dad. It was rare when we were getting ready to hit the slopes in the morning that someone didn’t end up crying, if not all of us. That all came back to me up there for some reason.

The Wheeler Opera Houser where I performed is a beautiful little theater built in the 1800s, I think. I’d been there before but I have no real recollection of it because I was so stressed out the other times I’d been there. It’s a sweet venue. It’s odd. There is a part of me that freaks out before a show. It isn’t based in anything anymore. It’s an old pattern. A dead tendril. A phantom limb. I will get it wagging though. And as soon as I step on the stage for sound check I realize I am home.

 

The show was fun. Got through some new stuff. Dealt with a couple ‘where are the jokes’ Republican folks. All-in-all, good times. I couldn’t breathe right and my brain was a little tweaked from the altitude but there were no major skids. I stayed on the wire. 

 

Aspen is a weird place. Some of the richest people in the world own houses there that they go to for a few days a year. Really rich people go there to ski. Some regular folks, too. Then there are the people that live there year-round and work the work. They see some shit. They know what’s up. They have special chips on their practical shoulders. 

 

I walked past a guy sitting in front of a storefront on the street and as I passed he said, ‘You want to buy a house?’ He was a realtor. Selling homes like drugs. I said, ‘Is that really an impulse buy?’ He said, ‘Sometimes. It’s an emotional thing.’ I told him I didn’t have my check book. Aspen. 

 

Today I talk to Rob Lowe about Rob Lowe. Better guy than I thought, I think. On Thursday me and Phoebe Robinson resolve some of the smaller racial tensions and questions and talk comedy, too. Great talks. 

 

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Personal Garbage.

Hey, Folks!

The whole daylight savings thing has really fucked me up somehow. Not only do I not know what time it really is but I’m having trouble knowing what day it is. Maybe it’s a deeper problem. I think it’s because I’m done shooting GLOW and back to my self-employed schedule which doesn’t really have a differentiation between weekdays and weekends. That probably sounds better than it is. All it really means is that I am always working for the most part.

Cat update: Buster is doing well. Monkey is old. LaFonda is old. The oldies are doing well too.

It’s been a busy few days. I had to move the studio. I'm having major work done on the garage and it might take a while. So, I moved the studio into the house. Now the weirdness of going through the house and out the back door then into the garage will replaced with the weirdness of coming into the house and walking upstairs and into a room. It’s all very cozy. I can’t tell you what a trip it continues to be to have guests come over. It’s just so odd in a way. This is the way show business works now. And really no one thinks it’s weird anymore. It just is. I’ve gotten a lot compliments on the new place from fancy people. That’s nice.

I moved everything myself again. In small batches. I put all the books under the house. When I moved the books from the old garage to the new garage I didn’t go through them. Took them all. I had an opportunity to go through them this time. Didn’t. Not sure when that’s going to happen. There are hundreds of them. I know I don’t want many of them. I just can’t seem to bring myself to get rid of them. It’s weird moving things alone. Slowly. It kind of rekindles your relationship with your personal garbage. I think you have a better shot at getting rid of things if you move frenetically, with help, quickly. It doesn’t give you time to reengage with artifacts that may be meaningless. Maybe none of them are truly meaningless. Most of the shit I hold onto are markers of some part of my life but even those are getting hazy. I guess that’s why I keep things. To remember. 

Today on the show I talk to rare person. There is truly no one like her and I don’t think she does these interviews much. Amy Sedaris. I love her. Special person. You never know where you are going to go when you talk to her. On Thursday I talk to musical genius Tal Wilkenfeld. She has an amazing new record coming out. Maybe I’ll even play the song we composed for the Lynn Shelton movie I’m in called ‘Sword of Trust.’ The song is called ‘New Boots.’

Enjoy!

Boomer and Buster live!


Love,

Maron

Vinyl.

Heavy weather, folks.
 
I know I can’t complain but I can be nervous. Scratch that, terrified. The weather has been fucking crazy. The hills around Los Angeles look like fucking Scotland. Which is great. I guess. We’re not in a drought anymore but it all feels like an ongoing bad omen. My friend sent me a pic from Minneapolis of almost six feet of snow. Which is not so great. I’m going to start reading a book called The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. It was sent to me by the publisher and why not diminish the little hope I have a bit more. I mean, I have a little downtime. 
 
GLOW Season three has wrapped. The wrap party was last night and it was exciting to see everyone who worked on the show. I am so shitty with names. I’ve worked with people for three years now and I still can’t remember people’s names. My brain is going. Actually, I’ve always been this way. It was fun and sad to see everyone. A show becomes a world. The world ends at the ends of shooting until next year, hopefully. Now I want to see the fucking season. That’s really the weirdest thing about working on a show or a movie. I have no idea how it will all come together. I was sort of off on my own story line this season. A lot of stuff happened with a lot of the characters and I have no idea how it all goes down. So, I am excited to watch the show I am on. 
 
