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Episode 151: You Made It Weird
Jay Mohr

You Made It Weird #151: Jay Mohr

Jay Mohr makes it weird!

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  1. Sebastian says:

    What’s most amusing to me is that most likely the 777 was never in any real danger of crashing and that near-death-experience was a whole plan of scared-shitless passengers who clung to their faith 🙂

    I really get annoyed by believers who go “How can Atheist be so certain” – followed by half an hour of “This is god” and “That is god” and my wife being perfect and having a child is a sign of god – god here, god there, all that was left was a piece of toast with the picture of Christ on it. The lovely God of the Gaps. I can’t explain it – so it must be god. Until it’s explained. Then THAT is no longer god, of course, but everything else we don’t know yet.

    If only Atheists AND deiists would just shut up and leave everyone else alone. Nobody knows so just stop filling in the blanks.

  2. Carl says:

    Sheesh, nevermind, I just found it. Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture by John Shelby Spong

  3. Carl says:

    What an amazing episode, sorry I waited a while to listen to it. I was never a big fan of Mohr but now I’m going to be checking out a lot more of his stuff.

    Does anyone know the two books he mentioned?
    One was Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart…
    the other one was something by an archbishop examining contradictions in the Bible…??

  4. Brian says:

    Holly crap that was awesome! I was crying during the Harry Carray stand-off.

  5. Lj says:

    I was really moved by jay mohr’s story about the plane and the flip book of his life – it really affected me in a big way.
    then I listened to the Pete Holmes episode and it seemed like he was a little unsure as to what to do on Pete’s (upcoming at that time) podcast. Doubt crept in – maybe jay listened to other episodes and decided to manufacture a ‘moving’ story of his own to fit in with the show / eclipse past guests. Why would I think something like that?… Jay just comes off as so calculating, career-wise. And in his podcast he often tried to manipulate Pete into doing material, after Pete made it abundantly ear he wasn’t going to do it (good thing he didn’t, shows like that are boring as batshit – you’re a class act Pete Holmes).

  6. Palooza says:

    The way Jay told the dog story honestly didn’t seem as though he was that regretful. Sure, maybe he is, but it came across as a flippant throw away comment.

    Then followed up with the comment about human’s being the most noble animals because they connect with god, that’s even more bullshitty. I’d argue the opposite, that animals are far more noble than humans because they don’t allow religion and belief to influence their actions (and fuel their egos).

    Speaking of egos, Jay’s is massive, and doesn’t deserve to be.

    This episode left me feeling angry and disturbed. Eurgh.

  7. Xeroz says:

    This was an awesome episode.
    It’s encouraging to see people like this are really out there.
    Who aren’t afraid to listen to what other belief systems are all about.
    And, aren’t just going to listen to them so they can criticize them later.
    We’re all human beings and if nothing else we should at least never forget that… And if for no other reason than that, we all deserve some level of respect.

    It’s very encouraging to find people with intellect’s of this caliber.
    Please keep up the great work Holmes.

  8. The opening sentiment from Jay Mohr regarding presence got me thinking about between-song banter from ‘Youth of Today’ I heard at a Punk Rock show. Can’t get it out of my head now 🙂

    Everyone always looks to the past for the “good ol’ days” and its always 5/10 years ago. Even back then people were saying it was better 5/10 years ago. Well I say “Right NOW is the good ol’ days!”

  9. John G. says:


    Well, If we’re gonna pull out our dicks, I was pretty close to a minor in Psych when I quit, and I took quite a bit of biology as well. But my point was that if it’s all bullshit, something we agree on, then one can’t dismiss people with taunts of “psych 101” and “uninformed and slapdash”. You can’t stand on a mountain of bullshit and then say ‘your bullshit is not the right bullshit.”

    And I disagree that it’s scientific, even baby scientific. We have neurobiology in the realm of science, where they can perform experiments to test their data. Psychology and psychiatry are more about theories of mind, motivations, individual experiences, and the talking cure. That’s not to say it’s useless if it’s not scientific. It is useful, and people definitely benefit from talking out their problems with someone who listens, but I think it can be just as helpful if that person is a good friend or a priest or a tribal elder and regardless of which psychological model is in vogue. Maybe down the road the science of neurobiology will come up with a scientific model for psychology but right now they’re mostly separated.

    So, what I mean by a “series of philosophies” is that unlike science, where new theories are accepted after they are proven to be better than old theories, psychology adopts new “theories” based on no experiment, except thought experiment. They replace each other based on fads, not evidence. Again, not scientific does not mean invalid. Science isn’t a religion. It’s a method. Tibetan Buddhists have considered themselves to be studying the brain by doing nothing but thought experiments and meditation, and I don’t disagree with them.

