« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1000

2019-03-11 | 🔗

To celebrate the milestone of 1000 episodes, Marc and WTF producer Brendan McDonald reflect on how they got here, why they created the show in the first place, and what the future holds for them and WTF. They answer listener questions and divulge some never-before-heard revelations, such as the time the show almost ended and how the White House reacted to President Obama's interview in the garage. Most importantly, Marc and Brendan talk about how their working relationship evolved into a deep friendship with a profound understanding of each other. This episode is sponsored by Aspiration and Stamps.com.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
i don't know how you feel from day to day i was panicking all morning you know i i don't imagine you were flying in here on the chopper thinking you i am nervous about mark no i wasn't okay well that's good give me that would be a problem it wouldn't even profit the president was feeling stressed about coming to my garage on the mir garage do you think this is the best if you're doing of your life right now that's good articles you know 'cause i was in the beatles why are you taking the other side of everything i say i'm not i'm just so hard i mobile i did you want me to do this interview if you don't think i know anything about what you're asking i'm just so you're done we were having a good conversation
i'll come on gallagher one of the first things you said was i don't know what you think you're doing down there below 14th street rod but it doesn't matter right i was trying to be helpful and and save you a few years and with was your husband your first love now that i really know what love is i would say yes but but with the other thing thanks for talking me was a real honor really fucking made leisure another laugh and you smoke your first cigarette until you come on alright let's do this how are you what the fuck are is what the fuck buddies what the buccaneers what the fuc nicks what's happening mark meron this is my podcast wtf welcome to it this is the one thousand episode
beauty f one thousand episodes a lot of talk you heard that amazing sound montage coming in this the little talks keep it real a lot of things have gone down over these one thousand episodes life changing for me certainly probably for you almost decades along time for anybody she happens things change for better for worse evolution maybe evolution all of it but i gotta be honest man i i don't know that i fully wrap my head around this episode because i you know i mean it you know what i mean i i i mean the the life i live right now could not be happening without this show that we started in the garage wow i started it
it was bleak a thought wasn't episodes later i have to say the in fact it's out of my life my heart my mind my spirit everything everything is different because of a desperate act in a way to try to something going started out in the old garage with no expectations now much money very bleak disposition and but surely on a personal level it opened being my peers it my heart to the uh to possess some sort of empathy to engage my empathy ted laugh with other people to get out of myself to just move through life in a way that no wasn't horrible yeah one thousand episodes this episode
special in a lot of ways one of the big difference is really between this one and pretty much all the other episodes is that there's no guest yeah spoiler noga not even a guest interviewing me my producer and this partner brendan mcdonald we had last around a lot of big names we've reached out to a few before we just came upon the realization and it was we were like wait a minute wait wait it's our show this cast that you're listening to this achievement this is our passion it's our job our creation so today's one thousand episode features the creators of this show myself and brenda mcdonald an we're going to sit here and we're going to reflect on the entire process the expiry
it's the changes that challenges the highlights of difficulties and the achievements of almost a decade of work uh we're going we're going to answer some questions sent in by you folks the listeners and i i really i think the most important in terms of what happened on the podcast you're about to hear we actually talk to each other about our separate experiences with the show and how we and how we you know deal with each other every week and the long history of our working relationship that is evolved into a very profound the friendship between it's sort of interesting i this is the first time you're going to hear brendon at to this extent but we are two very different people almost at in some ways an we've managed to transcend all kinds of external bowl hidden hardships through a professional partner that is it's really stood the test of time
and it's really kind of evolved into i think well you know one of the most relationships that either of us have we will this thing into this amazing library of conversation an honestly given this is probably not definitely the law i've ever talked to brandon certainly one sitting ever it is a great talk but as i was saying before you know i owe all of my success really all of it in my current incarnation of me to this podcast and in obviously to brendan with all the people all the guests have come through here yeah obviously to some of my own sort of compulsive persistence but honestly as i said before nothing in my professional and in if i think about it my personal life would have come to be
i without what what we created here thousand episodes ago and that that is a profound bit of business folks when i started this i was bitter abit washed broken hearted an without a lot of prospects in the business i dedicated or committed my life too yeah i could do and up here and there now the rest of it i was like not going to happen who the fuck knows what i'm going to do now let's do this and because of this everything else happened it's quite a story weird combination of skill patience insanity that cosmic timing played into it bye i can't i just can't imagine my life without it i need to
the people i need to put this thing out there i needed to think now i don't take a second to appreciate what i've accomplished or grateful for where i am my life but i will do that here in front of you i truly and proud have what we done with this show but really it's been about me and brandon the justin here and and and the people who listen and my brain my neurotic dread filled compulsive engaged brain i'm over that we use some tweaking so again thank you seriously i hope you enjoy this thing this thing that we put
gather but before we get into the bulk of it let's committed to talk about big banking or rather let's talk about why big banking is broken and why we need an alternative so many big financial service companies charge high fees and use our deposits to fund pipelines and oil drilling but it does i have to be this way people that's why people are looking into aspiration a financial firm for those who want more money in their pocket and more power to do good featured in four the new york times and money magazine aspiration offers a one percent annual percentage yield zero atm fees anywhere in the world and the option to choose your own monthly fee for thinking services yes that's right if you decide to get extra banking services through aspiration you can pay whatever you want forum aspirate how much you pay up to the amount you think is fair even if that zero dollars plus aspiration commits ten percent of their earnings to charities that other americans and
operation refuses to fund the oil pipelines that are harming our communities put your money where your heart is people download the aspiration after open an account earn one percent annual interest pay zero atm fees and maybe save the planet while you're at it again thank you all thank you for all the amazing feedback thank you for letting me know how this show affected your lives and thank you for listening now this is me and my producer and partner in this undertaking mcdonald at just basically talking about everything just we we talk about it all yeah we go over everything from our time at air america to when we did break room live with sam cedar to the early days of the podcast and all the way to the present and i want to tell you that if you're
the podcast or you're wondering where you can listen to all of them you can you can get it your premium subscription to hear anything older than the most recent fifty episodes which are all free by the way and also all the episodes on stitcher that's the other nine hundred and fifty are ad free we talk about a lot of past episodes in this show and you're gonna be wondering you know what where where can i hear that but you can just click on the premium button on our site at wtf pod dot com to get a subscription and you got mall i would say a very high percentage of them are evergreen other than the people i've talked too many of their lives have changed dramatically many of them gaston careers are different many of them have mapping gone down but but the conversations hold they hold because there's just a couple of people talking
so what how do i want to do it ok ok here's how will set it up so this is going to set the stage for everything i'm going to play a bit of the earliest days of me and brendan together this is us with our whole morning show crew on air america radio back in two thousand and four with our show the legendary morning sedition on air america it was the morning show and this is where i started really in the studio today two reasons to celebrate brendan mckay in the studio and you who's your team oh in
baseball yeah well the math so i really give a good god damn let's celebrate brandon's new found freedom from is peanut allergy now so you're gonna go to the ball game you're gonna be able to proudly say some peanut i'm every damn figured out new things that i can eat i long enough enable the pain all my life well bars for you no it just now today was the first yeah that was the first name well what i i as i was saying you i had a problem with it really like the first thing i a was a jar of honey roasted peanuts it i freaked out and and then i got this i got a snickers bar today and does the nuts not
something was merely about i was in to anticipating something great and the same thing happened with the reese's the reason you you'll start to appreciate that just because it says that doesn't mean that has the right reporter at night that blew my mind your cheating death at some point montel fisted before you guys were running out of time you have to go back to the show and i wanted to know like what kind of good peanut
things i should eat so i get ideas so many options get some of those things a roast on the street because you you don't don't get though the roast that stuff in bacon fat men could you smell well i really want got some stuff after this it's for the best yeah are you listening there america radio that was our show that was where i met you that is it and that was more in addition an air america radio i showed up there radio not even having no experience right ann you were there but when was that how old are you like twelve i was i probably looked it twenty four hours
before yeah when we started was two thousand four i i would i was twenty five later that year yeah and you came you you had been at w nyc in new york yeah worry i system producer action was it i was the newsroom producer right and the the woman who i worked very closely with their her name is joanne allen she was the afternoon news caster right and she got hired at air america brought me over with her yeah and then we all just kind of got dumped into very there with no rhyme or reason we i was just like put this person with over there but that person over there we just kind of all sat around staring at each other like for the for ten minutes so my god i remember was you dan pashman larson just all these guys with hair cuts in the shirts tucked in yeah and i was like what the fuck is this why i just remember walking in 'cause we had this big first day meeting air america radio is this new thing we were going to fight the bush miss tration and right bing talk radio and so i was like aneinu al frankin janine garafalo were involved people
the daily show were involved i seem very exciting and i had no idea what my job was going to be i just knew that i got hired yeah and i walk into this ballroom at some hotel do you remember that day like in a big conference a ballroom yeah i remember looking around the room that go to who i spot here i see there's al franken yeah there's jeanine graf right hello there said mark like i knew you as a comic yeah i have hold i guess is he doing a show yeah huh yeah it's weird and then i remember getting introduced you know to the various people were working with and they were like and yeah you'll be on the morning show here with mark merrin yeah and you were like immediately in my face like as close to face as i am to this microphone right now and you're like so what do you do what are you going to be doing like just right there i like oh okay coming in hot panicked
completely panicked and i remember going over there never been on the radio before they hired me to be the funny guy the sidecar on this more a trio yeah mark riley sue ellicott me the funny guy in our there is is auditioning process of this process for jonathan larson who is the the main producer here come from television he was at cnn with with one of the other executives he sat me and riley down it into chairs and he sat in the third chair and said to okay you guys go ahead and talk about it yeah a test and and like within thirty seconds on my doing this and i walked away from that point on we're getting up at two hundred and thirty three in the morning getting on the air at six i was jacked out of my mind on dunkin' donuts and coffee and eminem's an we were just in it every fucking day like even that clip you just played like i have no honest barely any recollection of anything that happened in that fucking studio unless i hear it and then i
you know i got to be in the driver's seat right just me and riley and we made a big decision a big kind of turning point for us i think not just in content but also in like trust of each other and and the ability to gauge yeah stinks yeah was that the monday after ronald reagan died yeah that this was we were the left wing radio network that had launched with a new hope you know aggressives and we at eight hundred company wide dictate from management that we call to be very respectful about the death of ronald reagan yeah we were the first out of the chute yet we're morning show monday morning and he had died on a saturday and we were like fuck that like this are you kidding me with like we're in this problem because of that and we did you know the whole show was not we weren't like dead reagan monday we called the dead reagan monday and we
held hands and jumped off the cliff yeah alright we're going do that and we did it live we were just going his record and being like this guy you want to celebrate it did this did that like oh he was a good negotiator and communicating god got it yeah good talk good right the thing that was the most exciting part of it then that i do remember is that we were generating original comedy every day in the middle of the fucking night we were so you know liz winstead who was part of the creative team there originally had hired all these comic writers and we were assigned a writer for i mean what four hundred and fifty six week chunks of time yeah because they had to get up with us yeah and we would generate full on radio theatre bits that you would produce you would do voices patch on your voice is right we would do voices i would do voices you know the kind the bond you create in the middle of the night with a group of people
we were the only thing going on yeah there was a point where i remember you you were like i don't think i've ever laughed this much at four in the morning ever in my life for a good reason right it was if you want and no one else is alive in the world right now right and we're doing this thing well which is kind of interesting like it's not unlike this podcast like to feel like from this start well we're just going to do this we're going to invent this from the ground up you know it's interesting 'cause one of the things as you mentioned we asked people to i did over the last several weeks and ask questions and as it pertains to the one thousand episodes and i find that like people's questions most take us through chronologically like how we've gotten to where we got you know there's first question i have here by ricardo says i know you guys met air america but i'm wondering what you saw in each other to start a podcast together and that's an interesting question 'cause it really does stem from working together in radio and it it
there's a lot of what we created with this podcast and how we got it doesn't have am the funny thing was i was just thinking about that i began to trust you a lot because you were running that show in the last form it was established early on because i was you know like then producer and the majority of my job was to provide support to the elements of the show all we need a comedy bit boost i'll do that we need research done i'll do that and i think you just started to get to observe and respect my efficiency with that stuff yeah and i can i can work with this guy yeah we're not going to heads were not good we just go and and on the flip side like i was a i'm a kid you can from comedy my whole life like loving comedy right i respected what you did before i even knew you right so i'm like why would i want to like this got this is like my chance to like work
