Lock the gate. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the is what the fuck buddies, what the fuck sticks? Yeah, he's that last one. How's it going on, Marc Maron? This is my podcast, WTF. Welcome to it. I imagine that some of you Jews are not with me today because you're praying. You're praying to God to write you into the book of life one more year, to forgive you, your transgressions, your sins, your fuck ups, to share your secret heart with the almighty.
That's what's up today. Jus yesterday last night was the night I was born.
1963, Kol Nidre, the holiest night of the Jewish year, the holiest night.
And this was the first time in my recent memory that night my birthday actually fell on Col Nidre.
But my buddy Danny Wabble, a scholar, a Jew, told me that in the Jewish calendar it's always Uncle Nidre. And I'm like, all right, I'll take it.
Does that give me special powers? Does it give me a pass? I've not been a religious man. I think I'm my better days. I'm on the cusp of being spiritual. Certainly this last year has tested my my mettle spiritually, psychologically, mentally, physically, as a mental and psychological.
The same I put together. Certainly I've been tested, but today is the day I don't even know how many Jews are going to be listening to this on the day it is released because they should be in temple. But who's going to temple with the covid then? You should be not eating. You should be fasting today, sitting in front, maybe davening in front of your your laptop.
Asking God to forgive you for your sins and write you into the book of life one more year, forgiveness is a tough one. It's a tough one. Cecily Strong is on the show today, we talked to her a little while ago, that was it was exciting.
The season premiere of Saturday Night Live is this Saturday, October 3rd.
We talked to her right before the Emmys a little before, actually, where she was nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. And she's a funny person. I like her, like her energy. I'll be talking to her soon. So, yeah, I reflect.
I reflect on this day or yesterday, my birthday. I'm recording it on my birthday. They know what to do. On my birthday. The eve of cold nidre. So I drove down to Malibu and I sat on a rock. And I worked at the at the sky, I looked at the sea, I listened to it, I tried to meditate a bit. Spoke to Lynn, spoke to God. And I'm a little iffy on the God part, but I speak out into the sky and it's interesting because my buddy Danny said today is the day that God is closest to us.
Today is the day. Where you can speak to God personally as if he was right here. Close like one of us, he's among us today. Wandering around, I was born, I was escorted into this world. By God, because this is the day he comes down and deals with shit, apparently. So on behalf of everybody, I just want to speak to God right now. I don't know what you believe in, and I know this is not a unique prayer.
It's just very basic. But God help us. Oh, please. Deliver us from this fucking bullshit. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry about the cussing, but I was told that we speak to you today like you're like one of our POW's, like one of us.
Really seriously, man, God, sorry, God. Give us a little something to go on here. To give us a little hope, see us through this psychotic cluster fuck, what do we have to do?
I've been asking the God that I barely believe and that I may not believe and I've been asking the universe to please tell me. What to do? Am I doing enough? You don't have to answer that guy. Just do me a favor now that you're here, forgive me. My sins and my transgressions eased my heart, please, by piece on a bigger level, help us out. We are. We're struggling here, OK, can we do that?
I know you brought me here on this day. All right, just help me out. Help us out. Is this a test? I know you're into that, please, God help us. Thank you. And can you just drop my name in the thing? Thanks. Thanks, man. God, sorry. So did I tell you I went down to the beach and sat on a rock? On my birthday. Took some breaths. Did what you do with the sea, it's nice to go to the sea.
It really is. I sat there and I listened to the waves.
I took the deep breaths. I thought about things. I talked to this guy.
I watched the fishermen, I talked to the sky, as I do in the morning, and I said, what should I do? How can I help? How can I be of service? As the world burns. To no one in particular, and I told them that I missed her and I love her, I told that to the sky. I was 57 years old yesterday. Tough times. Oh, yeah, I wanted to mention this other thing, my TV daughter, Brit Barron, is now she's now in the podcast game in the racket.
She plays my daughter on Justin and she's on this new scripted podcast called Ride Share.
They're calling it the first ever audio video hybrid podcast that you can experience in two different ways. Episodes are available now in new episodes, will release every week simultaneously on all podcast platforms and YouTube. So check that out. So what are you guys been up to, man?
I got another covid test negative. I was negative the other day. I'm probably still negative today.
But I'll tell you what I did do the other night for the first time in five months.
I don't know if you can hear the clarity and peace. In my voice, but I went to a secret club, I went to the secret society meeting a real one with other people, a secret society meeting outdoors distanced. And it was a meeting that I've been going to for about 20 years. And I tell you, man, I was crying. I was doing a little bit of crying because I see people there that I've seen for literally almost 20 years.
Walking the walk, trudging the road, what not. I needed it. It was nice to get back into the groove of the of the language, of the context of the community. It was something it was like a return, it was like a spiritual return. Over this Yom Kippur.
So I feel good about that and I did another thing that I have not done in a long time or never on purpose or with intent, but I went gun shopping with my friend.
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Try it now for free. That's right. Free at zip recruiter dotcom slash that zip recruiter dotcom. So MHR on. So, yeah, me and the nicest guy I know when gun shopping and it's got me thinking, you know, it's got me thinking about the things we have now, the things we do now, a variety of masks, plastic visors, hand sanitizer, alcohol in the house, fear gloves, some gloves if you need them with the world we live in and just see how it's fucking our brains, this and this.
Horrendous. Psychopathic non leadership at the helm, it's embarrassing, globally embarrassing. But I was looking at guns. My buddy, I'm telling you, this guy's a. Artist, musician, poetic sensibility, nice guy. He said to me a few weeks ago, you wanted what do you think about guns? I'm like, I don't know, I grew up with guns. My dad had guns, there were guns around and grew up in New Mexico, I guess on some level I don't have a problem with responsible gun ownership.
I've thought at different points in my life of kind of getting one. But I generally believe that their ship magnet's. They kind of want to be used. It's another relationship you have in the house, it's in the drawer, but you know, it's there. I did one of my favorite jokes about a gun about eight years ago and my wife, Mishna, we we got robbed. Because she left the doors open and she was sweeping, it was scary, it was horrible, I wasn't home, but she wanted to get a gun.
I understood that.
