Today, for the third time ever, I received in my mailbox an un-postmarked envelope containing a microcassette. I immediately recognized this as the handiwork of Andy Fleming & Stephanie Hasz, who have done this twice before. Frankly, it's a pain in the ass each time. I don't own a microcassette player and always have to borrow one from my wife's brother, Rod. Ugh. Rod. I hate that guy.
Anyway, what follows is a transcription of what I found on the tape: an apparent recording of a lost episode of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, featuring Hasz & Fleming as its guests. Enjoy?
[The WTF theme plays, then fades out as Marc Maron starts speaking.]
"MARC MARON": How are you what-the-fuckers, what the fuck-buddies, um... what-the-fuck-a-ducks? uhhh... what-the-fucky-charms? what-the-hockey-fucks?
[EDITOR'S NOTE: I know I shouldn't editorialize something like this, but I'm pretty sure this is not Marc Maron. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's Hasz & Fleming's friend/sprightly Chicago comedian Katie McVay doing a pretty bad Marc Maron impression.]
"MARON": Hope you're doing okay out there, guys. Boy I tell ya, I ran into my ex-wife the other day--
[EDITOR'S NOTE: ”Marc Maron” goes on to tell a 12-15 minute story about his “ex-wife”--really a veiled description of a bus driver that McVay once asked out. I fast-forward to the interview.]
"MARON": Okay, joining me at the Hat Ranch today are--
STEPHANIE HASZ: Wait, did you say 'Hat Ranch'?
"MARON": Yeah isn't that what he says?
HASZ: It's "cat ranch," McVay. He has cats.
"MARON": Ohhh I thought he had, like, a lot of hats.
ANDY FLEMING: Wait, I'm allergic to cats!!
HASZ: We're not really at the cat ranch, Andy.
HASZ: Just start over.
"MARON": Okay, joining me today at the CAT Ranch are Andy Fleming & Stephanie Hasz, well-known as pillars of the Chicago comedy scene.
FLEMING: Stop, Marc, come on, you don't have to say that.
"MARON" [whispering]: You literally told me I have to say that.
HASZ: Okay, if you can't stay in character, we will go out on the street and get some improviser who will, and give THEM this Nicki Minaj poster.
"MARON": Okay, okay, fine!
FLEMING: I'll edit this part out.
HASZ: Good call.
"MARON": So Andy, Steph, you guys are once again celebrating comedy & friendship with your annual #PALooza festival, but it hasn't been an easy road for you guys, has it?
HASZ: No Marc, it sure hasn't. We had our time on top, and what they say is true-- the entertainment industry is a cruel mistress.
FLEMING: I'll tell you what else is a cruel mistress: my MISTRESS!
FLEMING: Ha, but seriously, Carol, if you're listening, please bring my kids back, my ex-wife is starting to ask questions.
"MARON": But come on, man, you guys were on top of the world! Doesn't that count for anything??
HASZ: Oh, sure, Marc. I mean we had some great times. We appeared on some great podcasts.
"MARON": Not to mention Shine Box Comedy, the legendary collective you guys were a part of that brought the entertainment industry to Logan Square. What happened there, guys?
FLEMING We blew it up.
HASZ: Sometimes you're just a part of something TOO successful, ya know, Marc?
"MARON": What happened to all the money?
HASZ: Well, Marc, I guess I can answer that by saying that even if you eat all the beef jerky in Chicago.. you can still feel… pretty empty inside.
FLEMING: It's true, Marc, I-- [his voice breaks. He sniffles a little.]
HASZ: Whoa, dude, are you crying?
FLEMING: No, sorry, it's my cat allergies.
HASZ: We're NOT EVEN--
FLEMING: I know, but Katie's acting is so solid, I think it's tricking my body!
[EDITOR'S NOTE: My wife's brother Rod has a cat. Mean old bastard. I hate Rod.]
"MARON": Wow. Cat allergies. Beef Jerky. Seems like the whole world was out to get you.
HASZ: That's right, Marc. But we dug our way out of that hole. With some Zyrtec.. what the hospital told us was the first ever beef-jerky-related stomach-pump.. and a little thing called friendship.
"MARON": Yeah, man, and that's the subject of a show you're putting up this Thursday at the Hungry Brain in Chicago, huh?
FLEMING: That's right, Marc. A bunch of the kids in the Chicago comedy scene came to us and they said, "Andy, Steph, your friendship and your comedy is an inspiration to us. We know you guys are having hard times right now, doing Cupcake Cabaret shows for alimony money-- but we want to show you that we’ve taken what you taught us to heart."
HASZ: And that warmed our hearts, Marc.
FLEMING: It really did.
HASZ: I mean my credit card company doesn't take "warmed hearts" in exchange for beef jerky bills, but still.. we're excited.
FLEMING: We've gotten together a bunch of the best friends in Chicago comedy, and we're letting them perform together just like we do, so that they can illustrate their love of friendship, of comedy, of each other--
HASZ: --And most importantly, of us.
FLEMING: So this show will feature joint presentations by:
-Tiffany & Danielle Puterbaugh
-Ian Abramson & Tim Barnes
-Goodrich Gevaart & Nick Rouley
-Zach Peterson & Kevin Brody
-and the friendship triangle of Tommy McNamara, Dan Drees, & Mitch Kurka
HASZ: That's right. We will be hosting, in sort of the Boston tradition of the best act on the show also being the emcee.
"MARON": Well it sounds like a hell of a time, I'm gonna try to make it, and if I do, I'm bringing nicotine lozenges for everyone.
HASZ: Marc, that's so sweet!
"MARON": Alright, we good?
FLEMING: Ya know what, Marc? I think we finally are.