  10. tightropewalker says:

    @ john g

    “I started my college career studying psychology, but I had to quit because it was just too obvious”

    terrific irony here in this oblivious demonstration of hindsight bias, a topic covered in the purportedly “too obvious” psych 101.

    i’m a biologist that minored in psychology (which i only mention to provide some idea of where i’m coming from, not as proof i am right about everything), and compared to other sciences, psychology does appear to be mostly bullshit. but it’s a baby science; it’s very young. there’s a lot of work to be done, but that in no way suggests its knowledge base is entirely self-evident. i have no idea what you mean by referring to psychology as a “series of philosophies”, unless the last time you studied psychology was maybe the 60’s when they were still taking freud seriously. your assessment of psychology appears slapdash and uninformed, and is perhaps a judgment better withheld given your admittedly limited study of the subject.

  11. atomsmith says:

    The dog thing sort of makes you wonder what the *other two things* he wouldn’t admit on the podcast were!

  12. Josh says:

    Autism for dummies…

    There is no way Pete is “on the spectrum” as a phrase so many people like to throw around now. Pete absolutely connects with people one on one, we listen to it happen 2x a week. If you go back to old episodes you can even hear how he used to bulldoze people and just get his bits in, and at that point you would have an argument. Pete feels deeply for his guests and connects with their stories. He also does this to groups of people as a professional comedian, where he is connecting and reading their feelings & reactions.

    If you want to play Psych 101 on Pete, listen to his podcast with Alison Becker (115) where he talks about how his father cried at a particular song, and he thinks that’s where he somehow learned it’s ok to cry at movies or songs, but not just express those feelings in everyday life.

    Obviously since we are privy to his confessions as he is connecting with people, we know he has some issues he is working through concerning his mother and father, but he is certainly not autistic in any way. The mere fact that he didn’t react more violently to the dog story is because he was connected with Jay and could understand that this was one of his biggest regrets of his life and he felt awful about it.

    I’d also like to point out that being driven to abuse a dog in order to receive some kind of affection because your mother is not there for you is a truly heartbreaking/horrible thought. Pete did a better job than most people commenting by actually connecting and feeling what Jay was expressing. The autistic thing to do would be to stop the story to declare that beating dogs with sticks isn’t ok because you would not understand the emotional context of the story.

    • John G. says:


      I agree with you on most of this. I agree that people use “on the spectrum” too much these days when anyone does anything they consider weird. Most people don’t understand Autism at all. Then the official definitions keep getting changed. For example, asperger syndrome is being eliminated and now all people “on the spectrum” are considered to be Autistic, but because of the lay connotations with that word and the extreme misunderstandings surrounding it that you mention, I still prefer to use aspergers as an identifier. And it was aspergers I was referring to when I said “on the spectrum”.

      A common misconception is that people with aspergers, or “aspies”, as you say, “can’t relate to people.” Actually, they can. They relate to people very much. It’s just not automatic like it is for others. That’s why they can often cry at movies and songs, because it gives them time to adjust and relate to the emotional experience. People with aspergers have trouble reading social cues, but they’re not sociopaths who can’t relate to people. If you read what I wrote, I wasn’t saying that Pete can’t relate to people, but that he can’t connect with them. I think he relates very well, but he does it in a way that aspies do, which is to tie every single thing back to an experience within himself, not reach out and embody the other to view their experience of things.

      And I’m not sure Pete is on the spectrum at all, which is why I made the follow up comment about him maybe just being the product of an alcoholic parent. That’s why they created Al-Anon, because the children of alcoholics tend to have emotional issues. Which is exactly what Jay Mohr’s story was about when hitting the dog. It was obvious, so of course I understood it. His mother was an alcoholic so he beat a dog until he made it love him. It couldn’t be more obvious. I still get angry about the dog getting hurt. It doesn’t mean I don’t understand. I also said in an earlier comment that even as an atheist I liked his airplane story. The important thing was what he experienced and how it affected him, not whether it was really god or not.

      But that doesn’t make Jay Mohr not an asshole. He’s been around a long time, and if you’ve only ever heard him speak on this one podcast, you might think he’s a good guy, but that dude has problems. maybe he’s been working on them, and he’s getting better now, but after the shit I’ve heard about him over the last few decades, it will take a little more for me to just accept that. I mean, even in his moving story about wanting to be a better person, and seeing the flipbook of happiness, he’s still a guy who thinks that god is talking to him on an airplane and giving him a mission. That’s still an incredible ego, even with the bit where he claims he thinks it’s ridiculous that he’s on a mission from God, he still tells the story, because he wants to believe it.

