In November of 2020, post election, I had a musician interview scheduled with a guy named Scott Howard. The booking came through a prominent Los Angeles PR agent so I assumed it would it would be an interview that had some value to my listeners. The subject was to be a new album he recorded in 432Khz. For the non-musicians, 432Khz is an old tuning that classical musicians from hundreds of years ago used in Europe. There has been some considerable debate within the music creation community about the value of it. Some, like Mr. Howard, believe it to be a “spiritual” frequency. I personally think it sounds like shit and most modern day musicians agree.
As the date approached and I started doing my usual minimal research about the guest, I found something of a red flag that concerned me. A photo from the album cover showed the band with a capital Q on the bass drum. My though was uh-oh, I don’t want to be involved in interviewing some Q cult member. 30 seconds into the interview I figured out that my concern was valid as we started talking about angels, ufos, and secret pedophile societies within the government and Hollywood.
As the interview went on I started to put together a picture of a man of significant means who had invested a lot into this musical project, in production and packaging of what looks like a combination of music and new age cultism performance. He told me he bought Howard Hughes’ mansion and I could tell that this was a significant investment so I assumed he had some wealth.
He told me about how the death of his son affected him and put him on the path to this “enlightenment” that contained UFOs and angels and access to the “real truth”. I felt a mix of empathy and concern that he might be a total loon and have my personal contact information and even my home address. To be clear I want nothing to do with Q or any of it’s imbecile cult following.
After the livestream ended I talked to him for a few minutes off the air, as I usually do with all my guests. That’s when I started to think he might be more than just a Q member, He might be Q!
He started talking about how Trump was going to be reinstalled as President with JFK Jr as Vice President. He told me Jr. was at the Rudy press conferences in disguise but recognized him because he’s one of the few who actually knows what he looks like now. His apparent wealth and ability to get so many people involved in his very expensive production AND go along with the insane belief system prompted me to think he might actually be the source of the insanity. Was I talking to Q?
Just another mindless idiot.
After doing some digging about him and about who the pundits were speculating Q might be, I came to believe that he was just a guy with money who fell into the Kool Aid and got intoxicated by it. Having lost a son myself, I had some empathy for how that kind of trauma can drive you into a dark place, and certain influences can twist your mind. Still, I was nervous that this crazy bastard had my personal info.
As I was leaving my New Years Eve gig a few minutes past midnight my cell phone rang. It was him but he didn’t seem to know who he was calling or why. I was relieved that while he had my number, he didn’t associate it with me and seemed to have forgotten the interview ever happened. I put the whole thing behind me, but after Jan 6th and then after the inauguration, I wondered if the reality that Trump was not going to be reinstalled as President had caused him to reconsider his substantial delusion. I just reviewed his websit and can report it has not. He’s still full in on the insanity.
Youtube strikes him down.
This morning I got an email from YouTube that said:
“Hi matt nappo,
We wanted to let you know our team reviewed your content, and we think it violates our Community Guidelines. We know you may not have realized this was a violation of our policies, so we’re not applying a strike to your channel. However, we have removed the following content from YouTube:
The offense stated ” Content glorifying or inciting acts of violence is not allowed on YouTube.” To be clear, I didn’t remember anything he said that glorified or incited violence while we were streaming/recording, and in fact I was correct he did not. He did say things off the air that were absolutely along all those lines and more but Youtube can’t know that. I could have appealed it but to be honest, I’m kind of relieved to have that loon off my channel.
I believe Youtube made a decision to censor this guy and his ideas. I agree his ideas are dangerous stupid, insane, etc, but I am against censorship. I don’t truly feel he violated any of their community standards, rules or policies. I think the best way to deal with this lunacy is to let him speak. Let people see how off the rails crazy his ideas are and maybe some will rethink their own alignment to the Trump cult. Of course, I’m personally relieved that he is no longer on my channel and chose not to appeal.
I retained the video of the interview and can verify there was no direct incitement , glorification or calls to violent action within what was published. Just the usual Q nonsense.
What do you think? Should I have appealed Youtube to keep the video up or was I right to allow them this censorship without a fight because I personally feel safer without him on my channel?
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
Why Should I Care About A Film That Is None Of My Business?
I’m a fan of comedy. Stand up comedy, in my view, is the last bastion of truth in art. I am fascinated by the personalities of the men and women who perform with nothing more than a microphone and their wits and bravely attempt to make strangers laugh at their point of view. I love interviewing comedians and finding out what makes them tick.
I’m also naturally uncomfortable with conflict. That’s why I got rid of television in my house over a decade ago when networks figured out that having a roundtable of people shouting at each other was an inexpensive production that would bring in better ratings than real content driven productions. That’s also why I stopped following any politicians or pundits on social media.
Being on Twitter, I have seen many comedians argue and insult each other. It’s really hard to tell the good natured shit-giving, from malicious attacks. Comedians, by nature of what they do, are good at shitting on each other, often starting a fun and then turning a little darker. It can be entertaining if you’re the kind of person who enjoys listening to the neighbors fight.
I’m a fan, and as a fan I don’t like seeing ot hearing people I am a fan of being shat upon when it is malicious. Enter the tale of James Inman vs the entire world of Doug Stanhope about a movie that was made several years ago, that is truly none of my business., The Unbookables.
“Ride with the Unbookables on an insane stand-up comedy road trip across the Midwest. Executive Producer Doug Stanhope (The Man Show, Louie) showcases some of our eras’ most fearless and challenging comics as they unite in this ground-breaking and hilarious documentary that tests what is “too far” in comedy clubs today.
The van tour hits a major speed bump when the gang runs headlong into a club owner in Kansas City that tells them to clean up their acts or get out. Now, comics James Inman (SF Comedy Competition winner) and Andy Andrist (The Man Show) face off as the group decides whether to finally compromise or get fired.
This instant underground comedy classic is now available for the first time On Demand with a new soundtrack featuring music from Mishka Shubaly. Get in the van with stand-ups including Sean Rouse (MIB 2, Premium Blend), Kristine Levine (Portlandia, Levine Large) and Brandon Walsh (Drunk History, Pickle & Peanut) as as they serve up comedy that is unsafe at any speed.”:
I wanted to ask James Inman to be on the show almost 2 years ago, when it was still only audio. I wanted him because I saw some videos online that truly had me laughing out loud. Then I followed him on Twitter and noticed him arguing with other comedians about the film, which I never heard of before. nI decided not to ask him to be on the show but was drawn into watching some of the arguments play out on Twitter, like watching a slow motion trainwreck, unable to turn away.
Around April of 2020, a few months into pandemic lockdown, I had the fortune, some might say good fortune, of being one of the first podcasters to get a bored Doug Stanhope on the show. That chance encounter lead to several other comedians from that circle coming into focus and I have been lucky to get some of them on my show. Some of them were in the film, although we never talked about it at all. I did notice that many of the comedians who were part of the film or associated with it were distancing themselves from it. The only person with a favorable view of the film seemed to be James Inman, who seems to love it like a parent an only child.
I didn’t watch the film until I watched and episode of Brendon Walsh’s World Record Podcast, with Henry Phillips as a guest. Both were part of the production. Henry Phillips seemed to be more supportive of the film than most but Brendon made a statement to the effect of wishing he hadn’t been part of it. I decided I had to see for myself. I found the film on Amazon Prime, a free stream.
I think the first go at it, I made it 3 minutes in before falling asleep, only to periodically woken by the sound of James screaming voice. My initial thought was that I had found a film that was possibly worse than Paul Blart – Mall Cop. I tried watching again, with similar results. All the while noting that Inman was still talking about the film as if it was Citizen Kane. All art is subjective and critics are often people who can’t create but have a need to tear down other people’s work to validate their own frustrations. That said, i personally did not enjoy The Unbookables at all, even when I did finally manage to taze myself to stay awake for the entire film. I know now that James tends to take opinions about the film personally. He also seems to think that not loving the movie is somehow disrespectful to the director, Jeff Pearson, who has since passed away.There are many films by directors who are dead that I don’t like. I’m not disrespecting their life or their body of work but not loving a particular film they created.
Fast forward to May of 2021 and a friend who has been very helpful in suggesting comedians for me to try to book, wrote to me saying “You have to get James Inman On”. I told him I wanted to get Brett Erickson on, who I am a fan of but also seems like a more civil conversationalist. The issue was I had seen a recent Twitter spat where Inman was saying some not so nice things about Erickson, and I thought having Inman on first would ruin my chance of getting Erickson on. I decided to stop procrastinating and asked Erickson and he agreed. The episode was a great experience for me and I enjoyed our conversation as much as any other of the 100 or so comedians I have interviewed in the last 18 months.
Within minutes of my booking Erickson on the show, and quite coincidentally, a couple of people pushed UInman’s button on twitter and reignited the flaming of Brett Erickson. I tried my best to add some diffusion to the thread. James seems eager to take the bait when people are clearly just tr\ying to get him to have a negative emotional reaction. As a fan of comedy, such things can be painful to watch.
Next stop, Andy Andrist, who is one of the most underrated comedians of my lifetime, decided to use me for his own amusement. He suggested I have James on my show, knowing that I value his opinion and am a big fan. So I did ask James to be on and he was quick to say yes. The full, unedited interview can be seen or heard on this page, as well as the comments from the livestream on Youtube. In the comments you can see Andy calling out James for “false statements” and having great fun watching me struggle to find some balance in the interview. I’m not angry at Andy. I appreciate his play. It reminds me of my best friend, Leo, manipulating me for his own entertainment, but I have to acknowledge that I was played.
Now, the truth can also be subjective and again, the truth about the real beef about the film is truly none of my business. Even if the things James told me were 100% false, and 100% is unlikely, I think I was able to read between the lines to get a hint of what the real issue is. I believe the executive producer, (Stanhope), and most of the comedians featured were not happy with the final product and somehow the director ended up with the rights to the film and signed a distribution deal without consent or approval of the the man who funded it. His name and influence being used to promote is bound to make him upset, to say the least. I don’t know any of this for a fact, but the circumstantial evidence seems to support that conclusion. Whatever the truth is I’m glad to be done with the subject and hope I never hear about the movie again.
James talked about hope for a reunion show. The problem is that few, if any, of the significant members want any part of that. In a lot of ways the whole saga feels like a guy still stalking a girl who broke up with him years ago and can’t see that the more he’s ries to win her back the father he pushes her away.
I like Jamesa Inman, I think he is a talented and funny guy. I hope he moves on and puts the film behind him. I doubt that will happen. I do hope to have him on again to talk about anything not related to the movie whatsoever. I’d like to try to get through a show without either of us saying “Doug”.