comedian an mri you seem so on molded at that time even though you're in your forties and you had been doing comedy for like twenty years it was still like all this guy's new he's new it this in a weird way that's how it felt it felt fresh like to what to radio to everything you'd like it felt like you were like a fresh thing in this one element that like oh he's start this is his start like this your rookie year of doing this year even though you've been doing comedy well you were like oh ok this is how you can use your voice right now i think people were telling you that at the time when you took the job of your peers were like oh yeah be on the radio you're great at talking and i never really thought about it you know that at the time but also the thing about me and you is sort of like you got to the point where you know just in terms of building trust and and and efficiency or whatever were you know we'd be presented with things that either we had a right comedy bits are or do you know i had to talk about something and i do like so how could you
frame this entire topic for me could you do that could you just tell me exactly what this is that i'm talking about what it means how connects to other things and when and what is the full arc of of you know what what needs to be to be said and thought here and i have to you break it down for me sometimes will be you and passion and you just sit there and coach me and then i to integrate it into my own sensibility and then kind of present it so that producer talent thing no matter how smart i was i didn't have the contextualization skills so it's a sort of a mind meld thing going on right and i think i was also learning about myself for the first time that i was good at that that that's actually what my strengths were we i skill set moved was the actual job of producing talent right
yeah an working with people to help them shape the things that they want to do and do it in a medium that have worked in before so we a staff wish that kind of trust you know that show unfortunately did not go ask two years due to internal decisions there and we had one continuation of it somehow we got cancelled right at the time that who's leaving the air and that we were shut down by the new ceo air america danny goldberg who was just shortsighted on some level in terms of us an easy you know he remains a villain in my history of me you know we were sidelined but then there was a a faction within air america that wanted to keep me in place yeah for when danny got pushed out there was all this politics going on within the thing and then they said i could do an evening show at keith ktlk okay out here
i wanted you to produce because you were the only guy i could trust to produce it in you know and you were you were into it to the point where you moved out here you left your family your wife at the time of the year yeah it was really i was just married i have been married for two months and you moved out here into that weird furnished apartments place yes ever bank and we were doing a live show at ten at night on ktlk the general manager hated my guts because i had pist off stephanie miller and we were there and they had in existing contract with the clippers sometimes we have to wait until games were over to start our show in the middle but we were producing a live show and you were out here doing that yeah i think that really lit a fire their creative partnership yeah that time or you were just out here doing that i was here again a time we were doing we were left to completely to our own devices right at your kids
table and just built that show yeah like how we were gonna have what's the sound going to be like what they're where the joke see are the bits but you know and we had to figure out how to create a payroll the as jim needed health coverage yeah yeah we just made it from scratch that was experience that led to this skills and the where was all we needed to actually do the podcast also that's when we started working with local improvisers yes why it's seth morris also we have on that show paul rust memory was done recently reminded us about that yeah he would tap into the ucb crew to do these fake here's on what was that show called was it just a mark meron show on ktlk after that katie ok show i was then working at like siri this radio and uniting good money you are on that you were on like sort of the managerial tracked almost yeah they offer various stock options and stuff you want me around there and working with rosie yeah
working with that with ron silver rest his soul yeah and and then yeah i was working with rosie and i kept trying to sell you yeah i and i kept trying to say like i can do a show here with this guy like the daily show that you guys don't have you know and we can be funny we could do politics whatever and they're just they would not bite we tried the same with like some of the local affiliates out here yeah so many times to get on pacifica we can get a free radio so many times i was told that the air america documentary that eight that were aired on hbo was a hindrance that people were like i have seen that documentary and mark meron is difficult cult live wire that right i don't even remember what i do i thank you are you but it seems like you are hard to work with i don't i don't know yeah left to the dial that's why i'm going to documentary that aired on hbo that was the chronicle
the first year of their marriage wasn't the fall of air america no they were a stay were positioning that doc is like the rise of boy yeah i can't i know there's one scene in there that yeah cause some problems oh yeah so you're at serious and then again air america rises from the ashes with a new ceo with new dumb money yeah and uh right from within the organization who i think we should credit carl berg well he's he reaches out to maine he's like but we got a new guy here new money we should do a new show we should do a streaming video show i was like in the mid of divorce i was broke i was shattered i was a fucking disaster and i'm like well i'll be but if you can get them to give me enough money up front it stop this divorce to pay her so i can get out of this that's the only way i'm going to do it and i need to make as much money as i made on the original air america give or take which was too much money and he work out man yeah and
so i get that job i you know i pay off my ex wife and then i'm like you we gotta get brandon in here and you got to bring salmon and enter like in world of streaming video which didn't even exist really yeah i mean i'm gonna say a word out there there will be some people who know what it is but it has largely been lost to time there was a thing called rocket boom which was this a this one and i cannot remember her name someone will look in here or someone's yelling it right now she doing this like streaming video news show that was uh oh it's good huge numbers that she was going to be a big star and everyone was like we gotta have our own rocketboom and that was what air america was thinking here was they were going to have this streaming video show that all the i was going to become the industry standard for this emerging market emerging medium so we jump in there and i'm like completely emotionally incapacitated there was no way i was going to be able to talk about politics
bring you in and you see that i'm a mess bring in sam and you you were at each other from one samina more gleeful way than you but you were you know just in full a resistance mode because in right you're wrong but he was yes sam's sam but boy we have some last man yeah and we can and we we did i thought some funny stuff that i still from time to time send to you and go like look at this your member breakroom life on it's all up there yeah go look at it and in sam is as much as we fought like you he is so funny they want to build the studio for us but we're like no we're going to do it in the break room the actual breaker i thought it was a fucking i thought it was going to kill yeah when you live streamed you never did never buffered properly there was only maybe one thousand two hundred people at ever watching it yeah in real time we busted our ask you to do it live and we thing i know about you and me and it's a consistent thing it's like we go fucking
all in i think we really had high hopes when sam was right this isn't going to work this is nothing that no one cares about this i mean i really i always held on to the idea and we always work so fucking hard to do those video piece to do the live stuff to do the interviews to respect the conceit we had those camera setup well that's the thing we were do working really hard based on idea that nobody cared about even the people who set it up because carl wanted to be able to do this streaming video show with you to essentially sell it as a pilot that would get television show right right and to carls credit basically his thought of you as the driver personality wise yeah for some type of show like that was the correct impulse right it's it's what got us to start a podcast and say yes we can do this the flaw as in what the delivery system would be yeah
and thinking like your we're gonna do this live show every day which is a ridiculous proposition with the staff the size of ours in money the amount that we had video and his video that that is a ridiculous proposition always it was on a weird time you have three in the afternoon yeah when everyone's at home watching their computer yeah well they thought like it was it would be a thing people put on like a work freya data but you that is that is they're there was just a total fundamental misunderstanding of the media and what where it was going what and everybody was misunderstanding this is still you too was only three years old at this point here now so i give everybody their own set of credit for thinking what might but what was clear was the thing we were working so hard an was never going to work i just couldn't accept but i was also going through my own ship but so the money was gone they weren't going to pay us for another year
yeah so they ran out of money and they fired us they kinda fired as they said shows over yeah but we had two months or something on the contract we still have office for some reason yeah we added office they didn't make us leave the hand you and i talk to each other about doing a podcast from the perspective of you had started to go on quite a few of them like the true keith and the girl you went on out in queens side but i didn't like that's weird with keith and the girl because i didn't really know i didn't frame that podcast i don't think i really i knew they were doing some version of radio out of their own place right and that was popular somehow i didn't know how people were getting it i think they video element but when i went out there i went all the way out to wherever wasn't queen somewhere yeah and they the whole setup going and they explain to me what they were doing i'm like looking we got to be doing this yeah and it was also you had just done jesse thorn's podcast or radio show
cast at the time sound a young american i again i didn't know that was a podcast but what i think you another thing just like he's in the girl made you say to yourself like this guy's doing this like a this was a kid i talked to in his underwear one day in santa cruz on the phone yeah they do the phone or with me for of some of them for the radio show when you are yeah when he was in college yeah i don't know why it knew he was in his underwear well that that revelation i had when i was listening to npr late at night in my queens apartment that it was jesse what was the name of the show back sound of young america sound of young america i don't remember associating with the podcast medium until i really started to see well that's carola was doing that's what kevin smith was doing yeah that's what jim pardo and jimmy dore we're doing it yeah those are people that were doing it before we were they were the and i think you said to me do you think we could do a podcast and i said absolutely yes because i was now at this point like a two year
avid listener of podcasts really i think i had gotten my first ipod in two thousand and seven video ipod an and i was initially listening to all the radio shows that i liked this american fresh air and the first time i saw podcast that i didn't know existed before was built right so he had been doing it since i think right around that time two thousand seven yeah and i've been reading his column for ever yeah and i thought oh wow i've never seen this guy i've never seen what he looks like let alone he heard his voice as i've only ever been reading his column so i'll cool let me let me check into this and you know coming from what we were coming from and i'm a guy work in radio since college going back like one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight or nine i started working in radio went to public radio very austere new york public radio npr affiliate
working at air america we had a lot of programming directors who came through there who worked in radio coming out here dealing with the program directores out here in el a like have been hammered into my brain what radios post to sound like what it's supposed to be and how are you supposed to do it and i listen to bill simmons for about thirty seconds and i was like wolf i know why this isn't anywhere else this is not a radio show just a guy talking into a laptop or something anne i listen for another five minutes ten minutes and by the ten minutes i was like this is awesome this is exactly what i want it to be these talking to like him joe house or some guy that he's written about in his column for ten years that i've been reading him and this is exactly what i wanted it to be when i saw that bill simmons had a podcast like it should be the s and
of the person and this niche a niche of an audience oh yeah i read this guys columns well of course why wouldn't i want to hear what this sounds like yeah so boost for me in my feeling of being the confidence of being able to do it was that tom scharpling's best show which i was a listener from way back on the radio w fm u was a pod now and i developed a much more connected relationship with it as a podcast that i ever had just kind of talking out with my friends as a radio show yeah like i didn't necessarily always get to listen to it because it was on at a particular night tuesday night wait right yeah it was late it would go till about eleven or twelve depending on what hour he was airing it in and now that it was a podcast this kind of on demand medium i had try to schedule around listening to tom on the podcast yeah
new all right it's going to be available on this morning yeah i'm gonna listen to that on the way in from work on the way home from work and i don't have enough to get me through to tomorrow as well right sometimes and you know get over exciting listen to it all at once and then i have to wait for the week or whatever yeah built on a structure around it you had a relationship with the media yes those two things were huge in my mind to be like oh yeah well we we know this yeah like we did morning radio we know how to develop a relationship with listeners yeah and we also from that lemon standpoint it's like i know like about mark mark knows what's funny you know we know the time we know what we due to our strengths let's do that yeah you i said i remembered can you figure out how to upload it yeah could we get support for this thing and also we didn't have a studio other than we knew we could still get into the one we were at 'cause they hadn't kicked us out of the office right and that sort of known mythology of the show is
you know we knew the night tech guy and we go in and record this hodgepodge of a show and you talk to apple and they were like yeah great we like mark and they were looking for people that there is two areas of fan over there guy named scott simpson he was running the apple podcast at the time on itunes yeah and they gave us they were willing to give us a banner to give us a little like support and then i remember like well what are we going to do and you know i had this idea that wtf was a great kind of blanket you know just like you know what the fuck is the great philosophical question of of now we just got it i use that as an umbrella for series of segments that we tried yeah we he thought of it more like radio right we were i actually remember the first four or five episodes were compiled from one recording session we win to those still does it air america that we were not supposed to be in an
we just sat and like i think we had maybe three people that were going to call on the phone yeah we had matthew weiss who we have worked with on break room live you with matthew he would come in and do a couple minutes and we had a time we call your dad we call your mom and we just did a record it all these things at once double monologues of yours things that you were working into bits that you were going to use on stage and then i just took all this material maybe here four hours of material and turned it into like five shows right and that was how we that was just how we had proven to ourselves proof of concept
