Rogan Fatigue Won’t Stop The Call For Real Responsibility
I think it’s fair to say that most people are tired of hearing about Joe Rogan and his podcast. I am but I’m not going to stop calling for him to be TRULY responsible just because I’m tired of the conversation.
After two “apology” videos, the second of which had Rogan proclaiming “I fucked up and will try to be better”, in response to his racist remark comparing black neighborhoods to The Planet Of The Apes, Rogan quickly pivoted to his comfort zone , conspiracy theory, claiming all the attention is a “media hit job.”
Nothing says “sincerity” quite like blaming others for your problems.
To be clear, “the media”, as if that is one thing, followed the trend. CNN, Rogan’s arch nemesis, only started to get on the current mountain of criticism of Rogan after millions of everyday people were fueling the backlash on social media platforms, mostly Twitter and Facebook.
I have said and will continue to say that calls for de-platforming or worse government censorship are wrong. Relentless demands for more responsibility are important though. There is a huge difference in censorship and public pressure. One is based on fascism and the other based on principled free market ideas.
The problem with Rogan is that every topic, every guest conversation eventually decays into baseless conspiracy theories. Here’s what I’m talking about:
The grifter known as Dr Peter McCullough claims his conversation was about science, but here we see him not just suggesting a baseless conspiracy theory, but swearing that is is FACT:
The obvious debunking here is that Donald Trump’s administration was responsible for the rollout of the vaccines and Joe Biden’s administration took over the effort. In order to give ANY credence to this nonsense, you need to make the leap that Trump & Joe Biden are co-conspirators.
Next, we see Rogan with Dr. Peter Malone claiming the US is under the spell of a Hitler like leader, with “Mass Formation Psychosis”.
The Hitler-like leader isn’t named, but since Dr. Malone is a Trump supporter, we should conclude that the charismatic , hypnotic leader he is referring to id Sleepy Joe Biden. You know, no crowds came to see him Joe? Not even the hardest core democrat supporters see Joe Joe Biden as having that kind of influence.
An apology that is followed by an excuse or claim that it was “a hit job”, is not an apology. It’s 100% pure bullshit.
Less than 24 hours after responding to the above video with an “apology” video, Joe Rogan launched another episode of his podcast where he claimed the backlash of his racist crap was a political hit job.
More conspiratorial nonsense, which is Rogan’s default fallback. Is he claiming that “the left”, whoever that represents to him, hired India Arie to put that video on instagram? In his “apology” he said he acknowledged that he fucked up and would try to better. That promise seems to have faded before he even hit the stop button on the recording.
The people that owe Joe Rogan, like Kyle Kulinski, Krystal Ball, Jordan Peterson, et al; are busy mortgaging their souls to defend the indefensible. No matter what anyone says about context regarding the use of one word, there is NO CONTEXT in which “Planet Of The Apes” can be interpreted as anything but the heart and soul of racism.
Don’t be fooled by rhetoric calling any of this censorship. The bullies who want everything their way are trying to intimidate people from being critical of bad behavior. NOBODY has been silenced! The irresponsible claim asking them to be responsible is unreasonable. Like a child being asked to clean their room, they demand to know why they are being punished. Cleaning your room is not punishment. It’s part of growing up.
Racism is forgivable if you admit, own it, and learn to unlearn it.
Joe Rogan has a target on his back. Enemies are searching through his entire lifetime looking for stuff to use to bring him down. Unfortunately for him, there is a lot of ammo both already discovered and waiting to be discovered that will serve to keep him putting out “apology” or “explanation” videos for the foreseeable future.
I was a racist. I wan not born a racist. Nobody ever is. In a rare credit to my parents, I didn’t learn it from them. My parents were fucked up in a lot of ways, but racism isn’t one of them. In fact, my father may have been the best example I ever had of how to not be racist. He couldn’t stop me from learning it from the kids on the street and other kids parents though. I had to unlearn racism and it’s a work in process. Joe Rogan, in his “explanation” videos claims he never was racist. Sorry Joe, it takes one to know one. You were, and if you can’t admit it, you still are.
There’s been a lot of bluster about Rogan’s use of “the N-word”. Rogan says he’s learned that there is no context that caucasian person can ever use that word. I disagree but I don’t feel the need to purposely use it here. The bigger issue, the one that is largely ignored in the dialogue, is comparing a black neighborhood to Planet Of The Apes. there is NO CONTEXT, or explaining that away as not being racist with all the ugly spirit of racism in its most disgusting ideology.
I talk about forgiveness a lot. It’s something that I practice and work hard at. I do believe racism can and should be forgiven, if we own it, admit to it and learn how to unlearn it on purpose. Rogan is still in denial, and therefore has not earned any forgiveness yet. He maintains that he never had any racist intent in his heart. DENIAL!
To be clear, I have had many black, asian, hispanic, and native friends my entire life, before, during and after the time I was learning racism on the streets of Long Island and in central Florida. Having friends and people you love of other races does NOT negate racism.
Rogan and people who are standing loyal to him in this moment are missing what Rogan claimed to be “a teachable moment”. Like a politician that has consulted a high-priced PR consultant, Rogan has tried to diffuse the situation by getting out front with an “apology” that accepts ZERO responsibility, and denies the truth. That will ensure that the target he wears on his back will remain firmly in place and his enemies will continue to look for and find damning evidence.
The deal with Spotify that Rogan signed has made him too big to be canceled. he doesn’t need to rely on any platform and can platform himself with a small fraction of his wealth. The only concern for him personally is how much time and energy he will have to dedicate to being on the perpetual defensive.
I’m not Joe Rogan’s enemy. I don’t want him canceled. censored or taken down and won’t support any effort to do that. Nothing he says or does will have a direct effect on my life and he should have all the rights any of us have to free expression. I do wish that he, as a person with enormous influence and reach, would be more truthful and responsible. He is a very visible target and has the potential to bring important issues to provoke real dialogue. It would be a tragedy to waste that power on denial, defensiveness and dishonesty.
On Groundhog’s day Feb 2, 2022, the legendary Jackie “The Joke Man” martling stopped by Coffee witgh the dog for an inspiring and humorous chat about talk about his life in comedy, his book Bow To Stren, his new podcast with Peter Bales called Standup Memories. Howard Stern was talked about but only as it relates to Jackie’s story. This was not a Stuttering John bash Howard session.
Standup MemoriesPremieres Groundhog Day Feb 2nd 2022
matt nappo 0:00
Jackie the joke man martling joins me for a coffee with the dog on this episode of the mind dog TV podcast.
Legendary in the field of stand up comedy and a Long Island legend and part of the part of a similar culture to where I grew up in and I’ve got a podcast as I mentioned, that is launching today or tonight at 7pm Eastern Time, called stand up memories. The book is called bow to stern. It’s a memoir of his incredible life ladies and gentlemen, please open your ears open your minds and help me welcome in Jackie the joke man martling to the mind duck coffee with a dog show. Jackie Welcome.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:05
How you doing? Oh, the first thing I’m trying to do is to get this thing to go to full screen. And I know nothing about this. And it makes me crazy. So I guess I’m just gonna have to go with that. Hi.
matt nappo 1:17
I hate doing techie.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:19
You know, every time I go to touch something, it’s different. So is there a is there a
matt nappo 1:27
there’s a I guess you can make your browser full screen. I’m not sure what, whether you’re on a computer or a tablet or when
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:33
I’m on an iPad. And it’s always come up full screen before every time I’ve ever done this. So, ah,
matt nappo 1:42
can you deal with it? Because we look really good. I mean, it
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:46
doesn’t matter as long as so in other words, you’re not seeing a whole bunch of garbage on the left. I’m just seeing that.
matt nappo 1:51
Now. We’re not seeing a whole bunch of garbage. Is this somebody sitting at the desk behind you? Is that a puppet?
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:56
That is a Rodney Dangerfield doll. That’s my good luck charm.
matt nappo 2:01
I kind of was a little creepy.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 2:05
Yeah, you know, it’s weird if there’s ever a mannequin, or a doll like that of any kind in a room or in somebody’s backyard. It’s really weird how when you walk into the room, you don’t play to it. But there’s an awareness, right? Like after I do these interviews a lot of times so on my desk, and I walk in i i go to say, Good morning, which is after seven or eight years, you should think they get you so so it’s nice to meet you have to ask and I was singing your praises. I said don’t sing his praise. I didn’t even meet the guy yet. I have no idea who he is. But it’s nice to meet you. And Jeff gives you very high a high regard.
matt nappo 2:46
But He’s crazy. He’s a liar. Don’t believe a word. He says I’m a rotten person. But
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 2:51
Who said anything about believing? Now? Where am I talking to?
matt nappo 2:55
Where? I’m in Sure I’m sure I’m Long Island, New York,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 3:02
because I’m hearing a twinge of some kind of action didn’t sound like Long Island.
matt nappo 3:06
Um, well, that’s unusual, because usually people spot me right away as long as but to your point. I mentioned it this morning there. Because we have a lot of people in England in in the UK and Wales and all over the world and in the western part of the United States. They think of Long Island is one thing, but your upbringing on Long Island is very different from mine. You are North Shore. Nassau County, I’m South Shore, Suffolk County, those are really two different worlds and two
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 3:39
completely different worlds. You know, when I went to Michigan State, they everybody thought that Long Island was completely covered with pavement. Right and I bring my roommate out and he’s like, wow, this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. You know, it’s a it’s a gorgeous place Long Island.
matt nappo 3:55
Right. And I’m on the North Shore now out in Shoreham. And it’s a completely different culture again, from both of those where you live like that Sagamore Hill area, which was which was beautiful and, and the South Shore which is kind of Brooklyn.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 4:10
Right. You know, my my great grandfather actually ran Sagamore Hill.
matt nappo 4:14
Right. I read your entire book yesterday. You read it entire book in one day.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 4:20
I want to send it up. I thought you’re gonna read it. Wait, where’d you come from on South Shore?
matt nappo 4:25
Linden Harris copake area, right on the border of Lindenhurst and Kopec. So low. Yeah, whoa, whoa, read. But yeah, so let’s, if you I know we want to talk about the podcast. We could start with the book because there’s some fascinating stuff in there.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 4:42
Let me just say, these aren’t even really plugged, especially since you say you’ve got some stuff overseas. I’m currently working on a podcast with a guy from Cork, Ireland. And I’m doing stuff with a couple of guys from the UK. So I just want to tell people my email And I really do answer every email is joke email@example.com J Okay, e la firstname.lastname@example.org. And I do all shows, I guess, being on this as proof, I’m teasing. But I answer all emails and I’m I especially international I’d love to do anything. Do you know I’m this close to one foot in the grave so I want to get over here while I still can’t. Alright, that’s the end of my plug. What self promotion whatever you call it, right?
matt nappo 5:29
Well, we put the link in the description for your email as well. And we do have a English show host actually in the chat room right now.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 5:37
Oh, that’s cool. Now, are you a comic? Are you a broadcaster? Are you a what?
matt nappo 5:42
I’m an I’m just a guy. I’m just a guy I wouldn’t been a musician like like you for since probably as long as my entire life seven years old did my first paying gig it’s seven years
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 5:55
like around Long Island like yeah, Banjo when
matt nappo 6:00
I started in cover bands, obviously around Long Island then did like a very similar situation to you when I had went out west to be to University and did some touring out there, open for lots of classic rock acts and all that kind of stuff pursued, the record deals got signed to a record deal. You know, that kind of stuff that never really panned out, then went back to playing cover bands. Now I play in in mostly original band that plays covers here on Long Island but gigging constantly, you know, playing this South Shore beaches and all that kind of stuff. So we’re just
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 6:35
so fun. You know, it’s so funny. You say, Well, I had a record deal, but we didn’t get anywhere. I can’t tell tell you how envious I am. Because I broke my chops for a long time and never got close to a record deal. Because I wasn’t, you know, writing anything that anybody else would want to hear. But you couldn’t have told me that.
matt nappo 6:51
Right? But it those times was so different in music and everything. And it’s the record company, the record industry was so different. So wasn’t what we did was not something that ever be envious.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 7:05
It is. It’s never not interesting. I can’t stop reading about the 50s and the 60s and the mobs and the craziness. I got so many, you know, when I was in at the end of high school, I mean, I was I was salivating for the young rascals. And now those guys are my friends. You know, I still can’t I still can’t wrap my head around that. You know, I mean, it’s interesting stuff. Yeah, the
matt nappo 7:28
part in the book about Leslie West, I get that you were kind of starstruck by him. I remember seeing him as a teenager at UBS ot days you remember that one?
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 7:40
You be UBS? It
matt nappo 7:42
was a Long Island Club. It was on Sunrise Highway.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 7:46
Guys the name but you know, in those days, the South Shore might as well been Pluto. Right? You know, we’ve got trunk locally, and then defied our ride home. And then in the 70s, our bands played I think, massive people was as far south as we gotten. That was a straight shot. It wasn’t towards the city or towards you know, yeah. And to be careful, you know,
matt nappo 8:06
yeah, I get it. And so, but I did want to talk about there’s so much in the book I want to talk about, but we only have an hour here. But the first it starts with this whole idea that you might be somehow related to
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 8:21
we finally we finally got DNA. And I’m not gonna go too much into it. But the way they found out that Jefferson had sired kids with Sally Hemings, his African American slave was he didn’t have any kids himself. And his father only had him so that we had, they had to go to his grandfather and his grandfather’s brother, and then take the DNA down the line from that night. And that’s the route we wound up taking, not going to Roosevelt’s father, but his father’s brothers, kids and all the way down to, uh, Roosevelt in Texas, and finally found DNA and it didn’t match. But the thing is, in those days, if there was a rumor, there was a rumor, there’s no way anybody was proven anything. And it was it was my great grandfather, and he worked at Sagamore Hill for years. And my grandmother was his oldest daughter, and eight kids. And he went to Washington with Teddy, and then stay there until, you know, 1916 You know, I mean, even, you know, long after Teddy had left. But recently, something I found, which I’ll send you is the letters that Teddy wrote to my great grandfather telling him I need you in Washington. And him saying, Well, I can’t come right now. I can come in a month, which is a beginning. Roosevelt. They made Roosevelt presidents because McKinley died. So Roosevelt ran to Washington, and he wrote to my great grandfather and said, Frank, I need you down here. You know, I’m president, and he said, Well, Mr. President, I’ll get Then what can I say? What? If that’s not proof that he’s my relative? You got to read out, you got to see how it reads it reads from 1900. Like, it is not in my best interest to come now. However, in a month, it shall be in my best interest. I’ll email you. You’ll go crazy. So always easily proud found that it’s not true. So what are you?
matt nappo 10:22
What are you disappointed to find out that came back? No, because
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 10:25
because the cell could have been some monkey monkey business along the way, you know, everybody fooled around with everybody. And all it took was, you know, one guy making a mistake or one woman stepping out, and that would have broke the chain. So, you know, I’m not my my cousin, John Hammonds, the town historian, and he absolutely is, I mean, the way it lines up. I mean, there’s no reason for a kid to be born in Maine, and show up 25 years later, working for the governor of the New York City in his mansion, you know, I just, you know, just knock on the door and say, Hi, Mr. Vanderbilt, you need any help you
matt nappo 11:04
get it. So, in preparation for this Mike’s in who works for the production company that that is doing a podcast tonight that premiering tonight called stand up memories and let me bring that up for people. Now. He we were discussing you and I said I could swear that Jackie got to start at a place called Richard M. Dixon’s White House. And he’s like, really, I never heard of that place. I was like, You never heard you’re from Long Island. And you don’t know Richard M. Dixon. You know,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 11:33
it’s what there’s so many things that when you get past. I mean, you go up to a kid and say, Hey, did you ever see Jay Leno? And they’ll say, Jay Leno, who’s that? Not even who’s Johnny Carson? Like, who’s Jay Leno? You got to realize this stuff floats away. It’s funny. I have a gig on February 18. That my father’s what used to be, you must have heard my father’s place and 100 times. So so. So epi moved. He’s still the exact same guy. He moved to the Roslyn hotel, and recently lost the gig. But I just got booked there with the new Booker and we’re talking about him and I was telling them that EPI is the reason I’m a comedian because my band was playing at my father’s place. And epi so cheap. It was a big deal for our little group to play at my father’s place. So we went for our soundcheck and epi had booked the gong show auditions for Channel Seven TV and we couldn’t do our soundcheck. So I’m watching The Gong Show auditions and I see this guy’s that I’m funnier than this guy. And after I said, Hey, how’d you get to be a comic? He said, I had cards printed up. And he showed me his card. And he said, You know what, let me stay around. And he watched my band. He said, Man, you are so funny. Why don’t you come over and rich in Dixon’s White House in so I went to Dixon’s and Eddie Murphy was there and Rob Bartlett and Dave Hawthorne, and Bob Nelson and me and Minervini all these guys. And then Dixon wouldn’t pay anybody. So me and Richie started a show in Huntington. And I created my dirty joke line 516922 wine to promote that show. And it was such a success and actually lasted 15 years every Tuesday night. At this place in Huntington on the corner and 25 A and one US Route 110 And that grew into the Eastside comedy club. So appies ly grew into the Long Island comedy scene, which is just such a great store.
matt nappo 13:35
Yeah. But also, I think everybody could the story of how your comedy career evolved from your music career. And Ritchie telling you a little fib about the Rodney Dangerfield thing. And that’s great. And then you writing the jokes for him now, I think I’m until I read the book. I had no idea that you were the credit behind the two bagger joke. Everybody I know has told that to bag a joke just thinking that it was Rodney original. And we all got it from Rodney. Well,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 14:11
it wasn’t a Rodney original. But it wasn’t a Jackie original. It’s it’s an old southern expression, which I didn’t know I just this is a true story. I lived at my grandmother’s house. And I this was probably in the book and the phone rang late at night. And nobody had this number one my buddy who was in Peru, doing coke and selling coke. He said chief You gotta listen to the funniest thing I ever heard. There’s a guy down here called Tennessee Bob and he told me about the Tennessee two bagger. And he told me that I wrote it down. And then when Richie told me his lie, I sent Rodney six pages of jokes. And that was one of the jokes on there. Now when you get to know the comedy business, the comedy writing business is very, very little that’s brand new everything is what fits where you’re going to a movie. You know, there’ll be a great joke in a movie, and everybody will love it. But I’ll know where that came from. Because it was a simple twist. It’s just setting something the exact right place. Now that jokes funny enough on its own, but my god that was made for Rodney, you know what I mean? That fits in like a glove. But if you look around you find all the jokes, you know, if there was ever a joke, that sounds like it was created specifically for Rodney because he’s so down and out and so beat up. He says, hey, you know, my wife, I don’t know how I’m doing. I don’t know, Johnny, you know, my wife coming down to twice a week. That’s nothing. Some guys she cut out all together, which is very funny. But I’m reading gursha unlikeness book, and that’s from the Civil War. And it was about rationing. You know, they’re rationing cigarettes, and they’re rationing booze and said, Yeah, my wife even cut me down and twice a week. In other guys is yellow. Some guys, she cut out all together. That’s nine. That’s 1861 You know what I mean? And that, that probably came from the Roman legions, you know, they all of these things have been around forever. And never, never never, which is when you study. It’s just fascinating. Just fascinating. Yeah.
