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Lock the gate. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck nix? What the fuck stirs? What's happening? I'm Marc Maron. This is my podcast, WTF. David Duchovny is on the show today. OK, he's from the X Files and Californication, but he's also a musician and he's an author and he's got a new novel out. It's called Truly Like Lightning. And it's an amazing conversation.
If you listen regularly, you'll find and I know this just because I'm doing it, that a lot of the interviews during the plague have been thorough and good and connected in a way that is surprising and actually, in some cases deeper and better than had I done them person to person live here in the in the garage, which is, believe me, when we chose to start doing Zoom because we had no choice like everybody else or figuring out some platform to make this work.
It was a big deal because we have really stood by this in-person interview thing since the beginning of the show.
It was a big transition and both Brendan and I were nervous. But oddly, what's happened is we've gotten a lot of guests that we probably wouldn't have gotten before, and I couldn't quite figure out why some of these things were going so well or that they were more interesting and connected and deeper in a way.
Is there a lot of things that aren't happening? There's a lot of defenses already down. There's a couple of things happening.
You know, when you don't when you don't have a celebrity or an actor or an artist who has who's in the middle of a day driving around, doing TV hits, doing radio spots, you know, some of them traveling with hairstylists or trying to figure out how to get here or just dealing with traffic, all that stuff.
You know, what has to shed when they get in here on the mic and see who's houses is what's going on?
It it's great. It's real. It happens in the moment. But these things, the new ones happened in the moment, too.
But what I started to notice differently was that and I sort of thought about this is that none of that they're coming in from the other room of their house or wherever they're staying, they're just, you know, they're setting up in their living room or they're just walking down their hall. Some of them may not even be wearing pants. I don't know. But what I'm saying is that all this sort of buildup of shields, defenses and just dealing with a day of work, not there.
So that's one part of it, the comfort factor that they're in a place that they're already comfortable. I don't have to make them comfortable. And the other thing is, I think a lot of people are starved for connection. I don't like some people have a better relationship with their parents.
I don't I don't face time with my mother. I don't face time with my brother. I don't. Zoome with anybody. There's no family. Zoom's going on.
The only zooming I'm doing is for my podcast. And there's a few people I still see in person.
But I think a lot of people, even if they're seeing people on Zoom or in their orbit family, most people are not having the casual conversations that they used to or just having the comfort of regular life. So I think a lot of times like what do Coveny?
Because we had an amazing conversation and I think it was just because he's a smart guy, I don't think a lot of people talk to him like we talked or that he assumes they will. I'm not saying I'm smart, but I can keep up. But I think a lot of people just aren't having conversations in general, so that combination of them already being comfortable where they are and the fact that people aren't talking to people as much as the issue, they're not out in the world much.
They're they're a little starved for connection. The combination of those two leads to, you know, what have been some fairly amazing conversations on this show. And Dick Cheney's no different. It's a really good one that you're going to listen to shortly.
But a lot of people are not having a great time during this plague. Obviously, none of us are having a great time.
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I got to be honest with you, these conversations, this not with the therapist, I'm not a therapist, so I'm just kind of shifting gears here to Segway.
But I got to tell you, just talking to other people, even if even if it's people I don't know, like I interviewed who I interview last week, Sam Neill, or even this to any conversation that you're about to hear just to connect with somebody, just to unload a little bit, relax, get into their life. What's going on with you? How you doing? Tell me about your life. I talked to my buddy Sam Lipsyte every night.
I ask him about his kids.
You know, it's really what we're built to do.
And you should keep doing it because sometimes I'm out of my fucking mind and I don't know what the fuck is going to happen or how I'm evil or how I'm even going to be able to talk to somebody else. Or what about or what are they like or what the fuck is going to happen? God damn it, why am I even doing this to begin with? And then I have a conversation with them within five minutes of talking to somebody, a stranger, I feel better.
That's what people do, man. This is not the time to just get lost in rabbit holes of buying things you don't need, although it is fun and our economy relies on it, you know, take that back, please buy a lot of stuff you don't need, but help people out, give to charity, do what you do, whatever you got to do to make you feel engaged like you're doing something. But I guess my point is talk to people.
You can do the better health thing, but also talk to your friends, try to talk to your family. I always forget because there's something about.
I've learned that I like to isolate I didn't realize it, but I'm OK by myself and some days that sort of I'd rather sit at home and feel sorry for myself for no reason than engage. I feel like somehow my life got derailed, everyone's life got derailed and everything is amplified. Now, when we have all this time and this plague is upon us and there's fear and tension and anxiety politically and financially, is that every little thing that if it would have just happened in ordinary life would have been daunting, but it would have just folded into the flow of ordinary life.
Now everything is amplified and you can fully process. Everything, all the bad shit, all the good shit that happens to you, you can really fucking take it in, it really lands tragedy. Joy's appreciation horror man, you could take a few days with any of that really fucking Chern on it. And I'm trying to stay in the light. People trying to stay in the light. Everyone wants to keep their home and family safe, whether it's from a break in a fire flooding or a medical emergency, simply safe home security delivers award winning 24/7 protection with simply safe.
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WTF if any of you want to hang out in the morning, I'm available. Usually I've been doing these Wive Instagram's for months now. Even when I have nothing to say, I'll get on there.
We'll play some music together, go through some records, hang out with my cat. If that interests you. It helps me out. David companies. But truly like lightning comes out tomorrow, February 2nd.
And I told them I didn't read it, but I looked over it and I kind of got a sense of it a little bit. But I told them, you know, there's other things we could talk about, but you can get that wherever you get books. He has a third album coming out, music soon, and he's already released a single from it called Laying on the Tracks. You can check that out on YouTube.
And and we're going to talk about a lot of stuff. This is a good talk, folks. It's a great talk. This is me and David Duchovny. Were you at David? I'm in L.A.. Oh, really? Yeah, I was I was in New York until Saturday. I came out of here. I'm going to shoot a couple of things all over the world, which is crazy.
Have you done any shooting in the plague? Yeah, I did a reshoot about four or five days on on a movie. And it was it was odd. You know, as you know, you want kind of a loose feeling on set. Yeah. You know, you just have to get used to this kind of stilted masked mask on, mask off.
I know I shot a movie for 12 days and it's definitely bizarre. Screws your hair up.
You know, it's not it's not that good for an actor. No hair face. You know, you got the mask on the whole time. And then, like, right before you talk, you take it off. Were you able to focus?
Yeah, I was. In fact, it created more of a special space. Yeah. For just that that moment of performance. Yeah. I'm not saying I prefer it by any stretch, but yeah, certainly, you know, you just felt like, OK, there's this little magic circle here, we're just going to do it. We need to do and you know what we can do.
