Menu

ymiw223
Episode 223

You Made It Weird

T.J. Miller #3

user avatar

You Made It Weird #223: T.J. Miller #3

T.J. Miller returns for a third time to make it even weirder!

Listen to T.J.’s podcast Cashing In With T.J. Miller!

Follow @peteholmes on Twitter and Like the show on Facebook! Buy YMIW shirts!

Photo Credit: Tyler Ross

Tags , ,

50 comments

  • This podcast made me think of one of my favourite philosophers, Wittgenstein and these quotes- “A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.” and “Humor is not a mood but a way of looking at the world. So if it is correct to say that humor was stamped out in Nazi Germany, that does not mean that people were not in good spirits, or anything of that sort, but something much deeper and more important.”  

  • TJ, not sure if it’s even you responding or if you still are, but have you looked into the Aghori philosophy rooted in Hinduism? It reminded me of your mentioning of everything is nothing so doing the craziest things is a way of proving that. They exercise this by literally doing what we in the materialistic “real” world see as the grossest, insane, most crazy shit but it’s all part of them proving their way of life. Interesting stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aghori

  • This is a super crispy conversation! Also, wasn’t TJ’s last YMIW episode about something he said that pissed off Dane Cook? If there’s a bright side to the story, Michael Bay is a bigger name. Sooooo, you know, nice to see that TJ’s career is moving is the right direction! 
    Love the way your brain works TJ! You would definitely be a fun person to be around! 

  • I love TJ but man, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at his insistence that Pete and the other people in his life would be ~selfish~ for being upset if he walked into traffic and killed himself, yet he was all upset about offending Michael Bay. Like really? The feelings of your -loved ones- are less important to you than some director you happened to be really impressed and intimidated by? Really?

  • I think there’s some valuable stuff here, but man there is a lot of pseudo-understanding soundbite Nietzsche going on.  Also, there are modern day philosophers.  Comedians don’t have that responsibility.  (Speaking as a fan of TJ)

    • My friend!  I know that there are modern day philosophers, and I hope people will listen to them as well, but comedians have a forum and a medium that people are paying attention to, and paying quite a bit of attention to these days.  But no one is responsible for anything, certainly nothing they haven’t created the responsibility for.  As for the “pseudo-understanding soundbite Nietzsche” well now we can’t be friends.  No one understands Nietzsche, not even he.  The only thing any of us understand is that people who use the pseudo-word “pseudo-understanding” are understood to be Pseuckers.  (Speaking as a fan of Me-at-work)

      • Certainly more people are paying attention to comedy than critical theory.  The problem is that by the time philosophy reaches the stage, it’s usually referencing conversations that were happening a while back (over 100 years in this case).  Pseudo-clever wordplay aside, I was more trying to point out that Nietzsche’s works are often appealing as a starting point in philosophy.  I don’t know your background with handling this material, but any philosophical argument is as much the result of context (time and place, conversation with other intellectual histories, etc.) as it is the result of inspired writing.  Not paying attention to the context does a whole field a disservice.  More, Nietzsche’s writings are often contradictory and readers tend to boil down some of the more dense portions into small chunks “God is Dead” “You stare into the abyss and the abyss stares back at you” “Time is a flat circle” which obfuscates (and distracts from) a larger meaning.  I think it’s awesome that anyone takes the time to read his work, he was certainly incredibly influential.  I just think, as a fan of Nietzsche, you owe it to yourself to place his work into context.

        • Also, I don’t mean to lecture, but I would be more than happy to recommend some things to check out if you are really interested in this stuff.

  • I’ve always been a fan of TJ, but possibly non-existent god damn if he didn’t make me appreciate his humor and outlook even more.  It takes a truly empathetic person to realize that being low brow may get a laugh, but it can also hurt.  It’s a shame he had to learn the lesson that way, but me thinks it’s one worth it.  

    • Thank you sir– people have taken issue with my apology to Bay after a discussion of nihilism, but it actually makes a lot of sense.  It’s a shame no one will ever understand it, especially me.