this can work and also like i still need the security of other people around yes like i hadn't quite i would jump on the mic right that's right like i need to booth audience and i need to see you in the booth right 'cause i had sort of mastered manning a mic or owning a mic on my own for a few hours yeah but it was still a nerve wracking experience for me right the first guests we called jeff ross was jeff ross and david feldman feldman jim earl yeah patton yeah and john oliver right all in that one day that was on the phone with those all on the phone with all those guys and those are the first five episodes wild yeah and and they weren't we didn't think of them as like here is we're gonna build these episodes around these guests we didn't know we just work it was agnes some of them might not even work we didn't know we just did a we thought we think in terms of segment yeah right because that that we created this in our minds an umbrella to do anything right but
point you add a certain amount of faith in my ability to talk about things yes and but also like you would it seem like the only real commitment we made was just weird and it comes from like what you recognized in in how you listen was we to figure out how many when we were going to do and when we were going to do them and the idea was monday and thursday 'cause there was a good it was good space right now is like my thought about tom like the best show was like oh well if you listening to the show on monday you know maybe you don't get it done till tuesday or wednesday and then boom another episode kill the week yes getting that we had to build an audience that there was no kind of like we every kind of like well throwing up and see what happens i mean right from the get go is like we're going to do this and we're in it yes and that payment was insane because as time went on just what we went through to get you know get those shows up oh yeah it was a firm for both of us not just for you i want to make that clear it was in my
sala g as well that this was like do or die right we do not come to a monday or a thursday without an episode going yet no slacking yeah once we started in new york there was no stopping there's never we've never stopped there's never been a week since we started where there wasn't a new show on in thursday yeah so like i had to somehow get home figure out how to set up the shift in the garage in a matter of days obviously you know for me me to get the show do you yes that's the only the only difference i should add is that there were some weeks over the course of doing this for ten years where we did three in a so it was like monday wednesday and friday we did yeah it was just because of like either promo channel commitments or something you know where we are overloaded with guests and i needed to get them out and we would do three in a week which is why find ourselves in this position where you know we've hit a thousand episodes at a time frame
that is shorter than what we would have we just did two episodes a week right like we're here in march and it's our thousand episode even though we started in september that's you know so again if you do the math there's something off there and it's because we have had occasions where we did three a week but the level of panic if something what's going wrong with like we gotta get it up by the way the level panic off of the show we were not making money on had no real prospects for until we were maybe a year and a half years in so all of that urgency was driven by i think both are essential understanding that this was the truest form of what we were doing like and we had complete control yes so you still have to do your other job yeah producing
was he has working at msnbc yeah the whole time because you didn't come on full time to w t f what two thousand and two thousand thirteen was when i basically you know said this this is what i'm gonna do with my a flag full time and i remember i was like are you sure dude because like i don't want to give this guy south and you got a family i don't want another thing was you know you were a little nervous about that but i actually knew that i was at least a year late in making that decision it's looking at the numbers and everything yeah the show had been self sufficient and sustainable by two thousand and twelve so i could have actually made that choice sooner and didn't and it was killing me it's killing me to do basically because you have time job but the fact that we had complete creative control early on and that it was all on us was exciting but also daunting what happened was i go back to lai had my garage it just had a bunch of shiznit i set up a table in there i have my apple notebook the big one and i had this little mixer that i still have
i think we stole from air america is that was the one that was in the break room it's an mdr six they don't make anymore it's a dumb little analog mixer and i said it up in a and jesse thorn tell me which mike's to get i misunderstand it first i got to see sure fifty seven instead of a shure sm said which wasn't the right mike i bought these mike which are hanging myxer boom mike's and adam stuck on little fucking your mic stands the a desktop mic stands these giant mike's and i but there in the middle of all my garbage just boxes storage with guests at the table and it was right there for a long time i remember when i got the booms it was like a big day when i started moving the boxes but that's how the early episodes in he started well that's because it we're talking about how you know most of this is just you and i going back and forth on these decisions and questions and i have to go back to the questions that our listeners in this one comes from derek and he will
good to know is it just you and brandon that run the entire w t f empire are there no minions beyond the cats is w t f d i y and the answer to this is like yes with a but right like that the thing that we have maintained since day one is that this thing is ours we control it we own it overseer yeah we have absolutely had not just help from lots of people but we're in strategic partnerships now that help the thing get done right and probably the person who works on the show the most is frank capello who's your assistant to me out here in la yeah i mean he's out he assists us both yeah but by he's able to be here be here if you need him here for guests and that role we filled over the years by several other people ashley barnhill sam varela there's another one for minute sashi sashi
i was in new york helped out on my end with that kind of stuff was that one though ashley grass sharia actually grass shaw and bryan fernandez was your like first assistant who was doing stuff for you so they've all been people who've were on the show or emailed guests or done things of that nature but also early on anesthesia kusaki stop which was as user woman that that worked in the same building as there who was moving back when i got actor lai didn't have that much money when i started doing the show at home so she was my roommate for awhile time right and so she was there during all this stuff where i took that you know the bath with the with the jeans on yes she help me like collate all the names of the donors because you're on donor model that's like that's such a perfect example of how we were operating we just like you know it had to be done and help me do this to someone who was a well wisher a friend
you know nowadays it's a little more routinized like i said we have partnerships like we're we're partners with stitcher for archives archives are at stitcher premium but primarily our relationship with them is with their ad division mid roll yeah i was selling the ads myself for three four years and it just got be too overwhelming that my plate was full so every time or plate has gotten full we've said how do we move this to someone else but also that's an example of how the business of podcasting grew at your simultaneous we too are being in it because i when i did not have cash incentive we did didn't know what we were doing other than providing doing this thing we love doing without really a queer business model 'cause at the beginning we were taking donations and it was until just a couple years ago where we like realized that there were still
people that were doing a monthly thing and we had to get here years ago there were like you we don't we're we're good yeah i'm of them are like no no no no he'll give you give you ten dollars a month yeah yeah that that's absolutely true i mean the first annual ad that we annual meeting they bought for a whole year yeah was stamps dot com yeah they gave us in number of what the cost would be and we look at that like per episode that comes out to axe right great and i said you want to do this you said yeah let's go for it let's do it let's try it out and we were making no money beyond like the donations that you're talking about that we were asking people to use to support sean and i was doing the bankroll and i know how to do it and we had it like you know list all the things that were coming yeah from the right my dumb spread sheets we had a i did do that every month i remember loading those envelopes which sticker yash wag and so good to be done with that stuff but i just remember that the business
we talk about mid roll when you talk about that time you know rogan comes on the scene nerdist comes on the scene you know within a couple of years when we started the podcasting landscape storage to get bigger with people i knew and people experimenting with do we we make it a premium do we not make it a premium how do you grow enough audience if it's a premium right so like in mid roll was something that came years later that somebody finally got the idea to create general rick olrich the the founder and co co creator of the your wolf network right with scott aukerman yeah and and you know with somebody who wanted to work with us i'm you know basically since the moment started doing that he was always talking with us and we just developed a kind of collegial relationship with him 'cause he was another guy in our space that's a thing that gets forgotten is that like all of us who were in that era starting out doing this we all communicated we all
everybody did each other shows yeah i talked to everybody you could call you know you call you could talk to doug benson right role what we're is working out for you is yeah how's this yeah that that that was a big part of it and and i have to get you know the the relationship with jeff because of that type of back and forth he would call me for advice i would call him for advice and then he would say how are we going to work together on this well we don't really need xy and z and became very obvious the type of thing that we needed was help with our ad sales we're just doing it all myself basically like too old connections terrestrial stuff is terrestrial style add selling here but that was a good example of the business growing around us but ultimately they answered that guys question you know we've had a lot of support not had the a part time assistant that have helped out and and and managers that yeah and people in the mallee van valkenburg out on your team now helps us all the time the avid martin as well and rob yurio who was like your
my county regional accountants and heat now just manage is our books you know yeah well now we have books but the bottom line is the actual thing that you hear on the air is is me and brendan really you know whatever the support is but it's always me in you but he really is the way it works is like i do the wrong thing i send it to you you do your thing and like you we that he opportunities and we had discussions about do we want to start a network do we want to produce other shows do we want to be part of a network we knew early on we did not want to be part of a network we had our own thing we were a big pod aston we were doing fine we're not don't think either one of us are really sort of entrepreneurial in spirit wear weave it would be nice to make money not doing anything in just to have a something we could sell but we're also workers right so i don't know that people really realize just how much work goes into this in terms of talking to people get
i'm ready to talk to people scheduling things and then your job where you sit with an episode for two three hours four hours however long it takes you to meticulously dude production of the episode in post it but busy comes down to that is so like that's the difference like we are very meticulous about how and we do this in what we do and it's very time consuming and it's a lot right but i did indeed never changed yeah been the same i mean like things get easier for us and things become more routine yeah but we've essentially are still doing the same process we did done since the minute we started breaking and it's all work and it's the work we can manage into work we can handle that's the other thing when you're slightly sort of you know perfectionist and and sort of like driven is that i don't think you and i are great at delegating the we do what we do is how we do it like i said here by myself you sit by yourself when we do our thing it's not
easy to go like we take care of this it's like you know i'll take i i will say it but it is easy for me to to ask if i'm in a situation it's easy me to say all right i don't want to handle this anymore like our booking yeah and to me to shift that too in a yeah that's going to do that that we pay money to to hand yeah i ran out of friends i ran out i ran out of knowing somebody who knows somebody right i don't have a rolodex full of people i'm not i don't do well with like hunting down right folks so you know it only makes sense for me at that point to work with someone and we work with that central booking central town booking which is joanna jordan who was letterman booker and yeah we're runs around shop now books kimmel yeah we it is a big help to us because we get a lot of the people that come through the circuit they know of our show and they have contact with them eddie and abigail parsons who's our lead booker is always on those connected route
so now we get pitched people yeah absolutely there's a question from doug he said i'm curious if there are some episodes you can point to the really jump the number of listeners to you cast over the years you know it's funny 'cause this happens all the time time that we can you can actually see like new people coming in because of a particular guest just happened recently like with yeardley smith and the simpsons in general i think having you on the simpsons we saw an influx of people coming and not been there before you can charge that mandy moore is a good example of someone who people coming in because their fans of hers and had not heard the show before or they had read the ryan adams piece in the new york times and wanted to hear her talk about that but we know the numbers go and i would just say that that happens consistently every month so there's a guest or two you can probably figure out who they are you just look at the list an you go oh
i know that person very well from pop culture and those are usually the ones that make the numbers spike however we have a relatively stable foundation and at this point where it doesn't dip below right i would say that over the history of the show there's really basically two names that jump the show immediately from one another and that was robin williams yeah which was you know huge thing for the show an just the idea of we were doing and how it could work yeah and then obviously obama which was like a three million download episode is just brought it just changed overnight changed our business right in terms of the increase to audience it's still on and you know you have audience that drops off you have new audience that comes in part of that is the reason you hear a variety of guests on the show yeah and also
it's still like despite what anyone thinks and no matter how big podcasting is it still a limited slice of the meat dietze right it's bigger than it used to be but also like this show is still very discoverable i mean there were people that watch the simpsons that were like i didn't even know there was a real show right right my father is not clear how to listen to it still is that might be a different case you know i'd be somewhat but that goes into a good point though it's like beyond just guests taking the audience numbers yeah it's like there's visibility out there that you being on glow brought more listeners the thing changed the game probably more than anything was that new york times article by dan saltzstein in two thousand and eleven they really you know we told by other people doing podcasts at the time this just changed it for us like for for their part yet for the medium in itself that was a big piece in the arts section but it really changed our lives oh yeah like there's those three things
robin williams that times peace and and obama yeah like chain our lives yeah like i wouldn't win robin williams died yeah my biggest regret was that i never personally met him yeah to thank him for changing my like he made my life better by agreeing to do the show yeah and also that i was so happy that it existed when he died so little of that type of conversation with him right if any right yeah well you know we should also thank you roll measure livia wingate who was you know i think responsible for a lot of the early kind of press around the show and getting you out there for things to associate you with a podcast and she was a believer like that was the thing like you joined with her right when we were starting the podcast right after we started like just after yeah exactly because you had brought initial episodes of the podcast two year old manager and he didn't get it and
