Sat, 27 February 2016
This is a short audio essay about how I think that religion will become cool again!
Fri, 11 December 2015
I wrote an audio essay about Cards Against Humanity. And, no, they don't sponsor my podcast.
Thu, 3 December 2015
If you're someone who likes comedy, American history or the history of old show business, The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy, by Kliph Nesteroff, is the book for you. Hell, it's a book for anybody. It's THAT GREAT! Not only did I have the pleasure of reading the book, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kliph! This interview provides some great tidbits about Dick Gregory, Larry David, Mel Brooks and many other greats (and not so greats). Also, you can check out Kliph's amazing blog, which has been championed by Marc Maron, at http://classicshowbiz.blogspot.com/
Sun, 22 November 2015
This is a short essay I wrote about the clothing store, American Apparel.
Tue, 17 November 2015
By now, everyone has listened to Marc Maron's interview with Lorne Michaels. If you haven't, you should! It's great! Coincidentally, before that WTF episode was announced, I was putting the finishing touches on a spec script of Marc Maron's IFC show, Maron, that dealt with his fraught relationship with Saturday Night Live. You can read it here: http://doingthedishes.libsyn.com/maron-spec-script-0
Sun, 15 November 2015
As everyone who is a comedy podcast fan (or in my case, "obsessive") has heard, Marc Maron interviewed Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels. Before the episode was announced, I had written a spec script of Marc Maron's television show, Maron, that dealt with Marc's fraught, and well-documented, relationship with SNL. What you are about to read, is that very script. I hope that you enjoy it. Also, I hope that you provide feedback, if you have any.
Maron: “The Podcast”
by Rafferty Thompson
SOPHIE: Pete, I still can’t believe that you just got hired to be on Saturday Night Live!
PETE: I know! It’s a dream come true. I couldn’t have done it without you, baby.
SOPHIE: You’re so sweet! Well, before you’re on SNL, you’re going to be on Marc Maron’s podcast. You’ve got that interview with him later today.
PETE: Yeah, I hope that he doesn’t just ask me if I’m “good,” you know, at the end of our talk. I’d really like for him to tell me I’m “good” sometime during our talk. I want him to feel like I’ve gotten what I deserved.
SOPHIE: Aren’t you scared that he’s going to dig up some dirt from your past? All of his most famous episodes involve his guest admitting to some scandal.
PETE: I’m not scared! Sophie, you’re the one that should be scared: you’ve got that audition for that horror movie today. You’re actually required to be scared!
(both heartily laugh)
PETE: But seriously, I don’t have anything to be worried about. I’ve gotten to where I am because of hard work. I never took any shortcuts or cheated my way into anything.
SOPHIE: But where you’ve gotten might be a problem. Marc Maron might be jealous of you. Everyone knows that he was almost hired on SNL. He’s had six hundred episodes of his podcast and on four hundred of them he’s mentioned his meeting with Lorne Michaels. The odds are that not only will he be talking to you about it, but that he will be talking about it right now!
PETE: Sophie... all of that is between Lorne and Marc. Its got nothing to do with me.
SOPHIE: Yes, but I just hope that it continues to have nothing to do with you.
PETE: Sophie, are you listening to yourself? You’re stressing me out before my big interview. (starts to nervously chuckle) When Marc asks me about the pain in my life, I’ll probably mention this conversation we’re having!
SOPHIE: I’m sorry… I’m sure that it’ll be a great episode.
PETE: Well, let’s hope it’s not too great!
(Pete’s car parks in front of Marc Maron’s house. He walks up to the door)
PETE: (dumbfounded, to himself) Why does Marc have a sign in his yard that says “Beware of Dogs”? I thought that he was cat guy…
(Pete walks up to the door and knocks. A few seconds go by before the door opens, just a crack, because the chain lock on the door is fastened)
MARC: (through the slight opening in the door and behind the locked chain) Who are you?
MARC: Is this some Mormon Missionary thing?
PETE: (chuckling more softly, nervously) You’re kidding... right?
MARC: So you’re a Jehovah’s Witness?
PETE: I’m Pete Simon... you’re supposed to interview me today...
MARC: Pete Simon? That doesn’t ring any bells.
PETE: I’m not ringing any bells because I knocked, right?
MARC: I’m supposed to interview you? You’re clearly not a comedian with that joke.
PETE: I’m the newest cast member of Saturday Night Live...
MARC: I remember when I used to tell myself that...
PETE: There must be some sort of mix-up. Maybe I should go...
(Marc closes the door. Pete turns around to walk away. The door opens all of the way)
MARC: Pete, I’m just busting your balls! That’s what comics do: mess with each other. You are a comic, right?
PETE: Yeah, of course. (laughs) Man, you really had me going.