So out of squirting and Weiping going on everywhere, there was never enough.
Never enough where you I think hands are always dry. I don't think my hands are ever going to be the same again.
Well, also, I've grown this thing out for for the thing I'm going to shoot next week and it's not a beard does not mask friendly. I don't know why you're doing it now.
Know this virus can just sneak right around through the whisker gap. It's also uncomfortable. There's nothing comfortable about any of it.
Yeah, these are small complaints. But I felt when I flew on Saturday, I was asked quadruple mask. Oh, my God, it flew commercial.
I did, but I've had enough of it. So I figure I'm kind of immune right now. I mean, I had it I had it almost three months ago, so I'm told I'm pretty good for another few weeks anyway. So really, I mean. Yeah.
How bad were the symptoms? What happened? Well, since you asked my symptoms, I will tell you my symptoms, I'll take one of those was an astonishing diarrhea. Great.
Yeah, I lost some weight. I didn't feel it didn't because that's not the symptom that people seem to focus on.
Now, you can still breathe with diarrhea. Yes, you can. Yeah. And and no, I just didn't think I had it. Oh, I've got food poisoning. So a couple of days went by and I thought, OK, food poisoning is usually done in a day. So then I got tested and sure enough, I had it and it wasn't that bad. I mean, it was bad, but it wasn't certainly nothing like I've heard.
Yeah, it seems like it's a unique experience for everybody who gets it. And like my uncle and my aunt, who are in their 70s, they got it. He was tired for a week and couldn't really do anything. She had a head cold and it was over.
Right. You had I have not talked to the the diarrhea people. You're one of the diarrhea people.
That's that's actually how we like to be known. Yeah. The covid diarrhea crew I've started a support group did, but like fevers, breathing, all that.
OK, taste the sense of taste, test smell. None of that went away. What I had fatigue. I had had a very weird kind of muscle, powerlessness in my legs. It just felt like the way I would describe it is and this is completely made up. And again, remember, I'm not a doctor. Yeah. It just felt like something my body had that had never seen before. And it was trying to throw all these symptoms at me.
Yeah, something was fucked up, but they didn't they didn't like make any sense. They didn't seem connected.
So it didn't feel like anything you'd had before all at once. So I that's interesting way to look at it. So it's like your body's like well this is new, let's try to fight it and just give them diarrhea, let's try to fight it.
Let's let's alert this body here that there's something we don't understand. It's going on. So we're just going to make odd things hurt for a while and see if we can get his attention.
Oh, you got you got like joint pain and stuff. Well, just that that that powerlessness in the legs is that weird feeling of not having my legs underneath me. Wow.
Well, you got lucky. It sounds like I did. I got lucky. Did you have any visions? Did you have any moments of like, oh, fuck, this is it.
I guess I was maybe a little afraid at first just because I didn't know I didn't know what the. Intensity was going to be yeah, I was more focused, you know, I had seen my my kids, I'd seen my daughter, I'd seen my son and my daughter has preexisting condition. So I was really I was just terrified that I had infected them. And once that passed, which was like five or six days into mine. Yeah, I was really just focusing on that in the beginning.
So by then it was over.
Did you were you able to track it like where you got it? Not that it matters to you when you're in New York, though, right? I'm a guy. I'm the guy. You sneeze, you fuck now you'll pay. No, it was weird because I'm really careful.
I was in New York. I hadn't traveled, so I in New York and yeah, maybe a cab, maybe an Uber. I don't really know. No like event.
That's the scariest thing to me is like I've gone I'm doing 95 Marzook. I got the I go out with a plastic shield, you know, I did it like now I've, I've gotten this far without getting it. Now the vaccines are in truck somewhere and I just have this horrible fear of, like, if I get it in the next couple of months ago, are you fucking kidding me?
So all that work, why not just get it at the beginning? Exactly.
Exactly. Well, I can't answer that. I can't answer that because I was scared and terrified and careful when I go to fucking I go. But now there's a version out here that is highly contagious. One in three people, the way they talk about it, like one in three people. It's almost like we're trying to get it here.
We're getting close. Yeah, we're getting that herd immunity going. Oh, yeah. I don't know if that's going to I don't know if that just works on a county level.
Well, there's also culling the herd is the problem. You got to kill her to get to the herd.
I mean, well, that seems to be happening and that's the sad part about the whole thing. So you're out here to work for you just doing five days reshoots.
No, no, I did a reshoot about six months ago, but I'm going to I'm going to work for like four days on an indie and then I'm going to work on a Netflix TV show. And then I'm going I'm actually going to go to London and shoot a movie. So I'm like chasing that COGAT hotspots as well.
Good for you, man. Yeah. I mean, they probably know that you've already had it. It's higher. It's it's in your agents, like that's how they're pitching you. Now, look, he might not be right for the part, but he's already had the covid. So on an insurance level, this is the best choice you can make.
Yeah, it used to be you know, when I was starting, I was an actor. They would ask for like special skills on the back of your head. So, yeah. And I'd always lie and put, like, horse riding, juggling fencing, which I didn't do any of that shit. But now I've just put Hadco.
But I'm good to go. I've said, do you have a place out here?
Yeah. Yeah, I do. That's nice. I love L.A. actually.
You do, right? Yeah.
Yeah it do. I guess it's like this whole I mean I'm kind of delusional and I'm not delusional. I'm just so detached now. It's hard to remember what things used to be like. I can't imagine what New York is like. It's just like this weird ghost town.
Right? Well, it's not quite a ghost town, you know, because I think at this point in the pandemic, people are they're fed up and frustrated and bored and they're kind of inching back into into their their normal ways of moving around. So it's definitely quieter, obviously. Yeah. There's no ront activity or anything like that. But people are out. Yeah, people are out.
People are definitely out here in L.A. It seems like people give zero fucks. I mean, you go places, it's like there's traffic again. I don't know what everyone's doing. You know, I go hiking out here and try to dodge the mask was Armenians.
Let's not single out an ethnic group. I'm sorry.
That mask with people in my neighborhood, which has a high Armenian population.
I think that it's just human nature. It's been it's been almost a year, right? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. People people are ready to die. They're ready to die. Unfortunately, I think so.
But people can't be vigilant this long. It's just not in our nature to stay on guard for that long. I think we're built to be on guard for short spurts.
Yeah. And we enjoy entertainment and eating out. I mean, that's the problem. There's that. So now I've got the book.
I looked at the book.
I couldn't I couldn't read the whole book, jumped at it hands and you looked at. No, I read some things.
Yeah, true. Like truly like lightning.
Now when you start a novel, because I don't know how many people know you as a novelist and I don't know how many people know you as a musician.
And I don't know how five.
But but I know people know you as the guy on the X Files most and in Californication and what you know.