so you were like fuck this i'm out again back to that idea of like yes you and i this on our own but like there have been there has been helped along the way olivia was huge and that judd apatow was huge in at in you talk about in a ha moment like that for me as a producer or that he listened now is that he listened very well he was a fan he loved the show came on the show an he brought you the digital recording he made when he hits like jay leno jerry signed for and he said take him and do whatever you want with these yeah and it was a coup for like i remember sitting there thinking like we beat like fresh air to the punch on it or like this american life like this is something we do it would be like listen to like this is like the king of comedy right now being of hollywood yeah and here is him as a little kid like basically breaking it open yeah and he found
connection between that and what you are doing and felt simpatico to them was like here you use these things and that episode was huge for us you know similarly like for me from a personal standpoint having ira glaspie champion of the show riley on when he was that was a big deal big deal he i'll put us on to npr affiliates through prx yeah yes the thorn we're you know jesse we've met mention his name we did like ten episodes made available for yeah with beeps and stuff in the air along the line and on npr affiliates yeah it was exciting yeah and and we mention jesse a few times but he's another person who just kind of gave of himself and terry gross that's another one like to have that happen with terry oh that was huge man we're talking about respect the industry in a way like i think that you know when i interview ira it was all very nerve wracking me going through the streets of new
to interview ira glass he was he had this huge huge huge in radio he's a you know he is yep and p r and in everything is like this it's been the secret to my success as an interviewer is i you know of course i've listened to this american wife right of course i've watched a few simpsons but there's very few things that i compulsively follow so i always have a little bit of distance i don't have the proper context for every i knew that why not overly reverent right that's right it yard into different degrees yes but i knew that like you know i wanted to be validated by these people and the fact that they it was sort of like well that's something right but with ira like i remember getting to his studio
we were we were gonna record it just made sense but i wouldn't let him sit in his chair yeah yeah yeah like i said in his chair and he sat in the guests yeah you did the same to david remnick a little while ago date rape in new york yeah like he walked in and you are already in his chair yep that god yeah we did so much experimenting early on we were i was in cars with people i love those episodes without without any pepper tone and or you went to zach galphin ackiss on the set of that movie was making me todd phillips yeah the date date date yeah yeah that was exact interview and and in that same time so that was what i loved is like you could do that and we had like zach galphin ackiss but then the same episode where is actually a two parter utah after nobody of yours dean hines who was like a astrophysicists right yeah the dean from from junior high yeah yeah he's right he was a drummer and i like a little band that i had junior high and he's got
p and he's you know he's always a very bright guy and now he worked on the hubble telescope like yeah we get sued geared up for that stuff like i do i do have the equipment in the car turned on driving down the highway in in new chicoer in a car with maria bamford coming back from this thing we went to to do that and we were doing the max fund that yeah jesse thorn sing i was out in the streets of houston with his maligned as that's a good one whatever you went in that found out about could junta music could hotel these again just play a fluke the creation museum yeah the creation museum ryan singer geoff tate yeah yeah we we snuck in the gear week i think we had it would then i have a lavalier mike's or something i remember yeah the end of things up yeah because we had to do it under wraps yeah there was an excitement in so defining and in figuring out you know
what the show was in the the the beauty of it was it didn't matter right when you do whatever the we want well when you talk about validation and you know to have the validation of like these type of people like ira glass and terry gross like by doing those getting to where we're at today with one thousand episodes and to have foundation of that be a you and i could agree on this is our sensibility and we're going to make this the way we want and not compra i see that yeah to get those people to buy into it and be like yeah that's good like that's all the validation i need and i know that's weird 'cause they're just people too but like i've fund mentale respect everything they do like that like when i got into doing radio in college like my thought was like if i could have the ideal scenario with my life and career i want to create
something that's like a combination of this american life and the howard stern show yeah like i want to put that together and like in a weird way like your mind of what this is i think yeah i got a personal note was very cool about that is i've had a few time now one like ira ira and terry have both been very nice to us personally and i like have tremendous still tremendous check for them but also now i can look at like oh my god i got this totally nice email from terry gross like with her talking to me like uh the aspects while it's really great yeah but then there's two things and on the air as very very validating to me one is when you were on bill simmons podcast you were talking to him about like our set up what we do and you were telling him like what my role is and he was like god i gotta get it
mcdonald's i'm like yeah i started i started this guy you know he needs you and then on stern after you had springsteen on some call stern up and like they did you hear that mark barron bruce springsteen what gary doing over there you got to fire him he didn't get bruce springsteen mark mary got bruce springsteen and how like yeah what is that gary maybe i should have mark marins producer yeah yes two no that one yeah that made my life that's fucking great yeah but the terry grossing was really like whatever i do is evolve from an organic beginning in how i do what i do yeah it is his mind like obviously we didn't invent interviewing but i don't know that essentially interview people
but when she was has to do that live radio event to be interviewed she said she wouldn't do it in less i interviewed her yeah she tubemate and i've done her show a few times but i never really met her i don't think no i don't think he was in the studio you know when they don't do that but the fact that you wanted me i was like oh my god this is yeah this is a big deal they they're the best interviewer in the world so much happened for me that night really in terms of my skill set yeah as in terms of me realizing it because like you know if just come over here you know like i'm going to do what i do i'm going to fidget around i'm going to turn the thing on before they get here i'm going i did not look at him when they come in like you i have things that i do naturally just so they get comfortable and they don't feel it happening right we do have a way of doing that and it works but
i don't always acknowledge that i necessarily have a skill set i just sort of can hear things and i wait and i can feel when conversation shift but with terry yeah it was a big deal because nobody knows anything about that woman and nobody sees her usually if you're on her show you know you're on an isdn hookup and you're not in a studio with her it's unclear what her life was and i realize that that's really true and it's not a normal thing usually with people who are that public there's information about then but like i did what i usually do like i was like how am i going to find out about her what is she willing to do and also i knew that she's not a performer going to be in front of almost two thousand people you know i can do that it can she is she ok but then i to really understand that like she trusted me with this right and it was like it was it was it wasn't a big responsibility but i really wanted it to go well for her i want
her to be comfortable and i wanted it to go well there are times in the thing where you can hear your like reassuring her your like don't worry terry were ok i think it was and then like to do the research it was just it was interesting 'cause i do have a way of researching i'm not completely unprepared her i you i saw her like you know what was available as a bio and i just saw these gaps you know like what was going on those six years where was she so like i had to be very deliberate in in sort of finding these gaps that would reveal something about who she was but also knew that was live and my instinct situation is to go for the laugh but i knew in that situation you know it was obvious we ask her audience and and my audience who were decent people they weren't ya yahoo's and they knew how to be a president can behave like an audience but there were
if only moments there were i saw a place to get a laugh and i was like i was like you know don't do it and let her have the space let it sit for a minute it's ok even it was white and it's hard as a comic showing alive situation not to jump on that beat but i was like this is uh how you it's about terry just let it sit and sacrifice that moment for a real moment and then the ones that you did jump in an even better right but very where of respecting her of making sure she was comfortable in that environment and sort of you know carrying the thing at as a gracious host but also keeping it going like there was a lot of things that i was very aware that i was doing and it made me feel like a real professional yeah it was one of the best night of my life really that it it came off so beautiful yeah there's a list
questions i have here that are things that come over and over again we should probably just like get these out of the way 'cause you know i figured people are going to ask over and over again let's just answer me now specifically this one came from brian but lots of people ask this it's as was that horatio sanz who did those weird to put copper bits with you in the super early episodes w t f and for somebody we may not know what he's talking about there but we do get asked quite a bit about in the earlier so it's usually like these are within the first one hundred here we were doing as mark and i talked about earlier we were doing a lot of segments and part of those segments were like sketches with via improv comics are after but we would try to play them off like they were real a real khalfan ask kind of like and we never let on for some of them right well the the idea was that this was part of the w t f moment right it was also like it was really a legitimate third segment for a long time is the only thing that remained when i get there
we didn't do comedy bits but we do and i'm monologue an interview and then we have a second guessed that may or may not be real right and and that this kind of stem from us doing this on morning seditious affect in the early episodes we used some of our old morning's edition yeah to do their characters can jones did that this character laden smalls jim earl yeah we do the guy read the obits yet more mortensen and we just treated them like the characters we didn't say this general doing mortensen chupacabra not horatio sanz that was nick kroll which is actually a bit he brought to other shows don't show the crawl show and comedy bang bang but here i'll just go through finally for once and for all so if anybody's asking out there who this one who is that we could still get emails believe me i wouldn't let on yeah we we we get people goes at real and and was we're but was policy never to say right so so come on now the the nightclub comic from from the seven john daily john daly the very first
one of those questionable is it real is it not was a guy named troy conrad and he went by his real name but he presented self as a libertarian firefighter remember that yeah that that people wrote in then they were like that guys ridiculous you can't you can't operate a fire company that way then we add a fantastically funny guy who used to work with on the radio to dave waterman who did a few voice is one guy was kevin levalley who was a motivational speaker but it turned out he was of white supremacy probably not as funny today actually darryl loomis who was a high school drug counselor and it turned out that his way of getting the kids did not do the drug just to do them and he did salvia yeah error do it and freak out yeah and he was
also i truly the twelfth member of the state yeah this is after we had david wayne on and then we have follow up with a guest who is a guy who is supposedly kicked out of the state right by david and the other people then there was bad drug dealer bad as in he was not good at it named frog yeah jerry minor yeah matt walsh did a thing mark just listening to earlier guy named michael garvey homebound assistance for the elderly that he would do it over the phone and it turns out you just like talking about theses about poop matt walsh also did a thing with june diane rayfield and james pumphrey where they were a married couple that had like a perfect marriage but it turned out that really what they were doing was horribly abusing their son right making it like they read a book or so yes right and the thing was like you make your child pay rent and then and to be hosted at thing called rudy casoni a guy named rudy casoni lounge singers a lounge singer yeah
the questions that have come up a lot call boomer lives you just address that on a recent show and obviously that's your cat that left and never came back murray a boomer lives it like he was a cat that i had for years and he was an outdoor cat he disappeared it was like right the beginning of when i was making merrin so i don't know what year that yeah i was and the which is like one thousand and twelve year was one of those things where they disappear and you don't know what happened to him you can expect the worst but he just didn't come back and just became it just became mythologizing of that cat right and the this guy chris said i would like to hear the snippet of the episode when boomer me allies on the mike and so here it is right now that was boomer which is also now your logo that you used at the end of marin after the boom relates reductions yeah yeah yeah yeah
the gates a lot of people still want to know what that is and will always discover that they're like why didn't i yeah and we want to tell them what it is sure it's i had a very powerful minute or two of movie screen time in almost famous i'm the angry promoter and almost famous and it's from scene where sweetwater bails on the on their set because billy crudup's character gets electrocuted and i'm the promote runs up to the bus as they're leaving i get into a fight with noah taylor and i'm like fuck you fuck these guys and the bus takes off and i go lock the gates yeah it's on these i handle a they by the gate yeah you haven't drive through the gate and i chose some in the wheel golf cart well that is the actual origin of that although we did get this very heartfelt email about lock the gates that i should read right now if you like this hi mark my name is gabriel from portland with embarrassment i write to you have spent
less hours accumulated in the past listening to your podcast turned one of my friends to your pod just a while back was talking to him the other day and told him i keep waiting for mark to address the line of the opening of the wtf podcast phuc the gays i said he laughed at me and said lock the gates that's what it says i felt very stupid because you would think after being in this country for so many years i would speak and understand perfect english i'm mexican love and thank you for what do for all mankind so he stuck with it despite the fact that's what i was thinking despite the regulation fuct the gauges to begin his show he's like in a fan forever just have weird glitch maybe he thought it was you were talking about it in like a holistic way like something right we should all do we should yes have sex with everyone who lives there this weird thing that maryland's about the gays music people ask
it's about the music on the show a lot the opening theme is created by a guy named john montagna who my neighbor now but a quincy gently we wound up moving to the same neighborhood and he's him around all the time like where kids in the same school so th stuff yeah john awesome john did some bumpers for us to back in the day originally was a c d sees that down payment was yeah so we we about thirty episodes and we realized we are cruising for a bruising half i do and i love that opening now yeah but i love johns johns is ours yes and we we we did a solicitation just hey do you want to do an intro for a the show we got submissions submissions yeah one just we just hit right away and then someone wrote this asking do you play you mark play all the musical intro as to the interviews or are they canned or bought do you just improv them i must come
