OK, intro, try one, they'll probably cut that, right? Yeah, you don't have to say intro, you just say you just start with what, the show. OK, but I thought maybe if I go intro dry and then nobody says intro track, nobody says intro, they just say that they just know this isn't true. That's a good point. Yeah. That's a good point to just talk. All right. Just talk. Take.
You know, I thought you said welcome to Smart Liz.
Smart. I find it really fascinating you sleep in separate bedrooms, it's but because what are you doing? You're just sleeping anyway, so otherwise I'm a super light sleeper and I wake up at anything. So that's why I'm a light sleeper, too.
Well, why don't you either connect some earmuffs to your bite plate or play like Whiteclay or or get an operation for your beloved or I'm going to write this down or strap a C Pap on to his helmet and get on with it.
We tried all of it. His snoring is so bad. It's just. Yeah, it's he's just ignoring.
I can't assume he's just not feeling so he does he does he sleep with a sebat machine.
He tried it. It's, it's, it's like suffocating weight. Do it does Amanda or Alessandra snore. No, no, you guys, I have I don't if I sleep on my back. Yeah, yeah. So you snore on my back. All right, wait a second.
Something you're very defensive. Use when you sleep on your back. You do or you do sleep on your back, therefore, you snore.
I no longer sleep on my back because I'm tired of taking fire on my ribs from my my sleeping partner. You know, that's you get a kick or a punch and that means flip over and shut your mouth.
So so I have how many how many times have you heard that sentence?
Well, we're just going to say why you're awake. Oh, I flip over, shut your mouth and don't look at me. Is that that's a complete sentence. Him and Alessandra met. That's how. Yeah, I think actually that's a website that you said. Yeah, it's called Just beg me.
OK, well, I don't want to keep our guests waiting too much longer. We have a very, very special soul on today.
He's a stand up comedian and he has hosted the popular television series United Shades of America since twenty sixteen.
I love him. He makes me laugh.
He makes me think two things that will try really hard at. But please welcome W. Kamau Bell. Hello there.
No, I want to know first. First of all, we, we just call you come out because nobody says to you.
Right. No people who don't know me but you we all know each other are such good friends. I heard about the packing and everything's all right.
Just back me dotcom. We get into docking on the second half of the show. Stay tuned. What is w what is the W, Walter?
It's my dad's first name too. So it's just. Oh what a lovely name. Not really, but thanks. It's not I mean there's never been a like maybe Walt Frazier. That was the last cool Walter in culture.
So but Wally, there's some cool Wali's, right. Wally Pfister.
First of all, there's Wally like as in Wally does.
That's a cool Wally. He's just taken that new sign-off. And only our buddy Wally Pfister is a cool cinematographer, slash director.
He's a cool guy. Wow. We're already the cinematographers already, you know. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, listen, we're all about the arts will present me with my last Emmy.
Well, did I did present you this is the second time that this has happened to me. I did present you with an Emmy. So you guys, first of all, I just want to point out, you guys are all Emmy winners.
I'm the only non Emmy winner here. Yeah. Yeah. So congrats. I bet you've got an A.. Do you have an Annie? I do have a few. I have a Clio. No, I'm a guy. Oh, OK.
No, no, no. Well, sorry, you must have cut out there for a second. Yeah. Cleo, Cleo.
No, no I don't. Sorry. No that's OK. Yeah. All right.
So come out. You've done, you know, reading about you and and knowing into very little bit that I do from Sundance. We hung out for a while and really connected.
At least I thought so and and just adore you and adore your brain and adore your ambition to get the message out to people like us who are that bright. And I love I love your show. How it just kind of the United States of America, how it just kind of displays for us the questions and the answers in such a palatable way and it's so easily digestible and something everybody can understand. So how did you think of the show and why did you think of the show?
You know, I always wanted to do a show like this, but there was no way that there's no path to these shows. Back in the day. I would just sit on my couch watching Bourdain being like, how do you get one of those?
Yeah, that's cool. Travel around and talking to people. I can do that. And really, I had a show before this show called Totally Biased. That was my first big break on effects. And then when that show was canceled, like, see, it just happened to be at the same time that CNN was like looking to break in another show like Bourdain. So I was in the position of like them sort of pitching me on the idea, which was really like great.