Buster Kitten is still seemingly doing well. He likes the prescription kidney food. Which is odd according my vet because it doesn’t taste great. That’s one of the benefits of having a weirdo cat. 
 
On another note, a musical one, people have always asked us about putting together a compilation of the songs from the show, and we always wanted to but it's a tricky thing to do, logistically. But we got hooked up with the folks at Newbury Comics who were interested in doing something with us and, in partnership with them, we've put together something really special. 
 
Record Store Day is on April 13th, and for this year's Record Store Day, we're releasing an exclusive limited-edition vinyl album called In The Garage: Live Music from WTF with Marc Maron. 
 
It's got ten acoustic performances with J Mascis, Melissa Etheridge, E from Eels, Karen Kilgariff, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Nick Lowe, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Aimee Mann, and Dave Alvin. I actually played with Dave on that track. 
 
All of these artists were extremely generous in allowing their performances to be featured on the album, and Brendan and I are donating our proceeds to the charity Musicians on Call, who bring music to the patients of healthcare facilities, to add a dose of joy to their day. 
 
Again, Record Store Day 2019 is happening April 13, so pick up your copy then. Participating stores can be found at recordstoreday.com.

Today I talk to actor Alfred Molina who is one of the most memorable character actors of all time. I love the guy. Great talk! On Thursday we release the fifth installation of The Marc and Tom Show. This is me and my friend Tom Scharpling from The Best Show just… talking. It’s always great to talk to Tom. 

Enjoy!

Boomer and Buster live!


Love,

Maron

The Return.

Buster lives, People!


Sadly, I have to start this missive marking the passing of a fellow comic and unique human. Brody Stevens passed away last week. He was a one of kind person. An authentic, charismatic, funny oddball. He exuded an intense engaging energy that could blow right through you and it was all uniquely him. He battled hard with depression. He was very open about it. It was an ongoing narrative with him publicly and personally. You could SEE him fighting it. He made many people happy and was loved by the entire comedy community. Last week he lost his battle with depression and took his own life and it was devasting. It's like a necessary turbine driving the Comedy Store machinery has been turned off forever and the place will have to adapt and run without it. Brody will be missed. RIP.


Some good news now. I haven’t written in a week (and last week’s shows were done ahead of time so I could only speculate) but Buster Kitten is seriously on the mend. I don’t want to say cured because I won’t really know until I bring him to the vet for tests this week but I’m pretty grateful. I brought him home from the hospital and he was the sweetest cat I’ve ever seen. Totally affectionate and cute. Very not Buster but I thought it was good. I quarantined him in a room and gave him his IV fluid daily. He seemed to know he needed them. I fed him the special diet kidney food and gave him all the love I am capable of giving, i.e. slightly more than I am able to do with humans but still a little tempered. 


For the four days I had him isolated and recuperating, he remained the sweetest cat in the world. Then I let him out into the general population. Because he was home for a few days he didn’t smell alien to the oldies, Monkey and LaFonda. They didn’t hiss at him.  Everyone was sort of minding their own business for a day. Things were weird. The oldies didn’t quite know what was happening. I always think when a cat returns, the other cats think he came back from the dead. They had grieved and accepted his passing. So, when he comes back, it’s a bit jarring. They had also had a pleasant reprieve from being bullied and beat up by the little fucker. When that wasn’t happening, I thought Buster was a changed cat, docile, resigned. Then day two, in general, happened. 


I heard the panicked scrambling of LaFonda's little feet on the wood floor and then her hissing. Later that day I heard Monkey squealing and running. Buster is back, baby. I felt bad for the oldies for a few minutes but then I saw Monkey baiting Buster and I thought, Oh, shit. He knows he can’t win but he’s having a good time. LaFonda packs a pretty good punch so he eventually lays of her a bit. I think everyone here is actually happy the little fucker is back to his old self. It was nice to spend some time with him when he was needy and affectionate but hey, who can stay in that zone? I gotta let Buster be Buster.


I’ll let you know how the tests go.


Don’t forget to send any questions you have for our 1000th episode. Anything you want to know about past episodes, past guests, things from my life, things from life in general. Send your questions to wtfpod@gmail.com and put 1000th Episode Question in the subject.


Today on the show I talk to the savagely funny Andrea Savage. Love her. Her show ‘I’m Sorry’ is great. On Thursday I talk to Gary Clark, Jr. about, you know, guitar. Great talks!


Enjoy!


Boomer lives!


Love,

Maron

Hoping and Doing.

Sad, People.

My new little guy, Buster Kitten, is really sick.

It came out of nowhere. He was throwing up the other day. That happens when you have cats. I brought him in before for the puking and the vet didn’t find anything. I thought it would be the same this time. It wasn’t. 