and you're playing it's really come along over the last ten years so keep on rocking and keep on talking that's a nice compliment the answer is yes as of of around like episode five hundred they're all yours they are yeah that's all the stuff that you do at the end of the show oh you know prior to that we were using johns bumpers and then anytime you would if you hear something on the show from early years and it's a bumper done by a particular submission or something we identify get on that show like you would say this was so and so he sent this in and you know we would would air it that way but we we've moved did them being just your bumpers that are based on the things that you do at the end i appreciate the compliment i do i i have worked hard a dead becoming better guitar and i'm glad that you know i got the confidence to keep doing that i yeah those with those weird things that just became a thing you know i'd probably that i did it a couple of times and then
it now i do it all the time i don't know why it became thing in my mind not unlike the intro my monologues i just assume that like not anybody listens to my monologues or my guitar playing at the end there's something i do for maine and then sometimes at the end i'm sort of like this for those of you who are still listening but but yeah i do practice and i do you as some of you know who have listened to this show for a long time i've i've played out a few times with jimmy vivino and yes slash do my own thing i don't know that i hold my own necessary do i actually do hold my own i'm alright one last thing that was in here as like a recurrent question and it's really been a recurrent question since we solicited emails for the thousandth episode with people just very simply writing in it saying how is todd hanson because an earlier episode of this show
todd who is the former head writer the onion and you know very funny good writer and in and out many other projects the episode that featured him on the show involved him discussing for really the first time we ever talked about it publicly a very real very intense attempted suicide no idea that was that was like just so happened that staying at the hotel where he tried to do it yeah and he can i didn't know when he came over the way that this used to work a lot was when you would spend time in new york for show whatever reason you would just talk the people the way you used to generally book the show which would be like talk to people you know and say hey do you want to do this and so then we would go to new york he would just say you want to do an interview an you'd go to where they live or they'd come to your hotel and you just do it that way and you have to be staying at this hotel talk to holiday inn express yeah
in brooklyn and he came over and he said i've been here before he got there he said dinner before i try and he told me he tried to kill himself at that hotel and i said are we going to talk about that he says i don't know but i did tell my therapist said i was be talking to you which i always think it's hilarious that that's what made it ok oh mark meron's going to be there sure that yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah you'll be alright over there and we didn't talking about it but we sat on that in case you wanted to talk about it and ultimately i went back to his home and we did talk through whole day of him doing that there was like that was all one episode i should let people know you know before we go on to answer that question how is todd hanson that
you know one of the more moving and intense things that have to do with the show is the reaction to that episode particular that we still to this day i get responses from clinicians and educators saying that they use that episode with students patients family members i'll talk about how to speak to a loved one and also what the thinking is behind the desicion right and also like a lot of emails from people who were depressed or in the same position right yeah it was v an remains one of the great episodes an i'm happy to report that i had not doctor todd in awhile an i reached out to him an we spoke on the phone and he doing pretty well you know you still managing his mental issues but he's managing it with
possibly he still with the same therapist he's doing very well with the therapist he still has the same girlfriend that he had for years and there ok and i guess turn of events for todd is that he'd never gotten a college degree dropped out of high school i believe started writing for the onion and like barred as set up these these programs some cities where you know certain people of a certain echo extending or who haven't gotten a college education can apply to go to college and he's the college for a general humanities degree so writing he wrote a piece of short fiction that got some attention from the new york times he does some workshops another guy from the onion in comedy writing and he's thrilled to be going to college and he sounded great and he's doing pretty well
and he was happy to talk to me and i was happy to talk to him that's great yeah well one thing that we always have to wind up doing on the show and you usually do it in your intros is you know kind of seamlessly transitioning from tragedy to ads and there are some that are my favorite we've had some doozies there's just some real gems the funny thing is the funny thing about them is i don't always know that i'm there is one where you were literally crying when started reading the ad and you had every like wait hang on maybe i should stop maybe should stop it i composed did you read that in yes ok well so now is a good time for us to transition from the talk of a botched suicide attempt
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where would we be without stamps dot com we would we would be nowhere wouldn't even have a show i don't know if i'd be alive i wouldn't send things ever you'd never get any mail for me well right now wtf listeners get a special offer that includes a four week trial plus free postage and digital scale without any long term commitment just go to stamps click on the microphone at the top of the homepage page and type in wtf stamps dot com enter tsa i hear that in my sleep yeah right i do should know it by memory and at least the tag at another thing i think people want to know that squeak it's the boom not the chair people think it's the chair listen to that meeting i actually eating is horrible and i hate you for it whenever you do it but the
but the the noise of the room i don't mind i think i'm i'm okay with this yeah i am too that just the way like the rose an interview with the camera a man there's just times were like he'll send me a file with someone who's eating or yourself or you doing something that you know and you there's time to revisit acknowledged it said like uh we should be doing this but going to choose this gum yeah it would have done this but i just threw twelve tootsie rolls in my mouth so there's some people that are so sad do it they are literally like do good i have these emails like what the fuck you doing now i think i've texted you at times like i will get revenge on you for doing this it is absurd well it's a good time to talk about this stuff because like there's a lot of people interested in what our process is how we do what we do yeah this question came from another person named brandon it's not me i did not send
question but brandon here asks how on average if any is edited from your conversation is brandon do all the edits himself or do you suggest things to cut thanks again here's another thousand well obviously you do all this stuff on your own but there are times like i always will say something after we talk i after pretty much every unless there's time time constraints prevent us from being not that you would notice but sometimes i say like there's a moment there that like resonated with me you'll probably feel it or i think that the the core of this interview is around that that's been a big help yeah for you to learn within yourself what the arcs of these things are 'cause when we first started my insta into you is just basically risk record to do as much as you possibly can then i would take the thing and shape it right and you know what i really meant was a lot of times like moving entire
thanks around or yeah you know cutting a lot of material right but you know i just want to kind of give you the freedom to talk and go on tangents and go in any direction you wanted right and you know the it was to get it so that it would seem like a completely uninterrupted seamless conversation despite the amount of production that we put behind it now like said you've done a thousand of these and you're pretty good at define that within the conversation now you say free direct you know oh really oh yeah that's a good white like i when i'm talking to somebody there's a moment where it turns and i've talked about that before i think about one slash three of the way through or two thousand and twenty five minutes in the tonal something will relax and then usual shortly thereafter they'll be thing where i feel like this is the hinge of this conversation or who this person is or what
struggling with what shifted or what year there's a moment and when i and listening for when i'm sitting there with these is obviously china identify that spot and then making sure that the conversation as a whole supports that yeah 'cause if you have spot but then there's been an hour of bulshit before that right that detracts from it yeah that's tough gotta get cut down right now and that's got to be thinned out so that it's a smoother ride to that point that you're talking about that and i think this is a real sort of like pulling back the kurt thing for a lot of people is that there is an organic nature to this show the fact is is that you can work upwards of three hours on these things oh yeah an average the average length of me working on one is three hours right to sort of mold and narrative in find an arc and sort of trim the fat and really kind of make these things have this flow to them that it's
the funny thing to me is when we have guests say like i was really on top of it that they might you don't know what brandon went through i liked it when they've heard it yeah they're like god is very clear yeah i know that no there's just been there have been times where i've like texted you in the middle and i'm like this is major surgery major search and i don't have to throw any human being under the bus for that because that is and that's not to say it's any persons specific fault right in fact i can if i one person by name because she brought it up fiona apple mike sent you a message yeah afterwards that was like your editor did wonders to that because i thought i was all over the place that day yeah and you you are correct that was tough one but i do think it was very obvious what the through line was in that conversation and so it might have been hard just time consuming to edit that but the heart of it the core of it
is there yeah well i always i always say that my inspiration in terms of editing this show is really like a movie editor you don't you're not aware of the edits in a film unless there like you know really in the forefront trying to make you aware of it like of course says he tires or something but most of the time you watch a movie and you just being taken from scene to scene right where the important work on that film was probably done in the editing sure in most films and another thing that always jumps into my head is the muppet show yeah you know they always had a special guest star and i remember reading somewhere another good thing about the muppets people who are guest stars have fans come up to all the time and be like oh i remember you from when i was a kid you're on the muppet show do that live like they thought is like saturday night live right and every shot of the muppet show is a special effects shot every single shot yeah there's some kind of rig set
ramp or something that probably required several hours worth of time sure for them to get that to look good you know you are a kid you just watch the muppet show and it seemed like people were there talking with muppets hanging out there and that was always my intention with this is coming back we were doing it with multi segments where you know it wasn't highlighted around one interview right i just want this to sound like you're hanging out with mark man like rice is a this is just you turn you turn the saddam this is mark man's life in his brain that you're right i'm glad we're being transparent about it because i think it is one of the reasons that work so well together but also one of the reasons that the quality of the podcast remain so consistent is that when you listen to a lot of podcast a lot of people just think like well you turn on the mic's right but there's a not doing live there's no real reason not to add it of course and also with the point i was trying to make is you happen to be exceptionally meticulous in good at it and it
spired with it and it's it's it's almost an art unto itself and it's just the fortunate thing that we have in our pairing yet but there's a lot of time like people are like well they're just turning the mic so i can do that it's like we're not really just doing the same thing it's like people not understanding that like talk show late night talk show host have writing staffs yeah well that was the weirdest thing when the writers strike happened and people are like i don't get it i thought he was just doing that those jokes these are smart people i don't it's a blind spot right which because the thing that you're actually watching is good right it is allows that illusion encourages that'll right that's what we're doing like we're not lying to people in the way we present the show we are creating the best possible product of two people talking to we're not adding things right we're taking things out to help him out a little everybody out we could take out more but i think it actually from day one one of my things was i want to preserve the what do you call it inside of a diamond imperfection like i wanted to preserve those yes there were some
he did in like one of the very first episode where you i turned your mike on we were in the booth together erica and i turn your mic on and you had just shoveled a handful of pretzels in your mouth yeah and you started talking but you could stop 'cause you pretzels in your mouth and then you said leave this i want this to be on the podcast and you did i left it and i remember that was a moment for me where i was like oh these things should be in there she leaves these all the time it's like anna faris goes to take a pee like that should be in the show you know but something this guy jack asked i've been doing an oral history and recording and transcribing interviews i edit a lot of like and you knows does brendan get those sorts of words out of interviews are all the guests pretty well spoken i do edit a lot of those out to be honest with you i hear the man i deliberately leave them in sometimes if a person has a tick yeah that causes them to say like a lot you know
punctuation yeah i will trim those just 'cause they get and it gets irritated not for any fault of that person it's just it's they probably don't even realize right with your nose oh i used to cut him out like there were points where you are you knowing or yang a lot over the end of sentence is yeah and i was like this just easy back but i do editing for other things and have done editing for other things in my life where i have cut out almost all the you knows and likes because duration called for it like if you're if i'm editing a news interview right read it this podcast for chris hayes yeah the information is paramount yeah i want that stuff to come across and if a person is saying you know or like or uhm there often thing that as they search for information or head search for the next one great armors is sam cedar oh boy does he ever him and obama could have an arm off well my side of it is my
process is usually to somehow trick people feeling comfortable pretty quickly because i know i don't it's an empathetic thing about walking into a strange environment but usually they come in and set up we walk around like this garage actually looks a lot like my original garage before i made it into a studio other than i have a very sort of like very specific set up here where it's clear we're going to do the work and it's a nicer room yeah it's not it's not old and ramshackle right but there all the boxes are unpacked on the floor i haven't really got set up 'cause we're going to do some work in here but my i do want and people know this about me i do turn the thing on before we get started and i just have natural conversations i just find that if you you kind of get situated and you're sort of like where did you come in from or would you eat or whatever the hell it is to get in the present and then it's kind of noodle around until they're like we doing it yeah that it's
because you've already laid all the groundwork and there's no official start touch official starts always i think begin the thing stilted yes right because you're like ok you ready hey i'm here with like just even if you doing it that way that's the tone that happened yeah and the person thinks they have meet that right some level of professionalism right oh ok we're broadcasting right now right so just for me to start it helps both of us 'cause then i'm just like i got it on i'm not worried about anything it's kind of rambling until we get some point out too that you often start it with a foible of your own or a hang up or something you know those things have always allowed the guest to feel more comfortable there like well this guy doesn't have everything together yeah got problems and he's telling me about the catch it on his floor okay then it's just sort of goes from there it's really the only consistent i do which is like just make sure the thing is rolling sometimes it rolling you
