Marc presents a special audio version of the first chapter of Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast. This chapter features thirty WTF guests talking with Marc about growing up. Hear from Conan O'Brien, Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Hart, Mel Brooks, RuPaul Charles, Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, Maria Bamford, Paul Scheer, Norm Macdonald, Molly Shannon, John Darnielle, Ahmed Ahmed, Dave Attell, Russell Peters, Joe Mande, Ron Funches, Allie Brosh, Gillian Jacobs, The Amazing Johnathan, Jon Glaser, Amy Schumer, Wyatt Cenac, Aimee Mann, Tom Arnold, Bruce Springsteen, Leslie Jones, Terry Gross, Dan Harmon, and President Barack Obama.
Sign up here for WTF+ to get the full show archives and weekly bonus material! https://plus.acast.com/s/wtf-with-marc-maron-podcast.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right. Let's do this, how are you what the bloggers, what the fuck buddies, what the buccaneers, what the what sticks, what the fuck nicks whatsapp I'm mark marron. This is my podcast. How are you it's been a horrendous few days. When I talk to you on Monday, I'd recorded That sunday, so I had not witnessed We had all had not witnessed all the horrors. That happened over the next few days, marcos. everybody las vegas, everybody out family. Everybody in this country that had to watch another lunatic with a arsenal loses fucking, mind mind
people and then later that afternoon, Tom petty was taken in the hospital. And kept on life support for a little while and they died. and a lot of people know they will watch my special that I had soared abroad. Tom, petty up is, guy whose music connects all people, despite of political or affiliation or differences, and really represented what tat what america can be when it's great. He was great. great american singer and songwriter and great perform. And it was just a just guided by the end of that day. Man next couple of days are bad.
There's, no more good news. It doesn't seem just no more good news. There may be stories provide some relief for a little while, but there's just no more good news. I don't know when that turns around, but I'll tell you tom, petty. It was great and his music is still here all of it. I can tell you this too. I saw him on the twenty second, at the hollywood call the second to the last show that he did in his life? And He was having a great fucking time I ate It couldn't have been an act. I think all of them were just thrilled to not only for that-
sure to be over, but to be together as long as they ve been together, tat all those great songs to perform for people, the love them the harp breakers. But tom look like he was having a great fuckin time. I can tell you that I did witness at not been listening to his music for the last couple days and that music will will forever be here, even though thomas no longer with us, he should have been longer, but he isn't and again The disaster in LAS vegas, it just. We live in a country where any fucking idiot can get a gun or fifty, and this happens The real fucking horror show
and my heart goes out to everybody who asked people and the city, the country, man, chester. When is there going to be some good news How bout now this is a unique show today, because we're going to be doing basically and a book version of the first chapter of way for the punch words to live by from the wtf podcast. It's a book that brendan and myself a put together. It comes out now tuesday october tenth, so this special thing we're doing today. This is it with the book we had some interest in pass. We doing a book of interviews with a few different book, publishing there's an day, you have some of the ideas word to put publish interviews as whole entities as the entire interview and then
we didn't really like that would see what the point that was, and then we sort of come upon this other idea, where we would break the book into themes. That are often discussed on wtf and then neil utilize, our tremendous catalog of interviews too, to pull bits and pieces from conversations I've had with people that fit the theme is about a dozen themes in the book and tell you ma, am when I read it over it. I had a very profound experience because I dont remember everything. I've said to everybody's, been over. You were in between eight hundred nine hundred episodes here and I was reading a lot of the bits and pieces of mike- I don't remember having this conversation, I thought to myself and not only that it really hits you in the guts is fuckin book like all of it is very. When people talk it comes out, she had a different intensity than when people write when you can craft a paragraph or a page and cut and paste. in addition, grammatically correct every thing: it's there.
And they went on wednesday when someone just talking talking to you. It goes in a different way So the way this all sort of moves book when you read it the interest it sort of a beautiful experience to read yet about Dron fifty hundred sixty different peoples experience with these themes. can a move through them all through there personalities. It's it's an amazing experience. I read the book and the reason we're doing the episode like this today, Because there is no audio version of the book it really is a unique experience as a book and we to have a life on the page we made the book, so it could be like its own thing. You know what I mean not just an extension of the. Podcast, but as a way to give everyone a taste of the book. Today just so, they can get an idea of what it's like. We put together the first chapter as an audio collection, This is close to how the book is executed, not exact, but very close.
After one is growing up. The other chapters of the book are sexual. Letty identity relationships, parenting, addiction, mental health failure, success, mortality and life lesson there are dozens of different people in each section, one hundred and fifty eight total people and I'm going to do this today, I'm to identify. The speakers in this chapter by seeing their name the first time you hear them, but if they come up, more than once. You only hear their name the first time that will help us flow better. More like the way as when you're reading it so I'll read my intro. I do an intro to every chapter. John Oliver did the intro to the book. to the book. I wrote a little intro to the book. Let's do it I'll read a start with the first chapter and I will read my intro and then the EU will be engaged in the air, the flow
of people talking about growing up chapter, one growing up the smaller? place. It came from. I had my adventures and misadventures growing up, but it's the varying mixture of what I did or didn't get for my parents that really leaves a mark. The relation if we have with our parents, explains how engage with the world and other people, sometimes bad exp. aids is, can lead us to a place of self realization or, at the very least, give us a, story sometimes Our childhood experiences take a lifetime to process. If ever these stories define us, they haunt us but they also can liberate us. I am positive I did not grow up properly. Does anyone really something is definitely there are obviously many reasons for whatever emotional flaws I have as an adult, and I can trace posted them to my parents,
I have grown into a place of gratitude rather than resentment towards them, because it is essentially those flaws and my struggle with them that make. see who I am it is not really sympathetic or attractive to be actively mad at your parents. After a certain age you have to, at some point. It was fifty for me, my parents left me hanging in the providing the boundaries necessary for me to take chances and succeed and fail with the support and guidance necessary to define my character department. I had to put my sense of self together from scratch. I spent a good my life moving through the world like a kid, lasted a mall looking to other grown says, role models I learned cigarettes: the smoke from Keith richards I dressed like Tom waits for most of my junior year of high I looked at woody allen to understand what it meant to be smart and funny. My mother was a bit sarcastic and could be a little cutting. She was funny she was always expressing her in a creative way. My father was unpredictable and explosive. At times
sometimes that explosion would go in sometimes out. He thought he was funny, but he wasn't. They both had a lot of energy. These are the things in the plus column. It's always good to learn about the struggles other people went through while they were growing up. I liked that Paul Scheer felt double sharing with me the very difficult situation he found himself in after his parents too. Where's same with John doe, neil from the mountain goats who still dealing with the pain his stepfather put him through. I was able to in disbelief at molly, shannon story of complete parental irresponsibility when she got a plane without an adult and food in park city accompanied only by another child. I'm glad people still tell these stories about their childhoods. Took years of me talking to people in my garage to finally get some perspective on things. I went through as a kid, Stop them from undermining me as an adult, well that no little therapy and some specific reading and age, Conan O'Brien, I think an angel
his kid I was you know I it's glamorous. I was not the class clown. I was funny for my friends but quiet in the classroom, and I worked really hard, and I was kind of grim and I have to say I didn't really enjoy my childhood socially worth socially uncomfortable, not socially uncountable noakes it. I could make my friends laugh, but I just it was not easy going. Fourth, not a nose when so like now, sir, in macao, the first three years of my life, I didn't sleep in a bed. I slept mattress under a metal table and as room and casts a bum knock the building over sir and black amateur, the lights didn't real interaction. A german bomb is becoming ever. Do you remember that oh clearly but an and not much to eat but sir quite healthy, two rationing yeah, but I call you doubt when you,
I know that, but that's not the norm, and I was well looked out a lot of love him. I have Kevin heart grub philadelphia, I like what kind of what kind of area what kind of neighborhood my neighborhood shit nor philadelphia, fitting ere, you no crime city, and you know why now Third! In the end, in a world of deaths, probably area new year's, we opened it out with five murders and ass. If he were here right, is it out is, is not the best place in the world, but I love it is home. For me, MEL brooks my mother. Her kitty, kitty community can recommend sky. Your kitty commit yeah. I raised four boys. You know those days where's sure, yet a wash them yet brought them in it was yet another they get one one time
wanted to see a movie- and I didn't I entered she- gave me three deposit bottles, each one, three cents of milk bottles milk bottle here, and so that was nine cents. You needed a dime her and then she went to she where this is true. She went next door to mrs miller here and borrowed a penny here, so I can make the dime and yet, but she was you know I dunno. if she was typical, but she was a wonderful, loving, caring one, beautiful mother, rupaul Charles I was watching a kid. The other day must have been about four years and he was so happy to be inner human bodies just jumping around.