It also in position where Bourdain had so kicked the door wide open. There was nothing I was going do. There's going to be like bigger than him. So I really got a lot of freedom sort of really make the show in my image, which has been great. I love that.
First of all, was it that drove you to because as a stand up, you could just be, you know, doing Netflix specials or HBO specials or doing whatever.
And it seems that you've kind of I mean, sure, we all want that. I wouldn't want to do that that.
But you know what? They if they came to me and said, hey, we want to give you 20 million to do a standup special, I'd say, here's the here's the routing number for my back.
What are you saying? And you thought I was going to say pass.
But but my question, I guess, to you is, how is you've decided do you have a obviously sort of built into what you do in your voice? Is this political bent, this activist bent where that's a big part of who you are and what it what do you think it was that kind of what was that moment that. Was there a seminal moment that drove you that way, as opposed to just straight, straight up stand up?
I mean, when I started doing that, I was just trying to be funny, like, everybody is trying to be funny. And I really did not have any intention of being some sort of like cultural, social or whatever his voice is. But I was raised by a black lady with opinions. And so deep inside of me is it is that if something's wrong, you're supposed to say something. And so I think as I got older and I had more at stake in the world, I started to pay more attention to the news.
And like I said, I literally my mom's like I used to, I was an only child. So I think my mom a lot and to be around adults. And so they would be, you know, a lot of black folks who come out of the civil rights movement who were like, we have jobs now, but we're still pretty pissed about the state of the world. And I just heard these conversations all the time. And so I think for me, it was just like in some sense, they really want to be this kind of comedian and I want to be a comedian because of Eddie Murphy and starting.
So that was not really like it was like I came out like I got to be Gregory, but I think I was attracted to that. And then as a young comedian, I was introduced to Bill Hicks when Bill Hicks was still like a folktale. He had passed away. But it was just like somebody like handed me a tape of, like, listen to this. I was like, oh, that that's that's what I want to do. And then you're like, Chris Rock is a big influence.
And I get to be around Dave Chappelle a lot like South Africa and really watch him on stage a lot like, you know, not that I'm any percentage of any of these comics, but really that's the thing I'm attracted to doing is like speaking my mind and taking a stand. Just I would rather be Kevin Hart. That doesn't seem easy, but it does seem more cost efficient.
So how often are you you're traveling around the country? Not not eight weeks a year with eight eight episode. You're doing you're doing probably eight months.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, we shoot. I mean, the shows are pretty quickly shot. People don't realize this, but we shoot like a seven day week and but yeah, it takes up most of the year with the editing and then after that like whatever time is left over, I still do because I am on CNN. Instead of doing standup gigs, I do lecture tours which pay better. So I do a lot of college dos and private gigs like sort of talking about the work.
And that was my year up until the coronaviruses I want to ask you about too.
Well, many episodes. I mean, we could we could we could take the entire time on this podcast episode to talk about even one of your episodes.
But one of the fascinating ones was the first episode.
I mean, one of the first episodes you you met with a KKK member in Kentucky and Arkansas, I think, and several KKK members.
Yeah. And so, you know, this is fascinating. How does a black man even get to go into that and feel safe? And how did that happen? What does that phone call like?
And so that was the pilot episode. And again, sort of coming off of like at that point, CNN had Bourdain, Lisa Ling, Morgan Spurlock, Mike Rowe. And so I was aware that, like, if they're going to add any show, I have to do something that none of those shows is going to do. And sort of the elevator pitch black guy goes places he shouldn't was basically the elevator pitch for the show. So where shouldn't the black guy go?
The number one place is a Klan meeting. So, yeah, there's for the pilot, maybe the pilot won't go and I'll have a good story. But also I have to something that CNN will be like, well, nobody does this on our network. So that was my so once we decide to do the show, that was my pitch. And they put a lot of other things. And I kept being like, what about the Klan? And they're like, fine.
I was like, oh, shit. And then it was about like luckily I didn't feel for producers having to call Klan chapters and be like, hey, can see an income, hello. Hello. And then, you know, hey, can and come with a black guy. Hello. Hello. What about a black comedian. And then we were left with like four groups who were like sure because they were all on TV. Wow.
Because they wanted be because they wanted to be on TV because they figured no publicity is bad publicity. Yeah.
So the Klan thinks every white person really is secretly a fan of the Klan so that, like even the white people watch the event are going to be like, I like we're going to be watching it like, yeah, these guys have a good point because you have to to be that. Now, the producer told me he was like he had to pretend like he was like down with them to get them to let us come. Right. No way.