before they even get in here right in general your your thinking is i'm gonna get an hour and if we can get to an hour and i can close that up i'll close it up and if not will just keep going until we're done well yeah i mean yeah there's definitely and as you know there's been people that are difficult and i know that instinctively now which i might not have known before but i try i'm like it's almost it's more than a therapist but i might i need this it needs to go somewhere and sometimes the waiting pays off there been times where it doesn't happen for now right well that's the funny thing it's like it's a good thing we talk after everyone because you to file an i'll look at it immediately and like if that file is ninety minutes that could go either way yeah that could be that it was just a rip roaring good time alfred molina the other day like i edited that an i was shocked at how little i cut out of it right it was a very
real conversation at like eighty two minutes yeah something and you'll send me once it's like ninety minutes and then we'll talk and you're like that and come around until like an hour and ten minutes in you know like so i know like okay good we're going to have like a good final twenty minutes but that first part is going to be have to figure out how to build around right well yeah i yeah i mean that's and and nice way of saying it's sort of like at yeah i i you know i just i had to keep them in there he said those words i had to keep a man like it's like a priest an interrogation our here's some more questions about the process particularly as it relates to guests an this is a good question but this guy said some nice things first i think you should hear them you deserve a break in a few moments to reflect on your innovations and contributions to the podcast genre won a full interrupted our with each guest no commercial breaks that was intentional we knew that the breaks within the
yeah we chose to do that like there was a period where i'm like they were at the beginning of we're not doing ads man yeah we knew free recorded ads for sure but there was like that there was some remnants of like you know it's like we have the freedom and then yeah whatever i was about to say change to make a living yeah you know like to reframe whatever bulshit punk rock integrity haven't do i which is served made for this and this is going to this is how it's going to happen yes yes two the conversation is one on one no sidekick or publicists i will say that terry gross does not allow publicist to sit in the studio with the guests although those publicists often sit in it anti room and area we don't have that here it's so fun that's one the great pleasures doing this is where i might get when they show up with public system like generally you know this 'cause i'm going to go in the garage you can sit here in the living room if you want and then are you sure i can't i'm like yeah i don't really
and then they always ask the artist who have that it doesn't even know the publishers coming 'cause usually it's either you know the production publishers in the movies publishes their studio publicists so there like are you going to be all right and they're like yeah and then i get in here i don't know who that is i'll tell you a great one was and this is she was just doing her job or reacting in the way she should in that job but when you did springsteen at its he left that is how we knew the interview is over i was sitting outside with the publicist and we were in listening to it the interview is over when you guys came out and he said goodbye went back up to his house and then we went back into where you were yeah pack everything up and i was asking attica i can you know what he was a good and you're like yeah it was really good you know i talked a lot about his childhood and his dad and we talked some about trump and the publicist goes oh
uh you know it now she's standing there she has no idea what extent we talked about right right that was a good moment to her credit she is a total profess but i think there's an interesting to point out to hear that we do leave a certain freedom on behalf of the this or whoever i'm interviewing if they want being taken out an makes sense we do it yes but you know we have pushed back on things and it's oddly almost always it's about somebody else yeah like a lot of times but i need to say that about someone so yeah those kind of things my rule of thumb with that and i'll get back to jays email in a second my rule of thumb as a producer and editor is going to come from like a news background and has to think about these things ethically is we're not
doing a live show so if the person in the moment said to you hang out at can i i i said that thing about my dad i can you make sure you take that out i don't want to say that about him you will yeah because a person is allowed to have a second thought about something right and if we got to the very end of an interview and someone said to you hey you know that whole thing i talked about that stretch in mycareer can you take that out you here in this room would be like really that's the crux of the show like why don't you sit with that for a second because i don't think we should take that out like you can have that conversation face to face with the person i should be able to make that same decision as an editor and as a producer to say like hang on you're asking me to take out the crux of the show yeah and i can't do that right but but
the bottom line is that this is not the type of show not out to sandbag exactly an in and you know i think you is done i've done this as well like people have said they didn't notice that they said and you've decided like no that's just going to cause problem you're usually i think about it from a legal standpoint but they do say something that if the person they're saying that about took issue with they could have a legal case around it you know yeah an idiot he admitted to a felony first of all that was number one and then the other thing was i think he outed a perceived by name yeah all right so jay's email me just go back to this so again full under under interrupted our with each guest conversations one on one shameless plugging of the latest project often the guest is so involved in the conversation he or she he barely mentions the reason they're there at that point in time that's happened a lot we that's the best we can hope for yeah
not just a list actors and musicians directores comedians authors get a much needed turn in the spotlight that's also just kind of based on who we get i think yeah i think that's another thing people need to know is that you know we reach out to a lot of people they i'm not a miracle worker yeah everybody's assume like merrin can get anybody it's not true there were three people we tried to get for this show yeah they were giving him get didn't have the power he didn't have the reach but we tried to make this an eclectic show which get a lot of voices on the show but it's all it's all subject to peoples availability people desire to do the show those two things primarily right the last thing jay says here is the obama interview my opinion that should be mandatory listening in every high school civics class did probably should be more engagement in high school civics class period there should be more classes apparently they've been most of them have been cut
angie is question was about editing and he said you mentioned that it gets can ask you to delete parts of conversation can you estimate how often this happens and the approximate percentage of material that still we cut out all the things we've just been talking about i'd say it happens at a very low percentage right there's the estimate of often it happens i would say maybe one out of every thirty yeah that sounds about right that sounds high hi as in like it doesn't seem like that many maybe i don't know you know better than me well so you're saying sounds yeah sounds maybe one out of every fifty yeah yeah maybe like that maybe it's happened sometimes it's like nothing it's like yeah you need to say that thing about my dad right right here is something that's a question about your monologues are the opening monologue single take do you plan a topic or theme ahead of time and prepare anything like an outline or they more free form that's from alley we usually
free form yet not all sometimes wander around the house and write down things i i want to cover or things that i did or where you know like they even primarily things that were on my mind things i watch to remind myself what i want to talk about but usually there pretty freeform and i like a lot of times i'll call brendan a lot and i'll be like what the fuck what the am i going to talk about i mean so like i talked about it i haven't done anything in the last three days goddamnit you can hate this ship because like honestly no matter what brandon says to me about i don't worry about it it's like i got two add chunks i don't want to be on top of each other and i want them there to be space in between them and i like talking but today is not the fucking day man and he'll be don't worry about it but i've also like literally sent to you like an outline i'd be like talk about this and then add then talk about this and then add
reduce the guest yeah and when i do that you give me an intro that's like thirty five minutes long because i honestly think and you maybe you can disagree with this but it might be subconscious or what i think that when you confronted with those moments you push yourself to talk even more like to make sure here itself has not gone away like i almost i like your defiantly saying like no i am not a nobody i am not a guy with nothing going on i will make sure i have something to say i think what it is is that like when i'm up against like that not unlike in stand up is like i'll start talking and then i'll just it's like wow you have i'm thinking out loud sparks yeah and it just keeps going so but i would say ninety eight percent of it is is not outlined its not bullet pointed really and it's improvised well i have to say the
i'm glad we're talking about this at this moment because it really does speak to what i consider to be my philosophy of the show and why this might be even like a secret to why it still going after one thousand episodes and why it has the kind of consistency it does yeah is that i always consider this show in my head i have since we started doing it a one man audio journal that you know happens to have some famous people and other people coming in and out of it yeah but that it's primarily about you yeah i mean that was what i wanted to do in the first place was like ever since we started working together in two thousand and four i was like oh this guy is great he could be like the next hour turn like let's do a radio show and then the radio show went away and i was like well let's try to figure that out somewhere else and then away then we did the streaming video and it was like this is we can do this and that went away and then finally we have this podcast but the unifying thing
through all that was like this guys personalities what works is what connects with people and it's like whether it's in talking about it yeah we're talking about making lentilles always talking about politics or just talked about movies or interviews or whatever there's something about the way this guy can connect with people and so i still thousand episodes in think of it that way and so the idea that like people like i fast forward through the monologues right when is this going to get to the guests that's fine you guys listen for a different reason right that's not why i made the show like to me mainly me sitting down making the show it's like what is chapter one hundred and ninety nine in the mark meron story that's the way i think of it i guess josh brolin over yeah well i mean i i don't if i renew that consciously but certainly it makes sense and i also it's just my instinct because of what you said earlier that front very beginning
i don't know that i wanted to interview people right like who are resentful quite frankly i think there was a point early goings when you were like i'm a comedian i should be the one being interviewed by people like i'm not just the schmuck reviews yeah i'm just not not the guy just asking questions so that was always at the core of who i was sort of like well this is working but i'm definitely going to meet this person halfway yeah because it's so it's it's my show but it's sort of like i'm not just going to sit here man my show that that that talk about things i cut out all the time what whenever it it's gone live it used to be that whenever you did an ad at the top of the show for a another show like something tv or another podcast or something you'd read that ad and then you go ok now let's do my show
and there was so much stink on it oh yeah it probably there's somebody in it who i knew yeah that was always right yeah the ad buys by people i was resentful of yeah there aren't that many anymore some general questions 'cause we did ask our listeners to just send things they might want to know you about life in general so here's some general stuff back in twenty sixteen an episode with adam goldberg and paul dano you mentioned that if donald trump became president you would make him a guest on your show i'm aware how you feel the sitting president but i would love for you to make this happen christopher you know i don't think it was that you said you would make him against on the show i think it's that we have always maintained that if a sitting president wants to come on he can come on they agreed to do the show in the way that we do it which was what
president obama agreed to yes it will be one hour uninterrupted we have final cut in p in the garage that wasn't even a requirement they just wanted to do that yeah that is not going to be about policy it's not going to be about any specific agenda it's about this person's life and you get to direct that if donald trump agreed to that yeah you do that yeah you won't agree to that but we did have hell of an hour i tell you man if there's anyone in life that i think is equipped to deal with that guy i really do think it's you i really do just the way you are able to talk to your dad yeah i just feel like you have training yeah i understand his particular type of charm right you know what i mean but it what i but he does but yeah i think he has a lot of like come i'd like there's the some part of him that like you can push you can push and it would be
interesting because i i do i do think i can cut through a lot of that charm yeah and i've mentioned some people were mad and even calling it that but it is definitely salute lee is yeah uh this made me laugh just 'cause this guys angry about this and that but still just say this made me laugh why are you so obsessed with who's friends in holy would not many more worried about this they are human beings too who are you friends with gs please talk about this on your one thousandth episode thanks your fan erin i don't you know what though i know it is responding to is that when you have people on yeah thank you especially when they're in the same movie right yeah yeah exactly right and i think it speaks more to your fundamental desire for this to be a kind of small town base
yes but it's a community of people like you know when you see people in movies like if you want to believe that robert redford and paul newman were buddies forever yeah right like you see people working movies which in but now that i've i've done the work and even with like me and mark riley back in the day my on air partner on air america we did not socialize yeah anyway you're not hanging out with low people no and if it makes complete sense yeah but but these device to get just the kid me it's i like to think that like everybody in that movie they probably have the best time but it didn't job making you think that they would have their own friends in a private great time off that when they're not in the movie people still do this i here we just spent a week with the country believing that lady gaga and bradley cooper in love with each other because they did long is at on a show yeah that was about the awards they were nominated for where they played lovers yeah like they're good at that yeah but people were still insistent on are they love each other sure yeah sure have
never been sitting across from someone and thought this person is completely full of ship like they're lying to me right now and i know that's not how it went down i was wondering how you handled it britt no i've never felt like that's almost completely lying to me but i i do know that pete i i can generally like well on and you could sense a narrative crafting and missed making sure i mean i know when some of the following their script of themselves and i know when somebody's embellishing right but sometimes those are great yeah like you know bob zmuda i we call you remember going come on yeah no we talk to you for like two one slash two hours and i don't think there was you know ten percent of truth in the whole thing at some of it started with but that's what he does yes but they don't contain the one time that someone genuinely lied to my face for an hour uh that came out years later was