But I realized that, you know, my wife wants a gun at that point. At that time, there was no way I was getting my wife a gun because that would be kind of like me saying, I want to kill myself, but I want it to be a surprise. One of my favorite jokes. Thank you, throw that out to you, but I had no idea what one needed to get a gun here in California and apparently you just need to go and get a gun.
You know, there's a gun safety card, but you can take the test at the place. And we went in the afternoon, we drove out to Burbank and went to a place and we walked in.
Now, I knew I wasn't going to get a gun, and I'll tell you why in a minute. But we walked in. It was there's a few people in there, a few people working there. And they're like, what can we help you with? And I'm like, I guess we're looking for handguns. And they said, well, we got his revolvers.
And in a case, they had 38, 357 bigger ones, big revolvers, old style, the kind that I grew up with. They had clip guns. But I guess everybody wants the Glock, the nine. Mm.
Plenty of revolvers. Right. That seems like you. Would that be enough. Right. But I guess, you know, we had it in our head, we were looking for Glock's and we said, well, what's the deal? They get in, they come in, when can you order them?
And they were basically like, we don't know what we're going to get in day to day, but people come every day. You got to get here early in the morning and line up and see what comes off the truck.
That's how gun sales work. Got to get there early and see if you can get yourself what you need. What you want, for whatever reason that you think what's coming? We went to another place, but you want to stand on line.
But I knew I was going to get one because in my mind, OK, because I said to myself, what are you preparing for exactly?
And he was like, well, if they come, I want to be able to defend him, they they mean if the other side, the right, the militias, the armies, I mean, if they. That's the war you're fighting. Handguns not going to help you in that picture, I don't think. But when it comes down to desperation, panic, anger. Thousands of people unemployed, homeless, with nowhere to go, no safety net, no options in the major cities, that's real.
You would think that leadership could help that out or we could help that out somehow as opposed to prepare to kill them. Tragic. That was my reasoning, really, for not you know, I'm not going to buy a gun to shoot angry, desperate people who have fallen through the cracks. And are roaming the streets of our city trying to survive, creating chaos. Because that's what they're living in. I'm not going to buy a gun to shoot those people, my fellow Americans who have fallen on hard times.
No, I'm going to move the fuck out of this city.
It's what I'm going to do. If you're afraid that your city is going to fall into lawlessness and chaos and you're going to buy a gun, why not not buy the gun and try to get the fuck out?
It is a bit scary how easy easily people can buy guns and how many there are out there and how there really is.
No effective way to track it and there doesn't seem to be much background checking, obviously gun safety is important if we're going to have it. But I understand the Second Amendment. I understand the fear. What's more frightening to me is reasonable.
Progressive people with good hearts are now sort of drifting into this mode of panic and fear where they need to arm themselves and. Right. It's their right. I get that. But it's a it's a it's a severe indication of of where we're at.
And I told him, I said, well, what I mean, you could probably just get the 38. The old Saturday night special, he's like, but then you have to reload. Mike, what are you picturing you running for to protect your house or to you know, I mean, honestly, I would think that what you need is just a fucking shotgun. That seems to be the way to go.
I'm not getting one. And it's sad. Have this panic that this device of fuck has caused us. Drove out to Malibu, sat on that rock all the way down, I listened to Tim Maia am a great Brazilian artist. I listened to a nobody can live forever. On repeat, man on repeat, it was he's an interesting character and I enjoy that song just a straight up. It's almost a fragment of a song.
It's just a little three chord, slightly psychedelic funk groove.
Nobody can live forever. One thing you have to agree with, and that's for sure, nobody can live forever and everybody is the same, sooner or later you're going to understand that nobody can live forever.
Nobody will know how I feel. Nobody can give the answers. Nobody can play. But for real.
There's no God, there's no heaven, there's no devil, there's no hell, don't you worry. Don't you worry. Play your music. Play your music. David, happy birthday to me, just be honest with God.
People. Hey, my dad's calling me. Hold on. Hello to your brother and your father, man. How you doing?
It's my father, not my brother. I'm OK. How are you, Dad? OK. You you're 67, 57 years old, pal. Nice to have you aboard. Thank you. How are you doing? I love you too. Yeah. Yeah. Did you do anything more as far as. Oh, I.
Well, not really. I'm just doing the podcast and stuff. And today I went down to the beach for a minute by myself and sat on a rock and Netflix sent me a nice gift basket. So I ate some cheese and bread. And, you know, I'm just trying to have a birthday over here. But some fish might eat, some might eat some oysters.
Oh, yeah, it's great. OK, so, you know, you know, you showed up to par.
Good. I like to be up to par. I love you, Dad. I love you too. Thank you for everything. OK, you too. Bye bye.
I'm up to par. Cecily Strong is here, Saturday Night Live is back this Saturday, October 3rd.
We talked prior to the Emmys. She was nominated for the outstanding actress in a comedy series, and I'm a big fan.
Of hers, here we are, here we go. This is it. How are you? Can you see me and I can how are you? Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. How could do we never met before, huh? I don't think so. I guess.
I mean, if we did, it was, you know, really quick Pat thing. I think I was up there.
I was I was at SNL once. What was I doing up there? Oh, I remember I was interviewing Lorne and I saw some. That's right.
I saw some people, but not you know, I lied to you. I'm well, I'm not in the hallways. No, I'm usually on a couch.
And is that a scene? Is there a hallway scene? If there is no one told me, I don't know about it. Where are you holed up? I'm in Rhinebeck. Oh, that's nice. It's really, really nice. Yeah, I'm trying to buy a house here now. I've I've fallen in love with this part of New York. Yeah.
There's a bunch of those little towns up there where people used to buy houses back in the day and I guess they still do. I've had a friend who had a house in Rhinebeck. It's pretty.
Yeah, I have friends nearby. Is that the Hudson Valley? Yeah.
And how's the how's it been going up there in the quarantine? Have you had to have you had tests, have you had covid tests.
No, I haven't. It's only been my friend Kevin and I, we've been we left March twenty fourth I, I did a voluntary quarantine for two weeks from March 12th to March 24th. Yeah. And then that's as I had been with someone who had covid. Oh really. Yeah. But I didn't I mean, I took my temperature with this dinky little thermometer 18 times a day. Yeah. That's fine. So I don't think I had it then.
Yeah. I was the person who had it. All right. Yes, he's better.