But this is your fourth novel. Yeah.
So I mean, you're busy guy. You don't stop doing shit. No, no. And when you write a book about a guy who's in like, what was the beginning of this book? The guy's a Mormon. So we just you're like, were you. Obsessed with Mormonism and then decided, I want to learn more about that and I'm going to set my guy there, not at all. The the beginnings of this story are from like 20 years ago, actually, when I was doing the X Files.
Yeah. I had written a about episode that was kind of based on a guy name not based on, but had used this guy named Mark Hoffman as an inspiration. A Mark Hoffman was a Mormon forger and and a murderer and a bomber actually ended up being is in prison there. And he he forged Joseph Smith's letters.
Oh, I think I kind of remember this one. What's it like in the late 90s? Yeah. Yeah, I kind of. Yeah, right. Right.
So I was kind of captivated by this story because HOFFMAN Well, the the brilliant thing he did was he there are rumored writings of Joseph Smith, as you can imagine, and not a lot survives.
But there are rumors of of of like writings that deal with fringe beliefs. And sure. So what Hoffman did was when he was forging these Joseph Smith writings, he would forge like the most controversial, most non non fundamentalist Mormon strains.
Yeah. Into these things, knowing that the church he wasn't trying to sell it to collectors. Right. He wanted to sell to the church. Who would buy it to suppress it? Who would buy it to keep it quiet. Oh, clever.
So he had this amazing scam going on, very specific and very, very small audience for the scam. I probably big money the elders where I was a good. Yeah. Was a good angle. Yeah.
So I kind of translated that into an X file where I, I wrote about a a 60s radical who had, who had started forging Jesus Christ, kind of lost gospels. Right. In which Jesus took a wife and had sex with women and was more of a human than he is in traditional.
Isn't that the last temptation of Christ like that? Well, you know, am I guilty of forgery? Maybe maybe just influence. Like, that's a book that I love and a movie that I was certainly aware of. And so I wrote this X File that was kind of based on this guy who believed he became that was the thing about Hoffman is when he wrote as Joseph Smith, he believed that he was that he was Joseph Smith. So he didn't think they were actually forgeries in the end.
And also, if you think about the credibility of Joseph Smith, I mean, we you know, whoever decides to believe what he wrote about the golden plates and where the whatever those are, I mean, it seems like there's a it seems like Joseph Smith, of all people, would be flattered that Hoffman took it upon himself to decide to create some more bullshit in his name.
Right. So so I had I had all these strands in my mind from that time. I had never addressed the Mormon aspect of it, but I kind of addressed it through a Jesus Christ aspect of it. And there was also this this sentiment or, you know, I don't know if you know anything about history, Mormonism, but in order to join statehood, Utah, which was Mormon in the late eighteen, hundreds had to not denounce but set aside polygamy and this thing called blood atonement.
Otherwise, you know, every day American the union wouldn't allow them in. So low and behold, Brigham Young said, you know, we don't really practice that stuff anymore. And they join the union. So it was polygamy and it was blood atonement. Blood atonement. Well, that's that's the thing. This is how I started getting into the story or the story started taking shape. In my mind, blood atonement is this idea that there are sins that a man can commit that are beyond the atoning blood of Christ.
Now, the beauty of the Christian sacrifice is that it achieves forgiveness. It's all inclusive. That's what I thought. But not not in this this blood atonement says and I'm sure it's some kind of a murder, usually with the murderers state of mind and clear intent. So there are certain kinds of murder that you have to be killed in return for.
This is in the Mormon religion or in Christianity, in the Mormon fringe, Mormon belief, kind of a capital punishment. So I was like, oh, wow. Blood atonement is an excellent driver of a story. You know, blood atonement is an excellent fictional device.
Either either administering it or running from it both or deciding or deciding. In my case, it's a father and son. The father is looking at his son thinking, do I have to in order to save my son's soul? Do I have to kill him? So I was like, wow, this is kind of stuff that I really like thinking about and I like writing about. And I thought. If I could write a tale or a novel, that was.
You know, not a religious novel at all, but but around around these issues, you know, I use the word fun, you know, because the middle of the book is is kind of comedic because you have these three kids who have been raised in a kind of DaVita, which is what they called their compound in the desert. Haven't seen any other humans their whole life. They basically lived in this bubble. Wow. And they get taken out and put in it to put it into Rancho Cucamonga High School.
So the middle of this very fish out of water culture, cultural innocence, trying to survive the weirdo Mormon kids.
Yeah, exactly right. So I don't know if that answers your question, but but it's like my interest in Mormonism was then driven by my knowledge of these strains within it. I really like the idea that, you know, that they had pushed aside these, you know, and not anti-American, but on, you know, things that America couldn't handle, like polygamy or blood atonement in order to join the union. And then I had studied with a guy named Harold Bloom at Yale when I was a graduate student.
Huh? Brilliant. I mean, just the most brilliant mind I've ever been around. Well, this is a big book, The Anxiety of Influence. How do you reference him in your mind? He had written about Joseph Smith and he called him an American genius. And I was like, what the fuck? Joseph Smith, one of the great hucksters.
Well, yes, but I read Bluemont Joseph Smith and it informed my book. And that Blume talks about Smith as. You know, his whole anxiety of influence is about being violated, like here we are, you and me, we've come in the 21st century. There's a lot of genius behind us. Yeah, there's not a lot of stuff we can say or do that's new. We have that anxiety of influence. We can't we can't be better than our betters and the people that came before.
It's very difficult.
But so that's a that's a condition. Not a fact. That's a condition. A psychological condition or a literary condition for bloom. Right. Literary psychological condition.
So what he says about Joseph Smith is, you know, it's it's in the name their Latter Day Saints. Smith Smith is taking this backwards looking religion, Christianity, which is based on something that happened two thousand years ago. Right. And he's saying now that shit's still happening right now. We can it's very American. It's like now, you know. Yeah, you're a God. I'm a God. We're all God's blessings. Yeah. Miracles are still happening.
We can move Jesus to the states. He's he's our guy. It's in America. No, I like the idea of it being an American phenomenon. But I think what you're addressing then is that the notion that even though Brigham Young said, all right, we're you know, we're on board with being part of the union, but, you know, secretly, we've got our own code and we've got our own laws and we've got a life.
You know, it's interesting you say that because there are I don't know if it's a historical fact, but there's been heavy rumors that I don't know if it was Smith or Brigham Young that had tried to negotiate with a foreign country while they were to move the church.
They're like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I don't know, just doing negotiations, you know, not not allowing the American government.
Right. Right. Well, you know, it is Salt Lake City is one of the only kind of functioning theocracies in this, I would say the only one in this country.
But it is that I mean, you go to that town, you're like, we're in it. This is how this is here.