And going up upside down. There was running over the coming years ago. My guys create a human look at me. Look I can do this, the aggregate, I that's what I want for no reason we do it. Just do your hands jump around role on the ground, exact with apparent exhausted parent going? Yes, you can you can actually exactly, but unfortunately, as a kid you know my parents were in their own melodrama. I want it. So I really couldn't you don't do that as much as possible selfish parents, you don't they don't provide a place where you can feel comfortable to be yourself even right. You just get steamrolled apps. They do not pay attention, you'll get brittany, reaffirmation or any affirmation at all. I good for you kid. You know, that's great, you just sort of loudly for me, though my sister renault, whose listen moving to lucy, who is my sources or whom I moved to alaska, with an got married at seventeen, her yeah. She was myself, she was the one who said your great. You should do this. Why did you do that? I had that in my sister, so that was great. Jim get
in four boys and two girls and I'm the youngest of six, while his way out. What's how old's your oldest brother, The oldest in my family is my sister, Kathy and she's. I dunno should be like hundred now would now my brother, MIKE psy. I don't know somewhere in all and pull our ear, how it's like? Who cares for you kind and no, I mean I kind of know that you're there's six kids over lake seven or eight years they're, just there just old now they're old, they're older than me the way? Well, how old were you when, if you them all leave, I imagine yes, yes I always wonder about that was a difficult, do you remember I a little bit you're leaving me here with these people that crazy. Your parents, yeah, you know, there's a little bit of you, know
This year's weighing the you're still here still here, is how there was some of that. But there is also a you know when I started off icy there's rather such a amount of distrust that develops in parents. at any rate they had been lied to my so many teenagers by the time I got there, there were just like your guilty and I was like I didn't do anything wrong and there like just go to your room and you're like our right. John, Oliver, when my dad first started taking me to games- and I would wear to liverpool games, I would wear out make him. Let me wear my full liverpool kit, so this is me at eight nine years old, my full liverpool kit, underneath whatever I was wearing, because there was a part of me as a child, the felt if someone got injured on the field and ready they would just turned to the grunts had. Does anyone have a kit so that we can
Brian and I would say yes, my name is John, I'm eight years old and clearly somewhere in me. I think that this is going to turn out well that this eight year old is going to be able to physically compete with twenty nine year old super fit the adequate, but but that's it dream that show. That's that's touching. I wish I had that. I I didn't. I didn't do a wall cleats or cleats to the shirt if you read the clip clop of the eight year old kid going. Let's do this maria bamford I used to play the violin, really was very good at it because of a weird. You know, you start when you're three, so you're you were playing violent at three yeah yeah, because parents, you If you take your hands to the to the strings, it was forced in a way that I you know I was not, and I was unconscious of what was happening until I was around eleven and I said, oh, I think I'd like to quit and they said no, oh, no,
oh, you can act because we have put in a lot of time and money and while you're freakish lee good at it. So why not continue so good at it, but I didn't have enjoyed at all. Paul Scheer, my mom took my weird I'll yank in three d, album and broke it over me because it was a song was on. There is called nature trail to Hell. On one of the the devil worship list that, like the church had given them. These are your children have any of these albums and one of them the weird AL album. You must find this and destroy it. She did running yes and that in my local j, our shared agenda? I was crew with terror. I was crying like dough by weird AL. If I weird AL album like do you ever tell weird how that story, I did. Actually. I got to tell weird out of that story which was awesome and the grateful three sixty there
My god respond. You just thought it was and think of it. The sun is called nature trail to hell in three d, about going to drive in to see a high, movie called nature trail to hell in three d, like it's there's nothing I mean, there's nothing, satanic about weird Al Yankovic and all, again there now greatest stretch of the imagination, but like united, listen to sas, my mom's like might be satan. They might be you never know ever charming and that's it there forever. comes in hawaiian for my mom like took all my action figures away and gave me like ten commandments? It is like a handling. My mouth is literally a most is actually vigour and he had like two tablets in it and the lamb and kill me now. Even if you do with those action figures, I would play with them. I gotta play bad manner. G, I jus language yoga, whatever that make them like I'd make Moses slowing down a pole
changing again to a bat. Mobilise, though, that that will be of imposing drive of battle. We were hard core catholic. MR terry, lithuania, my parents area the whole nine yards. It's in my bones. I mean as much as I've tried to evolve path. it in certain ways, it's in my bow. What are they abilities of it carrying with you in your mind, body. Shame really yeah! Just you know it's funny, because on one level I've been accused over the years of oh you're, so you a self deprecating and that's your act and as I can really comes from finding myself. You know very flawed. I think that's at the root of catholicism is we're just fly. god and there's nothing? We can do about it. We can do about it, and so I grew up just you know having a very dark self,
You are too tall or too what too skinny too tall. You know my dick's too big, now she's going to hurt somebody. I don't want. I hate to get that out. There is a rumor, but you know what I mean my is huge. It's a lot of got allotted on earth are people who don't want her people know. The thing is, and I was so worried for a long time and I actually had doctors say you're going to hurt someone with that, and then it was only later in life that I found out that you know great gift for years for years barriers. I live the shame of this mean. Oh my penises too big. I hope and woman ever finds out and he kept Yarborough and again so you know you live with these things and then you'll eventually learned of work with them and was not. chondriac, but I probably feigned illness has to get my parents attention. I don't think I was. I believe I had the illness. I just you know when you're one of six, you want you how you gonna do anything to get some face time. So I was beyond trying to just you know,
have something. I mean I remembered envying. I read death, be not proud here with the john third junior story at some- no death be not proud as an athletic like fourteen and he gets a he gets it. In tumor na, and it's really touching and yeah everyone. You know you're was to read it when you're thirteen fourteen years old, you're supposed to just feel so terrible for the boy yeah, and I read it and I thought manic has gotten so much attention I remember envying a kid with a brain tumor and he dies at the end of the book, and I remember thinking man To my mind is the way to the presidency guide: yeah, that's bad, nor mcdonald. I went very young. I was very, very, very shy and very afraid of everything. mean people say they're shy when their kids, but I was like, though it was a pathology.
Afraid everything I am I mean I try. I try to hide it and deal with it, but on the day to day basis, I know I'm not afraid of everything, I'm afraid of very few things like what illness, yes yeah and how'd, you how'd you get peace of mind out of the other shit. Well, when I was, when I was very I weird thing: to me when I don't know if this means I remember it, but it was a moment I had that was wasn't religious or ethnic or anything but transformed me to some degree, as announced our fuckin so afraid of everything, and if I went The store I'd have to walk around forever before I could even face of a person in the store to buy a pack of gum. I dunno why the fuck I was like this mere but anyways when I was nine, and there was a blunt we lived in rural ontario. the blind friend of my dad's here that I had to heap said: take him to the store as I what the fuck like. I have to take this blind
and I'm already shy, and so I'm in him to the store? And then the fucker wants me to explain everything describe everything to him so I guess there's some grass over here and now there's a lamp posts and this guy's all happy or what about the lamp awesome? It's just the lamp so does I know, but some thing into a during its sounds bizarre, but some happened happened to me, whereas actually, instead of looking inward, which I think I'd always done before that one time I was looking outward anyways while I was talking to him, I certainly had a sort of hysteria like I was laughing a certain laughing at the f and even know why I'm remembering this, but I've started laughing about everything and everything seemed like very, very funny to me and then a couple of weeks later I saw a homeless guy and he was talking about he was he was talking. He started talking to me and he was talking to me about john d rockefeller
I was at john d rockefeller funeral yeah and all this shit has laughing at him and shit and then he started laughing and I was like it's a hob crazy shit. I get something came to me. Yeah, where I started, and so now I find everything funny, except like death and shit. Molly shannon. I was raised by my dad the time I was really little. My mom. We were in a really bad car accident. When I was really little, I was four and my dad was driving and my mom was killed a nice little sister, who is three and my cousin, so it was very hard on my dad. He had to recover, he he was very badly injured, so we went to live with my aunt, so it was very complicated. It was a lot of sadness from a very young age, but then also my dad was like a real survivor. He, he was
he he drank. We were a little, but then he got into recovery. I think it was that generation of unity is very catholic but repressed in a lot of ways. So there was some sad news with that, but but but he was also really care. Madigan, fine and gas would do anything. It was really wild. So it and really like why such a great build like we're going to go on the rollercoaster with no seatbelt likely, we will do crazy stuff like we go to the airport and we'd, be like. Let's take a, you know, a mystery trip and we would have no, you know no suitcases or anything when they had those those airlines where you could pay right on the airplanes you have, the the people's express have to even go and your name in the old days, yeah yeah, the anybody's name, so you can still play it. So we would go to the airport, pick a city and just fly to the city and then borrow clothes got there by low like crazy. When I caught in my debit card sick for me to school like very expensive, great father,
god like school, were going on an airplane. Depression and I think he would also could be really he'd go up and down sure that's exciting, so I think he had fun. I have one of those three exciting like you would literally we went to cities and you just not you didn't have clothes or your bike. bathing suit from the woman that worked behind the counter and the crazy crazy stuff like that, and then I have to plane when I was twelve, we told my dad me my friend and were like we're going to have a plane to new york and it was like he dared us How old are you that's good? I haven't been reminded to look really innocent, and this was a game. I'm flying was really easy. You didn't need your ticket to get through, we didn't need an adult either we told my dad and we were just like we saw there were two flights. We were either going to go to san francisco or new york and we thought oh, let's go to the new new york, it's leaving early, so we when we said to the stewardess we just want to say goodbye to my sister. Could we go on the plane
sure, and then she led on and it was a really empty flight cause. It was out of cleveland ohio, yeah and we sat back there and then all of a sudden, you use your leg. indeed we illegal belly habits and I hail mary full chrysler's, but he wasn't the one with the lemon juice only remember the present is now are, and then with a stewardess that had given us permission to to go, say goodbye to bite, and my sister came by to ask: if we wanted snacks or beverages and she was like, can I get you, ladies something to eat? she looked like she was like mother fucker, you know, so she so we we wonder if we going to get in trouble, but she ended up not telling anyone and then, when we landed in new york city, she was like bye. Lady How
I just don't like it. It's such an exciting story, but the irresponsibility of all the adults in this story is somehow undermining my appreciation of your twelve year old girls in fucking, ballet outfits and everybody's sort of like have a good time what the world was at a crazy world. Did you do in new york, and now you say we got drunk and we wish you well again because crazy childhood. We call my dad we're likely tat way. Oh she's will try to sell Basically, he was he didn't know what to do. He said: try to see if you could stay to go, find a hotel If you could stand me and marry, my sister will come meet. You will drive there. So basically, we were like alright we'll try to find a hotel, but he was kind of excited because he liked crazy stuff, but basically we that much. We just had our ballet bags and a little bit of cash that we went to a diner and we dined and dash, and we stole things we were like con artists.