Well that's good. I mean, we're still it's you know, every day a new article comes out that's troubling about everything.
About everything. Right. But I'm always like, oh well, you might have organ damage. Yeah. Oh, God.
As if I need anything else to to make you to make me think someone has or I am already assuming it, that we all have organ damage.
We're all dying every day. Of course there's some catastrophe.
How are you handling that? Do you go like what's your stress level? I mean, can you handle it or do you freak out?
I you know, I've been better these days, maybe getting to sit more. And I have a psychiatrist and a therapist and Wellbutrin and Xanax.
If I need Wellbutrin that works for you. That's yeah. I really I really like it.
I haven't done that in a long time. There was a period where I did some Wellbutrin. It used to be prescribed to get out of quitting smoking.
Yeah, right. Had a different name.
Well I think I knew it as Wellbutrin, but my mom was a nurse practitioner for a long time and the first time I took it was just briefly to quit smoking. Did it work in college? No, no.
But I did quit smoking, so it's not bad. And now you just take it for your brain.
Now it's just for my brain used to jack me up like speed. I used to feel like it used to get me crazy. Really? Yeah, I think so. But maybe I might have I think been doing other things.
No. Right. I think I'm so tired. It's like nothing can jack me up and then nothing could put me to sleep. I have a home like a routine to get to bed.
Your mom was a nurse. She's I think like fully retired now. She was the nurse. She started and public relations for a long time. And then when she was forty six, she went back to school to be a nurse. She got divorced and then she went. Then she became a nurse practitioner. Huh. And what is what is the clinic for a long time and almost got them to unionize.
But oh really. I didn't, didn't do it. Yeah.
She was a union leader type of person. Yeah.
I mean you you have to be if you're from Chicago. Yeah. It's in our. Yeah. Got to unionized. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
She divorced your dad at forty six.
Well my dad divorced her but now I mean it's fine. Yeah. Yeah.
My parents divorced when I was older too. It's a weird thing where you have that moment where you saw what was going on the whole time.
Yeah well I was, I was ten or eleven and it was. Oh wow. OK, so my dad's been married to my stepmom for longer now I think. Oh I was thirty five.
It wasn't that traumatic for me. Oh I think it was probably traumatic for me. That's part of the Wellbutrin maybe.
Yeah. I mean it tends that's rough when your folks get divorced at ten.
Yeah. I mean there's, that's hard to say. That's rough and especially with everything now I guess it depends how it goes after.
Do you know what I mean. I mean. Yeah, right. Right. You know, traumas, trauma. Do you have do you have other siblings and stuff.
I do. I have an older brother and I have a younger stepsister and an older stepbrother.
Oh, lot of people. Yeah. And you grew up the whole time in Chicago. Well, just right outside. I grew up in Oak Park. So not. I only say Chicago to people who are not from there. I like Chicago, I've grown to like it over the years. I mean, like I went there a lot over the last decade. And it's got a real, like thing of its own. It's its own cool place.
Sometimes I love it and would have a lot of pride. And then sometimes I'm like, wow, what are you thinking.
What what causes that shift? You know, I think the only thing I can say off the top of my head that I remember and this is so lame to use this as an example of why I think that. But it was when I went to New York, like immediately I got invited to a Knicks game and they really treat you really well most. Yeah. And I was like a nobody on the show. And we still got to sit on the court and go to the owners suite and everything.
And I thought, well, the bulls will do the same.
It's my hometown, you know, and they did not. And we were way in the back. And like Jenny McCarthy and Belushi were on the court and I was like, that's these are like stars from Chicago. What a bummer.
Jenny McCarthy is a Chicago star. Yeah. Oh, you guys made her, huh?
I sure. I mean, I prefer to talk about Michael Jordan. I mean, I think we'll we are forever will be in the conversation because of Michael Jordan. Oh, for sure. Who and Barack Obama.
Oh, yeah. Barack Obama, of course. And a lot of the other there's some early sketch performers that were Chicago.
But you know, Bill Murray, that's part of it, too. Yeah.
Bill Murray is important, isn't he, Chicago, Bill?
I think so. I think everybody was, at least in Chicago. I don't know. I get confused over who's Canadian and who.
I think he's Chicago. So when did you start getting interested in actually doing performing? Were you a little kid?
I started, yeah. I was little. I was just always singing and dancing and being a weirdo around the house. I did an impression of the shrunken head guy from Beetlejuice.
Oh, you did? That's very specific. And so, yeah, it was that was the funniest one. He's only in that one scene or something. Yeah. And he just turns to look at Beetlejuice and it was a great look. Yeah.
Yeah. It's not in your repertoire anymore.
I don't know. I don't know that anyone I mean I talk about it obviously, but then my parents put me in, I was I grew up in Oak Park, so this is a very Oak Park sounding preschool. But I went to Suburban Child Development Center. Wow.
That sounds like, you know, you were in trouble.
Well, maybe, I mean, or it's very Oak Park and it's run by to two lesbians with an acoustic guitar.
What is Oak Park? Characterize it for me. So well, Oak Park is different when I grew up than it is now, I'm pretty sure. But it's so Frank Lloyd Wright, Ernest Hemingway, that's all part. It's it's just right on the border of Chicago. So the trains go to Oak Park, right. The taxes are are getting higher good schools, but it's made the taxes go up a lot. But it was very when I grew up, I was lucky enough that it was pretty economically, religiously, racially, whatever.
You grew up around a lot of people and ideas.
Yeah, I like that. Yeah. You just like Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway and that sort of get it. Frank Lloyd Wright.
I'm an intellectual. I can say those two names and the lesbian preschool.
Yeah. Yeah. OK, so they sent you there and that's when everything started. I took a drama class.
Yeah. And then I had my first play I did with Grapes of Wrath. But the village players when I was eight.
Oh I assume you played a child.
I played Ruthie Jod who was twelve. So OK. Kind of a big deal I'll say.
Yeah. And now did you, did you realize that, that you wanted to be on stage for your life? Was that it?
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. No, I for sure did. And my uncle as a producer in New York and was always against it really. I knew he couldn't be any more.
He was against it because he knew the life you were heading into. He was concerned for you. Yes. And then I think my mom told me recently we had some relatives, some relative that was worried I'd become a neurotic. Oh, should become a narrative or something.