The great thing about better help is it's really helped me cope with a lot of things. The counselors are amazing, patient, kind, and they know exactly what they're doing.
They've helped me with a little depression and anxiety and it's just such a great service. I love it. You do seem much, much better at all. At all helps.
Listen, twenty twenty was was interesting.
So, you know, how about let's do a mental health check in. How are you really. And tell me what you need right now Sean. It can can, can therapy help you at all. It is therapy. Exactly. It's whatever you want it to be. Jason, get some tools to help with motivation, depression, anxiety, battling your temper, stress, dealing with insecurity and relationships at work, whatever you need.
Good. Good point. Perhaps it's time to stop being ashamed of my normal human struggles and start feeling better. Right. Because I deserve to be happy.
But better help is customized online therapy that offers video phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist.
So you don't have to see anyone on camera if you don't want to. Sounds like it's much more affordable than in-person therapy.
Perhaps I can start community. Sitting with my therapist and just under 48 hours, you can join the millions of people who are seeing what therapy is really about, it may or may not be for you, but it's worth looking into because you are your greatest asset.
This podcast is sponsored by Better Health and Smart Lists.
Listener, get 10 percent off your first month at better health dotcom smart lists.
That's better. Alpay dotcom smart less. Jason, our homes have now become more than just a home, right, like, yes, we do this podcast from our home. We do a lot of business from home.
Now, listener Sean and I don't live together. He's what he's doing is he's talking about our homes are separate homes, separate homes, but they become our offices. Our homes, right?
Yes, exactly. I mean, right now, I'm using my home as a podcast studio.
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So come out with the guy that you the Clansman that you interviewed, did he did he try his best to give you the best or clansman to you?
Did, Doctor, Doctor, Reverend. Reverend, Dr.
Did he do his best to try to convince you that what they're thinking is is not nuts? And if so, what was that sentence like?
Well, I think, first of all, I talked to several, so I went to a cross burning or as they call a cross lighting. So it was like an actual Klan meeting, a claverie, as they say. And then I talked to a guy named Dr. Thomas Raab, who's from Harris around Harrison, Arkansas, who has like a I call it a compound. He says a church, tomato, tomato. And so I talked to several different versions of the Klan.
And there's sort of some basic levels of like it's sort of related to the Fox News thing, actually, where they're like, well, we all know black people don't know how to police themselves. I mean, we all know that. I mean, so. Right. So there's the way they talk to you as if, like, these are all facts, right? I mean, we all know that, you know, obviously you'd rather be with your people.
And I would want to be and I'd like to be with my people. Obviously, we don't want to have our people mixing. And I was like, well, I'm married to a white lady, Inconvenient Truth. So there was a lot of like them sort of trying to sort of like I said, they act as if these things are just common sense. If we could just get past the all the rhetoric, we all know these things are true.
And so it was really and there was something like it was right around time, Ferguson, it happened. So there was some heat around at that moment. They wanted to scare me when I first got there. And I just sort of stand back while they were like, ah, it just sort of like let them get out the bluster before we could talk.
And did you get the sense when you were done talking this person? Like, I would find it impossible for anyone to just talk to you for five minutes to come away from a conversation with you and not like you and not want to be friends with you.
Did you get a sense at the end that this guy would be like, you know, we we can be friends? I mean, I can still have my thoughts, but we can still be like, did you get the sense that maybe you had turned him a little bit?
There was multiple levels because again, it was like Dr. Thomas Robb is a professional Klansman. He's not going to get turned because it's how he pays his rent. Basically, he's not he's not invested. But when I went to the Klan meeting, like the the cross burning, I was there for several hours, like three or four hours, because we got there during daylight and we'd wait for it to be pitch black for them to burn the cross. And so I was talking to them about the process in a way that you would think of like a PBS show, like how do you burn the cross?
Where do you get the wood from? What do you what do you used to like the craft? And so it becomes dudes talking about like home projects.
Wow. Yeah. You know, you rope a dope them into a conversation and pretty soon they realize, oh my gosh, we're just we're having fun with a guy that we're supposed to hate, I guess, Rismark.
And I mean, some of them wouldn't talk to me at all, like they would just stay clear because I think they were afraid of catching black. So they were like really not even in the dark.