The full transcript is below:
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, first of all start off by apologizing if you hear a fan sound in the background, had some issues today with the overheating, and did not want to risk taking down the studio putting in a new computer to run the show tonight on short notice. So I got a fan running the whole show. I hope it doesn’t bother the audio too much. And I appreciate everybody coming here. You all know who’s here tonight. Obviously, there’s been a lot of excitement about this. A lot of emails, a lot of private messages, a lot of people talking about this program tonight. And so I have some explaining to do about how we got here, and why tonight. And so let me begin by saying
matt nappo 1:17
James Inman has already set the bar for guests on this program because the sponsor that usually sponsors comedy interviews on this program has been declined to sponsor tonight. I do have another sponsor who wants to sponsor tonight. I don’t know if I’m going to read them though. Because in the interest of time, I’m going to want to get James in as quickly as possible. I know you want to hear from him, not for me, and certainly not about the sponsors tonight. But I found it funny that the sponsor usually sponsors the comedy stuff, did not want to sponsor James because he’s considered controversial, especially on social media. And truth is, folks, I’ve been banned for life from Twitter. Eight times now, I’m off Twitter, in case you don’t know, I’m not on Twitter anymore. My good friend Nate kelp is on there. Now. He’s helping promote the program, but he doesn’t have any followers. I mean, and I understand he’s been behaving themselves, but sooner or later, he’s gonna get banned, too. But to my knowledge, I don’t think James has ever been banned from Twitter yet he’s got the reputation for being kind of a bad boy on social media. And I’m okay. I mean, they have no problem sponsoring me every week. So I thought that was a little inconsistent, a little weird. As you know, James Inman is hysterically funny. He’s He’s also a little bit prone to conflict lately, especially on social media, which scared me a little bit because I actually thought about asking James to be on the program almost two years ago now. And then I started following him on Twitter. When my other account, I wanted my previous editions on Twitter. And I saw him arguing with a lot of people and growing up in an Italian household where people were always yelling at each other. Conflict bothers me, it rubbed me the wrong way, it makes me uncomfortable. And whenever I would comment on any of this stuff, I would try to try to make it a little numerous or defuse the situation at all, but it didn’t seem to work. And I admit there are times when I am confused by comedians where I can’t tell if they’re being serious, or they’re seriously angry, because they fuck with each other so much that I don’t know when they’re being serious. So I see James arguing with a lot of people that I thought should be his friend, or were his friends. And, and that stuff went on for you. And so I put the brakes on asking him, and then about six weeks ago, eight weeks ago, now somebody suggested I have him on and I said, Yeah, I really want to have him on because he’s funny as fuck, and but I’m a little scared of him. And then two weeks ago, my friend Craig wrote to me said, you gotta have you know, I want to have bread on and I’m afraid that if I have in Milan, all shits gonna break loose with, with my chances of getting bread on the show. And then so I went to back on Twitter, and at that moment, that very moment, somebody was pushing James’s buttons about the unbuckles. And Brett’s name came up, and it was not pretty. And I thought, Well, I better get bread on the show as quickly as possible because I don’t want to, I don’t want to I don’t want to ruin my opportunity for getting him on the show. And so and then, after that,
Andy Andrews said, I should have James on the show. And I thought he was kidding and I asked him, let me see No, he was dead serious. James is a good guy. You should have him on the show. I think you’ll get along with them. I think it’ll be great for your show. And so I trust Andy a lot. And so that’s how we got here tonight. I said, You know what, maybe I maybe I’m being scared for nothing. Maybe we’ll get along fine. Maybe maybe things will go very smoothly. So let’s just get him in. James. Edmund is the winner of the San Francisco International comedy competition. So also the CO creator of mudslinging is ball comedy on Comedy Central pilot and produced his own one man show, adapted from his book, The Great hand diary. He’s also one of the unbuckles buckles and the focal point of the film by the same name. Ladies and gentlemen, please open your ears. Open your mind and help me welcome in James M. into my dog TV pockets. James, welcome.
Unknown Speaker 5:44
How are you? Well, thank thank you for coming.
James Inman 5:48
That was a long intro. Oh, my God.
I know, I had some explaining to do. People have written to me and ask me, you know why? And you know, the thread I’m talking about two weeks ago.
Oh, God. Yeah. Oh, yeah.
So I have a difficult time really known comedians kidding. And when they’re serious. And when I see that stuff going on, oh, I just, you know, and by the way, you got to know who your real friends are. And I have to say, before we even get started, Andy Andrist is a true friend of yours. And he will, he said nothing but kind things about you. And he happens to be the only person ever certified by the United States Postal Service as a very reasonable man. So when he says you got to have James on, he’s a good guy.
Unknown Speaker 6:38
So but what what’s the real deal now, James? Oh, wait, are you really at odds with some of these guys?
James Inman 6:45
Well, no, like, like you said, um, you don’t know if they’re joking or not. Right. Right. You’re Yeah. Well, that’s been my experience with Doug for like, since 1995. I mean, he’s been making fun of me for 25 years, and I’ve never known if he’s serious or not, my and so you know, and so then Doug starts making fun of me. And then then Doug gets famous. And then Doug has all these fans and friends and, and peers. And then there’s the book bubbles, and we film the movie, and then all the booqable start making fun of me, because Doug makes fun of me. So I’ve never known if they’re serious or not.
So we’re not we’re in the same boat, dude.
matt nappo 7:34
Okay, but Finn hope has had you on his podcast long after 919 95. And after the film, I think even right, yeah, so I don’t think he would have you on if he really didn’t, you know, and I don’t know dogs can open. I don’t know what he thinks to people. But I it’s hard for me to imagine he would it might be on the podcast, I think twice or three times. Yeah, if he didn’t like you?
James Inman 7:57
Well, the funny thing is, like when me and Doug get together, and he starts making fun of me, I like I push back, like, as hard as I can. Like, I know all of his buttons. And I try to say the most fucked up things I can say to him. But pretty much everybody else kisses kisses his ass on that podcast, because they’re like, oh, dog, you know, it’s so famous. I knew Doug when he was doing dick jokes. When he was like shaking up a bottle of beer. And he had no political jokes whatsoever. In his act. He was just a regular comic, just like, you know, all of us. You know, he wasn’t famous. We both won the San Francisco comedy competition. And so he was kind of like my peer and then he moved to LA, and he gets famous. So I’m kind of still his friend, you know, but a lot of other people you know, they kind of climbed on board after Doug got famous, huh?
matt nappo 8:51
Well, it’s seem and you know, you brought up to filming so let’s go there already. It seemed from me watching film that at the time it was being filmed. You got along with most of the people pretty well during that filming now or am I until the the incident where the big argument with with Lipski Yeah, yeah. And he threw something at you through a hot dog. He glass of water I thought it was a glass of wine or something. Right wine, but it seemed like you guys were friends at that point. Am I wrong? Again, cuz I can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. I guess I’m I’m
James Inman 9:30
yeah, we’re all friends. But you know, so just the whole movie was just this long process. And it was, it was kind of like, you know, Jeff, the director and Doug didn’t get along. And, you know, so I had to kind of like, keep everybody together. I wasn’t a producer, but I kind of had to be friends with everybody and get along with everybody. So the movie would get done, you know, so I had to make Jeff happy. Big, big dog happy I had to make all the vocals happy. You know? Um, you know, it was, it was a long process. Well,
matt nappo 10:09
as I mentioned, and this is no smoke, I think you’re hysterically funny. But I also look at you did this film several years ago, and it’s something to be proud of Listen, anybody who’s been in a feature film should be proud of it.
James Inman 10:23
Right? I see. So that’s the other thing too. Like, since Doug makes fun of me, right? The movie comes out. And like all the vocals. I mean, Doug, kind of, he didn’t really trash the movie, but he didn’t really promote it. And so behind the scenes, everybody was making fun of the film. And, and so the film came out as like an independent film with only 10 with only 1000 DVDs. And it got on BitTorrent, but, you know, not very many people saw so. So there was, you know, there was Shawn Rouse, he had a lot of complaints. There was Doug that had certain complaints, you know, and Jeff wasn’t taking anybody’s suggestions, right. And so the movie just kind of sat there for a while. And I was on Facebook and this guy who used to be Bill Hicks, his best friend, Kevin booth, I was following Kevin booth on Facebook. And Kevin goes, Hey, does anybody have a movie that doesn’t have a distributor, I get to recommend three movies a year to my distributor. And I was like, well, I got this movie. You know, I sent him a link to send him a copy of the unbuckles. And he calls me back the very next day. Booth who my hero is Bill Hicks. Right. And I know who Kevin booth is. I’ve known Kevin booth for, like, you know, I’m nervous being around Kevin booth, you know, um, and so he calls me back and I like, I go do talk to the director. Maybe you guys could get together, the director. He might be open to making some changes. And so Kevin and Jeff started talking. Jeff said, Yeah, I think I might make some changes. And then I started giving Jeff all of Doug’s suggestions, all of Sean’s suggestions, and some of the unbuckles in problems, different parts. So I secretly talk Jeff into making those changes. And and we also we added some music by Mischka. And, and, you know, next thing, you know, we got a distributor, we sent it to comedy dynamics. They sent us a contract the very next day. And because the Vice President of comedy dynamics, he’s a huge Bill Hicks fan and Sam Kinison fan. And big Doug Stanhope fan, right. And so and he also knows Kevin booth. And so right when he sees the bubbles, he’s like, Oh, my God, I want this film. And so the whole time, I thought that movie sucked, because Doug was always making fun of it. All the buggles were making fun of it. Even to this day, they kind of laugh it off and stuff. But after we got to comedy dynamics, it got it’s on like, like 20 different platforms. It’s on Roku. It’s on iTunes. It’s on amazon prime. It’s on Google Play YouTube, the DVD is the DVDs everywhere DVD, you can even buy the DVD on Walmart’s website. Right?
matt nappo 13:32
Well, that’s pretty cool.
James Inman 13:33
I think it is the book of those have been making fun of this movie for so long. They don’t understand that. They’re a lot more famous now that we got a distributor and a lot more people are seeing that goddamn movie.
matt nappo 13:49
Right. But it’s been out for several years now. Right? Oh,
James Inman 13:51
it’s so it’s only at the last at the end see at the very first part of 2018. Like December 27 is when we we December of 2017, which it didn’t really end up on coffee dynamics until the very first part of 2018. So that movie is only been out three years, even though it came out as an independent film A long time ago. Nobody saw it. And that’s what the book was don’t understand. They don’t understand it. There’s a lot of people know who the bugaboos are now, because I think you could tell by my Twitter account like Mike right when that movie got on amazon prime, my Twitter account just fucking grew like crazy. more followers on Facebook. I mean, it’s all that shit. They just make fun of it.
matt nappo 14:45
Wow. So I obviously you’re very passionate about this movie, right? But the rest of the guys just don’t share your passion. And that is the root of the cause. I’m just trying to under understand the root of the conflict that I see on Twitter. That It makes me a little uncomfortable.