MARC: Yeah, I literally had you going. You were about to leave!
(both of them laugh)
MARC: Lets head to the garage.
(they walk around the side of the house)
MARC: Congrats on SNL. You know that I was almost on SNL, right?
PETE: Yeah, of course.
(cut to Marc and Pete sitting in the garage with headphones on)
MARC: So, when you started out in comedy, who were your guys?
PETE: I mean, Louis CK, Todd Barry, Conan. Basically everyone you’ve interviewed.
MARC: Even Gallagher?
PETE: Oh, yeah, he’ll be really influential in my decision to storm out of here.
MARC: What’d your old man do for a living?
PETE: My dad liked to call myself a “newspaper distributor.”
MARC: “Newspaper distributor”? What, so he was a paperboy?
PETE: As I like to say onstage, “’Newspaper Distributor’ is just a more adult way of calling yourself a drug dealer!”
(Pete chuckles, Marc cackles)
PETE: But, yeah, my dad was, and still is, a paperboy, basically.
MARC: Does he ride a bike?!?
PETE: (while laughing) Yeah, with a little basket full of papers!
PETE: But, no, he drives a car to do all of his “newspaper distribution.”
MARC: Oh. So, I know that you joke about it in your act, but did you ever really think that your dad dealt drugs?
PETE: Uhhh... I mean... he worked really weird, late hours, and made A LOT more money than I assumed delivering newspapers would bring in, but... uhhh... yeah, my brother and I would tell everybody at family reunions that our dad sold drugs.
MARC: And how did that make him feel?
PETE: He hated it and probably hates that I’m talking about it right now.
(Pete chuckles and Marc cackles)
MARC: (recapping the conversation) So, your dad throws newspapers, you get into comedy while you’re in college... what was it like when you told your folks- errr... delivered the news...
(Pete chuckles and Marc cackles)
MARC: ... that you were hired to be on Saturday Night Live?
PETE: It was... it was pretty special. I mean, for all of that goofin’ around, goofin’ off-
MARC: Starting rumors about your dad dealing drugs...
(Pete laughs and Marc cackles)
PETE: Yeah! So, for all of that... it was pretty great to deliver such great news.
MARC: Well, congrats on SNL. You know that I was almost on SNL, right?
PETE: (a little confused) Yeah, of course.
MARC: But, yeah, I had the opportunity of interviewing with Lorne Michaels. I know my listeners have heard this story before-
PETE: Yeah, I heard this from you BEFORE WE STARTED RECORDING!
(Pete laughs loudly, but tapers off nervously because Marc is coldly staring at him)
MARC: (coldly) That’s really fucking funny.
(Pete is intensely uncomfortable)
MARC: You should get Lorne Michaels to come on my podcast.
PETE: Yeah, I’ll give him a call.
MARC: Do it.
PETE: (smilingly) I will.
(Pete chuckles before a moment of silence)
MARC: Why aren’t you doing it?
PETE: You mean, call him right now?!?
MARC: (yelling) YES!
PETE: But we’re doing a podcast...
MARC: Well, there won’t BE A PODCAST unless you get Lorne Michaels to appear on my show!
MARC: Make... the... call.
PETE: Uhh... umm... okay.
(Pete fumbles in his pocket, goes to the wrong pocket, and finally gets his phone out)
PETE: Hey, Shelly? (silence) This is Pete Simon. Is Lorne in? (silence) He’s in a meeting? Okay. (silence) Leave a message? Uhh... (Pete looks at Marc) Tell Lorne that Marc Maron wants to talk to him. (quick silence) No, yeah, this is Pete Simon... I just... called to tell him that Marc Maron wants to talk to him. (silence) Okay. Thanks. Bye.
(Pete puts his phone back in his pocket)
PETE: I’m not getting through to Lorne.
MARC: Apparently I’m not getting through to you! Get Lorne on my podcast! And THEN you can be on my podcast!
PETE: I don’t want to be on your podcast! I’m out of here!
(Pete starts to walk out of the garage)
MARC: Okay, Gallagher!
(Pete opens the garage door, walks out and slams the door)
(Pete and Sophie are sitting on the couch again)
SOPHIE: I can’t believe that he’d try to manipulate you into trying to book an interview with your boss! This is exactly what I was worried about!
PETE: Seriously! Maron was acting like a villain in a Mel Gibson movie or something.
SOPHIE: Well, it probably wouldn’t look good for Mel Gibson to have the bad guy in his movie be a Jew.
PETE: Well, Mel Gibson already did that in The Passion of the Christ. With a lot of Jews, actually, as the enemy.
SOPHIE: So, you’re saying that what’d be worse than Mel Gibson being anti-Semitic, would be if Mel Gibson were repeating himself.