What did you actually make it to the city? We made it to the city, exactly what I was like when you get a ruckus ehler centre, because I just seem to and you ve got your belly up. Debt ballet happier really know nobody said. Are you? Girls lost nothing like that? and they went to a bar draining gop. Ladies yeah, so we did try to go to hotels and my dad would call and ask: could they just stay there till we get there and none of the hotels wanted to be responsible for my guys, so he was leg. He was an hour, you guys come home and he was a guy, not imports of china hop on one on the way back, so we so we try to have on many planes book we Flights were also crowded, so we ended up having to have him pay for any made us pay for pig pay and all back with our bee
setting the agenda was this. Big punishment is no punishment. No, I know query odin was there any sort of like you survived? I was just testing love that kind of stuff. Like I said he was wild he used to in his drinking days. He would you no doubt a bar that if somebody didn't let him anyway, I cannot let you know if you go down to the bar knuckle, the glasses down, like a tragic I have could maybe get a rest stated. Plainly with. I love the baby, these sort of strange and establishing excitement. You have hurt. For this borderline child abuse complicated. are now you're going to say that yeah there's just one story: that's complicated, nothing
but he was also a very loving parents. I think it's vs complicated. He was also really supportive and kind of made me feel like I could do anything and- and so in that way it felt really free and wild. But then but then in other ways I had to learn the rules of law. how regular people live in other people? Professional people, you pay ppi. John Dar neil you saw, wants you to think now. Wherever you were when you were five right yeah. Where was it wayne new jersey? Oh man both parents yeah, do they still own this house or have them? Oh? No! No! No! No! We live there. We left when I was about six, but it was a red brick apartment, complex, cool, okay, that's where I first saw the harmony that's where I first remember it being played. Oh that's an amazing memory. So, but when you think of it, when you think of yourself standing in it does it seem you have room to run around and to be a kid
no, not really. I really for my place, seemed big to me. In my mind, the hallway yeah, I remember running all the way to the end of the hallway and running all the way back down. It'd be an exhausted man, I'm running all the way to the to the heater at the end and that's two steps right now now that I've been in the house who paces- and I remember running down that hallway and the distance Between my room or parents, room which I remember being a walk, is, I guess I have to go see dad to talk to my dad. Down the hall. I gotta talk to you. That's tuesday, sir. His memories were like of what three years old four years or ye forth, and those were the only things you really remember. I remembered well. The thing is like we added a room way out there and it was called the front room. I remembered it being a cavernous big room with very high ceiling. Is his fucking garage? Really? highness. It's where the students linux outs are readily unit. There is have hockin poster of biggie in two parts in on the front door. I was so stop tech and say well these people or might, if adequate their doors. I didn't know you were now that I've heard of me I was. I was glad that would have been re awkward, so
it is really as viable. How can I come in and I feel sad about overcoming and weep in the hallway? Do you now that was. Why did I walked in? I looked around and just went so this bedroom, now exists the front room. We had a piano in there. stereo he telling this to whoever will little bit but for the most part I was just I mean I didn't want to see you sorta, like the weird old guy that yeah I came by and it was a weird permanently young guy who came, but now it's like I try. I try. I wanted to keep it an invasive. I wanted to go. I know this is strange, but If, too, when I was a child- and I am a musician happened, we plan in town. If I can just come, Just to see the house I used to live in just for a second that would be awesome and they let me right in I looked at the backyard and looked at my old room and I nodded and said thank you and then you know then told my therapist about the but it wasn't a traumatic it was like it was. It was into He was kind of sweet in a way is good to see its when, when you feel like Okay, with where your life is at it's good to see the smaller place it came from. Ahmed ahmed them are adds immigrated to see the states
I was a month old yeah. It was like a lion king yeah, going to another girl that I met and and then we ended up in riverside california, which is where I was raised and we were the only arab family not only on the block but in the whole, almost the whole did you really are? What is that our yeah? Well, you know it was interesting cuz. We we ended up in the field like Well, a suburb outside of you know. riverside and dumb close to the college campus ucr, It was very like middle class, a little bit lower middle class, mostly white, and was but high schools, really racially diverse, we mexican yeah again and we were sort of considered like the thug high school. Like you know, athletes would common do really well. After. There was also some gang violence and that sort of thing right, but When I was in high school, you know I was
it blended in perfectly like nobody really, there were like you know. What is it are you from and they didn't really mean it didn't say. Your name even when I say my name and they they'd hear Egypt, they were always sort of mystified by it. Yeah and I get the little jokes like you know. Did you come in on your flying carpet and did you did you climb a pyramid and you have camels and, like all those jokes have changed now generic? Yet now it's like. Do you fly planes? Do you do you? Are you? Are you getting chemistry yeah? Do you use fertilizer everyday yeah? How many wives do you have? I remembered grow when I was a kid thinking, my family's weird, which is weird. I don't know how to put my My finger on it, I I grew up thinking we're not, and maybe everyone grows up that way, but I remember thinking we're kind of like an irish catholic addams family like there's something off with us, I very much grew up feeling where And now my mother would be horrified. She said
My mother is Margaret dumont and the Marx brothers movies. Well, I don't know why you would say that it's not true, but that was the feeling that my brothers and sisters all had was the outward odd family and we never quite knew what we were. The kids come over. You know my as and and joke I used to do cause it's the true story. One of my friends walked in if parents were praying- and he looked at me said where they looking for- and I was I got all their praying and he's like to hell. I'm like. So for I was how to explain what islam. Why not talk about the other the bill? love. It all behind it. Like the arab monsters. Can we on your like air about unfair? We were we like the weird family and the block is my mom. Was all cooking, you know stuff with like spices that americans were at to my cue manager. You know stuff like that.
