"I can't put away why I have an urge to be in front of people. So there's something intrinsic there." John Murray, comedian UCB, host of The Bosscast
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ABOUT JOHN MURRAY:
John Murray is a comedian and featured player in the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC. John also has an inherent love for all things Bruce Springsteen and has started a new podcast called The Bosscast. John joins our show to talk about comedy, UCB, the importance of trying and failing and his love of horror, and The Boss. Learn all about his new podcast which you can check out at brainmachinenetwork.com/bosscast
ON THIS WEEK'S COMPANION FUELED BY DEATH SHOW:
This week, join the show to talk about Dustin's love for The Bosch. Then, on Science, a strange skull shaped Death Comet is headed for Earth and Jaan lands two rovers on asteroids. Strange, weird, and funny tombstones are on The Roast, and your first look at the 2018 Halloween Mug from the World's Strongest Coffee is on The Update.
DEATH STAR OF THE WEEK:
Double dose this week with Ron and Beth Marcinski. Meet them within the Fueled By Death Show right here:
Jeff: So, I want to start off, John, by asking you, all the way back, and I'm always curious talking to comedians.
John Murray: Yeah.
Jeff: What was the spark that got you into comedy? Before you even maybe thought of, "Hey, I want to be a comedian." Where was the beginning of comedy in your life for you?
John Murray: Well, my father was a very naturally funny man. He was very gregarious and stuff like that. So he grew up in ... He was the first member of his family to go to college and stuff like that. So he had a lifeline of responsibility. He didn't have an outlet for the arts growing up. And my mother always theorized that ... She's like I think he had an interest, an inkling towards that, to go in that direction. And then, this is I'm going way back. This feels like I'm going zygote on you guys.
John Murray: And then my mother's side of her family, she was a bit ... They were a very naturally artistic people. My mom's side of the family were all these people that could knit and sculpt and draw very easily, but you'd be like, "That's amazing," and they'd always kind of get bashful on it, and they'd be like, "Oh, it's nothing. It's nothing." And put these treasures of work away. And I like finding them. Both my parents are gone now, so in digging this up, I'd be like, "Oh my god, this is amazing."
John Murray: So there was kind of an inkling in that on either side. So when I ended up to have a personality more like my father and I think my parents kind of fostered it. They encouraged me in high school and stuff to get into doing plays and drama and stuff like that. I ended up going to college for that. I went for college for acting. And then comedy kind of, for me, in a weird way, it was a kind of thing that I kept on shrugging off. People were like, "Oh, you're really funny. You should do something with this," and I'd be like, "Oh, no. I'm an actor," or I see myself this way.
John Murray: And then I took my first class in 2004 at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater, and then it clicked from there and once that happened, I was like, "Oh, I should've been doing this straight out of college if not sooner." I mean, even just to kind of ... Because I'm really like an improviser first and then everything else kinda after that. It's what I've done the most. Even in like high school, people be like, "Oh, man. Come do improv for us." Whatever reason, I short form ... Not that I have anything against short form. I kind of would be like, "No." Then finally, I listened to everybody. So one time peer pressure worked out. So kids, it works sometimes. I took a class and I really found my home.
Jeff: That's awesome. I mean, that's a similar story for a lot of people who hook up with UCB. What an incredible entity that UCB is, and it breed such amazing stuff. You gravitated towards improv, like you said.
John Murray: Yes.
Jeff: But you have done a lot of on camera work and that kind of thing. Do you like one more than the other, or do you like them both in different ways?
John Murray: Well, let's just get frank, fellas. On camera work pays a lot better than improv.
Jeff: That's true. It's true.
John Murray: From that perspective, like it a lot more. Yeah, I mean, on camera stuff, that's always the best. I mean, just being on a set and stuff like that, that always trumps it.
Speaker 3: Unbelievable. You're still here.
Speaker 4: It's still zero, zero, zero to zero.
Speaker 5: I did it. I spoke.