      But Ego is not necessarily bad. I think it’s kind of a requirement if you’re going to make it in the brutal industry that is show business. Truly low self esteem would never survive an industry that makes you feel like nothing, and then if you’re incredibly lucky, it briefly makes you feel like everything. I’ve found that performers are very attracted to the ideas of Buddhism, because they have such amazing egos, they really get a positive effect from learning to quiet it down once in awhile. They need it to survive in their career, but it can be a pain to be that self-focused all the time.

      Lastly, I would like to take issue with your use of the tired condescending phrase “psychology 101”. This is used by people to disdain any “common person” from delving into the “incredibly complex” ideas of psychologists. I started my college career studying psychology, but I had to quit because it was just too obvious. Anyone who’s good at understanding and reading people can do it. Some psychological conditions have biological antecedents that make them more scientific and verifiable, but those are then biology, not psychology. It’s not magic or hard science. It’s a series of philosophies. What makes it work for people is faith in the person delivering it, which is why priests have been doing it forever.

  13. Roman says:

    John G = Dr. Gary Penn

  14. Kevin C says:

    Perfect episode!!!! I just wish you could’ve gotten him to stay longer!

  15. Tyler says:

    I understand the point of the dog story for sure. I think, for some reason, I’m just very very ‘rubbed the wrong way’ by people/children that harm dogs. Whenever I hear about a kid hurting a dog, I always assume they are going to turn in to a serial killer. Seems like this may be a ‘me’ problem.

  16. Adam S says:

    OK, maybe I was being cynical by questioning Jay’s message and the “font type” thing. Didn’t mean to pick apart his story, I’m just trying my best to understand his faith/beliefs. I haven’t experienced anything like this, I just know if I had, I’d be questioning myself as to what happened.

    Re: Jay’s story about the dog… It wasn’t a story of pride, it sounded like it brought him shame over the years. @nora stopped the podcast after he mentioned that? Did you hear the part where he made it clear that it was a memory of something he was not proud of?

    Sorry for being negative on such a positive podcast, I hate trolls and negative vibes.

    Good episode, keep em coming!

  17. Josh says:

    Tonya just made it real weird….

    But seriously the whole fucking point of the dog thing was it was a top 3 worst experience of his LIFE!! I’m pretty sure if you are judging you should take some personal inventory, there’s probably a horrible dark spot from your under 8 years your brain won’t even allow you to uncover.

    Come on weirdo’s we’re supposed to be better than that!

  18. John says:

    @John G., wow you put a lot of thought into that. Pretty impressive.

    I liked this episode. I don’t agree with what Jay did to the dog, but we all have “dog stories” that humiliate us. It’s obvious both Jay and Pete have spent a lot of time thinking/researching higher powers, and it’s fun to listen to their back and forth.

    Also, I’m never sure if that is actually Pete responding in the thread.

  19. Mike M says:

    P.S. Love ya, Pete! And get Duncan Trussell on again! Or go back on his show! You two are awesome togther!

  20. Mike M says:

    With the amount of love and joy I get from this show it saddens me to see all the judgemental comments from the listeners. So many do not understand the message and point that Jay made with the dog story. There is a lot of love in that man and a confidence that apparently scares and angers many of the listeners. Perhaps because they lack those qualities? I can’t say I’m perfect as I am working on them as well, but I can assure you that if you flip the dial to love you are going to get a lot more out of life.
    And for those picking apart his near death experience by claiming it was self induced or fake because of the font thing… you are missing the deeper meaning.

  21. Teague Dwyer says:

    Bit, not skit. Sorry about that.

    • John G. says:

      @Teague Dwyer

      HA! I thought of exactly the same thing. I love that bit.

      “Are you making fun of me?”

      “no, I thought….I’m a bee.”

  22. Teague Dwyer says:

    Great episode. The part about the dog fetish reminded me of Paul F. Tompkins’s “Sexy Bee” skit.

  23. Pete Holmes says:

    Free comment thread? This is some good, deep stuff. I think it goes without saying (or I thought it did) that I think what jay did was horrible but a powerful part of a ultimately touching and inspiring story (the fill the flip book of your life with love, not hitting dogs message). And as far as dogs go, I absolutely love them. Yes, I’m more or a cat person, but how could I refer to myself as a golden retriever puppy so much if I didn’t think they were great? (Self love joke here) 🙂

  24. Tyler says:

    Pete is a very sensitive guy, but I have the impression based on some of his previous comments that he’s not a ‘dog person.’ If he was, I feel like he might have had something to say about Jay hitting his dog. Quite sad.

    • John G. says:


      You’re right. I’ve picked up on that too. Pete is one of those people that can’t extend love to a dog. Maybe it’s because, unlike a human, it can’t laugh at his jokes and constantly praise him. Have you noticed how Pete is always saying he can’t cry, or that he didn’t cry in a lot of emotional situations, but he’s cried many many times at movies and things like that. Pete never seems to connect with people. Everything he talks about relates back to his internal experience of it. It sounds like maybe he’s on the Autism spectrum somewhere. Sometimes they don’t connect with humans OR animals.

