Gary Gulman’s Great Depresh

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S1: The following recording may or may not include instances of words being said that the FCC would find me for if their long arm could ever reach its Thursday October 3rd 2019 from Slate it’s the gist I’m Mike Pesca.

S2: You know I like following the international news. I mean like I say it’s my duty but it does make for a better citizenry. Does it not find it has a downside. No not being exposed to all the troubles of the world or the deprivation all the suffering. Talking of course about the pronunciations.

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S1: There was a time when I used to be a fairly well informed person about this hemisphere and I could tell you what was going on in Nicaragua or Costa Rica or even Hawaii. But now it’s Nicaragua Costa Rica and Hawaii. Okay look I know Hawaii is part of the United States and sound International. Is it even in this hemisphere. I only bring it up because the trend is for every word even every proper name that you ever knew of a foreign place. The messages you’ve been saying it wrong makes me feel bad makes me feel like I’m tripping over my clumsy American tongue still holding on to Norway and Ireland can’t deal with Norway but the latest and this really got me because I thought how could we get it wrong. How could we get Hong Kong wrong. Oh the situation in Hong Kong is quite terrible. Yes. With the protesters but the situation to which I refer is the pronunciation.

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S3: Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997 and in the years since Hong Kong protesters say China was Julie McCarthy and NPR did she just say it weirdly maybe one time now she and Bill that could have transferred suspects in Hong Kong to stand trial in China.

S1: Turns out there is a right way and a wrong way to say Hong Kong and the wrong way is Hong Kong. And that’s why I an American idiot. I’m just doing it wrong and they have brought along with them the people of Hong Kong who cares it’s good to know more knowledge better than less knowledge. It’s not about comforting me and my mispronunciation. Let us now turn to developments out of Peru. Wait it is Peru still right. Thank God you’re on the show today I spiel about the simple clear Ukrainian scandal. I wonder how much of that is true. Well the fact that I spiel about it. That is true. But first Gary Goldman’s new special is about his hospitalization for depression. Oh yeah. It’s a comedy special. It’s great. It’s one of the most touching hilarious comedy specials you’ll ever see. It debuts on HBO on Saturday. I love this Gary Goldman guy. He is one rangy Jew. Gary Goldman the Great Depression. Up next.

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S4: Gary Goleman the great comedian and our returning champion Gary Coleman is out with a new HBO special. It is called the Great Depression and it is both those things. I mean it is being hailed by say Brian column and the creator billions is the best comedy special he has ever seen. Of course he is a Jewish man who likes to play basketball. Gary. So take that with a grain of salt. Gary thanks for coming in. Thanks for having me. It’s good to be back of course. Did you. I’ve seen you do the material but the special is the material intercut as a documentary. Does that how you always knew you wanted to do it and present it.

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S5: Yeah that was the initial idea that came from my manager our mutual friend Brian Stern. He said and if you know anything about managers they seldom come up with any creative ideas. But his idea was we’ll do a hybrid of a comedy special in and documentary footage of your recovery in your in your treatment. And so it it’s about 12 minutes of documentary and sixty three or sixty four minutes of of standup so that I would say standup it’s mostly comedy that could work as a funny documentary but were you worried about it killing the momentum of the jokes.

S4: I mean were you worried about it hurting the comedy.

S5: No I always thought we would we would not only is it when necessary to either amplify or unpack certain ideas. And I I’m trying not to use the word unpack because I found out that everybody’s using it. And so it’s true stevedores.

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S6: Yeah sure. All right guys on the docks longshoremen and or stevedores. Yes they’re using on and they’re furious that it’s become so common. So you don’t want to fuck with the unions when it comes to impasse.

S5: So early on we decided that it was gonna be mostly stand up and only as the documentary to make the stand up a little more interesting or or go a little bit deeper with it revealing.

S4: Yeah. So when you came out of OK we can’t say I want to get the right terminology. You battled depression you’re dealing with depression but also you were voluntarily hospitalized and you came out of that. So how what’s the right way to say that you’re being treated successfully treated for depression.

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S5: I’d like to see those remission. OK good. Yes remission I think that’s the most helpful or I’m recovering sometimes all I’ll say because this this bout of depression and I had depressive episodes throughout my life I had more episodes than the Simpsons. Where’s the where’s the. Where’s the rim shot on that. That’s a great moment for sure. What more episodes of The Simpsons.

