Merrill Markoe

  • Aired:  11/28/11
  •  | Views: 34,518

Author and comedian Merrill Markoe explains why what's bad for childhood trust issues is good for comedy. (6:00)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, SHE'S AN

EMMY AWARD WINNING WRITER.

HER NEW BOOK IS CALLED "COOLS,

CALM AND CONTENTIOUS."

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM

MERRILL MARKOE.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

HELLO.

NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> GOOD TO SEE YOU.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

>> Jon: THANK YOU SO MUCH.

"COOL, CALM AND CONTENTIOUS."

THIS IS SO WELL WRITTEN.

>> THANK YOU.

THAT'S REALLY LOVELY OF YOU TO

SAY.

>> Jon: WELL BECAUSE....

>> AND ON YOUR BIRTHDAY.

>> Jon: EXACTLY.

THEY ASK ME SOMETIMES AND I

SAY HOW MANY OF THESE BOOKS DO

YOU READ BY THE GUESTS?

I SAY, WELL, I (BEEP) MAY WAY

THROUGH MANY OF THE INTERVIEWS

MOSTLY WITH HIGH PROFILE

DIPLOMATS, ET CETERA.

BUT THEN THESE COME ALONG.

IT'S LIKE, THANK YOU.

WHAT A GREAT WAY TO SPEND AN

AFTERNOON AND EVENING READING

THESE.

THE ONE ABOUT YOUR MOTHER

KILLED ME.

>> THAT IS SO LOVELY OF YOU TO

SAY I REALLY APPRECIATE.

MY MOTHER.

IT OCCURRED TO ME AT SOME

POINT WHEN I DID MY STUDIES--

BY THAT I MEAN TALKING TO MY

FRIENDS-- THAT ALL COMEDIANS

SEEM TO HAVE ONE ONE OR TWO OF

THE SAME PATTERN MOTHERS.

IT'S LIKE THE SAME MOM

INVENTED STAND-UP COMEDY

RAISED ALL THE COMEDIANS.

WHAT'S BAD FOR CHILDHOOD TRUST

ISSUES IS REALLY GOOD FOR

COMEDY ROUTINES.

IT'S LIKE BEING RAISED BY A

HECKLER.

>> Jon: (LAUGHING).

HER DIARY.

WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR

DIARYS?

>> WELL, MY MOTHER HAS BEEN

DEAD FOR A COUPLE OF DECADES

NOW.

RIGHT WHEN SHE DIED AND I WAS

KIND OF PUTTING... GOING

THROUGH HER STUFF AND

FIGURING... I KNEW SHE KEPT A

LITTLE STACK OF DIARIES WHICH

ARE IN THIS BOOK BY THE WAY.

I GUESS I'LL BE GOING TO HELL

RIGHT AWAY.

>> Jon: NO.

THEY'RE MAGNIFICENT.

I WOULD BUY A TRAVEL BOOK

WRITTEN BY YOUR MOTHER.

>> I THINK SHE WAS KIND OF

WRITING A TRAVEL BOOK.

AFTER SHE DIED I WENT THROUGH

HER DIARIES THINKING... SHE

WAS A REALLY ANGRY PERSON.

I THOUGHT I WOULD FIND OUT WHY

SHE WAS ANGRY.

I THOUGHT SHE WAS DOING IN HER

DIARIES WHAT I DO IN MINE.

.

COMPLAIN.

SHE WAS BUT SHE WAS

COMPLAINING ABOUT ALL THE

COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD.

SHE WAS TRAVELING AND HAVING A

BAD TIME EVERYWHERE.

SHE WAS GOING FROM PLACE TO

PLACE TO PLACE JUST LEVELING

EVERYONE.

>> Jon: WHAT'S NICE ABOUT IT

IS THERE'S NO REASON WHY.

IT'S NOT, "MY LIFE, SO

DIFFICULT."

IT'S LIKE," I'M IN TURKEY.

THE BEEF IS MUSHY."

IT'S AWESOME.

>> I READ THE ONE TODAY THAT

WAS FROM DUBLIN WHERE SHE

SAID, "THE COUNTRYSIDE OF

DUBLIN DOES NOT ENCHANT ME."

>> Jon: (LAUGHING).

>> FIRST OF ALL IT'S NOT

SUPPOSED TO ENCHANT YOU

NECESSARILY.

MY MOTHER WAS REALLY CRITICAL.

WHEN I FIRST SHOWED HER

SOMETHING I HAD WRITTEN, IT

WAS THE PROBLEM I HAD WITH HER

GROWING UP.

THE FIRST TIME I SHOWED HER

SOMETHING.

SHE CONSIDERED HERSELF MY

MENTOR AS A WRITER.