That was my fear when I when I had when I had, like, the vague cloud of this novel idea in my mind about a year ago, I was like, oh, fuck, you know, I'm going to have to go to Utah. Nothing against Utah. But it's like if I want to if I want to know what it looks like and feels like it sounds like, yeah, I go there for some months and really get the lay of the land and, you know, it's nice there.
I'm sure it's beautiful, but I'm lazy and I like my home in L.A. So I was like, well, I set out like the first first. The feelers of research are very, very lazy and don't like research, but I know it's necessary. So I contacted this guy who was working with me for me and I said, just find me pockets of Mormonism throughout the country and let me know where they are and how valuable the land is, where they are.
Because it's a land grab book, too. There's a capitalist landgrab happening underneath.
Did you go to New Mexico? I think a lot of them are down in Silver City, aren't they?
Yeah, well, I got this this document back that was fascinating. So there was there were pockets like real pockets of Mormonism all over the country, but they fucking founded San Bernardino Mormons, founded San Bernardino. And I was like, it's my élite novel. I'm going to write my own novel.
Thank God I'm too lazy to go to Utah, which is an hour plane ride. But now I can just drive to San Bernardino.
Well, that's interesting. So, like, I get the feeling that that this was the this was the this was the goal that this is what you wanted to do, which.
Oh. Yeah, I don't really have a goal, I mean, that was that was the that was the idea. Where'd you grow up with New York City?
And was your dad an academic or. No, my dad was he worked for the American Jewish Committee, the AJC. Oh, really?
Yeah. In what capacity? I don't really know.
I mean, he had like a nine to five job, I believe. I believe he was in public relations. They called it.
What did that what did the American Jewish community. What do they do? I know I remember seeing the AJC as a Jew. I know I know the the AJC. I know those letters.
But what is their what is their goal?
I wish I could I wish I could get to my dad and tell you. But he's he's he's no longer with us, but I don't really know. I was young. I you know, he had an office in midtown, I believe he said it's so funny about people in their dad.
It's like I go to the office and I could play with the stapler, but I don't know.
Yeah, that's that's all I remember. And he wrote he wrote speeches. I know that he wrote he was a writer. He was good with words. We brought up Jew ish. No, no. He was a total cultural Jew, I'd say not a religious two.
So your and your mom's Jewish or. No, no. My mother my mother is from a small fishing village in Scotland.
Wow. How did that happen? It was an unholy and unholy marriage.
But how do they find each other? Yeah, in in Europe after the war, my dad was in Rome and Paris and they're both teaching Berlitz English on that really.
And they were teaching English as a second language to the first woman, probably the first person in her family to ever attend college. She got out of there. I mean, God bless her. She's a strong, strong person. And she valued education and left and was I don't know what she was doing in Europe, but she was out there alone on her own. And she met my dad and they came back to me.
She met a charming Jew. Yeah, he's charming.
Was charming, OK. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And he brought her back to New York saying, oh, basically I got to say goodbye to my parents, you know, we're going to move to London. I think he wanted to raise kids in London, but he didn't know Jews well enough to know that he was never going to leave.
His mom got her. So does that mean that you have family in Scotland?
Oh, yeah, I do. And do you go there? I've been to Scotland a few times, I have a kilt, I have my own tartan, I have my own my own tartan.
And so your official, is that what that means, that you get like if you go, you ready to. Yeah. You can hang out with the fellas, I guess.
I don't know. But I feel very much that mix, though. I feel very much a mix of of, as I said, cultural Jew and rural Lutheran like that. My sweet spot.
So you grew up in New York. What you did you act as a kid or you didn't act as a kid? No, no, I never I played sports. I didn't act. And I read and I wrote my dad. My dad. You ask my dad actually supplemented his income from the AJC by writing little political books.
Oh, really? Little knockoff satires like The Wisdom of Spiro Agnew. Yeah, like paperbacks.
They were published. Yeah. This Ballantine's paperbacks, they were these little like you could put them in your back pocket. And they're funny. They're funny. Yes. He was a satirist, he wrote the he wrote a couple of coloring books, he wrote the psychiatrist's coloring book, Nikita Khrushchev coloring book. And this was all kind of to supplement the income because they also like to play poker here, like different ways of like he played poker at the house.
Did you have a group of guys that would come over and smoke when you were growing up in the house?
He played it out and he he usually won. He was a good poker player. He'd won like one hundred bucks, which is a big deal. So my dad then he wrote a play that was on Broadway in nineteen sixty seven called The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. And it was not a comedy, as you can probably tell from there.
So he wrote that after Oswald was shot obviously and and only four years after.
So he had the hypothesis was if Oswald hadn't been shot, this is the trial. Interesting.
So he I feel like I've heard of that place that possibly was closed before closing like three days. Really? Why I to hear him tell it, he would he would say that people just weren't ready to see shots of Kennedy's head blown up and exploded. You know, I remember I was seven. It was the first theater experience I ever had. Aside from maybe you're a good man, Charlie Brown. Right. Which was a little a little lighter fair.
You don't. Yeah. They don't show Charlie's head being blown open. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It's like when when when Lucy trips him and he flips up on his back, his head doesn't blow open.
You're a motherfucker, Charlie Brown. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So so that kind of blew your mind.
Well, it was my first experience of of any kind of performance and it's pretty radical.
What year is that. So that was sixty seven. Sixty eight.
Seven years old. Yeah. And my dad asked me what I thought after and and in the play, which was very, very long as I recall, Oswald is sitting in a chair, it's a courtroom scene, he's sitting in a chair and he doesn't say anything for the whole first act before intermission. So like he's like an hour sitting in that chair as the prosecution of the defense is talking around him. And my dad asked me, what did you think after the play?
And I said, how did he not have to go to the bathroom? Well, that was my I was perceptive about acting from the beginning. They what if he had what what do you do if you have to go and you sit and what do you do if you're Oswald and you still got to be stuck on stage, you can't get out to pee.
So but it seems like you ended up at Yale. So, you know, your family or you obviously put a premium on education. You must have been a pretty good student. It didn't seem you know, you don't seem like you were necessarily connected, so you had to do the work.
Not connected at all was all scholarship stuff. I went to a very fancy New York high school on scholarship, and then I. I had a scholarship at Princeton based on need, and then I got a Mellon fellowship to go to Yale. So pretty much all my stuff was paid for. My mom had to take out some loans to help pay for school. I took out student loans, but we did get help. Yeah.
What did you study? Undergrad at Princeton?
I said things that are just the general liberal arts. What was your focus? Did you have a focus on the literature? Probably modern. Like my junior year. I wrote on Virginia Woolf and my senior thesis at Princeton. You have a choice of choosing. You can either take four courses or you can take three and write your senior thesis. So it's basically a year long book, but you got to come up with wow. So that's what I did.