S6: I said gonna smoke yes. In 60 minutes.

S5: OK. So I I had a lot of depressive episodes but they would last three months they would last a season and then I would come back and I would make up for all the lost time. But this one for some reason lasted two and a half years in it and it had a a suicidal component and two separate hospitalizations that for time purposes I I combined and in the special and in the show. But there were two separate times that I was that I was hospitalized but it. Yeah it rocked me to my core. And so now since I would say around November of 2017 I’ve been in what I would say remission or recovery mode.

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S4: Were you out of commission as a comedian or a functioning human for like yeah how long a year.

S5: Well I was I was still able to pull myself together to do shows to to make a living and I canceled a lot of shows. But I also was able to literally sleep up until about 45 minutes before the show. Aha. Go do it and then retreat to the to the hotel until it was time to do it again. Because it became so obvious that something was off not just the fact that I wasn’t ironing my shirts or that I hadn’t shaved. My hands were shaking and I was biting my lip till it bled. Also the the adrenaline that used to kick in when I would get onstage that kind of it wasn’t enough to overcome the inertia of of misery.

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S4: So it was some I mean stage was still maybe the one place where you didn’t feel terrible. It was the. Although we do see footage of you feeling terrible on stage.

S5: Yeah yeah. That that’s what the special opens with is me bombing on stage and in in Harvard Square in Massachusetts in Cambridge. And it’s really uncomfortable but I I thought no special has ever started with somebody dying just age. That’s right. Yeah. So that was uncommon but happened frequently huh. I wouldn’t say that was my usual performance but that’s what was going on at the at the time.

S4: Yeah. Were you intent on writing. I mean you write about a lot of things you write about observations about life and fruit salad and states. Yeah. But were you intent on writing more about your own life and your experience than you had been in the past it was out of necessity.

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S5: I think that when I got back on stage it was so obvious that something was off that I had to address it in order to talk about sweet potato fries to get to that.

S6: You have to get to the tubers.

S5: Yeah it’s hard to talk about things that weren’t really as important. And then it just started to to build because that’s how I. I had to remember how I went about writing everything I ever wrote which is. It sounds like I’m being a wise ass but one sentence at a time that I have a line that works and then I try to build on that and that’s what I started doing with with the jokes about depression and anxiety and thank goodness. The feedback that I would get after the shows was very positive for the most part. Ninety nine percent of the people were encouraging and supportive and said that it made them feel less alone and so that was that was really a blessing. There were occasional comments that for some reason the managers of the comedy clubs felt the need to show me about people saying don’t talk about depression. And one time in Delaware 70 minutes into a 90 minute show a man looked disgusted in the front row center which means he had to have tickets in advance and knew what he was going to see it’s called the Great Depression any and he yelled at me says what is this therapy. And he stood up and yelled you suck and left and thank God the rest of the audience didn’t feel that way and they gave me that the only time in my career in 25 years I’ve gotten a standing ovation before the end of the show. That was that was really something.

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S6: And also thank God your actual therapy doesn’t work. No purpose just tore out of there screaming obscenities right. Also if he expected to meet me to be that funny right. Yes or if he demanded a refund. Yeah. He bought the tickets seven minutes and he fed. He got fed up. Unbelievable. Yeah. So your mom is in the documentary. Yeah.

S4: Your mom and at times sweetly perhaps with the best of intentions perhaps not getting all the subtle nuance of you sitting next to her clearly presenting evidence that you were giving sufficient and extreme cries for help as a 7 year old. She just doesn’t see it now that she’s seen the documentary. I assume she’s seen it now she hasn’t seen it she’s only seen the trailer. Oh yeah. Yeah. So I mean might she do you. Do you expect that the scene in the documentary where you sit down next to her and show her a book that you did in second grade. Upset crying tree Yeah it’s called The Lonely lonely Trey and through the cries on its own tears by way it’s great.

S5: It grows on its own tears. Well it’s a it’s a clear rip off of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. Oh I thought it was the game 3. Well I don’t know. I’ve never read or I didn’t read The Giving Tree until I was in my thirties. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is about someone who gets teased and then Saves Christmas and this Christmas tree basically gets gets bullied and then he becomes the main Christmas tree.

