The Hilarious World of Depression

The Hilarious World of Depression

www.hilariousworld.org
A show about clinical depression…with laughs? Well, yeah. Depression is an incredibly common and isolating disease experienced by millions, yet often stigmatized by society. The Hilarious World of Depression is a series of frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease, hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe. Join guests such as Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Jen Kirkman to learn how they’ve dealt with depression and managed to laugh along the way. If you have not met the disease personally, it’s almost certain that someone you know has, whether it’s a friend, family member, colleague, or neighbor. Depression is a vicious cycle of solitude and stigma that leaves people miserable and sometimes dead. Frankly, we’re not going to put up with that anymore. The Hilarious World of Depression is not medical treatment and should not be seen as a substitute for therapy or medication. But it is a chance to gain some insigh


The Perils and Rewards of Travel
Jul 8 • 29 min
Taking a trip somewhere new can be wonderful: the new experiences, the exciting culture, the unusual foods. For people who deal with depression or anxiety, travel can also introduce a variety of problems. It necessarily involves getting out of the…
Just the Funny Parts
May 6 • 40 min
Look, we know that THWoD can get a little, I guess, intense at times. Depression is a heavy topic and stories about it are often packed with bummers. So in this special episode, we rounded up some of the funniest moments from our three seasons and packed…
Solomon Georgio Is Doing Better
Dec 24, 2018 • 48 min
It’s not easy to pinpoint where L.A.-based comedian Solomon Georgio is “from.” His family is Ethiopian but he was born in a refugee camp in Sudan. The family traveled to St Louis, then on to Fresno, where he was bullied so much in 2nd grade that he…
Jonny Sun Ended Up Here Somehow
Dec 17, 2018 • 47 min
The idea was to become an engineer or maybe an architect. Jonny Sun has degrees in both, and he’s a dissertation away from a doctorate in urban studies and planning from MIT. But a phenomenally humane, funny, and popular Twitter account has placed him in…
Naomi Ekperigin Brings In Her Baggage, Unpacks It
Dec 10, 2018 • 48 min
“There’s a lot to unpack, John,” says comedian, actor, and writer Naomi Ekperigin during the course of this interview and indeed there is. The New York native, now uneasily dwelling in Los Angeles, has dealt with anxiety, depression, a very complicated…
Check-Ups on Gary Gulman, Linda Holmes, Janelle James, and “Steve.” Plus, Sock Opportunities
Dec 3, 2018 • 48 min
Mental health is a journey. Rarely does someone have a problem, fix it completely, and never worry about it again. On this episode, we touch base with three popular guests we’ve had on the show to see how they’re doing today. Gary Gulman has a new lease…
Aparna Nancherla Is Having a Harder Time Doing Something She’s Great At
Nov 26, 2018 • 43 min
It’s pretty easy to be a fan of Aparna Nancherla. Not only does she create incredibly funny, smart, relatable comedy, she does so in a variety of formats. You can catch her standup on Netflix or Spotify and you can see her acting work on shows like…
John Ross Bowie and Jamie Denbo Don’t Need Your Suggestions For Their Life Improv
Nov 19, 2018 • 50 min
In a whole lot of ways, improv comedy is the opposite of depression. It requires you to be present in the moment, unconcerned about past regrets and future anxieties. It means connecting with other people and taking fun risks. And it’s full of laughs.…
Adventures in Therapy
Nov 12, 2018 • 37 min
True stories of beautiful epiphanies and majestic, horrible disasters. Talk therapy is one of the most popular ways to address depression and it’s one of the most effective. Still, at its root, talk therapy is a relationship between two humans —…
Guy Branum Goes to Minnesota, Gets Good Internet, Finds Self
Nov 5, 2018 • 43 min
Comedian and writer Guy Branum was expected to be a construction worker his whole life. Maybe a football player. He was large, strong, and grew up in a town more known for agriculture than metropolitan sophistication. After scoring good grades and pining…
The Hilarious NIGHT of Depression
Oct 29, 2018 • 78 min
Our show took to the stage recently for a live event packed with laughter, insight, and music. We were joined by Paul F. Tompkins, Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, and Ana Marie Cox, who all shared their experience with mental illnesses as well as what it’s like to…
Words: Am We Uses Them Good At Mental Health?