lake and enjoys weird fumes of EU, you know any very lingering friends over and you have to go. I when I in which an arm cookie outbreak, however, and my dad you know he is night AL, so he'd set up till three for the morning water in the grass smoking cigarettes by watering by hand, so the neighbors always like what are you doing out there for not so your religiously odd and then actually I on top of that, my because my parents, only eight hello, food or kosher of food. They had to be sell it back, then, in the seventies at stores and my dad had to drive to Fontana California, with our again and load up. He got farm and load up station wagon with chickens ducks and random would himself and they bring acquiesce we, the liveme, basically in our backyard. Really. Every day around five, my mom earlier my mom and dad would go out to the backyard and they'd pick out a chicken and my dad would hold it down and say the muslim prayer, please,
as the soul. Our family have sustenance enough, and my mom would do the that there's a way. You sacrifice this I had so. The animal doesn't suffer and you know she you know it's like clash of the titans history of his head and she's got blood all over her. It was like oh yeah and we're eating dinner by you know by nine pm the funny thing if the kids would come over during the day from the neighborhood and play with the rabbits or the chickens or whatever and they'd come back to find their favorite rabbit they're playing with and it was gone or like we're up in to fluffy. Yet we ate we need new sister tonight. Deva tell I do mostly my dad onstage. You know, like my dad, when my I work for my dad. So I do work where I will use my parents had a bridal addressed tuxedo. The shop yeah and I worked there from the time I was like sixteen till I was, I guess, nineteen yeah and you know which is, I guess, slave. You know underage whatever right now. I have not sixteen but I was always your job there like it. I ever use-
store. I was head of shipping in receiving, I sold choose your head of sheep, you received here with me in my grandpa ass. I was in ports and my god has led the way he's and talk to me. I would I do that on stages, my control voice, we're going to help me in what is it voice, you know the sarcastic what we call a biting cutting dude. It works it w because I realized that's how men talk yeah. My dad was a man and that's how men talked and they didn't give she. You know they would do things like. I one time saw my dad with diabetes, full blown. You know like diabetes, lift like one hundred and fifty pounds cash register like one of these as was just my thought- and I was the guy who like working out, you know back, then I you know every kid in long island lifted weights and practice karate. I couldn't lifted
if you liked this, if I can lifted it over there, let us have guards that, like okay, what what? Next? What do we have? The next? I'm only a man can do that because it had to be done. Russell Peters, my dad was a meat inspector really yeah. He worked in a chicken plant, How do you know he he he did you ever go to work for them now he has to wear where we were whites and rubber boots and a hard hat and friendly would come out thinking I surrender my mom worked in the cafeteria at kmart now from others here is a share in the back with the ass worries taken here and now. The great day for us would be when the result, free steak, leftover, my mama, bring it home now areas. Hot dogs like yes, special night. Yes, a god! so there was nothing there wasn't ever like the and minos everyone. Always I mean what am I being a doctor or lawyer, I'm like there's, none in my family
Joe Mandy, both of my parents were trial lawyers, so I just there there is a few years. I just didn't talk to my parents cause they were just a man between my sister and I we would just get crossed. salmon on everything. Oh, my you know was just how we were raised just constant so always looking for the lie They are always looking for the life and that it was just. It was crazy. So in the pears as our mighty, never said that my client, my son Basically, what I mean but like we used to be sitting at the dinner table and they smelled anything fishy, they would. They were back on the clock and just grilling us until they figured out what the issue was or whatever, and so, oh, my god and my sister and I both handled that in different ways cause I think, from seventh to ten great. I just basically just pleaded the fifth on everything you know I mean I just didn't talk to them, because I didn't want to incriminate myself. So I really like others a few years I hardly ever talked to my parents. Just got a fear of being a grilled yeah and
sister. On the other hand, she she sort of just pled insanity. My sister was just this. like wall of noise, cause you just like everything was just anytime. My parents tried to confront her as you just scream and slam her door, and that was I kind of jealous That's a much better tactic. I just internalized every big ron functions. We remember my first day of school, my mom just really hate. Like some kids I like you. Some kitten are not going to like you for who you are don't ever change who you are for them just like if kids, like you cool, if they don't fuck up, there, she said that he got down, gemma yeah. She made her own mistakes, yeah, which is really awesome in high school. They thought I had the most like severe case of IB s. They'd ever seen they thought it was stomach cancer because I just I, I literally for about four years, woke up every morning with just explosive diarrhea does every morning just that was just my part of my routine
You got any good shooting and public stories in your pants. There was one time actually there's one I was on a conclave billion sensitive. No, it's fine! I that's my wife, you know shit all the time I was at this thing for my jewish youth group. When I was like, fifteen jewish youth group story and we were on a bus in wisconsin, and we had just. We had just gone to taco bell, so I mean already red flag know when you're eating it that protamine yeah it's always like sort of russian roulette.
mexican food yeah? It makes mexican roulette and I immediately I just knew I was I I had to go and where it was like in a school bus yeah. So there was no bathroom and I had to go up to my rabbi, the front of the bus and say you know bad things are happening to me. We really need to pull over the next rest stop and he was like yeah I'll make sure of it. So we went back, I went back to the back of the bus and you know the rest. Stop was five miles ahead and I'm just like you know, pacing and then the bus driver just blew right past it and the next rest stop wasn't for like forty five miles- and I didn't know, I hadn't- I My body was going to explode, you know, and I, and to this day I can't listen to Tom, petty, without thinking of I put on what the wildflowers album like the only time, I've ever successfully meditated, but,
agitated for those forty five minutes to the next rest stop and ran, and I my friend was in the bathroom and he said, he's never heard a human body make those kinds of noises for everyone on the bus is waiting for me. I bet I was in there for like thirty five minutes, just so that that evacuate, an amazing testament to the power of meditation and complete fear of pure judge milk, yeah yeah I mean I probably there. I probably hurt my body in the long run. The way I was clenching muscle that that That is a super human figure that is almost nicely to this day. I don't know how I did because it was. There was bad This is not my nose. My nose was completely reject. Added no wise. I was beaten up. Sarah randal it yeah, I'm not getting her into a street gang. oh and I was wearing a t, shirt that had the irish flag on it, and I they were italian, and this was right near the aquarium in Boston down the water yeah. I was with my friend at the time John madeiras, and this is late high school third near the the
then yeah and they beat the shit out of me got him too, no left him alone at cuz. I was a little bit of a wise guy, they said they wanted zero dollars and fifty cents, and I said no, and they said why not- and I said I don't feel like it and just as I finished that it does sound. I got hit so hard in the face and you have the fiber. I mean I hit a bunch of time so hard in the face that I don't think I did much. I don't remember, and I remember they were. It was over pretty quickly and then I had to have mine.
Went to one that I went to the emergency room and the doctor I'll never forget his name, dr constable. He had a british accent and he looked kind of crazy had crazy hair and he looked like a poet as rebound, and I said- and I says by those broke id and he said procon good god, man, it's a bag of bones. I'll, never forget that! That's a true story! In ninth grade I took spanish in high school. I was the only non honors class I ever took and it I showed up the first day. Ninth grade.
I was very short and braces and sweater vas. I don't know why we're sweater vest- and I do that- why I thought it was cool and I got into spanish the first day of class, and it was just me and me and like the jv basketball team, that was the class. Basically right and I was like it'll- be fine, I listen to outkast or whatever, and I sit down and and they they were just ruthless. They would make fun of me. They would call me names, they would choke me. I got choked a lot, but it was never violent. They would come up from behind when I wasn't expecting it and like rap. Sometimes it was like piano, I don't like they had piano wire. They were like wrap wire around my neck and I would freak out obviously, and they would let go and crack you stupid. You know he's like he's. Writing for the right reason ray what yeah right? What an idiot? I was like how stupid of me to freak out yeah, so it was just was bad
it would throw like empty cans of soda at my head and stuff it was just sucked and the teacher just let this happen. Yeah rt yeah, our teacher, that spanish teacher was so broken. You know she was so done with life that she liked it was. It was chaos like one of these years and older public school teacher. She like newman from seinfeld, so call everyone called her new men. Thou shalt call her miss newman and she would responded that me was bad and I, and then that december are our principal made. This big announcement that there are no more gambling was allowed in the hallways or the wizard gamble. Yeah people might play dice always and stuff, and I fucking crazy and we are active dice games. There are anodized games. Are there like the asian cup odds, the asian kids would have break dance competitions in between classes like a hallway in the hallway, and I actually started doing this thing is like it's. I do it on stage sometimes do I got really good at making it?
I look like I was about to start breakdancing cause. Actually, I was just trying to get through the hallway right, but I would get in the middle of this like big circle and it would be like my turn and I was I like moving around to the to the music and, like you know, pumping my shirt and making it look like I was about, and I would just do it until they realized. I was never going to start break and I would go for like two minutes without actually doing any dads before they make pushed me out of it. But anyway, actually the story so are our principal. She instituted this no gambling policy and I I saw an opportunity- and I went up to these kids in the back of my class and I was like you know I can teach you a gambling game that you'll never get in trouble for playing. If you Just stop choking me right exactly yeah. It was a clear negotiation and they thought about it and the next day I brought, I taught them how to play dreidel for money. Stop it. I swear
and so for, like a good month outside my spanish class, you would walk by and just see these black and like aver x, jackets huddled over a top over just like yoga as a w mother, fucker pay off ali brush. I was never a cool kid right. They they sort of like made tempt maybe like maybe I could be in that group. But I was reached out and and I was too scared. I was no I'm not going to too much pressure ya. Gotta keep up with music. Out what people are wearing. So you felt like an outsider, oh yeah, I do, and I was always an awkward kid.
Hmm, I just never I I was always behind never knew what to do with myself. For like how to be, I feel like I I got most of my eye. I saw my friend my best friend since his kid named joey. He was a cool kid and I I never. I never was, and I always felt very intimidated by and much of my early life was. I was defined by trying to get him to think that I was cool and, and he would he would you'll give me advice on how to dress. So I would I spent my early preteen years wearing, like genco jeans and baggy shirts, yeah totally sure, like rock and the skater guy, look yeah yeah and he never felt comfortable. I mean I, I didn't fit into anybody, but him like he. the nautilus doing either the thing doing either to notice do so. You re maloney. Like rightly look you look like you know it, Why didn't you that, like look on what's goin on either, he didn't confide in may is just now that I now that we're adult second,
early, seek it s used over the body. I really so lasted yeah. That's great in their new aid at the initial. It wasn't a dating thing, which has passed now he's got like job advisers yeah. I was like that tumor on his life. He saw them I wasn't meshing with. I keep on this group of cool friends, and I wasn't measures the friends. What do you mean we're messaging that happen like what? What what moments Is that for the sharing that they could. They could just tell like they cook heads have the sense, or they can just know that you are one of them. Ray Higgins sea like an ok, so it and also to help that about three months earlier, my friend joy had dared meet a shave, my head, how you do the I did that it's because he dared me to, and I didn't want to look like, I don't know who they are, can't shave their heads, yeah he's exactly, and I know who I was, and I did that I
I hadn't worried about it up to that point really and what happened while so so this was. I was thirteen. I think when I share my head and this it was like it was really bad. Timing was about two weeks before I'd do After that, I'm interested in boys yeah. I had no like no view of cells for this: no lake no self consciousness. Nothing then My head and I discover, while I am not pretty- and I was pure vicarious on a dull, judea distraction with hair is yet it is nothing and honour had giant braces it when you, when you do something like that, reducing that so obviously like it. It just shows that you don't know how to fit in or do two things that show people you can be one of them like they see you and are like this there's something wrong here. My dad put sent me to a deal carnegie training to curse on how to win friends and influence brewing rating weeks. I went in to have with some businessmen and women and m in it.