So wait, so when you're so when you're sitting there and talking to them about like, hey, who's who's holding the lighter and all that kind of bullshit, are they wearing their fucking robes and their stupid hats and everything?
Well, yeah, we asked I mean, we did ask them to come, you know, you got to come wearing the dress whites, as we say, for the for the purposes of CNN. And so it was August and they talked about how hot it was under the robes. And I said, maybe you should have thought of that. But you switch the big meeting that December or something. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So, yeah, they they talked about how hot it is, but they must there must have been like a certain level of how foolish on top of everything else they must have seemed in these stupid ass robes and their fucking hats and all the hoods and, and spouting off and talking about putting the lumber together for a fucking cross burning.
And how would you think there was ever a moment like where did you ever remember? You're like looking at them and you got a sense that they did they ever feel was shame of like, yeah, I look like a fucking fool.
I make a fool of a human being.
No, I think I don't think that happens at the moment. I think that happens years later if you look back. But no, I think they were like we all had a cool jacket in high school right now that makes you feel like you were a million dollars. And now you look back and be like you see an old picture.
You're like, oh, I can't believe I ever wore that. Have you noticed that in traveling around the country? Has it been a distractingly clear to you, I mean, certain parts of the country, I would imagine it would be more more apparent. Have you noticed that? Come on.
I mean, I think that for me, the racism is like wine and there's just different versions of it. Like some of it's more full bodied and some of it's more like someone's like this one's Woody.
This one's got a little flavor to it. But I so I say that like I don't think like living in I live in Oakland, California, Berkeley, San Francisco. It's not that there's not racism here. It's just the kind that I think is the kind I can get along with the best, you know. But my dad lives in Mobile, Alabama, and I go there every summer. And there are things about Mobile, Alabama that I'm like, it's at least friendlier here.
Like, you know, like there's this there's that. Even with if you're dealing with racism, there are things I like better about Mobile, Alabama, that I like about the Bay Area. It's just this is the kind of racism I can live with. But I tell you this, the only time I've been kicked out of a place because I was. Black was in Chicago and Berkeley, you know, what does that what's that look like when you got kicked out?
So when I was a teenager, I lived in Chicago and I was in a record store waiting for a friend of mine. And I was in there for, like, you know, an hour. But, you know, which is not a long time to be a record store unless you're 15 and black. And I was starting to walk out of the record store and the security guard came behind me and grabbed me by the collar and was like, I need to search you down.
You stole something. I hadn't stole anything. I don't I don't even need to say that. But and I and he basically didn't find anything on me. He found my inhaler. He's like, do you have asthma? Which is like, what a strange question to ask right now, sir. And who did you steal that asthma from? The environment, the toxic environment I was raised in. So and he basically like literally bum rush me and threw me out onto the street.
So, wow, I've been in Alabama a lot. That's never happened. And then when I was this happened twenty fifteen. So I was like an adult with two kids in Berkeley, California. And my wife, who is white, as I mentioned, was at a coffee shop with our 13 week old baby and some of her friends. And I went to go say hello to her and talk to her. And the coffee shop knocked to in the coffee shop, knocked on the window and said, get out of here, because they thought I was, like, bothering these four white ladies in there.
No fucking way. Unbelievable. So for me, it's like, you know, I think there's a level of like the South has a level of like historical violence that we associate with the South that we think is always happening, which definitely happens, but it's not always happening. But outside of the south, there's there's racism that's like like people in the south and they're being racist. They actually know they're being racist. A lot of times outside the South, people do things that are racist and they're like, no, just because you were wearing a hat, it had to do with you being black.
Let me ask you let me ask you about that. So to that, let me ask you about that incident in in in Berkeley, where you go up and you talk to your wife and somebody knocks on the window. What ends up happening in that?
What's your reaction? Do you freak out? You tell them to go fuck themselves? Do you is there a confrontation?
Here's the funny part. So this is like and you all have been in this position. I'm somewhat like this where somebody like is because none of that was funny. Yeah. Yeah.
We're finally at the funny part. Guys, welcome to the funny part. So when the person knocked on the cafe window in the Bay Area, I'm a little bit extra famous out here. So I looked up like, yeah, you have seen me on that TV show. Get out. Wait a minute. No, I wasn't in that movie.
So there was this. Whereas like I was like, yeah, yeah, it's me.