John Murray: Improv now, at this point, and I mean this in the best way possible, is like basically what I do for fun. I have three kids now. So I am choosing to go out on a Saturday night at nine o'clock to do long form improv. That is how I am going to have fun. Instead of meeting a friend at a bar, I'm like, "Oh, I'll just go and do a show for an hour. Maybe catch a drink afterwards." That's where I kind of tell people if they want to see me, hang out, come see me at that because that's the night out I'm having for myself.
Jeff: Cool. For aspiring people out there, and I like talking to people who are alums of UCB, what is your take on how to break into that? Should they just show up to UCB or should you like ... How do you break into such an amazing institution like that?
John Murray: Here's the deal with it, when I moved to the city in 2000, and I, like I said to you, people are like, "Oh, go take a class at this place." I was like, "No, no, no." I really thought it was this kind of insular like cliché-y kind of place.
John Murray: It's not. It's very inviting. It's very friendly. Just, honestly, it's a matter of signing up for a class. I had never seen a show there before I signed up for a class. I just knew what improv was. Actually, I take that back. I did see one show at the old space at like 121. My friend Kurt Braunohler had done a show, and I saw that. So that was like really it, but I had only seen like one show. I hadn't seen what was regularly running. I hadn't like be like, "Let me scope this out for a couple weeks," before I did it. I literally saw that at the time the artistic director Owen Burke was teaching a class. I was like, "Well, that's the guy who runs the theater. He must know what he's talking about." Signed up for a class and went from there, and just kind of like was like, "Oh yeah." That's how much it all made sense. I was like, "Oh yeah. This feels completely natural. I totally understand what he's saying and what we're supposed to do." It kind of was like, "Oh, man. This is really," like I said, should've been doing a lot ... I don't mean that in a regretful way, but I really was like you know that thing you discover and you're like, "Why wasn't I doing this already?"
John Murray: That's what it felt like.
Dustin: How do you think that would've went if you would've did straight out of college or even before that went to UCB?
John Murray: Dude, it'd be like Tom Cruise and me, bro. Okay? That's what would happen, all right. A confident, 21 year old John Murray just unstoppable. I don't know. There's give and take on it. There's the aspect of like I went through a lot of this ... When I started improv, I think I was already ... I'm going to sound like an old man. But I think I was already engaged. There was certain aspects of where I just really showed up for the improv. The social stuff was a nice thing to make friends and stuff like that, but I really was just like, "I'm here to do this and do shows." So I kind of was able to nerd out on it in a different way probably then if I just rolled out of school. I would've like been more of like general life choices about it where I was able to be like, "No, you want to start a team. You want to do what? That's what I'm here for. Let's do more of that. I just want to be improvising all the time."
Dustin: I think that's a good take on anything that you do. If you're going there for the social event and not the actual active, being into it and nerding out, you're really kind of shorting yourself in the long run.
John Murray: Yeah. I kind of feel like a younger me would not have been able to untangle those threads so easily. I don't now. It could just be my personality I feel like. But I was just like, "Oh, no." I got the friend thing. I've been in the city long enough, I've got the friend thing set up. It's nice to meet new people and make new friends. I wasn't like cut throat about it, but I definitely was more like I want to be on Harold team. For people who don't now what that is, it's a Tuesday night show. I was like I want to get on a weekend team. I just really the structure of the institution itself appealed to me.
Dustin: How long did it take for you to start to feel proficient in improv comedy? Like you said it clicked right away, but how long did it take before you felt comfortable on stage, felt like you were actually being funny?
John Murray: Well, I still feel like it comes and goes. As a student, it fluctuates. You get good at a certain thing and then you're like another aspect of you has to kind of be developed. So you'll have moments where you're like really in the pocket and stuff like that. I don't know. It had to be at Harold night, which is we do the song form called The Harold that Del Close developed in Chicago that the UCB4 brought to New York. It was somewhere in my run on that because I did that from like ... I did that for three or four years before I went and played on the weekend. Somewhere in there I started to feel like confident that, as a group, I didn't want to say myself because this is a collaborative thing, but we can make it work as a group and I can contribute to that, to always have some success in the show, and know that I wouldn't walk away being like, "Oh, that was god awful. I crapped the bed out there." I know that I would walk out there being like, "Definitely something's going to hit tonight. I'm purposely going to do that."