matt nappo 16:22
That is interesting. Because you’re known as this guy with an encyclopedic knowledge of jokes, and so forth. But I’m just wondering, when you were a musician and focusing on guitar playing and getting a Fender Rhodes and whatever, changing your sound and all that stuff, and just focused on the music, were you this guy who just read joke books all the time. I mean, when
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 16:44
I was I was, I have never been any different than I always was. I heard her jokes when I was a kid. And they stuck to my mind. Because I’m a mechanical engineer. I’m pretty smart. And the jokes just stuck with me. And I told them to people, and they laughed. And when they laughed, I remembered them. And I would tell jokes, and I would get joke books when I was a kid in school. If you bought Catcher in the Rye, I got Charlie’s best jokes. You know what I mean? It was one of those things. And I told jokes. And listen, the main thing was not joke books. When I was listening. I listened to every drunk at every party, every pot party, every every bar, I was always the last one standing, you know, telling jokes and remembering them. And in 1975, when I was in my band, we told jokes in between. I mostly told the jokes, but we told jokes in between songs, which I had done in high school, and which I had done in college. to the consternation of every I mean, my college band, we’re playing Rolling Stones, like we play Gimme Shelter. And then I tell a dick joke. People like, what is going on? You know, it just didn’t fit, but I couldn’t not do it. Because I’m so used to stay in the bar telling a joke to two people in us 350 people. And I just told the jokes and told the jokes. But it wasn’t by design. Let me go learn some jokes, because I want to be a comedian. It was just so organic. And there’s nothing I enjoy more than telling somebody a joke. I want somebody to react like I just punched him in the stomach. That’s how hard I want to laugh. When people say you tell dirty jokes. That’s because that’s what people laugh at that they it’s the breaking of the tension that makes up and funny. And anything about sex or crap, or vomit or get you know, that’s much more tension and much bigger laugh, you know, and when I realized I couldn’t do what music, I’m allowed to take these jokes that I’ve accumulated over the years, just tried telling him on stage and, and it worked, you know,
matt nappo 18:48
so but when Rodney called you for that, two weeks, that kind of was a big change in your life. We doing a lot of stand up and it seemed like you would do more writing for him then actually go no,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 19:01
no, no, no, I I sent him so much. But he took so little. And you know everybody, like my friend Dennis Blair was with him for like five years. He just his dream was to write a joke that would somehow make it into Rodney Zack, and it wasn’t easy, because you know, it was so you know, leather clad. And what happened was I wasn’t even a comic. When we were fooling around. I didn’t even know what to do. I maybe climbed on stages catch a rising star a couple of times. And I had just met Richie, Richie Minervini. And, you know, we’re all trying to figure out what he like we’re doing little tiny gigs. Like, you know, I had my guitar amp and me and I’m playing songs and telling jokes in a club. And the guys are showing up just to get stage time because there’s no place besides Dixon’s White House in and people are hungry to get on stage to see what they can do like Eddie Murphy showed up and Bob Nelson you know they get the fire for 10 minutes, and when Richie told me that he had been on a danger fields, that was a huge deal because we weren’t doing clubs we weren’t doing the one anyplace to do it. And I was so jealous that’s when I gave all those pages. And and when he said he didn’t have a connection to Rodney I sent him to Rodney Rodney called me up. It was such a big deal to go meet him at Westbury music fair, but I wasn’t really a comic. I still had a ponytail and blue jeans. You know, he like What the What is this Jesus Christ. And then I always count my beginning of that was in the when would that had to be like 1978 When I was at my grandma’s Yes, like a winter of 78. And I always count my time in comedy is there’s always a starting gun. And I say it was January 79. When I first got paid by Vic at the rainy night house. What I say is it’s the first time I got paid for telling jokes, and playing the guitar, as opposed to playing the guitar and telling jokes. Now you know what I’m talking about two different things. And right away right away, we’re killing it this place cinnamon with these Tuesday night shows. So I’ve already been a musician. I worked in a recording studio, so I knew how to record so I had microphones hanging all the time. So we started doing these shows on Tuesday nights, I had microphones hanging, and I decided I just decided to make an album. So I made an album out of a cassette. I had the best cassettes I had the crowd on the left side and Jackie on the right side and I mixed them onto a two track tape. I knew I could have an album because I had worked in a recording studio, the average person had no idea. If you want to have a record, it’s like baking a cake. You need to tape you need a couple pictures and you need a few dollars. Right and you send it away and you get it but nobody knows that. It’s like this. It’s like Zana Do you know? I knew six months later, I wrote to Ronnie said, Hey, look at this, I got an album. And he says, oh,
matt nappo 22:05
any references to that in the book were guys to just it just didn’t occur to him how real not. It takes hard work. It takes a bit of work. And you certainly did hustle and put that work into I’m not diminishing that. But how simple it is to really record it. Now a lot of colleagues, it just never dawned on them how simple it is just record what
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 22:24
it’s like, not knowing that you can go to the store to buy hamburger. Nobody ever tells you you wouldn’t do it. And then you see somebody to hamburgers. Like how did you do that? Well, I went to the store and bought some chopped meat, you know? It’s it’s, it’s absurd. But it’s like anything if you don’t know what you don’t know what knowledge is power, you know, you wouldn’t believe man you would not believe. For the first however, long time I stand at the door after the shows that we did. And I sell my albums for $5. And the guys used to goof on me you wouldn’t believe how they would make fun to me. And then one day somebody said, Wait a minute. We made $40 and Marlin made an extra 80 bucks selling his stupid albums. Maybe, maybe he knows what he’s doing. You know, it’s insane.
matt nappo 23:13
And the albums were pivotal in the part of your career that most people who are not from Long Island know you from most of all, and that is to how it’s done.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 23:24
I wish I wish that he had to put in the movie. My introduction to him because that would put me on the moon. I put out an album and then I made a second album. And then they made the third album. So by 1982 I had three Jackie the joke man Marlon comedy albums, which was a big deal. It really wasn’t. I made one so I made another so I made another it’s like Ikea the second and third things are easier. You don’t I mean, and nobody, like it was unheard of. It was like I made an album and everybody else got the idea. Nobody even thought about doing it was years and years before people even having cassettes. You know why? When I ran governors comedy shop, I had a cassette player and the people who come and work the club and I put in a 90 minute cassette and I’d record Friday night first show, flip it over into Friday night second show and then Saturday and I everybody that worked the club walked away with two cassettes with all for this shows. And it was like gold. I saw Carol leave for a couple years ago she had Jackie I still got my governance cassette it’s it’s my prized possession. You know, she’s the girl that Elaine was was and I just always did that. And all sudden this guy says yeah, this guy Howard Stern got fired and he’s coming in New York. And I didn’t I had no idea who he was when I sent my three comedy albums. He doesn’t know what’s anybody know this guy’s got three albums. He must be somebody he must be a top guy. You know, like, like, Bill Cosby is not going to send him his album and Jordan Carlin’s not going to send him his album. You know, because they, they actually had albums with a record company in the deal. I’m just the guy that got the made via hold them next to each other. One doesn’t jump out at the other, dude. I mean, it’s like, you know, and when he got the three albums, they were impressive. And if they did nothing else for me, from the word go, if they did nothing, except have him call me, it was worth all the sweat all the blood, sweat and tears.
matt nappo 25:34
And part of that when he was introducing you as one of the top comics in New York, all of a sudden, you are elevated in people’s minds, because he had great listening with his 50,000 Watt station beyond New York, everybody listening to that, all of a sudden, you’re elevated to the guys like who were the kings of the comedy clubs in New York at that time. So you
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 25:56
know, when he first started saying, we got with us today, I want to buy new york’s top comics. I want to correct him in my mind, and I said, Shut up. You know, that’s his opinion. He doesn’t he but he doesn’t know that I’m not. Right. You know, and, and what yardstick anyway, I was a guy, you know, hosting the shows in Levittown on Long Island, right? No, but the guys had come in. And you know, pretty soon people were begging, you know, I asked so many comics to come on that show. And they’d say, what’s it pay? I said, What’s it pay? It’s 50,000 watts of a guy telling your name to the tri state area. Guys, they just don’t get it. They just don’t get it. Jack, I can’t believe I turned down on The Howard Stern Show in 1985. You know?
matt nappo 26:46
Yeah. And basically you work for five bucks at Richard M. Dixons, you’re going to worry about what getting paid from you
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 26:53
know, it’s it’s almost not believable, but it just happens to be the truth.
matt nappo 26:58
Yeah, I need you to clear something up for me because I Okay, thank you. Can we get a picture of it? Wait, we got a picture of Willie here. I attached it to Willie. Right.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 27:11
matt nappo 27:13
Um, I talked to a lot of Howard Stern fans who’ve been fans of his back to the ATM days and and continued to this day to listen to him. And I mentioned that already wrote the foreword for your book. And in the foreword that already says that he never engaged in bashing Jackie, when the other people would would do that after you were gone. And everybody said no, it was definitely in the mix on that Jackie bashing stuff. What’s your take on it? What’s true? It was a Jackie basher? Oh, no,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 27:49
I never. I never listened to the show. When I was on it. I never listened to the show. When we went on vacation. I never listened the show after I left. I have never listened to that show ever, which is so many people say oh, your bullshit. You go there. I’m like, Why would I lie about that? Those big those skin off my nose? Like that’s not me. I don’t I wouldn’t listen, if it made me laugh, I would have felt bad. If it didn’t make me laugh. I would have been trying to think what I could do for it. So I had no idea. rd and his friends used to come and see me at rascals. And he even says that my documentary. And they were big fans. He was you know, they he was a great guy. And I knew him not well, but I knew of him and he came on the show at North McDonald. But after I left the show, it wasn’t like we it was I handed him the baton. He didn’t come on the show till like eight months after I left. They tried all kinds of different guys and stuff. And I so nobody ever said that me rd was giving me a hard time or the Scott, you know, people would always tell me that stuttering John was was really crappy to me. And then I see him on you know, and baby on ba Doom, buddy, you know, but I also know that, you know, everybody struggles for airtime. And if you say if you start saying what a nice guy Jackie, is your microphones going off? You know? Did Frd bash me? Maybe that I? I kind of don’t think so. But maybe he did. He might have been so high. He didn’t even know he did. I don’t care. He’s just he’s just a really good guy. He did my documentary. I did his direct TV show three times. I did his podcast three times. I did his new podcast about a month ago. He’s a real good cat. And I have never had a problem with him ever. And it’s so funny because so many emails from people over the last 20 years or 15 years or whatever it is, you know, hey, I It looks like you and I already have friends again. I’m like, because there’s such misconception that he wrestled me out of that chair. You know what I mean? It’s but once people have this, you know, there’s still people think I’m cheap is the I see people and they say you want me to buy a drink. I know you won’t buy me one you No, there’s still yell at me to pay back Rodney that I never owned them. All the things that Howard carved in stone. I don’t even get mad at it because it’s just a testament to his sales power. I mean, he could drive something home he could, if anybody could convince the world that the earth is flat, Howard could have done it.
matt nappo 30:20
Right. There’s so many things I want to touch on there. But first of all, you know, I
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 30:25
will tell you if we, if we don’t get everything done, I’ll do this with you anytime in a week in a month, six months, because I love talking about this stuff. People say, Oh, I know you’re sick. I never get sick of talking about this ever. Because it’s interesting.
matt nappo 30:38
Yeah, it is to everybody. I think now. And Matt,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 30:42
I get, I never, I never make stuff up. I only tell the truth. And it’s really good for me to get the truth. And my side of the story out because it was a lot so many misconceptions. The whole thing about me having a sex change, I gotta tell you right now, that’s only partially.
matt nappo 31:03
I was sure that one was real. But misconceptions, that the idea can you talk about this in the book that you were writing the funniest stuff that Howard said, I think you think that people didn’t know that? I think from my perspective, it was common knowledge that that that Jackie was slipping.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 31:24
That’s the circle that you’re in. That’s the circle you traveled, you probably traveled with musicians, and funny people and showbiz people that are hip to it. But that’s not even I was I was I went to see the sub dudes at the Iridium about 15 years ago, sitting there. My girlfriend couldn’t come so I love these guys. So I’m watching this guy sitting across from me in the table is a you jackass? And yeah, yeah, I don’t know. Yeah, I’m a camera, man. You know, NBC TV, whatever it was. He was somebody in the throes of showbusiness and we start talking. And we get talking. He had no idea. And this is a guy in showbusiness in the throes in the guts of the operations. But it’s, it’s not stupidity, who thinks about it? Right? You don’t watch Johnny Carson and say, Wow, I wonder who wrote that monologue joke? Who cares? You’re laughing, you’re enjoying yourself. You’re not there to work. And he was so surprised. And it’s it’s so funny. I know. I’m sure you know, the chapter in the book. We’re done. Del Louisa was blown away. And Bruce Jenner had no idea what I was doing. Right? That was such an A B situation. So many people so many people had absolutely no idea and so many people it was just as obvious as the day was long. You know,
matt nappo 32:50
Bruce actually I’m this is was hard for me to wrap my head around Bruce actually believe that you were just writing the time down. And
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 32:58
he was he didn’t know he just he was sitting next to me. But he wasn’t watching. So what? What what do you keep writing? I tell Howard what time it is. And he says, That’s what I thought. Every couple of minutes. I could have been saying 10 minutes. So commercial, you know, I’m trying to cut him a break here as opposed to you moron wants you to have your penis cut off.
matt nappo 33:22
Well, I was I was trying to explain to my wife your situation last night that 20 years ago, you walked away from a job that was paying $600,000 A year and or just about $600 $600,000 a year? And she said, How can anybody do that? Why would anybody do that? And I was trying to explain that you were part of something that was probably bringing in $500 million a year. And
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 33:51
everyone was it was so staggering. I what I walked away from was 650. And with with bumps for the next, you know, for the for the five years, and I was making five at the time and even more with the show and whatever. But yeah, like, you know, people say, Oh, you’re making so much money for a writer. I said, I wasn’t a writer. It’s like telling Ringo, you make a lot of money for a drummer. I’m not a drummer. I’m a drummer in the Beatles, right? You don’t I mean, it was like, but nobody else would would. There was not a peep out of anybody. So as the only bird screaming for another warm, which made me look, you know, it’s so funny because how everybody called me cheap, is making $50 million a year and I’m asking for more money so I’m cheap. You know, he sold it. He some people never even people like oh, you know, I never thought of that. You know?
matt nappo 34:48
Right and but he did the same thing with holding out for more money and be right before you did was
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 34:55
to wait two weeks before. We didn’t know if we’re coming back from Christmas. Yeah, we have no idea because he’s holding that, you know, it’s, you know, it’s all Animal Farm. You know, we become what will you barking? You know, you can’t hold out for more money hold on be right with the I gotta I gotta go hold out for more money. Jesus,
matt nappo 35:17
right bottom line there Do you have any regrets about not signing on with their management team and being part of that original?