I took him in the next day. The vet did some blood tests and came out and told me that Buster was in kidney failure. It was devastating. The cat is only 2 ½. I’ve been through a lot of shit with many different cats. It’s just so sad. I have no idea what caused it. It could be an infection, a toxin, cancer, congenital. I had to take him to the animal hospital and he’s been in the ICU over there for two days now. Getting fluid, antibiotics and care. He has energy and is peeing but he’s not really eating and his kidney numbers aren’t getting better. I’m getting an ultrasound for him tomorrow. Maybe we can get a few more answers. Maybe its treatable. Maybe things will turn around. I was blaming myself. Maybe I left something around that he ate and poisoned himself. Maybe I should’ve brought him in earlier. I guess that’s what some of us do. Blame ourselves. I don’t think I had any control over what happened. I just hope he gets better. 

I know people say that cats to cat people are like their kids. They aren’t quite but for those of us who aren’t great at relationships with people all the time and/or don’t have kids, our pets are what we can handle and emotionally manage. I’ve never really felt bad about not having kids. I know in my heart that I’m not cut out for it. Emotionally. For me, my cats are caring, emotional relationships I can handle and manage. There’s a consistency to it. They don’t grow up to be doctors or make millions of dollars but they are there, relatively steady, individual in personality, loving enough—consistent. My relationship with my two old cats Monkey and LaFonda is the longest I’ve ever had. We all understand each other and show up for each other in the ways we can and it’s good. It’s not sad. 

All that being said, I really hope Buster makes it. He’s a unique cat. I love the guy. I understand the limitations of the relationship and I’m doing all I can to see if I can help him.

Today I talk the lovely Tony Shahloub about his career and the new season of Mrs. Maisel. Sweet guy. On Thursday I talk to Yeardley Smith who is the voice of Lisa on The Simpsons. We talk about her interesting life and career. I also reveal a surprise guest appearance on my show and on another show that I was part of. Great stuff all around.

Enjoy!

Buster, live!


Love,

Maron

A Close Call.

I believe, People!

Thankfully, I let the truth disassemble and crush those beliefs as soon as possible. Sometimes it takes longer than I like. 

A little business up front here. The Dynasty Typewriter residency here in LA this month is mostly sold out. So, if you want tickets you better grab them. Same with the UK and Ireland dates in April. Get on them, if you want them. All ticket links at wtfpod.com/tour.

Back to the power of belief. I am always amazed at some people’s commitment to their beliefs over fact. Obviously, the line between fact and fiction is being intentionally blurred by the many brain-fuck machines engaged in the current agitprop insemination of the grey matter of angry lost ones. Beliefs are satisfying. Why not cling to them? They make sense of things that are complicated without having to deal with annoying facts and process. 

Without getting political, I try to assess how things happen from my own vantage point. From my own experience. It’s the only way I can understand things most of the time. It’s how I engage my empathy. I had an experience with some wild steelhead trout that I’m a bit hung up on. 

I bought a pound of the fish. I pan sautéed half of it the day I got it. It was amazing. A couple of days later I was looking forward to eating the other half. I spent the whole day thinking about cooking it up. It was actually all I had in the fridge for a protein for dinner. When I got home I pulled the fish out of the fridge and unwrapped it. I was heating up the pan simultaneously. Now, steelhead is the color of salmon. This piece had a definite grey spot on it. I was looking at it and, in my mind, I thought that’s probably a normal discoloring. I just didn’t notice it. Or it was fat. Yeah, that must be it, fat. There was also a spot of something on it that looked like it had grown there. Somehow in my mind it was a blemish. Natural thing. I smelled it. Smelled okay. The point was I wanted to believe it was fine. I mean, there was no way it was fine but, in that moment, I was bending this rancid piece of fish into something that was going be good and tasty. 

I put the slab of fish into the pan and I actually sliced off the weird spot. It’s fish, NOT CHEESE. What the fuck was I thinking? And I cooked that thing all the way through, plated it, took a bite and I immediately spit it out because it was nasty as fuck. It was bad from the beginning but I wanted to believe, despite what I saw with my own two eyes. That’s a little scary. I could’ve eaten it, gotten some horrible food borne illness, then a fever that gave me brain damage and within a few weeks I’d be a believer in the ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy.

Dodged a bullet. 

Great week of talks. Today I talk to hip hop artist Anderson .Paak. I didn’t know much about him other than I once was hosting a show he was on an I brought him on stage as Andrew Paak. I felt bad about that. I listened to almost all his stuff and it’s great. It’s a really good talk. On Thursday I talk to director Yorgos Lanthimos about all his films including his latest, The Favourite. Good week.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Turning a Corner.

People!
 
Winning? Overrated. 
 
Who doesn’t want to win? I guess. 
 
I’m just not always sure what game we are playing. I mean, if you are actually playing a game with rules and a context, that is different. If it’s not established that we are in a game other than staying alive and trying to be decent humans you have to decide what you are competing for and why. It’s probably mostly bullshit. Bored, bitter, shitty people are constantly trying to pit people against each other. To frame your journey through life as winning or losing is empty and shallow and to pit people against each other for kicks is craven. Hard not to judge yourself against others but it’s kind of a waste of time. You’re probably just using what you see as other people’s success as a bat to beat your yourself with. Avoid the bat boys. 
 