Yeah. Yeah, that's. Yeah, well, she was right. So there's the diagnosis.
She'll become neurotic. What do you come from. What are your people do you come from Jews or what.
No, my family is, my dad and his brother were military, were army brats superphosphate but all their families southern but so I don't know. Very well, and my mom was waspy to her. She grew up in New York and her dad was like a Manhattan ad man. Bad man, old timey ad man.
Yes, but being a wasp means you get a fun surprise. I made them both take DNA tests and I made my mom take a DNA test. And there was like Spanish and Scandinavian in there. Oh, really?
In such high numbers that I was like, mom. So your grandmother or great grandmother had a different baby. She didn't tell the truth on paper.
Right. So you have a lot of Spanish in you and Scandinavian.
Not a lot. Just you and whatever a grandparent I think it's like and who knows? I mean, the numbers are 10 percent to 15 percent on one of the DNA tests I've done. Hmm.
That's a lot at some point. So you did. Yeah. So your dad was like a military kind of guy. Yeah, he grew up.
So I'm named after my grandfather, Colonel Cecil Strong, who's now in Arlington. But my dad had to answer the phone. Colonel Strongs residence, William speaking. Wow. He did that one in your house.
You know, our house was like armpit farts and. Right. Like fart jokes and punching butts and there you go screaming.
I think those are the comedic ones we're looking for. I think we found them.
Yeah. Yeah. We lost. We did not have any of that discipline.
Armpit farts missed us and we thought about armpit farts in a while.
I've tried so hard for years to to be able to do it. And every now and then I could do it. But nothing consistent now.
No, it's not a consistent skill. It's not on my resume. You know, I try to be honest on my resume.
You have to put it on your resume to say you say occasionally armpit farts sometimes.
I mean, that's sure. Any time people ask for a special skill, it's like the most terrifying moment because I don't have any and all my special skills. So, like, I can make this weird noise, I can relate. So I'm not but I can't go horseback riding or something. I'm not a sailor, not a sailor, but I can do that.
Real world. Real world. That's good. That's I mean, I think yeah, I think it more it's probably more practical than horseback riding for sure.
So when you went to high school and stuff, did you do all the plays and things?
I did. I had a colorful high school career that. Were you in jail? Well, sort of. So I, I was in theater and I loved doing the plays and I was doing like jazz choir and I got straight A's. But then I also like I bought the first bag of pot I ever bought. They found and I got handcuffed and like marched through school and arrested.
And so then I and then I got expelled for a semester. Oh, my God. That I went to Catholic school for the end of the year to get to the end of the year. And then I went back to public school. I got super depressed. I felt like, you know, I wasn't going to graduate on time because I didn't have consumer consumers at or in enough gym credits, which was so. Like, I just I was understanding bureaucracy for the first time.
Right. And it was like, well, you know what? I'm not going to do that. And I dropped out. I went to the library in the park every day, and then I wound up my senior year, I went to Chicago Academy for the Arts and I I found my people and I did some correspondence classes and I graduated on time. I found all the weirdos.
So you got busted for pot at public high school? Yeah. And that was sophomore year.
That was my sophomore year. And I remember, like, asking the security guard if he could check the cast list for Shadowbox to see if I'd gotten Beverly while they were taking you out in cuffs.
I did get the wrong I didn't get to do.
And so you got suspended from there for a year.
Expelled, expelled. I had a full expulsion hearing. And then, like, you know, how you did a SATs for National Merit, whatever. So I was I got a letter saying you're a National Merit commended scholar, but I wasn't allowed within a three block radius of my high school.
And then they sent you to Catholic school for the rest of that year? Well, no, they wanted to send me to like an Atzmon school in Chicago and we decided to do Catholic school instead. And I went to. But you know what? I'm kind of glad because it was such an experience in itself seeing like getting to go to school with all the, you know, the Catholics. And, yeah, this is I've met a lot of I have a lot of great Italian names after that.
Yeah, no, no.
Ukrainian one that I learned about confirmation, you know, at this part of where I was. And it was kind of like on the west side. It was in River Forest. So it wasn't in the city, but it was a very Italian, Irish, Puerto Rican.
Yeah. She met some characters.
I did, yeah. There was one girl, Joe Rizzo, who the first time I met her, she had a big bruise on her arm because her boyfriend, Kanye, said, Kanye hit me with a league ball.
And then one day she couldn't sit down and she went because I went tanning twice because I went once.
And then Kenny's mom went to go and look and she lifted up her skirt and her whole ass was like bright red her.
And so was like, I know that wasn't part of my life yet. Yeah.
And then he got out of there. You escaped and went to Art.
I went back to public school and then was just I started getting super depressed. Why? Well, I mean, it's in my family anyway.
And my brother had really bad depression growing. And he still does. We all do. Yeah. And so I guess this was like my time and I would, you know, late at night, like, I'm either going to just keep driving and I'm going to drive west or I'm going to go in my garage and just fall asleep with the car running and it's warm and I'm listening to music I like. And those were like, I would just go home.
I didn't ever try anything. But then my mom was kind of like, now this is not good. And then I went to the family psychiatrist, the family one. Yeah, she told me I had shit.
I was very shit colored glasses, so I knew I liked her as opposed to the rose colored glasses.
No, suicidal ideation is not it's not great though. It's a hobby of mine.
Yeah. It makes me makes me feel better sometimes but it makes me feel alive. It does. I used to do a joke about it that I said, you know, I think about suicide all the time, not that I want to kill myself. It just makes me feel better knowing that I can, if I have to, for leaving.
You know, that moment where you like. I could always kill myself right now. I can keep going. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So. So that's when you started getting treated for the Depression. Yes.
So yeah I started then I. And it was really good I got on, I forget, you know, it's like antidepressants have come such a long way. I think I was on Lexapro or something.
Yeah, you're on one of the classics here, one of the O'Jays. Yeah. So and I've been on and off. That's why I really like Wellbutrin, because it's like I feel the least amount of side effects and like, I'm not I don't feel if I'm ever going through a feeling dread or whatever, I'm like this. Yeah, this too shall pass.
So it gives you that foundation of not locking in to the the spin.
Right. Which and it's a big spin. I still spin I guess, but I'm like, but the dread, the good Wellbutrin is good for people who spin.
