The Hilarious World of Depression

The Hilarious World of Depression

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 insight, have a few laughs, and realize that people with depression are not alone and that together, we can all feel a bit better. American Public Media and HealthPartners’ Make It Okay campaign are committed to breaking the stigma around mental health.... Show More

Episodes

May 24, 2020 45 min
It’s easy for movies to get depression wrong, portraying a clinical disorder as equivalent to just being bummed out and, in the case of romantic comedies, curable with a magical kiss. People with actual depression know better and appreciate films that show the truth. In this episode, our listeners, the beloved THWoD-balls, give their picks, ranging from sci-fi to historical drama to comedy. We got moon men, bridesmaids, a couple of...
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As co-founder and co-frontman for the band Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page belted out a lot of up-tempo pop hits. But if you look at the lyrics to songs like "One Week" or "Pinch Me," you can see a lot of darkness and that's an approach that has continued with his solo work. We hear about his bipolar diagnosis, his drug arrest, and his penchant for creating multi-layered music. You can order John's book on Ama...
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Monologist and comedian Mike Birbiglia has always had a mile-long dark streak. Even if he’s never been diagnosed with clinical depression, he’s recognized his own lack of capacity to feel joy and is constantly aware of a kind of existential dread that haunts him. But rather than shy away from all that, he picks at it. Mike fills us in on how he deals with that darkness and the inner meaning of a lot of his work. You can order John&...
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To celebrate the release of our book we are excited to offer you a sneak preview of the audio version, read by author and THWoD host John Moe. Hear how he started to unlock his own mental mysteries with the help of a productive relationship with a therapist, a lot of time with dogs, and some key decisions. The book is available on all platforms as of May 5, 2020. Check it out on Amazon (amzn.to/THWoDBook) or IndieBound (bit.ly/Indi...
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Standup comedian and writer Emmy Blotnick is a rising star in the comedy world. But along the path to success, she’s had to navigate a depression that manifested in some pretty unexpected ways, including culinary disasters involving pumpkin puree, kidney beans, and butternut squash soup. Thanks to some hard work, EMDR therapy, and more nutritious choices, she’s on the right track. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon (amzn.t...
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Public radio and podcast audiences have been listening to Lulu Miller’s storytelling for years on Radiolab and on Invisibilia, a show she co-founded. Her work is generally about other people but on this episode, she shares her own story, which is by turns harrowing and triumphant. Lulu’s new book is “Why Fish Don’t Exist” (Link: https://bit.ly/2XNTnq4) and it’s about her history with depression, the scientific curiosity that helped...
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Some people don’t have short job titles. Dave Holmes is, among other things, a writer, MTV VJ (despite losing the contest that landed him the job), TV host, actor, and even a former advertising executive. He has dealt with anxiety, depression, and a thorny time coming out as a gay man. Just before our conversation, he received a new diagnosis of ADHD and suddenly a lot of things made a lot more sense. You can pre-order John's b...
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During this long stretch of just staying home, we decided to reach out to some friends of THWoD, hear their voices, and find out how they're holding up. Writer Ana Marie Cox is drawing strength from her sobriety, actor John Ross Bowie is balancing work and fatherhood, and comedian Solomon Georgio has found a soothing new hobby of driving to the airport and then turning around and going home again. You can pre-order John's b...
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Having experienced therapy as a patient, a student, and an actual therapist, Lori Gottlieb has a lot of insight into what therapy is, what it isn't, and how to get the most out of it. We hear how she ended up in the profession after repeatedly putting a UPS guy in an uncomfortable spot and how, years later, she needed more therapy herself when her world fell out from under her. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon (amzn....
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She was one of the stars of NBC’s The Good Place, a tv and radio host in England, and she’s created a popular movement aimed at celebrating body positivity, all within the past few years. But Jameela Jamil has been through enough trauma, eating disorders, depression, and other calamities that she can’t feel much of anything. She’s working to change that. You can pre-order John's book on Amazon or IndieBound. Follow us on Twitte...