If you’re okay with yourself and you try to be better at the things that maybe only you know are struggles to be better, that’s winning. 
 
Okay, enough self-help. 

I’ve posted some UK and Ireland dates in April at wtfpod.com/tour. Come see me. 
 
I’ve had a couple breakthroughs. Don’t get crazy. Nothing that major. I realized that sometimes I immediately overreact and then panic about things I am confronted with which leads me to make reactive and not great decisions without really understanding what is necessary. I need to stop that. (I guess self-help time wasn’t over.)
 
The other breakthrough is that I may be turning a corner on Steely Dan. Those of you who have listened to the show for a while know that I’ve been pretty dead set in my aversion to Steely Dan. Mostly because it’s some of the only music I’ve listened to that is actually tonally condescending. Seems to be produced that way. I couldn’t get past all that. And I couldn’t stand the never-ending fawning of Steely Dan acolytes who are also tonally condescending. I’m having a change of heart because I recently just, all of sudden, heard them differently.
 
I went to see Tracy Letts’ new play Linda Vista here in LA at the Mark Taper Forum. It’s a great piece of work. Funny, raw, challenging but not in a snobby way, relatable and current. It deals with relationships, selfishness, men and women, youth and age, bitterness, joy, defeat, delusion, honesty, America, sex… it’s all there AND there’s tasteful aggressive nudity, too. Go see it. Great shit. Anyway, the main character likes Steely Dan and some of their music was played during set changes. I don’t know if it was how I related to the character or the sound system or just time but I heard Pretzel Logic in a way I hadn’t before—as a blues song. It opened the portal. I’m not going to convert but I appreciate it a little more now. I came home and listened to it differently. 
 
Today on the show I talk to the truly amazing Allison Janney. I’m am so glad she decided to do the show. Love her. On Thursday we navigate the darkness with writer Allan MacDonell and talk about his new book Now that I’m Gone. We talk drugs, LA, punk rock, death, the slow grind of life and what makes it worth living, kind of. Great talks. 
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Changes and Choices.

Hello, People


I’m losing my mind. You?

I’ve gotten myself all strung out again. Nicotine lozenges and about a gallon of black tea a day. I’m sitting around wondering why I’m so anxious and jacked up all the time. Aggravated. I just refuse to acknowledge what’s causing it. Like being a caffeine and nicotine sponge that I have to keep soaked all day, every day would have anything to do with my mental disposition. Nah. Must be the world, the weather, the amount of work I have to do. That’s the beautiful denial mind in the addict head. Anything to protect my desire to stay jacked.

Why keep doing it if its clearly uncomfortable? Well, I guess it’s the consistency. The habit. The ritual. The festering then the relief. The getting well. Earning that by needing the stuff.

Damnit. Round and round. Patterns of life. The widening gyre.  Circling the drain and I’m the drain. The hole.

Do we really change? Can we really change? I think yes. Eventually we get tired. Tired of repetition, tired from age, tired from the distractions and eventually something gives or we give up. Then we change. Or we just don’t do things anymore. We stop ourselves from taking the action, saying the thing, making the face, we stifle ourselves. That’s a learned thing. Its called behaving. So, you can change by knowing your choices and making the right one, but that can get exhausting too. Indecision. Back to giving up. The letting go.

The longer you live the clearer it becomes that change is sometimes gradual and it has nothing to do with anything but age and being humbled by time. Which is good. Conserve that energy for the last few laps.

Today on the show I talk to Aaron Sorkin and we didn’t talk as fast as I thought was expected. On Thursday me and Brad Garrett do the comic talk thing. Good times. Good talks.

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Brain Sparks.

Hola, People!

Hope all is well by you. Everything is okay over here. Processing information. We are all information processors and repositories and dumpsters and sieves.

‘You have a brain like a sieve,' my mom would say to me.

Maybe I do. Maybe all the good stuff just flows through and is forgotten and I’m left with the sediment and chaff and boney bits. The good stuff. The stuff that sticks. The stuff you want sift through. The answers.

What the fuck am I talking about? Dunno. Just followed the thought and that was what was left. See, my mom was right.

Sarah Cain the painter had a big opening the other night here in LA at Honor Fraser Gallery and I have to say it was some of her best work ever. Big, colorful canvases, smaller pieces, a stained-glass piece and a massive painted floor. The art world is like another planet to me. Visual artists of her ilk open their brains and hearts and put it on a wall in a pure articulated form, open to interpretation, and it attaches to something primal in the looker, yet touches all the memories and thoughts and sparks them up a bit. It flowed out in movements and colors and objects that give the sediment in our brains spark again. Reconnects the husks of feelings with a little life, a bit of spirit, some soul. As you walk away from it, it settles back but differently. Reconfigured. Loosened. Malleable.

Fuck the wall.