  • T.J.–love that you exist, please continuing doing so for a very, very long time (within, of course, the constraints of your influence).

    Nihilism is not the answer, it’s just the beginning of fully realizing the absurdity of man’s place in the universe and the emptiness of striving for an illusory ‘meaning of life”. The best way path back to star stuff is to strive for a fully lived, unique, and singular life shared with everyone/thing lucky enough to have a fleeting existence. A life which hopefully ends in extreme old age with relative good health and faculties until the very end (again, within the constraints of your influence).

    The existential truth of existence should not be barrier to that path, more so a guide to the almost unimaginable beauty that can be found even in the smallest of things, regardless of the harsh truths of existence.

    Don’t have time to discuss further, but hope to meet you in a couple decades over beers to do so.

  • I heard TJ’s story about Michael Bay on Doug Loves Movies and I didn’t think it was that bad. I felt like TJ made himself the butt of the joke in the story. It didn’t come off as a slight against Bay.

  • YES! I I’ve been on a huge T.J. Miller kick recently because I just got into him not too long ago. He should be a more frequent guest on YMIW. I can’t wait to listen to this episode!

  • Hey there Pete,Long time weirdo first time commenter ;) I really enjoyed the philosophy chat with tj and I highly recommend “on happiness” by Bertrand Russell, not complex lik neitche but logical and gregarious and naturally joyful like yourself. I think you will like ( borat voice on like). Thanks for the podcast man

  • TJ,
    I saw you do a live tasty pod in DC and hung out after the show at the Lincoln Memorial. I gave you the book ‘Denial of Death’ and I hope you’re enjoying it. Curious as to how/whether it has influenced any of your philosophical developments regarding death recently. I know it did a lot for me. You and Pete have really been an inspiration for me while I pursue improv here in DC. Thanks for all the laughs.

  • Purposefully walking into traffic IS selfish. Dying that way IS selfish. And TJ’s attitude towards it IS selfish.

    It made it out as if it is merely taking your life into your own hands, but in actuality it is forcing your life into someone else’s hands. He talked about what his friends should thing about it and what his fiancee would think about it, but he clearly never considered what the person who might hit and kill him would think about it.

    He would be forcing an enormous burden onto a complete stranger, just because he personally doesn’t give a shit. Imagine how horrible that person would feel, how shattered they would be, because they would feel responsible for killing someone. TJ would be taking all of the trauma he says his friends and family shouldn’t feel and all of the tragedy he says didn’t matter to him, hoisting all of that onto the stranger driving the car. How is that not selfish?

    Not only that, but by walking out into traffic, he’s also putting every single driver in danger. He’s not the only person who could get hurt or killed by walking into traffic, he could be causing the injury and death of the people who hit him, or the people who swerve to avoid him and crash. Or the people who get swerved into because someone was trying to avoid him.  Simply because he claims to not care one way or the other about if he died or not, he would be doing something that was a danger to everyone around him.

    This is incredibly fucking selfish. It’s the epitome of selfishness.

    • Here’s something Bastien, you may not have considered, and perhaps even less than how many times you used “it” in your second sentence:  Who cares?  If you had even listened, I was talking about revaluating your value system, why and how do you know it to be it a it it would be a burden?  What if that driver found a new sort of “meaning” to his life after he killed me, and was able to lead a more fulfilling life?  What is “selfish” and where does it come from?  Did you ever ask yourself that?  It couldn’t it could not it isn’t possibly a way for slave morality to continue since it puts the burden on the individual to take care of others rather than himself, thus keeping order in a society or nationstate that doesn’t allow those being mistreated to take what they should or what would be fair, because it’s “selfish”?  The problem of you it is it that it is you never ask yourself many questions.  Because, you are selfish.  You only think of yourself and consider yourself when you write or think or consider what is right or wrong, you put yourself in other people’s shoes and think from your perspective as them instead of them as them.  So you are the epitome of everything I am fighting against.  Thus, I do not like you and please never come to any of my shows.  You are an ugly cow and you should be put to death.

      • While I don’t at all believe you are really T.J. Miller, I will play along, if only for the sake of continuity.