SHE READS THIS THING AND I'M

PACING AROUND IN MY ROOM.

I COME OUT AND I SEE SHE'S

STARING.

I SAY, "SO, WHAT DID YOU

THINK?"

SHE SAYS, "I DON'T HAPPEN TO

CARE FOR IT BUT I PRAY I'M

WRONG."

>> Jon: (LAUGHING) BUT THE

DIARIES ARE SUCH A GIFT

BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU AN

INSIGHT.

I'M SURE FOR THE LONGEST TIME

YOU THOUGHT IT WAS PERSONAL TO

YOU?

>> YES, I THOUGHT IT WAS

PERSONAL.

THEN AFTER SHE DIED I WAS

GOING THROUGH ALL HER STUFF SO

I WENT THROUGH THE DIARIES AND

I FOUND FOUND OUT THERE WASN'T

A SINGLE COUNTRY ON THE FACE

OF THE EARTH SHE HAVE WASN'T

COMPLAINING ABOUT BUT REALLY

THE QUINTESSENTIAL THING WAS

THAT I FOUND HER DICKENS

READER FROM COLLEGE.

CHARLES DICKENS.

I FOUND IN THE MARGINS OF

OLIVER TWIST THE FOLLOWING

SENTENCE: NOT ONE OF HIS BEST

WORKS.

I WAS NOT IMPRESSED.

>> Jon: (LAUGHING).

WHEN I GOT TO THAT, IT KILLED

ME.

>> IT KILLED ME.

I THOUGHT," AND I'M LOOKING

FOR PRAISE FROM THIS WOMAN.

>> Jon: IN A WEIRD WAY WASN'T

THAT A GRAND RELIEF?

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: TO THINK, OH, SHE

ACTUALLY PROBABLY THINKS I'M

BETTER THAN DICKENS.

>> SHE DIDN'T GIVE THE WOMEN

OF B ACHL LI A BREAK.

>> Jon: THE THING IN THERE,

TOO, YOUR DAD.

YOU SAID YOU CALLED HIM RIGHT

AFTERWARDS TO CHECK ON HIM.

HE COULDN'T TALK TO YOU.

>> HE SAID, MERRILL, LET ME

CALL YOU BACK.

I'M HAVING A HOT CUP OF

COFFEE.

BETWEEN THEM THEY WERE LIKE A

TAG TEAM FOR LOW SELF-ESTEEM.

>> Jon: UNBELIEVABLE.

BUT YOU USED THIS FOR THE GOOD

OF HUMANITY.

THERE'S A GREAT CHAPTER IN

THERE ABOUT HOW TO SPOT A

(BEEP).

>> I'VE MADE MY LIFE'S WORK

SPOTTING (BEEP) NOW.

YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S HARDER

NOW THAN EVER BEFORE BECAUSE

THERE'S SO MANY SOCIALLY

ACCEPTABLE WAYS TO EXHIBIT A

PATHOLOGICAL LACK OF EMPATHY.

BUT I THINK THERE ARE CERTAIN

THINGS THAT WE ALL NEED TO

LIVE BY.

FOR INSTANCE, I THINK-- AND I

KNOW THIS IS VERY

CONTROVERSIAL-- BUT I THINK

THAT YOU SHOULD PUT A SECRET

GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT YOU CARRY

WITH YOU ON YOUR TEST

EQUIPMENT SECOND TO THE PERSON

YOU'RE SITTING WITH.

I KNOW THAT'S VERY

CONTROVERSIAL.

>> Jon: IF I WERE AT THIS

MOMENT, LET'S SAY, CHECKING

EMAIL, THAT WOULD BE WRONG.

I WOULD BE AN (BEEP).

>> I THINK THAT IS A SIGN OF

AN (BEEP).

IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD NOBODY IS

EVER NOT ON THE PHONE ALL THE

TIME INCLUDING WHEN THEY'RE

WALKING THEIR DOGS.

I DO THIS JUST WHEN I'M

WALKING MY DOGS JUST SO PEOPLE

WON'T THINK I'M WEIRD.

YOU HAVE TO NOW.

BUT I THINK IT'S RUDE.

>> Jon: I DO THINK IT'S RUDE

AS WELL.

THERE'S SOMETHING HERE ABOUT

DOGS IS GREAT.

I THINK AFTER YOU READ THIS

BOOK, I THINK (BEEP) SPOTTING

WILL....

>> A NEW NATIONAL PASTIME.

>> Jon: A NEW NATIONAL PASTIME

TO RIVAL BIRD WATCHING.

ABSOLUTELY GREAT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

"COOL, CALM, CONTENTIOUS."

ON THE BOOK SHELVES NOW.

MERRILL MARKOE

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