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Hi, it’s John, and I’m sending you this recording from my makeshift office about what’s going on for us THWoD-balls during COVID-19, and ideas about how to get through it as best we can. You can pre-order John's book at bit.ly/HilariousWorldBook. Follow us on Twitter: @THWofD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/thwod. Support our show today: hilariousworld.org/donate If you or anyone you know is struggling, there's help ...
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Theo Fleury hit the ice at age five. He was a hockey phenom at 14, a Stanley Cup champion at 20 and an Olympic gold medalist at 33. He was also keeping a terrible secret. As a teen, he was sexually assaulted by one of his coaches. Hockey became an escape, but it couldn’t fix everything; he faced addiction and suicidal thoughts. Today, Theo is sober, and he talks with host Chamique Holdsclaw about what it took to get there. Subscrib...
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A special episode of our new sister program from the makers of THWoD. Tremendous Upside is a bit like THWoD, but instead of John Moe talking to artists, host and basketball icon Chamique Holdsclaw talks to big-name athletes about their struggles with mental illnesses. On the premiere episode, she interviews Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest. He had a long and storied NBA career but is still best known for his involvem...
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December 16, 2019 7 min
We are delighted to announce a brand new show coming your way from the THWoD team. Tremendous Upside is a series of interviews with athletes who have been at the top of their game and struggled with mental illness. In this mini-THWoD episode, John Moe talks with Tremendous Upside host Chamique Holdsclaw, winner of national championships, player of the year awards, and an Olympic gold medal. Hear how athletes like Metta World Peace,...
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December 9, 2019 48 min
It's helpful to know that depression lies to you, that it presents the world in a way that is false just to mess you up. It's even more helpful to know exactly what whoppers it tries to pull off. We enlisted our team of world-class investigative reporters, aka our listeners, aka The THWoD-balls, to blow the lid off lies about love, hard work, ignorance, staying alive, and even cookies. We can't stop you from lying, depr...
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Run-DMC was about as successful as recording artists could be. Packed concerts, multi-platinum selling albums, MTV, fame, fortune, the whole thing. But Darryl McDaniels, the DMC of the group's name, was a mess. He was drinking, using drugs, and not dealing with mental health issues that he thinks had plagued him since birth. With the help of some tough love therapy in a rehab facility he was able to face his problems and get to...
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November 11, 2019 49 min
Filmmaker and actor Mark Duplass has been prolific over the course of his career. Along with his brother and creative partner, Jay Duplass, he's made films such as "The Puffy Chair" and "Cyrus," as well as TV shows like "Togetherness" and "Room 104." Mark's also an in-demand actor, starring on "The League" on FX and "The Morning Show" on Apple TV+. Depression threw a big w...
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There's a lot of information being thrown at parents when a baby is on the way: how to make a birth plan, what kind of car seat to get, what shots the baby will need, and on and on. Comedian and actor Angelina Spicer thinks a frank discussion of postpartum depression doesn't get included in there nearly as much as it should. She recalls what happened when her driven and determined approach to her career ran head-first into ...
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October 27, 2019 48 min
Max Heller’s life was falling apart. He was drinking heavily, using every kind of pill he could get his hands on, and isolating from society. He was swimming in New York’s East River, walking through subway tunnels, and hooking up with whomever he could find. Then he met Bob the Drag Queen who, after weeks of cajoling, gave Max a complete drag makeover. Thus was born Miz Cracker, a confident and healthier self who looked beautiful ...
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Actor and writer Charlene deGuzman grew up thinking that women should be like the centerfolds her father had plastered all over the garage: alluring to men and ready for sex. As an adult, this led to a sex and love addiction where the line between sex and love got blurry. Eventually, she hit bottom amid a failed relationship, a disastrous reaction to that failed relationship, substance use, and suicidal thoughts. She got help and, ...
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