Oct 22, 2018 • 45 min
Finding and using the right words for something as complex as mental illnesses can be exasperating. And it can take a lot of effort to avoid the wrong words. In this episode, using words, we explore terms like “crazy” or “addiction” or “depression” and…
Scott Thompson Keeps Getting Back Up Again
Oct 15, 2018 • 53 min
He’s a writer, a stand-up comedian, and an actor, but Scott Thompson will likely always be best known as one of five members of The Kids in the Hall, one of the best sketch comedy groups ever. Scott has made a lot of people laugh, but his life has been…
Chris Gethard Does Not Avoid the Collision
Oct 8, 2018 • 52 min
Comedian and actor Chris Gethard has a lifetime of experience with depression. Chris has turned moments of his life dealing with the illness into an off-Broadway show and an HBO special, which is more than one might expect from a fight-prone, often manic,…
Figuring Out Regular Adolescent Behavior vs. Alarming Disorder with Jen Kirkman
Oct 1, 2018 • 53 min
Young people can be morose, angry, withdrawn. It’s often chalked up to being a “phase,” a natural initiation ritual to adulthood. What if it’s not? What if it’s a mental disorder in need of help? We hear from the always-entertaining comedian and writer…
Neko Case Leaves Bad Places, Goes to Better Places
Sep 24, 2018 • 51 min
Long before Neko Case was known as one of the top singer-songwriters working today, she was a punk teenager running around the streets of Tacoma, having ditched a neglectful and dangerous house. Fortunately for her and her eventual fans, she got her life…
Your Amazing Therapeutic Jukebox
Sep 17, 2018 • 52 min
We asked you, our listeners, for the songs that help you most when depression is really acting up, and the stories behind those picks. On this episode hear stories about and music from Leonard Cohen, Bjork, Neil Young, Radiohead and so much more. We even…
Mortified’s Dave Nadelberg Presents Your Shame Live On Stage
Sep 10, 2018 • 40 min
You can think of Dave Nadelberg’s vast Mortified project as The Hilarious World of Embarrassment, Awkwardness, and Redemption. Through stage presentations, film, TV, and books, Dave invites people to share their most mortifying writing. It’s very funny,…
Open Mike Eagle Goes Outside And Meets People
Sep 4, 2018 • 50 min
A lot of rappers are heavily influenced by the rough and real streets where they grew up. Mike Eagle grew up on those streets too but he was always inside, reading books and watching TV. He loved comedy, cartoons, and especially the wide range of music…
Impostor Syndrome: True Tales, Tricks, and Tactics for When You’re Feeling Fraudulent
Aug 27, 2018 • 38 min
You know the feeling, right? You finally achieve something — a new job, a promotion, an award — and while you know you should be proud, you just feel like a big phony who will soon be exposed. You feel like you don’t really belong there and you suspect…
Thom Tran Is a Regular Standup Comic Except for the Part About Being Shot in the Head in Iraq
Aug 20, 2018 • 49 min
Yeah, you don’t hear a lot of on-stage material from Chris Rock or Sarah Silverman about the time they were on a mission with their unit in Iraq and they took a bullet to the back of the skull. But you hear about that from Thom Tran, a US Army veteran and…
Andrew Zimmern Wrecks His Life, Rebuilds His Life, and Eats Weird Food
Aug 13, 2018 • 42 min
Celebrity chef and Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern has made a reputation as a culinary expert with an adventurous streak, traveling the world and sampling tree grubs, shark meat, tarantulas, and horse rectums among many other cuisines. But before his…
Special Episode: Mental Health First Aid and Lady Gaga’s Mom
Jun 26, 2018 • 27 min
CPR training has been widely available for many years now and offered in a variety of convenient ways. But what if the problem isn’t physical but mental? A new wave of first aid training is rapidly sweeping the world and people are learning what to do and…
How to Get Help
Jun 8, 2018 • 25 min
Here’s a repeat of an episode originally aired last year. We’re offering this repeat because some things need repeating, such as how to get help for your mental health when you really need it. It’s a conversation with Dr. Ken Duckworth, Medical Director…
Highlights From A Hilarious Night of Depression
Mar 5, 2018 • 40 min