James Inman 15:02
I think it just it all boils down to Jeff, the director and Doug, and Brian hitting in all gotten this huge fight. And I heard about parts of it. You know, there were lawyers involved, like Doug’s lawyer and Jeff’s lawyer were like arguing over the phone. It took Jeff Jeff, his site, he had a side job where he, he was kind of helping with contracts. And he kind of knew how to negotiate contracts. That contracted Jeff signed for comedy dynamics, it took them six months to sign that contract, because they’re sending it back and forth to lawyers to Jeff’s lawyer, and the comedy dynamics lawyer. So the whole thing to me is funny, because I didn’t have a fucking diamond in my pocket. And still to this day, I don’t have a fucking dime. But there are all these fucking rich people arguing about this goddamn movie, you know. And it’s a movie about a bunch of edgy, poor broke artists that are pushing the envelope on stage.
matt nappo 16:12
Right? Well, this is this is what begs a question I was going to ask here, James, because I went to your website. And one thing I noticed is I couldn’t find any tour dates on it. And I’m thinking, this guy’s fucking hysterical. It’s got viral videos out. He’s an award winning comedian. Why aren’t you working? Why aren’t you moving on? I know, the film is important. But what you just said, I still don’t have it done. Why are you out there working?
James Inman 16:35
Well, before the end book was before, you know, I was doing pretty good as a comic. I mean, I had a really, I had a good reputation I was killing. You know, I used to live in Seattle. And, you know, I won San Francisco comedy competition. I was invited to the Montreal just for laughs festival. Yeah, I pretty good resume. But then I get hooked up with Doug. And we start doing this movie. And, you know, like, my reputation. I can’t really work these these big time comedy clubs, like them, the improv or the funnybone are, but I’m gonna have to, like start booking myself in these edgier, you know, underground, you know, punk rock clubs, or whatever, you know. And plus, there’s the goddamn the virus, the COVID-19. We had a whole year here, we’re, personally, I’ve been waiting for the unbuckles to get together and like, do some tour together, you know, but they always they, they make fun of me. They’re, they’re so used to making fun of me that they don’t understand that we could just like forget all of this stupid shit. And just like if we were real business man, we would put together an unbelievable tour and we’d make some money.
matt nappo 17:49
I get that. From from the outside perspective. Again, I don’t know any of your fucking history. But I’m glad you’re you’re giving me some of it here tonight. But from the outside perspective, I don’t see it as them making fun of you. I think I and the ones I’ve talked to respect you as a comedian. I know that. But I don’t see that as making funny I think sometimes, and I can’t I don’t know what it’s I’m not in that bad circle. And I don’t know these people that well, but it doesn’t seem like hateful. Most I set out for this couple of weeks ago, did
James Inman 18:23
I? I know. I know what you’re saying. Because, you know, they’re all great joke writers. Um, usually Andy’s not that hateful. You know, I mean, I get it when he says it. But you know, when it’s when it’s, you know, some of the other ones. It’s like, I kind of question Do they really mean it or not? You know, because this, they might really fucking hate me. There’s there’s a lot of Doug’s friends that do fucking hate me. And so when they make their little jokes, it does kind of hurt. You know, I, I’ve had to deal with it for the past 15 years, dude. I mean, past 20. Since I’ve known Doug, I’ve had to deal with this shit, where every joke is some kind of insult or put down. None of these guys ever give each other compliments, rarely in public, like maybe Andy will go. Yeah, you should book James on your podcast. He’s really good guy or whatever. You know, but in public. None of these fuckers give you a compliment the only guy that occasionally will give you a compliment. It’s like Mischka. Or, you know, Andy, those are the two guys that are nice. The rest of the people that follow Doug are just mean motherfuckers Okay, so yeah, yeah.
matt nappo 19:43
I mean, I don’t know. But they’ve been nice to me and so far, but, you know, I can’t I don’t get too close to them. They don’t get that close to me. But
James Inman 19:53
because, I mean, it’s just, I think it’s like it was the movie where James is the guy that We make fun of. And so ever since then that’s my character. That’s my role. My role is the punching bag.
matt nappo 20:08
But now on that I’m beat you end the movie by saying that’s pretty much the role of the comedian anyway, so make yourself the clown the fool. And I don’t want to quote you directly because I don’t remember exactly. But for those affected, that’s the comedian’s job in the first place. Right? Yeah.
James Inman 20:24
Right. That’s every to me. That’s every comedians job. But, but when you’re with the group of comedians, there should be some kind of a, you know, respect of your fucking peers. You know, like, I don’t know, it just seems like ever since that movie came out, they fucking hated my guts. You know,
matt nappo 20:48
I wish there was some way we could help resolve that. Because especially if you say you want to see people get back together again and work together again. That can’t happen without some kind of resolution as a matter of love maker here matchmaker.
James Inman 21:01
Since that movie came out, we haven’t done one on bookable show together as a group.
matt nappo 21:10
Well, it seemed to me when Sam Talon is on the show, I like to play with him a little bit about the comparing the life of a musician with the life of a comedian. And it seems to me comedians are used to traveling in really small groups, if not alone. And musicians are used to the experience from the unbuckles, where you have four or five, six guys in a van, traveling from city to city. Yeah. And that’s why van bands are always on the verge of breaking up at all times. And I think I got through it a little bit. You can’t You can’t be back close to your peers for that longer time and not have a bunch of conflict. Do you agree?
James Inman 21:46
Yeah. But I mean, I would think that they would want to do it just had a professional reason. You know, I like I said, like, I doubted myself, for the longest time. I thought the movie sucked. And then after, you know, Kevin booth got involved, and then it got on Comedy dynamics, and then it was all over the place. I was I was sitting around, and I was talking to Brad and you know, cuz he was living in LA. And he was at the Comedy Store every day. And I remembered that Doug had it. He did a podcast once in Las Vegas. And so I met the booking agent or the manager of the Comedy Store. And he said, he was telling me, he’s like, yeah, once we got rid of Mitzi shore, we started booking the comics that we wanted to book not connected to any management company. So we brought in Joe Rogan, and some edgier comics, like Doug and like, so and so and you know, all he should fear and stuff like that. And he goes, and the line was around the block. That place was sold out every night by booking edgy comics, right? So that’s stuck in the back of my head. And when I realized I was like, Brad, you’re at the fucking comedy stores. Let’s book the book. It was at the Comedy Store. And he’s like, that’s a dumb idea. Jamie Mumma. You know, he’s first he said he was gonna do it. Then he said he wasn’t gonna do it. And I’m like, and I’m on the phone with him. I’m like, well, I’ll just off fucking what’s the guy’s number? I’ll call him and Brett goes, you do that James? And I’m like, What the You like he wouldn’t even give you the guy’s phone number. And he’s being sarcastic like you do that James? Like I couldn’t do it. Not Two weeks later, I need this guy who works at Comedy Store. I do a set in front of him. And he goes yeah, hey, James. I was funny. I go Hey, can you do you ever want to book the book bubbles at the Comedy Store is like a book The all the in bookable I’ll give you date right fucking now. And it wasn’t two weeks after that fucking argument with Brett Erickson that I got all the vocals at the Comedy Store. So I was like, holy shit, they know who we are, you know. And so, you know, I fucking we had to push the date back a couple months. And that’s when COVID-19 hit. And they had to cancel a show. So that’s why that show got cancelled. But I don’t think in bubbles realize that we could make one phone call and get the book bubbles at it, at least the belly room. And it would just be fun to do it just some that we could all get together and do a show.
matt nappo 24:27
Well, I don’t think most of them have any real interest in whether you know whether you can book the show or not. And I again, I don’t want to speak for them, but from what I’ve heard publicly said from some people and it doesn’t even look like Travis Lipski is even doing comedy anymore.
James Inman 24:43
He was I was on the phone with Travis. I was like Travis, do you want to do it? He’s like, I’m thinking about doing it. I have to buy a plane ticket blah, blah, blah. And you know, so Travis was back and forth. But he I asked him I said Travis, if we do a comedy, another Comedy Store show Are you gonna do it? He’s like, Fuck yeah, I’m gonna do it. The only person that I haven’t contacted is norm Wilkerson, but everybody else like, like Christine Levine, Brett Erickson and the Andrus, Brendon Walsh me, all of us we’ve been doing comedy 2530 years. It’s not hard to do 10 minutes comedy. That’s all we have to do. You get six or seven of the book goes on stage. We all do 10 minutes. Easy peasy. How hard can that be?
matt nappo 25:32
Right? Well, of course Sean’s not still with us know who else who else in your estimation is in that group was Brendan Walsh and I’m bookable?
James Inman 25:41
Yeah. Like when I set up that Comedy Store gig, Brendan, I called Brendan. I sent him a text. I go, dude, we’re gonna be there March 26, or whatever you want to do it. He’s like, Fuck, I’ll do it. And so Brendan Walsh, Brett Erickson me Christine Levine Andy Andrus and Mischka. Were supposed to do that Comedy Store gig, it was gonna be fun. You know, who knows? there might have been some agents in the room or whatever, you know, and we’re all doing this. We’re all putting this together without Doug’s help. Because I mean, that’s, that’s the whole thing. Doug is like a libertarian, he’s like a, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. He doesn’t want to help anybody. That’s his gig. I mean, that’s his. That’s his philosophy of life. You know,
matt nappo 26:25
I disagree. Yeah, he helps in town, he helped, he helped me a little bit, because if it wasn’t for him, and I don’t, you know, I don’t think he necessarily intended it as as helped towards me. But if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have made a lot of the connections that I made. But I know, he went out of his way to give Sam talent a real boost with this book. So to say he doesn’t want to help anyone.
James Inman 26:45
I know. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I mean, I don’t mean, he doesn’t want to help anybody in a negative way. I just mean that there’s two ways of dealing with something. And when you want to teach somebody, you know, you can either, you know, do it for them, or you can teach them how to do it, and they fucking figure it out themselves. You know, I think that, you know, just like any teacher or your dad, your dad, after a while, he’s like, okay, you’re gonna have to fucking learn how to swim on your own. I’m just gonna throw you in the goddamn water and you’re going to swim.
matt nappo 27:19
Did you read my dad? What’s that? Did you meet my dad? No, cuz he actually did that. My grandfather threw me in a 20 foot deep canal. And I was for,
James Inman 27:33
you know, rely on other people. I mean, that’s the libertarian ideal, even though Doug says, Oh, I’m not a libertarian anymore. He still is at heart a libertarian. Me On the other hand, I love collaborating with people I love like groups of people. And that’s why I love the book most so much, because it was a group of people and we made this really cool thing together.
matt nappo 27:55
Hmm. So that’s what this is all been past base. What about future based? What do you What are you looking at? Because, obviously, if they decide not to, or for any reason, this doesn’t happen. You gotta make other plans for the future. Are you planning anything for the future? If Trump shows anything? Um,
James Inman 28:11
well, right now I’m, I’m working on like, like three or four books, I’m kind of editing, formatting and getting ready to publish a couple books. I can’t really say you know what they are. And also, I’m helping another friend of mine, publish his book and plays so so it’s, it’s all this fucking computer shit on word. And I’m teaching myself how to format a book so they look, you know, professional.
matt nappo 28:48
Gotcha. So where are you? Where are you located? Now? You’re not back in Kansas City. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’m in. I’m in Kansas City now. Oh, I thought there was a while Wasn’t there a while while you were in New York?