And I wrote on Beckett Beckett's novels, of all things.
So you were in it, man. You're like on the professor track. Exactly. That was my track. So you're not even you're not even going to write a. Beckett's plays you like, you know, there's not enough attention being paid to Beckett's novels. What was that?
Well, you're giving you're giving it a much nicer slant than the one I had, which was there's so many brilliant people who've written on Beckett's play, but nobody's written about Banquettes novels. Right.
I'll do a book like it's an unexplored territory.
I just got it right.
I just got to make sense. And I don't have to do much research again.
We can go back to this and.
All right, so. So what was the angle on the novel? Was there a theme?
Was there like, you know, like I was caught up in the sway of this French stuff?
What, like like Lacon or like. Yeah, Frico and like. Yeah, yeah. The postmodernists. Yeah.
So I was the name. I can't remember what I wrote about, but the name of it was the schizophrenic critique of pure reason. That's what it was called.
And and fuck that guy.
Yeah. That was, that was like calling from the grave like how dare you. And I don't really remember what I was writing about or what my idea was, but it was basically in a nutshell, it would be and this is to make it a cliche and everything. But, you know, the only sane response to an insane world is insanity. Right? It was basically got it.
And so then you go to Yale for four masters in English now, Ph.D., but I didn't finish, so I was admitted into the PhD program. But I did my classwork and I my orals and I passed those. And then I was supposedly on to my dissertation when I started acting. Really?
You mean you started acting to get out of your dissertation?
That's one way to interpret it. Yeah, probably. You know, I would say my it at my mind didn't make that decision, but my soul was like looking around like you can't do this your whole life. You just can't.
What was the dissertation that that that drove you to acting that what was that one?
I want to know the name of that one that was called Magic and Technology and contemporary American fiction and poetry.
That seems a little broad, but probably, you know, you just pick a few and go at it.
It's like, well, that's what you do. You know what? I love what you think of you when you go at it. That's life is so. So I was going to write on the pension. James Merrill, the poet, Robertson Davies, the Canadian author, Ishmael Reed, African-American author, and Norman Mailer. So I had those five, but I was going to write about and basically that the idea behind that one was that, you know, throughout throughout human history, there's been this notion of magic.
But magic has always been like black magic and white magic. You know, there's there's a sense in which there's some magic that you shouldn't do, like fouth spouses. Sure. Very heavy strain.
You know, don't don't conjure up the devil and ask him for a favor. Exactly.
But magic also is a primitive technology. It's a way and stories the way people made it work, like they're flying in magic right now. We have technology that does magical things right. But we don't discuss technology in terms of bad and good, in terms of moral and immoral. So I was saying that these writers are kind of imbuing technological fields with magical thoughts and that they're saying just because we can do it, they're not saying it, they're authors, but just because we can do something right.
Does that mean that we should write?
Those conversations are definitely happening now. I know that was that was how many years ago that I was thinking of writing that.
Damn it, if you'd only finished it, you could be a professor now. Damn it. Just be a kind of weird tenured broke professor having this conversation with a student and sitting in your office wondering why you never pursued acting.
I should have been an actor. So what?
So what was the moment where why why you bail on your dissertation act? How did that what was the opportunity around that?
How did you just all of a sudden switch switch tracks? Did you where are you taking classes? Did you get a part?
I didn't know where all the questions and kind of zeroing in on the truth. I think that. I was trying to I knew that I wanted to write, hmm. Which is what you asked and it's true. I knew that that that that's what I wanted to do. And I also knew that I had written poetry up until that point. Mostly I hadn't really written prose.
Yeah, I used to do that. I was an English major. I wrote some poetry again. How do you feel about that? It seems like that's the the easier route, you know, the like easy.
It's not that it's easy. It's just like who's going to tell you it's no good. You know, there's just two ways to go with it. Like either that's like people who don't really read poetry. I guess what I'm saying is that in order for poetry to be judged properly, it's a very small world.
Oh, for sure. I mean, some I've heard it said that poetry is wonderful because you can't make any money at it. You know, that's why that's why poetry is. Yeah.
I still enjoy reading a few poems here and there and, you know, because I've been going through my books, but like you read poetry and you know what makes it land, what makes it not land is you've got a wide a wide berth there.
Do you know I mean, what I'm saying is that if you were the guy that doesn't like doing research, it seems to me that it would make sense that. Like, why? Yeah, I can knock out a poem. You could just kind of work a poem like a math equation. You know, you don't have to spend your entire life writing 400 pages.
Well, it's an insulated world that you're doing a poem. You know, it it will give you the terms in which it wants to be read, write each poem.
Do you do you look back at your poetry and you're OK with it or do you sort of not it's decent. Not like the poetry itself is. OK, my mind was young. Right. So the the things that I'm feeling and thinking are, you know. Yeah. Right.
That you look at that like if only that kid knew what he was getting into. Exactly. He's got a way with words but he's got nothing to say. Yeah.
So OK, so then you're a poet and I was thinking, I was thinking, well that's super lonely and prose. Wow. That seems even more lonely because you really got to sit your ass down and and work through that stuff. So I thought, OK, that's the only way that I can, you know, be out in the world, which is what I was interested in being, was to write plays. So I thought I'll I'll be I'll go on the theater, you know, all right.
I'll write plays. And then and then I thought, well, if I'm going to write plays, then I should probably learn something about acting. If I'm going to write words for actors to say, I should probably think I should probably know something about what that is interesting. So you took a class? Yeah, I did take a class.
It was also the same time when I was told I needed to make like three thousand dollars to to for the summer for my graduate life, my, my my fancy graduate lifestyle and buddy of mine who was an actress that I could make three grand doing a commercial. And I was like, OK, I'll do that. And he said, we got to be my agent. I met the agent and she said the also on commercial auditions. But if you want to go on TV, theatrical and movie auditions, you'll have to get in a class.
I was like, all right, I'm not doing anything.
I don't want to I don't want to work on my dissertation. So did you get a commercial?
I got a commercial the last day of summer. Oh, so all that you put all summer work in then you now what commercial. What was it for. It was for Lowenbrau beer was that would instill the love for acting in you was the.
Oh no not at all. I remember I kind of choked on it. Oh you didn't have to play. I didn't have a good day at work. Yeah I wasn't, I wasn't ready for that pressure then.
And would the class teach you. Was it a good class. Did you take it at Yale?
I didn't take it out, no, no, no. I was kind of schizophrenic at that point because I was teaching. I also had to teach it. Yeah, I was a graduate student, so I would come into New York and go to class. I kept that going. I ride my bicycle to the train station in New Haven, get my bike on the train, take it to Penn Station right around New York, get back on and go.