I propose a hedge. Build a hedge. Build a hedge. The wall is an expensive, daunting, hideous and medieval plan. How about a nice eight-to-ten-foot, well-manicured, thorny hedge with some cameras here and there? That would be deterrent enough and create some gardening jobs and save some bread that can be used for making the country better in tangible ways like education, infrastructure, and health care.

The hedge.

Today on the show I talk to comedian Howie Mandel. You can think what you want about old Howie but he is a show biz survivor. Huge star to has-been to different kind of huge star. You never really know how a career in show biz will pan out, if at all. On Thursday I talk to  Linda Cardellini. She’s a great actress and oddly intense in a very charming way. Great talks.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Optimism.

Back to work, People!

Sorry. Maybe some of you have been working all the way through. I know a few people are going back today. Kinda sucks, but it’s kinda good. I go crazy with too much time to thinky. Also, my heart goes to all you folks who the President is denying a living because he’s a big baby tyrant and doesn’t know how to do his job. We’ll all get through it…maybe. Geez, we’re seven days in and I’m already back to the same old, same old terrified cynicism. Sorry. I’ll perk up. Yay! New year.

The best thing that could happen is that he finds the money somewhere for his wall but not enough and his legacy is this big, dumb half a wall or a third of wall. For generations it stands a monument unintentionally honoring Trumpian incompetence. People travel to see it and laugh and laugh and talk about how the country turned on him and he resigned and died in prison. Then they walk back and forth over the border a few times celebrating a diverse America. See! Optimism.

I joined a gym. I belonged to the YMCA but I hadn’t been going. For like two years. Sarah used it sometimes. I did not. I’ve been going to a smaller training gym. Now, I have a nice gym right down the street and now I have to go. It’s weird. I didn’t feel bad about not going to the Y and still paying. I guess I figured it was a Y, the money had to be helping somehow. I will feel bad if I don’t go to this gym. So, I’ve been there twice already this last week. New gyms are always odd. Figuring out where everything is. What kind of people are there. This one has a steam room. Figuring out what’s going on there. Is it on the level? Is there a time of day that maybe it’s not just for steaming? Maybe not everyone has that concern. I did live in NYC for many years. You don’t want to interrupt a party that you didn’t know was going on or be sucked into one (I know what I did there) that you don’t want to be at. If that’s not your thing. Not judging, just trying to get the lay of the land. Seems on the level.

I do feel better lately. Been keeping the eating under control and exercising a lot and I feel almost good about myself. Weird how that works. It won’t last. Wait. Damn. Yay! New year.

I’m very excited about the show this week. Today I talk to Steve Coogan who is a comedic genius. And I have to say that this new film Stan and Ollie is beautiful. It was a stunning exploration of characters that we only remember from black and white bits or pictures. Laurel and Hardy were people and Coogan and John C. Reilly both deliver Oscar-level performances embodying these men. It’s a sweet, touching movie about show biz and friendship. On Thursday my friend Sam Lipsyte and I have it out. He’s also a comedic genius. His new novel ‘Hark’ is his best yet. You can preorder it here: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Hark/Sam-Lipsyte/9781501146060

It’s a cutting, hilarious book. Really.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Happy New Year.

Try not to die tonight! No car crashes, drunk driving, overdoses, alcohol poisoning. Try not to be too close to people involved in any of those activities if possible. Maybe stay at home and reflect a bit. That’s what I usually do. I think I’m getting old. Just be careful, will ya?


I’m sitting here looking out at the Jemez  Mountains from my room in Santa Fe. It’s been a good trip. I head back to LA tomorrow. I like coming back to my home state. It’s a complicated bunch of feelings that come up in me being here. There’s nostalgia and a grounding feeling from the air and space I grew up in but there’s also the reality of time passing. I see it in the city and in the faces of people I knew growing up. I think it’s good to sit in that. Assess where I’m at. What I’m thinking. How do I want to live the rest of my life or, at the very least, the next few days? I like being here. I’d like to be more in line with the space here. Turn down the noise in my head and the noise I fill it with and the noise of the life I have chosen. Seems like those are all areas where choices can make a difference. I have no choice about time passing and whatever that is doing to my heart and mind and body but I can choose how I want to maneuver those things in the future. I guess I’m reflective. Always trying to figure out what’s important. It’s different when you don’t have kids. Probably too much Me Time. Me and cities of dread I’ve built in my head.

I’ve eaten a lot of chile here, both red and green. I’m leaning towards red as I get older. Green was my thing as a younger man. Red seems to be my thing (conscious of not using the word ‘jam’) now. Though I do both when I’m here. Watched a few screeners. Here some quick reviews.

Green Book –  Okay. Satisfying. Not great. Predictable.