James Inman 28:59
Yeah, I lived in New York for three years. I lived in Seattle for like 10 years. I lived in Minneapolis for like a year. I you know, I’ve been I’ve been doing comedy like 30 fucking years. You know, and that’s the see that’s the thing where I don’t think a lot of Doug’s friends really know who I am, you know, and, and that whatever I say about myself, they just they think I’m bragging you know, but it’s like Dude, you don’t even know who I am. You know? Like, I feel like I would just like go look at my resume dude. I’ve been you know it’s just really fucking annoying.
matt nappo 29:37
You know? I I got you but and I you know you want to be respected for what you did but I you know I what really does it matter what what they think about you? I mean, cuz I know there are people there a lot. As I mentioned, I got banned from Twitter eight times. There are a lot of people who don’t like me, a lot of people hate me. You know, I move on with my life. Getting Go on to the next thing.
James Inman 30:01
Why not? Why not? Yeah, I got I got banned from Twitter once but then I, you know, I got back on Doug. If this long story Mischka, like reported one of my tweets or something. And this kitty a friend, dude. And so Doug brought us Doug brought us back. Me and Mischka were like arguing with each other. And so Doug brought me and Mischka on his podcast, and we got back together. Right. I wish Doug would do that with Brett Erickson, because I’m really interested, Brad. Yeah, well,
matt nappo 30:37
that came across a couple of weeks ago. And when the day that I Craig Johnson told me you just got to get him in on the program. And then I went and saw your Twitter feed was lining up with a lot of Eric’s and stuff. And so at that moment, I decided to ask Erickson pretty quickly before this blows up. Now, I didn’t watch. I didn’t watch Erickson’s podcast with you. He didn’t mention you at all. I
James Inman 31:03
probably didn’t mention the book mosey bryden mentioned me. And, you know, it’s just it’s like, what he did was just so fucking unforgiveable you know, and the funny thing is, like, I I’m pretty, I’m pretty good at understanding what’s like, morally right and wrong, you know, even though you know, people think I’m crazy, or I’m not reasonable, or
matt nappo 31:27
I don’t know, but not reasonable. I don’t know what they think of. Yeah, I know, I would I thought of you. And I think you’re very emotional and very passionate about the film, obviously. And anybody who doesn’t agree with you, you seem to get seem to take that as a personal offense.
James Inman 31:45
I mean, the director of the film just recently died, Jeff Pearson, the guy that made that film, and I never even got to go to his funeral. I mean, we had a really stupid Memorial that Doug tried to put together and Brett started bad mouth and Jeff on the goddamn Memorial. I just fucking left. You know, I couldn’t take it, because it was just going to be more of that shit where they make fun of me. And I wanted it to be about Jeff Pearson. You know, they don’t understand that Jeff worked really hard on that film. And Jeff is one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met in my life. The only other person I think that might be as smart as Jeff is probably Brian Hennigan, which is Doug’s manager, you know, smartest, fuck, he’s like a goddamn alien, you know, but Jeff was like his equal, right. And I’ve known Jeff since I don’t know, since 1992. I met him in Seattle. And, and so yeah, he’s the guy that made that movie. He got, you know, he filmed the whole thing. He had 150 hours of film, and he had to take all you, they watched all of that film. And he had to go through that whole three weeks of film and find the little parts that would create a story. So um, and he had the whole thing mapped out, but they had, this is what I couldn’t believe, because when I went back up to Seattle, to help him like, pick the, the stand up parts, because Kevin Booth was like, we need longer stand up parts. And so they chose me to help him pick out the stand up parts. And I go up there, and Jeff had a office, he had a business office for the unbuckles in a in a real, like, fucking office building. I mean, they didn’t make this out of their house. You know, this is a, this is a real project, a real fucking movie. You know,
matt nappo 33:45
I get it. I listen. I’ve been trying to I’ve been working on my own documentary for five years right now. So I know what, what the struggles of putting a movie like that together are. But at some point, you know, for you, personally, the movies out been out, it’s got whatever reception is gonna get, you can continue to promote it. But at some point, you got to look towards the future, don’t you?
James Inman 34:09
I see. That’s another thing that Doug has been saying. Since we started filming. I mean, it’s like, I’ve heard you look, here’s the deal. Like the whole the whole thing about up, you know, why don’t you move on, you know, that that movies really all did it come out like nine years ago, Doug started that he started right. The day after the movie came out. He’s like that movies old. He’s been saying that for fucking 10 years, because I wanted to make he that’s I honestly started believing that for the longest time until Kevin booth saw the film and he’s like, Oh my god, this is a great film. Like,
matt nappo 34:53
James Inman 34:55
I know what you’re saying. Kevin Booth was the first guy that ever complimented me on that film. Everybody else made fun of it, right? And I was like, holy shit. That’s when we gave it to comedy dynamics. And that’s when we signed that contract. So yes, yeah, it’s been around six, seven years. Why don’t you move on? Right now we got the power to call up comedy to cut the fucking Comedy Store and get the unbuckles. Like, like, people know who we are now because of that.
matt nappo 35:29
Well, what I’m gonna say though, is I can understand feeling like that movie is Oh, because if I look at that movie, Erickson looks like a kid. Andy looks at least 10 years younger. 15 years younger. Brendan’s got big brown red hair all over. Now, Brendan’s pure white. I don’t know if you’ve seen him lately. But the age difference if you look at the movie, compared to the people I see today, it feels pretty old. To me. I feel like I’m looking at new styles. If I look and I just started again.
James Inman 36:00
I mean, brothers right now that Psychedelic Furs are touring with Blondie, and I know
matt nappo 36:06
but you but when you’re looking at the film from that perspective, you do see people who are a lot younger than they appear today. And so that
James Inman 36:15
I mean, I’ve been to some open mic nights, and there’s people that come up to me, and they’re nervous being around me. I’m like, What’s your deal, dude? Like, I just want to say, I don’t want to bother you James but I can I shake your hand cuz I The unbuckles is one of my favorite movies I’ve ever seen. What has happened is that movies turned into like a cult classic for for open mic comics and edgy comics because there’s no other documentary like that.
matt nappo 36:45
Right? There’s nothing like that.
James Inman 36:47
Yeah, and Jeff never got his accolades. Like, there was never a time where Doug sat me down and said, Good job, James. It was there was no you like my dad growing up? Yeah. What if?
matt nappo 37:00
What if he honestly doesn’t feel that it was it was a good movie you still
James Inman 37:04
want to do? Then fucking mind that I lie all the time. somebody that’s like he did. He tried really hard and he really wasn’t that funny. He’s funny. Online to his face, just to make him feel better.
matt nappo 37:21
I haven’t talked to
James Inman 37:22
him about the fucking truth. That’s like, bread. Butter. You know, fucking at the memorial. People need to know the truth. Who gives a fuck? Jeff is dead. You know, life is crazy to begin with. Sometimes, we don’t want to hear the truth.
matt nappo 37:38
Right? Sometimes we can’t take the truth. I get it. But what do we just say? Nothing. What? You could just say nothing right? But But
James Inman 37:48
fuck, look, I do comedy. I don’t necessarily tell the truth on in comedy. Right job in comedy is to make people laugh if I have to fucking lie, a lie to make people laugh. I’m not I’m not a fucking monk. I’m not Jesus. I got a professor. I’m not a fucking I won’t make shit up. If I have to.
matt nappo 38:12
Let me let me ask you something. Were you. Were you lying to the Seattle City Council? Or was that all truth?
James Inman 38:19
Yeah, I mean, that was that was a true story. I got arrested for saying the F word. I got arrested for saying for saying fuck. And so it was an exaggeration. I mean, that’s what comedy is you just like, you take somebody exaggerate it to the 10th hour and make it funny. You know?
matt nappo 38:39
I was a classic video by the way. I wish I could get this just clips at that audio and just like use it for bumpers on the show. Because you know, I got two CDs out. So my TV. Yeah, if Yeah, but I’m sure you have copyrights on it. And whether or not you gave me permission, you
James Inman 39:02
can you can you could use it if you do. There’s all I need. I haven’t really promoted my CDs that much. Because, like, oh,
matt nappo 39:11
why not? Why not shift from the movie to the CDs?
James Inman 39:14
these guys, they make fun of me so much. I didn’t even want to promote myself. But like, whenever I promote myself, there’s some fucking jackwagon on Facebook or Twitter who’s friends with dog or fans dog? He’s like, Oh, what a big self promoter. I can’t believe all you do is a big, big day. I mean, I rarely talk about the unbuckles I rarely tweet about it. I rarely tweet about my CDs, you know, because like, that’s the last thing any of the you know, they think it’s it’s like a you know, crass to sell, promote.
matt nappo 39:49
Yeah, and I know, people who came and now people here tonight in 30 different platforms that have a 30 different chat rooms going that people are
James Inman 39:59
really hurt. My feelings I listen to other people I take other people’s. That’s the thing I like they came to see
matt nappo 40:06
you tonight is my point. So I don’t think people can. I don’t think
James Inman 40:11
people understand me, I really don’t. I always seek out criticism, I fucking like it when someone comes up to me and goes, that was funny, but you know, you should do this, or you should change that or add this or that, you know, I listened to that. So when someone like makes fun of me or criticizes me, it really does hurt because I fucking I think that they’re probably partly true. You know, I,
matt nappo 40:36
I totally feel that, you know, and I’m not like you in that if somebody comes up to me and says, that was a great show, but that but it’s gonna kill me for honestly, that buddy’s gonna kill me for a year. I’m gonna think nothing about but then when that person said, but and then what follows is like,
James Inman 40:56
does it hurt my ego, it more it. I use it to like, make myself better. You know, like, because I like before you met dog, my best friend was Brad Nelson. Now Brad made fun of me all the time. So it’s not like Doug was the first guy to make fun of me. I seek out these people that like, make me the butt of the joke. So I’m always like, laughing at myself. I don’t take myself seriously. And it’s so funny that I mean, that’s what happened in the movie. I didn’t know. That’s what was gonna happen. But in the movie, everybody makes fun of me. And then I ended up being in every fucking scene, which was not my I did I had no idea that was gonna happen, right? That’s why one of the reasons why they’re all pissed, you know,
matt nappo 41:44
could be you know, you know how artists are, whatever, whatever the situation, I’m really hoping you can put that animosity behind you and just kind of, you know, we connect with you. I’ll tell you people who I played with in a band 45 years ago, died recently, and we had broken up for stupid reasons. And when they got cancer and died, I felt really bad because they were a big part of my life when I was young and shared that experience in a van quote, traveling the country. I mean, eating shitty food, you know? And, and so, you know, when you have that experience, you regret those relationships when you get old. Me? Yeah. Having lost them for stupid reasons, right?