John Murray: I think then I moved up to the weekend, and from there that feeling kind of only kind of grows. I never walk out in a show being like, "I don't know what's going to happen now." I'm like, "I feel fairly confident that I will make people laugh and they'll walk away having a good time." So it's gradual. Dustin, I feel like I failed you on that question. I can't pinpoint.
Dustin: No, I mean, I think what's outlined there with anything you become good at, it's not like you go out there and think, "Oh, I'm going to crush this." You go out there and think, "Well, I've seen it go wrong so many times that if it goes wrong again, I can find my way out and we're going to have a good night."
John Murray: That's totally it. Yeah, that's a great way to sum it up. It's like I never ... Going wrong now to me is exciting. It's just like how are we going to make it work.
John Murray: You can still get yourself in some pretty good holes, but I feel like lately it's now like 95% of the time as a team or as I perform myself, we'll dig ourselves out and like land on own feet and the audience will be like, "Wow."
Dustin: I've seen comedy go to the point where people purposely put themselves in the deepest hole that they possibly can just for the fun of finding their way out or not.
John Murray: Yeah. I knew a guy. I did an AMA yesterday and I told this story. I knew a guy who used to purposely write bad stand up jokes. We used to do an open mic together, and he used to write like very kind of like vaudevillian jokes but with a modern twist. He'd like kind of update them. He'd tell them in front of the audience, and audiences would hate him. They would hate him. I was like, "Hey, man. You're really kind of like ... I love it, but you're driving people up the wall." He was like, "I know." But he's like, "I love getting that reaction." He's like, "That's why I keep doing it."
John Murray: Yeah. For me, watching that guy and maybe because I had a comedic mindset, I was like ... For me, I was like he's winning me over. He's creating a character in a sense.
John Murray: Where it's like that's his bit. He could just ... This will be his act. That will become what's humorous about it itself. I really thought it was kind of a smart thing to do. I don't know what happened to him. An audience could have killed him. I don't know.
Dustin: Do you think that was good for you to watch and be like, "Oh yeah, I can kind of screw up and I'll be okay. If he can make it through that, then I can make it through some things."
John Murray: For sure. For sure. Yeah, that's great. Some of the stuff that I kind of miss because I'm a family man in a sense is I don't get out as much is I miss seeing people fail. I mean that in the best possible sense. You know what I'm saying? Because that's what you're seeing at an open mic or what you're seeing at someone that's trying out a show or even like in Indie improve shows, you're just watching people be like, "I'm going to try this." The thing of it is sometimes it doesn't make the ledge and sometimes it does. It lands, and that's where you're just like, "Oh, that's awesome to see this happening right now."
Jeff: That's really cool. And it sounds like even at this point in your career, you're always learning. You're always honing your craft, and I think that's important in any aspect of life but especially in comedy. I also kind of wanted to bring this up, I'm seeing in the background you got a nice collection of stuff there, including Tales From The Crypt.
John Murray: Yeah, dude.
Jeff: We had a comedian a couple shows again, Ken Reid, and he posed this thought that I love bringing up to other comedians because it's the first time I've heard of it. That comedy and horror come from the same place.
John Murray: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jeff: Do you agree with that?
John Murray: Yeah. Your fight or fight reaction is either to laugh or to scream. That's like our natural ... I read that a while ... That's like from science. That makes it sound ...
Jeff: No, science.
John Murray: Right. Science. No, I read that. That's some kind of study I read where that's our natural reaction. So it does ride that fine line. Think about when you see a comedy show, a lot of times, especially if someone's going blue and really gross, their reaction is it's always on that line of laughter or groaning. Exactly. So that's kind of where it does work that same way. It's that kind of the same reaction. So it does tie together where yeah, Tales From The Crypt or American Werewolf in London, Shaun of the Dead, those work so well because they kind of correlate as strongly as they can. I think, not to nerd out horror-wise, I don't know how ... I think Landis did a pretty good job with the American Werewolf in London. He did all right with Innocent Blood. He kind of was able to ride that line with it. I don't know how familiar you guys are with this show, but it's so hocky but it's great to poke it around Halloween because it kind of rides that line.