A Star is Born – Watched the first 15 minutes. I get it. 
Boy Erased – Great story. Well acted. Efficiently executed. 
Bohemian Rhapsody – About as a good as a biopic can be. Little schlocky. Satisfying.
The Favourite – Mind-bending genius assault that may have lasting a effect on what you are made of.
On the Basis of Sex – Didn’t know the story. Glad I do now. 
Destroyer – Gritty solid depiction of LA. Couldn’t get past Kidman’s wardrobe and make up. She did great though. Didn’t love the story. 
Vice – McKay doesn’t always seem clear on whether he’s making a comedy or drama. Great parts. Acting is solid. 
Mary Queen of Scots – Watched about 15 minutes of the middle of the movie. Seems good for that kind of thing. 

I’ll watch more later.

Oddly, the two films that have moved me the most recently were not ‘up for consideration.’ One was the doc  Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars. I watched it on Showtime. I have always had a bit of inner conflict with how I feel about Clapton. I think he was amazing early on, through Derek and the Dominos but after that, scattered, if not boring. This doc reveals who he is and where he comes from. Struggles public and private. It’s deep and moving. A real recovery movies and a deep look at the blues from a very personal point of view. The other film was a 25 minute doc I saw at The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture here in Santa Fe. It’s called Maria Martinez: Indian Pottery of San Ildefonso. It’s on YouTube too. Blew my mind. The organic process and tradition and authenticity and commitment to history and craft just moved me somehow. Seemed to indicate almost everything we’ve lost and/or destroyed as a culture. Made me want to pull out. Get into the real dirt and out of the dirt dirt of our garbage culture.

It lead me to some of my resolutions. Which I will keep to myself here. I think I said them on the show.

Today I talk to Reinaldo Marcus Green about his film Monsters and Men which is great. On Thursday I talk to Seth MacFarlane about a lot of things. Both great talks.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Truth.

Merry, Happy Thing, People!

It’s the holidays for a lot of you. Try to keep it together. Some of you have to deal with people you don’t like that much, again. You know who I’m talking about. Try to be giving. Do some contrary actions. A little resentment fuel kindness might actually ease the tension. I don’t know. Just trying to be helpful.

I’m going to see my dad. I’ve carved out about a three-hour window. Perfect.

I hope you get at least some of what you want in terms of presents. I hope all of your relationships survive the gift giving. Sometimes misreading that can be the beginning of the end. That moment when you give someone close to you that gift you think is perfect and it isn’t received well because you were WRONG. Looking back, being on both sides of that equation, I realized sometimes I bought a gift for who I wanted that person to be. My conception of them. Which doesn’t always match who they are. It’s a very awful and powerful moment. That transaction. ‘Here, love it. Like me. I got you this. Wait, what?’ And I’m not talking about lingerie. Could be a lot of reasons for shitty gifts: not thoughtful; last minute; something you liked; too practical; not practical enough. So, I hope that doesn’t happen and ‘you can return it if you don’t like’ works sometimes.

I have a confession to make. It’s not heavy and only a little revealing and only seven of you will give a shit and judge me for a minute or two. I was watching Casino in the middle of the night the other night and one of the songs on the Scorsese-layered song montage in the background was Howlin Wolf’s ‘I Ain’t Superstitious.’ It was a riff I heard before but for some reason I couldn’t identify who was playing it. I had to find it. Jeff Beck Group. The album is Truth. I have never been that much of a Beck fan although I know he’s great. He just never really moved me but that record is killer. Rod Stewart singing and Beck’s guitar is just out there. It’s 1968. So, that’s it. I’m a 55-year-old man and yesterday was the first time I ever listened to that record. I know, right? Not a big deal. Just feel silly.

Another confession: I can watch almost anything. But I can't watch the scene in Casino where they have the guy’s head in vice. Can’t do it.

There. I have unburdened myself. My heart feels lighter.

Today I talk to Topher Grace about a lot of things. Including playing David Duke in‘BlacKkKlansman. Good dude. On Thursday I talk to comedian Kyle Dunnigan. He always makes me laugh. Great talks.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

The Craft.

How’s it going. Folks?

Everything okay-ish?

Saturday was exciting. I did a big Comedy Store benefit for the firefighters at The Fonda Theater. I saw Nikki Glaser, Attell, Jeselnik, Segura, Fitzsimmons, Frazer Smith, Jeff Ross, Bobby Lee, Byron Bowers and Dr. Drew. I guess it wasn’t that much different than a night at the Store but it’s always kind of sweet to see a bunch of us in one place just hanging around in a backstage area, talking. I didn’t stay long but it makes me feel good. It’s my community. They’re my peers. Sometimes when you do a thing that is really just you it’s easy to forget that you have peers and friends and a world that has some cohesion and sense of family somehow. I don’t hang out enough. Need to make time for friends.

I really can wrap my brain around the fact that I basically started with some of those guys. Attell and Ross and Fitzsimmons. I mean, I’ve known them for like 30 years. It’s crazy. Time doesn’t fly, it disappears. And most of what you have to show for it is scars and aches and ticks and gray hair—the physical surrender. Unless you are Dr. Drew, who seems to think that no one notices he’s aging. I don’t know what he’s doing but the effort that goes into keeping it at bay eventually becomes its own indicator. It’s cool, we all do what we can. I mean, Jesus, I’ve been exercising so compulsively that I could barely walk the other day. Oh, and starving myself a bit, in a healthy way.