The way he explained it saved me. Yeah, like I was super depressed, was like sleeping all day through school and- and I was like okay- I totally did all the things and suddenly like I was able to have friendships. You know like we're. Just had a link, a format of how to talk to people, and could I had so much exactly, and so you know I would say, mark mark is really great to see. You know mark your set with so great last night mark, I really I mean so would in and then you listen to people in the new, tell the pip person back what they just said, but when the positive spin on it and dumb any was fantastic, I tell you, and like a media, results really yeah and then been it. All crashed down, I went to college and people on the east coast were like. Why you talking like that to me why you,
well just calm down. Oh no and where'd you go to college. I was at bates bates college in lewiston maine and I think there isn't an air of hysteria with my deals I took techniques in college because I was very afraid, so I'm sure they were telling me to calm down for good reason, smiling a lot, no yeah gillian jacobs. My interests were always very different than what other kids into so I think that we didn't really have a lot to talk about and I think the more they didn't understand me the louder. I talked about what I was into so they just didn't know what to make of me. did. You were costumes and what motive I didn't wear costumes a school. No, but my mom would only let me buy clothes that she approved of so I had blake. I work out a sweater sets in high school because she liked sweater sat
then in highschool and fight that no, no, I remember I remember like going to an outlet store and wanting to buy a skirt that my it was not a revealing, sir. It was a floor length skirt, but my mom was like I don't like it. The material looks cheap and she wouldn't let me buy it. So you are stuck in sweater outfits. I was stuck at dressed like a wage, woman, yeah, the amazing johnathan. I I used to be able to bend spoons. I figured out how to bend a spoon with me using my mind, but it was just misdirection. I would make them look away for and would Rendon is that most satisfy yes yeah, but I I could do that. I'd really wear it really well, and I did it for my physics teacher who I really admired, and he said to Me- is that real? Are you really doing this or that attract yeah, and I was really unpopular in school? I was like not standing out at all, so I lied and I said yeah I can really do it, thinking that that would be the end of it here now and it's height the next hour, I'm sitting in class. I hear on the speaker, Jonathan John Ellis. Please come to the principles of shit. This has something to do with the spoon
I owe it? Does I walk in there there's my mom and my dad with it. They call out of work to punch spoons on the day and a local reporter from the macomb daily paper like fire, If not, why is exceed your set you up to this yeah? He asked me if it was real. I lied to me said yeah, so yeah high toll looked and they got reported come down. They wanted me to demonstrate powers. My mom took me aside before this sick. Can you really do this, so you just lying? I looked straight in the eye and ask Really do this like a snowball going around, I said, we do here, and so I proceeded to bend all the spoons and I freaked out no and I thought you'd succeed in the trick of all time. Yeah. I bent everything in the reporters. His at the bit to do this great story.
I figure a way out of it, because I figured that magicians. Local magicians would bust me on it and make me a fraud, but but but they can't they can't give away the trick. Why would they? Why would they would say I'm lying that this is what he's doing like like magicians. Do you know magicians the bus, uri geller for doing it via bus me? To the I mean, if it's in the paper, you can bet someone's going to come forward, that's bullshit, he writes so I had to figure a way out of it, and this is how I got out of it. As I told my mom that I did want to be a normal kid, I didn't want to be three years of school. I just wanted to be a normal kid. I didn't want over everyone. Looking at me like, I was weird and she bought it. They all bought it and nobody did the story and put it leaked. This is the good part it leaked out, and I didn't get that that press which I didn't want, but everyone thought I was this mysterious and I got mad.
pussy. I got mad pussy through my senior year added yeah alcohol you're, like the like the man who fell to earth, yeah yeah so and that's when he knew show business was the thing yeah man, if a chick thinks that you can read her mind or anything like that you're in did you try to do that with checks? Oh yeah did go to the bathroom I gone through their purse. Pick your license. I'll get your birthdate know. There's a zodiac sign. I have all the details will put it back roku fast in their purse back in a we be doing lines. Let me touch your forehead for boom year, virgo, John glaser. I remember I step dad telling me about that when he and my mom I'll, be there we're getting married. I was in high school and he said and he was he said he was actually very impressed about how I handled it like they just told There are getting married? I remember
it's below the ailments at when my mom and my step daddy got married. I was probably fourteen and he said, and I just sort of like sat there quietly yeah just took it in canada's got up from the table went upstairs put on slick, shorts and t shirt and my running shoes and just went jogging, but it wasn't like. I could go like getting somewhere and then come back right in this apartment, complex right that sort of had a loop solo they told me they were getting married and then I just left watched me run laps, have the building, but he yeah, but he said he was well. It was like around five build here. It wasn't just like a quick lap right, but he said he was like. Oh, it's some very impressed. How he's handling the city's dealing but also when my dad, I remember when he told me he was getting remarried the first time. I was in sixth grade
now taking violin lessons, and I think this is Uki and he picked me up and hate my mom I always pick me up so right away. I'm like alright, okay, this is after their divorce. I was yes, yes, they will was by how old were you when they got divorced? I was probably eight yay, and so now six grows as devastating. It was pretty weird. I've have vague memories of it, but I remember being is just crying and sitting on the steps and just being really upset and yelling I don't remember the moment right, it's all kind of aid, but I do remember being upsetting, but when he was getting remarried the first time I never memory, picking up picking up from violin, and that was that was certainly something I know something's up sums not right there and then hey. I thought we gotta go. T you know anywhere. You want to go like alright. Fuck is going on. there was a sub shop ironically enough. No, I do all the sandwich humor stuff with people probably like. Alright, we get it. You know sandwiches
If there was a place that I liked right across the street, I just it was more about like let's just go there, and it wasn't like. I was in a say, oh great, let's go to this great place, yet new son was so went there, but it wasn't a sit down place. So we get these. Sandwiches and just go sit in his car in the parking lot and it's like it's not going to fit face in the school across the street number. Isn't there kind of you very kind of tight. You know and when my sub, it's right next to me, tight you my chest and I just I kind of felt like I, I knew what was coming and I'm just think trying to think about like what is going on here and I'm like whoa. I think I know what's about to happen so we're sitting there and kind of quietly eating and he's like hey. So you know I got some news for you and just want to let you know that you know Shelly and I are decide to get married and I can just feel my body
crunching the sandwich super tense and just not sure you didn't know how to handle it, but it was upsetting and it shouldn't have been. You know it should have been like. Oh great yeah, you know even your great good, for you did you. Actually she was awesome yeah. She was so cool, but I was just like to know how to handle it. So I did, I did not say a word. Just sat there eating my sand. probably not even eating it, just it just kind of home and we just sat there in silence and then eventually started the car and drove me back to my mom's. It was relief can we agree- and I think we ve ever even talked about it, not because we're avoiding it out just forget, but I always did I wanted feel like I have to just what was he and so just to know moment how he felt so weird Amy, Schumer, okay, so mom leaves dad has an affair. With my best friend's dad breaks up there. Emily and diamond school were trying to still be best friends like we were best friends. It was crazy.
because it always happens in the community at people. Forget that, like you know, when you, when you stick, dick into something, that's new near by the ripple effect is going to be fairly provera pediatrics that man, I gotta, be it a pity that all your wife and acts of hake, yeah yeah, it's it's arrives. so the whole town was affected by it yeah, and so she was like you know she will interpret them as she was, and maybe that's like sort of where it came from like I was like wow I love my mom she's, my family's fuck, you guys, and then years later I was like mom. How could you do that and you know, but not until a while later did you say that to her when I was when Sixteen, I got angry. I was running away. I stress when I started really stealing a lot so yeah, funny. I am. I plead volleyball like pretty seriously right. I was on this cloud team and it was a preliminary for the junior. and my mom was a chaperone we'd go San jose from york to San Jose, and I got caught stealing at this tournaments.