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 35:25
No, you know, after after it was gone, I wrote to him said I would really like to be on the show if you want to have me back because it wasn’t the money or the fame but I’ll tell you what you miss is sitting in a room with three or four other really funny people for five hours and laughing five days a week that is not something found in in, in in the world. That’s just not something that exists. And I just love that and I was in withdrawal as far as sign with Don Buchwald i Not in a million, not with a gun to my head. You know, I I remember the day after we went to moorings, Howard said, Hey, I got some great news for you, Don’s gonna represent you. And right away, I said no, you know, K rock gives Don money. He gives most of it to Howard. Some of what’s left, he gets to Robin, and then a little bit of what’s left, he gets the fret, I’m going to be the fourth worm. I mean, the fourth little chicken deal with his mouth open waiting to get fed. You know, I mean, he’s got, there’s no way Fred could ever ask for a raise, because Don would have to go in and negotiate with Don. Right. You know, it’s like, take what, take what I’m handing you and be glad you know. And it just seemed like such like my cousin Craig was it was almost a professional baseball players AAA a long time. And he said, an agent couldn’t have two players on the same team. Right? Can’t say yeah, I’ll give you Phil resuable. But you got to sign Tony kubek to you that that’s not fair. Yeah, that’s nice. 1950s baseball reference. But but you know, it’s it just it just felt wrong. Felt weird, you know? Yeah. Sticky. You know,
matt nappo 37:12
right. You mentioned the Beatles. And I do think you guys were the Beatles of radio. I mean, the biggest sensation in radio ever to happen. But no, for
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 37:25
years. For years. I don’t mean the day for years. They broke my balls for coining that for daring to call us the Beatles a radio. Howard hated that and probably still hates it, because that infers that it’s a group, right, that we the rest of us have something to do with it. Yeah, him to him. It’s James Taylor with a backup band. Not entirely true. It just, you know, I tell people, people say all you wrote everything Howard said, No, I didn’t. I didn’t. I wrote some of it. I wrote some funny stuff. So did Fred. But I always use the same analogies if you’re a sprinter. And you run the 100 yard dash and 9.8 I know what the times are now. 9.8 You’re world class. Right? If you run it in 9.9. I mean, if you run nine, nine, you’re world class, if you weren’t 9.8. You break all records that ever work. And that only takes a little bit of wind in your back. And that’s what I was. And that’s what Fred was a little winged in his back. He just, it just rose him above. above everybody else, you know, where somebody else would say something funny. He’d say something funny, and then something funnier, and then something funnier. And, and the great thing was, he was a guy with three different senses of humor, his and mine and Fred’s. But they were all completely different. And one, just three minds work and fast. It was three completely different minds work and fast. So the jokes were from everywhere, like Fred was from Pluto, and I was from punch lines. And Howard was from this broad observation. And it was like coming at you from all sides. It was like it would it would freak people out. You say something really brightened in the stupidest, childless thing in the world which Chuck’s juxtapositions are just just make it just make good good. Good, good radio and great, great comedy. People love it, you know?
matt nappo 39:30
Now my take on that is Howard was always naturally funny, but what you gave to him and what the illusion that he was witty, and his sister even makes that comment in your book. Well, Howard, when did you become so witty? I think and quick with a and that people got the perception, I think and you gave him that it on top of what he already had with observational humor and that kind of stuff and outrageousness. But you gave him this air of being witty and quick and I think that’s the greatest Give you gave them does he any way and now that he’s changed and been through psychotherapy even acknowledged that in any way,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 40:08
you know, supposedly him and Robin, everybody went around and made up with everybody not made up but apologizer what was did this and did that. And you know, I mean, he had a world war with Chevy Chase, and now it’s his best buddy. And he never, I mean, he always acknowledged to me, you know, but he, he’s never said, you know, I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it wasn’t Jack, you know, forget about anything like that, you know, it’s, it’s, I tell people, he was driving the bus. So he couldn’t read the map. But he’s driving the bus. So I can look at the map. And I can say, you know, it’d be really funny if we took a quick ride on the Smith Street. You know what I mean? It was like, you couldn’t do both. And like a piano. It’s such a Yeah, I can’t believe that. I put out that book. And I had a whole extra book, a whole book full of chapters that didn’t make it into the book. And I didn’t put in the chapter, about the making of private parts, which had it had every complaint had them leaving me out them under paying me them not giving me credit them hiding stuff, them leaving me out it that’s a whole book in itself. I can’t believe that didn’t make it in. And it was just, they were gonna do a movie. And it wasn’t gonna have me in it. And I don’t think it was gonna have Fred in it.
matt nappo 41:42
Right? He was still there in that cuz
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 41:46
they scrapped it? No, no, this is this is we’re at K rock, and they’re working on a movie. And um, they’re in the foxhole, right. And I know that they’re all going to the production company, and I’m adamant, and then they scrapped the whole movie. And what they did was they came up with a format that would enable them to never have to show me handing me Howard a note. We watch private parts, I come in at the end, like they already went to Pluto. And I just happened to step on the bus as they pulled into Pluto. Now, this is Jackie, our newest member, and you know, if he even if he hadn’t held up my items at Jackie sent me these albums, I would have been a hero. You
matt nappo 42:27
know, it seems like the only time he ever used the kill switch was to hide the fact that you delete it passing him notes. Right.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 42:36
Is the that whole story about Fred would Elton John, is that what you’re talking about? Yeah, that’s such a God knows. God knows how many times he did that. Gary actually told me about that. And you want it’s one of the things you wouldn’t know it when you’re looking for it. Yeah, you see it, you know, and but you know that I don’t fault them. Because it’s either the tiger if he if that wasn’t him? That wouldn’t be him. Right. You know, you, you know, people are what they are. You know, you don’t get to be Howard Stern. Unless you’re Howard Stern. You know, which so I, you know, people say Oh, Jackie does podcasts and all you can eat can’t wait to bitch and moan and bash Howard. I have never bashed them at all. I will tell the truth and say I pass a lot of notes. And I’ll tell stories of things that happen. But that’s not bashing. That’s funny. You know, people tell stories about me. And I tell stories about Gary. And you know, it’s all fair game, you know?
matt nappo 43:40
Absolutely. I can say unequivocally there’s no Howard bashing in the book. It’s basically you point out some real behaviors, but never once did you say you know how it’s a bad guy because of this, but I think you’re getting some of the dirt. Because stuttering John is that his entire career now is based on Howard bashing. So when people see
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 44:01
told me that people have told us they probably assume that’s what I’m doing.
matt nappo 44:04
Exactly. That was my point that so and he’s not the only one a lot of people who were lower on the on the totem pole than you were on at that Howard Stern Show who now are resent Howard even though he’s the only reason anybody even knows who they are. They’re making their living completely by bashing him. So people just assume you’re out there. And if you mentioned how it’s done, you must be one of these guys who was making his living now bashing me while I was a
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 44:31
comic for a long time before I met him. And you know, I I got really lucky in comedy I really may never become as well known comic as I did, being on the show. But I don’t know I wouldn’t be there is a famous story about Hillary, that Hillary Clinton was getting gas. And somebody said, Hey, you did pretty good. You know. Marin, the president, you’re married to the president United States. That’s pretty Cool, you know, hey, what about what have you? What have you married to a guy who owned a gas station? And Hillary said, Then he’d be president. You know, think about like, it’s not like if I hadn’t met Howard, I would have sat in the corner and twiddle my thumbs. Yeah, I would have kept sending my crap and send them my crap until I bumped into you, you know what I mean? Like, who knows?
matt nappo 45:23
My biggest takeaway from the book, and I’m gonna show the book again, here for a second, my biggest takeaway from the book is a line that you you’re using there, and it’s a cliche kind of, but it’s absolutely true. And in your case, this is what I my, my big takeaway from the book is, the harder you work, the luckier you get. And it’s a really important message. I think anybody in the creative watch, can learn that much from that book, in the stories in the book, it’s worth the investment, you know,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 45:49
the whole world. I mean, that’s, you know, it’s the right place at the right time. The secret is the being a lot of places, then there’s going to be a time, you know, it’s, I let you know, I just I just through the way that the end of the Howard Stern first chapter about Howard, in the book, I said, you know, for all those years, I just threw crap against the wall, and with the Howard Stern Show my crap stuck to the wall, which is the same thing, you know, you just, you just keep at it, and keep at it and keep at it, you know, I worked so hard, and was I just did everything I could to get Pinnacle books to put out a joke book. And I was relentless and relentless and relentless. And finally Larry Wylde left to go to a different company. And I wrote and said, guys, Larry Wild Swan put out my book and they wrote, I swear to God, they wrote back like, alright, Jackie, alright, enough, we’ll put out your book. And the minute that they said yes to publishing my book, all the work and all the begging and all the crap I went through, melted away. I was a guy who had a book deal, and nobody had to know that I didn’t just write and say, Hey, I got a book and that they said, Fine, right? Nobody, nobody has to know you know, Madonna slept on the floor, a rock trying to get a records played. Who cares? You know, she got her records played, obviously, you know?
matt nappo 47:10
Yeah. Now, the joke. Before you were even on how it stands out, I knew who you were. And I think most people on Long Island knew you from the joke line. Now. I was curious about this. Was it before phone sex? Did you get the joke line before phone sex was the big rage thing? And we know
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 47:28
I gotta believe that the minute Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone somebody was doing breathing heavy into it. But you know that nothing to do with phone sex? And funny because to this day, I don’t think myself I’ve ever done it. Bone sex, but no, and it wasn’t. And people used to say, Oh, wow, you must have got really rich with those 800 numbers. And with those with that 800 line, I said it wasn’t an 800 line. It was my mother’s house. Five would cost me for every line. I attend lines. I’ve been paying for it for 43 years. You people that don’t know it’s 516-922-9463, which is 516922 wine. And we’re starting the show in Huntington and we had no money. I said, How are we going to promote the show? I got the bright idea. I’ll get a phone line. I’ll tell a joke. And then say what tonight we’re at cinnamons in Huntington and tell him another joke, which is basic. That’s television. That’s radio, you know, little material a little bit advertising, a little material, little advertising. And it just caught on like wildfire. And the stories go on. And on the first time. We were on the road, I think in Los Angeles at one of those radio conventions where everybody’s sitting around the circle. And Rick Rubin, you know, Rick Rubin? Yeah, he sat down across from us. It’s like 1988, or something. And the first thing he said, he pointed out and said, Jackie, I went to Long Beach High School, and I called Nine to two wine every morning before school. He’s a pretty major guy, you know, I’ve been doing for the last 20 years trying to get him to admit that he said that, because that’s a nice, that’s a nice little promotion, you know,
matt nappo 49:13
but it was extremely inventive idea for you. And because nobody else had done that, at least to my knowledge ever before. So it’s just like, you know
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 49:22
what’s so funny? There it is, again, there’s the exact same thing. I went and bought some hamburger meat made the hamburger and they said, How’d you do that? What’s more obvious than, you know what happened was they invented answering machines. So instead of calling up and having me say I’m not home, leave me a message. I’m saying, This is Jackie. And as long as you’re on the phone, I’ve got your trap. Let me tell you a joke. And then let me tell you where I’m working. It. It really is such a simple, simple concept. Oh, they already did have dial a joke. So I can’t take the credit for you know, the idea of jokes on the phone. But, but once again, but that was Donald. So that was New York City. That was George Carlin having an album that’s Robert Klein having an album that’s not a guy in Oyster Bay with a phone line with an answering machine, you know, though, it was a whole, a whole dumbed down situation, you know, it’s like, it was like going local, which always works, you know? Yeah. So fun, you know,
matt nappo 50:24
and part of the book for stand up comedians, people who are doing it now, there’s so much cool history in there. And I do have a lot of stand ups in in my listening audience. And if you would, because everybody is familiar with the comedy condo the idea of a comedy condo, very few people have any idea where it came from, if
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 50:46
you know what I don’t even know, I don’t even know if the guy’s like the early comic strip guys. I’ve never really sat and had the conversation with the guy. The guy I’m doing the podcast with, which is how I got to know you Peter bales was actually one of the early guys Peter bales used to come to see my band at a place called rumrunners Oyster Bay. And he come over from Locust Valley, because on Tuesday nights, all the local girls were there and they were drunk, an Oyster Bay girls that you know, would round heels that would bang anybody that sneezed. So he would come over there and he liked my band. He noticed I told jokes, and then we start doing the show and cinnamon. And he would drive out from the comic strip, you know, with Cairoli for and Dennis wolfberg and recover to the nice people, because they’re coming to Huntington and getting paid 40 or 50 bucks and getting drunk and getting stoned and get laid as opposed to running from catch a rising star to the improv and getting the hamburger. So everybody loved it. And then the fort Lord, I mean, the comic strip got syndicated Richie put the comic strip in Fort Lauderdale. And any got a condo for the comics, a beautiful condo and they was so out of control that they got kicked out of the building. I think in a month, it might have been less than a month. And he rented some, you know, shoddy house and they moved into the house. But it just became the comedy condo which was kind of like in quotes, you know, like can’t yet right. You know what I mean? Yeah. And it’s an in the early days like there were times you went work the gig like in in Richmond, Virginia, where you stayed on a waitresses couch. But that was the comedy condo, which is just so fun. And you know, it’s funny now, it wasn’t funny when you’re, you know, trying to rationalize. I’m 34 years old. I’m sleeping on a couch right now. I’m really in showbusiness, you know,
matt nappo 52:48
yeah. And we won’t we recently did a podcast on it. And they were friends of Andy Andrews, who were talking about the you know, his what His room was really a when the Japanese room divided type.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 53:01
Right, right. Right is every everything you could possibly imagine.
matt nappo 53:05
Yeah. But now it’s a staple. So and so you actually. And I was talking about this before you seen the evolution of, you know, comedy clubs. La had, you know, the Comedy Store in New York had Caroline’s and so forth. And Dangerfield, of course, and the Fort Lauderdale scene. But comedy clubs were not a thing nationwide. And that was
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 53:28
the Comedy Store in LA. And new was the improv in Manhattan, and then kept rising star. The Comic Strip actually was much later. And that’s right when I came aboard. But it was was very slow going, you know, I mean, there just weren’t a lot of people. Because there weren’t any comics were COVID and said to me one day said, you know, there’s only 150 of us. And he said, think about that. He said, right, probably in New York City alone is probably, you know, 5000 brain surgeons, and there’s only 150 of us. And I was so excited. He even clued me in the US. But now there’s 150,000. Comedians, right, you know, it’s like anybody, you know, oh, look, comedy tonight. Well, let me stop in there and see if I can go on, you know, so it’s just gotten really, you know, it’s almost like any, anybody can walk on to Yankee Stadium and play shortstop for anything, which is not really how it should be, you know?
matt nappo 54:27
Yeah. So your podcast is launching tonight at 7pm. It’s, I’m imagining it’s pre recorded. It’s not when
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 54:34
it’s pre recorded. It’s probably live already. I haven’t looked. For whatever reason I haven’t looked. It’s stand up memories.com either with or without the hyphen, stand up memories.com patients in a website, and then you can go to YouTube, or, or Spotify. I don’t know. However, the you know, they always say most of the same stations. You know, I’ve never gotten that crap straight. But tonight, we’re actually going to be on YouTube. Live, and we’re going to watch it and watch the people comment. I already called Gold. Michaels in I said, be ready because this is this is where the stern haters come out. You know, there’ll be one guy saying, oh, Jackie, I love you and 90 people saying he owes Rodney Mone bashes Howard, he’s a piece of crap. You know, but you know that you, you just, you laugh it off and then you walk away and you know, it irks. Yeah.
matt nappo 55:29
Yeah, no, I get it. And that sucks. I mean, that this, the internet is just made for trolling. Man.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 55:34
I’ll tell you the one thing I love. I love having my book out. You wouldn’t believe how many people have written to me or email me or said to me, Holy mackerel that your book opened my eyes. I didn’t know any of that stuff. Probably never thought about it. And it’s so funny because a year or two ago, I got a huge bump in sales. And the publisher called me up and said, What did you do? What show did you go on? You know what? You know, what do you what do you do? Yeah, I went on my blog. And and then I realized what happened was Howard put out a book. Oh, yeah. If you buy a book on Amazon, underneath it says people who bought this book, also bought this book. Yeah, they already got their mouse out. They already got the credit card there. And with one click, they got my book to $15 So I got a huge bump in sales was Howard never said to his audience, Jackie has a book out or were don’t even if he said don’t buy Jackie’s book people go what book, you know, people had no idea, right? So it’s been an uphill battle trying to get it sold. But you know, but about
matt nappo 56:40
the book I could, I didn’t want to talk just a little bit more about the podcast, but about the book, you wrote a memoir, you’re still young, young enough that you have big things ahead of you. And they got to be another, a follow up, right? Because you’re not done. Usually people write their memoirs when they’re done.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 56:58
I wrote, I wrote enough for two books. So I have a whole if you really didn’t read the book, I’m going to send you the unpublished book. There’s a whole nother books worth the chapters. But I can’t even tell you like even if I retired from everything right now I got more stories coming out of my ears, you know, I just look around in my head, you should come visit my office, you’d get a kick out of it. But I look at my office and I see you know a cell of the Flintstones with me on stage in Blackrock or whatever it is in me with Keith Richards and Les Paul and and joke man plates and martling street and all the times I was on stern and all the all the notes from Rodney in the cartoon by Don Martin just at random looking. And all of those things lead that incredibly fun, eclectic, stupids, maybe not especially knockdown drag out funny. But interesting stuff, how things lead to other things. And I just, I never get sick of that. So yeah, no, I’m gonna, I’m gonna keep writing. You know, I just I wrote a whole long story the other day, just because if you see somebody you haven’t seen in a long time, and they say, Oh, I’m friends with so and so. You want to tell so and so the story about the friend that you have in common? And next thing, you know, like, oh, yeah, and as you start writing, like, it gets nuts. You know, if I thought somebody was going to buy it, I’d be writing books like crazy, but you know, might. So there was millions and millions and millions of fans, but not that many people bought my book. I mean, I’m not complaining. Yeah, I made some money. But I would have been so nice. If the word had gotten out a little. And I waited too long. I waited 15 years or 17 years, you know.
matt nappo 58:48
Yeah. And people. I think if you would have really bashed Howard, it probably would have been a better seller.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 58:55
Everybody. Everybody says that, you know, yeah, Jackie, you know, you’re you’re, you’re pushing you. Why don’t you write your real mind you write what you really feel like, you know, and but most people will any brain say, Wow, that’s it. It’s a heartfelt book. It really makes sense. I got a documentary that’s coming out, was screening it at Chappaqua. On February 12, Lincoln’s birthday, duck. And it’s, and it’s good. And right now, a couple of cable companies have it and we’ll hope if it gets sold, it’ll be so fun because it’s it basically it kind of accomplishes what the book did. And but if it got on one of those cable companies, any stern fan, even the you know, even the people that hate me would be interested. And it’s just an eye opener, you know, so,
matt nappo 59:44
I don’t know. And again, you’re probably right about the circles that I run in. I don’t know of anybody who hates you. I just think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about that. But I think a lot of people have turned on how in a lot of the law, his most loyal people to see a change him and he’s gone really Hollywood and this woman that’s got his, his Miss Mephisto kind of Jones whatever it is right?