Also, you would hope to attain a bit of calm and wisdom as the years evaporate behind you. At the very least, you give less of a shit about a lot of dumb shit that used to consume you. Kind of. On a good day.

Went out with Sarah the Painter to a ceramics sale in Pasadena. I have a thing for handmade ceramics. I’m sure I’ve talked about it. This was at a private home. It was a bunch of people that must know each other from the ceramics community selling their stuff. Practical clay stuff and art stuff. I bought a few things from almost everyone there. I just like having handmade things around the house.

I bought a stunning tea pot. The women who made it seemed a bit attached to it. She said it was perfect. Doesn’t drip and it’s weighted just right. She spoke like an engineer in a way. I wish I had a craft like that. You make something that others can use that is beautiful and it exists in the world. Her tone was focused and that of a professional craftsperson. She initially didn’t want to part with it. I guess that’s the emotional risk of making stuff, art. You have a connection to it. Some part of you in is in it. The grieving process lasted about 22 seconds. I was there for it. Then she wrapped it up.

Today I talk to Adam Horowitz and Michael Diamond of The Beastie Boys. It’s always tricky with two people but I loved a lot of their music and the new book is great. I’m not in any way a hip-hop oriented guy and I was just trying to get a bit of insight and talked to them about what they added. On Thursday I talk to comedian Fahim Anwar. Great comic talk. Funny guy. Good guy.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Boxes.

Happy Chanukah, People!

Damn. Did I miss it? I’m a bad Jew.

I knew it was Chanukah. I got one candle lighting in. It was late in the game so it was more exciting. Day 7. Seven candles. No build up. Boom.

I tried to do stuff around the house over the weekend. Even if I have a list I can’t seem to do any of them all the way through. I circle around. I start some of the stuff on the list and other things are folded in and the rotation becomes bigger. Then, a box is delivered or I get distracted. Have to open it and whatever is in there has to be rotated in.

The idea was to get the office in the house set up. By set up I mean file all the stuff that is in piles on the floors and get that out of the way and neat. Then, start putting stuff in my desk. This is so the room looks like it functions and doesn’t just become a storage room for a growing pile of papers and things that are in ‘do I need all this shit’ limbo. That stuff is all over the house. I don’t really know where it all comes from. People and companies send me shit. Books, records, weird gifts, big ideas. I look at them. Put them on a table or the floor and they enter the realm of ‘do I need all this shit’ limbo. Stuff can stay there for years. 

I guess my point is I started filing things and I got lost in ‘do I need all this shit’ limbo and that can be overwhelming. Looking at papers. Bank statements. Insurance shit. Pay stubs. Receipts for stuff that happened a long time ago. Birth certificate. Deed to old house. Two marriage licenses (both void). A folder of panic papers and aggressive documentation of the actions I had to execute when my identity was stolen. Song lyrics. Notes from interviews. Can you feel what I was feeling?

DO I NEED THIS SHIT?

What can or can’t I throw away. I filed what I could and then stepped away. Need another file box.

Then a box came. A new litter box. I didn’t think my cats would go in a covered box and they did so I got another one. Then I entered the litter changing, box set-up, wonder if they’ll still go in there if I put a mat out on the floor in front of it loop. Settled that. Broke down some boxes. Then I remembered I wanted to glue something.

Some old Mexican hand-carved winged monkey tchotchke I’ve had forever lost its wings. They were just lying there. Had to glue that. I had two winged monkeys. One I threw away. Irreparable. Artifacts from trips with women who are no longer in my life. Wives. They aren’t triggers. They are barely reminders at this point. Just stuff I am afraid to throw away. I feel like I go through this every few years.

Another box came. It was an old-style steamer I ordered. The kind that opens like a metal flower that you set at the bottom of a pot. I had silicone one but it smelled like dishwasher soap and I couldn’t get it out and I couldn’t handle it anymore. Kale with a hint of dish soap. Not great. The new one was the wrong size. Had to angrily order a larger one. Not pricey enough to return the other one. More stuff. I’ll have two now. See. It keeps coming.

Physical representation of mistakes of different kinds around the house. Throwing them away doesn’t erase the mistake but at the very least you aren’t reminded of them every time you see it. Keep them around. Sometimes you need to be reminded.

Just ordered a new file box.

Today on the show I talk to Jeff Daniels about Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ that is now on Broadway. We talk about other stuff. Great talk. We did it in an old beautiful office upstairs at The Shubert Theatre in NYC. On Thursday I have an engaged, meandering conversation about life and art and stuff with Maggie Gyllenhaal. Great talks!
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

The Elements.

Let it rain, People!

Torrential downpours here in LA last week. Thank god. We could’ve used them a few weeks ago but they are here now. Maybe the entire city won’t burn, at least for a while longer.