I was benched the whole tournament and she didn't like so I'm standing there with my kneepads around my ankles and my mom's, just like standing there there for the whole weekend having to stare at me with hatred. But I could always steer right It hurts me like yeah, but you ruined my life, but I do have drug problem for a while and then which drug I'm an subsume in a few bemoaning ethel came, oh yeah, yeah I'll show you So that's why your parents put up because of the drugs. Your mom was like fuck this chicago with the kids. Will you get your shit together? Give me a car. Okay well, he didn't call for several yeah yeah. He wanted to really finish up yeah, whatever he was working on. The business too yeah, but he started getting in touch a little bit later and he was going to portland to work in construction and chicago wasn't working out too well. For me- he's got his own things going on. We don't really talk that much. You don't know why
was never a positive influence for me, like a thing that I wanted to do like he was there to parent me, but he still wants to. You know then offer any eyes and what you do. He was wants me to be a super christian. Like you and me, you know or realise he's one of those where did that come around after the drugs will have to yeah. Of course, you gotta always replace one thing with another: replace cocoa Jesus, that's a slogan and then out of the high school just hanging out and working. canneries, Jackie cheese, canneries, what's care, You know we can groceries or can beans and broccoli and stuff at a factory put it in cans. if they have those in portland yeah. Well, they had them in in in the work again. So is that I didn't it was known for that, their known for being cannery area like a flavor right, flamer right, but you know any type of frozen peas place how yanza that's where they can
Hmm, then did you. What would you operate machinery? No, never. I would just have to pick out stocks of broccoli and put them in a chute and avoid putting my fingers close to blades and then one day that my job was to pick out like rats in the instead alamo and yeah. That was the last day I went come on out of the vegetables, really yeah dead ones yeah, work is, eight sting of ages can again rooted out there now late, plucked out by individual farmers. You know ledges, put all together, and so, when you, when originally dumped there just dirt and rocks and vegetables and dead rodents. Real. A little later rats go through. You did not know yeah. Now, I'm not easiest. Just think you do. I look like a person that touched a lot of rats. No, no It's an act. I was born in new york, new york city, new york city,
mornin in new york and I lived there for a little while my mother and father I lived there and then my they split up, about a year old out really young, yeah, my mother remarried, a man. Maybe when I was about three, my mother's step, father and I moved to taxes and we move to dallas texas. What was he? what happened with the original old man he like. Where is he now yeah? He was murdered when I was but you had a relationship with him. Yeah I mean was I I would still go visit my. My maternal grandmother lived in new york. yo. I would spend time with her and then I would spend time with
him as well, and his brother who'd lived in new york as well like, I would see them all and my grandmother, even after he got killed like my grandmother, did a good job of trying to keep you in the fold keep well at least keep talking about him, because once he once he died, my uncle left and moved back to, meta, which is where my father was from really yeah, yet he just got murdered yeah. He was a new york city cab driver and he took a fare up to harlem and then they robbed him and shot him god, dammit yeah. No, it's pretty! It's pretty intense. I just recently like a buddy a maybe two years ago I a friend of mine, connected me to an n Y p d detective who pulled up the phone. I own. I got to see everything they had pictures of the scene. They didn't have pictures of the scene, but there was, I always knew where it happened, but then this sort of laid it out in this way
oh, well, the car. You know once he was shot. He died on this, you know instantly and then his foot was on the gas in it. The car went across the like the median and crashed into some cars, and so and then there were some witness accounts and stuff like that. It was really amazing and then through it by at the end of it all. There is the there's, the guy like they caught the guy and I had his whole rap sheet and it's. It was weird to just see that and to just get a fuller picture of that that guy and he lives in he lives in brooklyn, and there is like a whole kind of weirdness of oh, allow this person, like I I've, seen his whole life. I see his rap sheet he's. He didn't stay in jail after murder. No, he did. He got a really short sentence for it. He was, I think he was sixteen when he did it.
And so even that it's kind of amazing, because I just think about I q sixteen and this thing like it just set him on a path weirdly enough was doing time in north carolina at the same time I was in college in north carolina. Would you go? I went to university north carolina, but it's just change these little sort of intersections of life where it's like. we're both in rebuilding. Can a line which is very different institution yeah speckly active different state run institution, both not the best football teams really underperforming for about the situation, but wait so now the dude who murdered your biological father lives in the same city as you yeah as
remain? Yeah? Do you have any add compulsion to meet his murderer now, really I and people have asked me that one say once I sort of discovered it and everything, and I kind of It was just like I don't really have anything to say to the dude like it's if anything there, a part of me where I live, I look at him and why I did and there's a sense of you know he is. He is partially responsible for me being who I am in a good way Kinda yeah yeah. I mean it's. It's I've actually jokes about on stage, because it is a thing where it's like I'm not going to send him a father's day card. but there is this element of like oh no, this. This was a traumatic event that changed me in in the
I saw the world and you're the person that did that, make you who knows who knows how differently, My life would be I I'm assuming it would. Probably I'd, probably still be in the same place right, but maybe my father would have been the deadbeat that he was to my sister to me, b. I would have dealt with that or maybe I'd of random york and lived with them and it would have changed. impression of him in that way or something trajectory the you know like. If you go, who did favor him over your mother who the hell knows where that would have went yeah, but it but so in that way it is like. Oh yeah, this one thing like that idea of the butterfly effect or something like that oh this is that one instance of oh yeah here it is Amy man. You know my child is
pretty fragmented, my mother left. When I was three years old. There was a lot of drama over around that because she ran off with a with a and he was married and, and they took me and my father did nowhere. I was in it. You know this. It was just like a lot of really yeah. There is alot. How did that play out I was eventually found and brought back, but you know was probably like nine months later so you are three or all your mom kidnapped you with this dude that she ran off with who is also married and took you to another state, her out of the country really. Did I myself No, this no I mean like, should you not knowing one will? No? No! No! No! No! I mean like I, I dunno if we ever talked about it before, but I don't think so. That's like where, like what is this from Virginia yeah, she and where'd, they take you We were we up in england, but we, I think we spent some time
in germany, I remember being in in amsterdam what was the plan? I don't know what the plan was. I think he was going to get a job the guy wouldn't just move yeah. They were moving there, it's just overnight. Ish yeah did they both get divorced before they did this? I don't. Think. So he took his kids because he had kids yeah and here's your new family was this a guy from the neighborhood somebody that your father knew somebody who worked for my father yeah. I know it's. It's A lot drama is there's a lot of went to the did. Someone have to go international to get you my while had hired a private detective, but I think he found out where I was by accident, because I know he in advertising. He was in the same business yeah and I I think how I was found was that my father, just you know in the course of doing business, had run in what guy, who said I I saw that
like I that used to work for you and of any with him. Ok, so see that, does your father fly overseas and get you, I don't you know I don't know. I think she flew back with me and then I and I was taken to my grandparents for a month which is crazy. Like I mean it's all, fucking crazy Have you ever kind of like sat them down or him down and gotten the deets on this yeah he's told me he told me most of this. She obviously mine, I know her now, but I didn't you know I, my sort of didn't really see her until I got back in touch with her in my mid twenties, but she obviously isn't really want to talk about it, so she she was out of the picture that whole time yeah, oh my god, yeah and and it's It's been of years a here's another detail here, the I think we were all staying at a hotel or something, and he I was
I was three years old playing out plane by myself in the parking lot and he hit me with a car and knocked me unconscious, the other guy yeah, the guy, the boyfriend on purpose, my guy, probably Oh my probably not but he did yell at me for causing an address for thirty four. seeing for being in the street in front of his car? That's right so that that is some that that I've never heard of child abuse where the child was hit by an automobile you were not just hit. You are I an automobile and then blamed for that yeah, we'll look it we ve vw bug out, showed why you're it look at it. You can have one Tom arnold when I was ten, he married the next door neighbour and she had a couple kids in those terrible. It was terrible. Can she come from
very corporal punishment background, and I was the oldest and she was going to tame me a year and it and it made my life it was. It was a not not a pleasant to experience. I get along with her. Now, of course, I know it was, her because I was like oh my god, you're taking my dad, but he he did ask me if he could yeah. I remember saying well, yeah cause your course it would be. A very yeah yeah She she had a chart on the fridge with check marks during the day. For my dad got home, and this is how many whips he'd get and in the saddest thing I just thought it was recently cause. My son's ward was the ties I was in bed mannose loaded up with the and extra underwear for the padding, because I knew it was coming because there's been a lot of check marks next to my name, and he would say, oh come on Ruth. I don't want she's gonna get it's over me. You know of your hand in your hearing that- and you like, oh my god,. Oh my dad to get divorced you so you margin down there. I say we, I do it
yeah yeah I'll, take the hit yeah bruce springsteen, How could you live in a house? where there was so much kindness and great cruelty, was very very difficult to. Stand those things and it set you very on edge. You had your own little local minefield that you had to walk every single day, which caused a great deal anxiety and neuroticism in me. Right we're always on edge. You are always waiting for you. You had this one great say: then you always waiting for the other shoe to drop made me very nervous kid. My mom got divorced three and I was a kid growing yeah yeah. I was the rough we lived a lot and that small apartments,
I moved around long island, this weird stuff to has yeah weird step dad's. I remember I had one step ever refused to. Let me call him by his name. His name was cordell. I could not call him cordell. I had to call him. He made me call him daddy, which is in retrospect weird, but but yeah I you know the craziest thing I'll be embarrassed that my dad is probably going to listen to us, but my dad got into a fistfight with my stepdad in front of me when I was a dead stepdad, yeah yeah, and that was crazy as a kid to see you're, real dad. You stepped head like hell, I live longer you go for it. I was young. I was like. I would like nine what we had I wish it were, like. I remember seeing it like my dad and I come back from apple picking and back from apple picking sitting coming in see my stepdad who's in a bathroom. My stepdad was a truck driver for a supermarket. You know, and- and my
I came in and he goes you don't say, fucking hello to me bill and my dad my dad's I said a loaded with your fuckin followed. You didn't hear it that all of us have my step that picked up a coffee. My fuckin whale that, at the like, my dad said my add it floated on the wall. Then, all of a sudden like When I look of grasping thing around my kitchen table my dad's them the most nice, you know well just a guy and then all of a sudden apples are flying. So, like I am throwing apples. My dad is throwing apples and they fight out too late, like literally leave the house outside the front door. Now, like that kind of fighting, my dad is a pharmacist that again, like you know my pharmacist fighting a truck driver, it was like something out of a clinic would movie it was a boom boom. It was insane insane it's stuff that was like yeah, how does resolve itself it resolved itself very cheaply, which was hours later I got on the phone and cool
I was on the phone in my house and my dad was on a payphone and I apologize to each other, while I was in the middle, like apologize apologize. chaos, chaos and also like crazy. It's like you're watching your into a fight like the guy. I didn't. I owe my my bill, my dad loved my step that hated him as a basis for a do. Like your daddy's bill, my dad Barely any ear stepped out with cordell of that was cordial of course, our and he was just an abusive bad did, but yeah you know, come home like literally an arm and a got fight with you.