Jeff: Oh, it's the best. They do. That's one of the smartest things about Tales From The Crypt is that it toes the line perfectly between the absolute horrific and the joke you never thought possible the crypt keeper will say.
Dustin: The crypt keeper was like a horrible comedian, right?
Jeff: Oh, he's the best.
John Murray: Always.
Jeff: Always. So, so good.
John Murray: The other great thing about Tales From The Crypt is, stay on for one second, is the roster of line up. It's like Marilu Henner, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bert Reynolds, together in this Tales From The Crypt.
Jeff: You're like, "What?"
John Murray: Okay. Wow. They got everybody.
Jeff: It's crazy.
John Murray: I just wonder in the late '80s, '90s where it was like an agent being like, "Sit down because I booked you at Tales From The Crypt. Huge win. All right. Pop the champagne, okay? We're going HBO. We're going crept keeper, baby."
Dustin: Yeah, that's the thing, it was HBO. So it was like a shoe in to your hour comedy special on HBO.
Jeff: Yeah, no. It was good stuff.
John Murray: You're going to be working Harry Anderson. You're going to be this close, all right? You might be able to meet the crept keeper. Get ready for it.
Jeff: Oh my god. Yeah, I love that show forever and ever. It's so good. So pivoting over to the ...
John Murray: You're supposed to say that there's seven seasons of Magnum P.I. here. I have no shame.
Jeff: Okay. I wasn't going to bring it up, but all right.
John Murray: Just say it guys.
Dustin: We didn't want to embarrass you and bring it up.
John Murray: Hey, man. There's nothing to be embarrassed about Tom Selleck in the '80s, come on.
Jeff: There is nothing to be embarrassed about an incredible Hawaiian shirt and a mustache for days.
Dustin: I think there's a lot to be embarrassed about there. Just saying. Just saying.
Jeff: I love it. I love it. There's some good comedy in that show too for sure.
Dustin: It's straight comedy. What are you talking about? Wait, it's not a comedy?
Jeff: No, it's a horror. Magnum P.I.'s a straight horror. You just were watching it wrong.
Dustin: I was screaming at it.
John Murray: I'm going to tell you right now, man. Dustin, do yourself a favor and watch the first three seasons again, pal. I think it will change your mind.
John Murray: All right. All right. Sounds good.
Jeff: All right. All right. So anyway, I want to pivot on the other side of this and talk about what we're doing right now, podcasting, which is ... It's funny. I love talking to people who have gotten into this because I have a similar story from a lot of people where a few years ago wasn't even listening to podcasts let alone hosting a podcast. What got you into thinking, "I'm going to start a podcast." Is this your first podcast, The Bosscast?
John Murray: This is my first podcast.
Jeff: So what got you going into doing that?
John Murray: Very much like you, I don't know. I just was like I feel like I've had friends that had had one, and then I was like, "Oh, that seems interesting," and I have a habit of ... Once again, people telling me things. I have a lot friends who always be like, "Oh, you're so good at interviewing people. You're so good." It's like you're good when we do at the top of a show, like we're doing audience interview, and we can do one on ones. People are always like, "You're so good at that. You're so personable. It's like you really bring stuff out of people." So I was like, "Oh. Okay." So I was like, "I wonder if I can have something to talk about and just where I can riff with people and just do that and see how it goes." So I had this former student of mine who started this network, this Brain Machine Network, and I just was like, "Oh, well maybe ... I know he does a podcast. I'll just have him do the technical stuff and I'll just give this a whirl. I'll see if he's game for it." He's like, "Yeah." He's like, "This sounds great." He's like, "I'd love to work with you." My friend, my producer Latham Knoxen. I was like, "Cool."
John Murray: So I just did it. I did it on a whim. I really did it in a sense of, and I don't know how you guys did it, but I was like, "I just want it ..." This was like I'll just going to have to be a little bit of a passion project. I don't care. I made a web series with a buddy of mine named Jeff Garlock.