Oh. So it was like a real like like turn upside down. That took me a second to even get my bearings back. And then my wife's on my face because we've been together a long time. She was like, oh, something racist happened. Let me see what's going on around here. Yeah. And then go over to the coffee shop. Came out to really give me the like, move along from these nice white ladies.
And that one lady must have made it extra difficult in that moment, in particular the sort of the fall from. Yeah, because we've all done that same thing. We're just like, hey, can I get a picture? Of course, of course. Things just take care of me and my. Oh you want me to take a picture of. Sorry. So it's that same but but then. But then magnify it by a million. Right. And so like you're doing from that to that, that must have been you know, by the way, speaking of pull your pants down, I was in a parking lot once with Bateman and we're coming out of the old juridically in the marina.
And we were about to go to work and I was standing there wearing sweatpants and he's like, so I guess I'll see you. And I go, Yeah. And he just handed me out of the blue underpants and sweats.
And it was I had something on my hand and my pants were my hands are lucky I didn't push you over like I used to finish the job. By the way, in grade school we were at eighteen, we were thirty five at the time, you know.
You know, you wore sweatpants. You're going to get did you learn. I want to ask you about another episode that you did on United States of America.
And and I'm sorry to bring this guy up again. Maybe you'd like to talk about him, maybe you don't. But I'm always fascinated with people who hate like the KKK and Richard Spencer.
Yes. And you your encounter with Richard Spencer, who is, you know, the self-proclaimed white supremacist and credited with the term. All right. Isn't that correct? Yeah. And so, again, with the KKK, Richard Spencer, who is a very scary person, how did you land that interview?
And like, you know, why did he agree to that?
I mean, he loves TV. And I think he actually you know, I think the funny thing about him is that he's not as scary as he used to be, because I think a lot of programs like mine, sort of like hair talk, say more. And the more he said, the more even his supporters like, yikes. So I think that, like, that was the time when I think I got a lot of criticism for that interview because people said I gave him a platform or I you know, there was all that talk about don't normalize people.
And I'm like, this is America. This dude, this all these ideas are real. And he's going to talk about it. I think we got him because weirdly, we got there before the point. He got big. And I think that we sort of like when we had him agree to do it, he was like this sort of unknown guy. By the time we filmed it, he had become more known. And by the time he aired, he was like a national figure, but people didn't realize.
When I talked to him, he hadn't been punched in the face yet, so we were like, why didn't you punch him in the face? Well, first of all, it's not really my style, but I so that's not how time works. So I just. Right. But, yeah, I mean, I got a lot of heat from the left for that interview because I was talking to this guy who is such a demagogue. And it's like but I've sort of I feel like that's part of my job.
And I'm not I don't feel like I'm giving him a platform because I was there to talk with him, too. I didn't go. Richard, you take this segment. I'm a ghost. Chill out. You know, I was there to talk with.
Well, it's also it's a great venue that you created to make us aware of these people and these problems and these social issues. You know, I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
Can I shift gears for a second? So how did you what was your start in standup? How did how did that happen? I mean, you know, signed up at a coffee shop, paid 99 cents to perform. You know, it was really I was a kid who was a comedy nerd before. That was a thing. So I just really loved I was like, you know, my friends are like, did you hear the new Public Enemy song?
I was like, did you see the new young comedians special with Jane Carome and Dennis Miller? Like, I was like a real lover of stand up comedy from back in the day. Like, I remember seeing Seinfeld on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and like all these things where it's like I just loved that. I loved it, you know? So it just it was like but I also when I started doing it, I was also not funny for a very long time.
So it took me a long time to do that thing. They call finding your voice. It took me a long time to figure out. And I think because the things I wanted to do, I was afraid to do so. It took me a long time to to actually figure out how I wanted to do it, although it's one of the scariest jobs.
I mean, I've never done stand up. And it's just, you know, the scariest thing to me seems to be getting out there. It's so because it's just you and your thoughts and like, this is what I think is funny. Let's hope you do, too.
So, you know, yes, I was terrible at it.
Did you never did it. Well, did you do it, Jason?
Now ever. I know I haven't. I would be I would be petrified for sure, because I would imagine that the the sweet spot comes when you can kind of match your your your mood or your attitude with with you with your humor as well. In other words, if all you have are the jokes, if the jokes aren't great, you're not going to get laughs. But if you can marry some sort of some sort of attitude or vibe or or tone, then the audience is perhaps more sort of preconditioned to to like that joke.