It was kind of a cool graduate student kind of vibe. I found this amazing class. I say amazing because it was Strassberg technique, which is like known as the method. I got a sure call it up and it was very, you know, nothing to do with the words. I you know, my conception of what acting was when I first thought about it or began was like, oh, I've got to figure out like smart ways to say these things.
Right. But this was all about, you know, what are you feeling and what's behind the words. And the words don't matter. Yeah. At all. Who taught it? Woman named Marcia Helfrich. She was wonderful. And, you know, these classes would just go on forever. You know, people would we put on these scenes. Yeah. And Marcia would stop them in the middle and she'd make you relax. Yeah. Do like sense memory stuff.
So you'd watch a scene that was a five minute scene, but it would be two hours watching these people struggle to be.
I've been in those where people there's a lot of crying involved. Yeah, a lot. A blaming of the father. Yes. A lot of blame. Yeah. That well that is the you know, that is the complaint of civilization. It's. This point, yeah, the patriarchy fucked it all up, it fucked it all up in here, it's been it's been dad's fault since the beginning of time.
That's a poem I'm working on.
So, so, so apparently that class. But it's sunk in. You got it. You understand what makes acting acting and and did you write the plays once? You kind of got a sense one way.
I wrote one play. I've written screenplays, Topaze, things like that sense. But I just wrote one play while I was a I did and never put it on. And it was it's not good now. And I'll say this, you know, coming from. My background in literature and like the the the halls of literary criticism, academe, you know, these kinds of things. I was not you know, I didn't read for plot, you know, but but movies and stories that we found our plot.
Yeah. I had a disdain for plot. I was like, you know what? I'm going to talk about a book.
I'm not going to talk about what happens. What are you going to talk about? Magic. Talk about.
Yeah, I'm going to talk about the structural aspect of it. I can talk about the political aspect of it. Right. Right. The meaning or the meaning that the other didn't even know. All right. That's great. At that point, blindness and insight, you know, you right around exactly what you're blind to and the critic who's empowered now to find out through your blindness to your own stuff what exactly you were actually trying to say.
So this is this bloom influence. Oh, that's not Bloem. That's Paul Demand and people that came after him. Blum was much more of a humanist.
So who are these guys? These other guys? Paul the man I don't know him.
Shit. What's his name. Not Dederer to.
Well people that larcombe going back to Nietzsche. Yeah.
Just ah you can think where you where you think in Derrida. Yes.
I was thinking Derrida. Thank you. Boom. Undecided's. That's a good word to say.
Good word to say. I've no idea what it means. Just drop it. Yeah.
Derrida So also I'll say this and I wanted to say it was like becoming an actor especially. Getting the X Files. Which, you know, it's an action show structure that really I needed to be exposed to that as a writer, actually, I needed to act as an actor. I needed to see that what happens is what draws people in.
It's great because you got to see it two hundred and ten times and a couple of movies worth plenty of plot for you to understand. Yep. Yep.
But that wasn't the first role, though. I mean, you kind of kicked around a little bit in. Yeah.
Yeah. I was on Twin Peaks. I did a movie called The Rapture with Michael.
I was going to talk to you about that because I love that fuckin movie. I like Michael Tulkarm movies a lot and I miss him. I haven't seen a Michael Tolkan movie in a long time.
Michael wrote the the miniseries that Ben Stiller did last year. Oh, yeah, that's right.
That was great. Yeah. Yeah. The one with that Benicio and yeah. And the Arquette. Yeah.
I like I'm at that age where I'm like I know there's, it's an Arquette and I know I've interviewed her but but Michael's a great writer, you know, I wrote the player.
I know the player. I love that. But that that rapture with what's that guy's name.
The blonde guy who played the sheriff or the cop in that movie, you know, will Peyton will Patton sit together? We can get there.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I always like that guy too.
But that was an intense movie because it dealt with such a big idea. It literally dealt with the rapture, the. Yeah. The Christian rapture. And it's such a small movie. And you're really talking about the end of the world and the end of that movie where it's just that sound and you've got to buy it.
The poetry of the thing was very it worked. You know, I was I loved that movie.
It had an impact on me.
Well, me too. When when I when I was finished with this book, Truly Like Lightning, I. I realized that I had been influenced by the Rapture long ago because I was I was dealing with similar themes in this. And I actually called Michael up or I emailed them and I said, hey, I just finished this novel. Would you care to read it? I really think that that, you know, the rapture kind of marinated in me all these years.
And when I was writing it, I had no not even one conscious thought about the rapture. But I realize now and I started it to Michael and he actually blurbed it for me. He's a nice blurb for me on the book.
How's he holding up? He must be an older guy now. Yeah, he's good. I think he's good. I haven't seen him, but yeah, you know, his emails are sharp. That's good.
And then. All right. So Twin Peaks, he did a few episodes of that.
I did a movie called Ruby, which was about Jack Ruby Ruby. I played J.D. Tippit, the officer who Oswald shot or who was shot in Dallas the same same day as Kennedy was shot.
See, that would have been the perfect moment to, you know, from the recognition from that you should have, you know, put up your death play.
Now, you sound like my dad said to me once and he said you were talking about dads before the fucking patriarch and all that, but he said, I'm giving you the greatest gift a father could ever give his son. I'm not very successful.
You can win. Yeah, that's true.
That's kind. There's a wisdom to that, right? You're not going to fight that fight. No, I don't. I don't think I ever did.
Well, I mean, it seems like, you know, from the way you talk about him, you know, specifically the fact that he was the outside of not understanding his work. You understood that he was a creative guy and a funny guy and a guy that had a political point of view and, you know, something to say and some balls. You know, those are all the good things.
Not like, you know, we could, you know, could have been a smarter hustler and made a billion dollars selling garbage, clothing. You know, you got lucky.
Yeah, I knew. I also knew that he was frustrated. I also knew that he considered himself a novelist. And he he did publish his first novel, and he was seventy three, two years before he died. So. I and I published my first novel on 55, so I guess I did win, you know, at least the chronological race, you know, but both were both late. And we both we both kind of ran from well, I don't think he ran from it.
I think he had to make you know, he had to support a family, you know, and. Right.
But it sounds like he got a lot a lot done. So you got a good work ethic and a good grip on my mom.
That's what my mom. My mom. Is she still around? Yeah, she's 90. She'll be ninety one in a couple of days and she's together. Yeah, that's good. Good.
So now the like I have to like. So you get the X Files. I mean you had no idea that that would be your life for a decade did you.