steve rannazzisi in the nine slash eleven story yeah and that was a complete lie that he had survived nine hundred and eleven no one really knows i'm not even sure he knows why he fabricated the thing but well like i wasn't about to go like that in fact well she like can you if you actually did that like guys you got out of nine hundred and eleven and you're like no come on baby i mean he's paying the price for that but so like next time he should just tell people did nine slash eleven before you have that maybe that'll help maybe that will get him out of it now what is something you never would have expected you would get the opportunity to do or experience that the podcast made possible almost every everything since starting that's literally true both of our no doubt no you know there's a there's a picture right there you and the president of the united states in my house in my garage yeah but like you know did did you actually have be able to sell tickets as a comedian to you know do a tv show to do my
tv show to write a second and a third book the one that you and i put together working with the niro yeah work with play guitar with slash be on it a popular television show keith richards called you a fun one a fine one yeah i talked to keith richards talk to my heroes yeah no people i never thought i would know you have friends never thought i would have i mean everything you have done when i started this but it was not really a great thing you know is not a great story i was an intense angry so struggling guy that had been around a long time it would not a lot of opportunity not that hopeful and so you know everything i've done since to buy this house yeah same with me you know what i mean yeah by buying a house was huge in a way that would not have happened without the fact i was so proud you have so hey yeah it's funny 'cause i don't have a wife and kids are like you have a kid and anything you doing like that look at that
for the fire house it's so nice to me and very invested yeah that's the house that obama bought and not because of any taxes or anything have we bought it yes well it's being of obama there's this question what feedback if any did you receive from obama after he did your podcast that's from jeff no problem i'll text him how do you spell those wires in your room can you can you still use those i got rid of those they came and pick him up finally the old house we didn't get any feed from him directly but indirectly people at the white house did tell us that he really enjoyed it in fact i got this email from white house stafford named liz allen she said i was going to email you this week to let you know this was while ago i was going to email this week to let you know that a giant photo of mark and the president in the garage is hanging in the halls of the west wing the photo office hangs
on a regular rotation from recent events it's fun to walk past that one and recollect their conversation you know we were also told by the people in the white house that they do at the end in two thousand sixteen when he was leaving office that they considered the w t f interviews one of the best of his presidency which is very flattering and pete souza his photographer i i was the email communication and he said i know the president enjoyed doing the podcast very much hi it's nice and then that's all right take some axelrod started his podcast because he was inspired by the one you did with the president yeah i loved it yeah that was some yes and if anyone wants to hear us talk about that in i mean i you may think we're giving short shrift
that specific moment in this episode but we did a whole episode about that it's at six hundred and fourteen and it's available still for free in our feed you can go listen to that it's the one right after the obama episode called the president was here yes was there ever a point during these almost last decade of episodes when you seriously seriously considered ending the podcast and every damn episode listener andy also val asked the same thing and she said that if there was a time when that happened thank you for not doing it i don't think we ever really had that time i mean i think we well we had the patent troll and that was a serious case of thinking that the podcast might end if we didn't go right oh yeah we also thought fox yeah that was i said if you're not aware of that but it was in our decision it was is that we were being well i think though that if they had said we're going to sue you we would have decided that well we just got to end this so that we don't those get killed that was
marable how long did that go on for it went well we first started getting letters from this if you don't know a patent troll is if somebody says you know i have a patent on this i do you're in violation of it and this guy we're sending them around to podcasters saying he held the patent for podcasting and that was in february of twenty thirteen and scared the shit out of work for media tly first we like what are these yeah by sam cedar was the one who told us like yeah this is really had no idea what a patent troll was or how they did things or what so basically these letters were like you know we please contact us discuss a licensing fee right right right not how much it would be or whatever it was a shakedown shake down yeah but the thing this is that they could if they could prove that there it was legit they could sue for the money you know for back money it would change the game for everybody right and we started to realize what was happening it became just a panic
and you know there was a few other podcasters that got them well adam carola was being sued already when we started getting better rolls by this troll adam corolla and i believe how stuff works and a couple of like the big networks like cbs and they were already being sued so i said we gotta figure out what's going on here like in touch with adam what is what's their strategy and i can remember just totally in a panic over because it would have shut us down would you shut everybody down and actually may be right or would have like set a precedent for them to women totally different way of making podcasts and so this is where you know the kind of political strategy had to well that was when we started contacting the fft electronic frontier foundation and like just needed information like what is patent rolling how does it work who are these people and it got the point where we were calling them so often i was calling that woman what was her name julie samuels she was my can't
at the eff who i just reached out to about this and calling or so much asking her questions she says well look i'm not your attorney were not representing you but here's some information you should contact an attorney but it was just i was in such a panic over this 'cause then another letter came and then another letter and and i knew that i knew that it had to be within their parameters of what they fought for what is the basic dictated that found you know their nonprofit that deals with like digital rights you know right sickly like they've been champions of like you know keeping internet free and making sure that it's open source and then fighting back again political movement that would restrict that's a lot of net neutrality stuff and they've been big proponents of patents are a big deal to
software community developer right and that's what we learn from them and from from doing research at the patent trolling businesses huge people who amassed patents right because there's this fist shady district in texas where they live file these they could set up phony offices as sympathetic judiciary yes yes and it is basically like a town that's funded by like the patent troll loss yeah and what they would do is they get old patents and then revive them somehow and then like the pad that we were dealing with was it it's about an indexing system it was a very specific part of the technology that had to true that he said he did it with cassettes or like i don't remember but it was an older patent that was kind of been reconfigured why do podcasting pestering and pestering her
we sort of built a relationship with them and then we finally like directed people to them we have we they wanted to help in fundraising for something yeah they definitely considered us an ally as a proper platform to work with that help get their mission out and if that meant that they should take up the cause of fighting this patent assertion entity and trying to re examine the patent that might be a good pause for them as well like that was that was the pitch yeah it's like how is this not in your peripheral houses you have this power problem with the add casting medium which is a technological medium how is this not exactly what you guys do yeah and then yeah i think it was that broad and then they chose to take on the case yeah you know as part of their trip yet they have a lot of pro bono lawyers at harvard like they did that we could never pull together but during
time we had to learn about prior art in order to disprove a patent you to prove that something existed like it before it i just want to make it clear to people listening that of the you know thousand episodes that we've done this nearly ten years we probably worked harder on this one thing then all the other individual things we made on the show just in terms of like really sitting down learning something we never knew before figuring it out figuring out a strategy that was the best possible way to publicly move forward with this thing so panicked 'cause i remember that we've been done then it j still took a couple years but it was in two thousand and fifteen when there examination of prior art meaning prior art is evidence that this idea existed before the patent that this guy was claiming and they found it and they said this is proof that the patent is invalid and that was introduced in twenty fifteen
and it wasn't until may of last year may 14th two thousand and eighteen that everything was final they tried to appeal it and try to peel several times right and that doesn't generally work with these i don't it was just it was a beautiful thing all of it the way that we are together but then like you know became a bigger because in a bigger in part of a bigger issue and that you always have it was a fight that's rarely one but and don't think a lot of i was on the phone with congressman i was on the phone i can i can i cannot stress how much work we put in because the here was that like these guys could put a valve on it yes they could put like a toll booth on it yeah it was heavy man so i guess yeah we we thought not only did we we're going to lose the podcast but there was that moment it's sort of like can they just take everything we've built right man
well i will also admit to you i've never told you this before but there was a time where i thought this is probably it let's end this and it was when all the louis ship went down really yep yep i was really torn about continuing the show in the light of much louis was representative of like the history of our show like we had that slate thing that named it like the best podcast episode yeah the two parter yeah we've got a large chunk of that episode in our book and yeah there's so much history of the show was around like you do an him and the kind of humanity behind your conversation and uh it was just one of those moments where i was like what the fuck do you know about people and this was in the fall of twenty seventeen when it was like you know this is at the height of like the me too movement and
i just remember thinking like are we culpable in this like it is this making around like call personality humanizing yeah and and it's just this one individual like could be lots of individuals and i sat there it has a conversation with my wife and i thought i said like i love this show too much and have put too much of myself into it it's such a fab of who i am and what our whole lot what our whole lives are my whole family yeah that i wasn't going to be able to handle it if it started to get like looking down right like as a bad thing yeah like this show is actually doing a disservice by having this narrative out there about people and then it's wrong or right right now i don't want to be like the cosby show you know what i mean and how do you reconcile that my
i've done told me to sleep on it and think about it and she and i think it will hurt you a lot more to get rid of this show but i will say went to bed the night it had that conversation i said i think i was leaning like six thousand and forty to calling you the next day and saying we should wrap this up oh my god yeah it's something i've i've i have a big piece of advice to give people have like my short time on this earth it's like sleeping on things works it has worked every time i've ever done it yeah like to just be like hang on let me put a pin in this and think about it again tomorrow when i'm trying to understand exactly so you like it made you wonder whether or not well like there's so much stuff coming at like the tarantino of the world for like what did you know about harvey weinstein oh right right right and they've had to answer for like their culpability in that right and i've
really put that on myself like i think i elevator a lot of the people put on the show in my mind to a certain amount of like nobility like come on they share this stuff and this two they are and you don't who anybody is people are fucking incomprehensible yeah no idea but i think that's true but that's also and i as you telling me that we don't have a lie detector sitting here now that's true and we're also not asking those kind of questions but but the nature of the culture right you didn't want to be you know kind of plowed under with someone else is yeah and right outside of my control and i that type of proximity type of person i am i and one of the whole reasons we do the show the way we do is 'cause we control it it's you and me we make all the decisions and
that was getting to a point where i felt like suddenly these decisions are being taken out of our hands because of what we've done in the past with other people and i think maybe if it wasn't louis i would have had those thoughts but because lewis had been entwined in the fabric of like the mythology of our show and also my life yeah yeah you know and he and we handle that in the most you know empathetic responsible honest way we could yeah when it happened yeah and and and that was that that's how that's how felt about it walking away like the because that was immediate like i was in the heat of it yeah i i think i just in the days following that response i thought you know is that good enough what about our entire archive you know what about how we've you know and then part of it was like thinking about just being more sensitive to how we
people and their stories like is this person's experience being represented also by someone else's experience that's the opposite of that you know but that's speaks to my point in that the hour we have with people is not an enteric question of their sexual history right now even with ryan adams and mandy moore thing i didn't even doctor ryan adams about being married to mandy moore 'cause it like why would i talk about that right you know what what what you know it had nothing to do with it that's a perfect example of what i'm talking about is that like i don't know that two years ago even we were thought to have many more on that both of us as like to middle aged guys that did not listen to mandy moore music and did not really have her in the foreground of our thinking right
like it just might not have been because we would have thought anything about her experience would speak to us or the audience that we present to an i i think that if anything has happened shift for me in being like her experience is probably just as worthy as anybody else yeah that's the movement working yes in the sense that there's always been sort of a call for diversity a call for you know equality and we we do the best we can in booking the show in getting people that we just a lot of people to be on it yeah and a lot of different kinds of people and there's some people that just don't know and there's some people but certainly mandy then that we had her on before this story broke that's right because she was pitched yes yeah i mean you never on in response to the ryan adams now and it also because like well you know she and i watched a bit of the show in a i thought she was good you know you found the sort of crux of you know
where she came up and music and what she was up against then and that struggle and it turned out to be a great conversation but i think that just by virtue of being more sensitive other stories in other lives and working against that sort of uh why the entitlement or mail entitlement or or just the the the rationalization of sort of like i don't know them yeah well the the dead tonight on sometimes there's no reason not to know that yeah yeah right right you know and i think that is a fundamental indication of a chain we've made in the show you adam city but also added desire and you know i think that by doing the way we book it now and by trying to balance things out and trying to to hear stories might not be part of our lives yeah they turn out to be great i've i think that it should be it's really it's it's been a apparent to me that a lot of times i i will present you with people who i know you no and i'll give you a like i'll just give you like a small short little