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:00:10
He will tell me it took him a long time to finally come around to realizing Holy crap. He’s not that funny. You know, like, like, it’s in your area there with aligner you’re not that was never his job. That’s not what he did. No, he’s easy. He’s not a joke, or he’s a talker. And he’s so good at it, you know,
matt nappo 1:00:32
right. With the podcast now, you and Peter bass. Are you having other guests on? Or is it just you and him every
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:00:40
what happened was this guy, this guy, Mike cave, who has pink tie.org. I’ve never heard of that charity. Yeah, he’s a great, great guy. And he’s got so much going on. He’s got so many things going on. So he started tied in media, which is his media company. And he has a beautiful room and a beautiful green room. And it’s a whole studio. And he’s a friend. And he’s always ever since I met him, he always wanted to do something with me. He said, What about doing a podcast? I said, Yeah. Alright, well, we’ll give it a shot. And Peter bells is my oldest dearest friend. He’s the one that dragged me into the comic strip in Manhattan and jumpstarted. Me. So wants to come be my guest. And we act. And after a couple hours, I said, You know what, this should be our show, not my show. This should be our show. We came up with stand up memories, because he’s a professor and comic that’s been around for 40 years. And I’ve been around for 40 years. And we know everybody. So we started talking. We have 20 shows in the can ready to go once a week for 20 weeks. We haven’t spoken to another human being yet. Do we plan on it? We of course we plan on it. I got probably 50 texts and emails from Jackie, I’m perfect for your show. I’ll be perfectly show you got me on the one thing we’re not going to do is sit there with another comic. So he can try and be funny and and tell you. You know, comics aren’t good interviews, you know, unless they’re a little bit off the beaten track, you know, that, like, radio, people have always said to me, man, it’s such a joy to have you in because you get right to the joke and right to the story, you know, other comics that like prod me, prod me get me going, you know, it’s like, you just take the microphone, and you’re off to the races. Broadcasters appreciate that.
matt nappo 1:02:28
Yeah, absolutely. And some of the guys I’ve interviewed, I didn’t do a lot of comics, and some of them just want to do material and want to send me stuff before to kind of lead them into their materials. Like
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:02:39
I said, do that, that the audience
matt nappo 1:02:43
isn’t interested in that either. They’re interested in real life stories and the kind of stuff that you brought here so I appreciate that.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:02:49
Yeah, what’s going on behind the curtain? You know? Yeah,
matt nappo 1:02:53
just one more question before I let you go cuz we are an hour and I don’t want to disrespect your time. To Gelman thing.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:02:58
Yeah, disrespecting my time. I got nothing to do. I I love talking about myself. But I didn’t say that. Okay, I appreciate that. I’m not talking about myself talking about the comedy, especially from Long Island. We we could do. Who do you know, for a million years? I will say February 18? No. What night is it? February 18. It which which is this Jesus February 12 is the document on February teeth. At my father’s place, that’s not my father’s place. It’s the Rosalyn cellar with Susan Akilah who is a violinist with a great band it’s her show I’m just doing like opening 20 minutes. And they’re great guys is Joe G and and Susan and they have like a five or six piece band and it’s going to be so much fun and the rosin cellar. I mean, and it’s literally down the street from the old my father’s place which I get such a kick out of. Right so I want to give that a plug because we’re here we’re talking about Long Island. Yeah,
matt nappo 1:04:04
well the book has a different feel for me being a Long Island and and I think it would be for people who only know you from the Stern show cuz you mentioned so many things that nostalgic for me in a way I mean mentioning of clubs I know and how they got started. And all
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:04:19
right, you look up and next thing you know, you’ve been daydreaming for 20 minutes about the old days, which I think is a great thing, you know?
matt nappo 1:04:25
Yeah. But the Gilman stuff is that the the Gilman incident? Is that the straw that kind of broke the camel’s back with your relationship with how it is that was at the beginning of the end.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:04:39
Oh, the practical joke. Yeah. Oh, no, no, that was just something really, really funny that happened years ago that was on Shelter Island. That was one of the great stunts. That was one of the great stunts, you people. I just pulled this stunt. We were out to dinner. And one of our rivals that are on air rivals, it was Kathy Kathy Lee Givens producer. It’s too long a story to go into. But imagine if it’s somebody that you’ve always had words with and kind of professional. You know,
matt nappo 1:05:18
Howard was a constant, Kathie Lee and Frankie right,
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:05:22
so much animosity. And here we are sitting in this little tiny space. And they’re at one table and we’re in the other table. And I pulled the waitress aside and said, Listen, I want you to bring Howard a joke. I’d bring Howard a drink, and tell him it’s from Michael Gelman. And she said, why I can’t I said, Listen, I gave her I’d love to say I gave her 100 bucks. I think I gave her 20 bucks, and said, Look, just do it. And when I went to do it, stuttering John and Scott Einziger, who was the producer of the show, ran out ran out of the room. They didn’t want anything to do with it, because they don’t want to get in trouble, you know. And so this waitress, in this little tiny room, brought Howard a drink and said, this is from Mr. Gilman, and how it is six, six, and he stood all the way up and raises glass and said, God, man, and it was so obvious that Garmin had no idea what what the hell he was talking about. And it was just, it was just so mean, but so harmless. And so funny. And all six months, six hour just sat back down in his chair, and I’m next to me said, The waitress told me the drink was from government. And I said, I know that’s, that’s what I told him to tell you. He was busy. You know, he was so pissed. And then he came in Mondays. And you know what I told you daughters what you did to me. And they thought it was funny. Because the tides get turned on the big guy. That’s, you know, that was my job. That was my job to throw a little sand in the gas there.
matt nappo 1:07:05
Beautiful story. Well, I do want to wrap this up, because I do want to get the audio out in time to promote your thing for tonight, so people will be on it. Again, it’s called a stand up memories. The link will be in the description for you folks. I hope people will tune in tonight again, Jackie will be in the chat room and and looking at some of the comments and maybe even commenting back so I really appreciate your time here.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:07:28
Let me tell them email me especially you overseas people joke land. Not choke me in jail, K la nd joke email@example.com. All my gigs are on joke, land calm. I tweet a dirty joke every day at Jackie martling on Twitter. And look for the documentary joke man. And Matt, I really appreciate this. I hope we get to do it again. I don’t know if I have your email address. Do I have your email? Yeah,
matt nappo 1:07:54
we’ve been writing back and forth for about a week now.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:07:58
It was through Matt. I know it was through Matt. I mean through Mike, Mike, Matt.
matt nappo 1:08:04
Mike, Matt, we’re all the same person. I appreciate it. Yeah. And please do come back. Whenever and anytime. You’re always welcome back here. Thank you so much.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:08:13
You know what I always tell interviewers, a lot of times people say God, I wish you I’d ask Jackie about this as much as people ask you just keep a list of all the stupid things, all the stupid questions. And if we do this again, you could say, Alright, I got a list of 20 things that people were curious about. And then we’re off and running. You know,
matt nappo 1:08:33
we got a lot of those. They just didn’t bring them up today. And then people in the chat rooms right now just asking stuff like that. But if we if we had time today, but I do want to get the audio out so people will know about it for a minute. Just promise me we’ll do this again. We definitely will do this at your convenience. My friend. I would love to have you back. Thank you.
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling 1:08:50
And I would love you to come out here and see Joe Klein. Thank you very much. I really appreciate.
matt nappo 1:08:55
Thank you Jackie. Have a great day. And we’ll look forward to talking to you tonight. Great. Bye for now. Bye bye. Jackie the joke man martling. Folks, fantastic conversation there. I hope you enjoyed it. I certainly did. I hope you will check out his show tonight. And be part of it. So I don’t have another program on for tonight because we are. I’m in the book mode myself. I have to finish up the book. So I’m kind of putting some of the shows on hold. Tomorrow I have Tommy Cheung at 1pm with me on course morning coffee with the dog tomorrow morning 9am to 11am. But Tommy Chong at 1am and we’ll be taking your comments and chance for you to chat with the fabulous Tommy Cheung yourself. kind of ask him some questions. And I believe Carl and Jamie will be sitting in at least for part of that. So hope you’ve been great having you here this morning. Thanks for coming. I appreciate all of you up to everybody. been supportive of the program up until now and thanks. keep on coming to you About it keep on coming back and always remember to turn on round Round. Listen to me Listen to me Listen to me, Listen to me Listen to me
minddog Exposes Joe Rogan as a PATHETIC LIAR!
Demonstrating Joe Rogan’s dishonesty and conspiratorial derangement using 2 clips from his recent depravity:
In the first clip, Rogan claims his “white guy” friend in Texas went to get treated for COVID and was denied based on his race. His boy wonder Jamie fact checked him, to which Rogan’s immediate response was “but there is a video?”
Rogan saw a video on the internet, didn’t verify any of it because it matches what he wants to be true, and somehow imagined the actor in the video is his “white guy” friend from Texas, or he’s being completely dishonest.
Watch the wheels spin as Joe Jitsu realizes he mentioned the video and then has to reinvent “this guy I know”. He never names the guy because the guy doesn’t exist. Well, ok he exists in a video Joe saw on Facebook.
In the second clip, Joe starts about by saying “I don’t know what the reality is”, and those are the truest word that steroid head has ever uttered. He then goes on the accuse Ray Epps, an ex marine, lifelong republican, business owner, farmer from Maricopa County, AZ of being an “agent provocateur”. Once again, no diligence was focused on determining the truth, and then telling his massive audience that “the reality is” is something tat it clearly is not.
Alright, onto Rogan. Rogan a pathetic liar. And I have evidence of that. And he’s also lazy. And he’s been caught being lazy several times and had to admit it and embarrassed himself when he’s talking about the fires that were started by Antifa. And then he had to backtrack all I got thrown off the internet, he gets a lot of shit off the internet, and turns out and it turns out that he’s exactly like the imbeciles that listen to him. Or follow him or part of his call. He’s one of these guys who sees a video on Facebook or Twitter and assumes it’s all true. It’s not staged. And it’s factual without doing any without even doing the least tiny bit of fact check on it. And anybody could put anything out there as long as it agrees with the position he’s trying to push. He’s going to accept it, and then push it out on his show. Now I have examples of that. I’d like to show it might take a little while and if you’re sick of me, ranting on Rogen, I apologize for that. But it must be done, folks. Somebody’s got to somebody got to call this imbecile out. And it’s just that simple. So let’s see if we can do this. They’re yours fairies. He’s so handsome. isn’t me? Bald headed fuck. Alright, let’s I’m gonna kind of give you some context here. Shane Dorian, I guess is His name is a surfer surfer boy. 49 year old surfer boy. And they obviously talking about COVID here. And Joe is going to make some claims about situation based off of and he’s gonna claim I should just play the clip. He’s gonna claim that this happened to a friend of his but then quickly gets exposed by his own slip up.
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 23:26
That is really referring to a video he saw online here we go in why you should know more. How to get them. You know, they don’t in Texas, crazy. A friend of mine went and he’s white guy. And he went and they told him that they couldn’t give it to him because of his age and his body mass. Because he’s white, but if he was Hispanic or black, they would be able to give it to him.
Unknown Speaker 23:51
That’s so messed up anyway what
Unknown Speaker 23:53
he goes, because our country’s white supremacist, he will play once.
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 23:59
If I looked exactly like my body now, but I had more melon that’s crazy. You’ll be able to show your skin tone because you’d be in an in an at risk group. You’re not in an at risk group. So because you’re white guy, and she goes I’m so sorry. It’s I have no seriously messed up and he was laughing he’s like, wow, this is crazy.
Unknown Speaker 24:23
It makes zero sense. No. Okay.
matt nappo 24:27
So in that clip, he says it was his friend doesn’t name the friend now. We’ll get to it goes on and it will be exposed as in a moment about how it’s really reacting to a video he saw it and imagine the person in the video was his friend. But also, this makes no sense. It doesn’t make no sense that Texas, Texas mind you is discriminating against the White people. That’s like Alabama, discriminating against white people. Yeah, it makes no fucking sense. And you know what you do when things don’t make any sense? Yet check it out. But Joe didn’t check it out. You just said wow, that’s fucking crazy. Makes no sense. Makes no sense. Don’t bother checking Joe. And putting the story out there as a direct lie. It doesn’t make any sense. Doesn’t make any Yeah, it’s
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 25:26
a it’s a strange thing that we have going on in this country. And it’s it happened very quickly and you’re almost like the if you woke up viewer Rip Van Winkle. You know, and you maybe let’s say you got hit over the head in 2019 and September, and you went into a coma and you woke up now you’d be like, what
Unknown Speaker 25:46
is Trent you wouldn’t
matt nappo 25:48
be like, Fuck, this guy get so much. Go fact check. No, check. This is Jamie. Joe’s boy having enough of his bullshit and I’ll see
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 26:01
denies why people antibody treatment. Texas Health Department says was a video of it.
matt nappo 26:07
There’s a video of it. It’s your friend Joe. Your unnamed friend. You just oh you saw a video video says that.
Unknown Speaker 26:15
So they talked about the video and this and then they reached out to the Texas Health. Yeah, but
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 26:21
they absolutely did to this guy. No. Like people
matt nappo 26:24
I know it was your friend. Wait a minute now it’s a guy you know, and you’re not
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 26:28
definitely doing that. Maybe there that doesn’t
matt nappo 26:31
mean it’s a policy it means that person is an asshole maybe. Oh, all right. Before we go on, I’m gonna challenge Joe Rogan. I know he won’t see this. But his coke. I’m going to post it in the Joe Rogan fanboy groups for them to see. And the challenge is his name. You fucking friend. You got damn liar. You pathetic caught yourself in a lie. Because he, what he did was he caught himself saying, oh, there was a video and now he has to come back realizing oh, I said it was my friend. But it’s a guy. No,
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 27:04
I don’t know. I think you mean the person at the clinic like the nurse whoever signed they couldn’t do it. But she was saying she was sorry. That just was this was the way that they had to do it. Well, I don’t know. I mean, this this might be covering up for some fucking horse.
matt nappo 27:18
Oh, this is the conspiracy. coming out and saying no. You find on Facebook. Your imaginary friend on Facebook lied to you. That’s the conspiracy theory, not the conspiracy theory you’re putting out there about Texas. Land of the weight discriminating discriminating against white people. Or it’s not but
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 27:41
it’s hard to say it’s not hard to say
Unknown Speaker 27:43
the fact checks is not exactly what we are told that fact checking is supposed
matt nappo 27:51
fact checking when it when it doesn’t support your bullshit. fact checking is no good. Now this guy automatically. Several boy Shane Dorian kind of exposed himself when he said, Oh, but it’s a white supremacist country. If you deny white supremacists in right supremacism in America. You’re a fucking racist cocksucker Sorry, I’m in. I’m in one of those moods today. But there you go. So Joe Rogan now claiming his friend, he had a friend. I don’t doubt he has a white friend. batteries that have a lot of white friends more and more these days. move to Texas to be surrounded by white friends. But he’s invented this friend and can’t name the friend now that’s a friend you’re not protecting any friends. Anonymity there. Because this is a story you want to hold right? And your friend wants this cold. So why is he hiding in anonymity? Good morning, Colonel Mike. Good to see you here. Now goes on further more stuff about Rogan video clips. Just getting warmed up here. Because there’s another grand conspiracy that Rogen and the cute people and it’s it comes from q not from Rogan but Rogan is spreading it like it’s absolutely true. And talking about it in terms like he knows the real truth here and congratulating his guests on coming to the right conclusion. Now what it is is it’s claiming that January 6, which is why I even went here today. January 6, we have a lovely holiday coming up it’s insurrection Thursday, folks. Bring your guns bring you knives, bring your wire ties, whatever you got, because the coup is ongoing. Joe is claiming that a certain person and he named them by name was an FBI plant and instigating interaction for on behalf of the FBI. guy’s name is Ray apps. Ray Epps never worked for the FBI. As far as I can tell, it would be really hard for reps to I’ve ever worked for the FBI. Talk to two different people who have worked for the FBI put in 30 years each. And they both said no, that’s really far fetched. It’s hard to believe somebody could do what what they’re talking about and being an FBI agent or employee or be instigating an insurrection on behalf of the FBI lone by himself now because he’s the only example they have I should play the clip it’s gonna take me a second to dig up the clip here could fit on my hard drive so I’ll keep talking while I while I attempt to dig this up if I can I mean it Joe, it the clip I have is called it came from Charlie Kirk far right when cute guy called Rogan drops a major January 16. Bomb let’s watch
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 31:37
aware of the agent provocateur aspect of January six. Same word. I don’t exactly know
matt nappo 31:46
what I don’t exactly don’t know. But there you go Hold on people and see no downs. I don’t exactly know what the reality is. But I’m going to put it out as if it’s fact. I should just that fucking clip. Just those words. I don’t exactly know what the reality is summed up Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 32:08
that there was federal agents that were involved in instigating the violence, instigating the entering into the Capitol. And then there’s this one guy in specific that they’ve got him isolated on video. They’ve shown him over and over again, he’s faced no legal consequences. They know that this guy’s name, they know exactly who he is. All these other guys are in jail. All these other guys who got into the Capitol. I mean, there’s so many of them are facing like these massive federal charges. And for years plus in jail. This one guy is like, we have to go in there. We have to take back. We have to get inside there. And people start calling them a thread in one one of these videos. And I think,
matt nappo 32:50
right that’s first of all, let me let me respond here. Ray UPS is the guy who’s talking about we’ll get to that in a moment. Ray ups. Elan? Yeah, we have to get inside. We got to get inside there. We got to get in the capital. That’s what he said wearing his Magga hat. Now, what does that make him a Fed because people bear said you’re acting like a fed? No, but this is he’s an owner of an undercover agent for the FBI. His man’s a spies and undercover agent for the FBI sent down here to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan sound familiar? This is online, they bring out all the time people, they don’t trust our feds. So somebody called him a fed. Now, why hasn’t he been prosecuted? Because he did not commit a crime. He never went in the Capitol, he wasn’t part of the interaction. Just because you’re talking big shit doesn’t mean you can be prosecuted for it. And so his lack of prosecution and the fact that they have them on tape and drilled right they played that tape that clip over and over again of him saying, We got to get inside we he looks like fucking get it done. Then whatever Dan’s last name is it’s forget fucking you know, Larry, the cable guy. He’s looks like him. And he’s just saying, We got to get inside with his Magga hat on well, he didn’t but when inside so you can’t charge him with anything. So why is the government not charging because he didn’t fucking sorry. Common Sense,
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 34:27
can like takes off and runs away. But this is what it seems like. It was like this was something that governments have done forever. Like you take a peaceful protest. What’s the best way to break up a peaceful protest? You bring in agent provocateurs to turn it into a non peaceful a violent protest, smash windows light things on fire then you can send in the troops and you can clean up the mess and then you don’t have any protest anymore. All
matt nappo 34:54
right, can negate that ridiculous statement. They never sent it troops. They didn’t send in the troops until long after the incompetence failed on their first effort. And in fact, Trump was urging them to continue fighting as a fourth 15 In the afternoon, three hours after the insurrection started and a good hour after they were just walking around trying to figure out what do we do? Keep fighting, he was saying they weren’t sending in the to clean this shit up. I mean, if this theory made sense, then the minute they broke windows and started to enter the Capitol, you would have seen the National Guard show up, but the National Guard was withheld on purpose. Joe doesn’t take that into account, because it seems like
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 35:46
this was the World Trade Organization in what was it in Seattle and 99 or whatever it was. That’s what they did. It’s been documented that is what happened. Wearing and Tifa outfits inserts this pre 99 and smashing Windows lighting things on fire. And they were all eventually released. Conveniently. Well, this guy do you know about this, Jamie, you know, see if you can find it. Because it’s a curious case of this one particular individual who’s like yelling in these various groups that we have to get in their way and they like he did it pre January 6, he did it during the January 6 thing. And this guy’s face no legal charges whatsoever and people are
matt nappo 36:29
faced no legal charges because he did not commit a crime again,
Unknown Speaker 36:33
what the fuck
Joe Rogan cult spokesperson 36:34
is going on here? Because when you see some kind of organized debacle like that
matt nappo 36:40
organized debacle, one guy who said you should go in there, you’re accusing him of being an FDA IPI plant now who is Ray Epps, I’m gonna pull Rogan down it’s got it had enough for his fucking stupidity. One guy Ray apps where you see remove this idiot. Now who is Ray up? Well, Ray Epps owns a venue called the knotty pine wedding venue out in Queen Creek, Arizona, Maricopa County. It’s been a registered Republican for 30 years. He again he’s the owner of Queen Creek. What knotty barn wedding venue. He basically is ex marine and been a farmer and been running this wedding business with his wife full time and living in Arizona and has no history at all. As an FBI agent or even working in any government agency ever in his life, he was a goat farmer, horses farmer pig farmer. Farm guy. Anyway, I have his number here. And I’m gonna call him up and ask him I doubt we’re gonna get him on the phone but I’ll try let’s see what the old college try to call up Ray apps and ask him let me see if I can dial it before I do this. And we’ll ask Ray Epps about his his FBI experience and see what see what Ray has to say about Joe’s accusations and the Q accurate it’s not really joking make this up he’s just parroting what he heard que se let’s see. Hopefully we’ll get to talk to Ray that would be nice right? See if he’s really because he owns his corporation is called Patriot holdings which he founded in 2009 Hard to hard to think that the Patriot that I have an opportunity thank you. What What was that account? Please record your message. When you finished recording you make more art sorry about that loudness? Hey Ray, this is Matt from mind dog show we can talk to you about your involvement with the FBI. Maybe call me back just want to know if you’re really an FBI agent like people are claiming you i i appreciate the phone call back at your convenience.