Oh hell no. I mean I thought it came my way and at that point I shared the prejudice against television actors. That was that was current during that time before the so-called golden age of television, where we realized that actors are actors and they can exist in any medium. But then it was like, oh, if you're if you're a TV actor, you're a shitty actor. Right. And I mean, partly was X Files E.R., you know, these these shows that were or NYPD Blue especially, you know, shows that were very well acted, you know, but that was before that.
Right. And I thought. But I needed money and I thought it was a really cool pilot and I thought there's no way and I wasn't interested in aliens and I just thought, there's no way. How can this go on for very long? Right. I thought, OK, maybe we'll do sex. Maybe if we're lucky, we'll do a season. But there's no way I'm a really I'm really good at that stuff. I should run a studio.
I really have a good mind for seeing what's going to hit.
It's so funny because it's like not just the acting thing. You stepped into a thing where it's like it's not about TV acting. You're not TV acting is that you stepped into a world that is going to have an eternal well of weird cult attention.
Like you. You know, it's almost like being on Star Trek.
I mean, for the rest of your life, you're going to deal with guys coming up to you going like, hey, you know, in that episode where it's it's the obituary line, you know, and yeah, make peace with that, because I, I kind of I struggle with that for a while. But then I realized there's no way to outrun it because it is it is one of the biggest shows of all time. So you're not going to.
You're not going to you're not going to make a bigger show, so I'm just feel lucky to have. Yeah. Been on that show, you know, and then at first it was like, OK, I've got to I've got to compete with that. I've got to somehow erase it, you know.
Oh, so you're conscious of that. You're like after 200 episodes. But so you have a good relationship with the fans.
Oh absolutely. But at the time maybe I didn't you know, at the time I was like, don't typecast me. I can do other things, I can do other things. And then I went, you know, and then I when I got off the show, I was, you know, I want to do movies and I did a few, but I really wanted to do comedy. And I wasn't getting those roles in movies. And that's when I Californication came my way.
And then I had never thought about doing another TV show because the season of an X Files was so onerous and debilitating. Twenty five one hour episodes running around in the in the in the cold. Yeah. And I was just like, no, never again. I can't do that again. And then cable came around like oh eight episodes. I was just like, oh yeah, why not. You can do this. And then California, it was really like adult comedy, the kind of comedy that I want to do.
Reminds me of like movies from the 70s. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And it sounds like oh yeah, yeah. I'll do that in a way that was like me pushing against, you know, Mulder with sexless and never had a woman. Right. You know, and it was comedy which I which I really I like the challenge of that.
What was your relationship with Shandling? I mean, were you guys friends? Yeah, we were just very, very good friends because I love those episodes with him. And, you know, I was you know, I went to that memorial service. I interviewed him here and he was like, such an amazing subject is.
And he told me about you. Years and years ago, oh, that's nice. Tell me about your you know, did you start with a radio show or do you start with a podcast? I don't know. Well, I had a radio show many years ago on Air America, and then I think he knew you from that.
Yeah. And then we did a podcast together and we had a nice time. And, you know, he was he was a he was a special person.
He was special to me. Yeah. I miss him daily. It's weird to say, you know, but I want one one year when I was finishing up the X Files, like the third year, I guess I said to my agents that I didn't have the energy to go do a movie in my short hiatus, which was like. Six or seven weeks. But I did want to do Saturday Night Live and I did want to do the Larry Sanders Show because I was I loved it.
I would get the VCR tapes sent up to Vancouver. Oh, yeah. Well, that music would come on. I just get excited. And they came and said, oh, yeah, Gary loves it. He wants he wants you to do it. And so I came I was back in L.A. and drove down to Radford where they shot it. And I was I came in and I was watching Gary do like a talk show segment. I was sitting really close and he he looked at me, walk by me, clear to me he had no fucking clue who I was, you know, very did not love me in any way.
And I did not know me. And then. Came time to shoot our first scene, and it's a scene in which I mean, obviously, and I'm a guest on the show, but Bill Cosby has talked so much that my spot has been pushed and I pull a fucking hissy fit. Right. That's the idea. Yes. Show the showbiz story. Right. So we do one take in the hallway. Todd Hall, director, good guy, good director.
And they cut a guy who looks at me and he goes, How old are you? And I said, 30 to. Because what took you so long, and I was like to this day, it's like. You know, it's one of those moments that I treasure in my in my entire life, not just in my friendship with Gary or it's just like to me that was such a validation of what I was trying to do, my comedy, whatever I was just like from him that was worth everything.
And that's when you became friends on his show? Yeah.
And then he said, you play basketball. And I said, yeah. So we'll have a game every Sunday, my house. Why don't you come by and play and come by and play it a few times. And then that's when I start talking about this coming back on and talking about with the man crush and all that stuff about where, you know, I want to come back. I kind of have a crush on him. But it wasn't a homosexual crush, was this?
Yeah, it's those are funny episodes. That was a famous basketball game. You're missing a lot of people over there.
Oh, yeah. It was very funny. Basketball. Yeah. Yeah. Good people. Yeah.
Yeah. It's hard man. It's hard when people go, you know. It is. It is. And like I said, but he's not you know, to me he's not. It's weird because people do go. I was just thinking that I you know, I rarely think about Ruth Bader Ginsburg anymore, and it's not been long that she's dead right. And she wasn't my friend, but she was something that I thought about, someone that I thought about.
I mean, yeah. I mean, yeah. I mean, how much did you think about her when she was alive, honestly?
Well. A lot a lot for somebody that I didn't know, you know, and I just feel like she's gone and I don't feel that way about Gary.
Sadly, it took me a long time to really, you know, fully appreciate him, you know, because I used to see him when I was I was a doorman at the Comedy Store in the 80s, and I'd see him a few times.
Yeah, but, you know, he didn't go there that often, but it took me a long time to really sort of appreciate the uniqueness of his voice, you know, of how he did it, you know, in history, you know, and certainly talking to him was one way and then, you know, you know, talking to Judd and then, you know, posthumously and, you know, really sort of.
Yeah. And I watch the way Sanders and everything.
But, you know, after he passed away and hearing to see people talking about him and Kevin Nealon and like and then go, oh, God, he was so fuckin funny at that memorial service.
I know. I saw I saw a recording. Oh, my God. I mean.
Yeah, but but yeah. You know, just really appreciating the way he handled life and what his struggle was. I think Judd definitely, you know, did a beautiful job with that documentary.
Oh. In the book he really kind of locked in. He really loved Gary a lot.
So where do you like in terms of like I know I listen to some music, too. I mean, when he's like, are you just like a workaholic or wait, before we get to that, let's talk about like I'm a recovery guy and I know you had your issues. Now, Californication did that.
Did you become that guy or how do you know? No, not not at all. But that was something I don't really talk about. I don't like to talk about because I don't like to give it kind of currency, you know, I'm sure. But but I was trying to save my marriage, you know. Right.