You know I didn't you, like a little bit. I mean, like I say, very cavalierly, but yeah. Like I mean we would get into some I can't even mites like. I can't even imagine that, like we, I lived on a farm and like we had horses and dogs and stuff and like I would talk back a lot like I that was my. thing and ex do yeah, and so that's. Where can I find our boys, like I gotta talk to you like people is weakened as I got into a ton of fights onto like a great knows it? Oh I gotta stop. Did you win you because I was fighting a forty year old guy at home. Like that's, why I was I was I gotta get out of all the people in the world. I would never assume you are a scrap of god, bigtime like I, but only if you like this big fuckin for europe. Do this that, due to strong and like literally like throwing a pitchfork at me like an dodging pitchfork like adding like, but
because of that kind of style of fighting. I think I never realized how strong I was so like I was in dodging pitchforks like it was. You know you just learned to be like more of a grab. Very you know, like you know, a lot of like just slaps and runs punch him in the stomachs and runs, and but I was in sixth grade. I got into this fight with this kid and he like gave me like a sixth grade punch like blue punch in the face. I remember I owners in the ninth grade, I'm saying he grab and I grabbed him by the neck and we were by a car and there was a car fender there as a wap will have like his face into a car factory book. bended from school, you know and because he started and I got to go back and he got kicked out, but it was a bit like that kind I did not realize like I was fighting for Much of your going further again, if you didn't have to pull you often I remember that was the time where, like my knuckles were bloody from dislike punching, oh, my god, it was a rough year
the browser I did. I would like an idea pass your bad ass thy stock. I that I give it up to give it because when comedy really It turned into a different direction? Yeah? I just couldn't. I remember like honestly just being like, I think, at one fight when I was a kid. This is like an early like young, tenth or eleventh grade being like. I don't want to do this anymore. I don't like this, like I had for earrings when I was fourteen or fifteen and that pissed him off to no end? I hadn't consulted anybody about it, as I had got mom to sign off on and he just hated that is. It he was a left wing political activist who be his wife and child. I was kind of homophobic threat
and I was getting girly at fourteen or fifteen. I was growing my hair long. I was trying to eye shadow and rouge and stuff like that. What was the influence there? Who are the musicians, David Bowie and Lou reed hundred hours into it? I was very into it, so I remember I remember the day that he knocked me hard enough to actually knock out an ear ring and the and the post dug into my neck, and that was the day that I wound up getting thrown out of the house and to go live with my dad dead. How old were you fourteen or fifteen? So that was just unless it was a mess- and I and the thing is about that period of time was that was that I had at that point. A strong network of friends like for them timing. I was close enough to grown up that my friends were just my and yet there meaningful people in my life who I talked to about my life and who I was construct, that amazing teenage life that you get with right. They know struggle. You know and suddenly you know this big big blow up day, about which I remember only daddy. He did that. He was slapping me around the face.
Enough to make the earring digging in my neck and make me bleed, and I went back to my room and just sat there listening to music- and my mom came down the hall, as it was time for dinner, and I'd been sitting there for half an hour contemplating what I was going to do to express yeah that he didn't. This end and the extent of the rage. So I punched. I window, I put my fist through the window right. It felt like a million bucks. I've never felt so good. In my whole life it was like holy shit, and the house melted down right. It was like there was this immediate, you know my I that he was going to deliver his ass. Even my mother's, my sister's cries Terrible scene, go, yeah yeah bleed off and I just felt like a million bucks. I never amuse, like you know, arrange is felt so good to show them what it felt like inside. You know, it it, though, as there was no way of getting it through the heads and also it's sort of a way of of of trumping the pain exactly as they inflicted or that he inflicted yeah. No, that's right! It's like you, you win in somewhere. Exactly no that's right. I I that was. That was my victory, but bar none. I think this is the end.
The air. The beginning of the end for us was there was a loaded handgun in our house, and I remember cordial having my mom, I held like a hostage with a handgun and seeing that as a kid. What during a fight during a fight- and that was like a member like on what is going down- you know as a high- and, as you say it now, a while they even thinking about now like while that was raised, dark like I've. That's insane but like as a kid it doesn't register. I don't think it's like. What's the price per cent of your mom's in danger, yes, and that Like an island are alive, you must adjust been crying all the fuckin time and remember same a moment. We gotta get out of here, like I'm in the mouths of no. No, it's ok, it's ok. We got all we got a guy day or two. I have me had her, I mean, but you know it never, to the point of light we never were hurt. So I think that was like my like that was always my kind of
like, a line that, although we don't have broken arms- and we don't have this or we don't have- that- was you some party- they felt bad for him. Like you know, now he he was I've, thought of it like he did, anyone he didn't cry and apologize and fucking he would apologize, but he was like a book like you get older brother instead of a dad relationship He was like competitive for my mom's affection towards me, which is insane that's like. What's a mother and son, that's not your husband. also come out. Alot, an indian burns, like you know, like like. Ah you know like that kind of stuff. Would you really hurt? And but I do remember calling like that, we, like we called child protective services at one point and they came to the house and they interviewed our parents side by side and- and they were like this- has happened and mama
no cordell in your my mom in their like no and the talk to me as I guess they all the kids lying that the parents dangerous. never get. I've eaten for that yeah. Oh yeah, of course, like my mom, I think, rebelled in the most crazy way, with my dad so look nice and in great and the man she's married to right now. Also wonderful, grip too you're saying that okay, so you cordell was like your mom's fuck you to your dad yeah. I think that she didn't she was like. I want some. Different that she got something insane like to know my mom kind of wised up at certain point, she's like oh we're here, and I saw a pitchfork. Inaccurate sky has more instead, he has a shirts. You know holy shit, how she shaken that sounds like it would have been hard to shake. This is that you want to hear how you succumb to these crazy thing. My mom created she pretended that he won a trip, a hunting trip. She like, like created these envelopes as like cordell
You won this shrimp and get the layout and everything she did everything and he got a. She got plane tickets come a hotel and created this whole like fantasy seven days. Way from him the minute he left the house a moving truck pulled in we got all of our shit out of the house and we took off cuf, We have yeah, we left courthouse farm and we moved into a small one, bedroom apartment or two bedroom apartment, and and just that was it father, died, he died and my sister called in the middle of the night say mike's dead and and I went on tour a month or two later and I started to crack open it really amazing. I just started to to feel free with my feelings. You know, ah and in general, will know with with with those with. Just my my vision, my ability to think about that time and
and where and how far I'd come. I lived in iowa at the time. You'd think that some impact was that you get near the abuser was dead. Yes, oh absolutely, I mean, as I tell people I tell survivors when they come up to me in the merch line, is like you know, they'll say what it's about. Has your views or died yet, and they will say you know. I say I want you to be ready cause. is I mean I hate to say this, because you don't wish death on anybody. It's wonderful! When reviews or dies it's wonderful. It's like nothing in the world. It's like you are. We yet mean yet there is a feeling that you will never be free of what you were. You know there's that, but there is this. You know, even though my if I were helpless at the end, but to know that the person who used to hurt you no longer can it's very, very, very deep. But it's it's unbelievable me. Forgive them know. Which I hate about myself, but but I don't my biggest fear and fear that as a kid cause, there would be times where, as a kid
it might show up somewhere or she would have somebody like buy on me and do shit like that, like it was a really paranoid house grown up. Where I remember one time I was supposed to. I was supposed to leave my car at a certain place and I was picked this. This girl that I was seeing the time we're gonna go to six flags musing apart. So as was leave my car, one side of town, six flags on another side of town, both far from where my folks live, and so I go pick up. The girl she's, like we should drive to six flags together, it'd be romantic cause. We are supposed to ride with her sister and I was like well, I dunno my mom says I then she kind of like touch my okay, let's do it with drive and I had to take the highway, and I think that was like my folks in
highway, get their fine come back and my mother used to make me carry around the cell phone one of those big big ass car phones, phones ring and non stop the girl answers it and I, and I'm just like. I immediately hang it up and I'm like what the fuck you doing here and then I eventually answer it. My mother's, like you know, why didn't you pick up the phone? I was like I don't know if you called the right number. This is the first time it rang and I dropped it. Drop the girl off and I get home and as I'm pulling into the driveway I see my stepfather, has been tailing me at some point: and his cars coming behind mine, and so he's somewhere picked me up on the road followed me. bag back to our house What I learned is that my mother, sent somebody to go, see if my