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John Murray: We made that with the intention of like we're going to make this web series and we're going to sell it and we're going to see how far we can take it. We sold it to IFC and they put it up on their website and stuff like that. We're like, "Yeah. We did what we wanted." With this, we had no plans. I didn't have any of that. I'm just like, "I'm just going to sit down and talk to people about Bruce Springsteen and just keep recording it because I find it fun."
Jeff: Yeah, and I think, honestly, that is, and we've said this before on our show too, if you're going to get into the world of podcasting, that is the absolute best way to do it. Because if you go and like, "I'm going to start a podcast. I'm going to be the next Joe Rogan," you're not.
Dustin: No, you're going to be the next asshole.
Jeff: Yeah, you're going to be the next asshole. A good podcast, a good conversation, a good form of entertainment is just coming from a passion project, something that you, the host, specifically believe in, want to talk about, and then that makes it fun for the listener to be part of the conversation.
John Murray: Right. Yeah, that's totally it. I don't know how you guys work. But I don't care about running times. I'm very like I just don't ... I really leave it as this is a private conversation caught between two people, and it's like if you want to walk in and hear that and become part of that, you can.
John Murray: My friend Conner Ratliff takes that to the extreme. Him and his friend JD Amato do a 12 hour podcast.
Jeff: Holy moly.
John Murray: Yeah, they just go. But people listen. What's crazy about people listening to that one is like they'll come up to Connor and they'll act like they know him because they've listened to him for 12 hours. They'll pick up mid conversation with him, and Connor will have to be like, "Why are they acting so familiar with me?" It's like, "Oh, they listen to me sleep on a plane one time because I kept recording on the podcast."
Jeff: Oh, wow. Wow. So for Dustin and I and maybe some of our listeners as well, explain to us why Bruce Springsteen. I'm not saying that we're not fans.
Dustin: I'm not a fan.
Jeff: Okay. You're specifically not a fan?
Dustin: I'm throwing it out there. Not a fan. Not that I like hate him or anything. It's just like somebody puts on Springsteen, I'm not listening.
Jeff: Okay. Okay. I'll listen.
Dustin: No offense.
Jeff: I'll listen.
John Murray: Is that any album or is that across the board?
Dustin: I wouldn't even know.
Jeff: Oh, so yeah. So why do you think that this is such a great topic to talk about?
Dustin: Convince us.
John Murray: It's a personal thing. One, I'm from Colts Neck, New Jersey. That's where I grew up. So that kind of, as to use a pun, is the tie that binds right there. So that's where Springsteen wrote Nebraska and Born in the USA, and it's where he currently resides now. So there's already a hometown kind of thing. Two, my father died September 11th. He died in tower two.
Dustin: Oh, sorry to hear that.
John Murray: So with that, at the time, Springsteen was always ... My folks were fans of Springsteen, and it was that weird thing, and I've talk about this with some people. Some people are like, "No, I love my parents. I don't understand what you're talking about," and other people are like, "Oh, I get it." But it was that thing of like can I like what my parents like. I had that kind of struggle.
Jeff: Right. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John Murray: I eventually found that I was like, "Yeah. I do like him on my own terms, and my parents like him. It's something we can have in common." So that was kind of developing before my father died, we were kind of building that fandom together. Then he passed, he died tragically, and then here's what's crazy, my first Springsteen show was at the Asbury Park Convention Hall, and I got to go to that show. It was a Christmas show, and I got to go to that show because they invited victims of September 11th.
John Murray: So a lot of people ... It's weird. I didn't feel ... Like, a lot of times you see people on the TV and the news being like, "Oh, I want to reach out to victims and I want to like help people," but like that was like he did that in a way to me that was like personal. He did reach out. He made that happen. So that was the first show I saw, and it was like December of '01. That was like, what? Three or four months after. This is already kind of a growing thing is I was 21 when my dad died. So I was already kind of coming terms with being from New Jersey. I don't know where you guys are from, but that can be a thing sometimes with so people. I think it was a little bit for me. I was kind of getting at ease with that, and like kind of being like, "Oh, he's one of the really good parts that I enjoy about it." Then that just kind of locked and sealed the deal. It went from there and stuff like that. So it kind of built. He's just kind of ... I like his music. I tend to gravitate toward old man singing about sad things kind of music. So it kind of fit the perimeters.