I was becoming afraid to go on my hike because it just felt like I was walking through miles of kindling. The dryness here is relentless. Like it all could burst into flames any minute. Everything really starts to feel brittle and dead. Dryness. I’m afraid to touch my cats because of the static electricity. They’re old and I don’t want to kill them with my finger.

Then, the rain comes and as glorious as it is (I don’t care how hard it comes down), within minutes, everyone in a car in this city becomes a moron. Instant stupid. Wet dumb mobiles careening down the highways until one of them slams into another and stops traffic everywhere within a twenty-mile radius. It’s unreal. I’m sure it’s a common complaint and I am not without empathy. Obviously, I don’t want anyone to get hurt but for fucks sake it’s just rain. I’m not even sure what skill set is necessary to navigate rain. Either you have it or you don’t. I guess it can me learned but it seems hopeless and consistent. Angelenos can’t handle their machinery in water coming from the sky.

You would think it was snow. I mean, I get the roads are slippery, but some cars seem to just stop working in the middle of the highway here when it rains. Baffling. What kind of upkeep did you neglect in order for rain to stop your car cold? I am fortunate to have had to drive in most weathers. I’ve lived a lot of places. I have dug my cars out of snowbanks that were created by snowplows. Is that a conspiracy? If you are parked and there’s an overnight snowstorm, the plows come and just create a five-foot mound/wall of snow that locks your car in, maybe in hopes you’ll just say, ‘fuck it, I’ll wait until spring to go anywhere.’ Safer for everyone.

I have to remember that there are people in those cars. I was heading to a GLOW location about forty-five miles from where I live. It was six in the morning. Still dark. Ten minutes into my drive I hit standstill traffic. I admit, I didn’t reroute when my phone told me to. I’m a rebel. I wanted the autonomy to make my own decision rooted in baseless instinct. I sat there for an hour, not moving. Livid. Eventually I settle in. I was late. I had no idea what was up. Miles of traffic. Once it started moving and we were all funneled into one working lane and the causal event revealed itself to be a semi-truck that had jackknifed and tipped over and on its side and laying across four lanes, a literally unmovable wall across the highway. There is that feeling of horror, closure, relief and concern. Horror at the event. Closure that it was actually something stopping the flow. Relief it isn’t you. Concern for whoever was in that truck. It didn’t look like anyone was injured and that had to be a pretty shitty phone call to whoever was waiting for whatever was in that truck.

Gratitude. Luck.

Today I talk to the actor Tim Blake Nelson. It was one of the most surprising talks I’ve had. You make assumptions about people based on their work, looks, way they sound, whatever and it’s always exciting to be totally wrong. Great talk. On Thursday I have a great comic conversation with Ted Alexandro. I’ve known him a long time and much of that time I thought he didn’t really like me. Turns out he’s just kind of a serious fella. Another great talk.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron

Family.

How’d you do, folks?

I hope it was all as good as possible, if not just good.

Thanksgiving at my mother’s turned out to be great. First off, for those of you keeping up, I decided not to mash. I left the yams that replaced the kabocha squash with the garam masala and coconut oil intact, little mush cubes. Other than the turkey, it was the most popular dish. Even surpassing the highly rated stuffing I’ve been making for years. 

The turkey was amazing this year. I’m not even sure why. It’s always pretty good. It’s fresh. We get it from Delaware Farms in Hollywood, FL. I think they are put out within a day or two of being killed (horrible, no other way to say it). I didn’t overcook it and it cooled for two plus hours. It was just great. I have finally really figured out how to pace out the prep over two days so I can have most of it done and the only thing I have to do is warm everything up while the turkey cools. Once it’s served I can actually hang out and eat.

All the food aside it was the best gathering I can remember having with that side of the family. The primary reason was—it was really just family and slightly extended family. There was only sixteen people there and we arranged the tables so everyone could engage. Maybe it’s because we’re all getting older. I don’t know. It just felt very connected. My brother came down and I don’t think he’s ever been down for Thanksgiving. He’s 53! It was the first time him and my mother and I were together for the holiday I guess since we were kids. 

Bottom line was there was no weirdness, really. No fighting. Very little politics. Just sharing memories and catching up over good food. And I think being grateful. If we weren’t, in retrospect I can say I am, for myself and my family.

I hope your time with yours was in some way cathartic or elevating or tolerable or surprising or nice. Anything but the same old thing. Wait, even that is okay. Consistency can be good. It is what love looks like sometimes.

Today on the show I talk to Martin Mull. He is a musician and comic who was very big back in the 70’s. Influential, even. I’m sure you’ve seen him in something. You may not have heard his comedy but you can. He was part of the cast of ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’ and ‘Fernwood Tonight.’ Both very influential shows that you may not know anything about. Great talk. Nice guy. On Thursday I talk to Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. It happened. It was good. He has a book out and a solo album and of course all those Wilco records. I know a lot of you were waiting for this one. I hope it meets your expectations. I enjoyed talking to the guy.
 

Enjoy! 


Boomer lives!

Love,

Maron