Yeah. It's good for dread.
It's like tornado, you know. Right. Once it starts and then my friend. Yes. Yeah. And it's always very negative and you know, fatalistic.
I've even heard of a positive spiral. I think that's like when you're manic.
Oh. Oh that's true. That's true. That's the spiral where everything's going your way.
Yes. I have a lot of mental illness in my family, so I've been on the other end of the phone for a positive spiral.
Oh, so but you're not bipolar, do you? What's your diagnosis like?
Depression. Yeah, depression, anxiety, boring. Nothing special.
Depression, anxiety. Yeah, I have the anxiety. I don't know if I'm depressed. I wouldn't know any more. My dad's a depressive and we have it in the family, but I definitely have tracked most of it to different varying degrees of anxiety.
Sure, yeah. Because if you get really anxious, you'll go into a paralysis that is kind of like depression.
Yeah, but it's not it's more of a dread thing. Like I can tell the difference between depression and paralyzing dread.
Right. Do you think? Oh, see, now sometimes I'm like the paralyzing dread and it's just like what it leads you to.
It's exhausting and it's the anxiety. I feel much more physically, weirdly enough. And then the depression.
I get my hormones get on Mr I take seasonal birth control and I have have for years and years. So I only get four periods a year because I get so depressed just from, just from my hormones changing. And that's when I have to go like this isn't real, this isn't going to last and. Right. Yeah.
I mean that's the trick is if you can actually step out of it to be like this is my brain dragging me along here. Yeah.
It's all I'm responding to something my brain is manufacturing that has no bearing on reality. Right? Yeah.
And in high school, I remember, you know, going through like which is what's my personality and what's my illness. Oh, that's the worst. Yeah.
That sort of like am I a whole self. Right.
Is the fun stuff me or because I have anxiety but I and I think like Coronavirus really brought it all back. I feel like, you know, I worked on it, worked on it for years and then all of a sudden being alone in my apartment for two weeks and not knowing what's happening and having someone sick and wondering if I'm sick, it was like I would go days where I'd go to I'm going to choose anxiety today and then like I now have to choose depression and start drinking at ten.
And the minute I wake up to just try to go to knock myself out, right.
Yeah. I think that a lot of people are having that experience. They're definitely spending time with, you know, either fighting who they really are or with the who or with who they really are.
With this, you know. You know what I mean? It's it's all broken or they haven't dealt with it.
Yeah. Yeah. I really had a hard time with that, with that sort of struggle for like who am I.
Is this like does this hat make me me.
Am I like should I should I dress like that guy, you know, like I can't fucking deal with that.
Right. I think it went on to like maybe a year or two ago.
It's probably still going on. Did you have that?
No, I think I'm I think I'm now I love not having to to think I fit in or have the thing. I'm like, you know what? I 100 percent believe that I'm a person who likes to share joy and be joyful and I want comedy from there. And, you know, and obviously I'm selfish and I love to. I bark like a dog sometimes, but I don't enjoy arguing or fight, you know, the thing I enjoy when I feel best is it's coming from that place like a happy laughing.
Well, that's great.
I mean, maybe I should get on Wellbutrin. All right.
Just take take now. Don't do the generic because it makes your hands shake.
See, that's what I was telling you when I took it. It got me crazy. That's your handshake. I was doing like an ad for the if something was not an ad, it was like a public service thing.
And I had to drink a glass of water and I just started it and I was taking the bupropion and I was like, it's like Donald Trump faking it.
All right. So, all right, let's let's not.
So tell me about evolution, the evolution of joy here. So when you finally got to the art high school and you found your people, were you like, relieved? Is that where you started to realize it's OK to be a weirdo? Oh, totally.
I always say, like, I think I was the coolest I've ever been when I was 18 because I was around all these people who introduced me to their favorite music and art. And I had a really good friend. This girl, Megu, lived with me. She was Japanese and she was an exchange student. And she looked at me and she was so funny. She had her hair permed, like Bob Dylan and like one tooth that kind of stuck out.
And she was a Zen Buddhist and a painter. Wow. She'd had cancer and gone to school in a hospital until she came to Chicago and and we wound up being Jesus Christ.
That's she was just like a super important person in my life. She lived with me. And then after I went to college, she stayed in my house and lived with my mom until she was done with high school.
So she live with you at your family house? Yeah. Yeah. Oh, wow. She and like, she took the bed and she I didn't know where she painted these. She got sticks from outside and painted them all black and bent them and made like a canopy for her bed.
So she was inspirational artist.
She was very much so. And she hardly spoke any English. But I think I appreciated that. I had a lot of friends who didn't speak English growing up, really not a lot. But I think I appreciate someone who feels like I mean, they have to they feel like an outsider. But there was something like, well, we have to find other ways to communicate. And that was kind of fun to me.
Are you still in touch with her? No.
So my when she left when she went back to Japan, I had a close friend passed away right around the same time. And it was really like my first big loss. And I lost like and just it was all at the same time. And I kind of lost her info and like, I've tried to look for her over the years. But her name's Magwood Nakagawa. So there's just so many. And it was sort of with her being as like Zen Buddhist as she is, it was kind of like, you know, this is the way it's supposed to go.
And Megu is this part of my life. And if I meant to meet her again, I will.
So when you were at the art high school, what were you primarily doing? She was it sounds like she was a painter and a sculptor and stuff.
Yes, I was theatre. Nothing cool. And so you just did straight up like, you know, were you taking the acting classes and all that stuff? Yeah.
So I've done theater for a long time anyway. And then I went to college for it.
So I went got my BFA from Arts and I know some people went to court.
I know it's a small school, but a lot of people. Allison Brie. Yeah, she was a year above me.
We were friends. You were. Yeah. She's great.
I do. I do a show with her and also Don Cheadle.
We're friends too. Are you just saying that I'm putting that on Don Cheadle, but he can't say no now, right?
Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Allison and I did a Chinese opera together.
Really? Would that be appropriate now?
I think that's what I mean. I don't know what another name would be, but they called it it was directed by Chen Charging and Stephin Merritt said the music. It was called Peach Blossom fan.
Stephin Merritt. Yeah. From Magnetic Field. Yeah. It's like there's a Beijing opera style. And we had these two other two instructors who were like a really big deal in Chinese opera who came to try to teach us there was like stick movies and fan work and a lot of flowers. Yeah, I was not ever good at it. It was a lot of work.