Jeff: And so you create this podcast, Bosscast, and, like you said, it's basically just a private conversation about Bruce Springsteen, but are you coming at it from a comedic standpoint? I know you've gotten some comedians as guests on there.
John Murray: Yeah. We joke that it's like the most insincere people talking about the most sincere musician.
Dustin: Wow. I like it.
Jeff: I love it.
John Murray: So it is like a thing where it is like we usually start similar to you guys. We start about the person and then we kind of get into their fandom and their story and how it relates to the boss. A lot of the stories are similar to mine. They all kind of run deeper. My producer was like, "We started this podcast, I didn't realize these stories would get so personal so quick." Usually, generally about people's parents or about their family dynamic or about how they grew up and how that music kind of tied into it. But yeah, we kind of start ... It's funny. But they'll probably be one or two moments where you'll be like, "Oh yeah. We're two comedians really kind of laying into it a little bit."
Jeff: That's awesome. I think that's such a refreshing take on something because you're coming at it from a very real perspective, a very passionate perspective, and you're getting things that are surprising. I think as someone like Dustin and myself listening to your show, it could sway our opinions on Bruce and the music.
John Murray: Dustin, right there, pal. Dustin, what kind of music do you like? Just deep jazz, John, deep jazz.
Dustin: You know I'm pretty spread out. I feel like my music taste is pretty random.
Jeff: It is pretty random.
Dustin: I mean, I'm a lover of rock and roll though. It'll always come down to those big rock and roll performances. Emotion and just epicness is usually what I look for.
Jeff: I think you're describing Springsteen.
Dustin: Oh, am I?
John Murray: You just did.
Dustin: Oh, am I? Well, maybe ... Okay. Let's say I am who I am. We are saying that, right?
Dustin: If there were three ... I can't even say his name. That's how much ...
Dustin: If there were three songs I needed to listen to, what three songs would those be? Or is there an album?
John Murray: Three songs? Jesus, man. That's a [inaudible 00:26:20]. I would say if you want, there's a song, a parody song out there called Every Hipster Loved Nebraska. I have to look it up because it's really funny, but this guy wrote a song about that. That is like a really great way to come in at it because that is just like the best album that he made in a house by himself and a four track recorder. Those are all very sad kind of like ghostly like songs. So that's one way. That's the seriousness of it. After that it just depends. I mean, I feel like you and I just need to hang out and I'll bombard ... Put on a whole bunch of songs.
Dustin: I don't like this idea.
Jeff: I love it. I love this idea.
John Murray: Come on up, all right, guys? A couple of days, okay?
Jeff: I love it. I love it. What are your plans for the podcast? That podcast is virtually brand new in the realm of podcasts. Do you have plans to do this for years and years? Do you want to get Bruce on it at one point? What are your plans for the show?
John Murray: No, I look at it is I want to only ... I don't plan to ever have Bruce Springsteen on it. I think the last thing he probably want to do is a podcast dedicated to him by itself. Might as well be wearing a ask of him as well as I interview him.
Dustin: I'd advise against that.
John Murray: Oh, you think that's a bad idea?
Jeff: Could go the Chris Farley route. Like, "Do you remember when you were born in the USA?"
John Murray: That's good with me. Nightmare. For me, it's all about the fan community. I like tackling the fandom. So, for me, it's just getting ... To me, there's little kind of ... Not little, they're just like celebrities in the sense of the fan community. There's like a great fan site called Backstreets.com. They are always up and news informed about what's going on with him. They're always like if there's a rumor, they'll have the answer if it's true or false pretty quickly about what's going to happen. For me, it's like I want to get someone from that website and interview them. I want to tackle the Springsteen fandom community more than him and his organization himself because it would just be so weird to be like, "How is it to get up in the morning?" That's not what people ... That's not what I'm interested in. I'm interested in people's story about themselves and how his music effects him and what they do.
Jeff: That's really, really cool. That's cool.
Dustin: I want to roll back a little bit.
John Murray: Yes, sir.