James Inman 42:29
Exactly. Yeah, I’m the guy trying to get the book bubbles back together. They’re the ones that do fucking all they do is make fun of it. You know? Whatever. I still I could. I’m still a forgiving person. I like you know, bygones be bygones. I don’t give a fuck what happened in the past? I just want to, like do one and bookable show somewhere.
matt nappo 42:51
Gotcha. In the meantime, there are people who who are your fans who think you’re hysterically funny, who want to see you do something, even if it’s without them. Want to see you do something? Now I know that’s true, because some of them have already commented that in the chat room, they want to see you do your stuff. They think you’re really funny.
James Inman 43:13
Book man, like, if they’re, you know, if you’re living in some town somewhere, find the comedy club and tell the booking agent to book me
matt nappo 43:22
to stand up. You want to come to New York in the end of August. What glub glub I don’t want to mention the club yet, but I took two clubs on Long Island, probably not New York City clubs. But I you know, Booker’s from both clubs
James Inman 43:38
really well in New Jersey, like, I didn’t do so hot in Manhattan, because the audience is there. They just they just want to hear jokes. They don’t want to. They don’t want to see a character. But I got to do New Jersey with the the guy with the puppet. Um, that was real dirty. The real dirty puppet guy. Oh,
matt nappo 43:57
I forgot about Oh, George.
James Inman 43:58
Yes. I got to work with Otto and George. And I killed I was like, Oh my god, they like me in New Jersey. And after the show. Like I didn’t know how cool Otto and George was right? But I was kind of nervous around him. And he’s like, I should have you. You want to open for me. And I thought he was just joking. I should have took him up on it because he died like, like a couple years later, right?
matt nappo 44:21
I knew Otto when he first was starting out. He used to he used to he was in New Jersey. But he used to come to Long Island to play my friends dive wise. And he had some really old comedian guy was like 90 years old, who would have to drive him to the shows from New Jersey for a $75 gig. You’d have to pay somebody to drive them and then it would cost gas and tolls to get there but he would go to a gig to play a total. Yeah, that’s that’s a far back.
James Inman 44:47
Well, my jokes always worked better on the West Coast than they did the East Coast. I think
matt nappo 44:52
you’re funny. I’m an East Coast guy. So I think he would do well here anyway. You know, Big I mentioned that a lot of ingest but not so much in jest, because earlier you mentioned that you and Mischka were on the stand hosts podcast because Mitch Stanhope kept you guys together. And it was suggested that I get now i don’t think Erickson would agree to it. But it was suggested that I get you in Erickson on here and I kind of played moderator to that. Would you would you
James Inman 45:23
know, I really like to talk to Doug or Brett and just ask him, what is it that I can say and can’t say? Because, you know, when all this shit went down, like I can tell Doug didn’t want to be on his podcast because he knew he was going to talk about it. Brett doesn’t want me on issues of Andy because he knows I’m going to talk about it. It was they did the show at the there was a show down in Austin. Right. It was called the altercation Comedy Festival. Right? They invited all in bookable except me. And I thought it was a joke. And then I find out later that there’s this I can’t even talk about it because people like oh, this girl said that I called her account on Doug’s podcast. I told Brett, I was like, Brett, first of all, if I called sewing so I’m not gonna mention her name a con on Doug’s podcast. First of all, Doug would address that second of all, shaylee would edit it out. Third, I’d fucking remember that. and forth. All those podcasts are on YouTube. You can go through them. I went through them. I couldn’t find one place where I call this girl I can’t. And so that was supposed to be the reason why I couldn’t do the altercation Comedy Festival because this guy that booked it. He booked Brett. And then he booked Christine Levine and Andy. And then Mishcon. I was like, Dude, are you having an unbelievable show? I was like, I’ll do it. I mean, like, we could do an unbelievable show. No, we await you, James. You got Bubba Khan on tugs podcast like, Are you fucking out of your mind? Oh my god, it just like I fucking snapped. And here’s what pisses me off the most is in the movie. They all get together and say, James, if you don’t work this room with us tonight, if you work famous Johnny’s, we’re never gonna talk to you again, say for this little union. And they told me I got it. And what did I do? I stuck by my friends. Okay, so then we do this. This fucking altercation Comedy Festival. And I’m like, I’m talking to him. I’m like, the guys invite NaVi and buggles except me. All you have to do is tell him you’re not doing the show without James Inman. And none of them fucking take one goddamn thing. None of them had a spine. None of them told that bitch to shut the fuck up. She’s not even a comic for fuck sake. Alright, so Brad is like, I’m sorry. It’s just like the. So they do the show. Anyway, the guy that was booking and he even see he started to like, like, choose a name that sounded like the unbuckles he started to call the show the undesirables.
matt nappo 48:23
But my show was called the undesirables 35 years ago, so I’ll sue him.
James Inman 48:27
Yeah. You know, I confirmed him on Twitter and he fucking blocks me right away. Wow, this guy’s a douche. I can’t believe it. I told Brett. I said Brett, let me tell you something. It’s some douchebag tried to do a comedy show and bring all the Invincibles except you to Kansas City. I would tell that guy to fuck off. I would tell that guy if you want the in bookable you’re gonna have to bring Brett Erickson because nobody’s gonna have a fucking show. And not bring like Christina bean or Oh, we’ll want Lipski. Nope, fuck you. We’re praying Lipski now just because you said you don’t want him that’s what I would have done because you know why? Because I’m a fucking man. And I have a spine and nobody gets in between my fucking friends. It’s like the Musketeers offer run and one for all. And these policies have to fucking lay down like a bunch of goddamn little squirrels. Oh my god, I couldn’t believe it. My head almost exploded. I’m like, fuck you
matt nappo 49:34
mind can explode to I keep it up. You know, this is the first I’m hearing of your side of the story. But I’ve heard
James Inman 49:44
he’s heard my side of the story. I’ve never told this story on a podcast. I think they’d be there as one podcast that nobody saw. But it was like I can’t believe this. Are you kidding me? You know I reminded I reminded Brett to I said credit you know in the movie, you You guys all get together and say we’re gonna talk to you if you don’t work with us. I’m like, all right, so fuck you. I told the club owner to fuck off. And I stuck by my friends. Right so when they do this show off the theme it is they think it I think it’s a big deal. I don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s just something fun to do. I wanted to drive down to Austin. See some my friends do goddamn show but no, James is an asshole. Yeah,
matt nappo 50:29
fuck you. Yeah. So the altercation thing. I think that none of them are doing it though. Except maybe Erickson is doing a tissue but I don’t think anybody else is on that. Am I? You know, whatever. All
James Inman 50:42
I know is I’ve one thing I’ve been born with is a good judge of character. All right, because I I’m pretty picky with the people I fucking hang out with. And whoever is running this altercation Comedy Festival, gigantic douche bag. All right, because I I can’t I’d never really met that guy. He was at one of Doug’s parties, but we never got introduced. I never said one word to that guy. I never got into an argument. I never fucked him over. I never did anything to that fucker. And all of a sudden he hates me. I might keep the guy doesn’t even know me. Hate is a strong word.
matt nappo 51:22
Maybe wavy like me what I would call uncomfortable made uncomfortable by the kind of conversations we see on on social media. Now I will tell you that all three of the guys that who fall into that group he on vocals that I’ve had on the program while they were here. They didn’t mention you and didn’t say anything bad about you at all. But in the chat room, it was lighten up and the questions were asked. Ask him Why do you think James Inman is so easily triggered? Is the word
Unknown Speaker 51:55
James Inman 51:55
Yeah, that’s the thing because it’s little it’s Doug’s little shtick that he likes to do. And he thinks that Oh, we’ll fuck with James and we’ll get him all mad. But Doug doesn’t know that. I fucking I know what he’s doing. But I still get to say the shit to his face. Just like, you know, Brett’s like, let’s trigger James. Yeah, trigger me, Brett. I’ll tell everybody what the fuck you did in Austin, when you didn’t have the balls to tell JT the fuck off.
matt nappo 52:26
But see, this is not the way to get people to work back together.
James Inman 52:30
Funny, dude. I think it’s funny. I see. Look, one of the reasons why I didn’t watch Brett’s podcast, because it looked boring. He wasn’t saying anything. I don’t know. Maybe it’s interesting. But you know, if you’re gonna do a podcast, you know, fucking doing the podcast.
matt nappo 52:48
I thought I thought it was one of the funnier ones I’ve had. And I’ve had, I’ve got a lot of funny comedians on the program. I didn’t I don’t know,
James Inman 52:55
maybe I should watch it. But when I started doing Doug’s podcast, me and Doug will get into these arguments. And it was the most downloaded podcast I had. Therefore, why I had the two of the most downloaded Doug Stanhope podcasts because he would bring me on. And we’ve known each other since 1995. And we fucking argue and it’s funny.
matt nappo 53:19
Well, you know, didn’t stand hope have that same kind of relationship with Dane Cook for a while for all those years too. And I don’t know. I don’t ever remember Doug being friends with Dane Cook. He never was he was kind of they were rivals, but they patched it up. That’s what I meant. I mean, so at some point. Yeah, like going back to my point of before you get too old to keep keep the fights going. Keep the conflict going and just very active somehow.
James Inman 53:47
I’ve been trying to bury the hatchet. What are you talking about? Brett won’t even pick up my phone call. What? I’m trying to bury the hatchet.
matt nappo 53:58
gives a fuck or cares. Nobody. Nobody cares. So I’m not sure. Again, I think hate is too strong a word and different. Maybe, you know, I feel like I know some people who don’t like me and then professional comedians and people but I wouldn’t say they hate me. They just wish I’d go away.
James Inman 54:17
Hate is a strong word. To me. It’s just a word. It’s an easy word to say. And like you can have two baskets. You got one baskets got love, like, adore. You know, I think you’re beautiful. This basket over here is got hate aversion. dislike disinterested fucking smells like shit. Those are just words that define what I mean. Words. Do words define reality. Words point to reality. Words are not reality in and of themselves.
matt nappo 54:55
Gotcha. Okay. So I don’t think anybody really hates you. And I think You have a lot of fans out there. And again, the point the reason I’m saying is because people, people who really genuinely do have an affection for you and a great respect for you, as a comedian. Want us to want to see you just say something. That’s not you know,
James Inman 55:15
I remember before I met Doug, I used to hang out with Brody Stevens in Seattle. I was there when Brody Stevens started comedy, and so we became best friends, hung out, helped him write jokes over at his apartment. Then Tina comes along. So it was me, Taina, Yoshi, Josh wolf. It was like the young guns and we all hung out. And I was like the older kind of more experienced comic, and it was given them all pointers, but my point is, when I hung out with Brody, Stevens, we all complemented each other. It would we all watched each other’s show, we get off stage, we’d high fiving each other and Dude, you’re the master? No, you’re the master. And so that was my experience with Brody. I need Doug. Right. Doug is like a curmudgeon he makes he’s critical and he makes fun of everybody. So I’m around Doug and all his friends. Nobody ever compliments anybody. It’s it’s the complete opposite of hanging out with Brody. Stevens. Always like happy hanging out with 30 Stevens, you know, we’re all having fun. We’re all like, we liked each other. You know, here, it’s like fucking everyone’s jealous. Everyone’s angry. Everyone’s like, Oh, you suck are good. Boo Boo. You know, it’s like the like I said, the only person that occasionally will give out a compliment is Andy or Mischka. And that’s it. The rest of them, you know, they’re just, they’re negative. You know, it’s like, fucking, it’s, it’s crazy.
matt nappo 56:49
Well, I’m gonna challenge them all, to give you a compliment. Cuz I definitely know they do respect you as a comedian.
James Inman 56:58
They’re worried that Oh, he’ll get a big head if I compliment him. I’m like, dude, I already think I’m a piece of shit. I don’t need to know. I don’t like when people make fun of me. I’m like, dude, I tell myself that every day. Do you think you could tell? You could say something to me? That would be worse that I say to myself, you know, I don’t think much of myself and people think that I’m egotistical. I’m like,
matt nappo 57:25
well, well, that was kind of why I was a little bit nervous about having you on too, because you remind me a little bit of me and I hate myself. But I know that I had in the past I was I’ve had the same issues with you with people being a little bit misunderstood and been emotional and said some things on on on Twitter and Facebook.
James Inman 57:51
You know what? You wrote something on Twitter? That is what got my attention because you’ve got this this fake name, which is
matt nappo 58:00
my friend Dave Kelly. Yeah. Okay.
James Inman 58:01
All right. All right. When we were when we were like, busting each other’s balls, like Andy made some joke like, I’m not gonna do the altercation Comedy Festival this year. Because I think it’s it’s not they’re not doing it anymore. Something. That was the joke, I think. Yeah. Anyway, so you write. And this is funny, because when I read that, I was like, that’s the first time anybody’s ever said anything like that. You wrote, I wish I had a friend that I was sure would have my back like that in life. Or basically, You’re mocking Andy, you’re like, you guys didn’t have James’s back during the altercation Comedy Festival. That was like the first fucking tweet I’d ever read. That was on my side.
matt nappo 58:51
Wow, it was on my side, too. I think everybody should have each other’s backs. I think people should have each other’s back.
James Inman 58:58
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, but it’s like, it’s like at during during that whole art altercation Comedy Festival. All I got were jokes about me how I was the fuckup. And I’m like, dude, you haven’t heard the real story. You know? And when you wrote that, I was like, holy shit. Who is this guy? I can’t believe that somebody actually broke the rules. rule is that you’re supposed to make fun of James you and you’re like, Oh, I’m gonna make fun of Andy for what
matt nappo 59:28
my mission is just to try to diffuse the anger again. I grew up in a household where people were yelling at each other all the time. It makes me feel uncomfortable and I maybe I’m pollyannish I want I want people to get along especially I want what I guess
James Inman 59:42
I want the same thing to what I want is the unbuckles to make fun of each other occasionally, and stop making me the center of every goddamn joke. Like how about Brett you know, make fun of Andy or Andy make fun of Mr. or Miss can make fun of brands. Dinner, or you know, fucking Christine makes fun of Doug. You know, but it’s all if you’re gonna joke about a comedian, they’re gonna fucking joke about me. I’m like, dude, leave me alone. Just like, have somebody else be the center of attention from once.
matt nappo 1:00:15
Well, you know, and that’s an unusual position for a company in the performing arts take what is crazy.
James Inman 1:00:22
Like, it makes me feel like I didn’t even want to do comedy anymore. I mean, I was like, happy when I was hanging out with Brody. Stevens, you know, we were all having fun. Now. It’s just like, fuck it, man. It’s like all the shit I went through with them bubbles and now have the only do is just like, they just make fun of it. And I’m like, Jesus Christ. You guys. Who would? Why would you make fun of the movie that you’re in? Why would you trash? The fucking The only movie that you’re in? Because this is the only movie that Brett’s been in the only movie Christine. Well, Christine was on portlandia. Alright, Andy, it’s the only movie Andy’s been on, you know?
matt nappo 1:01:05
Yeah. Well, a lot of people haven’t been in movies. But I you know what, I appreciate your side of the story, James, and I’m sorry that you feel like you’ve been made the butt of a joke or a victim?
James Inman 1:01:19
Dude, I’m just explaining it to you wanted me to explain it. That’s what my life is like,
matt nappo 1:01:25
I actually thought this was that part of the program would take about the first five minutes. It took a whole hour. Right. I get it. I get it. And I hope we can move on past that. Now. I do want to because some one thing that really interests me about you is I know, you’re very well read on. How do I say government operations, things that stare conspiracy theories and all that stuff. What is your level of interest in in that I do a lot of reading on that. And people want me to study that shit before
James Inman 1:02:02
the internet came up for the, you know, whole, you know, Microsoft boom, where everyone got a computer in like 1996 or something. I had a huge bookshelf I used to just take all I did. Before I had a computer was like three, four times a day, I just hang out at a goddamn used bookstore I bought I bought most of my books at a used bookstore. And so the subjects that I read, or I probably read every fucking half of the books on UFOs, they even find on the shelf. I’ve read almost every, like half of every book that you’ve ever seen on Buddhism. So my subjects were UFOs religion, mysticism, and conspiracy, CIA. I used to live two blocks from a library for a year. And I would just walk down the library and I read every book on the CIA, I could find, you know,
matt nappo 1:02:58
have you ever heard of the Montauk project? Yeah, I knew that guy who wrote that book very well. He was on my show a lot. The first time he was on my show, we were talking about psychotronics. But then the second time he came on the show, he brought his friend out by luck, Ed by like, I’m not sure if it was Allah Ed. But a guy claimed he was on the Philadelphia on the match, which was the Philadelphia Experiment. But the third time they came they brought Duncan Cameron who was supposedly fused with Al bielek on the Philadelphia Experiment boat, so very well steeped in all that kind of stuff.
James Inman 1:03:33
You know how all that started? What whole the whole Philadelphia Experiment?
matt nappo 1:03:40
Maybe y’all call Carlos hell yesterday. My band was called to call us on Monday treat somebody for the UFO book and Morris Jeff’s
James Inman 1:03:48
book. It was Yeah. Morris Jessup. It had all these notes in the book and it was like who wrote these, you know?
matt nappo 1:03:55
Yeah, call out and it turned out the guy Robert, I can’t remember Roberts last name now who who did the whole research on call Allen? He actually lived across the street from call Alan Fogg with the whole time and yeah, so basically caught a call Alan. Yeah. All right. They look like this all the time. And they brought the letters in compared to Wow, that’s the exact same handwriting and looked at. Okay, and so Carl Allen, Carlos. Oh, Yun de who wrote all that stuff started the Philadelphia Experiment. Yeah,
James Inman 1:04:25
yeah. Well, um, you know, one of the things I learned that I never knew was and when people think of the CIA, they think, oh, double Oh, seven, you know, assassins, and, and, and they think flipping elections and going down to Central America and starting wars and shit. A lot of people don’t realize that 50% of what the CIA does is in disinformation is in publishing, they by publishing companies, magazines well before before the internet You know, it was always, you know, newspapers, magazines, publishing companies books. I think there was one scholar That said, the CIA helped publish like over 1000 books, like nonfiction books that you find at the bookshop, you know, the bookstore. Right? Right. So, but most people think, Oh, this isn’t the CIA, don’t they do analysis? And then they also start. Yeah. But people don’t realize just how much disinformation they spread. And, you know, I came out during the church commission, where now they’re asking the head of the CIA, do you have people on your payroll that send in articles to publications? And he’s like, yes. And they’re like, do you have people on your payroll? in the news media, like CBS or ABC? Is I just a second? I like to not answer that right now. Because I’m tired. You know? Well, we’ll discuss that later. You know, so, the CIA, you know, they’ve been in this business of disinformation for since they started in 1947. Right.
matt nappo 1:06:06
I in the early 80s. I was a courier for the CIA with top secret clearance. What? Yeah, really? Yeah. From 1982 to 1986. But 86 Yeah. actually worked for the CIA. Yeah. And the CIA is not supposed to have any interest in domestic affairs. We’re only supposed right exactly, but that’s the seed. They Truman Harry Truman when they signed the the National Security Act that was one of the things that they he got, you know, Allen Dulles to promise you know, you could do all this shit, but don’t do anything in the United States, you know, but since that time, we like found evidence that they have done shit inside the United States. Right, so I want to get your take on this now, lately, the Pentagon’s coming out with a lot of and other Air Force and other entities within our government are coming out and saying a lot of stuff about UFOs now Do you believe Do you believe this stuff they’re saying? Oh, dude, I yes. UFOs exists? They’ve not I’m not asking if they exist. Do you believe the stories the government is telling because you just said they’ve been they’ve been very responsible for misinformation and disinformation. So do you believe the stories that are coming
James Inman 1:07:26
well see disinformation is is part true and part untrue so so when the CIA tells you something like part of it can be true? So they’re probably really are like unexplained craft in in the air? They’ve been? They’ve been looking at this shit since the 50s. You know, they. And so yes, those some of those videos that they released are probably real UFOs.
matt nappo 1:07:53
Yeah. Even be on the air. One of the statements that came out of the Pentagon was that they were in possession of a craft not of this earth, which naza mean, it’s in the air means they have physical craft remains or acquit. Do you believe that?