        I made a post full of cohesive points that suggest you should think about other people more than yourself, and your counter argument is that I should think about other people more than myself…or that I should think more about myself than about myself. You tell me that I should ask more questions, when that’s exactly what I’m suggesting you do. All it reads as is “I know you are, but what am I?” with a faux philosophical veneer.

        I’m suggesting you consider what other people think and feel, and you’re specifically telling me to think exactly the same thing that you think. You’re insinuating an unrealistic movie-of-the-week premise onto the people driving the car, pushing the idea that it’s a possibility so hard that you strip away any meaning of the concept of possibilities. It’s clear that what you are doing is saying that there is only ONE true way of thinking, only ONE true way of feeling, only ONE true course of events, and that they’re all what YOU want them to be. But the possibility that killing you would help the person doesn’t simply wash away the fact that there is a (much more likely) possibility that it would do emotional harm to them.

        And in doing that, you don’t even address the fact that such a reckless decision would be putting other people in danger. You conveniently left that part out. You’re so concerned with sounding high-minded and righteous that you don’t bother to address the physical harm you could do to people, because there’s no defending that. Or would you just make a wild claim that it’s possible the person WANTED to be hurt or killed, and thus you were doing them a favor?

        You’ve made no convincing points, here. If anything, you sound even more ridiculous and selfish than before. You’ve resorted to base insults and threats. You’ve demanded that people think more, but only if they think the way you personally think, thus destroying the very definition of thinking. The only thing you’ve succeeded in doing is making  yourself seem more and more detached with reality. That’s not a sign of higher thinking, that’s a sign of impaired judgment.

        • Boy, you’ve never “argued” with an absurdist before, because they don’t argue.  I’m supposed to purposefully contradict myself without purpose, and the questions I ask don’t have answers– the ONE true way of thinking is thinking about how there is no ONE true way of thinking– you yourself try to say that something is indefensible, but nothing is, so, why don’t you just understand me as my 14 year old self– trying to spit on the Texan license plate that is you, being self righteous yourself, saying things like “ faux philosophical veneer” and discouraging people from thinking and talking about things you don’t care to question or think about and I don’t blame you.  You’re much smarter than me, please remain in your position so that you don’t become an obstacle to others.By the way– I’m not T.J. Miller.  No one is.

      • Aren’t you forcing your absurdist feet into everyone elses shoes though? Instead of them thinking as them? I don’t think its selfish to assume most people would be fucking horrified to hit someone on the road. Yeah there’s a possibility they could take some crazy new meaning from it, or you could ruin their life, right? I think this is the only sticking point some people have a problem with, you make a ton of great points about absurdism and re-evaluating values, but killing someone on accident has got to be the worst for most people. I don’t think “yeah but they might not” is good enough. When you’re dead you don’t have to worry about shit, but the people left alive have to live with the void you would leave, and you can’t bank on them seeing it through the re-evaluating lens. Is there something i’m not getting or mis-understanding here? Please dont take this as just insults or internet shit-slinging, it’s wierd fringe issues that need discussed and i still loved the podcast. MAKIN IT WEIRD *hits desk button*

        • Mizuki– I so appreciate your questions.  I of course know that deep down we all believe that killing someone with your car would be horrifying for them and is selfish for the person who steps in front of the car, purposefully or not.  That’s why I would never do it. Thank you for your question, and please keep asking them, I will never answer another, just as I have not answered this one.

        • Just being upset about someone dying is selfish. Someones life may be so miserable every moment of every day that death would be a relieve. We don’t know what happens after this life. When someone is mourning a loved ones death, they are upset because THEY will never see them again. They aren’t thinking of the feelings of the deceased but their own feelings of sadness for not ever being able to see that person again. Selfishness. Side note if you wanna off yourself maybe do it in a way that isn’t going to hurt anyone else Physically. Also try to leave a warning note so Your loved ones don’t find your dead body that would be traumatizing. T.J. I really enjoyed everything you said. Not many people will talk about this stuff especially not on a radio show. I don’t even talk about it anymore cause to many people find it depressing. Why is it nobody wants to talk about the most important questions of life? It’s sad and\or boring i guess…