Was this part of a class work or is this a class I offered Chinese opera or is it something.
No, we all auditioned. Oh, so someone came in, Stephin Merritt came in.
We're going to do show cavemen. Yeah. Right. And worked with Gil and it was the opening of Red Cat. They. That this show, if you're familiar with the Red Cat Theater idea, dedicate my last special there. Oh, OK.
Well, yeah, so you've probably seen there's probably a picture somewhere on the wall.
I don't know. I'll go back and look. I'm sure there must be some of the Chinese opera that you guys did. Yes. Yeah.
So were you doing comedy? Not yet. So I didn't really do comedy. I mean, we did some funny shows and I was. Like, I was a funny person, I think, but I was a serious actress until after college.
Well, now what kind of decision is that? Like, you just sort of you get out of college at Cal Arts and then what do you do?
I stayed around L.A. for a minute. I took a class at the Groundlings because my teacher. Said he thought I would do well and I was sort of like, we'll see, and I loved it and then, you know, I was like, I can go back to Chicago, get a really a much cheaper apartment. My parents can buy me groceries if I'm ever. In need. And I took classes and I started at Second City. See, that was the big question, like, you know, looking at, you know, my research was like, how do you go from class and then just go back to Chicago to do sketching?
It was the Groundlings was the hinge. That's where you got turned on to it.
Yes, you're right. I do like I used to go talk at Cal Arts about. You know, because people kept telling me, you're giving up if you're moving back to Chicago and it was like No. One, I'm twenty four, twenty five years old and I don't want to be none of this feels good yet.
And it's like I'm I make 14 dollars an hour wearing a blue apron and selling wine at Greenblatt's, which was fun, but it was like I wasn't going to of like what I thought my life would be. Didn't feel like it existed there in L.A.. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's it on Sunset Boulevard. I drink a lot of good wine there, though. That's nice. So you took the growing class and then you went back to Chicago and you're like, this is the life?
Yeah, I moved in with my friend Caitlin. We had an apartment. I think we each paid like three seventy five. I worked in restaurants and in Second City. Then I worked at Planned Parenthood for two years or so.
Oh really? Yeah. And taking classes and like doing shows for two people in the audience, wherever you could do them.
What was the Planned Parenthood job. I was the receptionist at the corporate office in Chicago, and so I opened all the mail, too, and it was sort of like when someone calls, they look up the number line, that's I'll be the first person they speak to.
Did you just do that? Was that you feel like it was your social responsibility or.
Yeah, I mean, I've always been. Well, a bit of like a wonk, my dad was in public relations, but his firm did a lot with the Democratic Party in Chicago. Yeah, and we've just always skewed sort of liberal. And so I really wanted to work for Planned Parenthood and I got to be their receptionist. Right.
Was there maybe Chicago is different. Were you afraid to work there? Why didn't they get letter bombs?
You know, I well, yeah. And I would open all this crazy mail that was just full of so much hate.
Oh, really? But and I had to open the door and we had, like, you buzz one door to open it and then to get back, you'd have to buzz another door.
But it wasn't like we weren't the main clinic in Chicago where they performed abortions, where just the clinic near us did all the other just regular all of the 80, 90 percent of things, Planned Parenthood, that birth control, rights screenings, cancer screenings, all of that.
So you didn't have to deal with the with the pain of the decision every day with people coming in.
No, but I do remember Dr. Tiller was killed while I was a receptionist, and that was like a very scary day. And I just sobbed in a parking lot talking to my dad on the phone. Yeah, just there. And it was like, you know, it was tough also just every single day, seeing so much hate that was like this is mainly it's not really religious. When they're writing those things, they're saying, close your legs, you whores, you sluts, you're trapped.
I mean, it was just, like, really awful. It was just, hey, and then if there was like a woman of color on our flyer that we'd send out, it would be even worse and it was just nonstop.
Nonstop. Yeah, yeah. And now, look, now we live in that every day. I know.
Yeah. So, wait, did you you got a BFA or MFA, your master's.
No, no, I'm a bachelors. I kind of a big fucking asshole to carry a lot of money to pay for group that.
But I don't know why. Why trivialize it like that. You know what, I don't as much anymore, but that's because I've paid off my loans. You've done it.
You did a Chinese opera. I left Callar. I got to go to France. I went I toured around France right after I graduated with them. So I left it. That alone was worth the loans.
So how did the when did you start working professionally? For which company did you work for in the improv business? So, well, I did some professional theater as a kid, and then when I started my first real job in Chicago was I did a cruise ship, a cruise ship. I did a cruise ship with Alex, who's on my show, and there was a group of five of us. So we did very watered down sketch and improv for cruise ship for four months.
You were on the ship for four months? Yeah. I mean, how long are the cruises?
Most of them were a week. There was a couple that were two weeks when we went up to Canada and fall, but most were awake.
Did you enjoy it? Was it weird to be traveling with the audience all the time?
Well, my mom had me convinced. I was like, there's nothing more luxurious than a cruise. So for two months I think I loved it. And by the third month, it started feeling a bit more like, I'm stuck here, I want to write, haven't spent a night on land. And sometimes, you know, when there's bad weather, we just get sick all the time.
And the food is gets a little weird, doesn't it? Yeah. Yeah. And and you had to do how many shows a week.
Well, we didn't have to work a lot. That was the thing. I just got like I got fat and drunk that we only did. We did two sketch shows a week and two improv shows. Oh, OK. And then just when I was like, I'm going to work out and I'm going to write. And I did neither.
So now how does it shift? How do you shift from cruise ship to SNL? What happens?
What are the stuff? Well, when I got back to Chicago, I started touring with Second City, so I got to see all different parts of Wisconsin and Ohio.
And then I was trying to shows that. I know. Yeah, yeah.
I've been all around the Midwest and worked with insane people. But then I did a show and I, I did a couple of things that I know. And I worked in the box office that I really liked. And it was the showcase there that I got hired from OC Improv Olympics.
It's not really like there's not really a logical jump from that to SNL anyway. That's not like a thing that makes sense.
No, I get it. But like, you know, but so there's the two different companies are Second City and I. Oh, right. Yeah.