I mean, I bet it's a marriage between the two.
That was always the knock on Dane Cook right there. They said that he didn't have it like lots of jokes. I'm not really that familiar, but like but he had a lot of attitude that lent itself. Right.
So people were kind of enjoying his energy and the jokes. But it was a kind of a combination of the two, as opposed to somebody who just goes out there and just says, you know, so a dentist and a rabbi walk like you are, you're fully reliant on the content of the joke.
And there's no personality with I failed miserably at it.
I was I was horrible at it. I my opening joke, whenever I would go out is so bad. Nobody laughed. It was you know, they say doing ballet is one of the most difficult things you could do. So I say. Don't do it. Oh, boy, yeah, so come. It was funny because it was so like I was like, it's like it's like a New Yorker cartoon. Yeah, it is. I thought it was just horrible.
Well, Jason, Jason, whatever happened with that? The dentist and the rabbi. That was so.
Yes. So let me finish. So the dentist goes in there and the rabbi. Yeah, the guys. Come on, pay attention. Hello, John, hello. Well, hello, fresh, what is hello, fresh with hello fresh, you get fresh, pre measured ingredients and mouthwatering seasonal recipes delivered right to your door. Hello, Fresh lets you skip those annoying trips to the grocery store and makes home cooking easy, fun and affordable. And that's why it's America's number one meal.
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All right, back to the show. I want to give us all whiplash here, and I want to I want to go back to something, because I really I want to know your opinion on this come out. How old are your kids?
Nine. Five and a half and two. OK, how old do you think it is? Well, when do you think kids should learn about black history? I've got a 13 year old and an eight year old, two girls. And what is the perfect age where a kid is smart enough to hear the lesson and say, Cheesus? I'm glad we're past the teeth of that. And we still have a lot of work to root out the rest of the racism.
But do you know what I mean?
Can you pick out of that?
So. So here's the thing with my with our oldest daughter, who was four when the cafe thing happened. When that happened, we realized my wife realized that we had talked to our daughter about race, which is a different conversation than racism. So the race conversation is like Madam C.J. Walker was the first woman to be a self-made millionaire in this country and she made hair products. Or Michael Jordan is a great basketball player. Like that's the race conversation about great things that people of this race had done.
But the racism conversation we hadn't had. And at some point I realized as a black guy who's raising a black girl, who's also of mixed race because her mom is half white, that if at some point she learns that outside the house, then I've been negligent. If the first time my kid hears the word slavery is from a teacher who I don't know necessarily is going to talk about it in the right way. To me, it feels like not teaching your kid to, like, go to the bathroom when they need to go to the bathroom.
It's like it's a thing that you need to teach as a parent in the household. I think parents of color, black parents, we really understand that. And over indexed on that. And I think white parents at times, like you said, are sort of a little bit like, I don't want them to take the wrong idea. But we also forget the kids have a really good moral compass generally. So all the conversations about racism, they understand what's fair and what's not fair.
I think the things adults are afraid of is not being able to explain why slavery happened to a kid. Right. But for me, the best thing about it I don't like it is like I have no idea. And to me, owning the fact that letting my kid know that, like, this is horrible should be like. But why why would they do that? Right. I don't think they just didn't think black people really were the same as white people.
But why? There's a level of why that all parents get do with lots of things like why is the sky blue with the sky is blue? We feel comfortable going, I don't know, it's just blue. I think it's fine with the racism discussion. Also get the point of going. I really can't explain it to you, but this is what happened. And for me, it's important that my kids have a sense of that really that same system of fairness and justice they applied to like splitting a cookie in half.
They apply that to racism.
I read a lot about World War Two and European history. And I was reading this book and my kids were asking about World War Two and I had to explain to them.
My oldest son was probably seven and a half at the time.
He's now 11 and explained to him about World War Two and the Holocaust.
And he was like, what is it? And I was like, holy shit, I can't believe I'm at this moment where I've got to explain to him what the Holocaust is. And I and I was like, well, it's a truth. It's a reality. I can try to serve it to him in a way that's not too frightening to a seven year old. But also that's not not hiding what happened. I said, you know, and you explained to him that six million Jews and then an additional 20 million people were murdered.