PETE: Sophie, thank you for making me feel way better. I really don’t know what I’d do without you.
SOPHIE: So, to quote Marc Maron, “we’re good?”
PETE: Of course.
(Pete and Sophie, smile, lean to kiss, until they’re interrupted by Pete’s phone ringing)
SOPHIE: Who’s calling you?
PETE: (shocked) It’s Marc Maron.
SOPHIE: What could he possibly want?
(Pete takes the call)
SOPHIE: Don’t answer it!
PETE: This is Pete Simon speaking.
MARC: It’s Maron.
PETE: (sarcastically) Oh, hey, Marc Maron, let me get Lorne on the line, he’s sitting right next to me. Actually, you know what? I’ll put you on speakerphone.
SOPHIE: (whispering) Wait, should I do a Lorne Michaels impersonation?
MARC: I just wanted to apologize. I’m sorry for how I acted and... I’m sorry for what I did.
PETE: Yeah! That was not cool.
MARC: I know, I know. It’s just... you know, I once had an interview with Lorne Michaels-
PETE: Yeah, Marc! I know! Everyone knows! You need to get over it!
MARC: I do. I didn’t think that I was that guy anymore, but I think that I’m bitter... still!
PETE: Sure seems like it.
PETE: (sarcastically) So, we good, Marc?
MARC: Well, I hope so. And I hope that you would want to come back to the garage for a do-over.
PETE: Are you kidding me?
MARC: No, I’m not. I let my stupid jealousy get the better of me and I’d like to start over.
PETE: And why should I give you another chance?
MARC: To be honest, you shouldn’t. I did something messed up to you, but I’d like to have you in the garage and talk it out.
(silence on both ends)
PETE: Alright, I’ll do it.
SOPHIE and MARC (at the same time): Really?
PETE: Yeah, really. You think I’m going to pass up the opportunity to be on such a monumental episode of you podcast as this would be?!?
MARC: (cackles) That’s what I like to hear. So, Pete, we good?
PETE: Yeah, Marc. We’re good.
(both hang up)
SOPHIE: Are you kidding me? Why would you allow him another chance after what he did to you?
PETE: Sophie, it’ll be fine. Marc’s not that bad. I’d probably be as bitter as he is if I didn’t get SNL. But, thankfully, I am on SNL. And, I have you.
SOPHIE: Probably not for long.
(both laugh and kiss)
(Marc and Pete are in the garage)
MARC: So, I’d just like to apologize for how awful I was to you.
PETE: It’s okay. All water under the bridge.
MARC: How are you so stable and forgiving? Do you have a wife? A girlfriend? Both?
PETE: (laughs) I have a girlfriend.
MARC: (excitedly) How long have you guys been together?
PETE: Four years, actually.
MARC: Do you love her?
PETE: Yeah! She’s my world.
MARC: Do you ever want to see her alive again?
PETE: (scared) What?
MARC: I said, do you ever want to see your girlfriend alive again?
MARC: My producer has a gun to your girlfriend’s head.
PETE: What?!? You’re joking! You’re just busting my balls, right?
MARC: You want proof? How about we take a listen to the live stream of the podcast my producer is making with your girlfriend.
(Maron hits a key on his laptop, bringing up audio)
SOPHIE: Honey! Just do what he says!
MARC: Now, here’s what you can do to save your girlfriend’s life: I’m going to ask you if it’s true that you have a history of stealing jokes from other comedians and you’re going to say that it’s true.
PETE: But that’s a lie! I wouldn’t throw my comedy career in the trash by saying something like that!
MARC: Jeez, choosing Saturday Night Live over your girlfriend’s life. And I thought that I was the selfish one.
SOPHIE: Baby, please! Just admit to it! For me!
PETE: But I can’t!
MARC: On the count of “F,” my producer is going to shoot the love of your life.
SOPHIE: (screams) Please! Just do whatever he wants!
(on the audio feed, a gun cocks and Sophie bellows even louder)
PETE: No! Stop it! I’ll do it!
MARC: Brendan, put the gun down.
BRENDAN THE PRODUCER (from the audio feed): Okay, boss.
PETE: (crying) I’ll say whatever you want me to say.
(Marc opens a drawer, pulls out a fat script and throws it on the desk in front of Pete)
MARC: Lets take it from the top.
(scene ends. Pete comes rushing into the home he shares with Sophie. They’re both crying)
PETE: Sophie! Are you okay?!?
SOPHIE: Of course not!
PETE: Everything is going to be fine, so long as we have each other.
SOPHIE: It was so awful! I can't BELIEVE what I just went through!
PETE: I know. It makes me sick to my stomach.
SOPHIE: Why would anybody put someone through all of that?!?