James Inman 1:08:09
Well see, in 19 I think it was 1947. That’s when Roswell happened. And so that’s been pretty well documented. And since then, there’s other crashes that have happened, that there’s eyewitnesses there’s there’s like, like all kinds of so there was like one in Mexico, there was one outside of Chillicothe, Missouri. There’s there’s been a lot of strange eyewitness reports of there was a woman like so these were were like this, this, this woman and her grandmother and her son, they all got like sunburn. And it was radiation. And they saw this diamond shaped craft like it looked like it wasn’t really it was about ready to crash or something. And it was kind of hovering. And it was going real slow and there was like, like six or seven helicopters flying around it because we can track anything in the sky. We’ve been able to with satellites and and radar and shit whenever there’s an unknown object. We have to know what the fuck that thing is. Why they scramble jets to find out what is it It could be a it could be a plane from another country, you know, that have its has its transponder turned off or whatever, you know. So that’s one of the reasons why they they they know there’s so much shit in the air. They they also used to have, you know, these planes, a lot of these bombers that used to go on those bombing runs where they keep the plane up in the air, just during the Cold War, you know, so they’d have a short period The time that they had to attack well on those planes where the gun cameras and so they’ve I’m sure they’ve got all kinds of fucking really good film of unexplained craft that it’s not Russian not Chinese. It’s not American and it’s moving fast.
matt nappo 1:10:18
Yeah. So I’m having somebody on the program Friday at 1pm or I want to make sure I get her I think so Myra Mercy is a name. Oh, yeah. Oh, my mercy. She’s claimed to have been abducted. And it and had some, according to some physical proof of it. Anyway, so that’s it one, one o’clock Friday. I’m just curious now not what you know, but what you believe about extraterrestrials? What is what? What do you do you believe there are extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth and walk the walk on on the earth in our lifetime?
James Inman 1:10:55
Yeah, yeah, I think there’s, like 200 million stars in our galaxy, right? What, eight, nine planets around our star, our sun is just a star. So all it has to happen is there’s probably some planets out there that can sustain life, and they have intelligent life. And those those people are able to build crafts that are able to travel long distances, just like we build ships, and we came from, you know, Spain, and we got in a goddamn ship. It took a few days, but we finally got to America, you know, so and that’s, you know, heck, we only invented the airplane 100 years ago, and now we got jets flying around. Right?
matt nappo 1:11:43
If you believe in the moon landing, and I do yeah. 66 years between the Wright brothers and Neil Armstrong.
James Inman 1:11:50
Yes, we really did go to the moon. I’m all the cost really happened. The earth is round. It’s not flat. I get I hate it when people like lump me in with all the other conspiracy theorists. You know, when this, this COVID-19 thing happened at right when it happened, it sounded like a leaked bio weapon to me and I started looking around. I told I didn’t say anything on social media, because I knew they’re banning people. Anybody that started saying that, you know, COVID might be a leak. bioweapon did get banned on Twitter, fucking YouTube or Facebook. So I kept my mouth shut. And I told my parents I told my, my girlfriend I told all my friends. I was like, dude, I think this elite bio weapon, and they looked at me like I was fucking crazy. year later. That’s what they’re saying.
matt nappo 1:12:39
No, that’s not exactly what they’re saying. People are still saying what it is, is a gaming function accident. Where? Because the original? No, no, no gain of function happened in the United States. I used to be in pathology too. So I know about this stuff. That gain of function was outlawed by the Obama administration. Domestically, they put it over in China, but we still funded it. Right gate gain of function means it was studying the advancement of the disease within bats and mammals and one of the bat better technician, the technician went home from work that day, and spread it to everybody. That’s that’s not necessarily a bio weapon. That’s it.
James Inman 1:13:20
Right, right, you’re right. It’s not an actual bio weapon. But the reason why they have BSL four Labs is they tell people Oh, we’re trying to study these viruses, but every technology, every fucking technology, whether it’s you know, you know, something algorithm, or it could be some technology for you know, the internet or network. All of that shit is used by the goddamn, my phone is going off.
matt nappo 1:13:53
It’s fine. Well, that’s exactly why we outlawed it here, because the probability of that accident happened was extremely high. And we knew it. But But I don’t know what
James Inman 1:14:02
I mean is, I guess what I’m trying to say is every technology is used by the Pentagon, the military, whatever fucking is. So if we got the technology to go into a virus and change the goddamn DNA, or add gain a function to make it a more dangerous virus, you’re telling me the military wouldn’t be interested in that?
matt nappo 1:14:24
Of course, they would be interested in it, but I don’t think the current the one that we responded to, was that at all I think it was again a function accident that we knew any fool could see happen. And it’s like, you know, you’re driving down a car where you give a drunk guy the keys, you know, he’s gonna crash into something. Yeah,
James Inman 1:14:43
but see, I mean, I’m not done, man. I mean, these these, these people in the military, they know what could possibly happen. You know, an enemy could possibly spread a bio weapon. So then what do they do? They have to come up with a vaccine. That’s why these BSL three and BSL four labs, they, they fuck with the virus and then they also create a vaccine for that virus, right. So that’s where they come up with the technology for these vaccines. So if you’re dumb enough to not take a goddamn vaccine, when they suspect it might be a goddamn gain of function leak, I won’t say by a weapon, a leaked virus from the Wu Han virology Institute. I mean, come on, this is the time to take a goddamn vaccine.
matt nappo 1:15:37
All right. Well, I’m glad we cleared that up. Any other big conspiracy things that you think need to be known about that are going on right now?
James Inman 1:15:51
Oh, I’m the most the thing that I’m most interested in is probably the, the COVID-19 thing. But before that, um, you know, I think it was a little odd. The whole attack on the on the Congress or whatever the January 6. insurrection, I think was a little strange. It’s a little hard for me to believe that our intelligence agencies, our Pentagon, and all of our security services, had no idea something like that was gonna happen. You know, I
matt nappo 1:16:30
knew it was gonna happen.
James Inman 1:16:31
Yeah. I knew it was gonna happen. I think they went ahead and they I think they knew that these guys didn’t have guns and they were gonna go there and cause a lot of shit. Okay, well, I guess like, this is where I’m getting I’m getting to you’re asking me another conspiracy theory I’m interested in is I think that whole q anon thing was a disinformation psyop. You know, I think that what what q anon is, is like they mix in some truth and some complete bullshit. And they they get a bunch of people believe in it. So this group of people who like guns end up it what it does, is it discredits groups in organizations? If you look at what they did in the 60s with, you know, trying to discredit, you know, a Martin Luther King, you know, trying to discredit the weatherman or any of these movements that happened in the 60s. That’s how you stop a movement from growing, you know, what, you know, an interesting thing. I always believe that, um, that Charles Manson, that whole thing was to put an end to the hippie movement. And, and so I always thought that maybe I was like a nutbag for believing that, that, you know, Charles Manson could be some kind of a, you know, CIA stooge to fuck up the hippie movement. Turns out, there’s a guy that just wrote a
matt nappo 1:18:03
book, Tom O’Neill. Yeah,
James Inman 1:18:05
yeah, it’s called chaos, where he talks about all these strange things that were where somebody was always there to help out Charles Manson, you know, and he gets out of jail early, and he goes down to Mexico and, and they were gonna fuckin they didn’t arrest him for the longest time. That’s the guy you need to interview is that
matt nappo 1:18:25
I I’ve had, I’ve asked him my fourth time, believe me, I’m on that guy spent 20 years researching that book, right. But there was a book in 1980 that came out Paul Watkins, who was within the Manson circle, who wrote a similar book that books been buried, and you can’t even find it anymore. I read it in 1982. And about the inside of the Manson family about how he started in the, the hate district with the CIA using him and for misinformation purposes really got that and infiltrating the hippies. Yeah. And, and Paul kind of nailed that in his book in 1980. And I know, Tom kind of makes some reference to that. And I think he got inspired by that his book goes much further, I want to get him on here because he knows all the stuff.
James Inman 1:19:13
Believe the CIA was, was trying to infiltrate or was or had the Jim Jones, you know, group infiltrated, like that was some kind of psyop, you know, to stop. Because Christianity in Central America and South America, it was kind of taken a left wing. There was this thing called the, what was it called? There’s a type of Christianity that’s like a socialist version of Christianity, liberation theology was growing down in Central America. And so a lot of these Catholic priests were becoming like Marxist, you know, and so the theory is that they sent down Jim Jones, who was this guy Mixing socialism with Christianity. And he does this giant suicide thing. So like nobody ever wants to mix socialism with Christianity ever again. Well,
matt nappo 1:20:13
that’s only one john, john Sam for you if you’re counting references to Andy and is 666 John’s Right, right. That’s a pretty wild conspiracy theory. But I’ve already I’ve already exposed a little of myself here tonight about the CIA, CIA. Talking to a CIA agent. I wasn’t an agent. I was a courier. Yeah, I was just bringing envelopes that stuff like yeah, this whole podcast is here to discredit me. Right. But I also told you of my work in pathology, but I also worked in a cult and worked for a cult and I’ve had several cult members on the program, including people who were Yeah, yeah, I work for a cult that was a healing cult. It was basically a four year school where they teach you to hands on the healing butts hands over healing while you’re moaning stuff in the shop. But, but they the leader of the cult channel that a guide from Atlanta is called Hey, when I was the audio visual technician, meaning, you know, videotape in audio, and every time you go into chance, if you’d be talking as Hey, went for it, and for some reason Hey, when we sounded Asian was a list he’d be talking about in Canada and she’d open one eye and look at me like my mic, make it louder, and go and go right back into for 1200 people that really thought you worked on what they called the the goddess every Sunday morning she had a god
James Inman 1:21:38
that’s depressing. You know, some of those Colts in some of those, those wacky religions, they fuck it up for real? Like, I study religion. Like, I’ve been studying the doubt aging for years. I’ve studied Buddhism for years. Because there’s a couple crazy people like Jim Jones, like Charles Manson, or like this eeling called the urine. Does it mean that all religions are bullshit?
matt nappo 1:22:05
I would agree that I you know, I’m, I’m really open to the idea open minded to the idea of faith and all this kind of stuff. But I think well, religion, any organ, anytime we get organized about stuff, it kind of becomes corrupt people, people can operate with that corruption
James Inman 1:22:21
I never think of it is it’s like we’re we only know we’re like, we’re like a fish. And we’re like a goldfish in a little goldfish bowl, we don’t really know what it’s like over in the east, you know, over in Asia with Buddhism and Taoism, they look at things completely different than we do. So when you say, you know, America has some of the dumbest Christian churches that are nowhere near what Christ taught, we all know that, but you know, over in the East in Asia, you know, it’s all about the, they don’t really care about the world, they’re, they’re more interested in the mind, like what’s going on inside your own mind. So a lot of the for Buddhism, they don’t even have a preacher, you know, they just okay, you want to be a Buddhist monk. Okay, sit down, meditate on nothingness for eight hours, there’s no God to believe in, there’s no, there’s no pastor or, you know, it’s like, you’re stuck with yourself. You have to learn how to meditate. And so there’s this it’s, it’s everything’s turned around in, in the religions of the East. They’re more concerned with psychology than they are with, like stupid laws, you know, whether you know, it’s wrong for gay people get married or abortions wrong, you know, that doesn’t even they don’t even care, you know?
matt nappo 1:23:50
Yeah, I wouldn’t argue against that. What I would say is, there’s no organization over there, you’re talking about the guy who paid the monks up in the top of Mount Everest. I there’s no real organization there of like, you know, Vatican’s, and whatever organization I serve, I mean,
James Inman 1:24:06
the Buddha he lived until he was 90. So he created the Sangha, which is the order of monks and be a monk you have to follow these rules. If you break the rule. They kick your ass out. Unlike the Catholic Church, you know, he’d start fucking kids. They’d like they know them. I’m not
matt nappo 1:24:25
sure that’s against the rules. I’m not sure that’s against the rules. I just think it’s an unwritten rule.