S1: Yeah yeah but do you think your mom might it might register with your mom. Oh he really was perhaps a sad young man that she doesn’t she claims she doesn’t see you now. Well she lives in in such denial.

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S6: That I don’t I don’t I don’t know I was not just the town of Massachusetts.

S5: Yeah she she. I don’t know if she’ll recognize it chill is she. The good thing is that she’s aware of what it means now but at the time to be honest very few parents were aware of the right type of. That’s absolutely true going on even even school psychologists probably aren’t aware.

S4: Yeah so on your Twitter feed you’ve been tweeting out essentially a comic tip a day. Yeah but it’s in the to hundreds now to 61 to right. Yeah. Congratulations Thanks but it’s also a little bit of life lessons. Oh yeah. Not a comedian. Yes one of them. Number 2 0 2 was. List your standup weaknesses. Be honest among 100 plus others I need to weed out numerous performance flaws or write them down and take a pic consult that pic before every show work on one of those weaknesses every show. Great but that’s not I don’t know if that’s loving yourself. That could be fraught if you’re not in the right.

S5: Sure. And that’s something I put in a tip early on which was urine. Mental health is the most important and if if comedy is not contributing to your health. If it’s if it’s making you anxious if it’s depressing you then put it on hold. Get your health in order and then come back to stand up because like like I said earlier I wrote 4 minutes and two and a half years. Yeah and since October of October November of 2017 I’ve put together two hours and 20 minutes of material an hour of which is on the special and yet another 75 80 minutes and I’m touring with now and after this so it makes a big difference if if you if you muddle through. It’s not helpful. Yeah it’s painful. Yeah.

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S4: Another tip you. You tweeted out the vision board 10 years ago on that vision board are late show with Letterman Conan This American Life and an HBO standup special. Yeah. Now with the special they’ve all happened for yes. But I looked at that fish and board and I just am wondering what some of these other visions mean. OK you have a picture of George Foster up there. Oh. What does former Cincinnati Red and New York Mayor George Foster doing there.

S5: George Foster was the best hitter of the 1970s. He was a good rake. Yeah. I don’t think anyone other than George Foster hit over 50 home runs during the 1970s. In any single season. Yeah yeah. Maybe a trip. Yeah. In 1977 he hit 52 home runs and he also had the greatest sideburns I’ve ever seen. So I remember seeing his baseball cards when I was a kid and just admiring him never having seen him play just his style but also his his bat and and he always made me happy whenever I saw those sideburns so I think you need on your if you’re making a vision board you need things that you just have always liked to look at so that you’ll look at the things that that are motivating and inspiring.

S4: Gary Coleman’s new comedy special the Great Depression debuts Saturday October 5th at 10 and soon thereafter will be on all of those HBO Go type platforms and applications. Gary great seeing you again.

S6: I love hanging out with you. Great job. So much for coming to the special and also for having me on here today.

S7: Absolutely.

S1: And now the spiel Renato Moriarty is a former federal prosecutor I have to say he’s my go to guy when there are thorny legal questions surrounding the presidency. So basically for all of this presidency except you know a month or two prints Good luck Preet you know pre paywall some of his stuff hey democracy is at stake here Preet can’t tantalize me with such sentiments as. And that’s why we recommend Impeach Impeach what peach cobbler. So I want to give Renato props. I want to recommend his podcast which is called on topic but Romano did say a couple of things that stuck in my craw a little bit both were about the ability of the public to focus on the Ukrainian impeachment inquiry. Now here’s the major point and the major point is true and I agree with him. But I wonder. So let’s just play that in full.

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S8: It’s important to be telling the simple story and to force the other side to tell the complicated story and so you know if find the idea of the Democrats here what I would be doing is focusing on this Ukraine story it’s so simple. Everyone understands that you can explain it in 15 seconds. And it’s really there’s no defense to it.

S1: Yes but the Republicans have a monsoon like ability to muddy the waters. Now one reason and here’s the other thing we’re not I said one reason why these tactics might work is that we’re all very busy. We all have important life matters to attend to.

S8: The bottom line is that they make a bunch of accusations that are baseless often by distorting the facts often by leaving out facts. And so really it’s a factual issue rather than something that is on its face the public can make sense of and what’s so alarming and pernicious about it is that the average person who’s focused on their kids soccer game or you know their fantasy football league or whatever it may be they’re going to have trouble when they hear oh OK.