Dustin: I mean, that September 11th show that he did, that must have been breathtaking, that must have been amazing.
John Murray: It was great. It was cool. It was like, who was there? Bruce Hornsby was there, Max Weinberg 7, because I think he was still doing music for Conan then.
John Murray: Southside Johnny, which if you're familiar with shore music, huge. Like Little Steven produced them and stuff like that. Yeah, the whole band was there. I think this is, once again, dating. I don't think Will Steven was there because I think he was shooting The Sopranos.
John Murray: So yeah. So it was just like crazy. I've seen two shows in the Asbury Park Convention Hall. I saw that show and then I saw a rehearsal show for the Working On A Dream Tour, which was equally kind of cool. Because I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with the Asbury Convention Center, it's like right on the beach. It kind of looks like a .. It's a building that kind of resembles a high school a little bit. I don't know how else to put it. It's a very small, intimate venue. So yeah, that show he played Christmas songs the first show, the '01 show. They played Christmas songs of variance of that, and then they did some of his songs and I saw Rosalita that night for the first time. Then I got to hear the Age of the Innocence. I was like, "Oh yeah. Bruce Hornsby's pretty good, man. I forgot about this. Nobody's here." Then the other show I saw there, the rehearsal show I thought was great too. The way they did that was they set up the stage. They take up like pretty much the whole back wall of the convention center and set up an arena type stage in this tiny venue.
John Murray: So it's like imagine being ... I guess to compare to a New York place was like something smaller. Like maybe Irving Plaza but smaller and then have this giant stage jetting out at you.
John Murray: Then they just ran through what they would do, and it was the first night. Critically, that show got like maligned. I guess the next night he tweaked it and tightened it up, but I was like, "I couldn't tell. I loved it." I was like, "This is amazing to see these guys trying to figure this out."
Jeff: That's so cool. Yeah. I mean, yeah. What an experience, for sure. Speaking on experience, the question that we come to with every guest on this show, from the comedy side, to the podcast side, everything in between, what fuels you to keep doing what you do?
John Murray: That's a great question, especially now with kids because comedy does not pay huge amounts of money at times. I don't know, man. I just keep on ... My wife and I talk about this. I'm trying to put my finger on it. There's like times where I'm like, "I should give this up." But I can't do it away. I can't put away why I have an urge to be in front of people. So there's something intrinsic there. The podcasting thing, it's a little bit more clear, and the fact that what we're doing right now, getting to know each other, talking like this, I enjoy this. I enjoy this natural aspect about this.
John Murray: But we'll end this and I'll be like, "Oh, I got to meet Dustin and Jeff." If we run into each other, we have that commonality from that and stuff like that. I enjoy the communal experience of that. So that's what I think the podcast is kind of giving that. The sensitivity to that and then the fact that it is kind of performative in a sense. But yeah, I don't know. There's something that with doing comedy and getting up in front of people and trying to make them laugh, there's something gratifying for me and I guess whatever my need for attention is. But also to bring some joy to people I think, and not to sound too self serious, but to make them laugh for a night, that's appealing as well to me. For lack of a better term, to make people happy but not in the sense of pleasing them but just joyful.
Jeff: Of course, and I think you said that you've been thinking a lot on it. I think you hit the nail on the head. I think if you're doing something that just the sheer thought of it, I could never give up performing on stage is exactly what you said, then never give it up, man. Never get off that stage. Die on that stage.
Dustin: Don't do that.
Jeff: Don't do that, but you know what I mean. If there's that inherent love of it, I think that's all you need. That's all anybody needs. I think that's the fuel for anybody's fire.
Dustin: It also makes it a lot more entertaining when you see somebody up there doing the thing that they love doing, even if they're not particularly good at it, you can tell. You can tell that they love doing it. Even more so, you can tell when they don't love doing it. It sucks.
John Murray: That's the hard part.
