Lex Fridman Podcast - #156 - Tim Dillon Comedy, Power, Conspiracy Theories, and Freedom

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The following is a conversation with Tim Dillon,

a standup comedian who is fearless

in challenging the norms

of modern day social and political discourse.

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As a side note, let me say that I will continue

talking to scientists, engineers, historians,

mathematicians, and so on.

But I will also talk to the people

who Jack Kerouac called the mad ones

in his book, On The Road.

That is one of my favorite books.

He wrote, the only people for me are the mad ones.

The ones who are mad to live,

mad to talk, mad to be saved,

desirous of everything at the same time.

The ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing,

but burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles

exploding like spiders across the stars.

And in the middle, you see the blue center light pop

and everybody goes, ah.

Some of these conversations will be a bit of a gamble

in that I have no idea how they will turn out.

But I’m willing to risk it for a chance

at a bit of an adventure.

And I’m happy and honored that Tim, this time,

wanted to take a chance as well.

If you enjoy this thing, subscribe on YouTube,

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support it on Patreon, or connect with me

on Twitter at Lex Friedman.

And now, here’s my conversation with Tim Dillon.

What would you like your tombstone to read?

It’s a good way to summarize the essence of a human being.

I would like it to say, this has not been paid for.

Yeah.

And I want my living relatives to struggle to pay for it.

And I think I would like them to be hounded every day.

I would like people to call and go, listen,

we don’t wanna ever excavate a body,

but we will because this has not been paid for.

I love the idea of leaving the, like debt,

leaving the world in lots of debt

that other people have to deal with.

And I know people that have done that.

I know people that have been in families

where that’s happened, where someone has to sit

and just curse the sky

because they don’t have a physical person anymore

to be angry at, but they still have to deal

with the decisions that person made.

And that’s deeply tragic,

but that’s always struck me as very funny.

Well, it’s a kind of immortality, the debt.

Because if the debt lasts for a long time,

the anger lasts for a long time.

And then you’re now immortal in the minds of many.

You arouse emotion in the minds of many.

My mother’s best friend in the town I grew up in,

her husband shot himself in the driveway.

And my mother’s friend never got a chance to just grieve

because he owed so much money.

She would come over and go, I hate him.

I fucking hate him.

And it was just such an interesting thing

to see somebody who, and her kids ended up getting angry

at her for that because they didn’t understand

why she would hate a guy who was clearly suffering.

But she goes, he took the selfish way out.

He fucked us.

And it was always interesting for me to just remember

that you can leave earth and still be a problem.

That’s kind of a special person.

So that’s, I think, what I’d like my tombstone to read.

Yeah, there’s a show called Louis with Louis C.K.

I don’t know if you watched it.

I’m aware of it.

There’s this moment, I think, where an old guy’s talking

to Louis about the best part about love

is after you break up.

And it’s remembering the good times and feeling that loss,

the pain of that loss.

The worst part about love is when you no longer

feel that pain.

So the pain of losing somebody lasts longer,

is more intense and lasts longer than the actual love.

So his argument was like the pain is what love really is.

Wow.

In the same way that anger,

your tombstone would arouse will last longer.

And that’s deeply like a human thing.

Like why do we attach happiness

to the way we should remember others?

It could be just anger.

I know so many people who will have

deeply complicated feelings when…

I did drugs for many years and I spent time

with some wild people.

And their parents were also wild people.

And some of their parents have done crazy things to them.

And have created situations that were not productive

for child rearing.

And so I know that when those people die,

it’s going to be a very mixed bag.

Like there’s going to be a lot of complex emotions.

Like, hey, we loved that guy.

But also when we look back, he was a horrible father,

a horrible husband, but he was fun.

And we don’t put enough stock in that,

but that will be a push and pull.

And I’ll be the one kind of bringing up like,

hey, he was a lot of fun.

He was a lot.

Remember when he stuck us,

one of the things this particular person I’m talking about,

we were at a bar and me and my friend were there,

we’re having dinner.

And his father, who was an alcoholic,

a guy that would go out every night and didn’t work,

refused to work, would lie and say he was going to work

and then go to a bar.

I mean, just a fun person.

And we were sitting at this bar restaurant

and the bartender, we see his father walk up

to the bartender and say, point at us, point at our table

and go and put the thumbs up.

And the bartender nodded.

And then the father walked over to our table and he said,

listen, I just want to let you know I just bought you dinner.

And I looked at his son and I said, he’s a pretty good guy.

And then he climbed over the little fence down to the water

and got in his little boat.

It was a little cigarette boat and he just drove away.

And then about an hour later, we went and we said,

I think that guy took care of the bill.

But she said, well, go talk to the bartender.

So we talked to the bartender and he goes,

he handed us a bill and the bill was for like $1,000.

And we said, wait a minute, what the hell’s going on?

And he goes, the guy that left an hour ago said,

you were going to take care of his bill.

He’s been drinking here all week.

And we go, what are you talking about?

And he goes, remember, he pointed at you.

He put the thumbs up and you guys waved.

You remember that?

And the guy go, and we went, yeah.

And I just looked at my friends, my friend and I went,

you know, your dad is just,

we’re going to remember him for all kinds of reasons.

But to you, he was fun.

He was a lot of fun.

He wasn’t my dad, but I spent a lot of time with him.

I was in two boating accidents with him.

You know, two boating accidents.

Alcohol involved, drugs involved.

Yes, he was, usually alcohol was involved

when he left his house and when he was at home as well.

But I was in two boating accidents.

And do you know how fun someone has to be

to get in a second boating accident?

Do you know what a good time someone has to be

to get in a boat with them

after you’ve already gotten in one wreck?

Never get fooled again.

What was that line?

George Bush, never get fooled again.

Right.

Yeah, so if you’re getting fooled again,

you know, there’s a reason for it,

but he was a fun guy.

He did have a death wish.

The second boating accident, he grabbed me

and said, you can’t hang out with me anymore.

And I said, why?

He goes, I’m trying to kill myself.

And I was like, oh.

And then I understood that like all of the fun

under the fun lived a very destructive person

who not only was destructive, but wanted to die.

So speaking of fun people that want to die,

I don’t know if you’re, we can go Hunter S. Thompson,

but Charles Bukowski.

I don’t know if you’re aware of the guy.

I’m aware of him, sure.

I’ve read some of his stuff.

So his tombstone says,

I just want to ask you a question about it.

His tombstone says, don’t try.

Interesting.

What do you think about that advice

as a way to approach life?

I think for many people, it’s a good advice

because the people that are going to try will do anyway.

And the people that need to be told,

there’s a whole cottage industry now

of motivational speakers and life coaches and gurus

that tell people that they all have to own their own business

and be their own boss and be a disruptor

and get into industries.

That’s incredibly unrealistic for most people.

Most people are not suited for that.

And the Gary Vees of the world that tell everybody

that they should just hustle and grind

and hustle and grind.

They’re very light on the specifics

of what they should actually do.

Yeah, I think a lot of people,

that’s not horrible advice to give to a lot of people.

I think my generation got horrible advice

from our parents, from our teachers.

And that advice was follow your dreams and nobody,

and that was it, by the way.

There was no like, what are your dreams?

Are they realistic?

What happens when they don’t work out?

Will your dreams make you happy?

Are your dreams real?

Do they exist on earth?

Can you follow, anybody follow your dreams?

You can be anything you want to be.

Horrible advice, horrible advice.

Worst advice you could ever give a generation of people.

Really, truly.

I mean, think about it.

If you were talking to somebody

and you were trying to make them succeed,

are there any two worse pieces of advice to give them

than follow your dreams

and you can be anything you want to be?

Those to me are the two most destructive pieces

of information I’ve ever heard.

So let me push back because.

Okay, that’s fair.

This is. Many people do.

So yeah, this is like a rigorous journalistic interview.

Larry King, by the way, passed away today.

So I’m taking over the.

It’s very sad.

I’m carrying the.

It’s very sad.

RIP King.

Yeah, what was I even gonna say?

Oh, let me push back on the follow your dream thing

is I come from an immigrant family

where I was always working extremely hard at stuff,

like in a stupid way.

I would, I love, there’s something about me

that loves hitting my head against the wall

over and over and over until either my head breaks

or the wall breaks.

Just like, I love that dedication

for no purpose whatsoever.

It’s like the mouse that’s stuck in a cage or whatever.

And no, and everybody always told me,

my family, the people around me,

the sort of the epitome of what I could achieve

is to be kind of a stable job.

You know, the old like lawyer doctor,

in my case, it’s like scientists and so on.

But I had these dreams at this fire, you know,

about love robots.

And that nobody ever gave me permission

to pursue those dreams.

I know you’re supposed to grab it yourself.

Nobody’s supposed to give you permission,

but there’s something about just people saying, you know,

fuck what everyone else thinks,

like giving you permission, a parent

or somebody like that saying, do your own thing.

Go become an actor, go become like,

do the crazy thing you’re not supposed to do,

an artist, go build a company, quit school,

all that kind of stuff.

Yes, sure.

That’s the push back against the,

follow your dreams as bad advice.

In mass, if you were to look at,

in mass, if you were to look at statistically

how few people that works out for,

I’m just, no, but let’s be very honest.

That’s very true.

Be very honest.

So I mean like, yeah, if you’re gonna go be an,

hey, I was broke for 10 years before I became a,

before I was making money as a comedian.

I get it.

I didn’t need Gary Vaynerchuk

to tell me to follow my thing, right?

And here’s the other thing.

I was kind of funny and like,

I was kind of, a lot of things were in my favor

of being a comedian, right?

I had this kind of crazy fucked up life.

I had a lot of stories.

I had exhausted, I was willing to fail.

I had failed before.

I was broke.

I didn’t care about being broke.

I knew how to be broke.

I had, I was shameless to a degree.

I was, I would get on a stage night after night

and be laughed at.

I would, I had a high threshold for being embarrassed.

I had a high threshold for people thinking

that I was a scumbag, right?

And showing up at family parties and being like,

yeah, I still really don’t have a job.

And I’m just, I work at comedy clubs kind of,

and I get booked when I can.

And I was, you know, suited for it.

There’s this idea that people can just roam

around the world injecting themselves into other things

they have no aptitude for at all.

And will that to happen?

A small percentage of people might be able to do that,

but the vast majority of people have something

they might key into that they’re meant to do.

Like you loved robots, you love technology,

and you found a place in that world where you thrive.

But I think many people, a lot of people love robots, right?

So a lot of people think everything you do is interesting.

I think your shit is fascinating.

I watch you or podcasts, and I think it’s very interesting.

I have no place in your world.

You know what I mean?

I have no place in that world.

I don’t like remedial math.

I don’t like community college math.

I think it’s a waste of my time.

What do you think about robot?

Would you ever buy a robot for your home?

Yes.

What will it do?

I’d be a companion, a friend.

Oh yeah, I mean, I would like to start replacing friends

and family with robots immediately.

I mean, truly, truly.

I mean, I’m not even kidding.

Like I would like to have a Thanksgiving with four robots.

I’m dead serious.

Are they into QAnon?

Like are the robots, when do the robots start going crazy?

That’s my question is like, how long do the robots

live with me before they are also a problem

and I got to replace them?

You know what I mean?

You’re gonna indoctrinate the robot.

The robot’s gonna call me like my aunt does

and talk about coronavirus for an hour every morning

and tell me everyone in America who’s died of coronavirus.

One of the things I enjoy in life

is how terrified people like you,

I’m a huge fan by the way, get a robot.

Well, I’m concerned about AI

completely getting rid of the need for human beings

because human beings, I mean, usually you go out

in the street and you go,

so few of these people are necessary, even now.

Even now you look at people and you go,

they’re hanging on by a thread, right?

And you can just imagine how many jobs

are gonna get replaced, how many industries

are going to be completely remade with AI

and the pace of change worries me a little bit

because we do a very bad job in this country

of mitigation when we have problems.

We don’t do a great job.

We did not great job with COVID, right?

We don’t do a good job.

It’s just something we don’t do well.

We’re good in booms and busts.

We’re good when it’s good.

And we’re actually, we kind of know how to kind of like,

hey, we’re bottomed out.

We’re like a gambling addict in this country.

We like, we know what it feels like

to be outside of an OTB at 9 a.m.

drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes going,

I’m gonna build it back.

And we know what it’s like to win,

but anything in between, it seems not that great.

So to me, it feels like are we gonna be able

to like help people that are displaced

and that have their jobs taken by,

I mean, do you not fear sort of a world

where you have a lot of artificial intelligence

replacing workers and then what happens?

There’s a lot of fears around artificial intelligence.

One of them is, yes, displacement of jobs, workers.

That’s technology in general.

That’s just any kind of new innovations displace jobs.

I’m less worried about that.

I’m more worried about other impacts

of artificial intelligence.

For example, the nature of our discourse,

like social, the effects of algorithms

on the way we communicate with each other,

the spread of information,

what that information looks like,

the creation of silos, all that kind of stuff.

I think that would just make worse

the effects that the displacement of jobs has.

I think ultimately, I have a hope

that technology creates more opportunities

than it destroys.

I hope so too.

So in that sense, AI to me is an exciting possibility,

but the challenges this world presents

will create divisions, will create chaos and so on.

So I’m more focused on the way we deal

as a society with that chaos,

the way we talk to each other.

That’s huge.

Creating the platform that’s healthy for that.

Now, as a comedian creator,

whatever you want to call it,

people that put out content,

the gatekeepers are now algorithmic, right?

So they are kind of almost AI ready.

So if you are a person that puts out YouTube videos,

podcasts, whatever you’re doing,

it used to be a guy in the back of the room with a cigar

saying, I like you or get him out of here.

Now, it’s an algorithm you barely understand.

I’ve talked to people at YouTube,

but I don’t know if they understand the algorithm.

They don’t.

This is fascinating.

Yeah, it’s fascinating.

Because I speak to people at YouTube and I go,

hey, man, what’s going on here?

One of my episode titles of my podcast

was called Knife Fight in Malibu.

It was about real estate.

And it was because a realtor in Malibu,

I was trying to get a summer rental,

which I can’t really afford,

but I don’t think that’s a huge problem.

I follow my dreams.

So I called a realtor and she said, listen,

she goes, I don’t know what the government’s saying,

but she goes, it’s a real knife fight out here.

You know, an old grizzled woman, real realtor,

tanned skin, sig out the mouth, driving a Porsche.

It’s a real knife fight out here.

Her entire life had become real estate.

Her soul had been hollowed out.

Her kids hate her.

No one’s made her come in years,

but she just loves heated kitchen floors infused.

Fun.

She’s a demon from hell and we need them, truly.

We’re getting rid of them.

It’s not good.

And she goes, it’s a real knife fight out here.

So we put that in the episode title.

And of course, I guess some algorithm thought

that we were showing like people stabbing each other

in a Wendy’s and we got like demonetized.

Did we get demonetized?

We lost a lot of views

because we were kicked out of whatever out,

like we’re just kicked out.

And then I was asking YouTube about it.

They were kind of understanding it.

But even the people that work there

didn’t truly seem to understand the algorithm.