Paul Provenza came to school me in comedy . We talk about his early years. stand up, his transition to television actor and show host to creating his own voice in film directing and filmmaking in the comedy space.
matt nappo 0:01
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And welcome my friends to yet another episode of the mind dog TV podcast. I’m Matt nappo. Thanks for coming. It’s great to have you here. As always, just a important little note here. We’re not live, although I’m streaming this live the first time you see it. I’m not really live. This is pre taped. As a matter of fact, that could actually be dead by the time you’re seeing this. But hopefully that’s not the case. Anyway, today, I have finally arranged for the fabulous Paul provenza. To be with us. You know, if you tried to tune in when we had Paul scheduled a couple of weeks ago, we had some technical difficulties, which is the reason we are pre taping today to make sure that none of those technical difficulties get in the way of today’s broadcast. Now Paul prevented you know, as a comedian, a film director and author, all around renaissance man and a man full of respect and insight into the world of comedy. And it’s my pleasure to bring you this interview with a great and fabulous Paul Pimentel. Ladies and gentlemen, open your ears, open your minds and help me welcome in the fabulous Paul provenza to the mind dog TV podcast.
Paul Provenza 3:00
Thanks for having me. Finally, without tech problems, anybody that didn’t catch it the last time My apologies.
matt nappo 3:08
I actually deleted that pretty quickly after it was done. Because it was just, it was a lot of me trying to cover dead air. And it was it was not
Paul Provenza 3:18
that good. Look how well it’s working. Now I have to say,
matt nappo 3:23
I appreciate the effort. I’m coming back. And thank you very much for that. So Oh, there’s so much to talk about with you. And you’re probably one of the first stand up comedians I ever saw back in the day when I was a young man, and you’re only a couple years older than me. And I know you’re from Pelham Parkway area in the Bronx, which is kind of my neighborhood. So I grew up in the 70s and was a huge fan of stand up comedy, but I know that you got started young in it. Right? And so I look at my work and being in that world today. I didn’t know anybody who had the call and composure to do stand up comedy as a teenager in those years. And just the intelligence and, you know, ability to have something to talk about. Talk to me about you’re getting started.
Paul Provenza 4:13
Wow, wow, that’s so kind of you. I can’t believe it. Where did you see me at the improv?
matt nappo 4:18
Yeah, yes. Yeah. And it was like, you know what I, you know, memory is what it is, but it was at the improv, but I think it was late 70s might have been at, I don’t know, it was it was early, it was early and I was out, you know, again, I’m only like one or two years behind you. And as I was thinking at the time, how come I don’t have you know, any friends who are doing it, the balls first of all the balls to get up and do it. But the, you know, most of people who were teenagers sweated when the teacher called them to read out out loud in class and here’s this guy, you know, just a year or two older than us and just as common and composed and professional and it was just like, this is this is for adults. Not fair. People. So that’s what you buy.
Paul Provenza 5:04
Wow. Well thank you for those kind words. But um, yeah, and I started really young. And you know, I started going to the improv as a patron, when I was about 15, maybe with, I had an older cousin, who, you know, bought me a lot of time with my parents staying out until one two in the morning. He was big, big, big influence in my life still is, and, and I would go with some friends from high school. And I mean, I remember sitting there and seeing it was amazing. I’m actually back then even Gilbert godfried had already been doing it for a while. Wow. And I remember seeing any lien boozer and at blue stone, and Franken and Davis and Larry David, just, you know, phenomenal comedians who went on to varying degrees of visibility and success. Andy Kaufman in his early days, you know, when I was very, very young, I had the opportunity of being the victim to an the, in early incarnation of Tony Clifton, which he was doing without makeup or wardrobe, or anything he was just doing as a guy in the audience. And he would Heckle comics and just see what happened. I mean, yeah, I was really young when I started. So I started going to the improv it like 15. And then I did my first time on stage at, I think 16, or between somewhere around 1617. And here’s the cool thing. Back then you had to, you had to wait online, you know, if you an open mic, or you had to line up at like, you know, people would Sorry, I showed up once at like, 10 in the morning. It wasn’t gonna open until 810 in the morning, that’s good. And I lived way up in the Bronx, so I had to slip up subway schlep all the way down to Midtown Manhattan in Hell’s Kitchen. And so I get there at 10 o’clock, and it’s already a huge long line. And you have to wait online and you have to, you know, just wait until they opened up or until they brought out a bucket with numbers in it at like six or seven. And then you took your number, and it was random, it didn’t even necessarily have to do with how long you are online. And it was weird. And so I ended up with a very, very high number, and at about three or 330 in the morning, because they used to stay open till 4am legal curfew, or until the last patron left. So on audition nights, it was always you know, 4am so like, three 330 in the morning, I still had a bunch of numbers before me. And I went up to the MC and I said it’s not my number yet, but I was wondering if maybe you can move me ahead a couple of numbers because I have school in three hours.
and and the the MC just cracked up and he wants your kid. And he brought me up next. And I got to tell that story to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. He was the house MC Wow. So that was my I was like 16, maybe turning 17 at the time, the first time I went on stage. And it was something that I just always wanted to do since I was a really little kid. I just really felt connected to it. Yeah, I have a lot of theories as to why. But I just always wanted to do it. It was a real need. And my first time on stage was a nightmare. I mean, it was horrible because the three 330 in the morning, all kinds of other Open Mind. And because the improv was at 44th and ninth, which is like poker Central, you know, there are always a couple of hookers and maybe a pimp that came in to have a drink and get out of the cold or something. So it was just a horrible, horrible experience. But when I came off stage after that first absolute, you know, disaster, he could have been traumatizing. But here’s the weird thing it wasn’t I actually thought to myself, I can’t wait to do that again and figure this out. And so then I went away to college, I went to university, Pennsylvania, it was in Philadelphia, and started performing around Philadelphia, there were a few other people at the school. And through people I had met, I had met some other people in Philadelphia that were starting to do stand up. And there was they were trying to sort of a scene was kind of beginning to happen. So I was getting a lot of work while I was in Philadelphia at going to school. And then I would drive up to New York on three day weekends or holidays or whatever or when I you know, had the energy to do that. I would drive up to New York and continue getting online for open mics on Sundays. And within a year, I think maybe four or five times getting on stage. I passed auditions at the improv. So I was back at school doing stand up with my friend And whatever, you know, Penn was a big school so I could put together shows and different dorms and they would be like different all different markets, you know, kind of. And so I was getting all this stage time. So every time I would go back up to New York, I would have more and more experience and more stage time, which the other people do in the open mics weren’t, they weren’t getting. So I rose pretty quickly through those ranks. And one of the first people that I met that was an improv regular, who sort of took me under his wing. And he was a young guy at the time as well, he was only a few years older than I, but had been doing it and had shown unbelievable gifts in stand up. And comedy in general was Rick Overton who still to this day is one of my dearest friends. He was like, he was like, one of the new kids on the block that I was trying to join. And he just immediately introduced me to so many people saying, you got to see this kid, you got to see this kid. And so he helped really bring me into that fold. And it was life changing. So by the time I was 17, you’re well into 17, or 18. By my second year at Penn, they had a rathskeller on campus, which they don’t have anymore, because at the time, the drinking age was 18. Right, which had happened because of the Vietnam War, because it became, you know, it became impossible for them to not lower the drinking age, because people were sending us off to die and 18, but we can’t have a beer. So the drinking age was was lower than so they had literally a bar on campus called the rathskeller. And
they offered me a Saturday night slot every week to do stand up. And I would do like an hour an hour and 15 however much material I had every week, and a lot of it was about you know, going to school and being a kid and you know, being a college kid and all that stuff. But there were enough I had enough times on stage there that I actually could develop material and go back to the improv with material that was going to work. And that I had already worked out and everything so so when I got out of school, I immediately started working at the improv. And then within a year, I had a pilot on ABC television, which brought me out to Los Angeles and I just stayed. But it was a pretty it was a different time, there was just not that many people into stand up, it was still a pretty rarefied art form, you know, what was it like now, and there wasn’t as much access to stage time as there is now and I’m saying that with tremendous affection for them this moment because I think you know, the voices that are coming out of standard I think this is a golden age of stand up now. You know, there was a boom in the 80s. But that was like a boom of the business of comedy. And there’s a boom now That to me is more about a boom in the art form of comedy with so many different kinds of comedy and different voices and different appreciation for different kinds of things. And you know people that is people watching your podcast right now is like you we never had an audience of people who are interested in the mechanics of comedy or interested in what really goes on in the world of comedy or interested in a comedians life outside of what they do on stage. And that’s a relatively new phenomenon that has just exploded and and I think it’s been amazing for the artform.
matt nappo 13:24
Wow, I got I got a there’s so much in that in that simple edge to talk about. But on that golden age of comedy stuff. I’m a little bit torn on that. Because boomers my age, right, I brought up Bill Burr to my friends, and they didn’t know who he was. They didn’t know who he was. But coming back to you being a young man doing this and I asked this on Twitter just the other night, who is a young comics and capital young that I should know right now because I know a lot of people 50 and older. I know some but most of the really successful ones I know are 50 or 50 year old are in that area. And the young people coming up so when you say golden age because they’re I think it’s all a little bit oversaturated what you asked to do with some of this canceled culture stuff, I think it’s a lot of that is young comedians looking to cancel established comedians and looking for dirt on them. Because there’s just so many people doing it right now. So but talk about that, well,
Paul Provenza 14:26
that that’s just a variation of what’s always going on, you know, the younger generation, be it music, be it acting be a comedy, be it painting, sculpture, the younger generation always sort of rejects the ones that came before them, or at least immediately before them, you know, that’s kind of part of the process of evolution that has to happen. And I think this canceled culture thing. It’s just a different way of going about it. But you know in in the 1980s in 1980 Don Ward and his partners opened the car Comedy Store in London. And the it was almost as if a switch was flicked because it was we’re gonna do a new kind of comedy. And they rejected outright all the old school forms of comedy. You wouldn’t find it at the Comedy Store and everybody that was working at the Comedy Store was maligning all the old school and there was basically a canceled culture of people like oh geez, I can’t think of the names but all these stalwarts of British stand up comedy, were just relegated to the dustbin. And it’s exactly what’s happening now. 40 years later. So I kind of always happen that way. It’s different now because of social media and the way it’s all the the how everything’s become politicized. It’s more than just like, Oh, I didn’t want to do material. That’s old school. It’s more politically politicized now than ever before, but the phenomenon itself has always been going on. But here’s the difference between what’s happening now in that regard. And when I was coming up, is that, you know, back then, first of all, there were a million talk shows and they were afternoon talk show. So it was dinosaur there was Merv Griffin, there was my list. There was john Davidson. There was you know, there were all these afternoon talk shows, right? And then there were the late night talk shows, of course, the tonight show Johnny Carson being the king, but also there was Joey Bishop and they were, it was Alan Thicke in the mid 80s. And all these were a million talk shows right? And they would have comedians on, but they back in those days, it wasn’t so demographically driven. So you could be watching the tonight show or Merv Griffin or Deke Cavett. And you could see, you know, the hip new young Freddie Prinze on the same panel with Alan King, or, you know, Milton Berle, or something like that. And so you got exposed to a real breadth of comedy on the same TV shows, you know, they would also do that in other regards to you know, they would have john lennon on but they’d also have, you know, gore of a doll on the same show, all right, you know, and that’s all different now. And now, it’s, uh, you can’t find a show that’s gonna book you know, an old school, you know, comic in their 80s on the same bill with, you know, Moses storm was a young guy that I just saw recently that I think has tremendous down, you know, that’s why on the green room, and even on comics, only back in the late 80s, when I was doing that show, I always made an effort to have, you know, Robert Klein on the show, and Jonathan Winters on the show, along with Bo Burnham and, you know, really mix the generations on greenroom in particular, I also mix people from the UK and people that I had, you know, grown aware of from doing the international festival circuit and stuff. Because it’s like, nobody questions that music, like nobody in music would question, Well, why is James Taylor working with this, you know, young 22 year old bands, like how did that happen, right? intuitively makes sense. It’s about the art form. And it’s about music, but they don’t think of it in terms of comedy. But that’s really, you know, I hope that the younger generation, you know, grows to appreciate those that came before and sort of just just to look at, look at them as something valuable, not something that has to be discarded. I do look at that, like Phyllis Diller has sort of been re captured as a major force for women in comedy, because in the 70s, during the feminist wave, she was sort of tossed aside as, you know, she does self deprecating stuff, and this and that, and this and that, but the truth is, she was also doing what she needed to do to play in the big ball game to play, you know, with Bob Hope and, and, and Sinatra, and all those people, you know, and she did what she did, because that’s what she had to do to make a living and to become successful. But she did it brilliantly. And was hilarious. And she broke down all kinds of barriers
matt nappo 19:02
for women in Korea. Absolutely. Yeah. So but she
Paul Provenza 19:07
was maligned in the 70s as being part of that old school, you know, not on woke, you know, philosophy but, but she actually really did more for women comics than just about, you know, just about anybody. So she’s I like that she’s being appreciated now more than she had been for quite some time. And that’s what I hope happens to a lot of the older generation is that that the appreciation to them really grows.
matt nappo 19:31
Well on that, you know, you mentioned Bo Burnham. Whoa, whoa. That happens. You get in a spam call. Take the call. Yeah. You mentioned both. recently about that, aren’t. You mentioned Bo Burnham. And I think that’s relevant to this conversation because there was a episode of the green room where you had Bo Burnham and Garry Shandling and a couple you know you talk about mixing these people. And I think just to get sidetracked for a moment I think you are kind of you know they have six degrees of separation and then they have the game 60 Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I think in the commodity world they should be six degrees of Paul Brenda because you connect. You connect the world of Buddy Hackett to the world of Bo Burnham, right and everything in between. You guys you just mentioned but that show with with with Bo Burnham and it’s still in my mind, Bo Burnham and I know Gary Shandling was one of the guys on the show. Yeah,
Paul Provenza 20:37
I tried. The whole lineup actually was Bo Burnham. Garry Shandling. Ray Romano, Mark Marin. And Judd Apatow.
matt nappo 20:46
Wow. And so when that when you were putting those shows together, were you hand picking them for each episode and saying this is the group I want?
Paul Provenza 20:55
Yeah, that was really my that was really my sort of creative domain was to put together combinations of people that I thought would be interesting, provocative, all those different things. And and largely, it had to do with, you know, what I know about each of those people. I mean, I did scrap entire shows like they were shows where I had four people lined up and it felt like oh, this is a show that’s going to go in some interesting directions, I’m really happy with that, and then somebody would drop out. And I would end up scrapping the whole show, because it wasn’t the kind of thing we could just go, well, who else is available was an intuitive idea. I mean, I wanted the show to be really spontaneous. I didn’t have any agenda, per se, for any particular episode. But in putting certain groups of people together, I did have a sense of where something could go and whose personalities would match or clash and interesting, fun ways, or whatever the case may be. I mean, that really was the big difference between the greenroom and tough crowd, which was a great show is a tough crowd was all about conflict. And I didn’t want the grief be about conflict I want if conflict arose, conflict arose, but I didn’t want that to be what it was about, I really wanted it to be an example because when I was when I was 1617, and just getting into the world of comedy, it was regulatory To me it was regulatory to me to find an entire group of other people who also felt like aliens in their own lives, who also looked at the world in a different way. who also had a sensibility of you know, when you’re when you’re a real comic when it’s in your bones, comedy just kind of happens to you the way the way I would imagine for a musician that he rhythms all the time you know, you’re walking down the street here dog bark and car door slam, you know, screech, the tie or whatever, it all becomes rhythmic right? Well that’s true for comedy too. When you’re really immersed in it and it becomes a lens through which you experience the world. That same thing happens in comedy just kinds of happens and and walking into the improv and being among a group of people who were in that same space they existed in the world and that kind of way was revelatory for me I it just changed my life and I always even going back as far as comics only which was late 80s I always wanted to try and give an audience that experience that feeling of oh wow look you can be in a room full of people having a really heated argument but nobody’s angry at each other and and you’ll you’ll laugh at some point no matter what and people actually communicate ideas and you know and and and there are conflicts and there are things in concert and I just felt like the experience of being in in a group of people who are you know, that’s the way their existence is was something I wish I could share with everybody and I tried it with comics only in a very sort of primitive way. The idea of comics only was you know, I always want to watch the tonight show but I was I only cared about the comedian’s satiated going seeing you know, the Rolling Stones or whoever. But the real reason that I was watching this for the comedians and and I thought, well, what if we do a tonight show but the only guests are comedians so you don’t have to listen to somebody plug in their book or talking about their new special tour or whatever. So that was the premise behind comics only. And I was hoping to sort of evoke the idea of what it’s like to hang out among other comedians to varying degrees of success. You know, one of the things that I did with that show was I gave he gave the guests the option of doing prepared material and conversation format, which is what you did on the show. If you you know, when you went on The Tonight Show if you were doing a stand up spot and they said okay, you’re going to sit on the panel with Johnny for five minutes, you would prepare a conversation with Johnny, you told me, you’d give them things to lead you into stuff you wanted to do. And that was a sort of convention of the time. And so I gave the comics on comics only, I gave them the option, we can do that. Or we can just sit and see what happened. And some people chose the ladder some people chose the form and most people chose the former again, because they said it was sort of like the convention at the time. But some people chose the ladder and some people surprised the hell out of me every time they came on, like, you know, Judy toll was, I never knew what she was going to do. And those were among my favorite moments, but so comics only didn’t really rise to what I really was hoping to accomplish, which was a sense of what’s it like to hang out with comics.