marie version of like why this person might be interesting to write even if you haven't seen you in see jane the virgin you know like that that but i was right no i think this is good i think gee it would be good and i can't watch everything and i don't and i don't know a lot about a lot of the people i talk to but there people right so i just need a way in right like if i if i really like my instincts about not having people on is usually like do they have a story yeah or is it i can they tell it right we should emphasize is that uh the general rule of thumb in booking prior to that was always like are you already interested in that story is there already something about this person you're interested right and i feel like that's where the bigger shift has had to come is to say like that doesn't have to be the primary reason we book a guess yeah it could be this person you know nothing about but the story there to uncover you know i'm kind of a softy's building an in
i'm much more open and willing to take things in you just have to get me there you can leave me there and i'll drink and you teacher an old dog new tricks yeah well good i'm glad that i did not decide to stay we're goddammit idea that i had no idea i would never have told you that because you would have freaked the out i thank yeah i don't even know what version i would have thought i i would have had to understand what where you're coming from i think i was afraid that you wouldn't i don't know that you would have understood that from my perspective right i don't know if i would have in that moment for for those reasons at that time yeah but now i understand it now well i this is a good question for like for personal reflection it's a very good kind of summary question and it it really goes to your kind of personal evolution which yeah what we've been talking about over the course of a thousand episodes really is is you know that that one man audio journal that i talk
yeah and this is from adam and he says given where it all began just one question is being mark marin getting easier yes being mark meron is getting easier because when you've been as desperate as angry and is in you were and as destruct because i've been in my life personally and realize that you all you've been doing your whole life is working towards this one thing by the time i started the podcast i believe that i failed you know at one thing in that there was no more things and this one this was it but what started to happen which happened in my forties it happened in a very specific way in a unique way which was that you know what
doing something that really showed my most authentic self and in really engage all parts of my word mind and creativity and that began to resonate like something relaxed in me there was a pride there was there was a self esteem that comes accomplishment of working your whole life and somehow in the last half or the second half or god forbid the last quarter you make it there was a big part of my struggle that was relieved and insert a fear went away around you doing been around you being who i am in about owning myself because now everybody owned it to everybody who listened to me you know
as part of me well i think you know it's interesting use your ticket waiting something that people listen i i know they they feel the same way like these two emails i'll read it back to back and and it's i think a very you know it's just too two people two guys but i just i think a lot of people receive your growth as a positive and as a thing that not only is is good for you but good for for them yeah mark i write to you as a fan of the early days of the podcast and honestly well before i was a devoted coning kid as a teen slash preteen and i used to love how weird you would make stuff and how you would win the audience back i looked into your stand up after that and followed you since and once w t f took off i was so excited and proud of you i'm roughly thirty years younger than you but have is related to the sadness and anger and thoughtfulness you've put out in the world the care you've only grown into the ability to recognize yourself in your limitations but not in a self pitying
rather in a way that offers a possibility to grow and learn despite your positions of privilege has been very illuminating your growth from i am angry at the world too i am angry myself too i'm learning to reconcile my anger with the way in which i am capable of improving the world is very inspirational to me thank you for that nice from joel here and there's a similar message here from ryan as someone who followed you since my frustrated days sitting in a cubicle listening to tickets still available and thinking shit i hope this guy is ok hey i'm glad to see your success i didn't realize that i cared about your career back then i guess someone who shared similar frustrations see some reward because of them gave me hope in a fairness that i didn't believe in your success directly contradicts the cynicism and frustration that brought it your success felt like our success when us is the
i have been rooting for you i'm glad you didn't kill yourself and i hope you get dylan or tom waits at some point i think that's the only way to top the obama interview graduate i mean i i feel the same way as that guy like i feel personally linked to your progress in this like i was it's more than i was just rooting for you i invested my own sense of self and making sure you are doing okay now yeah and so i i understand why would people can connect to that and and that it means something your personal progress means something to people here it's like it's like it's me i choked up but like i you know the weird thing i i realize about me is that like my struggle primarily i think people who know me or or who who are deeply connected because we're kindred spirits know that all i've ever tried to be wise you know myself i'm pretty much all in all the time
yeah everything is riding on even the littlest things i do but but but on the other side of that i got to be honest with you in that and with people in general is that you're having no need for so long and however our relationship is involved like it's weird because like we've been doing stuff together for a long time and even with break room when we had to go on the road for the guardian and we're trying to make wreck recording things and shooting things that campaign and uploading them like you know we've been in the trench together around creating web in this show at you when you moved out here away from you he did all that stuff but like from the day that said you were coming on full time with this you know concern was sort of like like that but where you tell me that in i'm like yeah you sure man because like you know i don't want to if i take this crap this out like in no no i believe me i i know what i'm doing and michael of course you do but my point is that i got it
different points in your life even though we don't share a personal relationship like most personal relationships like you know after you mary that was one thing but like when you had a kid yeah i got i was crying sing for you and then like when when you you've got the house i was so proud and i was i keep bringing guys first house then we made it to yeah and then you know when when when we had that you know the health issue briefly i was like i was so worried like i'm very invested in our relations yeah and did it and i don't know that i could have done any of this will you read i think about it all the time anyways so i appreciate every second of it honestly and also like i hate when i if i disappear i know when you're mad what do you mean
there's sometimes where i bring it up and you like you know i can just tell like like when i'm just even when i'm talking to like when you're talking to like someone who knows you really well that like you like in the middle of it will be like i know ok you're right and you don't even say anything if i maps into a defensive mode about something or i stand for something that is we not correct and i know like i'm not honoring my my my higher self and you're just you know you have to point it out to me like there is an element of like i have to live up to your standards as well you know what i mean what you're high i just think you know i i think our desire to live up to each other's standards and expectations has gotten yeah it's somehow or another it man which is yeah you know in a weird way 'cause the intensity levels are different they are i think the focus is the same and i just the innate trust we have in each other in terms of making this work really
yeah yeah man i i i love you and i do and i think we've done a great thing here yeah well i mean obviously i feel the same way i i i owe you my life like i do it's it's i mean it's one thing for me to be like i'm going to gamble on this guy like he's i want to attach my wagon to him and i want to do with him what people have done with other you know high level talent that's a pipe dream if the other person doesn't give a man i just there's a lot of things that people give each other throughout life you know i've i've we've talked about it during this recording that like we owe a lot to a lot of people you know the help i elevate this what we do and and and a lot of the generosity has been extremely valuable to us yeah but nothing is just nothing ever is more
valuable than your trust yeah in may if you didn't trust me i'd be over wait wait i would leave it now right and and i mean i i i like i said i feel the same with you like i just i trusted from the start like okay yeah that guy he's going to be the guy yeah but your bill peter like by into it i was selling and to be ok with it and to trust me implicitly to the point where you said when we started you know how we gonna do this and you know in terms of ownership and i said whatever you think man i'm here to do it and you said we're going to make this five thousand and fifty and i was i was crazy at the time i mean i don't i don't think it's crazy now i think it's fair but i mean that's just that's just a hell of a thing as a hell of a thing from like that was ten years ago
and we've talked about like how you've evolved as a person in your you know but you don't have all that much if you thought back then i'm going to take this thing i'm going to have it to this guy because i believe in him that's the big thing mia yeah and and and and you know in terms of the stuff we've been able to get from it obviously i we made a good living we just doing we're doing a show that we want to do we're doing a job that we want to do yeah how many people do jobs the letter you said to me the other day where it wasn't that long ago or i'm like you know okay you're going kind of down on yourself and you know you're feeling like maybe were maybe our best work was behind you and what and you're like we get to do yeah you said how do you feel i say i feel great i said we came life is a nightmare it's a nightmare out there and they looked lately and like most people's jobs suck
in any fault of their own that's just the fault of what the system is and we've just we get this to do this yeah and we're on boss yeah i mean that's that's an amazing thing but then like we solicited these requests for questions for this episode you know and we got a lot of a thank you everybody to dewey then and if we didn't get your questions there were literally thousands them so apologies for not getting but i know how you feel 'cause i remember writing into roger ebert when he had a website and they never answered my question and i was crushed by it so please don't take it personally don't be me and roger ebert we just we get so many but thing that was very obvious as i read them some of them like intensely personal and heartfelt uh is that it really really matters what we're doing and that's as much a gift
as anything or it's the best like i cry when i read emails almost every time i get new email almost every time yeah i have one here that i wanted to read his dear mark i first started listening way back in the mid 90s episodes not decade obviously as i'm sure many fans listeners have told you over the years your podcast has helped me through some seriously rough patches of rock bottom and feeling helpless and alone i'm glad the podcast was there for me surviving a suicide attempt and wondering why i was alive and if i deserve to be the first thing i did was listen to your show it was hard road back to getting my life on track making amends to those i hurt and finding a reason to keep getting up and trying but you were there when i felt too ashamed to talk to anyone in my life even those who i knew loved me
show is meant a lot to me and i'm not saying it's the only reason i'm alive today because that would sell short so many important people most of all my wonderful wife but your show was there well i was finding the courage i need to put it all back together thank you for everything at his request don't withhold his name yeah i mean we get a lot of messages like that there i mean that's very what specific and
amazing one yeah and i just the that overwhelms me to a degree that i can't even express and what i started to think about after seeing this kind of time and again in these emails that came in you know specifically around this thousandth episode is that's really what people do fresh other like the old to make goal of this whole game is like can you make it better for other people you know is your can your happiness be equal to those around you and there's so much god damn suffering in there so much that's not good but people can help other people and it really is i i i honestly believe that the collective good is the whole reason that we're here we have
a civilization yeah and you know it's just like it doesn't just have to be a podcast it could be like you talk to some guy at the library or you you know so somebody out of the grocery store and it's a really truly humbling thing to have people out there in the world that put a point on it and say it's you mia is you you your show this thing that you put out the world and you know i i can't think of a better reason to keep doing yeah i i i agree with you i it was like this is for i think for both of us in with it and it certainly didn't expect almost any of what happened to have happen but just to these the sort of connection
to have the comfort of of people having a pretty real conversation yeah you know when you're feeling lost her in a dark place or or you know like you you have no hope the interesting couple people talking yeah is enough to sort of like hi okay enough to ease the lonely instead to sort of get you out of your head you know we have a long enough to to sort of reconfigure enough to to keep moving forward is sort of it's amazing in in it's like it's really what it's all about but you and i will never greedy we're never really about the money except we wanted to make enough money to earn a living and get paid for the work we do anyone we've gotten more than that and that's a great thing but this sort of the other kind of result of doing this is just to make people feel less alone in
most horrible places in their minds in their lives you know in their situations yup all kinds you know but yes depression there in the hospital they lost somebody just just to be able to sort of like well these people are having a serious conversation about heavy stuff and it's okay yeah okay well we we used to joke with there are so i was like years ago like how many more these can we do i don't know let's get to a thousand like that was always kind of like the the the far off number yeah and it's here now and it's funny like lynn shelton who who is you know someone you work with a lot she's friends with both of us hi i was having coffee with her and she said so so what do you think you how much longer you think you're going to do the show and i was like trot i'll do it as long as mark will do it and she's like oh that's funny he said the same thing about you and it says that everybody yet but that got me thinking
there's actually two ways that you could take that that response yeah that if you're saying i'll do it as long as the other guy i'll do it it could mean well i feel like i'm done but i want the other guy to feel satisfied and will keep going or it could be like look i'll go on indefinitely but if the guy says let's wrap it up wrap it up i know which one i am but i'm interested to know from you which one are you no no no of course i'm not ready to wrap it up sometimes i wonder like you know is it we're going to be always going to be people to talk to and and i think that like assumption was like how long this last not not because of a sort of like just because of the way culture works do you know what i mean like we did the one thing that they say you gotta do and it's you hold your audience yeah so like i'm good i'm not what else am i going to do but
yeah but no but like it is so nourishing and exciting for me no matter how much dread or anxiety i go through no i'm not the guy that's going to i'm not waiting to quit the fact am i going to do i look i still do standup rank well in this this in stand up are the two things you control you could do it as long as you have a microphone in some context you could do one those type they never said that i'm going to quit the podcast i've many times said like i'm done with this standard alright well so let's i'm in all right let's do it that's it folks thank you for listening a little guitar
Transcript generated on 2019-10-24.