I mean there's there's there's a bunch in Chicago. There's annoyance too. That's a big one.
Oh yeah. Annoyance. Yeah. Right. Right. Right. Now it's just sort of started by who. To start the annoyance.
Right. Mick Napier. Yeah. Yeah. But so what was the audition process for you. How did it happen.
Shahana asked me to do it and I didn't think I was ready. And there was like, you know, everybody who shanor information she ran. I know, OK? And so she was running the showcase. And it was like everyone said, we can only audition once and then Lorne will get sick of you. So you better have a really good one. And so I didn't think I was ready and I didn't do I wasn't a stand up and I didn't do a lot of solo work and I didn't do impressions.
So I just I took a workshop on on solo work and impressions. I think what I did that worked with I just tried to keep everything short. You know, a lot of people get really indulgent, like doing Sam Elliott or something, and it's like your jokes aren't that good to fill a minute of this. Right. And there's like two other guys doing Sam Elliot tonight.
But you so you actually for the audition, you knew it was coming up. You took those classes so you could nail it. Yeah.
So you were just being yourself usually. And my daughters. Yeah, exactly right, right, right, right. So you didn't do impressions?
I did some impressions, but they were kind of like I think I did Sofia Vergara in the first one. But I did her, like selling a pair of glasses that make you look like you're away, like your eyes are open zombie glasses so that you can take a nap.
Do you want me to give you want you want me to break some news for you, please? Right now, Kamala Harris was just selected by.
That's it. Wow. This is big news. Yeah, I was waiting to hear. Wow. Yeah. There you go. It just popped up. Amazing. It's exciting. I'm a fan. I know some of my friends and family aren't quite as fond of it, but I think she's great. I think that's a great duo. Sure. Well, this is great news. Thanks for telling me.
You got it.
So when you get that SNL, like, you know, they wanted to see you, so you go meet with Lorne. Did you have to go do the screen test?
Yeah, so I did. I mean, I did everything with Amy, which was really nice. We had the same. I love the same. Yeah, I did too. And having her like we really we went to the first screen test that was all women. And then I was I flew home the next day and as I'm in the car from the airport we got an email saying we fly back. They just want to hang out with you in the offices.
That's like the crazy tests or whatever. Yeah. And then there was another screen test. So I had to come up with new things that I didn't have ready. And then another then we got flown out one last time to meet with Lorne. And when I was hired originally, he didn't quite know when he wanted to start me on the cast. He was going to start me as a writer. And then I found out that week I would join the cast.
It went from writer to cast that quick in a week. Yeah, I went like, I guess I'm going to have to learn how to be a writer pretty soon, huh?
And you didn't have to know.
I didn't have to. I got to stay a bozo.
Well, so what characters did you audition with? Just out of curiosity, do you remember? I did.
Well, like the impressions. I think I did. Justice Sotomayor. Yeah. Confronting the other justices about someone taking her Tony Shalhoub poster. I did Cleopatra unrolling out of the carpet like that.
And she got up and laughed and like, you want to be my boyfriend. Surprise.
And then I did like a little chubby boy who I saw. So I grew up around a lot of, like, mom and like great diners, restaurants. That's where I used to smoke as a teenager. And there was one nearby called Mother's Day. And I just remember this waitress had a three pit bulls tattoo on her arm I loved. But there was this family is really chubby, little boy.
And at the end of their meal, he went, that was awesome. See you next Saturday.
And that was one of my you you kept that kid's memory alive.
Yeah. If anything is memory Thalys, I don't know where he is now.
I love Greek diners and they don't happen everywhere. Then we have no place.
New Jersey, New York. Find him like Chicago.
No, we're in Rhinebeck. Probably not. But you could definitely find him in New York. There's a few, but like.
Yeah, I don't know why they know how to do that. I mean, I think I loved these because it was like we we would go just have coffee and smoke cigarettes. Yeah. Yeah. And like I just said, okay. Pasta salad. Right. And instead on that.
Yeah, yeah. It's great. That's what life used to be.
What is it going to come back. Fuck. So. All right, so you're at SNL. You're like it. You like it. Were you freaking out.
Yeah. All of it freaking out like that. My first year was great. I hardly remember it. And then, you know then. It's SNL. So you're stressed out all the time, you're like, it's my you know, if you don't get something, then you're like this it for me, it's my career over. My first sketch didn't get in. Yes. You know, it's just and it's like you can't complain to anybody because it's a dream job.
And who would understand you crying about sketch comedy anyway?
But you you always get used a lot, it seems. I like seeing you. Yeah. I mean, a lot of times it's different. You know, it's I think I if I for a while I was like, I just don't want to only I don't want to be shoehorned into this one thing. I think like I'm a lot. Weirder than I get to be, and I love playing straight roles and I love being able to support other people and.
But it's also fun, like I just start I wanted to do physical comedy in the past couple of years, which I yeah. Hadn't really gotten to do, and that was like a new thing for me in my seventh year to consciously do physical comedy.
Yeah. And I think it was like part of it was because that keeps it like I don't know what's going to happen if I mind, if I'm flying and I'm on. My friend Kench is a writer, is always putting me with the live animal and then you don't know what's going to happen. So I kind of like that, that I'm doing this on live TV and I don't know what's going to happen.
So that is something you worked out with him, that you get as many women as possible?
No, but I know, like, he he just always trusts me to be able to do it. And then I'm always like such a dweeb who's like, well, I'll protect the animals.
It should be me. I'm like, I'll make sure no one hurts that dog or cat. And I was like, he's the cat's not going to wear pants, he's not going to wear pants. So I'm really I'm looking out for them. So that's exciting.
So like, I guess then you felt that you were more playing, you know, straight characters and you were kind of like out there characters and then and then like so so the update gig must have been like, well, that's like way to set in its ways in a way, right?
I mean, it's I am I feel really thankful I got to do it. And, you know, I was such a like such a fan of Seth's and he was our head writer. And I think he's so brilliant and like so getting to do that with him was a really big deal my second year. But I did I missed it. I would get like kind of jealous of other people creating new characters on update.
Well, what sort of unfolded with that gig? Well, it became it wasn't really there was no, like, set thing that happened, it was just sort of it didn't feel like it was working out.