The show busts out of studios and quiet intimate spaces for an on-stage performance at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. Comedian Mike Brown joins us for plenty of comedy and conversation. We even bust out a few games where you can play along and see…
Hannah Hart Gets Drunk, Tries To Make Grilled Cheese, Gets Famous, Tries To Enjoy It
Feb 5, 2018 • 49 min
Although she comes across as confident and happy on her incredibly successful YouTube channel, Hannah Hart has plenty of experience with insecurity and misery in her life. Growing up, she faced severe poverty, hunger, and dealing with a mother who was…
Ted Leo Stops Beating Up File Cabinets, Songs, Self
Jan 29, 2018 • 47 min
It’s hard to settle on a musical description for Ted Leo. We ended up going with “if The Beach Boys were ’80s skateboarders” to summarize his melodic intense post-punk sound. Similarly hard to nail down is whether Ted’s longtime issues with depression and…
Rachel Bloom Finds Her Voice, Then Uses It To Sing About Stealing Pets and Moving to West Covina, California
Jan 22, 2018 • 53 min
Rachel Bloom has never moved across the country to chase a boy like Rebecca Bunch did. Rebecca is the character Rachel plays in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the hit show she co-created and stars in on The CW Network. But Rachel does have a long history of…
Reggie Osse Puts It Together
Jan 15, 2018 • 51 min
In one of the last interviews he gave, Reggie Osse, aka Combat Jack, talks about the connection between the status of the African-American man in contemporary society, the changing role of masculinity in hip-hop culture, and mental health. Osse was an…
Linda Holmes Leaves Law to Concentrate On Watching TV and It Works Out Great
Jan 8, 2018 • 45 min
Before she was the host of NPR’s popular Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, Linda Holmes was an attorney working at the Minnesota Legislature. Before that, she was a student living in squalor. And before that, she was the victim of some seriously messed up…
Rhett Miller Really Hates That Brass Cat
Jan 2, 2018 • 47 min
If you’ve ever heard this show before, you’ve heard singer-songwriter Rhett Miller. He wrote and performs the theme song about “the world’s greatest clown.” On this episode, Rhett tells of his teenage suicide attempt, a mysterious illness, his musical…
Mike Brown Trains as an Engineer to Prepare for Comedy
Dec 26, 2017 • 50 min
New York comedian Mike Brown is a big fan of objective cause-and-effect scenarios. This drew him into playing video games, studying math and engineering, and ultimately getting on stage to tell jokes and get laughs. The thing is, sometimes you have to…
Janelle James Discovers She’s a Comedian and Not a Gardener
Dec 18, 2017 • 42 min
New York comic Janelle James never even imagined being a comedian. She had grown up in the Virgin Islands, worked in fashion PR, had two kids, and was living in Illinois when she first walked on stage at an open mic night. She was 30 years old. But as…
Jenny Lawson is Very Fond of Creepy Smiling Dead Animals and Worries Quite a Bit
Dec 11, 2017 • 50 min
She’s the author of bestselling books and an incredibly popular blog, but Jenny Lawson showed up to our interview wondering, at least a little, if her appearance on this show and her whole career, really, was part of some delusion. It’s not. She’s the…
The Holiday Coping Mechanism Spectacular
Dec 4, 2017 • 60 min
We’ve gathered up a whole lot of tips, tricks, ideas, and stories to help you get through this time of year when merriness and jolliness aren’t always in abundant supply. Hear holiday thoughts from Wil Wheaton, Margaret Cho, Jenny Lawson, John Green,…
Ana Marie Cox Is Not Really Edited Much At All
Nov 27, 2017 • 82 min
You know those things that happened but that you don’t talk about very much? Or even at all? Because they’re too upsetting? In this episode, host John Moe and guest Ana Marie Cox put those things on the table. Ana is a journalist, pundit, and podcaster;…
Julie Klausner Builds a More Confident and Dumber Version of Herself For Our Amusement
Nov 20, 2017 • 44 min
Growing up, actor and writer Julie Klausner was too busy battling depression and daydreaming about an imagined Merlot-sipping cosmopolitan adulthood to really engage in the world itself. It wasn’t until she entered the world of comedy and improv as an…