      He’s also had obsessions with things like God the judgemental father, Marc Maron as angry comedy dad, There Will Be Blood ( “I’ve abandoned my child” ), and others. In that episode of You Made It Movies, Paul merely asked a question about his dad, and Pete couldn’t talk about it. He’s clearly got an issue with his father being distant and needing some kind of judgemental, domineering father figure to be constantly judging him. It’s why he’ll always be a success, because show business is the ultimate angry God, always asking for more and nothing is ever good enough.

      I love Pete, because he’s so open and willing to divulge so much about his inner workings that I as a stranger can think this much about it. Maybe he’s just the child of an alcoholic, and it’s not Aspergers at all. But he’s definitely never held a puppy and loved that puppy with all his heart.

  25. Adam S says:

    Interesting story Jay told. I had trouble following the story when he talked about the font type of the message from god. What is the holiest mind font anyways? Maybe that bit wasn’t from an external entity? If so, at least underline or bold the text.

    Jay’s story about the dog was touching. That must eat inside him every day.

    I respect Jay as a comedian, but he still comes off as an arrogant dick. He tried to give Pete a lesson at one point, maybe didn’t realize Pete’s depth of knowledge in Christianity. He has a problem with atheists because they think they know how it all ends, yet he can’t fathom that some people don’t believe that Jesus existed? Seems rather hypocritical.

  26. Petre says:

    I guess it’s easy to think a god loves you when you’re a millionaire.

  27. John G. says:


    I love your Pacino. I listened to your episode of How Did This Get Made 3 times, because it was so fun to have you and the guys doing Pacinos together. Do it more!

    I have to say that as a very rigid atheist, one of those ones who’s absolutely sure there is no God whatsoever, I’ve got no problem with Mohr here. I can explain everything that happened to him without using God, and I don’t think that’s “explaining it away” as he kept saying. It only adds. It takes nothing away.

    But he seemed pretty open minded about the whole thing, and there’s no reason an atheist has to “take away” his interpretation of a deeply spiritual near-death experience. Facing death is profound for everyone. His story is powerful because of his experience of it, his experience of something being profoundly meaningful. There is no reason an atheist should try and tell him he’s wrong about that.

    Hitting a dog with a stick, though. For that I may have to hit him with a big stick a few times.

  28. Kyle S. says:

    I can’t believe Jay Mohr farted on that dog. I’m boycotting this fucker.

  29. joey says:

    i feel like they did this EXACT same podcast on jay’s damn near word for word.. even some of the bits are the same the “i read your book -which one haha” and the impressions and touchstones and like all of it. still good.. but it’s like too close.

  30. PapayasEverywhere says:

    Thank you, Jay…every morning on the yellow line i commute from DC to VA. Leaving L’enfant Plaza, the train heads into minutes of darkness before it breaks above ground to cross the Potomac. Often you can see planes taking off and landing from DCA and its a lovely, if not short, view of water and sky before heading back underground. I usually spend these brief moments searching for my sunglasses, squinting, when I’ve forgotten them or lamenting cloudy skies. Now, instead, for those brief moments, I will picture the flip book of my life more determined to fill the rest of my day with exponential joy…and Ice cream because eff lactose intolerance, life is short.

  31. Reese says:

    @Nora Yes, hitting the dog was despicable, which was the exact point of the story.

    During Jay’s airplane story I actually got choked up. Great episode.

  32. jsl says:

    Everyone should listen to the first six episodes of Jay’s podcast from 2011

  33. ItsAlrightPodcast says:

    Jay comes off like a weiner sometimes, but beautiful, heartfelt things come out of his mouth sometimes and might be the perfect things for certain types of people who need to hear them. Maybe other people who come off as weiners?

  34. Edward Gundrum says:

    Great Podcast. Definitely had a lot of laugh out load moments. And a great message. Thanks!

  35. nora says:

    I so upset after jay mohr told his story about hitting a dog, I stopped the podcast. I don’t care if he was five, that is despicable behavior.

  36. Tyler says:

    Pete’s Morgan Freeman is awesome!

  37. NotMF says:

    Jay’s Colin Quinn is spot on. Now I’m going to his podcast to hear him and Pete do more impressions, haha

  38. josh c says:

    I wish I had a dad like you, Jay.

  39. preggroops says:

    If this is Jay Mohr, give me Jay Less! Love ya Pete.

  40. Brendan L says:

    First thing I checked…the running time. Looks like Jay Mohr won the “how long we go” fight. Love ya guys!

  41. Nate says:

    Two insufferable titans, together at last….