It didn't feel great. I felt. Like, I didn't then want to, like, be stuck to that and I didn't want to only do update and it felt like updates going to need to be have a major revision and it's not set anymore. And it was like, well, I don't want to. Can I walk away? Sort of. And then and then at one at the end of the summer, I felt like, oh, should I have done that?
Was that a bad move? And I had a quick, like, fearful moment. But then I'm happy the way it worked out. And I love Michael J.
Yeah, he's great. So you talk to learn about it. You're like, I kind of want to do characters.
Yeah. I mean, we had a lot of talks, not a lot like at that point I was we weren't as close as we are. But I mean, he I was pretty concerned with. Yeah, being able to do, you know, it's kind of like I don't want to be known as and it feels, again, like ungrateful or something, but it was like, I don't want to just I don't want to be known for update and like a not great update.
I want to do what I like doing characters. That's really fun. And I want to be like, that's what I want my the bulk of what I do on the show to be.
And now you've got like 100 of them. And counting, yeah, yeah, it's on Wikipedia somewhere. Yeah, tons of characters, yeah. Did you, like, do in the White House correspondents thing? Yeah, actually I did.
And everyone kind of said it's a lose, don't do it. But I was such a big fan of Obama. Yeah.
And being from Chicago and so like getting to have my whole family there, that was basically like my wedding. Like I don't need to get married now. I got to have that with my family. I got to eat dinner next to Michelle Obama, you know.
Yeah. So I didn't really care.
I thought it went well, but it was more important to just like that.
I got to tell a family thank you. It was just it was important to do that. And my family, my brother set up the confetti cannon it Obama's Senate win.
And it was so sweet, my brother then talking to Michelle and Barack and Obama's very like, you know, it was like a little bit robotic at that point because he has to shake however many hands a day. Sure. You know. Right. For Korona.
But then my brother came up and was like, he has a bit of a stutter, too, is a big guy. He was telling and he ran the confetti and he was like and the other one was broken. So I was the only one who could run it. And Obama went, wow, thank you. And it was just so sweet.
And Michelle was like, I think I remember that. And it was like, these are the nicest people and to have that moment with them.
So I'm super happy I did it.
That's great. That's so nice. So what do you think you're up for an Emmy, right? Yeah, which was super.
I mean, that's funny to say, but it's that feels like I wasn't ever expecting it. So the win I already won in that way, you know, I'm so like the kid who's never won any awards or was very popular, so I've never put too much stock in awards. But I getting to have a day of, like friends and family, especially when you haven't seen people in so long texting you. If anything, sending is champagne, it's nice to get to talk to people.
And it's. It was just that was a really, really nice day to have it. It's nice to have the recognition from your peers. Yes, but I mean, I think I found I found I was I like found other ways to feel like I'm good enough or whatever you need in your life, you're doing the same show.
So this was kind of just a really nice feeling bonus. Oh, that's so interesting.
So, you know, you don't have any insecurity about doing the job anymore.
No, no. Which is I know that's bizarre, but I'm still like, you know, I think I like to do. I'm kind of like, let's let the other cars do those those straight character, play the reporter, do all these things that I did. And then I'll just come in and I want to fly with chance, and that's all I want to do. You know what what other kind of characters you like? You like doing like kind of big ditzy characters sometimes, or did I think, like my favorite thing?
It's women who have no self-awareness or like they have so much confidence and no shame. They're not embarrassed. You know, having a freakout anywhere. I like I like those women. Yeah. The ones that like in public. I'll just they start a scene and you have to watch them. It's a lot of terrones now. There's a word for it I suppose. Yeah.
But there's also not just Karens. There's just sort of like, you know, narcissistic, kind of like blowhards. I mean, like you do don't you.
Do you do Pyrrho, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Like, you know, it's just this drunken blowhard who doesn't give up. Right.
Well, I got to I mean, like, we turned her into just a silly clown anyway, where I get to tell Paul and Colin my favorite is Colin.
He loves it. You know, I'll come to him like I have this idea. Do you mind if I throw up on you? And he's like, yeah, that sounds great.
Yeah, well, that's fun.
And because I guess because you're not that kind of person or are you or in your is it a fantasy of yours.
No, I hope I'm not. I don't think I am. No, I'm it's like I'm Midwestern. It's my nightmare to like be in a three block radius of anyone complaining to a manager ever. Yeah. I'm like, please don't send it back. Please don't send it back.
I was joking. I was at a restaurant the other night or not the other night when. When it's ten years ago, who knows. March or February. Yeah. And my friend and I were like the restaurant said they were, they should have been open and this guy kept being like, well we're closing, but you can come in, you can eat, you can order this or this or this. And we were like by the end of it, we were joking.
Like, we're both trying to take this man home. We were being so like, oh, thank you. So that's so great. You're so wonderful. Like, we were so polite and we're tipping him.
Yeah. Well, look, you've got to go. I hear. Okay. Where are you going now?
I'm doing Fallon. This is my big press week.
Fallon, that'll be fun. OK, thanks for talking to me and congratulations.
Thank you. This is so cool. I'm a big fan. I think you're wonderful. Thank you for talking to me.
Yeah, it was great. And congratulations on the nomination. And when we get through this, if we get through this, I'll meet you in person.
Yes. Come back to the show if I wait for another fifteen years. Yeah. Great. Good plan. It's the paycheck. I'll see you later. All right.
Bye bye. Cecily Strong I. She's she's good, she's funny. Saturday Night Live is back this Saturday, October 3rd. Sweat it out. Jews get it out. Everybody else, you know, do whatever you do. Let's play some music. Here we go. Over text Todd Glass, what's that guy doing? I feel like it's been years. I text me a sound file. All right, let's listen to it. Mark, happy birthday.
I get the whole band back together, so here we go. Are you ready on the cowbell? All ready? There we go. Tambourine You're good to go. Ratchet, ratchet. There we go. Woodblock. Are you ready on the woodblock? All right.
There we go. Ratchet. And I think we're good to go. We got hit green. All right. Here we go. Give me a little rumble in that piano to help build some excitement. All right, here we go. Whenever you're ready, Jennifer. Birthday to mark. Happy birthday to Mark. Happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to. I love you forever, buddy. Don't forget, simply say it's got everything you need to protect your home with none of the drawbacks of traditional home security.
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