So can you explain to me how that works

where they barely know what’s going on?

No, they do not understand the full dynamics

of the monster or the amazing thing that they’ve created.

It’s the amount of content that’s being created

is larger than anyone understands.

Like this is huge.

They can’t deal with it.

The teams aren’t large enough to deal with it.

There’s like special cases.

So if you fall into the category of special case,

so we can maybe talk about that, like a Donald Trump,

where you like actually have meetings

about what to do with this particular account.

But everything outside of that is all algorithms.

They get reported by people

and they get, like if enough people report

a particular video, a particular tweet,

it rises up to where humans look over it.

But the initial step of the reporting

and the rising up to the human supervision

is done by algorithm.

And they don’t understand the dynamics of that

because we’re talking about billions of tweets.

We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of hours

of video uploaded every day.

Now, the hilarity of it

is that most of the YouTube algorithm

is based on the title.

That’s crazy.

And the description is a small contribution

in terms of filtering,

in terms of the knife fight situation.

And that’s all they can do.

They don’t have algorithms at all

that are able to process the content of the video.

So they try to also infer information

based on if you’re watching all of these QAnon videos

or something like that, or Flat Earth videos,

and you also watch, are really excitedly watching

the whole knife fight in Malibu video,

that says that increases the chance

that the knife fight is a dangerous video for society

or something like that.

Interesting, wow.

Based on their contribution.

So people are watching something,

because I watch QAnon and Flat Earth videos

to ridicule them.

Right.

That, you know what I mean?

I watch these videos and I make fun of them on my show.

But what’s interesting is,

if I then go watch something else,

I’m increasing the likelihood

that that video is gonna get looked at

as potentially subversive or dangerous.

Exactly.

That’s why.

So they make decisions about who you are,

who you are as a human being,

as a watcher, as a visual user,

based on the clusters of videos you’re in.

But those clusters are not manually determined.

They’re automatically clustered.

It’s so weird.

We have titles where they got upset about,

I don’t even understand.

Like we had a title that was so innocuous, in my opinion,

and the title of the episode was called Bomb Disney World.

And I was asking people to consider bombing Disney World.

And YouTube got angry at that.

So you don’t know why.

You can never understand why.

You could have said Disney World is the bombs.

Right, right, right.

It’s just rearranging.

That’s what it probably meant.

I wasn’t saying do it,

but I was saying let’s start thinking about plans to do,

not let’s do it, but let’s get in the mind.

Let’s change the conversation.

I think it’s very interesting because as a comedian,

you don’t wanna live in that world

of worrying about algorithms.

You don’t wanna worry about deplatforming

and shadowbanning.

I mean, all these conversations

that I’ve had with other comedians about shadowbanning,

I mean, it’s hilarious.

We all call each other, I think I’m being shadowbanned.

Are you being shadowbanned?

Nobody knew what that word was a month ago,

I mean, a year ago,

but everyone now is convinced that everything they do

that isn’t succeeding is being shadowbanned.

So it’s this new paranoia,

this algorithmic paranoia now that we all kinda have

because there are genuine instances

of people being taken out of an algorithm,

you know, rightly or wrongly,

however you wanna believe.

But then there are also things that just don’t perform

as well for a myriad of reasons.

And then we’re all saying like, well, they’re against me.

They’re shutting me down.

And you don’t know if that’s true or not, you know?

What do you think about this moment in history,

which was really troubling to me?

We could talk about several troubling aspects,

but one is Amazon removing Parler from AWS.

To me, that was the most clearly troubling.

It felt like it created a more dangerous world

when the infrastructure on which you have competing

medium of communications now puts its finger on the scale,

now influences who wins and who loses.

Absolutely, you’re right.

And what you’re always told is like,

if you don’t like Twitter, create your own service.

Or if you don’t like something, you can do your own thing.

Or if you are, and basically because, you know, tech,

you have to be in business with one of five companies.

And I think it’s like Amazon, Facebook, Google, YouTube,

and Twitter, whatever, they’re like, you know,

I mean, Amazon puts everything on the cloud,

you know, Google and YouTube,

it’s all basically the SEO and the advertising.

And you got to get your name out there.

You don’t wanna be buried in it.

Like, because you have to do business with it,

it’s a cartel of these companies.

You understand it better than anybody

that you are prevented, truly.

And I think whatever you think about Parler,

whatever you think about what people are saying on Parler,

whatever you think about Alex Jones,

whatever you thought about Milianopolis,

the state has an interest in,

and has always had an interest in crushing dissent.

This is what the state has done.

This is how they, you know, retain the power they have

by eliminating dissent where they can.

Now, because you don’t have, you know,

three broadcast networks anymore,

and a handful of newspapers that were all run, by the way,

by people that had been either compromised or happily,

you know, happily going with the program,

and you have this wild west of the internet,

people like me, people that make,

I make funny content that I hope is funny,

but a lot of it is wild and crazy.

I say a lot of wild and crazy things.

They’re very funny.

I say a lot of wild and crazy things about powerful people.

You mock the powerful in there

by bringing them down a notch.

We’ll probably talk about it,

but humor is one of the tools to balance the powers

in society.

Well, sure.

And to make people feel better about things

and to, you know, whatever the case may be, right?

That’s my goal is to kind of like,

hey, people have had a shitty day.

If this video or podcast makes you laugh, that’s great.

I think that it won’t ever,

it was never gonna stop at Alex Jones.

Not that I think he should have been taking off everything

the way he was,

but this keeps going until we have sanitized

all of social media.

And what they really want it to be

is what Instagram is kind of becoming,

which is a marketplace of,

you could just go and buy sneakers, go buy a sweatshirt,

go buy jeans, go buy this, go buy that.

And the idea of the free exchange of information

seems to be the old internet.

And it seems the new internet seems to be, you know,

hyper, and I’m a capitalist,

but this seems to be like hyper capitalist

in the sense of like, they only want you consuming things

and they don’t want you thinking too much.

And that seems to be where it’s heading.

I’ve even seen that with Instagram

where it’s like everything on Instagram is like,

buy a sweatshirt, you know?

And I’m like, all right, man.

Hey man, if I want a sweatshirt, I’ll get it.

Like, relax.

You know, just every ad seems to be encouraging consumption,

but very few things seem geared towards,

hey, let’s have a dialogue or let’s,

and not that Instagram was ever great for that,

but like, if everything’s are geared now

towards content on Instagram,

a lot of it seems geared towards shopping.

See, I don’t know, that’s an interesting point.

I don’t know if the consumerism that capitalism leads to

is necessarily gets in the way of nuanced conversation.

I feel like you could still sell Tim Dillon sweatshirts

and have a difficult nuanced conversation

or mock the current president, the previous president,

mock the powerful, all that kind of stuff.

Yeah, we try.

We try to balance that.

Do you have sweatshirts?

We do.

Are they on sale now, fake business?

We do, fake business sweatshirt

with the Enron logo, fake business,

because I do fake business all the time.

It would be nice if you talk about Alex Jones

if you plug the sweatshirt during that conversation.

Yeah, we’ll do that, absolutely.

But what I tend to worry about with,

I see social media and technology

existing to flatten society.

It makes people very boring.

All of the experiences kids have right now are online.

Many of their closest friendships are online.

Their first relationships are online.

The culture is very homogenous,

and I think it’s eliminating characters.

It’s eliminating interesting people.

It’s making people into AI.

All of their tastes.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s right.

AI could be Charles Bukowski as well.

Let’s not get crazy.

It’s not there yet, right?

I mean, the $75,000 dog is not doing anything.

So we’re not there yet.

Listen, I hate people.

I get why you like AI so much.

I hate people too, and I’m very amenable to AI,

and I agree with you.

Listen, I think the future,

we gotta get everyone out of here.

I’m with you on that, so don’t think I’m.

I love people.

He’s manipulating my mind and my.

That’s why the flash of light in your eyes

when you talked about that dog

was so much more than any person.

And I get it, by the way.

You’re right.

I hate people, but if we could.

They’re not excited.

If we could just use robots to kill most of them,

I think that would be good for society.

I’m with that too,

but I think that social media flattens people.

Flattening the personalities of characters.

Flatten the personalities of people, man.

And it’s just, you know, when’s the last time?

Like, I like the idea of like, you know,

and I’m, you know, somebody showing up to high school

with like a backpack and taking out an old CD

and being like, hey man, here’s this band

you’ve never heard of that I love

or whatever, you gotta get into this.

And I’m like, you know, when I talk to young,

you know, I have friends that have younger brothers

and everything.

And I know that the dominant culture was always dominant.

I’m not an idiot, but like,

I feel like it’s harder to be unique and original now

because so much of what’s promoted

is just this way to kind of corral people

into believing and thinking a certain set of ideals

that’s constantly shifting and evolving.

And people are just caught up in that.

And to me, it gets very boring very quickly.

I hate being bored and that’s what it is.

I don’t know what to do with that

because at the same time, podcasts are really popular,

long form podcasts are really popular

and people are hungry for those kinds of conversations.

There’s a lot of dangerous ideas, quote unquote,

flowing, being spread around through podcasts,

meaning just like debates.

Correct.

You know, so that’s still popular.

So I don’t know what to.

I agree with you.

That gives me hope, I guess.

I hope so too.

And like I said, I look at the negative a lot

because that’s what I usually make fun of,

but there’s a lot of positive stuff happening too.

Let’s talk a bit about Alex Jones.

So you’ve gotten a chance to talk to him

while you were on the Joe Rogan Experience.

I’ve been on Alex’s show.

I’ve talked, I’ve had Alex on my show.

I’ve talked to Alex for three hours

in front of, I guess it was maybe like 15 million people

right on Joe’s show.

It was a really wild conversation.

I think it was one of the coolest moments in broadcasting

that clearly that I’ve ever been a part of.

But I think it goes in the lexicon of like,

these are big podcasts.

Like I think it’s one of the biggest podcasts.

A week before the election, Alex Jones.

I’m really grateful that Joe gave me the opportunity

to be there.

And it was just an amazing conversation to watch.

What was the shirt you wore?

Fridges Lane.

It was a fun joke that no one in tech got

because we all know how funny they are.

But the tech writers, which is mainly blue haired.

I do not agree with these statements.

It’s mainly blue haired people

whose goal in life is to find things

to give them orgasms with.

If you want to dye your hair blue, it’s your choice.

I respect it.

Yeah, but is it your choice?

But at the end of the day, it’s like,

all the tech writers, like a lot of people just,

and I’m not, I’m just maligning tech unfairly.

But a lot of people that sense there’s a humor

were like, he’s advocating for human trafficking.

I’m like, it’s clearly a joke

because we’re coming off the believe all women.

We’re coming off that.

And it’s very funny to just say Fridges Lane,

hey man, believe all women.

Like, it’s just our politics and our public sphere

is so schizophrenic right now

that when you point that out,

people are going to be angry with you.

But that was a fun shirt to wear.

But on Alex, you know, I was one of the people

that found him really entertaining,

that the same kind of thing as with Bukowski,

these kinds of personalities that are wild,

crazy, full of ideas.

They don’t have to be grounded in truth at all,

or they can be grounded in truth a little bit.

Like, he’s just playing with ideas,

like a jazz musician, screaming sometimes.

Obviously he has some demons.

Sometimes he’s super angry for no reason whatsoever

at some weird thing that he’s constructing in his own head.

Sometimes he’s super loving and peaceful,

especially lately that I’ve heard him,

I don’t know if you’ve seen with him,

with Michael Malice, where he’s doing,

like Malice was doing,

like telling Alex Jones, I love you, Alex.

Just this loving kind of softness and kindness

underneath it all.

I don’t know what to make of any of it.

And then there’s this huge number of people

that tell me that Alex Jones is dangerous for society.

So what do you do with that?

Do you think he’s dangerous for society?

Do you think he is one of the sort of

entertaining personalities of our time

that shouldn’t be suppressed or somewhere in between?

I don’t think that Alex per se is dangerous for society.

I think the greater danger for society comes again

from stifling all dissent, right?

All, like anybody with a voice that uses it,

that critiques the government,

and putting all of those people in a category

and getting rid of them is incredibly dangerous.

To me, more so.

I think the biggest problem that Alex has ever had

was when he questioned the Sandy Hook shooting.

And that really was,

because it really is this identifiable incident

that you can look at where it did get away from him

and a lot of his fans who,

the people that are attracted to conspiracy stuff,

and I have some of those fans,

some of them are really smart people,

some of them are mentally unwell.

A lot of them happen to be mentally unwell.

So when you have a fan base of people

where some of them are mentally unwell,

and you are questioning tragic events, okay?

And Alex was right about Epstein.

He was right about a lot of things,

and he’s got no credit for that.

And I understand that this,

sometimes when you write about 10 things

and you’re wrong about something,

and the thing you’re wrong about is so offensive to people,

you’re never gonna get any credit for being right,

even though you were right more than when you were wrong.

The problem was a lot of his fans who were crazy stalked,

harassed these families and accused them of being actors

and accused them of faking their children’s deaths.

It was just horrific experience.

And Alex is tied to that.

And how much he inspired that by what he did on his show,

I don’t know because I haven’t watched hours and hours

of that particular thing, the whole Sandy Hook thing.

If you listen to him, he says, I really covered it.

I kind of covered it and moved on.

Other people go, no, he spent a long time on it.

But that’s the real danger of going into that territory

over and over again,

going everything’s a false flag or everything’s fake.

I think Alex has actually been kind of reasonable.

He’s resisted a lot of the politics of racial resentment

on the alt right, for example, he’s resisted that.

He’s resisted the antisemitic currents

of a lot of that politics.

He’s resisted a lot of the virulently anti trans

or anti gay stuff.

Now he does dip his toe into the water

of like the culture wars, of course he does.

But I’ve never really seen him,

and I could be wrong about this,

embrace white nationalism or identitarianism.

I’ve never seen him really go antisemitic.

I’ve never seen him take that route.

When I grew up and I would turn him on every now and then,

he was talking about NAFTA, the WTO,

he’s talking about 9 11,

he was talking about the world trade organizations

and a lot of these big conferences,

whether it was the Bilderberg group,

whether it was a Bohemian Grove, which he infiltrated.

And he was talking about,

hey, here are the most powerful people in the world.

Here’s what they’re doing.

And here’s how it affects you.

And that was interesting to me

because no one else was really talking about it

except Alex Jones, occasionally Art Bell on WABC.

You’d listen to him at night, right?

I think Alex became very controversial

when he decided to back Donald Trump.

And then he has a considerable following

and a considerable audience

that he was then able to marshal

in the direction of supporting Donald Trump.

That was when the spotlight,

because then he was talking to Trump, Trump did his show,

Alex Jones just got bigger, right?

And he blew up, that’s the term, right?

He blew off, he put out the Good HBO special,

whatever you wanna call it.

He has a hit song, he blew up.

And then people started looking at the things

that he was associated with.

The Sandy Hook thing is a blemish on his record.

I do believe he regrets it.

But again, I do see the point of the families

who are like, dude, fuck this guy forever.

This is the worst thing I ever went through.

It’s a very tough, I understand the people that say that.

I understand, and I understand the people that go,

when you have tech companies that act

in a coordinated manner to just get rid of someone,

they don’t have any way to defend themselves.

It’s a little terrifying when you think

about that power being abused and how wouldn’t it be?

Do you think he should have not have been banned

from all these platforms?

I don’t think, I do think that

if you are a private company, right?

I do think, and this is where you run into this problem.

I don’t know if these tech companies

were government utilities, would that decrease

people’s likelihood of being banned?

I don’t know, right?

So I understand the benefit of them being treated

like public utilities and people thinking

they have the right to a Twitter.

I’ve never, I don’t know, I have very little confidence.

I mean, the government’s trying to roll out a vaccine

in California and we vaccinated like five people.

I mean, in terms of what we need to do in the state, right?

So maybe if it was a government utility,

I do think someone like Alex,

like there should be some process.

So if you’re gonna get rid of someone,

they should have a way to defend themselves.

There should be more democratic process

that you can go through

than just being unilaterally taken off something.

But like, then you run into the,

you’re like, am I gonna say that everyone deserves?

No, if you’re threatening or harassing people

or threatening to kill them,

publishing their private information,

if you’re committing crimes on these platforms,

obviously the people that own these platforms

are gonna be like, we’re not gonna allow this to happen.

So I understand that there is a line, right?

There is some, like people that say there’s no line

aren’t really thinking, like there is a line.

I just thought that line seems to be moving all the time

and it seems to be a very hard thing to police.

But I don’t think you can remove a guy off everything

and then also bank accounts won’t give him debit cards

or credit cards, I don’t know if you talked to him

about that, but like, you know,

there were financial institutions that were refusing

to let him park his money there.

So, I mean, it really does get pretty terrifying

pretty quickly.

Probably without any transparency from those companies.

So you’re right, it feels like there should be a process

of just having, for him to defend himself.

I think there needs to be a process

for people to defend themselves.

Every day I wake up and I go,

is something I said in a video gonna get taken

out of context, is somebody gonna get angry,

is somebody gonna be, you know, I say wild stuff

because that’s what makes me laugh,

that’s what makes my friends laugh

and that’s what makes my audience laugh.

So I never ever, people, you know, whatever political side

you come down on, I think if you make your living speaking,

it’s always interesting to me if you are pro

the deplatforming, that’s odd.

It’s interesting to consider a kind of a jury context

to where, you know, there’s transparency

about why your video about bombing Disney World

might be taken down, like it gets taken down

and then there is, it’s almost like creating

a little court case, a mini court case

and not in a legal sense, but in the public sphere.

And then people should be able to have, you know,

we pick representatives of our current society

and have a discussion about that and make a real vote.

You know, just have like jury locks himself up

in a discussion, that kind of process might be necessary.

Right now, what happens is Twitter is completely,

first of all, they’re just mostly not aware

of everything they’re doing, there’s too much stuff,

but the stuff they’re aware about,

they make the decision in closed doors meetings

and without any transparency to the rest of the company

actually, but also transparency to the rest of the world.

And so, and then all they say is we’re making decisions

because the people, they use things like violence.

So violence equals bad and if this person is quote unquote,

inciting violence, therefore that gives us enough reason

to ban them without any kind of process.

I mean, it’s interesting, I’m torn in the whole thing.

If it was indeed, there’s no transparency about it,

but if Parler was indeed inciting violence,

like if there was brewing of violence, potential violence

where, you know, thousands of people might die

because of some kind of riot, like this is the scary thing

about mob, about when a lot of people get together.

Who are good people, like legitimately good people

that love this country, that don’t see enemies

yet around them, but if they get excited together

and there’s guns involved and then some cop gets nervous

and shoots one person, another person shoots the cop

and then there’s a lot of shooting involved

and then it goes from five people dying in the Capitol

to thousands of people dying in the Capitol.

Well, in fairness to defend the people at the Capitol,

they didn’t shoot the cop, they bludgeoned him to death

with a fire extinguisher.

Yes.

So I do wanna just kind of put that out

as a defense of them.

Listen, I’m sure there was some wild shit going on

on Parler and I think the problem, here’s the problem,

right, there’s a lot of people that just wanna go on

these sites and say they wanna kill everyone.

And the problem is, you know, at what point

do you shut them all down?

Like I think a lot of people are just living in a world

where they’re powerless, they don’t have any political

power, they don’t have any economic power, right?

They can’t throw their money around.

They don’t have healthcare, their job security isn’t great.

They might be living in a community that doesn’t have

the resources they would like it to have.

They’re not happy and thrilled.

And then they have these sites where they can go on

and just say, man, I’d like to fucking burn it all down.

And distinguishing a guy blowing off steam

and saying wild stuff from a genuine threat

is a very hard thing to do, you know?

Like I’ve threatened to kill, I got banned from Airbnb,

I threatened to kill the people that banned me,

comedically, comedically, this is a joke.

I’m not going to kill you, this is a joke

because I’m blowing off steam and I’m angry.

Do you know how many people that my parents,

like my dad’s like, I’m gonna fucking kill this guy,

my mom’s like, I’m gonna fucking kill.

They were talking about each other.

But none of it ever happened, but we should be,

I think you have to create a space for people

to threaten to overthrow the government

as long as they don’t violently do it.

I mean, does that make any sense?

I mean, as long as they’re not gonna go hurt innocent people,

what are you gonna do?

Like there’s so many people out there that,

that’s why a lot of these things like 4chan, these sites,

a lot of people going on there,

they just wanna say the most fucked up shit

because it’s the thing that gives them,

they can laugh or they can release steam

and it is immature, it is stupid.

It’s not productive, it’s not, you know,

but at the end of the day,

if you’re not gonna give people health insurance,

you gotta give them something.

It’s like when someone in this country dies

that everyone disagrees with, right?

Political figure, media figure,

a lot of people dance on their grave online

and then everyone, people goes,

and the other side will always do it.

Like if a conservative dies and everyone goes, great,

conservatives goes, this is grotesque that you,

and then when RBG dies, they all have parties

and the conservatives go, great.

You have to let people in this country

enjoy the deaths of their enemies.

You do because they don’t have much else.

Again, if you gave them other things,

you might say, guy, you can go get an E operation.

Why don’t you stop?

But if they’re working for shit wages

and you haven’t figured out a way to treat them,

treat their cancer diagnosis, and they don’t like,

I mean, life, you know, you gotta,

you gotta derive pleasure from something, right?

It’s an interesting point that anger is a good valve,

like to, if your life is suffering,

that there’s something very powerful about anger,

but I still have hope that it doesn’t have to be.

I mean, that kind of channeling into anger

that then becomes hate led us

into a lot of troubles in human history.

So you have to be careful empowering people too much

in that anger, especially, I think my,

I think I understand why people are nervous about Parler,

about Twitter and so on.

Because all that shit talking about violence

was now paired with let’s get together at this location.

This was a new thing.

Like it’s not just being on whatever platform talking shit,

it’s saying we’re going to in physical space meet.

And then everybody got, all these platforms got nervous.

Well, what happens when all these shit talkers,

all these angry people that are just steam,

letting off steam meet in a physical space.

And there was probably overreach,

almost definitely overreach,

but I can understand why they were nervous.

I agree.

There doesn’t seem to be,

and this is when Trump got elected

and when you have like, whatever you have, right?

Whether you have riots in Portland and Seattle,

where you have the Antifa people doing crazy things,

you have like the people storming the Capitol.

There never seems to be a ton of an examination

of why these ideas are becoming popular.

Why are people so angry?

What is leading people to this?

Why are we here?

What about their lives is to the point

where they need to show up at these places?

And like, and obviously there’s going to be people

on the fringe.

There’ll always be the mentally unwell.

There’ll always be people that want to destroy society.

But when you look at how popular,

large, long discredited things,

whether it’s fascism, totalitarian communism,

all of these things are like, why are they back?

Why are they back in a big way?

And why are people so fed up with the status quo

that they’re finding solace

in the most extreme discredited theories

of how to run and operate societies,

theories that have led to deaths of a lot of people.

So to me, I’m like, if those people at the Capitol,

yes, if they were going to work,

if they were able to go out and drink at Chili’s,

if they were able to get a fucking checkup, right?

Like if their job paid a little bit better,

and I’m not saying that this is all the reason, right?

I’m sure that there’s a lot of people there

that are doing quite well and they’re still nuts.

But like the anger and the rage

that’s boiling to the surface of this society,

does it come from the fact that across the board

people in very different areas

and with very different political beliefs

feel like they are being fucked over

and there’s nothing they can do about it.

That’s what the baseline to me,

they look at the people that run the country

and run the world, whether they’re tech titans,

the guys that you talked to,

or whether they’re people that run the government,

whether they’re people that run large banks,

large media companies,

the people that have created this kind of infrastructure

that everyone lives in,

these people are incredibly powerless.

And when you push people to that point,

logically, sadly, and unfortunately,

the next thing does seem to be violence.

Yeah, the thing that troubles me a lot

is you said nobody’s asking why these beliefs are out there,

but sometimes it’s not even acknowledged

that people are hurting, people are angry,

just even acknowledging that all the conspiracy theories

that are out there, acknowledging that they’re out there.

And then people are thinking about it and talking about it

just because otherwise,

so it’s not acknowledged in this nuanced way.

What happens is you say,

okay, 70 million people are white supremacists.

It’s just throwing a kind of blanket statement.

And of course that gets them angrier

and makes them feel more powerless.

And that ultimately, that’s what’s been painful for me

to see is that there’s not an acknowledgement

that most people are good.

Right.

There’s circumstances where it’s just you’re pissed off.

Right.

Because you are powerless.

I mean, most of us are powerless.

You could fall in with a bad crowd.

That’s the thing, you can just fall in.

And it doesn’t mean that there’s not blame.

Obviously you have agency, you’re a person.

But the idea that you could be rehabilitated,

you could do something stupid

or you could fall into a group of people that are,

and then in a few years you can go,

what the fuck was I doing?

I’m an ex drug addict.

I know what it’s like to go from being one thing

to being another thing.

I’m still a drug addict.

If I would use drugs right now or drink,

I would still be addicted to them.

I mean, it’s not something that I can ever change

about myself, but I know what it’s like

to go from one thing to another thing.

So when you look at racism or whatever ism,

homophobia, misogyny, whatever you’re looking at,

antisemitism, and you go, that’s a fixed condition

where nobody’s ever going to be able to change.

Nobody’s ever gonna be able to be rehabilitated.

Nobody’s ever going to be able to reimagine themselves

in a different way.

To me, you’re just, you’re throwing away someone

and you’re making them feel helpless and worthless.

And that’s gonna lead to antisocial behavior

that spills out into the violence.

We don’t have a very redemptive society.

That’s a huge factor.

We don’t have a redemptive society.

That’s why I like O.J. Simpson.

Because O.J. Simpson, yes, he did a bad thing supposedly.

But he’s very kind now on Twitter

and he makes very nice points about how we all have

to get involved in the political process

and he’s on golf courses and I like watching people golf.

I don’t do it, but I like watching him do it.

And he’s like an elder statesman

because I remember him from the naked gun.

And I choose to forgive him for whatever happened there,

which I don’t know.

But I choose to forgive him really for,

I mean, obviously, what they say is

he cut his wife’s head off.

But I can look past that and redeem him

because he’s very stable on Twitter and he’s a good,

like I see all these people going crazy on Twitter

and I’m like, O.J.’s lived a full life.

I think there’s a benefit to that.

There’s a benefit to kind of living a full life.

Yeah, how many of us have not at least tried

to murder somebody?

100%, listen, O.J.’s had the highs and the lows,

but he did it on his terms.

And there’s a real.

It’s like a Frank Sinatra song.

Yeah, he did it my way.

I mean, there’s a benefit to that.

And he seems like a very well adjusted person now.

So I mean, I don’t know, how is that a fact?

But it is a fact and that’s an uncomfortable fact.

Well, this is a strong case of forgiveness

in one of the more extreme cases, I suppose.

But yeah, there’s not a process of forgiveness.

It seems like people just take a single event from your,

sometimes a single statement from your past

and use that as a categorical like capture

of the essence of this particular human being.

So murder might be a thing that you should get a time out

for a little while.

Murder is bad.

Murder, and let’s just say that.

Murder is not good.

I’m glad you make this definitive statement.

O.J. is an interesting cat because you’re like,

he’s very stable on Twitter.

He’s very like, he’s like, let’s take a look at it, guys.

Like we need more of his energy.

That’s what I’m trying to say.

I know like, yes, it was bad.

He killed the woman in the waiter.

I was not for that.

I wish he didn’t do that.

But the trial, the O.J. Simpson trial was such a fun thing.

And like you said, we need more fun people in society.

Speaking of fun people,

you’ve, your politics have been all over the place.

I hope so.

I mean, imagine not,

imagine someone whose politics weren’t all over the place.

It would seem odd.

Right.

In the 10 years that I’ve been politically conscious,

just because I’m 35 and 20.

No, I’ve probably been conscious for over two decades,

but like Democrats have become Republicans,

Republicans become Democrats.

I remember when Ann Coulter said,

we need to, he defended George W. Bush when he said,

we need to go out and Christianize

or modernize the Arab world.

We need to democratize the Arab world.

And then Ann Coulter backed Donald Trump.

And all the right wing in America believed

in nation building.

They believed in going out and democratizing areas

that might breed radical terrorists,

whether it was Iraq or wherever you were going,

toppling regimes and instituting

new democratic norms in those countries.

That was the right wing point of view when I grew up.

Then the right wing switched to,

we are going to be isolationist.

We’re going to take care of America.

First and foremost,

we’re not going to go into other countries.

And then the Democrats who, when I grew up,

were doves and the right wing people were more hawkish.

And the Democrats were like,

the military solutions aren’t the way.

We need to have multilateral diplomatic coalitions

to solve all the problems.

Now, Rachel Maddow’s like,

let’s nuke Russia every night on MSNBC.

The Democrats are like,

we need strong presence in Syria.

We need a strong presence.

We need to counter Putin all over the globe.

We need to get, so they’re more hawkish on things.

So literally I have watched two political parties

literally flip and it’s crazy to watch.

And in some sense I’ve watched that as well

because when I first saw Barack Obama,

I admired that he was against the war.

This is whatever, maybe before he was a Senator,

he spoke out against the Iraq war.

And then it doesn’t feel like,

it feels like his administration was more hawkish

than dovish in a sense with all the drone attacks,

with the sort of inability to pull back,

or at least in mass efficiently pull back

from all the military involvement

that we have all over the world.

So, and just the language.

What I think is interesting about that,

what’s interesting about Obama,

cause this is a very interesting study,

is that presidents are controlled in very different ways.

Presidents can be controlled by different factors,

power factions within Washington.

I think one of the reasons that Obama was maybe,

you had a very close relationship with John Brennan,

he was a CIA director.

And Obama was very close with John Brennan,

and Obama was very, I think malleable to the extent

that the CIA, and I’ve had CIA agents on my show,

John Kiriakou, a guy who went to jail for exposing torture,

was saying that like, you get into the Oval Office,

all of a sudden you’re having

that presidential daily briefing every day,

and the intelligence people come in and they go,

listen man, I mean, there’s gonna be a terrorist attack

on your watch if you don’t do X, Y, and Z.

They go, they call it like blue book information,

which is five levels above top secret,

and they go like, hey man, a guy in Iran at a cafe

said he’s blowing everything up next week,

and you know, I mean, it’s the same thing as Parler,

you don’t know if it’s true or not.

But now the president’s making a decision

on usually a lot of uncorroborated intelligence

that goes into a presentation for the president,

where you’re just terrified every day,

and you don’t want a terrorist attack on your watch.

Now, so why are they getting all this information?

Because a lot of the people in Washington

have an interest in perpetual, constant, ongoing warfare,

and there’s a lot of financial gain to be had from that.

So they’re sneaking their information

into the presentations that are going to the president,

and then the president is now behaving and going,

fuck, I don’t want a bomb going off,

we gotta do what we gotta do.

And whatever version of that happens,

that is really kind of what is happening,

whereas the presidents are being controlled

by forces that are outside of the political sphere,

but very much still in it.

And they have a lot of, that’s what the deep state is.

You know, Trump, there’s a lot of ridiculing Trump

of going, the deep state doesn’t exist.

It absolutely exists, there’s been books about it

written by liberal journalists.

The deep state is only a term for unelected, largely,

power factions in Washington, DC,

that outlive any presidential administration.

These are people that might work at the State Department,

they might work at the Defense Department.

These are people that are not always working officially

in any government capacity.

They might be private companies,

they might be military contractors,

they might be people at Boeing or Raytheon

or General Dynamics.

And they constitute a group of people

that Trump kind of called the swamp,

but Trump had really no interest in draining the swamp.

But he articulated these things, and this is what it is.

You have a lot of interested parties that have budgets

that they want, big budgets.

Everybody wants a budget in Washington,

whether you know what it is, they want money.

And these are the people who really control press.

So this idea that the president is the be all end all

has got to be smashed,

which is why the horse race model of politics

and being like, is it right wing?

Is it left wing?

Is it, what team am I on and what color am I wearing?

It’s very simplistic, but the reality is this is an empire.

It’s past its peak.

We’re in trouble.

The United States is an empire past its peak.

Yeah, I mean, that’s just,

you could prove that case in court.

Well, let’s go to court right now.

But I do love the more complex idea

that there’s just human beings who crave power

and seek ways to attain that power through different ways.

If you have Barack Obama or George Bush or Donald Trump,

there’s different attack vectors.

Correct.

There’s different ways to attain that power

and then you can use that to leverage.

And it probably doesn’t have to be just in Washington, DC.

There’s people who crave power all over the world.

Of course, but where we are now in Los Angeles,

these people are all good.

LA.

Studio executives and people that I,

from what I understand, they treat everyone fairly

and they’re nice, but he sees the bad guys,

but out here in LA, everyone’s lovely.

So amidst this fun exploration in your mind

through the political landscape that you’ve done

over the past couple of decades

that you’ve been conscious politically,

where does Donald Trump fit into this picture for you?

Great question.

Well, he didn’t, right?

Cause we didn’t, he wasn’t political

until four years ago, right?

He got political very quickly before.

I mean, he was always firing off crazy tweets

about where Obama was born or whatever,

but he was, he got into politics like very quickly

and then he became the president, right?

So it was like, we didn’t, I knew him as Donald Trump,

this crazy New York city character,

the coast of the apprentice.

I didn’t think much about him.

He was just constant, you know,

like he was just this constant figure.

Like I don’t think much about Warren Buffett.

Like I know like Trump’s like,

he’s married to a new show girl all the time

and he’s always opening another casino and he’s on TV.

Wait, Warren Buffett really?

No, Trump.

Trump, but like Warren Buffett is the opposite, right?

Warren Buffett’s like been married for a billion years,

lives in a little house in Omaha,

but these are the, that’s what I associate Trump.

Like I don’t think about Warren Buffett.

I don’t think about these people.

They’re just guys that I’ve known forever

that have like, you know,

you associate certain things with them, right?

And Trump, we always associated with kind of vulgar,

garish, new money, billionaire, married a lot,

you know, casinos, Miss Universe pageants.

But again, you know, but it makes perfect sense

that he really was able to become president at the moment

where we were about to have Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush.

And I think Americans felt like this is,

now the oligarchy is spitting right in our face.

You’re not even making it feel like

there’s an appearance of democracy.

We have two crime families

vowing for control of the country every four years.

And then there was this rogue kind of upstart guy

that was really about himself.

You know, Trump doesn’t really care that much about the,

I mean, really was summarized perfectly when he left

and he just said, hey, have a good life.

That’s what he said

before he got on Andrews Air Force Base.

If you watch his speech, he goes, hey, have a good life.

That’s what he really feel.

Like, hey, have a good life.

I’m gonna get on a plane right now

and fly to a castle I own in Florida.

And really, I’m not gonna think too much about you people

outside of how I can get more attention in the future.

Can I ask you like a therapy question?

What is your favorite

and least favorite quality of Donald Trump?

So my least favorite quality of Donald Trump,

I think because there’s a few of them,

his lack of empathy,

complete and total lack of empathy.

I don’t feel that he cares about human beings on any level.

And I feel like that’s,

maybe it should be a requirement, right?

I mean, I don’t think he cares.

I think it’s obvious that he doesn’t care.

I mean, he sent, you know, basically he’s saying like,

they’re in there, Mike Pence is in there.

He knows that his people are going to get,

try to get into a Capitol.

I mean, those motherfuckers are not gonna have jobs.

They’re gonna go to federal prison and he doesn’t care.

As long as they’re storming the Capitol

to prove the point that he thinks he won the election,

he has no concern for these people, his followers.

He leads them lambs to the slaughter, right?

So that’s not a respectable quality.

My favorite quality of Donald Trump

is his willingness to call bullshit.

So his willingness to call bullshit out.

He doesn’t play the game.

He will, you know, when people say about Putin,

Putin kills people, he goes,

we kill a lot of people here too.

Like he’s willing and able to break the fourth wall

and say things that no politician has ever said.

He’s willing to call out hypocrisy, you know,

of course not his own, but the media,

the members of the political establishment,

that’s a laudable quality.

It’s an entertaining quality, right?

We all like it.

I love, I’m like this guy saying something

that a lot of people want said.

That being said, it’s coupled with no real work or action.

So it’s not coupled with anything behind it

that he just wants to,

we did an episode of my podcast once

where it’s like essentially he’s like criticizing

the deep state, he wants a deeper state.

He wants a deeper state.

Like he hired his daughter and her husband.

I mean, this is not a guy that’s interested

in transparency and openness.

He’s a guy that would just prefer,

he wants to run the mafia state.

But he shakes up the norms of social discourse,

political discourse, and that people

are just hungry for that.

Like he got banned from Twitter,

from all the different platforms.

Do you think, is there an argument to be made

for and against banning Twitter?

There’s always arguments to be made for everything.

A permanent ban seems to be an overreaction to me.

He’s the president of the United States.

It also rearranges the power,

like whether you like him or hate him,

love him or hate him, he was the president.

We’ve elevated Twitter is now more powerful

than the president.

It’s like, do you want that to be longterm the salute,

that the reality, like now Jack at Twitter

is more powerful than the president of the United States.

Is that a good paradigm going forward?

I don’t know.

I’m not, listen, maybe give him a little time out

for a few days.

I think a time out, a little spanking, certainly,

but I don’t know if a permanent ban across the board

on every social media.

I mean, they banned them on Grindr.

I mean, this is how hilarious it is, right?

I mean, they banned them across the board on everything.

I don’t think he could get an Airbnb now, neither can I,

but like, I don’t think he can do anything.

Again, I just, I look back and there’s so many people,

my very smart, intelligent friends that go,

yeah, but who cares?

Yeah, but he’s bad.

Yeah, but blah, blah, blah.

Yeah, but I don’t like Milianopolis.

Yeah, but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And I’m like, you have such faith.

You have such faith that it’s always gonna be the people

you dislike that are banned.

It’s always gonna be the, it’s never gonna be you.

Man, you have so much faith in the government.

You have so much faith in tech oligarchs you’ve never met.

You have so much faith in the security state

that they’re gonna always make the right decisions

and they’re not gonna penalize people

that shouldn’t be penalized.

To me, I’m like, wow, I’ve never had that much faith

in any human being ever, including myself.

I wouldn’t want that power.

I would start deplatforming people that I hate.

I would deplatform my aunt, you know what I mean?

I would deplatform everyone I know.

I mean, so it’s such an insane power to give somebody,

like who gets heard, who gets to speak?

Yeah, I’m worried about the effect it has

on people like you, actually.

I agree.

Of being, like everybody’s a little more nervous

in what they say.

Correct.

And that is a big problem.

Yes.

Because then you’re just like longterm unmasked,

like we’re talking about.

It has an effect where people just become more bland.

Yeah, self censorship, anxiety,

all of these things go into it.

We try to fight it.

I try to fight it.

I think I gotta still do what makes me laugh

and what makes me laugh is often fucked up.

And it’s often, it’s not always fucked up in a way

that it’s gonna get me thrown off something,

but I think pushing certain buttons is funny to me,

so I gotta keep doing that.

Part of the problem is that so many of the lines

are blurred, right?

So you have comedians that are commentators

and commentators that are comedians and politicians.

So it’s harder to get the defense of like,

hey, I’m a comedian, leave me alone.

That defense becomes harder

when all of these lines are blurring.

Everybody’s kind of everything now.

So like people say to me, you should run for office

and they’re serious and I’m like, you’re crazy,

but they’re serious.

Like, so the blurring of everything means

that people aren’t in their lanes as much

and that you go, well, this guy is dangerous

because he’s not just making a joke.

He’s doing something else and he’s using humor.

And I’m like, I’m really not.

I’m really just trying to make a joke.

That’s all, that’s really what I’m trying to do.

But I do think that because of the flattening,

there’s a lot of people out there that go,

they take aim at humor because they go,

humor is where bad ideas can kind of start and flourish.

But don’t you, to put some responsibility on you,

don’t you think humor is a way to,

that you are the modern,

like Jordan Peterson style intellectual,

that humor is actually a tool of.

It can be.

Changing the zeitgeist,

changing the social norms. It absolutely can be,

but it also cannot be.

I don’t think it’s any one thing

and I think there’s a lot of pressure for a comedian.

You can be funny and right.

You can be funny and wrong.

If your goal is to be right,

you might end up being right and not funny.

So the reality is funny has to come first.

There are brilliant people that have been funny

and correct according to people, right?

But at the end of the day,

people that put way too much faith in what comedy is,

most of what comedy is,

is people showing up to strip malls

and telling jokes for an hour

while people eat chicken fingers

and they all get drunk and they laugh

and they feel a little bit better about their lives.

That’s really the majority of comedy.

Then there’s like 10 famous people that are really famous

that do a version of that in an arena.

But the amount of cultural power they have

has always been greatly exaggerated.

My uncles loved George Carlin,

who was anti military industrial complex,

anti this, anti that.

And then they would go vote for Ronald Reagan.

They didn’t care.

It’s not as powerful as you think.

I wish it was.

It feels good.

It feels good for me to say I am the new thing.

It really isn’t.

It truly isn’t.

No one is, comedians are the people that get on stage

and say, we’re fucked up.

We’re drug addicts.

We’re sex addicts.

We’re fat.

We’re gross.

We can’t manage our money.

We can’t stop eating.

We can’t stop fucking doing horrible things.

We’re liars.

We’re narcissists.

We’re scumbags.

We’re the people that get out and say that.

Only a psychopath would look at us and go,

show me the way.

Like it’s not.

I disagree with you because then I’m a psychopath.

Well, and that’s, I mean, I don’t think,

no pushback here.

That’s another issue.

But you know what I’m saying.

Well, and I don’t because, I mean,

I understand you using this as a psychological tool

for yourself to give yourself freedom.

But the reality is you are one of the rare comedians

like a George Carlin who is, besides being funny.

When I hear things like that, I’m like,

okay, you’re being very sweet.

But like, I agree.

I understand what you’re saying.

I do stuff that makes, hopefully makes you think.

I hope that’s what good comedy is.

But I think I try to do that.

But I also would hate to feel shackled to the idea

of that I had to make a point

and that point had to be correct.

I think the best comedy makes fun of everything.

It makes fun of both sides.

And then there’s a deeper truth about humanity revealed.

But then what happens is people take that deeper truth

and go, let’s politicize it.

But what does he mean?

Is it the right or the left?

And I’m like, I’m doing something that I think speaks

to hopefully people on both sides for everybody.

Cause I’m making fun of people on the left and the right

and in the center and people that don’t care

and people that do care.

And I’m trying to figure out a way to do it.

But then immediately anything of value

in this culture right now is like, how do we politicize it?

How do we put it in a box?

So yes, I think comedy can produce a lot

of inherently valuable things, reflective, thoughtful things.

But then immediately, can it be put in this box

where all of those things can be used politically?

No.

And unfortunately, like when they say like,

comedy is a great way to speak truth to power.

It is, but I don’t know how much it changes things.

I don’t know how much a joke can dethrone a king.

I know the idea is nice,

but let’s look at the practical applications.

I mean, we had brilliant comics, Bill Hicks,

George Carlin, Richard Pryor.

We had people talk about so many problems in society,

illustrate them, put a spotlight on them.

And we still have them.

They’re worse now than they’ve ever been.

That’s not true.

I think the society is better.

And so to push back in my perspective,

it’s very possible that those voices

were the exact reason we have the world today,

which I do believe is actually,

I mean, on the boring old measures

of what makes a good world,

which is the amount of violence in the world,

the amount of opportunity that all those kinds of measures,

even happiness, all of those things measured,

things have been improving.

Steven Pinker gets a lot of shit for this,

but he’s really good at articulating

how the data says pretty clearly

that the world is getting better.

And it’s arguable that the freedoms we do enjoy currently

are thanks to the comedic voices or the people who mock.

So to me, it’s possible that humor

is the very thing that saves the world.

Humor is the very thing that keeps,

is the balance of power in the world.

But I think a lot of the things that those guys criticize,

whether it was militarism or the elites,

the lying, the corruption, the bribery,

that’s still going on.

And it’s always gonna go on, right?

Because that’s the nature of human beings.

We call it out, we point it out,

but we don’t have a plan to change.

It’s not really our job.

And I think that too much now is like,

well, comedians should have a,

like, I don’t tell people who to vote for.

Like the idea that comedians

went and told people who to vote for,

it’s like, to me, it’s crazy.

I understand like people have strong opinions,

but like, I believe I have a job.

And my job is to make you laugh or whatever,

maybe make you think,

but like, my job is not to tell you who to vote for.

I mean, it’s absurd.

But see, the thing you do by the comedy,

like on your Twitter,

that people should definitely follow.

I believe that, Jim J. Dillon, I agree with you.

Oh, on this point of,

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

That people should follow you.

Yeah, you give me,

you give me freedom to think on my own.

Meaning like you’re shaking things up

to where I don’t feel constrained

about what I can think about.

And that’s awesome.

Thank you.

So you’re not telling me what to think,

you’re giving me the freedom to think.

And that’s what great comedy does,

is I don’t often agree with George Carlin.

He can get pretty political sometimes.

But just the ability to do that’s so rare.

Podcasts do that too now.

Like there’s certain people

that can really just challenge you to,

even when you disagree with them,

to sort of be like,

oh, it’s okay to think about this kind of stuff.

Yeah, and I appreciate that,

because that’s awesome.

And I mean, that’s great.

And a guy like you, who’s a brilliant guy, that’s great.

If I’m giving you the license to think,

then man, the world is completely fucked.

But I’m happy about that.

Yeah.

No, it’s…

Well, you know.

Speaking about the world being completely fucked,

Alex Jones turned on QAnon.

I know almost nothing…

It’s a very tough match.

They had a rough marriage.

They fought it.

They fought it out for years.

And eventually we just knew

someone was gonna leave someone.

Hewlett tried to leave him a few months ago.

Oh, so…

Yeah, he was staying at someone else’s house.

The car wasn’t in the driveway.

Yeah.

Well, the thing about QAnon that makes it a lot of fun

is it’s kind of a make it up as you go along.

I’m a drug addict, right?

So often my lies aren’t planned.

They’re in the moment.

A lot of what I do on the podcast,

a lot, you know, it’s all in the moment.

I’ll have an idea what I wanna talk about,

and I rant and I go.

And I’ve been like stoned,

and I show up at home,

and my parents are like,

what’s going on?

There was $50 on the mantle.

Now it’s not there.

And I’m like,

well, and I gotta make something up on the spot, right?

I’ve been, you know, are you drinking again?

No, I’m not.

And then you gotta have a,

well, you were gone for two days.

No one knows where you were.

And somebody said you left your car.

Well, I was at, well, this is,

I was at a sales conference and I left my car.

I flew to Phoenix.

Like, I understand what that is.

QAnon is an ever evolving conspiracy theory

where the events are happening in the past,

in the present, and in the future.

It’s kind of hilarious.

Every conspiracy theory is like Kennedy,

something like that,

that there’s a lot of truth in that,

or all truth.

But at the end of the day,

it’s like you’re looking back from 30,000 feet,

analyzing little things that have already happened.

QAnon’s like,

so I think Alex is kind of like got a little tired of

the constant evolving nature of that conspiracy theory.

So he’s not a fan of like the jazz that is QAnon.

So they’re not,

because they’re improvising constantly.

They’re improvising.

Alex is like, hey man,

I was on board a little bit,

but at the end of the day,

it’s getting a little annoying

because it can turn on you.

Eventually you become part of the conspiracy.

Alex is controlled opposition.

That’s what they’ll say.

Eventually you,

because QAnon just eats things.

So it’s a conspiracy that just eats things.

The minute you start to say,

hey man, maybe that’s not,

it just eats you and go,

well, you’re in on it.

Everyone’s in on it.

Everyone’s a satanic pedophile.

Everybody.

Everyone that questions it is eating children.

And you go, wait a minute,

that seems illogical.

But now there’s not enough children.

Now there’s not enough.

And I think QAnon’s over now, unfortunately,

because for these people,

but I think fortunately for them,

they’re gonna have to find a new hobby.

But I think it’s over now

because even the best QAnon people now are starting to go,

hey man, this might not be going down the way we thought.

But they’ve literally gone as far as to say

that like Biden and Trump switched faces.

Trump’s actually still the president except Biden.

You have to be a real moron now.

You gotta be real stupid now.

It’s at the end.

Like it was cool when the Epstein stuff happened,

QAnon was like, it was party at Q.

And then when the Hunter Biden laptop stuff

started to happen, they were like dancing,

like it’s time.

And then Biden wins and they’re like, wait, whoa.

And it’s just like, it’s the day after the party.

QAnon, if you ever went to a party in high school

or college, QAnon right now is the day after the party.

You wake up, it’s 12 noon.

The sun is hitting you in the face.

You’re hung over.

There’s a stench of disgusting beer and cigarettes

all over the house.

You’re like, what the fuck happened here?

I gotta get out of here and get a bacon, egg and cheese.

That’s what QAnon is.

They gotta sober up, get out of that house,

get a bacon, egg and cheese and go, man,

we were fucking whacked.

We were high, dude.

I thought Nancy Pelosi was eating children for four years

and that Donald Trump was gonna put her in Guantanamo Bay.

Wow, that was, cause I mean, it’s interesting.

People had to do that after the sixties.

They were like, yeah, I just did a bunch of acid

and I lived in a ranch in Malibu

and fucked everyone I ever saw.

And they’re like, I thought that was the way

the world was gonna go and I followed some shaman guy,

some guru who just wanted to fuck me

and 10 other people that were living there.

And we did that for three years.

Apparently we never created the utopia

we thought we were gonna have.

And now I’m back working here at Allstate Insurance

and we have great policies and we’d love you

to come in the office so we can break them down for you.

It all ends folks, all the love, all the bullshit ends,

but it’s fun, they have so much fun.

QAnon was hard to get mad at because they were,

this was all they had.

Yeah, and they were quite good at it.

And they were good at it and it was a lot

of desperate people, but they were also rich idiots.

There’s also like dumb rich people

and those are like the saddest people in Q

cause it’s like they should,

they have the resources to do other things,

but they just love Q.

They’re like, I’m just into this.

And I’m like, you’re rich, go do something.

How in curious are you?

Go to the Amazon, go bird walk.

I don’t know, but they’re, you know, so.

Play golf.

It’s sad, but they’re like done now.

I mean, it’s over.

I see you think this is the.

I think everything’s ending.

My whole thing is that Trump’s out, QAnon’s over,

the quarantine is gonna end.

Everything’s gonna go back

to something that’s more recognizable.

I think that.

Are you optimistic about the 2021 and what.

To a degree in certain aspects, I have optimism.

And then I have, I have short term optimism

and longterm pessimism.

Meaning that I think in the short term,

things can get better.

I think longterm, because there’s so many forces

that are out of our control that are evolving

in ways I barely understand that are carving up society.

It’s gonna be very tough longterm

to be completely optimistic.

Like, Hey, it’s gonna be great.

It’s gonna be good forever.

But short term, I think, yeah, this quarantine will end.

Things will get better.

The economy will get a little better.

The constant Trump craziness will die down a little bit.

That’s my hope.

And people can go back to focusing on things that matter,

which is the things that are near you and close to you.

Yeah, the humans around you.

Humans around you, not Nancy Pelosi.

I have uncles that talk about Nancy Pelosi.

I’m like, you’ve never met her.

You’ll never meet her, shut up.

And I have a belief that this kind of local love

and kindness that you naturally can have

for human beings that you actually know

can be expanded at scale through the social networks

that we use, that we build.

Twitter is currently failing at that miserably.

That would be great.

But that’s…

If we were able to increase the love

through the social networks, that would be great.

It feels very hard to.

It’s a worthy challenge.

You’ve tweeted, one of the underreported reasons

conspiracy theories take hold

is because some of them are true.

What conspiracy theories do you believe

that are sort of important for people to think about,

would you say?

Kennedy was not killed by a lone gunman

with no connections to any other situation, government.

I believe that JFK was removed from office

by a group of people that had very different interests.

But…

This is the question of like deep state.

So these are powerful people that are able now

to dictate through basically the threat of violence

what the presidents,

the surface powerful people in our society.

Yeah, I mean, again, I’m not…

I want another investigation into 9 11,

not because I think that George Bush pressed a button

and made 9 11 happen,

but because we invaded the country of Iraq.

And then we, 15 out of 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

There was tons of stuff in the 9 11 report

that didn’t make sense to anybody.

There’s tons of stuff about that day

that I feel like we just don’t know.

Yeah, that’s…

Sorry to interrupt.

That’s when I, my little aunt life

touched upon conspiracy theory world

and first learned about Alex Jones is when 9 11 happened.

It was very frustrating to me

how poorly the reporting and the transparency

around what exactly happened, who knew what,

all that kind of a basic information

that you would hope the government would release, reveal,

and use as like a lesson for how we prevent this.

Instead, it felt like a lot of stuff was being hidden

in order to manipulate some kind of machine

that leads us to war.

Yeah, that’s fair to say.

Yeah, I mean, I just don’t feel like

we’ve gotten the full story.

I don’t know what the full story is.

I can’t, I don’t know what it is,

but I don’t feel like we’ve gotten the full story.

Yeah, there are groups of powerful pedophiles, right?

Whether they’re in the Catholic church

or they’re in the government or wherever they are,

they are able to cover things up that they do.

They’re able to silence people that try to out them

in terms of like, you know, disrupt their operations.

That’s true.

QAnon has nuggets of truth.

It just went crazy.

Any conspiracy theory that involves the Knights Templar

and also Chrissy Teigen is probably wrong, you know?

What’s the Knights Templar?

Well, it was just this group of Knights back in the day.

You know, it’s that supposedly secret meetings.

And like in every conspiracy, they talk about like,

you know, if you go deep enough,

it’s like the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians,

you know, all of these secret groups throughout history,

the Illuminati, the…

Oh, and there’s a thread that connects all of this.

Oh yes, it connects it all to David Spade.

I mean, it’s a little much.

Well, how do you, if you’re David Spade,

defend yourself, by the way?

You ignore it because it’s hilarious.

And I know David Spade.

It’s like Hollywood’s kind of boring.

Yes, there are sex orgies.

I’m not invited.

I’m sure there’s shit going on.

Kids do get abused, women get abused.

I’ll invite you to one.

Please, we got the $75,000 dog and then we’ll get one.

But, you know, me and David Spade,

we go out to sushi restaurants, like,

and you sit there and you listen to people complain.

That’s what a lot of it is.

What a lot of Hollywood is is deeply sad tragedy

that people don’t understand that some of it is nefarious

and dark and there are problems

and there are real power brokers here.

It’s a dark town, 100%.

But the idea that everybody that lives here

is in some wide ranging vast conspiracy isn’t true.

It ignores how humdrum, boring, deeply sad

most people’s lives are in Hollywood.

And it ignores how sad fame is in general.

Fame’s a sad thing.

Not always, but a lot of times it’s a sad thing.

It’s fleeting, it’s ephemeral, it doesn’t last.

It separates you from other people.

It’s isolating.

It can be traumatic depending on what’s going on.

Obviously it’s better than the alternative.

If you’re trying to be famous,

it’s better to be famous than not famous, right?

I’ll say that.

But it’s a mixed bag to a degree.

There are things about it that aren’t great.

And Hollywood has a deep undercurrent of sadness

of people that have not realized their dreams

and people that have realized them.

Both of those people.

The people that win Olympic gold medals

can sometimes suffer from depression.

Correct.

They’ve lost.

Well, somebody said, and I forget who said it,

it’s a great quote, it’s not mine.

I think it’s from a book, or it might be from a TV show.

Sometimes I quote something and they’re like,

“‘That’s from like, Charlotte’s Web.”

I’m like, oh.

The two worst things are,

oh, I think it’s from the movie Limitless.

I’m like an idiot.

But anyway, thanks for having me on.

Tomorrow you’re gonna make some genius.

I will not publish this.

It’s from the movie, and I think he says,

“‘The two worst things in the world are not good.”

Oh, you know what’s not from Limitless?

I think it’s from the movie

where Nicolas Cage sold weapons.

It was called Lord of War.

It’s a little better than Limitless.

Anyway. That’s a good movie.

It’s a great movie.

He said, the two worst things in the world

are not getting what you want and getting it.

So the undercurrents of sadness

that run through Hollywood are,

there are two rivers that converge,

and there are people that just never had it,

and people that have it and go, now what?

And so it’s a sad place, a tragic place.

And there’s a lot of, it’s boring.

That’s what people don’t realize is like,

it’s actually kind of boring.

Well, life is kind of boring.

Life is kind of boring.

But there’s also like, you know,

so I think QAnon’s this way to make a lot of it seem like

it’s super exciting.

And listen, I don’t want to diminish the experiences

of people who’ve been abused here,

because there is a lot of horror here.

But the whole QAnon thing was like,

everybody in everything is doing, and that’s not true.

Well, see, just to linger on that a little bit is,

Bill Gates, the conspiracy theories around Bill Gates

bother me because, this is me, dumb, naive Lex,

thinks that Bill Gates did a lot of good for this world.

Sure.

First, by creating a company

that empowered personal computers.

And second, by donating a ton of money

for like treating malaria in Africa

and all those kinds of things.

And there’s these huge amounts of conspiracies, I think,

based on like just replies to whenever

Bill Gates does anything.

Like, to me, the top replies should be about

how inspiring that guy is, to donate so much money.

And so sorry to, the thing I’m struggling with is,

if I’m Bill Gates, like, how do you behave differently?

How do you show people that you’re, if you’re not,

I don’t know, doing creepy stuff

that they’re saying he’s doing?

Well, I think part of it is that

he’s done some really good stuff, right?

He’s an innovative guy, he’s on the vanguard

of a lot of things, but he’s also the antichrist.

And I think that that is, you know,

they’re not mutually exclusive.

He is the prince of darkness, as well as some, no.

Here’s my deal with Bill Gates.

He’s a Batman villain billionaire,

meaning that he’s not a villain,

but he’s got all this money, right?

Here’s the thing, and I love Musk and all these guys,

I know you love these guys.

Listen, when you have the kind of money that these guys have

and you have the vision that they have,

and they want society to look a certain way,

and a lot of them are doing great things,

people, they need to get better at the pushback.

They need to get a little better.

When somebody says, hey man, what’s going on over there?

Bill Gates needs to be a little better at going,

here’s what, because, you know, Bill Gates has the money.

You know, I think once he wanted to shoot a missile

of dust at the atmosphere to help global warming,

and a lot of scientists were like,

hey man, that might not be the way to do it.

But no one in history, like so few people in history

have had the resources to even have that thought,

that if you have the resources to have that thought,

and you have designs on the way you want society to look,

whether it’s public health policy or vaccinations,

whatever, you have to get a little better

at dealing with legitimate critiques.

And obviously you’re not defending yourself

against people that say you’re the Antichrist,

but like, you need to get a little better.

And I feel like Bill Gates and some of those people

at that level are like, ugh, PR is kind of like, you know.

They’re terrible at it.

Him and Zuckerberg are really bad at it.

Zuckerberg’s horrible at it.

He seems especially bad at public.

Yeah, and it makes me feel so bad

because the problem with being a billionaire

is you lose touch with reality if you’re not careful.

I think Elon is good at, at least so far,

maintaining touch with reality.

No, if you look at the name of his child,

you can clearly see.

Listen, I do like him,

and I do think what he’s done with Tesla,

you know, my producer has a Tesla,

and he never shuts up about it.

Most people that have Teslas never shut up about them,

and they think they’re part of the development team

at SpaceX, and I like that he’s created a world

where people can get excited about a $37,000 car

and never shut the fuck up about it

to the point where I have to threaten people

with physical violence to get them to stop telling me

about that their car drives itself.

Oh, you should get a Tesla.

Maybe have a few less drinks and a few fewer Vicodin,

and you can drive yourself.

Have you thought about getting a Tesla?

I’ve never thought about it.

You should get a Tesla.

I don’t like them, they’re minimalist.

I don’t like, I want more.

I want more.

Get the Cybertruck.

I want a Cybertruck.

I’m just being a, trolling you by being a salesman.

My producer wants a Cybertruck.

I want a stagecoach.

Old school, stagecoach, horse thief shit.

It’s going back to that.

I live in an area with a lot of horses.

It’s going back to like whipping a horse.

I want an animal to shriek while I go by.

You want more suffering in the world, not less.

Oh, I think we need it.

Okay, but I just don’t like that billionaire is a bad word.

And it’s not necessarily,

not every billionaire is a pedophile.

I know, but the problem is a lot of like,

it’s just, you know, Epstein was very smart

at like just getting people at that house

and taking photos of them.

Nobody knew what they were doing,

but it’s like, it was one of those things where it’s like,

Epstein was the most social guy ever.

Like every photo he’s like, hey,

and it’s like everyone that’s ever done anything

in the world has been at that fucking island.

Every human being is like in a photo.

It’s just weird, like I’m in,

like it’s funny me and my friends get together.

We don’t ever take photos, right?

Like last night, a few people,

it was my birthday yesterday, I’m 17.

And my friends came over and we’re just eating dinner, right?

And we had a fun night,

and just four people that are over, nobody, right?

Nobody ever thought like, let’s, hey, I wanna remember it.

Let’s take photos, I’m 36, woo!

But everything Epstein did,

there’s just photos of everybody, it’s interesting.

Do you think Jeffrey Epstein killed himself?

No, I think he was killed by that guy,

that guy that they put in his cell, that lunatic,

who was that big muscled guy.

I think he was just, he did it for money,

kept his mouth shut.

That’s it.

Money from whom do you think?

Mossad, MI6, CIA, all three.

So there’s a lot of pressure

from a lot of different powerful people.

Probably Mossad, CIA more.

I mean, it seems very clear that he was working

inside of a honeypot intelligence operation.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s father was an Israeli super spy.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s working for Israeli intelligence.

It would be odd to think,

and of course the CIA knows about everything

that Israeli intelligence is doing with Americans.

So I would think that it’s a very cozy relationship

with those two intelligence agencies.

And I think if you ran it by anyone,

I think if you ran it by French intelligence,

they’d go, yeah, no, get him.

I don’t think there was any intelligence service

in the world whose job is to protect the powerful people

that live in their countries

that was against him getting whacked.

But do you think it’s possible that he’s just an evil person

who is after manipulating people and also was a pedophile?

So that there’s a bigger thing.

It’s not factual that there’s a bigger thing.

Evil people don’t get handed.

Those are your facts, Tim Dillon.

No, there’s the facts of the case.

You don’t get handed a 65.

Show me another evil guy

who was handed a $65 million place by Les Wexner.

Show me another evil guy

that got that type of a handshake deal

where he was basically let off without anything

after a judge had made a very sweetheart deal for him

after he was accused of molesting a 14 year old.

Show me another evil guy

that doesn’t have that kind of backing

that has those types of friends, those connections,

those types of properties.

Show me multiple passports all over the world.

So show me a guy without anyone backing him that’s doing it.

Why did they, so you think he’s just an evil guy

who is doing this for whom is his own just shits and giggles.

He’s just getting off on it.

Human nature, yeah.

Human nature, huh?

It’s human nature.

$70 million limestone mansion.

I’m being visibly mocked.

Yeah, is it human nature?

And it’s like poetry.

I don’t think it’s human nature.

I think they manipulated human nature,

but I think they did it.

I think JustLane,

I think Epstein was really just a functionary

and I think JustLane was kind of a pimp

and Epstein was kind of a guy that made the money okay

and hid money and things like that

and worked for a lot of powerful people.

I don’t believe in lone pedophiles anymore.

I don’t even believe that.

If you’re a pedophile, you’re like in a group.

You know what I mean?

Well, I’m not even going there,

but staying on JustLane,

so you believe there’s some power in her.

What do you think happens to her now?

Like what are the differences?

Great question.

I mean, I don’t know what’ll happen to her,

but I imagine she’ll get some type of deal,

closed door thing years from now

when people don’t really care about the case

and she’ll serve some time in a very lax thing

or she’ll be killed.

I mean, again, it’s like if she was doing

what she was doing, which is I believe a fact

that she was compromising powerful people

so that they could be blackmailed

by the intelligence services of the US and Israel,

probably, I don’t see how she wasn’t doing that.

Someone’s black, someone’s using the photos

and the tapes, right?

Someone’s using that against these people.

Someone wants to control these people.

Well, who and why?

That’s the real question.

And I think the real question is you wanna exert control

over congressmen and senators and presidents

because they have the power to make decisions

to affect the, but the CIA just works

for a lot of very wealthy people.

That’s what the CIA, so how the CIA started, right?

It was lawyers, bankers.

They’re protecting financial interests

of multinational corporations all over the world,

overthrowing democratically elected governments,

going in and doing subterfuge campaigns,

encouraging terror.

They were doing all kinds of crazy stuff.

I don’t see why that would change.

I think that’s who they still represent.

And I think those people want certain policies

and certain people pushed forward.

And I think those people are controlled.

And I think one of the ways to control people

is their sexual problems.

And that’s the way they did it.

I wish there was a way to,

because everything you just said now is.

It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

I’m being indoctrinated on air.

No.

You think there’s just a,

Jeff Ramsey is just a fun, random guy

who just wanted to make home movies of presidents?

Well, you think I’m just some random guy.

I’m just trying to sell myself as somebody

who’s friendly with the American audience.

I believe you are backed by people

that want people to be more comfortable with robot dogs.

I believe that.

I believe you’re pushed to be the happy face of AI.

Which is why I will edit this part.

They shouldn’t pick the happier face.

Wow.

No editing.

Joe Rogan’s rule, no editing.

This is live.

No, I mean, I wish there was a way to,

for some of the conspiracy theories,

to prove that that’s not the case.

Like what the CIA is.

There is some possibility in my mind

that institutions like the CIA

and different kinds of organizations

are driven less by organized malevolence

and more by just incompetence.

Just bureaucracy, being incompetent.

I think that argument gets less and less persuasive

when you look at all the things they’ve been able to do.

It’s very certain, just like you said,

that there’s a bunch of them that have done,

because there’s some conspiracy theories

that are dramatic and true.

The question is, I wish there was a way to prove

that some of them are not.

And it’s very difficult,

because so much is shrouded in mystery.

Like one of the things I’m bothered by

is when people accuse other athletes

of using steroids, for example.

And it’s just, yes, a lot of people use steroids,

but it sucks that people just don’t believe you.

There’s some incredible athletes that look shredded,

that look just incredible performers,

and everybody just says that they’re on steroids.

They kind of assume.

Yeah, I mean, and people accuse me all the time

of being on performance enhancing drugs and steroids.

And it is hard, but what I remind them is,

it’s what my appearance is a result of dedication.

But no, it’s hard work, diet, exercise, dedication.

Are you on keto?

I’m on, I’m on keto.

I’m doing a version of, you’re keto, right?

Yeah.

So I’m doing a version of keto right now with Brad.

And it’s, do you see what I mean?

You carb up in order to be able.

So it’s keto with sugar.

It’s called keto plus sugar.

And it’s a good diet for,

I grew up in the 90s when nobody ever lost weight sadly,

because every diet was like,

you can eat what you want, just be accountable.

No one even knew what that meant.

So it would be like my mother being like,

if you have chocolate chip pancakes, have a glass of water.

Just take a walk around the block.

You can go to McDonald’s three times a day.

Just walk around the block.

It’s what my parents used to say.

My mother would be like, just walk around the block.

You’re fine.

Gonna have a cigarette?

Walk 20 steps, walk 20 steps back.

It’s exercise.

So, you know, there’s too many conspiracies out there.

A lot of them aren’t true.

A lot of them are bitter, angry people

trying to justify their own impotence,

not being able to do anything in life.

And they’re like the people

that have done something in life, they’re all nefarious.

It’s all, the car just attacked against me.

That’s 100% true, 100%.

It attracts usually people

that have not figured out a way to succeed

or haven’t succeeded on the level that they want to.

But that also being true,

there is a fair amount of fuckery going on and provable.

And, you know, we just have to, I think, separate,

know that these things are often inflated or not true,

but know that sometimes they are true.

Otherwise it wouldn’t exist.

If there was no, if there was nothing to JFK,

there was nothing to 9 11,

if people felt like they were being dealt with honestly,

this wouldn’t exist.

I mean, this exists because there are real questions

that people have that don’t get answered for whatever reason.

And then the vacuum of the refusal to answer those questions,

that information vacuum is filled with people

like Alex Jones, who are curious

and sometimes they’re right

and sometimes they’re horribly wrong.

And sometimes they’re all over the place.

And they’re good storytellers and people love stories.

And then when there’s an absence of actual.

Alex is a uniquely American person,

like a very interesting, I don’t know how many countries,

like how many people make a living as a conspiracy theorist,

a good living in other countries, right?

It’s very rare, right?

I mean, it’s very interesting.

And he became like, I know people that knew him

when he was a kid,

because I’d go to Austin and perform a lot.

And he was a guy that would take a bullhorn and yell at cops

because he thought DEI checkpoints were unconstitutional.

That’s what he was doing in college.

And he’s just went through, he was hated by the right.

He was hated by the Bush people.

He was hated by them.

And he went from being this guy

that was considered like a leftist even,

like even though he was never a leftist,

he was considered this like enemy

of mainstream conservatism.

Like he was not considered a guy that wasn’t a patriot,

wasn’t this, wasn’t that.

And he just, wow, like he whines and whines

and ends up just being this confidant

of a Republican president,

very divisive Republican president.

And he becomes this populist and everything like that.

It’s really wild to watch that.

But I mean, I do think he should retire eventually

just so we could get some, I don’t know,

it seems like it’s a lot to keep doing.

Well, I hope this world allows for Alex Jones

to continue having a voice because just like you said,

he’s a, use the word fun,

but really he shakes up the norms of our discourse.

I do too.

I do think we need to put more value.

I think entertainment, we do need to say

that like there are people that should be allowed

to have a voice for entertainment purposes.

Right.

And that’s part of what Donald Trump,

now that he’s not the president,

come on, let the guy, let him talk.

Who do you think is the best comedian of all time?

Oh, that’s a great question.

Greatest of all time.

You mentioned Carlin, your uncle’s liking Carlin.

Well, Carlin is great.

Carlin is really hard to argue with,

but Chappelle is also really great.

Louis C.K. is really great.

I don’t know that there’s what Joan Rivers is great.

I don’t know.

You smile at that.

Well, she’s a beast of a comic.

I’m not aware of her standup actually.

She’s a beast of a comic.

Ask Rogue and ask any of them.

Kennison’s great.

So what makes a great comic do you think

in the history of comedy?

Just like that.

Said something at the moment in a way,

found a way to communicate with people

in the funniest possible way at that moment

and illustrated larger truths about life in what they did.

And I think that guys like Louis and Chappelle

and Pryor and Kennison and Hicks,

people like Joan Rivers have done that.

And even modern people,

people like Maria Bamford’s an amazing comedian.

It’s just a different style of comedy per se,

but she’s an amazing comedian.

Cat Williams is an amazing comedian.

He really is.

Does he have any, was he the one of the things

you kind of mentioned, the communities you mentioned,

they were kind of fearless in saying

the difficult things that needs to be said.

Cat Williams is more, I don’t remember his comedy,

but I think it’s just more wild out there.

Well, to an extent that you can watch it.

He’s got stuff.

He talks about stuff.

He talks about race brilliantly.

He talks about America brilliantly.

No, I think there’s a lot of stuff there.

Of course, Chris Rock.

Of Chris Rock, of course.

It’s so hard.

You can’t really pick one.

You just gotta, there’s a class of people

that throughout this history of this business,

which is not that long of a history.

It’s pretty much within the last century,

that have been really influential.

Sometimes it’s style, the way they deliver things.

Sometimes it’s substance of how they, what they’re saying,

or sometimes it’s just a style of what they’re saying.

And we’re only talking about standup comedians, right?

So there’s a million great comedians.

If we’re gonna talk about Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler

and Chris Farley, these are brilliant.

And those guys are bigger influences on comedy,

I think, than standups, really, truly.

So there’s so many brilliant people in the business.

Who was, for you, influential, just early on?

Hicks was influential, because I’d watch Bill Hicks,

and I’d be like, this guy’s saying crazy shit on stage,

and this is the only way he can get away with it,

is because it’s so funny.

And he was calling out the military industrial complex,

and he was talking about the first Gulf War.

I remember he said a joke that I heard.

It made me sit up straight, and he goes,

he was in Canada, and he said, we had a war in the States.

He was talking about the first Gulf War.

And he said, I was in the unenviable position

of being for the war, but against the troops.

And to me, I love that joke.

It was so funny to me, and I was like,

oh, you can’t get away with that anywhere

other than standing on a stage.

You couldn’t ever say that in an office, really.

And this was before, like, it was like PC,

and they said, the other thing,

I always knew that comedians had to say shit

and have it be funny enough

that you couldn’t get away with it in polite society.

That was the whole point.

That was why it was a dark theater or a dark nightclub.

That’s when people had a few drinks.

That’s what the art form was, and that’s why.

So a guy like that was influential

because I started watching him.

And then, of course, I loved SNL when I was a kid,

and I would watch Chris Farley,

and I would watch people like even John Belushi

going back in the day, but I’d watch Adam Sandler

and Will Ferrell and all these guys.

I mean, there’s so many funny people,

but Bill Hicks was kind of funny.

And then Patrice O Neill was probably my favorite comedian

who’s made me laugh more than anybody else.

So I think it was you, actually,

that maybe on your podcast,

we’re talking about Patrice O Neill

and that he was actually vicious to others.

I think he was a little mean to other people,

but he was very good to people that he liked, I guess.

I think he was like not, I mean, he wasn’t,

and I’ve never met him.

I have no inside info, but from what I’ve heard,

he was like no nonsense guy, right?

He just said what he wanted to say.

But I think in terms of comedians,

I don’t know of anyone funnier than Patrice O Neill

who said, in modern times,

that said more about our society than him.

I mean, he was just a brilliantly funny guy.

On the radio, he was funny.

On his specials, he was funny.

Everywhere, he was funny.

And there’s something else to be said

about the whole medium of comedians doing podcasts.

Because it unlocks a weird, special, new thing

that changed everything.

I mean, Rogan started with that.

You’re doing that.

I think that’s a whole nother form

of like standups, the ones that have a lot to say.

Almost like we get to witness the process

of the creation of the jokes in a way, or the mind.

The sort of the evolution of the mind behind the jokes.

It’s just.

Comedians relate to social media.

Comedians, comedy’s, it’s a performance based medium.

So it’s about getting up and doing it,

getting up in a club, getting up in a theater,

getting up in a bar, getting up wherever you can get up.