James Inman 1:24:30
Yeah, it’s every Catholic priest has to take a vow of celibacy. But Buddhist monks, not every monk has to take a vow of celibacy, because they know that it’s hard as fuck to never have sex ever again. So not all the monks, you know, take that vow. If you take a vow of celibacy. That means you got to stick to that vow.
matt nappo 1:24:55
I get it. Yeah, so there’s a lot of that stuff but I think all in all, it If we look at the religions, that mainstream religions that we talk about people joining them, and I don’t like, I want to be open minded and respectful of people’s ideas and beliefs, but when you get to organize I really have a problem with with all.
James Inman 1:25:16
Yeah, I mean, the thing of it is I, when people say, organized religion, I’m like, there’s like, there’s all kinds of organizations. You know, it’s like, I don’t really know what people are talking about the what the only thing I know about religion is my parents. They never sent us to church. My parents never talked about when you grew up in the Bible Belt, right? Yeah, I was, I was raised in Kansas City. But when I was growing up, they never sent us to church. They never talked about the Bible. They rarely talked about God. And so I found out later that they wanted us to, like, decide on our own what we were, what religion we were, or if we believe in God or not. So I didn’t start right studying religion. I didn’t go to church. Basically, I just went to bookstores. And I started reading every book on religion that I can find, because I figured if I went to a church that have their own doctrine, you know, so I just wanted to learn, like, what is basic Christianity? 101? You know, what is basic Buddhism one on one? What are the, what are the core principles of this philosophy, theology, or whatever, you know, and so that’s kind of, you know, when I talk about religion, I’m talking about the bookstore, the section that says the religion section where you can find the Bhagavad Gita, you can find the doubt Asian, you can find the dhammapada or the Aponte shots. You know, that’s what I love. I just love the the ancient mystical texts. That’s what I like.
matt nappo 1:26:54
So a lot of comedians are atheists, and I know we’re getting better. We’re way over time. And we’re gonna wrap it up soon. But I want to get your take on this. A lot of comedians are atheists, and I can understand that. I mean, you look at the myths and stuff about Wow, God is supposed to be. But now science is saying, No, a lot of scientists are saying some very smart scientists are saying, not only is there a God, but there’s God is a computer geek with the laptop who’s created this whole simulation? Right? What we learned universe? What, what do you what is your?
James Inman 1:27:29
Well, I mean, about what for when I first heard the simulated Universe Theory, I was like, that’s nothing new or different. The Buddha talked about the same thing. 2500 years ago, basically, the Buddha said that all life is an illusion. And, you know, all this stuff is impermanent. So the only thing that really matters is your own mind and how you perceive the world. Your own perceptions are what’s important, because this world is always changing. You know, you, your parents grow old and die, you know, your girlfriend, she might may not love you anymore, she’s gone. You get a new girlfriend, people come and go, people die. The world. I mean, buildings get old and they fucking tumble. I mean, there’s nothing in this world that is permanent. So it’s it’s it’s illusory. It’s it’s a lot like an illusion, even though it seems real. It’s not real, like a million years from now the earth is going to fall into the sun. So, um, I guess, what was your question
matt nappo 1:28:36
about simulation theory, whether you believed in it or not. And it
James Inman 1:28:40
sounds like the simulated Universe Theory sounds like Buddhism, where everything’s an illusion. It’s sort of like in in Hinduism, they have a concept called Maya, and aura. Laila, Laila is the dance of the universe. So whether you call it a simulation created by computer or whether you call it Laila, you’re putting up word, you’re trying to define something. And basically, it’s all the same shit. You know, it’s this fake world.
matt nappo 1:29:13
So this idea of everything being an illusion, and it’s whatever your mind decides is an illusion is reality. Is it you subscribe to that.
Unknown Speaker 1:29:24
Think? Well. I know. I mean, it’s your mind creates reality. You know, a lot of people think that’s bullshit. They’re like, you can’t, you know, lift up a glass of water with your mind. It’s not like that. It’s more like you in your mind, you have the power to choose what you what your perceptions are. You have the power to choose what you focus on. You can sit down and meditate. Or you can you could it every event that happens in the world, it’s up to you on how you determine how you look at that experience, you know. So you’re, you have, a lot of people don’t realize how much power they have in their mind, just with that little bit of freedom. Now, if you’re psychotic or mentally ill, they have no control over their mind, you know, but, but the Hindus believe that deep deep down inside, they’re still this self, they call it the self with a capital S. It’s like the soul or, you know, the spirit or, you know, the deep, deep mind. There’s something in us that is never changing. It’s always there. It’s immutable, immemorial, indestructible. And so, the Hindus believe that God is within.
matt nappo 1:30:57
Right, okay, now, wrapping this up, bringing it back. 360 completely what you just said, your mind is in control of your reality, all that stuff. I happen to agree with much of that and try to practice it as much as possible. But bringing that back to your situation with the unbuckles and your reality that you perceive that everybody hates you. And once you’re on the outside, kick, kick. Don’t you have the power in your mind to just let go of that perception? I’m also kind of like, part of my mind is joking to dude. Okay. I started by saying, I don’t know when comedians are joking anymore. I become. And Brandon did this to me more than anybody. Oh, yeah. He just fucking mindfuck me so much that I don’t know what’s real and what’s not real, right?
James Inman 1:31:43
Yeah, Brendan. Brendan is he’s a big fan of pranks. And so it’s Doug. So Doug’s a big fan of pranks. So I kind of what I do is like, like, I do a judo trick where I use truth, to fuck with his pranks, you know? Because to me, you know, what’s real? is actually funnier than than his little fake prank. Gotcha. That explain it to you.
matt nappo 1:32:10
Yes. Yeah. So I do appreciate you taking an hour and a half to spend this night with me. I’m sure you had better things you could have been doing, than hanging out with me tonight. But you You’re a good sport. And you came here. And I think, you know, dispelled a lot of my misunderstandings about you from what I’ve read on on social media and I hope we we’ve done you some kind of service. I want to ask though, and I don’t think I don’t have a lot of confidence that I can do this. But if I can get one of those guys to come on, and talk to you live on a program and me kind of be like a crossfire moderator would you be open to that?
James Inman 1:32:48
Oh, yeah. I’ll tell you this. They won’t do it. You’re not gonna get lucky. I really, there’s no way in hell, you’re gonna get Brett Erickson to talk to me on a podcast about what happened at the altercation comedy festival? I doubt if you know fuckin Andy and even do it. There’s no way.
matt nappo 1:33:11
I never say no to everything. But I agree. I agree that it’s extremely, extremely unlikely. Yeah.
James Inman 1:33:19
about it, dude. Last thing he wants to talk about because, you know, he does want to look bad, because he knows that if people find out the story, and they’re like, Are you kidding me? The disease can be a laughingstock.
matt nappo 1:33:33
I agree, it probably won’t happen. But I think the the numbers that that program would draw would be pretty big. And
James Inman 1:33:42
the only reason I keep bringing it up is because one day I want Brett to learn how to laugh at himself, and and accept that he fucked up. Because this time, all have actually fucked up because none of them really stuck together and said, I don’t want to do this show without James, you know that none of them had the balls to do that. So it’s not just Brett’s fault. It’s Andy. It’s Christine. It’s Mischka. None of them stood up for me. They could have said something. You know.
matt nappo 1:34:13
It’s like on the waterfront.
James Inman 1:34:15
Yeah. Right, Brett, you know, he totally is my brother. Yeah. He’s like, this isn’t all my fault. Like he’s right. It’s not all his fault. It’s It’s fucking all of their fault for
matt nappo 1:34:28
I’ve been. I got kicked out of the band that I started over a girl one time, so I can understand how you feel about that. Yeah, I don’t
James Inman 1:34:38
like who’s kicked out. This isn’t even a band. It’s just all I want to do. One show? How hard can it be?
matt nappo 1:34:46
Oh, it can be very difficult. Exactly. Yeah. Well, I do appreciate your giving me your side of story. I look forward to maybe having you back on sometime. I would love that. Yeah, have you back up. We’ll talk about everything. But the envelope balls There you go. I think we got that off my chest and I appreciate everybody coming by I do thank you for stopping by and, you know, facing all the questions and not dodging any of them and telling me like, like, you know, thank you. Alright. Thanks for having me. Thanks. Bye for now. All right, James Amen, folks. You heard his story. I’d love to hear what your take on tonight is you can write to me at info at mind dog tv.com. I gotta check this banner off one second. There we go. Ah, interesting to hear James’s take on all this stuff. And I know that they all the chat rooms were lit up even the twitch chat room, which is a little bit different. We don’t usually see that going on. So I want to thank everybody for coming by. I’m curious as to what your take on tonight’s program again, write to me at info at mindful tv.com I didn’t read my sponsor tonight. fundwise capital, I gotta say they stood up and they were ready to sponsor tonight’s program if I were to read the stuff, and they said, and actually when I called him and said, You know the sponsor drop me tonight. Can you guys fill in? They said sure. And it says Why did they want to drop you? And I said basically, what the comedian that was having on was too risky. And they said I don’t care if you haven’t James in Milan, and I’d stopped for a second and then I heard him laughing He said I know you haven’t I watched I watched your schedule so they had no problem to fundwise Capital good booth for them. The link will be in the description anyway. I’m not going to read their head but their Stand Up Guys speaking of stand up, guys. They don’t care. I mean, as long as you’re standing by us, they stand by me. Good people from Lowe’s capital. Tomorrow, I got Joshua Shea talking about porn addiction at 1pm how to beat your porn addiction. And to me how to beat your porn addiction. If you want to beat it, stop beating it. Pretty simple. 1pm Joshua Shea how to beat your porn addiction. Till then I’m Matt nappo for the mind dog TV podcast. Thanks for coming, folks. Have a great rest of your night and bye for now.