PETE: I know! He’s a monster! I can’t believe that he’d take you hostage and force me to confess to something that I never did!
SOPHIE: What? Hostage?!? You’re sounding like that horror movie I didn’t get the part for.
PETE: Wait, what horror movie?
SOPHIE: That I auditioned for! That I didn’t get the part for! That I’m crying because of! That you never asked, “hey, how did that audition go?” You realize that’s why I’m crying, right?!?
SOPHIE: It was bad enough putting up with that horrible script, having to scream, (mock screaming) “Just admit to it!” and “Just do whatever he wants!”. But I also had to deal with that God awful casting director... (pauses, trying to remember his name) Brendan... something. He kept making me record screams for him, over and over. And now I have to put up with your garbage?!?
PETE: But... I thought Maron-
SOPHIE: You’re so obsessed with Marc Maron! All week you’ve been talking about him and talking to him!
PETE: But he was going to kill you...
SOPHIE: What are you talking about?!? You know what? I’m done with this! I’m leaving! Hope you had a great episode of whatever that podcast is called!
(Sophie walks out and slams the door behind her)
PETE: (dejected) What... the... fuck?
(a newscast fades in)
NEWSCASTER: So, those are some of the headlines from around the world. Now, we’re going to focus on a bit of comedy. Or should I say, “a stolen bit of comedy?” Newly hired Saturday Night Live castmember, Pete Simon, admitted on the podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, that he’s stolen material from other comedians. Now, Pete Simon is the newly fired castmember of SNL. Lets take a listen to an excerpt from the podcast where Pete Simon confessed to stealing jokes.
(clip from podcast)
MARC: So, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the rumors that have circulated among comedians. Is it true that you’ve stolen jokes from other comics?
PETE: Uhhh... yeah. It’s true.
MARC: Why’d you do it?
PETE: Because I’m not funny.
MARC: Who are some of the comedians that you stole from?
PETE: Well, that’s the thing: I mainly stole from you.
MARC: From me?!? Why would you steal from me?
PETE: Because, Marc, you’re the funniest comedian of all-time. You’re the envy of anyone who has ever picked up a microphone, let alone anybody who has ever tried to make someone laugh.
MARC: And, to think, that I couldn’t get on SNL, but you could... WITH MY MATERIAL!
PETE: Yeah, I got what you deserved.
MARC: Well, you’ll get what you deserve soon enough.
(back to Newscaster)
NEWSCASTER: Comedians and comedy fans aren’t the only ones praising Marc Maron’s interview skills. Captain Tomlinson of the Los Angeles Police Department has said that Marc Maron would make a great detective...
(clip of LAPD captain talking)
CAPTAIN TOMLINSON: If Mr. Maron’s podcasting skills are any indication of his great potential as an interrogator, then I think that he would make a stellar addition to the LAPD. I have so much faith in him, actually, based upon his interviews with Pete Simon, Carlos Mencia, and to a lesser extent, Parker Posey, that I have made Marc Maron an active-duty detective, effective immediately. In fact, earlier today, I gave him his gun and badge.
(back to Newscaster)
NEWSCASTER: In regards to his dismissal of Pete Simon, Creator and Executive Producer of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels, put out the following statement. “In light of the recent news, we here at Saturday Night Live feel that severing ties with Pete Simon is what is best for the continued integrity of our show. I can state unequivocally that before today, I had never heard of the accusations of comedic plagiarism leveled against Pete Simon, nor had I ever heard of Marc Maron.”
(a gun shot is fired and a TV explodes)
MARC: I’ll get you, Lorne Michaels. Someday, I’ll get you... on the podcast...
Category:Riff-Raff -- posted at: 5:26pm PDT
Fri, 6 November 2015
I ranked the the top twenty best television episode titles of all-time!
Fri, 30 October 2015
It's Halloween! And I don't know how I did it, but I booked an interview with the actor who played Jigsaw in the SAW franchise, Tobin Bell! We chat about his legendary turn as Jigsaw, his appearance in SEINFELD and he gives some details on an upcoming project.
Mon, 19 October 2015
My guest is the online editor of Bitch Media and host of the Popaganda podcast, Sarah Mirk! We chat about her journalism career, dystopian fiction and we debate whether or not Atheism is cool. Also in this episode, I outline my plan to catfish Mark Wahlberg.
Fri, 9 October 2015
My guest is Mike Sacks! He's the author of two of my favorite books, And Here's the Kicker and Poking a Dead Frog. Both of the books contain interviews he conducted with some of the all-time comedy writing greats like Mel Brooks, David Sedaris, Jack Handey and Adam Mckay, just to name a few. He's also a published humorist, having written Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason, and he's on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair.