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J: How did you decide to do ďScorching The EarthĒ?
MM: ďScorching The EarthĒ came up -- because I had gone through a miserable part of my life. I was in the middle of a horrible divorce and given that Iím the kind of comic that talks about himself, I had to start talking about it, and I had to start talking about it while I was in the middle of it. As it kept going on, I realized it was going to bankrupt me and cost me a lot of money, I figured this has got to be creative time, so I had to make something out of it, if I was going to spend this much money, I might as well get a show out of it. That was the beginning of it, and then it turned into something other than that. It could be seen as spiteful intention, which might have been part of it initially, but now itís turned into a cathartic experience for me to go through some of the more painful stuff that happened during that time and share it with people and hammer it into a dramatic structure and get some closure around it. It seems to resonate with people who have been in similar situations as well.

J: Have portions of it changed during the time youíve performed it?
MM: Yes, because Iíve just been in workshop mode with it. It hasnít had a real run. I never claimed to be doing anything other than a workshop process. It certainly evolved as the feelings became less painful to me and as I was able to find some closure around things. The Time Out review said something interesting about how the most interesting thing about the show was I had no hindsight and that I was in the middle of what I was talking about. That made it very visceral and Ö I think I still capture that. But as I do it, and as time goes on, my feelings change and things change about how I look at what I went through. Eventually it will have closure and it will be what it is.

J: Youíre no longer in the middle of it while doing the show?
MM: Right. A little hindsight might make it better or maybe make it worse. I donít know, weíll see.

J: Are you planning to take it beyond a workshop?
MM: Yeah, Iím going to take it to Montreal, to the Just For Laughs festival. I have to make it an hour as opposed to an hour and a half, which is what itís been running at. Then hopefully, Iíll do a real theater run with it.

J: Are there other projects in the works?
MM: The CD just came out, ďScorching The EarthĒ is there, ongoing comedy, and ďBreak RoomĒ for now. Thatís enough.

J: Thatís a lot.
MM: Itís good to be busy.

J: Are there other performers or a wish list of guests that youíre trying to get on ďBreak RoomĒ?
MM: Iíd like Anne Hathaway to come on, but I donít think she will [tongue-in-cheek]. I like having my friends on. There are comics I would like to have on -- Iíd like Louis C.K. to come on. Eugene Mirman has been on; Todd Barry came on; Sarah Silverman has been here; Janeane Garofalo comes by; Jim Gaffigan has been here; Kristen Schaal came on. Iíd like Al Madrigal to come by, but heís not in New York usually. Maria Bamford I would like to have on. They usually come around if theyíre around; I get a hold of them.

I didnít realize how many people weíve actually had on. Usually I get on who I want to get on.

J: What about more people like Richard Ben Veniste?
MM: I like talking to politicians or people who know about things. Usually I can get those guys, so thereís no real wish list. Everybodyís pretty available to do just about anything these days because no one knows what people are watching, so you can get fairly high level guests for Internet shows.

J: Where do you think itís all going with the format of the Internet show like you do, versus TV?
MM: I donít know how anybody knows. Everyone assumes that eventually everyone will be watching everything on the same machines, so trying to figure out how to get them to watch your thing on that machine -- thatís the trick. Who knows how the hell thatís going to work? People watch certain things differently on the Internet. They watch TV shows the same way they watch them on TV but stuff thatís specifically for the Internet, they seem to pick and choose. I donít think anyone has really harnessed it yet. People will always watch TV shows all the way through like theyíre TV shows, so whether itís on the Internet or on TV, what difference does it make? But once everythingís all on the same machine, I donít know. I donít think itís been wrangled yet. I donít know why more people donít watch our show all the way through. I think itís pretty compelling and interesting, and funny. Itís also a matter of advertising and awareness, making the time.

J: Would you want ads tied to your show though?
MM: Sure. We have the coffee guy. Weíve changed their business. They ainít paying much for the ads, but they definitely got some customers.

J: Is the CD all one set or put together from different shows?
MM: ďFinal EngagementĒ is a two-CD set that was taken from four shows that I did in Seattle, which I guess is the way people do it now. My first CD, ďNot Sold OutĒ is a continuous show, but most people -- the way Robert (?) Schlissel and Stand Up Records does it -- he does Doug Stanhope, Maria Bamford and Lewis Blackís older CDs -- he does a pretty thorough job and he likes to mix it up. Itís weird because when I hear it, I think, Ďthat doesnít go there.í

J: Heís doing his own sequencing.
MM: Which is fine. You have to trust people on some level. Especially for someone like me, itís not like every set Ö every set is relatively organic. Itís not planned out. I donít really have a middle point. Usually I have a beginning and an ending. What happens in the middle is anyoneís guess. For someone to structure it to have some sort of flow, I donít mind that. But I like the cover art. Thereís a good picture on the inside. Iím excited about it. 
   

     

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