S1: So I will give you this kid’s soccer game. Legitimate point of concern. But your fantasy football team silly of high crimes and misdemeanors are allowed to fester because Steve didn’t know whether to play Adam Thielen or Melvin Gordon as his flacks. Come on look if you own the Cincinnati Bengals you should worry about the Cincinnati Bengals. If you own Cincinnati Bengals Joe Mixon on your fantasy team you could spare a couple brain cells for the fate of America and democracy. Although Joe Mixon has had a terrible yards per rush this year. No. No. The only rusher is important is Rush Limbaugh and all the forces of disinformation. But also I want to be clear that the clean clear easy to explain nature of the president’s misdeeds will crumble if the rest of us aren’t paying attention and keeping him honest. Not just me with my podcast that has hundreds of hundreds of listeners. Even you in your friends circles maybe with the other guys you play fantasy football with. So one reason why Ukrainian misdeeds of impeachable offenses are clearer than the similar Russian impeachable offenses is that it wasn’t clear that the offenses regarding Russia were impeachable. All right. Follow me. I mean it in several ways. 1 it’s not clear that the Democrats ever wanted to impeach and this gets a little ontological but if impeachment is whatever politicians say it is and if politicians say we don’t want impeach it’s not impeachable then it’s not impeachable it’s kind of ontological there. And Mueller didn’t say they were impeachable. Yes yes yes I know. The DOJ guidance he couldn’t say that all that but at least this time the controlling legal authorities are saying it’s not just that it’s clearer that the people who are in charge of this investigation which has never been a special prosecutor it’s always been the people who are in charge of the House of Representatives are saying that this thing’s impeachable and there’s another reason that it’s clearer that the Ukrainian misdeeds are impeachable and it’s that the Russian misdeeds it’s not 100 percent clear that Donald J Trump actually worked with foreign actors to screw up our election. I mean there was certainly obstruction into looking into the matter. And I mean a lot of bad meetings were taken. If it’s what you say it is I love it. But it’s not a hundred percent clear and comprehensible to our fantasy football guy. That Russian election interference clearly happened with the Ukrainian case. It’s clear they clearly happened. But still there is an opportunity for an opportunist to make it seem unclear we must guard against this. In fact I don’t think Ukrainian politics are so hard to be made to seem confusing and impenetrable and foreign. You’re telling me Ukraine a country that’s had six presidents ever where Yanukovich was preceded by Yuschenko who sometimes allied with but mostly was a rival of chill machine who gave her name to a party called Tymoshenko and the Tymoshenko Party sacked the government of to Medco and Zin Schenker. You’re telling me that’s easy to follow you’re saying in this scandal in which one of the journalists rooting out corruption is sure guy lashing Ko. But the main anti-corruption prosecutor is Yuri. Let’s Sancho that doesn’t easily cause confusion. And by the way let’s Sancho those anti-corruption did come under fire for helping a journalist fake his own death. Remember this is the honest prosecutor we’re talking about. You’re a loose Sancho. And that journalist name was Arkady Babb Janko again all during the presidency of pro Sancho. Also every name is spelled differently depending on where you read it. Not just the year he or Uri or Sir Guy or surgery but President Selenski who Trump asked a favor of Zelinsky Zi L E N S K Y. But on the transcript and on transcript transcript provided by the White House idiotically his name is spelled Zelinsky ze Ali and S.K. why why so you might ask why why why. Well it’s lost or maybe technically gained in translation from the Cyrillic. We should note that Zelinsky is spelled with two Y’s on his passport but only one y in most of the news media. So I’m just saying when you’ve got motivated reasons who off the bat believe in crowd strike and believe that the Ukrainians had the servers the crisp clean unambiguous picture can become fuzzy in a hurry. That’s fuzzy. With one y two zis and of course and I say this with all due respect to the president’s apologists a big f you.

S9: And that’s it for today show the gist producer he used to be an associate producer. But now he’s the big producer Daniel Schrader Christina de Josiah is also in the produce game. I’d say she’s working out great because she pays a lot of attention. The gist are pronounce which isn’t always perfection but I will issue corrections without hesitation in her deference to Peru. And thanks for listening.