And then 35 years later, I had the chance to try it at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I was given a time slot to do whatever I wanted to do. And it happened to be a very late night time slot and most comics had finished their shows. And I thought, well, let’s see if I can get the vibe, you know, in a live show, of just hanging out with comics after their sets. And then after doing that, for, you know, a handful of shows, and by the way, the fringe is a great play, the Edinburgh Fringe was a great place to develop material or projects because you do 28 shows in a row. And that’s like, you know, a year of development time. And you know, you find immediately the next day, let’s change this, let’s try that let’s do this, you know. So by the end of the month in Edinburgh, of doing these live shows, and I had brought up some some friends who had cameras and some experience in production, they said, let’s figure out how we could shoot this if we were ever going to shoot this for television. And that’s where we came up with the you know, the very sort of active camera movement and the idea of capturing what’s happening in the moment. So when we got down when we finally got a deal to do the show on television, I had always been frustrated because I had done stand up on television. And you always have to adapt to the medium. You’re frozen. Are we still together? Oh, okay,
matt nappo 27:08
Paul Provenza 27:13
Well, you are you wrapped is that it you just wrapped. But I would always I was frustrated doing television and doing stand up on television and watching stand up on television, I was frustrated that what was most exciting and interesting about stand up to me, which was the this idea of spontaneity, and the idea that, you know, a comic can respond to anything in the moment. And just, I just love that reality of it. That’s what makes a live show. So interesting. And I always felt like all that was sort of, you know, gone, when you when you were doing television, and from doing it on television, I would know, they would say, here’s your mark, here’s where the cameras are, you know, you got to coordinate to the production. So I approached greenroom in the opposite direction. And I said, What if the production has to accommodate the comedy. And so I made sure, you know, I, I said, I want all the camera people to have had experience with news and sports. Because we don’t know where the ball is coming or where it’s going. We don’t know what’s going to happen, what’s going to be as I want to be able to capture it all with a real sense of Oh, this really literally just happened. So you know, put the cameras in the audience in the group and made the crowd really so intimate and aren’t, you know, surrounding everybody so that the audience that I also hate, hate, hate, hate. Audience cutaways and stand up shows, I hate them. I hate them, I hate them. They’re hack, they’re annoying, they bring nothing to the game. All they are is just cheap and easy ways to do shitty edits, I fucking hate the gray audience, every shot, if you want to know what’s going on in the audience, it’s there for you to see if you care to look at it. Right? So production style of the green room was also very, very considered. And we had done a lot of work, you know, with cameras doing the live shows and everything. And I feel like I finally came close to accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish 35 years earlier.
matt nappo 29:01
Wow. You know, I there’s, again, there’s a lot to comment on that. But I just briefly going back to comics only because you just answered a very big question in my mind. I remember specifically, I had, you know how you go back to your memories of your old school and you think it was just so gigantic. I remember coming away as as this in depth thing with comics specifically. And I thought, wow, you know, and to me, in my mind, it was always an hour and a half a half hour show. But I go back to the Bill Hicks thing. And the first time I think he was on, I looked at it. At the time, I thought, well, that’s the stolen material. he’s doing he’s doing an album and I just mastered because I was a mastering guy at the time and I just messed it a CD think it was dangerous. And then then he was on again and it felt like a in depth conversation and I was like wow Berenson Difference between his first appearance on and the second one. So he first he had the option to say I’m going to do material that first. Right? I was confused by that, because I was like, the format of the show change what happened here?
Paul Provenza 30:13
You know? Yeah, well that’s the thing, though I had never done a hosting TV thing before most of the comics, a lot of them, it was their first time on television, you know. So we were all sort of figuring things out that finger figuring things out. We also did some really, really dark sketches and things on there. I mean, Fred wolf was my head writer, and my, you know, announcer slash sidekick on the show. So we did a lot of really, really dark stuff on that show that the network had no idea we were doing because we started doing the show when the network was hot. And then they merged with the HBO comedy channel and became Comedy Central, we were already in production, and the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing. And so nobody knew what we were actually doing until we delivered it. And at that point, they were like, We can’t air half of this stuff, because the sketches were really dark. I mean, blown people’s brains out and stuff, you know, very cartoony, like, creme, violent, you know, blood soaked kind of moments, but then you’d come back and Fred would have a little, you know, cartoon x band aid and he go, like, I just got a little headache, but I’m okay, you know. So we did all of these weird over the top and dark and weird things. And the network was like, we can’t run this and we were like, well, you already produced them. Why don’t you run them and see if they’re a problem? And it was so not together yet at that point that they weren’t okay. We did 165 episodes.
matt nappo 31:40
That’s That’s a lot of those. So yeah, that’s got to be some gold in there on YouTube. I mean, yeah.
Paul Provenza 31:46
And it’s, it’s kind of a time capsule of the comedy boom, because you know it. Jeff Foxworthy. Judd Apatow did his first TV appearance as a stand up of Bob Goldthwait. Jon Stewart, Dennis Leary. Ellen DeGeneres, you know of one of her first talk show spots ever.
matt nappo 32:10
Read stollery Fred Stoller and Sam Kinison.
Paul Provenza 32:17
Yeah, it was Steven Wright. Again, at show also I did a whole episode with Phyllis Diller. Steve Allen was a regular on the show he would come and do all sorts of sketches with us. Rip Taylor was like our Larry bud Melman at the time where he would do anything and we just would come up with the weirdest shit for rip Taylor to do and he loved it. You know, we had old school, young school, we had old school doing stuff that you wouldn’t normally see them doing. You know, it was great, great. A great training ground for a lot of us. And there’s not much of it online at one point I put up clips but the clips we can’t find the original master tapes. Wow, that line actually come from VHS tapes that my mother made when they were when they were broadcast.
matt nappo 33:16
Oh my god. That’s that’s Yeah, I can relate but because i was i was i a library of master tapes to the perfect storm and flood that I had. And so I can relate to that. That’s a sad thing, though. Cuz that that’s why the history of comic comedy history.
Paul Provenza 33:34
Yeah, but like, you know, No, nobody really cares. Nobody. They don’t really care. I care. Scorsese, Martin Scorsese ain’t gonna step up and do a restoration project on the episodes Komsomol
matt nappo 33:50
here, but I would definitely love to see that film still episode, man, I would, you know, go back and find that on YouTube. that’s a that’s a gym. So you, you obviously have a respect. You know, you mentioned Steve Allen and, and people like that a respect for those who came before and the history. The You know, there is a proud history to the crap, let’s put it that way. But do you think that that’s lost? Do you think a lot of comedians working today have your same respect and, you know, for the history of the craft?
Paul Provenza 34:24
Actually, I don’t, I think quite the opposite. But it’s a double edged sword. Because while I think that most I mean, like you said, you will, you know, I’ll talk to you on comics. And I’ll ask them, you know, like, they may remind me of somebody and I would say, Have you ever seen so and so and you go, No, you know, and it always sort of discourages me that Wow, man, there’s so much to be had by going back to the original masters, so to speak. Even if, you know, it’s no longer their time, there’s still an amazing amount to be gleaned from what they were doing. just soak up and you know, it’s like be like a pianist not knowing, you know, Beethoven. You know, just because you play jazz piano doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know, Bach, you know, it kind of feels like that, and but I really do think a lot of it is faded, ironically, because with YouTube, you can see people that you would never even imagine I love going down YouTube rabbit holes and finding people, you know, in discovering people that I didn’t, you know, didn’t know at the time when I was starting out that I wish I had known, you know, but the flip side of that is, what we tend to be seeing now are really much more original voices, and much more original perspectives. And as much of that has to do with the time in which they’re coming up. It also has to do with the fact that well, they’re not, you know, they’re not just doing impressions of other comedians that they’ve seen, because when most comics start out, that’s really what they’re doing. is a lie. Yeah, you know, even like, like for me coming up, it was, you know, I wanted to be, and this was a really challenging thing. I wanted to be Woody Allen, I wanted to be Robert Klein, and I want it to be Richard Pryor. So how do you find the three the overlap between the three of them, you know, but a lot of us when I was coming up, a lot of us sounded just like Robert Klein, who was you know, at, you know, his his I wouldn’t say peak because he’s had a lot of, you know, he had a long peak. But a lot of us were very, very influenced by Robert Klein, and a lot of us had similar inflections and rhythms and things to Robert Klein. And I think the reason is because Robert Klein, really spoke to us, like Robert Klein was the first comedian to break through that middle class, college educated people who are interested in comedy could relate to it like, well, he’s, he’s us. He’s a middle class, college educated, you know, guy who does stand up, you know, and so he was like somebody that we all gravitated towards is kind of a beacon. You know, a lot of us I mean, myself and Paul riser and Larry Miller, and a handful of other comics, people would constantly say, You sound like him, you sound like him. You sound like him. He sounds like you He sounds like you. And it’s because we all had this tremendous Robert Klein influence,
matt nappo 37:25
you know, well, client as a musician, and I know, and I feel like sometimes I may just overdo it with the comparisons between art forms and stuff. And I like to compare music to kind of stand up comedy and so forth. And I realized that you do it to it, because even in this conversation, I’ve heard you do it a couple of times, you know, talking about rhythms and stuff. Do you Are you a musician? on any level? Do you play anything?
Paul Provenza 37:53
I don’t any longer but I actually was a musician around the same time that I was really getting interested in stand up i was i was a musician. And much to my chagrin, this is one of the great regrets I have in my life. When I decided that I was going to go full bore into stand up comedy, I didn’t want anything to get in the way of my focus. And I literally put all my instruments away in a closet and never touch them again. Wow. And is the biggest regret I ever had.
matt nappo 38:24
I think I think you’re right to do it though. I mean, because I as somebody who’s tried to walk both both of those and I knew that I knew I couldn’t do stand up comedy and and be in a band because it just a financial aspect of it. I have to give up a $300 gig playing music to go work at an open mic night where I’m not going to get paid. It just didn’t make any sense to me. So
Paul Provenza 38:47
yeah, now of course I realized that oh my god, they really one would one would help the other so much whether I did it or not. It’s still it. There’s the similarities between the art forms are unbelievable. And I realized now that that was, that’s, that’s something that I regret for sure. But at the time, that’s how focused I was on stand up that I thought to myself, anytime I play, anytime I spend practicing or playing an instrument, it’s time that I could be writing material and learning about comedy. And I it was, it’s a regret that I have, but it’s the choice that I made,
matt nappo 39:23
right? I think probably one that would help you become a successful comedian rather than being a non successful both.
Paul Provenza 39:31
Part of my attitude Yeah, I was kind of like, man, I felt like you had to really focus you have to be 100% a comedian. So you know, I just didn’t understand that music was not not being 100% a comedian as well. I didn’t I just didn’t know that at the time, you know, but the music aspect of comedy never left me I mean, the aristocrats that movie The biggest, the biggest, appreciate For that movie comes from musicians even more so than musicians get more specially jazz musicians, they get it more than anybody
matt nappo 40:08
there is improv.
Paul Provenza 40:11
And, and yeah, so much of comedy is rhythm and timing and, and also tone. I mean, like, you know, it’s amazing to watch people who understand the difference in levels of tone, you know, people who can throw something away and people who can, whom know when to push something, or, you know, it’s just, it really is like music. It really is. You know, when I when I had a rough cut of the aristocrats I brought it to a friend of mine who’s a composer. I mean, he’s, he’s won Emmys. And, you know, he’s written, composed music for a lot of big films and TV shows and things. And I brought it to him and I said, What do you think about music and, and, and he watched the whole thing, and he said, I think Music We’re just getting away, because it’s already, this is already musical. He goes, I can’t even find a place to drop a note. That’s not gonna fuck already there, as well. That’s pretty, that’s pretty interesting. And that’s why there’s no music until the closing credits, which was a jazz composition by Gary Stockdale who I said to him, Well, if you’re not gonna do any music in the movie, can you at least do a piece to the end? And he said, I think it should have a jazz vibe. And he ended up composing this piece that jazz musicians tell me is a really, really challenging piece of jazz. Yeah. It’s too sophisticated for me to understand just how good it is. But
matt nappo 41:27
no, it definitely is. And I think you’re right about that. Now you’re aristocrats. I wanted to go there because and right before the we hit the tape button. I mentioned to you to Jeff altman said hello, and that he’s a magician now and you kind of looked at me like what the hell is that all about? Now you’re with the aristocrats. You got together with Penn jillette? Who magician I’m just wondering how that came about that you got? I guess he’s comedy magician too. But he’s thought of in the magic world. How did that relationship come together? And was, you know, when, when the seed of that movie start?
Paul Provenza 42:06
What actually happened there was when Penn and Teller, excuse me, were doing their first off Broadway show. Their publicist was a friend of mine, who I’ve known since college when she was a college friend of mine, and she became a Broadway publicist. Her name is Jackie green, and she also has one of the best senses of humor. I spent years going, Jackie, why aren’t you doing comedy? Why aren’t you writing comedy? Why aren’t you were but like, she’s written so much stuff for Nathan Lane. Like whenever Nathan Lane hosts an award show or something like that all his best ship was written by Jackie Greene. She just she’s a natural, right? What her area where she makes a living as a Broadway publicist, and she never professionally became a comedian. But so she was handling the Penn and Teller show off Broadway. And she said, I think you guys would really get along. And she introduced us. And you know, over time, we became friends. And we started to, it became very clear to me that while Penn and Teller often would malign magicians, and they often would talk in a pen would often talk about comedy being, you know, hacky, and all of that sort of stuff. The truth is that they absolutely adore both comedians and magicians. And when that became clear to me, we really started to hang out a lot. And we would make each other laugh quite a bit. And we became friends for many, many, many years. And we would always talk about the aristocrats jokes, I forget how it came up, but we would talk about it and we would always laugh. And we would talk about people that we had heard do it and what they did to it, and you know, and all those kinds of things. And we would just sort of joke around fantasizing, like, could you imagine a tape of just like, you know, 10 comics, telling different versions of the aristocrats joke, it would be hilarious. And I’m like, this thing is like, all we got to do that tape, we got to do that tape, you know, for years and years and years. And then one day it came up again, we were hanging out late at night, I was finishing a show and panatela had finished their show in Vegas and we’re sitting at the pepper mill having a late night breakfast at like, one or two in the morning and and we were talking about it again and and we had both her Gilbert do it. And I think I told him about how Bob Saget is, like one of the foulest mouths ever that it’s just beyond the pale so it’s just hilarious. You know, I don’t know if he knew Bob at the time, but I know, I actually know Bob from my college days. That’s another story. But um, so at one point in this conversation, and I had been in a weird place in my career, I was he wasn’t really clear what the hell I was doing. But I had started going overseas and started working on the International Circuit, the festival circuit and spending a lot of time in the UK and so I was gone for long periods of time, and he was like, What are you doing? I was like, I was doing something, you know. And at that point he said, Listen, we’ve been talking about this thing for years. He goes, do you think we can actually do this? And I went, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s the point of it? And he goes, I don’t know maybe it’s just something funny we could do for ourselves and we could show friends of ours are weird because but he goes, if I commit to this, could you commit to this? And it was so late at night? I said, Yeah, sure.
matt nappo 45:28
Late at night, I love that.
Paul Provenza 45:32
Literally, we went, we went to, you know, like a Best Buy or something. fries or something, probably something that doesn’t exist anymore. And we bought to, you know, off the camera off the shelf consumer cameras. mini DV at the time was the new format. And we said, let’s see. So I called a handful of friends of mine I called Bobby Slayton, I called Jeff Ross. I’m sorry, not Jeff Ross, john Ross, who was terrific stand up and he was a writer on comics only. I called Kathy lagman. And I said, meet us at the improv. We’re going to do this crazy thing. We just, you know, we just want to see what happens. And so we did Bobby Slayton in the parking lot, Kathy Gladman in the parking lot. JOHN Rawson did in the men’s room at the improv. And then emo Philips came in to do a set. And he said, What are you doing? And I told him, and he went, Oh, that sounds awesome. I’d like to do that. So we sat down with emo Philips, and we did this thing. And the next morning, you know, we watched the tape. And Penn said, Well, I think we have proof of concept. I go, yes, I’m just not sure what the concept is. So we decided, let’s just keep going and see what happens. So we would take people and I again, I would be gone. I’d be in Europe, or Asia or whatever, you know, traveling around the world for three months, and then it come back for a month, a month and a half. And then they go away again for another two months and come back for three months. And it was a lot of that. And we would just coordinate. You know who he could set it up to do in Vegas, who I could set up to do in New York, when he was off from his shows, they had to break into shows he come to New York, and we do some stuff, and a bunch of people in LA and all that sort of stuff. And we just randomly contacted all these people we knew that would be interesting and fun to see do this. And then people started getting wind of it. And and then we started going like, well, we have enough here to start calling people that are crazy to call, like George car, you know? So we call George Carlin. And when we told them we were going to do this thing with the aristocrats he went all he goes, you’re kidding me? We said no. I think I have a whole notebook of ideas about this joke. He goes, call me in a month, I want to go find this and see if I can organize some thoughts. He goes, but I love this idea. And so a month or so later, we got together with him. And you know, after every buddy that we shot, you know, we would shoot two or three people in a day and drive from people’s houses to people’s offices, whatever and shoot. And he would always say in a pen would always say anything. He goes, What do you think we have anything here? And I would say, I just don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. After every day, I don’t just don’t know. And we went and shot Carlin and we packed up the gear. And we get back in the car and he sits down and he goes, What do you think? Do we have anything here? And I went Yep. I knew that George Carlin had given us whatever we needed to make something out of this. Wow, it though it was so perfect. It was almost linear, how he deconstructed the joke, how he his attitude about all the different aspects of it. And just, it was so professorial that I said, we have a spine, how we’re gonna hang everything else off of it, I don’t know, but we have a movie here. I know it. And so it was George Carlin that made it makes sense for all those
matt nappo 49:03
professorial that is the word I would use to describe George Carlin anytime after, say 1975 I think he started to become and I know a lot of it, he was doing a lot of college work at the time, but he just had that air of being more than a comedian in some way was teaching you something all the time.
Paul Provenza 49:23
He was always he was a student of comedy as well as a great comedian. And that’s one of the things that you know, that I felt I was as well I felt I just love discovering more and more about the art form and discovering more people that I didn’t know about and what they did. And you know, as funny as we were talking about going back to the old school people and everything is it’s like, you know, if brother Theodore or professor or when Cory for gap earning, if those guys were 20 years old and showed up on the comedy scene now they would be regarded as the greatest innovators. It would, it would be the hippest acts in comedy.
matt nappo 50:03
Wow, that’s food for thought for young people who are looking for inspiration. You know, that’s, that’s a good way to go. Yeah, you know, but Carlin, he’s one of the first guys, I think that I can remember. Who was this and then did a complete change and transformation into something else and remained successful that whole time. You know, Can you think of any others?
Paul Provenza 50:26
You’re absolutely right. No, I can’t think of many others. Most people, when they go through something like that they don’t actually come through the other side. They either don’t come through successfully, or they haven’t really changed that much. But you’re right about Carl. And I think that he is a case study. Yeah, for example, that he didn’t just change his image, or, you know, pander to a different audience. He literally changed as a human being. I mean, obviously, he had been changing internally before he started expressing it. But he, he changed from being about pleasing an audience to being about pleasing himself.
matt nappo 51:09
Right? Yeah. You know, and music they call it finding your voice in, in comedy, they often are, you hear it referred to often as developing your comedic character, you know, but
Paul Provenza 51:21
finding your existing thing. Most comedians now that they’re not real characters, right? You know. Interestingly, there are wonderful people there. They’re amazing people who who confuse that issue like Sarah Silverman, when, you know, when she became known, she was really doing a character. And now she’s not. Now you know, the irony is stripped away, and she’s really talking art. So she’s somebody who had a much, much more subtle, not as splashy way is making that transition like Carlin, but there aren’t many more,
matt nappo 51:57
right? Yeah, and it’s not as big of a difference I make from the hippy dippy weatherman, to what column was doing and becoming, you know, influenced by mort song, Lenny Bruce, and people like that and bringing that political aspect to it. Now I’m back before I get out, because I want to talk to what made you want to direct and get into directing stuff. But on that bad idea of that stuff, where we we go from there in the political world today, because in the days back in the day, I hate saying that phrase. But back in the day, you had people like calling and Pryor who would comment on political stuff. You had more Trump before him and Lenny Bruce, and all that, but commenting on it.
Paul Provenza 52:42
I gotta stop you for a second. Because George actually did not consider himself a political comedian at all
matt nappo 52:51
I know. And really,
Paul Provenza 52:53
you look at his material. It’s not really about personalities, or issues, per se. It’s not really about like current events. It’s bigger, bigger treatments of you know, like, Yes, we’ll talk about abortion, but it’s not really about abortion. It’s about you know, the power structure. You know, he wasn’t as opposed to somebody, like a more Saul who literally talked about the news of the day. And George never saw and I know, he’s, you know, I’ve had this conversation with him. He literally never thought of himself as a political comedian at all.
matt nappo 53:25
I get that. And he was more of a, you know, commentate commentary on the government and how when he when he went there at all, it was about the system. Sure, yeah. Culture, right.
Paul Provenza 53:39
And, and, and language and how that impacts culture and society and all that stuff. They’re bigger things than you know, being about the news or being about current topics there. By the time. I mean, there’s nothing that Carlin talked about in any way that you might refer to as politically, there’s nothing that he talked about 30 years ago, that isn’t valid today. Right? You know, it’s like watching bill when I watched Bill Hicks, I’m like, holy shit, this could have been written last week, you know? So there’s a big difference between what they’re doing and what more Saul did and even Lenny Bruce, I mean, Lenny Bruce was a little bit of a mix of both or Lenny Bruce would talk about specific current events and he’ll mention certain you know, people that are, you know, obscure to us now but at the time we’re in the you know, in the news every day, or like Robert Klein’s mind over matter album, the whole second side of that album is all Watergate. Right and a lot of it still resonates but I mean, it was he’ll talk specifically about individual characters like Senator Stennis or Rosemary woods or people that were in the news every day, but are obscure to us now. Because that car Yeah, that neither
matt nappo 54:51
fire. No, I get it. But where I was going with that is that there was a period of time and a comedy is always had that ability to come in. on politics, but now what we’re seeing, I think, which is different is that comedy has become the subject of politics in a lot of ways. And that that’s a really confusing thing for me. And in your mind, do you? First of all, we agree. And second of all, is it a good thing or bad thing? Because I’m looking at this fallout from Chappelle stuff, and he is now front and center a political issue himself. He’s a stand up comedian. Yeah. Now he’s not just commenting on political issues. He is a political issue.
Paul Provenza 55:33
Remember this ever happening before is certainly not in my lifetime. It but it that relates to what I was talking about before how, you know, this is a time where audiences care about comedy in a different way. It is amazing that somebody act can become a political touchstone. I mean, that was, you know, I mean, more was more saw wish that happened when he was doing his Kennedy Assassination obsession, you know, period there. Yeah. But he wish that, you know, things that he said will become political footballs. No, I it is remarkable. It is remarkable. But what it does speak to, is, how the art of comedy is being felt seen and appreciated differently than ever before. I mean, what you know, it just, it just, it’s kind of a fantasy of mine. I mean, I always I remember, many years ago, talking about how boy, I wish comedy got taken more seriously, you know, and, I mean, I sort of met not only as in terms of like news, but just as an art form. You know, it’s like, I feel like comedy appreciation should be taught at universities the same way music appreciation is you can track movements, and artists and art and you know, all that stuff. It’s just, it’s so rich and interesting. I always felt like comedy deserved more respect and appreciation in that regard, and that’s kind of what’s happening now. And I guess this, this is the weird flip side of that good thing, the good thing being that people are really seeing it as an art form that has an impact. And that does matter. And I think that’s disconcerting for comics. Because it’s really hard. It’s a hard line to walk when you’re a comic, because I’m one point. You know, at one point, we understand we’ve devoted our lives to an art form that it obviously has to have some meaning and significance to us, but at the same time, take itself seriously. And that’s one of the really compelling things about comedy is that it always operates in these weird dissonances. Everything about it is dissonant, that’s why it’s it’s it’s a masterful art form to me, because it’s so hard to pin down. You know, it’s a good joke, a pretty melody. Yeah, but at the same time, there’s also all these other cultural and social things, there’s a real relationship to an audience, you know, the thing about stand up is there’s nothing between you and the recipient, even with something like music. You know, a musician has music between them and the recipient, right? how they interpret that, how they feel that whatever. But you know, with a comedian, it’s literally it’s you, your voice, the things you say. So there’s a certain immediacy to it, that puts you in that place where well, if you’re going to, if it’s going to be important to you, then you’re going to have to, you know, take the flip side of that, which is people, we’re going to have issues about what your points of view are, you know, it’s so it’s a very, very, very complex art form on so many levels. But right now, it’s particularly particularly interesting. So I guess to answer your question, I never seen anything like it before. And I think ultimately, it’s a good thing. I think all the conversations that provokes without even saying they’re things that agree with things that I don’t agree with, I fall, you know, personally, I fall on in different ways on different people you might mention or different issues that come up in comedy that you might mention, but I absolutely think that the conversations around all of it are crucial. I think they’re great. I think they’re conversations we should have been having for the last 50 years.
matt nappo 59:08
You know, I I tend to agree with you. But he come back to this image in my mind of me being a kid, my parents were very hardcore, right wingers. I mean, they’re, you know, they were Nixon people. And they were fans of the Smothers Brothers. They were fans of George Carlin, they were fans of Vic Gregory, and could appreciate that comedy, even though they were diametrically opposed to their politics. You don’t see that. That’s rare. Yeah. In today’s world, you don’t see that at all. You’ll see people will, you know, basically boycott any art form any artists in any discipline, because they don’t like their politics. You know, people who didn’t like Robert De Niro who loved his movies all their whole lives. All of a sudden, he says something politically that they don’t like I’m not watching any of his movies again. That’s I think something nil? No.
Paul Provenza 1:00:05
I think so too. I agree with you. I think so. But you know, here’s the odd thing is that it starts to articulate and it’s the first time I’m, I’m trying to, but I think there’s this I think what’s happened is, you know, the news, entertainment, politics, show business, they’ve all become one in the same, right? I think that this is, this is a sort of illustration of that is that well, all the things that you might, you would, you would hope that you would hold a politician, you know, hold their feet to the fire for things that they said publicly, you know, man, now you’re doing it to comedians. And, you know, I it’s all emerged, it’s all become one. And and I think that this is a result of that. I mean, you know, people remember people talking about this many, many years ago about how you know, infotainment was a thing, and how news and entertainment were becoming becoming blurred, and you could see it happening on television, you can see a local news shows where all of a sudden have these, you know, elaborate graphics and things. And, you know, I mean, by the time of the first Gulf War in the early 90s, it was full blown, you know, but this this meshing of entertainment and information and entertainment and current events and news, they’ve become inseparable to me. I mean, what’s going on in, you know, with a lot of these republican extremists like, like bow birds and green and cawthorne. They’re not doing anything government related. It’s all
matt nappo 1:01:36
showbusiness. Right? Yeah. You
Paul Provenza 1:01:39
know, their, their, what’s their political, what’s their agenda in terms of policy, they’re not doing any of that.
matt nappo 1:01:46
They never get into real issues or any of that kind of stuff. It is all like catchphrases, and, you know, bumper sticker
Paul Provenza 1:01:54
culture, and how much exposure they can get to which people, you know, at which point is it going to stick under, you know, get under somebody’s skin. But but it’s not about about government, and and, or governing, I should say, and so I think that what you’re talking about is just more of that, I think it’s it kind of comes with the territory of what’s happened now.
matt nappo 1:02:17
Yeah, good point. And are you an optimist for for, you know, our nation for the world that always stuff because when I look at it, I gotta tell you, I’m a pessimist. But I just want to get you, you know, outlook on the big picture for, for the future. For what
Paul Provenza 1:02:35
it’s worth, and I am no expert on anything. But for what it’s worth, I can’t play anybody here into game theory, and they can actually run these run these, you know, these outcomes. I just don’t see any outcome that doesn’t end in Civil War. Yeah,
matt nappo 1:02:55
I agree. I agree. It’s positive or
Paul Provenza 1:02:59
negative. I couldn’t even tell you anymore.
matt nappo 1:03:03
I agree. I may. It’s pretty scary. Well, it’s all I can say. Yeah, no, I Well, you know, I want to say it’s refreshing to hear somebody agree with me on that. But it’s really scary to hear somebody agree with me on that, oh, let’s move on. Because I don’t want to make this that political, this time bomb when people get on. Directing. And because we can’t you kind of alluded to this before, when you were talking about the green room and getting you had a certain look and atmosphere and all that kind of stuff that you wanted there. And bringing you all the way up to ironwolf. It’s your most recent project, the last shot and Andy Anderson, how that came about and your approach to directing a stand up special in today’s days.
Paul Provenza 1:03:53
Well, you know, it, I don’t have studios, you know, asking me to work for them. I don’t have projects being brought to me as soon as everything I do is really DIY. and I have been friends with Andy for quite some time. And I’ve been working for, I think, a million years now on a documentary about an aspect of Andy’s life, which we’ll get to in a minute, but in the intervening period there Andy said hey, I got some people together we’re gonna shoot a special edition your dog’s house dog Stan hopes place in Bisbee. And he has this little I guess somebody else might call it a man cave. It’s where you know, he and his friends get together and watch
matt nappo 1:04:38
COVID a man cave on the show. Yeah.
Paul Provenza 1:04:43
Because the funhouse and it’s just a little space and it seats maybe, you know, at best 5060 people talk 40 4050 people tops. It’s a tiny little thing and every once in a while, he’ll do stand up shows there. And and he was like, this is where we can shoot it, like, Well, okay, so we got a bunch of kids together who were just out of film school. And they just came and shot this thing and everybody was drunk or high half the time. But Andy did a great, great show. And because it was DIY, you know, my feeling is we can’t make it look like it’s not DIY. And what’s the point of that? Let’s own it. And let’s go, you know, Andy’s a kind of an underground cat. I mean, you know, he’s not for everybody. I think he’s absolutely brilliant. I think some of the things that he does in that special are so challenging, and I think that he’s still a lovable cat talking about this stuff, and just loses, loses, you know, this vibe of, Oh, I just want to hug the guy. You know, he’s talking about the fact that his mother is a rape baby. And and I just, I just, I just, he’s so endearing. You know, it’s wild. And he’s a very interesting cat. And he’s a beautiful guy. He doesn’t you know, he’s not a hostile, aggressive person at all. But he talks about, you know, you can see why he’s duck Stan Hope’s favorite comic, he talks about things in a way that nobody else can talk about. And, and he’s brilliantly funny. But so we just said, let’s see what we can do. And I was like, you know, I wanted all of these cameras to be handheld because again, it was a tiny little space, tiny little room. Yo, Andy needs to be you never know what he’s gonna do or say next. And so the camera work is kind of all over the place, but it kind of feels right for the moment because it reloads literally, we’re not, we’re not trying to pretend that this was, you know, a $200,000 HBO shoot. This was a bunch of monkeys with cameras, you know, shooting a really funny guy. So that was my approach to it. And we had some technical problems. It was a lot of footage we couldn’t use. And as a result, it kind of has this vibe of i will i don’t know you described I think it’s kind of punky
matt nappo 1:07:12
I think it looks like an artistic approach. And you know, I didn’t, at the time I commented to somebody said, look at this, what makes it different than any other comedy special you’ve ever seen. And you brought it up before, but my friend who I was showing it to, he said, right away, he said, you never see the audience’s faces. You see the back of their heads, you never see a cutaway to the audience. And you talked about it before. And that was unusual. I said, Yeah, you’re right. I didn’t pick up on that. But you mentioned the handheld stuff. Is there a steady cam because that the movement seems extremely steady. If you had some really good college hunks with, with strong arms to hold that camera really steady? Or you had a steady cam on it because it feels like it’s got like a magical artistic quality to it. Whether it happened by accident or your intentional design, it feels like that I want to be in this room.
Paul Provenza 1:08:10
Well, that is a joy for me to hear. Thank you so much for for being kind about it. But it really was driven by what do we have you know? And no, there was no steady cam there was nothing there was no every camera was different. So you know, matching the footage is was a real challenge. But as you said you wanted to be in that room. And that’s the vibe that I wanted to create. Yeah, I just that feeling of and that’s why you do see the audience from the back of their heads because again, I put the camera in the audience, I wanted it to feel like you’re in this space. That’s it’s it’s undefined. You don’t really know where it is. You’re not really sure who’s in the room. You don’t know how big it is. It’s just an experience and and it actually looks much richer than I expected it to you know, in terms of the what we had no lights, which is all lights that were in the room that debt, Doug has watches football games in all DIY, absolutely. There were virtually no concessions to any sort of a shoot really made at all. Authenticity is a big part of what I what is meaningful to me. That’s what was the big part of the greenroom as well, was the authenticity of really, truly not having you know, not having planned anything in any way more than just it’s able to get whatever happens. You know, on the greenroom, the Congress, the show starts mid conversation. When the audience is actually you know, when it’s funny because when the budget came down from Showtime, there was a certain amount of money in there for what they call audience services. Which are the people who go to if you’re waiting online at Universal Studios, they’ll say hey, you want to come to TV taping tonight, people go okay. And they show up. And they know what anything about what they’re doing. They’re just, it’s just an event. I was like, we’re not getting an audience service. And everybody that was invited to come to the taping was for my personal email list, my producing partner, Barbara Romans personal email list, and some people who work in on the show and a bunch of comics personal email list. So everybody was in the audience of the greenroom. But 90% of his, they got to bring guests, of course, but you know, 90% of the people that were in that room, spend time in green rooms, right, that aspect of authenticity, that I thought, well, nobody else can do that. I’m doing that for sure. You know, which is why you have this weird thing of like, there’s an audience there, but there’s not an audience there. And most of the comics when they, you know, as the audience, we were seated already talking as the audience came in and sat down. Because we want them to feel like oh, they’re coming into a room. That’s all. There’s a thing happening right now just walk into a green room, there’s a thing happening every time you walk into a green room. And they found their seats wherever they were. And most of the people who were on the show, they knew people that were in every audience. Yeah, cars were real. They were people who you’d find in the greenroom. So I’m always sort of, I’m always looking for what what are the little ways that I can help you know, create an express some authenticity, and and that’s a lot of what went on in shooting Andy special is, is I know, a lot of people will do a stand up special, your people you’ve never heard of. And maybe they’re saying them specials that break them, break them out, and they become big stars from them, or whatever the case may be. But a lot of people you’ve never heard of do Sam specials in 3000 seat theaters. Right? Like what’s the point of that? Exactly? That’s a lie.
matt nappo 1:11:57
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. And you you’re getting all your friends and relatives to fill those empty seats or whatever to make it work. And then pumping in some some canned applause and laughter and all that kind of stuff. Just Yeah, that’s um, you know, a fanfic. And you’re absolutely right.