And comedy for years was about performance.

And then on the higher end,

it was about movies and TV shows.

But we were very slow to get on YouTube.

We’re very slow to adapt to technology.

We’re very slow to monetize anything we did on the internet.

So podcasting was a way for comics and funny people

to kind of get into that space, start earning money.

And now because of the pandemic,

it’s really become essential.

And it helps you, and even without the pandemic,

it was how you were building a fan base.

And that’s like, but comics were very reticent

to embrace social media at all

because they thought it was cheap and they didn’t like it.

And they thought the people on it were idiots

and were unfunny and it was just a blatant,

whatever it was, whether it was a money grab

or it was just too commercial in a sense

where they’re like, hey, look at me.

Like it was just goofy, right?

And then comics, I think got displaced

because all the YouTubers came in

and all the social media stars came in

and they really knocked comics off

because now people are much more,

like if you ask anyone under 30

who their favorite comedian is, they say David Dobrik.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

David’s a funny guy, but like what you,

not especially to me a ton, but that’s okay.

I don’t, but he makes people laugh, so he’s funny.

But he’s what people, that’s a comedian now.

So comics got beat by other people coming

into a digital space before they did laying the groundwork

and taking it over.

And now comics are just trying to stay alive.

Like even my podcast, which is people really like it,

thank God, and I love doing it.

The Tim Dillon Show.

Well, thank you.

I was late, you know, I mean, I was, I just, you know,

I’ve been podcasting for a long time,

but really dedicating myself

and putting the resources behind it, I was late to it.

Like, I was like, hey, I’m telling jokes on stage,

which is great, but I should have been allocating more time

to building an infrastructure online.

And I wasn’t doing it and a lot of comics weren’t doing it.

Funny comics weren’t doing it.

Comics should be doing it.

And I think when the pandemic ends,

a lot of comics will just keep doing live standup,

but I will keep, obviously I’m gonna go back on the road

and do live standup, but I will keep doing this podcast

and building digitally too.

But you’re also exploring ideas.

You’re doing like short videos and so on.

You’re trying to look for different mediums of how to be funny.

I wanna be funny everywhere.

I love making things too.

My producer, Ben Avery, is like a brilliant editor

and comedic mind, even though he’s not a standup.

He’s able to, he understands funny,

he understands what makes me funny.

We’re able to make these really, I mean,

some of those videos, they’re just brilliant little videos,

even though they’re tiny little videos,

they’re fucking as funny as anything.

And it’s not me.

It’s me working with somebody else

to make something really great.

And it’s that relationship that’s very important.

In some sense, the medium of a short video is a challenge,

just like the medium of a short tweet.

Of course.

How to say something.

I mean, whatever the flavor is of what’s in your heart,

what’s in your mind, how to say it,

whether it’s the goal is funny or something,

or just an expressing idea.

I think the whole thing that’s important to us

is that it’s an extension of,

really like an extension of your friendship in a way.

Like, are you guys laughing at it?

Are you guys making each other laugh about this idea?

And if that’s the case,

other people are going to laugh at it.

I think so much of the old medium was like,

everything was top down.

Okay, pitch me this idea.

I pitch it to the showrunner.

They pitch it to the network.

They pitch it to this, to that, to that.

Standards and practices, sales,

and we got to go through everything.

Now it’s just like, are me and a few buddies

or even just one buddy laughing at this idea?

Does it captivate us?

And do we see it visually?

And also a great line from Roseanne,

a guy, not Roseanne, but a guy that worked on Roseanne,

the old Roseanne, the great one.

He said, is it funny with the sound off?

Right.

That’s what we try to do.

That’s brilliant.

Is it funny with the sound off?

When you see me in the dumb things,

or me in the Meghan McCain, or me in the thing,

is it funny with the sound off?

And if it’s funny with the sound off,

you have a good starting point.

That’s hilarious, because you,

I would say you’re one of the people,

because most people are not funny with the sound off,

most comedians.

Like you, Will Ferrell’s another example of that.

There’s something about when I click on one of your videos,

it’s funny, just like the first thing I see, just your face.

We, well, thank you.

That’s very sweet.

But I mean, thank God.

I mean, that’s what we try to do, right?

We’re trying to be funny.

Yeah.

So we’re trying to be funny.

Can we talk about love a little bit?

Sure.

So you came out of the closet as being gay

when you were 25.

Yeah, it was late, very late.

Very late.

Before then.

By today’s standards.

During and after, how has your view on love evolved?

Interesting.

It’s so hard to say, because like I would,

I’d like to make a very like Disneyfied statement

about like that you can’t be in love secretively.

You should be honest.

Love should all be about honesty, but that’s not true.

Right?

There’s people that are in love

that are lying to everyone else,

but they’re deeply in love.

Yeah.

I would love to say something like,

honesty is an ingredient for love, you know?

But I don’t know, maybe honesty with each other.

But I mean, I think there’s a lot of people in the world

that aren’t honest.

My view on love is super important.

I think that it’s, a lot of society in America

is all about love.

We don’t tend to focus on other things

in terms of like, you know, friendship

or sustainability of that.

Cause I think that a lot,

I know a lot of people in relationships where it’s like,

I don’t know, they’re not, they are, they love each other,

but like, it’s also a rock solid couple

because they are, they’re very compatible

in many other ways.

Right.

So I think that like,

They’re friends.

They have, right.

I see friendship and love as the same thing.

There’s just parts of it that are, right?

So it’s like, I look at it as like,

there is, there needs to be more than just like that,

like amazing, like chemistry or physical attraction

that is this chemical thing that happens.

There should be like some underlying,

I mean, again, that’s from what I,

that’s what I’ve observed as really long lasting,

successful relationships.

Well, is there something about coming out that,

that was, that you took away,

that you remember as profound,

Yes.

That it was my, that I, it wasn’t society, it was me.

So there were kids that were out in my high school

that I waited years later to do it.

That was no one’s fault but my own.

So I was taking a cowardly way out

and a lot of people.

So I could blame society or like,

oh, I lived in a conservative area

and I grew up in that.

You should take responsibility for your own decisions.

And if you’re being cowardly,

admit that you’re being cowardly.

So that’s what I took out of it is that

it’s not society’s fault that you chose to be a coward.

Society will never be perfect.

You have to be honest when you’re ready to be honest

or however you want to be honest,

but it’s not somebody, too much now

is it’s everyone else’s fault that you didn’t take,

make a hard choice or a hard decision.

So that’s kind of what I took out of it.

So now in retrospect, you see yourself as,

were being afraid.

Do you think at the time?

Well, I wanted people to like me,

which is the disease of humanity, right?

Is that we want to be liked.

And what happens is if you want people to like you

and love you even,

you want people to feel comfortable with you.

And those were people like your family?

Friends more.

My family I would always,

could always throw in the street,

but I’m kidding.

I mean, but I am not,

but my friends, my circle of friends,

which I were my family at the time when you’re a senior,

when you’re 10th, 11th grade in high school,

your friends are your family.

You know what I mean?

Like that’s your,

so you don’t want to do anything

that puts you on the outside of the circle.

It’s just thinking back to that fear.

Is there things you’re afraid of now?

That you’re not doing, you’re afraid to do?

I’m afraid of all kinds of things.

I’m afraid of not being good at my job,

not being funny, letting people down,

not putting out products that are good,

whether it’s the podcast every week or stand up

or the videos,

like I’m afraid of like,

there’s a ton of people that really enjoy what we do.

So when you’re in that position,

you’re nervous that you’re going to start doing things

that they don’t like.

So the new things you want to do,

the evolution you want to do,

you want to make sure you’re evolving in the right way.

You want to make sure that you’re doing things

that are consistent with why people liked you,

but also you don’t want to put yourself in a box

and limit what you can be going forward.

So like, I had a talk with the CEO of NBC Universal once.

I was doing some internal sketch for them.

And I was playing like a cab driver and he was a,

and he’s not the current CEO, but he’s a former CEO.

And I said to him, what’s the hardest part of running

a corporation of this size?

And he said something very interesting.

He said, the hardest part is maximizing

the current profit model of what you have

at the same time, getting ready, getting ready,

getting the company ready

for where it’s going to be in five years.

He said, those are often at odds.

And that’s the toughest thing.

He goes, cause I could just bang out

everything I got to do right now.

And we’re going to make a lot of money doing this,

but am I devoting enough resources into digital

so that in five years, when that’s where everything lives,

are we competitive in that space?

So as funny as I am now, hopefully to people

and a lot of the things that I want to do now,

I’m going, what am I, what groundwork am I not laying

for three to five years down the road

so that I can be adapting to the trends

that are important then in terms of not so much

comedic trends, but like the technological trends,

like what is the, what is the, you know,

I should have done podcasting earlier.

What should I, should I have a bigger presence on TikTok?

Should I have a bigger presence here?

Should I have a business, or should I be on Twitch?

Should I be doing this?

Should I be doing that?

What am I not doing that I should be doing

that I’ll regret not doing?

And those are, those are the conversations

I think I have in my own head all the time.

And I guess there’s parallels to coming out as gay

or just parallels in like a career path

so you’re taking all that, that’s ultimately just fear.

It’s fear. Yeah.

It’s the fear of, you know, the best thing that happened

in my career was that I came to LA.

I didn’t have an idea of what was going to happen.

I met somebody who was really committed

to making funny things that we just wanted to be funny.

No one would let us be funny.

We didn’t have Comedy Central letting us be funny.

We didn’t have HBO, we didn’t have Netflix.

We just had a garage and a phone in the beginning

and then a camera and then a thing.

And we just wanted to be funny.

And that was the greatest risk really I took

because I was like, well, I don’t know what else

is going to happen right now, but I just want to be funny.

And funny saved my life, right?

I mean, funny got me out of drugs.

Funny probably got me out of the closet.

Funny was the thing that I was able to do

that made everything okay in my own head.

So I was like, as long as I’m being funny,

something good will happen.

So we did that and then something really cool happened

that we were able to do a lot of cool things,

but that’s what it is.

It’s fear that keeps you from being

the better version of yourself.

Your mom, I mean, you have so many complicated,

fascinating parts of your story.

Oh, thank you.

Your mom, as you were growing up, suffered.

Schizophrenic, yeah.

Well, from mental illness, yeah, schizophrenia.

Can you tell her story and how that relationship

has changed over the years?

Yeah, well, she was always eccentric and always,

you know, the terms for schizophrenia

in an Irish Catholic household

where we didn’t talk about anything were eccentric, fun.

She’s fun.

There’s a theme to this conversation.

She’s unpredictable.

She’s a wire, she was a live wire.

Any of the words you would use to describe somebody

who was a fucking lunatic, but you wouldn’t say that.

Pop that spin.

Right, she started experiencing symptoms

probably early on in her life,

but she also, I think, started really manifesting them

when I was in my mid teens, so like 14, 13, 14 area.

And she got really, really bad.

And then I think she was institutionalized

about 10 years ago, a little over 10 years ago.

And she could really no longer live on her own.

She was unable to go to work.

She was unable to function.

So I visit her when I can.

Obviously, I’m not in New York.

Whenever I go to New York, I visit her.

She’s aware of what I do, my career and everything like that.

She has good days and bad days,

but mental illness is a thing that’s very tough.

We don’t talk about it as a society.

People with mental problems don’t get that much attention.

We tend to think that they did something wrong

or that they deserve it or that they are to be ignored.

And we don’t devote a lot of resources into it,

which is unfortunate because then you have the junk gurus

come in and go like,

let’s diagnose your mental illness off Instagram.

And it’s like, that’s not the move.

Yeah.

Do you love her?

I do, I do.

I love her, but I also remember her that isn’t her now.

And when someone has mental illness that’s severe,

you make peace with their death before they die.

Wow, yeah.

Because the part of them that you love and remember

a lot of cases is not evident or obvious.

Now, my mother’s still a loving person that I love,

but the fun, her ability to be present in the moment

and to not, that is lost with the progression of realness

so that you still love her.

And I mean, again, your parents,

the time horizons you have with your parents are unknown.

People don’t know.

I have friends that their parents were in their lives

for their entire life.

And I have friends whose parents were in their life,

but my mother was a very, she knew what I was.

When I was a little kid, I was an actor.

When I was like six to 12,

my mother knew that I was a performer.

She knew what I was and what I’d ultimately do.

She recognized that in me.

And when I said to her, I want to audition for shows,

I want to be on stage, I want to be on this,

I want to do this, she let me do it

because she knew who I was

and she didn’t want to get in the way

of me being a human being, a fully realized person at six.

So that’s probably the best thing a parent can do for a kid

is let them be who they are.

And my mother did that.

So that, I mean, that’s good.

We ate too much fast food.

There were negatives, but she did let me be who I was.

That’s why you want to throw them out into the street.

Yeah, sometimes.

But coming to accept the mortality of her,

I guess, identity as you remember it from childhood,

do you ponder your own mortality?

Are you afraid of death?

I’m afraid of death.

I don’t like the idea of death, but I know it’s happening.

I know it’s going to happen eventually.

I don’t love it.

Do you think about it?

I think about, I want to do some good stuff

that people can look back at.

And I think I’m proud of the show

where if people look back at the show,

I don’t know how comedy ages or whatever,

but I think I put out a lot of stuff

and I want to continue to put out stuff

and I want to put out a few specials

that people can look back at and go,

oh, this guy was really funny in this really crazy,

he lived in the latter part of this century

when all this shit was going on.

And he kind of made fun of it.

And he did something to make people’s lives a little better

just by having a few laughs.

What do you think about,

this is something like in the podcast context,

do you think you’ll have just one or two or three shows

out of thousands maybe that are like the truly special ones?

That’s probably the case.

Or do you think it’s an entirety of the body of work?

I think people will take 10 minute clips

from all different shows and put them together.

And there’s a highlight.

Yeah, like a highlight reel of just like,

these are like the best things that he’s ever done

or the best rants he’s ever had,

the best things, whatever.

So the legacy would be that this was an important voice

in a very weird time.

I would hope that that’s part of it.

And I hope that I continue to be,

you say important, I say funny,

but hopefully I continue to be a voice.

And that’s what I think when I think about death,

I think about like, what do people come on earth to do?

And I think I came,

I think my main purpose on this planet

other than to experience whatever love

or worthiness or whatever is to entertain people.

And there’s a lot of people in comedy right now

that are not entertainers, and that’s really the problem.

But, and they got into comedy sort of the way

that you can walk into the wrong store in a mall

and then not realize you’re in the wrong store

and try on a bunch of clothes and then go,

fuck, I wasted my whole afternoon.

But I think I’ve always kind of been an entertainer

and that’s what I wanna do.

There’s a, unfortunately, sadly,

a lot of people that look up to you.

That is a horrible thing, but life is a nightmare.

Yeah.

If you were to give them advice,

young folks, people in college, maybe even high school,

but people in their 20s about what to do with their life,

whether it’s career, whether it’s just life in general,

what would you say?

Ignore everyone.

Make a few good friends.

Truly have honest conversations with yourself about your,

when do you feel the most alive?

Figure that out.

When and how do you feel the most alive?

Yeah.