John Murray: Somebody gets bitter, that's the tough part. That's I think the now the thing is just reminding yourself because it's about tenacity and constantly being indestructible about it. It's like being like the cockroach in a positive sense of being indestructible like that. I think the one thing that's keeping bitterness or your ego in check on stuff, as you stay along with it and go, I think that's the one thing that sometimes ... Sorry if it's getting serious, but where it creeps up where you have to be like, "Oh, this person has this success. We used to work together. I'm still here." Letting that comparison kind of screw with you, that's the struggle as you get older and keep going with it. If you can keep that a bay, if you have a support system that can keep that at bay for you, I think then that your career is where you are and what you enjoy doing, as you just said, Dustin. You now?
Dustin: Yeah. I think one of the big paths to success is not living in relativity of others.
John Murray: Exactly.
Dustin: Cannot. It will slow you down 100% of the time.
John Murray: Yeah. I talk with someone and I do this crazy thing, it's called the Alexander Technique. It kind of keeps your alignment in your body good. It's a lot of actors use it. I used to do it in college. I walked away from it, and then everything that's going on with my life, I decided to kind of get back into it. It really kind of keeps me in check. One of the things we talk a lot with that is that there's a bar that can like slam down on you and be like I'm not on this side of the bar. I'm below here. Everybody else is over on that side. I got to kind of go up there. It's like trying to get that bar to get out of your life and not let it gauge where you are. Just kind of like live it because it's all just perspective, and that's the part of getting stuck in it is like letting your perspective become someone else's. Your true with that to keep going that way.
Jeff: Totally. That's the best answer, one of the best answers we've ever heard, for sure.
John Murray: Thank you.
Jeff: Yeah, no. It's been such a pleasure talking with you, and for our listeners and viewers, I'll put this in the show as well, let's start with the podcast. Where can we find Bosscast?
John Murray: Oh, you can find it on Apple, on Apple Podcast. You can find it on www.brainmachinenetwork.com/bosscast. Then it's on, what's the other one? This is how ignorant ... Lisby, what's that one?
John Murray: Libsyn. Yeah, yes. Thank you.
Jeff: Yeah. That's what we use as well. For fans of you, what's the best way to follow you? Do you social media? Do you website?
John Murray: Yeah, you can follow me on @thejohnmurray on Twitter or you can follow me on @bosscastjm on Instagram and Twitter. I'd say follow me on the Bosscast right now because I'm tweeting more on that than as myself. I'm finding that's an easier thing to tweet on. I'm like dumping my heart out more on that one than I am in my real one. So yeah, follow that one if you can because I'm having a lot of fun with that. It's because I can just talk Boss the entire time on that, and it's just I feel like it's bringing out fun posts.
Jeff: Excellent. Excellent. Are you still active with UCB?
John Murray: Yeah, man. I perform every Saturday at nine with an improv team called GOAT. Yeah, we do long form. It's an hour show. Yeah, swing on by.
John Murray: I'll probably get something else going. I'll get another sketch here or something going.
Jeff: Well, we'll have all those links all in our show for all of our watchers and listeners as well. Again, I can't thank you enough for taking time to talk with us, and good luck with the podcast and everything you're doing because it all sounds incredible and awesome.
John Murray: Thanks, guys. Thanks for having me on. This has been great. I mean, I looked up ... If I can take a second and look up you guys stuff and listen to some shows, you guys got a great show. You got amazing guests.
Jeff: Thank you.
Dustin: Thanks, man.
Jeff: Thank you. We're working hard.
John Murray: Steve Diggle from the Buzzcocks. That's insane.
Jeff: That was insane because not only did we have an opportunity to sit down with Steve and talk to him about the early days of the Buzzcocks, but he was about four or five jalapeno mojitos deep. So that interview turned into a night of just hanging out with him, which was crazy.
Dustin: Yeah. He brought up down. There was a casino on the boat, and he told us where to get the jalapeno mojitos. We met him at that bar. He dragged us in the casino so he could tell us stories and chain smoke for like two hours.
John Murray: That's amazing.
Jeff: It was amazing.
John Murray: That's a first show I saw in New York City.
Jeff: Oh my gosh. Really?
John Murray: First show when I moved to New York was I saw the Buzzcocks. It was great.
Jeff: That is a hell of a show to kick of New York City.
John Murray: It was great. It was great.
Jeff: Awesome. Awesome, man. Well, again, thank you so much.