Our was where was supposed to be, and as was tells me later she goes and see. If my cars were supposed to be when it's not, she calls the police know one. I took it. She calls the these things. Another police will pick me up and I'll learn a lesson. Calgary, I was probably seven and so so there was, and so and then, when I get home like she has sort of opened up all of like all papers, anything that I had like locked up and like I used to keep like a briefcase where I could kind of lock things up. All that stuff is set out on her bed and on the kitchen table, and it was one things where it's almost like the people of come in and raided the place and they're just going through everything was violating violating in a way that was like does doesn't even have anything to do with the crime at hand like that. the crime was that I took a car I took,
highway you're now at this is like well, let's go through his diary. Yeah basically go through all this shit, and so there was Is that sense of violation and that's what I lived with? Was this constant sense of you never know. Who you never know who's your your friend like there was. There was a the girl. I knew actually a girl grew with she at one point told me then my mother had asked her to befriend me just to keep an eye on you. And just a report- information in my oh but yeah, and she to my roommate one of my roommates when I lived out here- and she was like tell me like just keep me. Bon stuff it was just like this very strange paranoid distrustful house halfway through my first semester, I remember I was failing. oh yeah, and then they sent they sunlight. There was some like a mid term report to your house,
and so I'm in the shower and my roommate. Was knocking on the audit on the door of the bathroom and he's like hey. You folks are on the phone and I was a woman I'm in the shower I'll call him back and son. He goes back in a minute later is like if the phone is saying get off the shower get out of the shower, and so I'm just like. Oh shit, like you, know one thing, and did somebody die like what the fuck is going on here I go in, and I don't even have to put the phone next to me: year, my mother and stepfather screaming so loud about my grades. At that point, and- you found out of everything. We will I'm down there and my roommate and his girlfriend can hear the whole thing, and it's just this very strange. It was like it was this thing of oh
have to get my act together because I don't want to go back there like that was that was thou you, like yeah, I'm not going back and that was, I mean that house like it was. You know there was a lot. There was a lot of distrust. There was a lot of yelling. There was a lot of that stuff, so it was like Oh right, I don't want to go back, but I'm also not this student that she wants me to be. I have to figure out who I am, and I've got to figure out like the classes. I need to take to make this work, so I never have to go back there. leslie jones. So you you scholarship to collins, now colorado's play the widest state in the world, though, what absolutely, and probably still is the way
You know like I'm, just that's why I'm saying I'm not waiting for colorado. They will kick you the fuck out, they'd, be like yeah. You got some attention or something you get some june. There's some juice going on you ain't here, you ain't! No, it not only is the very widest town is the very curious they have only the purest air. There too. I think they check your lungs when you asked the border at that motherfucker that song, when we went and when I went up there and working out that shit was killing me, the air cause to high altitude killing me why? Well you get sick Get tired leaves temporary on my god. It was kill me, and I was I was ass. There was the best basketball player on the team. Were the only ass was the only black player mister. Marin yet and I were the only black layer. Well, there was a lie skinner, but she really didn't count. Meal issued incomes of next year's do how, but how that making
yeah. How were you treated with ba? I hated every eye complaint literally I got there and I didn't know that I was going to be the one the black girl on the team. Literally, I was like I I am fucking in this is this: is I dunno if how this is gonna work out, because I'm very militant too, so I'm very outspoken. So what? What did you bet? and so it's like when I wanted to basketball practice. I walked in with a radio yeah yeah. The stereotype on the shop was like I was going to the park to play ball cause, that's where I played the part. So it was. You know it was an adjustment for me and I was very only I was in colorado a lot of times as I shall I was rebuilding, oh all levels, so my coach knew that I would like at the point where I was. I wanted to go home because he came to my apartment. I have my mattress in the living room cause. I just, like I just was like this was so new to me. Like I have my own place. I was like this. If I, oh god, if I could go
If I could go back with my mind now, oh god, I would rather than place in colorado. Do you understand? Why did you have your mattress no way cause? I was scared. I didn't want to sleep in the room. It was nobody in the apartment with me. I was fucking alone or scare. So I'm a kid I was eighteen so who, when he came to the farm he was like. Oh my god, you gotta meet people. You gotta me other black people, so he found to be, as you are all gap is them lacks. Do you, Yes, as a built in full, the cabinet sending visit where we keep than it does in the end this, if you want to talk to him today, he would say that was the worst thing I ever did, because I completely became a party animal. My folks left, me in nineteen sixty nine, which was a little unusual. Usually you leave them, but they left me in new jersey and nineteen sixty nine and went to California right so that
sort of left you on your own, to continue parenting yourself as best as you, and you know your life was your life? Was yours from that point on right now that suited me yeah it it was it was. It was one of the things it for where I was at. I was independent already I had the ban. I had my own little community that I was part of, I was making a few bucks, the weekend, so I could, I could survive and I was happily independent right, so not making a lot of money. You're making twenty dollars on twenty or forty dollars and nineteen extend I having dependency know. Anybody could do that you're right. So, different time. Yeah I mean you ate,
three hours a day right, ward hours a day was all you need is so it was it was. It was just enough money to get by and have a good time on terry gross. When my parents, one I decided to hitchhike cross country, there were very few sad about it. I will admit, said now now now that neither on the age that I am, I think, like my gosh, no wonder they were so upset, but my attitude, then, was you know, you're, not telling me what to do. You don't control me anymore. dan harmon firth for those of us who are not prodigies Who are you who are not blowing mines by fifteen in, I think it's better to grow up in a smaller town where you can just you have the sandbox free. If you decide at twenty two that you wanted, you stand up, you ought to be a writer right, dude you in the lobby, if you
on a street corner and said I am a welder and you did that three days in a row sooner or later, someone's gonna give you a job. Well done. I could just wait. We had the same, went for writers, get paid anything right, but but but in the five years from when I declared myself a writer to when I was leaving for l a, I was like working for the mayor I was doing like radio shows it was like, like. within Milwaukee? I was. I was given every opportunity that I that I I thought that I wanted. You know what I mean they made it to the top. I wanted to write a play. I could write a play where I wanted to. If I wanted to do a radio commercial for bacardi, there was always some ad campaign would come through and they wanted a cheap writer yeah. It was, and it was a nice place to cut your teeth. President Barack Obama. keeping a journal when I was around twenty yeah and I kept it up until I went to law school yeah, so for about seven years, sometimes I go I can. I read the stuff and I'm still the same guy
it got emotionally or not, obviously not emotionally, but I mean there's moments where you can sort of lock in like what parts of your journal. Are you like now like a the struggles that you were having, then that you have now that well that that's worth the stuff's changed the sense that stuff that was bugging you by the time you're fifty three either you worked it out or you just forgiven, haven't you said look this is who I am. I gonna write that down right is. I can just forgive myself well, assuming that Do here. Is anybody now that you know what I I think that you at that age, still trying to figure out right, who are you? How do I live? What's my code right, what's important to me, what's not important to me and you're sorting through all kinds of contradictions yet and a job by the time you get to
in your fifties. Hopefully, a lot of those been resolved. We've come to terms and come to peace with some stuff, and then some you just said: well, you know what that that's just who I am I there have got some flaws. I got some strengths and that's ok. I think I had a good. escape back. Then they went away like I feel like I love tv movies. I really got invited on it, I'm of emotion, about mobile, but that I really got into movies tv in a comedy, was real, carry yeah. I've listened to ex mothers brothers albums, like I had all my dad's old smothers brothers albums and it was fun to kind of like sit in and hear that- and I remember like even reading like an article. I think it was a smothers brothers article like where I think they had some messed up: parents I like remember going. Oh okay, well, that's cool! because maybe they had messed parents. I have missed parents it evens out,
That was a good experience for you. That was a chapter one of waiting for the punch words to live by from the wtf podcast If you're interested in the vote, we go ahead and pre order. It now go to mark marin's, both dot com and you can still enter the sweepstakes to win a casper, mattress or away luggage. If you upload your pre order with, if you're in new york city, come out to the union square barnes and noble on the day. The book comes out, tuesday, october tenth at seven. yeah, my friend and I will talk and do a q and a and sign books. You don't need of tickets, just get there early enough to get a seat also San Francisco, at the alamo drafthouse as part of litquake. That's friday, October 13th, at nine p dot m. There are few tickets; so go to liquidate dot org to get your seats. Okay! All right should I play some guitar should I I can. I don't have anything planned. I can play a little
the boomer lives.
Transcript generated on 2022-08-01.