Jeff Tweedy Didn’t Want to Take His Doctor On Tour Because the Doctor Was Terrible
Nov 13, 2017 • 54 min
Long before Jeff Tweedy was the founder and leader of the enormously popular band Wilco, he was a kid in Illinois with severe migraines and a tendency toward anxiety and depression. He cycled through alcohol, marijuana, and, finally, opioids to try to get…
Patti Harrison Figures Out Who She Is and She’s a Woman Who Likes Gross Jokes
Nov 6, 2017 • 47 min
With one recent appearance on The Tonight Show, Patti Harrison went from being a well-regarded alternative comedian in New York to being a de facto spokesperson for transgender people. She’s proud of who she is and proud to give a voice to that community.…
Gary Gulman Is a Brilliant Comedian and an Ineffective Offensive Lineman
Oct 30, 2017 • 46 min
Although Gary Gulman has been a successful stand-up comedian for decades - with acclaimed specials, a loyal fan base, and appearances on all major late night shows - this was not his original plan. Gary is 6’6” and athletically gifted, he loved…
Aimee Mann Discovers That Having Feelings About Terrible Things Is Perfectly Fine
Oct 23, 2017 • 50 min
Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann has a reputation for making music that is raw, emotional, and sometimes not all that cheerful. In real life, she’s perfectly cheerful - thank you very much - and has traveled a long road of depression, anxiety, a difficult…
John Green Falls Victim to Some Bad Fiction While Writing His New Book
Oct 16, 2017 • 56 min
Author John Green had one of the best-selling books of the last 10 years with The Fault In Our Stars. The problem is, when you write an acclaimed smash hit, everyone wants you to somehow do it again. In attempting to write that follow-up, Green went off…
Neal Brennan Gives Ketamine and Magnetic Impulses a Try
Oct 9, 2017 • 50 min
If you’ve enjoyed any comedy in the last 20 years, there’s a good chance Neal Brennan helped make it. He’s a veteran comic, writer, director, and co-creator, with Dave Chappelle, of the acclaimed Chappelle’s Show. Over the past 20-plus years, he’s also…
Margaret Cho Works Out A Lot And Makes People Upset In New Jersey
Oct 2, 2017 • 41 min
She’s one of the most influential and innovative comedians of the last few decades, but before all that, Margaret Cho was a Korean-American girl growing up in the 1970s in San Francisco. We hear about the sometimes very darkly humorous ways her family and…
Wil Wheaton Is Really Hoping It’s All Worth It
Sep 25, 2017 • 49 min
Wil Wheaton was a child star in Stand By Me, a regular on Star Trek: The Next Generation as a teenager, and has been trying to figure out his role in show business for a long time since then. He was dealing with the pressures of fame and the fickle tastes…
PREVIEW: Season 2 starts Sept. 25!
Sep 18, 2017 • 3 min
Season 2 starts on September 25, 2017. Get a jump on it by hearing from some of the comics, actors, authors, and musicians you’ll get to know this season.
PLACEBO: Imagine Depression as a Person and Describe Them
Aug 28, 2017 • 13 min
What if clinical depression was not just a thing in someone’s brain but an actual other person entirely? What would they look like? Act like? Who would they be? And how would you interact with such a person? It’s a mental exercise that many find helpful…
PLACEBO: How to Get Help
Aug 15, 2017 • 23 min
If you are having problems with your mental health, please get help. You’ve heard that before on this show and probably plenty of other places as well. But how do you actually do that? How do you go about finding professional help to get things on a…
PLACEBO: Hitting the Nail on the Head
Jul 31, 2017 • 13 min
Depression can be really hard to define, making it difficult for anyone who doesn’t have it to be understand it. And that can make the people who do have it feel that much more alone. We asked our listeners what movie, TV show, artwork, or other piece of…
PLACEBO: John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats on where all that coping music comes from
Jul 17, 2017 • 23 min
When we asked listeners about their favorite songs to listen to while battling depression, The Mountain Goats’ music kept coming up. We caught up with the band’s founder, singer, and songwriter, John Darnielle, to learn about what goes into his process.…