Yeah. Yeah. And it almost happened, right. You almost saved it.
He tried it. I almost said, are you guys are you getting are you OK with each other in terms of other things with the kids?
You know, it's like, oh, that's good. Yeah.
Yeah, I think she's great. She's she's wonderful. OK, well, they're moving on from that. What were you what's the music thing? Do you play an instrument or you just write songs and you've got a band, a little guitar?
I play enough guitar to throw chords together. You know, I can hear melodies, which is weird because I don't know, I never could sing. I never had a I don't have like a what they call an instrument. Yeah. So but I can hear melodies and I can more and more approximate them with my voice and I can certainly write lyrics. So I have a band and you know, I'll come up with a little demos on my garage band and just play guitar under under melodies and lyrics.
And then when we work on it and it's just a passion project, you don't have any expectations. I never had any expectations for it. I mean, the fact that I've done three you got a new record coming out.
I got a novel coming out and you got this new record coming out. Yeah.
So that's all startling to me, you know, especially because like I mentioned in terms of my voice, you know, I was actually someone, you know, they told you know, they said, you know, you want it. You just mouth the lyrics, you know, you just, you know, and in church or whatever. But I did go out for the choir when I was probably 11 years old because they got paid. I went to a school called Grace Church School in Manhattan.
That's a famous school. Yeah. And some my mom was a teacher there many, many years. And my friends, they they they could who could sing. They were in the choir and they got paid, you know, like a few dollars a month, but not only a few dollars a month was forget it for me. And I was like that was all I needed. I never could imagine like what would I do with four dollars. Yeah.
I didn't know I could get that album or I could save I could get those Adidas, right. Yeah. So I was like, yeah, I'm going to be in the choir. And not only that but the money man. Yeah.
For the money. I don't know if you know this, but when the church pays you. Yeah. You probably don't know that being a Jew. Yeah. You don't know that church pays you. They cut you a big check like a golf tournament check. It's like, oh, it's only for four dollars, but it's actually it's the size of you.
Yeah, I was I want one of those big checks. So I audition for the choir and you have to audition in front of the whole choir. All my buddies and the the choir master sat at the piano and he said, OK, I'm going to play out, I want you to sing right after it. And I heard literally, OK, I'm going to try to sing the note after the note he plays not not singing that note. The one that comes next.
I thought I heard it so you'd be like, boom. And I be like, bum, bum, bum. And I just remember looking around the room that people are like, oh, my God. Like, not only tone deaf, but in a really weird way stuff. That was my relationship to my singing voice until I started writing songs.
You were misunderstood. Exactly. And what do you have it like a record deal or you just do it, you just helped produce it, get some produce.
But, you know, we've had tours and we've had like three or four tours. We I've played like three thousand seat places, you know, pretty big, you know, big, huge venues for me.
But like our there are a lot of people waiting for after the show so they can ask you ask file questions.
Well, yeah. I mean, part of the shame of music now is, you know, there's like the meet and greet for sure. So there's a lot of that stuff, a lot of signing of. Yeah.
The Palms and a lot of excited nerds, like you said.
And but how come let me ask you this. So when he first started doing X Files in the stigma of, you know, wanting to be a movie actor and then taking the TV gig double segment, because also sci fi couldn't be cheesier.
So it's not just TV, sci fi, triple stigma, it's Fox. Right. Not even a network at that point.
It seems like you put a lot of thought into self flagellation at that point. So but like, what about the stigma of the actor fucking playing rock music?
Yeah, well, if I want to do it, I it's not going to that's not going to get in my way. I mean, you know, if you're going to yell that at me all the time, it's going to hurt my feelings. But it's not going to stop me because you like doing it. And I think I'm good. You know, I think I have something to say. I wouldn't I wouldn't do it if I didn't think I had something to say.
Right. You know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, sure. I guess that's egotistical, but I think we all need that or else we wouldn't be sitting on microphones talking like we're going to entertain or five people.
I mean, I get that from you. I mean, like I you know, just from knowing you from, you know, certain things you do or your presence in the culture.
I always thought, like, well, that guy seems like he's OK with himself.
Oh, I know about that. But now it's like, OK, I guess I'm just I just I keep on trying to express something.
And it's sort of it's a it's a it's a great thing too, I think to realize, like if you have talent and to move it around and to take all the risks you want to take with it, it's a rare thing. Not everybody has it. So why not see what you can do with it?
I yeah, I guess. I mean, it's like for me it's just I have ideas or I have notions or I have impulses and they take different forms at this point in my life. And I feel very almost lucky to be able to pursue them that way. Right. But but also it's you know, it's not like I'm just sitting around, like, having this great time. Yeah. Hard. Yeah, it's hard. But that novel you looked at, you pick up pick up the weight of it.
I mean, it's a big book. I mean business. Yeah I do. I mean business. I can take it seriously. I do. I mean that's, that would be, that would be my my weakness probably. You want to be taken seriously. I want that book to be taken seriously.
You don't want people to go like the guy from the X Files wrote a book.
I guess that's what they're going to say. But the guy. No, I mean, this guy from the X Files make a you make a record. Exactly. Exactly.
I'm sorry to to to get a laugh out of it, but but I guess that is the deal that you made with the devil when I took that big check.
That's right. That is the magic.
That is the Foreston contract. Absolutely. That's the magic and technology right there. And it's and I, I can't go back on that bill nor nor do I want to the end. That is the way it goes. And I just need to in my mind, I keep on doing the work and I hope and believe that eventually people will see that I mean business.
Well I hope so too. And and I didn't I didn't not read the book out of disrespect or no desire. They just didn't make the time, but I have it and I and I will thank you. And it was great talking to you, man. Thank you.
Was nice to meet. There you go, folks, huh? What an enjoyable conversation, the new book, Truly Like Lightning comes out tomorrow and you can check out his music. He's got a new album coming out. There's a single called Laying on the Tracks. You can check out on YouTube. You can watch all the X Files. If you haven't seen the X Files, spend the rest of your life watching them. There's enough of them. And don't forget, if you're struggling right now, check out Better Help.
It's a secure online service providing professional counselors who can listen and help you just fill out a questionnaire to help assess your specific needs. And better help will match you with their own licensed professional therapist. It's a more affordable option than traditional offline counseling. WTF with Marc Maron is sponsored by Better Helping Our Listeners Get 10 percent off their first month of online therapy when they visit better health dot com. WTF is it better dotcom? So I say WTF and the over one million people who have taken charge of their mental health with the better help of an experienced, better health professional.
Dig it. All right. And put my gum back in my mouth and I'm going to play some guitar for you.
From our lives and Monkey and the fanda. And Cat Angel is everywhere and secret underwear.