Paul Provenza 1:12:13
When we were doing the audio on any special, which again, because it was DIY, you know, we didn’t have a sophisticated audio setup. You know, we had a few things. Greg Charlie, who is on Doug’s team, he did some great stuff for us, but but you know, we had to go in and mix the show properly, so that it just wasn’t, you know, totally like, you know, there’s nothing going on in this thing that’s not professional. But, So Jeremy grody, who did the audio on the greenroom, did the audio on that special? And I told him I said, I want to hear the audience’s comments on the ship that Andy’s doing. Because you know, Andy will do some bits These are people in the audience that are fans of his and you’ll hear them go Oh, Andy, no, please. You know, I want to hear that I want to hear that you can be an Andy fan and still feel those things. Yeah. Oh, that Andy Andy is is he’s even pushing the boundaries for people that like him already. You know, I really I want all that I just felt that that was more authentic.
matt nappo 1:13:21
That’s absolutely true. And that Tandy, I mean, if you listen to his weekly podcast issues with Andy, by the way, you’ll get that every single week as a big fan of his I will listen to that podcast and I believe three or four times during every single episode. Oh man, can you really
Paul Provenza 1:13:40
know? Yeah. Because because he’s so like, not PC, right? But that’s not a fair way to describe him. Because if you watch his special if you watch last shot, like he does material, that’s anti corporatism, he does material that’s anti homophobia. He does material that’s anti anti trans. He does material that’s, you know, some like really left wing kind of perspectives, but those kind of left right things fall away. Either way he does it and then but then he’ll do you know, the story about rape, which is, you know, as on PC as you can get right now, but do you want to hug him at the end of the story? Yeah, absolutely. And it’s not it’s not, you know, he’s not just doing it for shock value. When you find out his personal connection to it as the bit goes on. It just it just fucks with your head. Right. And, And that, to me is some really, really great comedy. Though, it’s like you can’t even classify him as you know, he’s, he’s one of those legion of skanks guys because he, you know, does this rape story or he’s one of the he’s not any of those things. Now,
matt nappo 1:14:54
I think it’s unfortunate that a lot of you because you just mentioned can’t even classify I think there’s a lot of clicking this in the comedy world right now where you people are in camps. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. Because what you represent to me is that, again, that’s 66 Degrees of Separation prevented, you were kind of like welcoming to so many people and, and especially on those shows that you did where you brought it. You know, Robin Williams and Bo Burnham. That’s a lot to bleep from those two, you know, so you had, you know, that knocking down the walls in comedy, and more than a lot of people are building them up these days. But you mentioned a documentary you’re working on. Let’s talk about that a little bit. And what’s what because people want to know, you know, you say you’ve been working on forever. I know a lot of people have asked me, you guys, documentary waves are coming out, they’re eager to see it for free forever. What’s up with it?
Paul Provenza 1:15:53
When they see I don’t know why it’s very, very challenging thing the story of it is it’s basically the story, the background to it. And ultimately, it’s the story of Andy with the help of Doug Stan hope and a couple of other comedian friends Chris castle, French every they tracked down and confronted on camera, and he’s childhood molester. And it’s so it’s the story of why this matters to him actually going and doing it. And then what happened as a result of it. And it’s really tricky project because it’s a comedy. It’s like, Hi, it’s like, comedy, Mount Everest is trying to make something funny that that isn’t funny at all. Which to me is, you know, that’s the the physics definition of work is you exert a force on something, and it moves or changes direction, right? That’s what you that’s the kind of comedy that interests me more than this stuff that’s like, Hey, did you ever notice when you find funny things that are already out there, as valuable as that is nothing wrong with that, there’s not as interesting to me as taking something that’s unfunny and figuring out how to make it funny. And the reason that I that I can do that with this story is because Andy has already done that, and he has made it funny. That’s the way he has processed this pain for himself that resulted from from this experience in his life. But it wasn’t enough, he felt like he really needed to say something to this guy. And so it’s it’s this, it’s Andy being funny about it. But it’s also me being very serious and honest and truthful about it. And it ultimately is, there’s a lot of lenses through which to see the story. One is the lens through the lens of comedy, which interests me, of course, is that this is really how comedy is born of pain right here. Right, right. The other thing is, this is a different way of dealing with something that’s hard to deal with, that you don’t really have a paradigm for, anytime any anything about this subject is presented, it’s presented in a very morose way. Not that it’s not important. And not that feeling isn’t genuine for a lot of people. But it’s not necessarily the only way to deal with this. And you know, Christine Veen is in, it appears in the movie as well. And she talks about, you know, having dealt with her own stuff through making the making comedy out of it, and stuff like that. And so this is a thing that a lot of people just don’t have a paradigm for. But it means that you might be the kind of person that doesn’t have to look at this as something as morose and horrible as it is, it doesn’t mean that it was an important and meaningful and tragic thing that happened to you, but you don’t have to stay in that place. And so there’s that lens to which is all these different way of dealing with this kind of trauma. So there’s a lot of a lot of levels upon which this story operates. And what I’m just trying to do is just tell this story, with all of those aspects of it being present, right? You can put however you want, but
matt nappo 1:19:16
it’s a challenge to editing is that the challenge is editing all the stuff that you’ve gotten or Yeah.
Paul Provenza 1:19:25
No, it’s it’s, it’s the editing because I’m basically working with found footage. They again was Chris castles and Frank Chevrolet. They were shooting stuff for months and months and months around this. They were just shooting. There was nobody at the helm. It was just let’s just shoot, you know. So I came into the project and the only thing I was involved in shooting were a handful of interviews with some of Andy’s family members and a couple of friends. That that’s it. So basically most of what I’m telling the story with is found footage to me. It started They already got that with no agenda, or no, you know, they had no ark in mind. They had no, they were just shooting. So once again, it’s really authentic, that they weren’t shooting this really with any sort of plan to do anything with it, they were just shooting it, they were hoping they could do something with it. But once again, it’s totally DIY, right? So that’s, that’s why it’s taking so long, it’s like, there’s so much that does come out of the footage that’s already been shot. There’s so much that does come out and to figure out what’s meaningful and what’s important relative to some of the other stuff. But there is no outline in what they shot.
matt nappo 1:20:40
Gotcha. Yeah, so speaking of plans, is there a plan for a discrete distribution when it is finally done? like where are you gonna? Cuz I would think that’s tricky, too, because of the subject matter and what it is we can you add this to and obviously no network is going to touch it with a 10 foot pole.
Paul Provenza 1:21:01
And again, it’s another situation where it’s not you know, it’s DIY, it’s very punk. There’s no actual production values to anything. Yeah. So yeah, the answer is, I don’t know but it’s a phenomenal story that deserves to be told. And it’s it’s shocking how funny Andy is even in the midst of what he’s really really truly feeling very deeply, you know, has affected his life and for the for the worse, even with all of that Andy is still really really funny about it all. And I just think it’s a great story that needs to be told and we’ll just see, you know, a long time ago I decided that I had no career there is no arc there is no linearity at all. I decided that at some point I’m just going to be project to project and just whatever happens happens it’s like you know, I in my romanticized vision of it it’s like you know, I’m I’m in a French ghera you know, French Garret painting a painting or making a sculpture out of found objects or, or you know, whatever it may be and something might end up in the Museum of Modern Art or something might get sold or something might just end up you know, being thrown away when I’m dead. I have no idea I just doing the projects that fall on my heart and this is what I mean. Hey,
matt nappo 1:22:19
I got I got cat so it looks like he or she I don’t know what the he or she but it looks like she wants us to wrap this up. But Tom, that I’m not we’re not quite there yet. likes to be. Speaking of that, I’m glad you went there because I wanted to talk to you about this. And I don’t know I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing smoke up your ass. But when it comes to legacy, and I was thinking about and we mentioned Bill Hicks a couple of times in his program. Bill Hicks is a legend. He was funny, and I loved him. But people use that word legend because he died young. I know smoke again, I think you’re in the same level as Bill Hicks. The only reason people don’t say the Paul provenza the legend is because you’re alive. But they think about legacy and all that kind of stuff. You know, and not just his
Paul Provenza 1:23:08
studio. network or studio?
matt nappo 1:23:13
Well, I do have a production crew he is but No, but seriously, do you think about legacy at all, because, you know, you’ve done a lot of great things and I consider you like a renaissance man, as far as you know, going from, from stand up to author and director and filmmaker and all this kind of stuff and taking your own path. You have your own voice in, in, in directing films to so it’s not like you’re copying anybody. I you know, I look up to you as a role model. And for a lot of reasons. But legacy do you think about that?
Paul Provenza 1:23:53
Wow, first of all, thank you. I’m honored by your comments. And in terms of legacy, I do but not in an obvious way. Like I don’t really, I don’t really know there’s so much out there. There’s so many every day that goes by I’m like, I can’t believe how much shit there is. There’s so much shit. sports news, it was spoken in art and music and it this is so much shit. It just never stops, like how much shit can we have? It just never stopped. I’m a little overwhelmed by all of it. So I don’t really think that I you know, I don’t think of legacy in terms of what people are going to remember being that. I don’t care also, because who cares? We’re just you know, we’re on a pebble, you know, revolving around the sun and there’s way bigger forces at work in us. We’re very self important. I don’t care about any of that. But where I do feel like I do think a bit about legacy is that everything that I’ve been doing for about 15 or 20 years now. There came a point in my life where I was like, You know what? I’m just not as gifted enough, you know, I’m not I’m not as gifted enough to, I’m not gifted enough to change the art form from the stand up that I do. I just feel like I can’t really contribute to the art form in any meaningful way, by doing this thing that I do, you know, if I were Maria Bamford, I would feel very differently about that, you know, if I were Dave Chappelle, I would feel differently about that. If I were you, Louie ck, I would feel differently about that, I would feel like I had a shot. But I don’t, I’m just not that gifted. However, all this other stuff that you’re talking about is, is it pretty, pretty much my own voice, and it’s pretty unique. So I decided that I wanted to give back to comedy, which saved my life as a child, I wanted to give back to comedy in some way, it wasn’t going to come through doing stand up per se, for me, it would come from all these other projects, if it’s going to come from any place. And I decided, everything that I did everything that I worked on, I was doing for me at the age of 14, that someday, some kid at the age of around 13 1415 is going to see this stuff, and it’s going to make a difference in his or her life. That’s the extent of legacy that I think about everything I do. Everything that I’ve done for the last 20 years has been stuff that I would have gone bananas over if I discovered it when I was 14 years old.
matt nappo 1:26:30
Yeah. Wow, that’s really cool. Really cool stuff. You know, as you were saying that I was thinking about something I noticed in like on the internet, you will see prodigy musicians now, because you mentioned 1314, we see I see, prodigy, many musicians who are just like, you know, incredible talent at 45 years old every single day, our music, you know, that’s impossible in comedy, isn’t it to say, where if you saw a five or six year old blowing them away, stand up comedy with that, like shock, shock, you
Paul Provenza 1:27:03
know, that’s, that’s a series Barbara Roman, my partner and I tried to sell several times over several periods of time, tried to sell this, because, you know, most people who are prodigies at comedy are getting in trouble for being good at what they do. Wow. The age of 10 or 12 problem maker, right? They’re not, they’re not rewarded. They’re not celebrated like somebody who was a prodigy in athletics or music or art. And that’s part of it. And so this project that we tried to do was basically about you know, showing some love to the people who are prodigies in comedy at a young age and introducing them to the world of comedy and mentoring them yeah, it’s not something that happens I think because of that because
matt nappo 1:27:58
point I never even considered that but you’re absolutely right they get punished for for being good at what they do if you’re if you’re too good at comedy too young it’s frowned upon and you get smacked you’re a wiseass you’re a punk Shut the hell up that kind of stuff. Where if you’re a musician they encourage you Wow incredible Yeah, incredible insight. Well, I I’m gonna let you go but I can’t let you go because until I bring this up I’ve noticed during this interview, are you having a unlit cigarette in your hand and my mind goes back to you lecturing Bill Hicks about smoking Are you smoking now
Paul Provenza 1:28:35
I’ve decided to commit slow suicide
matt nappo 1:28:40
well you know i by the drop that’s what that’s what that’s what it is suicide by the drop right we’re all doing it we’re all getting one what I just said surprised me to see that that’s all because I remember that very clearly is you’ve given Hicks like some shit for having a cigarette on you. So I’m lit well good for you. Well, I appreciate your time here and I wish you great success with everything nature jack calm by the way to get the Last Waltz. And you know last shot I’m sorry, The Last Waltz that’s another great documentary but it’s Yeah.
Paul Provenza 1:29:18
The last was not that funny. Yeah. Oh,
matt nappo 1:29:22
anything new that besides the documentary you’re working on that we want people know about enough.
Paul Provenza 1:29:28
setlist is back on stage. We’re doing setlist in Los Angeles again. The first one since pandemic hit just last month, and we’re doing it monthly at the improv lab on Melrose. Lastly, the first one we did we came back at Eddie Pepitone and a bunch of bunch of people. It’s great fun. setlist is another one of those things that you know, if I have a 14 hour day, we’ll go crazy over
matt nappo 1:29:59
remar Trouble in that when I when I first learned that you were doing that, I thought there’s no way if there’s not enough comedians that have the chops to just, you know, let the audience pick what they’re going to talk about that stuff. I thought Robin Williams Of course, and maybe Drew Carey and
Paul Provenza 1:30:16
but you know it’s not it’s not the audience it’s not the audience. They are given the premise of to those your viewers who don’t aren’t familiar, the premise of setlist This is a format created by the brilliant, brilliant, brilliant evil genius Troy Conrad. And we partnered together and I took it around the world and took it on the international festival circuit. It’s been here, because this is the thing is that the impulse of it works in any country. We’ve done it in Argentina, we’ve done it in China, we’ve done in Egypt. It’s wild anyway, the premise of it is Troy Conrad, we usually it’s Troy, create a setlist and we give it to the comedian while they’re on stage in front of the audience, and they have to make up the set along with it.
matt nappo 1:31:04
I was under the impression you were polling the audience for those.
Paul Provenza 1:31:10
that the reason that that distinction is important is because what you get from the audience generally is two dimensional stuff. And it tends to be stuff that they are familiar with, like it could be a current events reference or it’s a dick joke, or it’s something that you know, it’s really sort of pedestrian, but what we create for the setlist are more complicated than that. And they’re coming from other comedians. So there’s juice in this thing, if you can find it, it’s up to you to figure out how to get in there. You know, so it’s the topics are crafted. They’re not random at all. Right? So their challenges, and that’s why we’ve had people like Eddie Izzard, get up and do it. And Robin Williams, and Roseanne and to mention, and some of the biggest names in comedy have gotten up and do it, to do it, because they get what an incredible challenge it is, and how fun it is. It’s like skydiving. It’s really it’s so scary. It’s so frightening, especially for somebody who’s got, you know, a reputation at stake. But once they do it, they’re like, oh, man, this is great, right? You know, Rob, bank us all the time for letting him do what he goes and just change my month just now doing this show tonight, you know, Eddie is in the middle of one setlist set. And he’s doing great too. But at one point, he gets a topic and he turns to the earnings and just goes This is fucking hard. And it’s like, it’s it’s, it’s more than just random stuff. It’s a real challenge. And the comedians who do it are brave. And I think they trust us that we never make them look bad. And that’s one of the things we did it as a series in the UK, we did 14 episodes of it for what was sky Atlantic at the time. And we haven’t been able to sell it in the United States. And it’s very frustrating. But one of the reasons that we didn’t sell it, we have a lot of interest, but the American concerns that wanted to do it all want to make it a competition. And we said absolutely not. It’s the antithesis. The whole point is that there is no judgment. You just it’s just let’s see what happens. It’s a celebration of the creative process, not about a victory or a failure or winning or competing. The comics aren’t competing against each other. They’re competing against the list.
matt nappo 1:33:29
In suits ruin everything, man. I’m telling you, they just don’t get it. But I get it. Yeah, no, there’s no I hate competition in any art form. You know, that whole idea of making it a competition? It then it should be sports, you know, sports and things. Keep your competition over there. And yeah, well, I’m sorry to hear that. Because there was a great idea. And I can imagine
Paul Provenza 1:33:58
Angeles at the improv every month at the improv lab and it’ll pop up again and actually TJ Miller was doing it as his closing of his show he did a week at the Irvine improv and he closed his show with like a 15 minute setlist segment every night. So you may be or that and we did a we did a full Rick Overton did a full one hour special in the setlist format which is available if you click over 10 plus setlist you’ll find it online and he’s a Maestro and watching him work is like going to you know comedy college watching you do setlist in particular because he doesn’t have the bit yet you watch find it and
matt nappo 1:34:41
wow hope we just locked up. Big we’re froze up. Well that’s a shame. We’re getting to the point where we’re gonna close up view that Paul Yeah. Now the phone is telling us you know what You guys got to wrap it up we have the people render on there
looks like he’s still connected anyway folks I’ll just edit this out did it the day to day that that that that that that that need to add it there you are yeah there you go yeah so yeah
Paul Provenza 1:35:38
the records if you if you google Rick Overton and setlist you should be able to get his setlist one hour special and watching him you know work is like going to comedy college and also we did we did a couple of them nowhere comedy shows we did one with Gilbert Godfrey where he just Gilbert doing setlist for an hour so that was great. We hope we’re hoping to do more of that with Gilbert. We’re hoping to do a whole tour of Gilbert just every night doing setlist that’s it no prepared material just Gilbert with setlist
matt nappo 1:36:15
what a gift to the world that would be I know he’s so funny
Paul Provenza 1:36:19
and watching Gilbert try and find the joke, right? There’s nothing funnier. There’s nothing funnier even if he doesn’t find it which is rare if ever right it’s hilarious watch try and find so that’s the thing so the audience’s that come out they know that this is a real challenge to comedians and they know that the comedians are really on the heels and so they really they tend to be really supportive they tend to be like yeah come on we’ll pull in for you We know you can make us laugh You know
matt nappo 1:36:43
no heckling at the setlist I get it. Yeah, cuz they’re all they’re all rooting for the underdog, because even the best comics in the world become an underdog in that. Great stuff. Well, I do appreciate your time here. And I wish you great success moving forward. And please let me know when and if the anti documentary comes out. So I can Oh, well, yeah. Well, getting there. Thanks for Thanks for coming. And, you know, please don’t please come back to great and fabulous Paul provenza. Great, great guy, great insights in there some really important things for me to think about there, you know, and what comes across is very clearly his his love and admiration and respect for the art form. And as he mentioned in his commentary on that is, it can be a double edged sword, when you have that much respect and admiration. A lot of comedians start out basically imitating their heroes. And so with that being lost on the younger generation, to some degree, we do have a lot more original voices and people who are able, because they don’t have that influence, to really take things in a very unique and new direction. So I just love to hear your thoughts on it. Please write to me at info at my bookkeeping. I can’t tell you who’s on the next program because this is pre taped, folks. So I don’t know when exactly this is going to hit next at this point. So I hope you enjoyed this program. Until next time, I’m Matt nappo. Thanks for coming. Have a great day and bye for now. What you want round
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