Figure that out.

Try to figure out a job or a career

that can replicate that feeling.

Don’t listen to anyone.

Don’t listen to your parents.

Don’t listen to the gurus on the internet.

Don’t listen to me.

Don’t listen to anyone.

Figure out where you feel the most alive.

Where do you feel excited?

Where does your pulse quicken?

What do you feel matters?

When you’re in a situation, do you feel like it matters?

What situation was that?

What got you excited?

What thing did you walk into where you looked around

and were taken back and you’re like,

wow, this is amazing?

And I’m filled with awe.

If you can figure out a life where you can excite yourself,

you might not use drugs or alcohol or a sex addiction

or gambling or irresponsibility.

You might not have to get your fucking kicks

in very destructive places

if you can get them in a productive place.

Well, you had a pretty weaving life

that’s full of mistakes and so on.

Many mistakes.

Is that, are mistakes a bug or a feature?

Like, do you recommend embrace the mistakes,

make a bunch of them?

Depends what they are, right?

So.

Well, you’ve had the full spectrum.

I’ve had a lot, but a lot of mine could have sunk me.

Right.

Like, they sound like fun when I talk about them,

but they actually could have sunk me.

And they were all part of what made me funny,

but I don’t know.

I would never tell anyone else

to just light their life on fire

and hope it all works out on the other end.

It would be pretty irresponsible.

But hey, at the end of the day, it’s like,

you’re gonna, we get, there’s, you know,

I think one of my themes is that there’s too much.

We give the power.

We think we have too, the power of choice

has been elevated on our society to an unhealthy degree.

I think people are, I think you could get really good

at something, but you’re born with a certain aptitude.

It might be to be a deal maker,

might be to be an athlete.

It might be to be an artist.

It might be to be a romantic,

just fall in and out of love, in and out of love,

in and out of love.

It might be to be like a world traveler.

Like, but whatever you are, I think you are.

I think that there’s something about you

that makes you something.

And if you can figure it out and then refine,

you’re not gonna be good at it per se.

But if you’re an athlete,

it might not mean that you’re going to be a great athlete

in the history, but it might mean you’re the best coach

anyone’s ever had, or you’re the person that, you know,

builds a local scene for young athletes or whatever.

If you are a really good deal maker,

it doesn’t mean you’re gonna be Warren Buffett,

but it might mean you’re somebody who enjoys

making deals all the time and things like that.

Like if you’re an entertainer,

it might mean that you are an entertainer.

It might mean that you are in the world of entertainment

because you love it so much that if you lack the skillset

to really pursue it on a degree,

you just want to be like, there’s a thing

inside of you that makes you what you are.

I think, I look at certain people and I go,

you were born to be that thing.

You know?

The whole purpose is to find it.

I was a juror on that murder trial in Long Island

and the woman who’s the DA, I’m like,

you were born to do this.

You were born to put murderers away

and this guy killed the mother of his children.

I mean, he’s a bad guy, but like, I was like,

you are really good at what you do.

She has a strong belief in whatever her moral code is

and what her justice and ethics are.

And she wants to communicate that to people.

She was very good at doing what she did.

I don’t know the facts of the case.

I didn’t really listen.

He seemed guilty, so I just voted guilty.

But I didn’t really listen to her,

but I heard the shape of her mouth was very bovine,

like a cow, and it conferred a certain level

of expertise that I enjoyed.

Well, it’s funny.

I mean, you could see, you’re half joking.

Yes, but I’m serious.

You can often see that people just,

they found their place.

They found their role.

They found their thing.

They found their thing,

and that’s kind of the purpose of life.

And once you are in a place that seems sticky,

like the place that seems right,

that’s one of the problems with the generation

that you’re speaking to, is there’s always a feeling

like I should keep exploring, keep exploring.

But it’s okay to stay in a place that you found that works.

Yeah, and listen, sometimes the best place you’ll find

is like when people are like,

when did you feel really excited and alive?

It’s like doing nothing.

Right, yeah.

You know, like that’s the other thing.

It’s like some people are gonna be like,

I feel really excited and alive,

and I’m laying in my backyard in a hammock.

And I just wanted the simplest life

and not have to do much, and I don’t like doing anything.

And I love laying around and going,

wow, the sky looks good today.

Bill Gates goes, the sky looks good today.

Let’s shoot a missile into it.

He wants to do shit, right?

So it’s like in between that and nothing

is you can find something.

But in that process, for you personally,

I mean, for me and for others, I think there’s a struggle.

When you look in the,

when Tim and Dylan looks in the mirror,

do you love yourself or do you hate yourself?

Well, a lot of times I think I’m Amy Schumer,

so I’m confused.

I’m a detente to myself all the time.

I don’t love myself or hate myself.

Addicts have a very bad problem

where you can’t just fall in love with yourself

and you can’t hate yourself.

Both of them lead you to a negative place.

You try to stay kind of even keel.

I don’t go like, hey man, you put out a video,

get all these views, things are great.

You sold a bunch of tickets.

Let’s fucking go out and like, maybe let’s,

hey man, let’s have that drink

that you’ve been waiting for for 11 years.

And I don’t look at myself and go,

you ate a burger yesterday.

You’re a piece of shit.

You’re horrible.

You’ll never get into the shape you want.

I try not to get too low or too high.

Both of them are not good for my particular mind.

Okay, I gotta ask, we kind of spoke about 2021

and you being potentially hopeful,

hopeful short term, cynical long term.

Yeah.

So let me ask, I forgot to ask, are you moving to Austin?

I don’t know.

I mean, I don’t think so immediately.

I love Joe.

I love what he’s trying to do down there.

I’m appreciative of everything that he’s done

for not only me, but for comedy in general.

And I think as things happen in Austin

and unfold is such a political answer,

but as things unfold, I will consider it more and more.

But I mean, I think I got another year in LA.

So you’ve spoken so nicely about this magical place

that is Los Angeles.

LA is very funny.

You think there’s a place for comedy in LA?

Oh yeah.

There will always be a place for comedy in LA.

So it’s gonna be a place for comedy in New York.

I mean, the question is how thriving of a comedy scene

is Austin gonna be?

And Joe can probably make it one,

but as of right now, it isn’t.

So that would be him doing that.

But the question, there’s a lot of people escaping

Los Angeles, but I know better about New York.

There’s a lot of really brilliant people.

Let them go.

There’s other people.

This is the thing.

It’s like, this is the fear thing.

It’s like, no, but all the brilliant people are leaving.

There’ll be other people and they’ll fill their shoes

the way that they’ve done throughout history.

And I think that New York and LA,

listen, maybe in five to 10 years,

they’re not the two cities.

It would be real rough in five years

when this pandemic’s over for people in Australia to go,

dude, you gotta go to America

and you gotta visit Charleston and Austin.

Stop.

Let’s be adults here.

Let’s be adults.

It’s still gonna be New York and LA for a while.

LA is an absolute hellscape,

but I don’t think you’re gonna replace California

with another place.

And also, everyone’s making decisions now

because we’re literally in the midst of a pandemic

we’ve never had before.

We’ve never had this before.

Joe loved California up until the pandemic.

He had problems with it.

Like, we all have problems with it.

There’s a lot of benefits to being here.

I think a lot of us made pretty bad decisions in 2020

because we were all locked up

and stuck with our own thoughts.

But, so it’s funny, there’s parallels

because I don’t necessarily,

you know, I’m obviously a fan of comedy,

but I don’t care where comics move.

But there’s a parallel move that’s happening,

set of decisions which do influence my decision making,

which is where to start a business that’s tech centered.

And that’s more about the San Francisco, Silicon Valley.

And there is a lot of people leaving there.

That’s already.

And they’re going to Austin.

Well, Austin, there’s a, I think,

there’s a bunch of different places.

Phoenix, there’s Denver.

Austin will probably be a massive tech hub.

Elon’s there.

It seems like it’s all, everything about Austin says

that it’s going to be a massive tech hub.

I just don’t know if that means

it’ll be a massive comedy hub.

It might.

I don’t know if those two can actually coexist.

It’s interesting because.

Yeah, I don’t, I think, you know,

comedy suffered in New York and LA

when everyone got super rich.

Like, you know, it just wasn’t as cool.

It’s still much more fun on the road.

It’s still more fun to perform for people

that want and need to laugh in strip malls

than it is to perform for hedge fund managers

and with their dates and, you know, Instagram models in LA.

It’s just what it is.

Comedy on the road is much more fun.

So maybe in the spirit of that, Austin becomes,

but you know, you know, if Austin is just colonized

by tech bros and stuff like, yeah, I mean,

sure, sure it’ll be fun and it’ll be great.

I think Joe’s made LA a scene.

So if anyone’s going to make Austin a scene, it’s Joe.

Yeah, and I like the, on the Elon side,

which is what I’m much more familiar with,

the promise of the possibility of what that could become

because there’s a lot of problems in Silicon Valley.

And of course it might be naive to think that

just because it’s like the grass is greener thing,

which is just because the place where you come from

has a lot of problems,

doesn’t mean you can just create a new place

that’s not going to have those problems.

Yeah, there’s homelessness in Austin.

There are problems in Austin.

I mean, I think that with, by the way,

with the influx of very rich people to an area,

sometimes that helps things,

but sometimes it just makes things more polarizing

and it puts a spotlight on those problems

and makes those problems even bigger, right?

So, I mean, I don’t know that it’s necessarily,

it’s hard to predict.

I just know that LA right now is funny.

It’s funny that there’s 15 year old TikTokers

making millions of dollars dancing in a house

while the world burns.

That is very funny.

Well, it’s for your style of humor, yes.

The absurdity of the world is that it’s…

No one cares about Hollywood starlets

and actresses and actors and everyone goes,

hey, fuck you.

Even though they’ve won three Academy Awards,

they’re all being replaced

by just mediocre dancer 15 year olds.

I mean, it’s like there’s something hilarious

about this city and it will burn in hell,

but so will everything.

So what are we talking about?

Eventually the sun will die out

and we will all be gone unless we colonize

outside of our solar system.

But I just sit here,

I’m struggling with this

because Boston, I’m currently at MIT,

Boston doesn’t feel like the right place

to start a business in the tech sector.

And so I’m choosing,

I’m looking at San Francisco the way it is

and I’m looking at Austin.

Oh, Austin, clearly.

So it seems clear, but it’s such a difficult thing

to predict what a place will look like in 10 years

and 15 years and 20 years.

And it’s so hard to predict if you’ll like it or not

until you’re there.

And this is speaking to risk,

there’s not really a good reason for me to move anywhere.

There’s not a good reason to do anything in life.

Part of me wants to just fucking do it

and whatever and see what happens.

Do you like Boston, do you like other things about Boston

besides the tech thing?

You like MIT.

MIT, that’s the problem.

Do you like the food in Boston?

Do you eat food?

I haven’t eaten food or been outside for years.

And I mean, that’s probably the better version.

But you’re keto forever.

You’ve been keto for a long time.

Yeah, keto, fasting for a long time.

15 years fasting, eating once or twice a day.

But no sugar ever, no like and no pasta ever, no bread ever.

No pasta, no bread, no, except like, so my source of…

You could kind of live anywhere

because like going out is such a big part

of what city you live in.

And like, do you like the food there?

Do you like the restaurants?

Can you meet people?

Whatever, but it’s like, you really can just kind of…

Yeah, so not married, no kids.

Right, you have freedom.

Me too, I have freedom.

And that’s, we have the curse of being vegan.

We have too many choices.

Right.

That’s the thing.

We have too many choices.

We don’t have somebody else going, what about like,

we don’t have to justify our decisions to anyone.

So we can just kind of like let our minds go run wild.

So you just got to hone the instinct

of just what feels right and just fucking do it.

And that’s it.

I think Austin with Joe down there and Elon down there,

Austin seems like a real no brainer move for you.

To try, you know, why the hell not?

Why not?

And then I think I should go to MIT.

Like, I mean, I think I should give those nerds

a piece of my mind that you should go to.

I was in an Uber pool once with a kid from MIT

and I was eating this thing from Bova’s Bakery.

I forget what it was.

It was like a, it’s so good.

I don’t know.

You don’t know Bova’s Bakery, right?

Yeah, it’s in Boston, it’s famous.

I was eating a thing and I was like covered in chocolate.

This kid, like this little nerd, like this little like,

you know, USB drive with feet was just staring at me

and they just dropped him off at MIT.

And he like scurried away.

But that’s a big school that,

doesn’t the NSA recruit out of their heavy,

like MIT, places like that?

I can’t, I can’t speak to that.

But what, this is a ridiculous question

I sometimes ask myself when I’m alone.

What is the meaning of life?

Do you think about the big existential kind of,

why the hell we’re here?

It’s a cosmic kind of joke kind of in a weird way, right?

I mean, Joe said it the other day on,

maybe it was you saying that like,

he was just like, you know,

by the time you figure out what it is, you’re out of here.

You know, it’s kind of interesting.

Or you even start to figure out what it is,

you’re out of here.

It’s like, that’s kind of funny.

It’s like, you don’t get enough time to truly,

I think the meaning of life is just like,

at the end of the day, do you feel it was time well spent?

Was it time well spent?

That’s really what it is.

If you look back, do you go,

hey, it was time well spent.

Pretty good ride.

It was a pretty good ride.

I did a lot of things.

Doing what you say is a part of it, I think.

If you say you’re going to do something, maybe doing it.

That seems to be extrapolating the meaning of life question

to like, you know, what did you come here to do?

I think it goes down deep of like, who are you

and what do you want and you know,

what are you suited to do and what?

It does seem that like, the people who are most enlightened

that I’ve ever met or read books by,

they ultimately land on humor.

Like, they don’t take shit seriously.

They embrace the absurdity of it all

and just kind of laugh at it in this kind of simple way.

So it does seem that humor is like,

one of the fundamental truths of this universe we’re in.

And somehow.

It’s love, it’s love.

Humor can be love, right?

People laughing, that that sound is kind of like,

Carolyn Knapp, who wrote a book called,

Drinking a Love Story, which is a really good book

about not drinking.

Drinking and then not drinking.

And she said, you could understand things as love.

I think one of the last lines of the thing is like,

people talking about their experiences in life,

that could be love.

Like, you know, laughter is love.

Like, I feel like love and finding it

wherever you could find it is why we’re here.

That’s that connection.

And laughter can be love.

And, you know, figuring out, you know,

something that makes life better

for a lot of people can be love.

You know, whether it’s a vaccine

or a technological advancement or whatever.

Like, you know, all of those things,

I think, can be that feeling.

And I think that’s what’s important.

It connects you to a larger frequency, you know?

I don’t think there’s a better way to end it, Tim.

I hope you’re one of the voices.

I truly believe that your legacy

would be one of the most important voices of our time,

because you’re fearless and challenging all the absurdity

of the nonsense of our social and political discourse.

So I hope you keep doing it.

I’m a fan.

I’m still a bit starstruck, so.

I’ll stop it.

Listen, I was your intellectual capacity.

Enjoying anything I do only underscores

how truly fucked we are.

But thank you very much.

Yeah, thank you for talking today.

Thank you, brother.

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