And that's a big fucking scary notion. And I just remember him thinking like that same thing you were saying of like.
But why why did they do that? Why did they hate Jewish people? Like, imagine if you were Jewish, like how you would explain that to Archie. And then Archie thinks white people hated us. That's right. And like, that's just you want to make sure that they're old enough to be able to say, oh, well, that's just like those people were fucking idiots and I'll never be anything like that and work as hard as I can.
My whole life to keep that away. You know, there's there's a there is an age, I think, where kids are too young to put that in its right size, you know, but I think we make those decisions all the time about our kids.
Like, what level of the where do babies come from conversation. Do you get into them at some point? Kids want to know and you can go the stork if you want to, but then at some point, if you go too far down the road, then you got to like men.
Now they're seventeen, right? They got all these grand kids come from, right? Yeah, exactly. So I feel like, you know, I mean, in the same way that, like, I didn't grow up believing in Santa Claus because my mom was like, no, no, I'm a single parent. I bought all this shit, you know? But my wife grew up believing in Santa Claus and she wanted our kids to believe in Santa Claus.
And so it's like, I guess we're going to believe in Santa Claus. We all the time with our kids, we create these ways or we let them believe in things that aren't real. We create all these fairy tales. My kid thinks unicorns are real. I'm like, OK, for now, we'll do that. So I think we're always making those kinds of decisions. And for me, as a black parent, I feel like I can't hide all that other stuff because again, I don't want that stuff to come in in a way that I can't control.
And I think we all have a and we all know our kids and we all know there's a level at which your kid will go, OK, that's enough for today. I want to go do something else and you don't go. No, I'm not done talking about the transatlantic slave trade.
I think you're just. Go do other things right. So is this why you're a part of race forward, which is kind of like a think tank? Yeah, to me, it's important to know that I've been identified as a public figure, an entertainer who does his work. And the thing that I can do for people in places like Race, Ford or like the ACLU is go, here's how the people are receiving the message. Is there more information?
I can give them that. A lot of times these places don't know how to get the information to the people the way that people can take. And so as an entertainer, I can be like, oh, I can take this big, complicated idea you have and break it into bite sized chunks. So, yeah. Which is what your show is kind of like. Exactly. Yeah, that's what I'm hoping to do.
Sean, were you really confused when when they were saying, yeah, to fund the police? Were you like why Stewart Copeland needs money to I mean, he's part of the police because I see your shirt there.
Were you were you feeling like the police was.
Well, this is a band. A group. Because, you know, it's different. Right. But they weren't saying take money, you win the band, the police. Wait, let me let me understand. So you're saying they were this thing like setting the table is bass guitar the way they were going to do that? So, OK, I get it.
Come out. What part of the show do you love the most from like a technical and like do you see this as as a jumping off point to become more of an actor, more of a director, more of a writer, more of a producer, all of the above. Like what do you what ideally would be your next your next venture in entertainment?
Finally, we can talk about my ideas for the next season of Ozark. OK, here we go. There's one of these is finally. Finally. Yeah, I don't really see I don't see myself as an actor. I see myself as somebody who is now it's my job to produce and bring other people into shows like this that wouldn't normally have access to hosted a show like this. I think the reason why I like things about me that connects me to Bourdain is neither one of us was like a journalist who got a TV show.
We were both like people who were like in our lives doing our thing, who then ended up with these shows. And I think the more people we bring in from outside of Hollywood to do these things, that the shows become more interesting. So I really do want to produce and bring in more diverse voices to shows like this. I love it. That's my goal. And I started and I directed a documentary about Chris Rock a year or so ago.
And so I also a producer director. I can't you know, I really don't want to have to be relying on this face forever. It's been hard.
So so non non-fiction stuff is where you'd love to you'd love to stay and socially relevant issues.
And yeah, I mean, I think for me it's always socially relevant, even if it's not stated like the Chris Rock documentary I did, Chris. And socially relevant. But it was also just me as a comedy nerd wanting to talk about the special Bring the Pain. So I don't think it always has to be like, you know, it's not always medicine. I think that, like, it's it's something like these are things I happen to be interested in.
I think it is great when you can bring in sort of bigger themes and do all these things, because I think all of everything we do has a bigger theme in it. And I think it's great to sort of be able to bring those themes out. But no, I also, you know, there are things that I want to do that are fun, too. Yeah. It's not it's not always this didactic.
Do you agree with this idea that maybe it would be better or would it would expand and make it more enjoyable in season four of Ozark if Marty died, do you think?
You know what no one saying, Jason, stop cutting people. Go ahead.
I'm just saying, listen, if a new guy came to town, I got a new guy, like, a little bit taller, a little more handsome in a second. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's kind of kind of like a shorter haircut maybe maybe from north of the border, some pipes.
It is our last season. I might, I might die. It's the last season.
I mean you never know, you know, I don't let that happen. All my dreams.
I mean, you know, just to be clear, with Ozark, there are bigger themes in that show other than just like this. And I might and I just to be honest and transparent, huge fan of Ozark. And there are bigger things to show than just. Yeah. To all three of you you're doing. Yeah. Know. Thanks. Thanks.
But there are there are it's also like an exciting show to watch, but there are bigger themes in that show that that come through. So I don't think it's I don't think the things have to be always. So you could do a documentary about that place, but it's also they can come through in a in a fictional way.
Well, listen, let me just say from everybody that Jason's production company, prehaps productions. Yes. That we're so we're so grateful for brands reactions. Well, come out of it. I want to say I want to thank you for being here today.
You thank you for taking the time. And I really, truly mean, I'm a huge fan. Thank you for teaching me shit that I would have not had any other access to and really enlightening me and millions of other people. And so I appreciate you and I appreciate what you do. Thank you. Thank you, my friend. Good to see you.
Thank you for joining us. Thank you. Come out. Wow. Thanks for that.
See you later. All right. Thanks. Bye. So I've always loved him because, well, I met him in Sundance like, I don't know, a couple of years ago, and that's when I got to learn about his show and him. And a fascinating background. Fascinating guy, super smart, super on it.
Like and I love those kinds of shows where they do all the homework for you. It's like a documentary every episode. And you're like you just get like the the nuts and bolts of what you need to know and what you need to learn. And I just love them.
I think that's what they're saying about our show. You know, that we're really educating people. Yeah, no doubt about that.
I don't think I don't think there's just one person saying that. Really. No, I don't think that. I love that show. I love that. You admit this is my this is my vision of you is just like you. You just go you have a nice meal, right? Probably tuna salad on white bread with potato chips.
Wait a minute. Which is exactly right. And is basically soaking in a cup.
I think I should start every episode with an element to keep going.
And then you just sit on the couch and you're like and then you turn on the TV and then there's a switch for your brain and you just turn it off. Right. And you and it's everything. You were a bit because of the drool, you know, and you're like, well, my brain with new stuff, you pretty much pretty much got me.
Now that's that's me to a see, here's what I picture you.
Well, I picture you every night after your arugula salad.
I was sitting in front of the television, but there's a mirror on top of it. So you can look at yourself watching the TV, is that right?
I got rid of the television altogether. I was like, what are we doing? Why are we playing this game? This is all I really want to watch. Cut to the chase. I'm all right. It's just a staring contest.
But but what a what a what a cool what a cool dude and what a funny guy and what great guest.
Sean, thanks. Yeah. I love him. You guys. You guys keep me on it with your guests. Yeah.
Well what's going on man? I mean, can you don't make us replace you because you don't start bringing the heat with your guests.
We've got we're not rolling anymore. Right. Well, let me listen. Yeah. We are inches away with our being this close.
We've had three open call auditions for your spot. We haven't found anybody yet, but we are real lucky. What? Yeah. Yeah.
No way better I what if I came in and I auditioned in a disguise. I mean this isn't it.
Like Bobby Valentine with your Rolodex and these are the people I can bring. I know your guests are incredible.
I, I'm so flattered and stunned by the people that that we three have gotten so far. It's very humbling. Yeah.
Yeah, it has been this has been an amazing thing to be part of such a huge long rollout of Ozark press tour.
We're trying to hide it, but it's come out came and it was a little little not subtle there on that last line there.
Whoever it is, Ted, I'm going to call Sarandos and I'm gonna Marsi. And I'm like, where's my paycheck? Ted Sarandos runs Netflix.
Thank you for Functio Cheesehead Tigger. One of these days I'm going to fucking lose it. All right. Well, we'll chat.
We'll see you guys next episode.
Hey, hey, hey, baby. Playing smart. Smart bombs. Smart list is published and distributed with simple cast.