  • I enjoyed this podcast. TJ Miller’s girlfriend is apparently infallible, and he is smitten as fuck, and congratulations on love and marriage.
    The bit about working your way of seeing to force a lens to perceive things through resonates with me.Humor and beauty and enjoyment are all good in my experience. Actively preventing yourself from developing the habit of viewing life through the lens of negativity and sadness and anxiety and other bad thing is as important. 
    TJ said a nihilist wouldn’t do nothing, but would rather do everything because nothing matters. Given that you can consciously warp your perception of life and experience to one end or another, he should consider that a nihilist may deliberately do nothing because they aim to experience the inaction in some way or another. The value of doing something  is the same as doing nothing to genuine nihilist, but I don’t fucking know, shit matters to me. Principally, enjoying things matters to me. Whats more valuable than any label for your way of seeing life, to me, is enjoying anything and everything. Convulsing homeless people, a strange looking tomato, the fact that toilets exist, enjoy it. Enjoy other people feeling joy too, because empathy. 
    I feel like I’ve typed too much for a comment on a podcast, and that’s okay or at least meaningless, which makes things okay? 

    • I love your “toilets exist” comment.  I have often considered that, and it seems mike that we would be friends.  All of the words you used had wonderful results as your thinking fascinates me and I enjoy you.  Please come to a show and introduce yourself after.  I will buy you a beer or two, and we can chew the fat that matters not, and talk of what matters most:  all and none of it.I love you and you are cool.

      • That you replied is entirely unexpected and absolutely makes my day! Thank you and I’m flattered, but also stuck in Michigan, so next time you come through or near Detroit, or the opportunity otherwise presents itself, I’ll be glad to take you up on the offer. I love you, and you are also cool. 
        Though it may be fundamentally selfish of me to request, try not to die in traffic before we get the chance to meet and chat it up and about life and other wonderful nonsense. 
        Also, the whole bit concerning selfishness and selflessness in the context of suicide, death, and concern for how it effects yourself and others was well put though hard to receive. In my experience, we fall into a sort of emotional superposition between selfish and selfless extremes when trying to cope with people dying. It sucks for the world and yourself when people are lost, and most who aren’t sociopaths get both ends of that, but it comes down to what you choose to express in those moments that shapes how you are viewed. Acknowledging and appreciating that death impacts people who aren’t you is a lot easier than saying so first when your friend is dead or plans on being dead soon. 

  • TJ is the best.  I saw him perform in Houston a few weeks ago at a festival.  In the middle of his performance, a brass band started playing out in the street.  He decided to gather the audience and run out into the street to go see them.  After a few minutes, we ran back to the stage and he continued the show.  It was just one of those awesome spur of the moment things that really sticks in my memory.

    • It sticks in my memory that this was memorable to you Nick– thank you for enjoying the show and for coming to it.  I felt bad about that, because I thought it was part of Andrew WK’s performance, and it wasn’t fair to the brass band, but those are the breaks.  I hope to see you in Houston again soon.

  • This should be required listening for everyone that listens to podcast or comments on the internet. And if you’ve never listen to a podcast this should be the first one you listen to. This will prevent the dumb comment, admittedly I’ve made once or twice, “Why don’t they ‘keep it real?’” Every-time Chris or anyone else don’t give their “real” option, this is why. What’s the point? So a couple of dumb fucks like myself on the internet get a kick out of it? Not worth it. Hopefully this doesn’t affect TJ too much cause he’s a really talented comedian. It’s a hard lesson to learn and the dumb shit’s on the internet just don’t get it.

    • I forgot actually to say that my fly was down the whole time.  That’s real.  I’m T.J. Miller, and I was there because I was me.  Also I enjoy being called “Dr. Pig” when I introduce myself as such.  Just check my twitter, shinnies!

      • I would like to end with a story I made up (as I am not T.J. Miller- no one is).Last night in Arizona I met a couple of doctors, plastic surgeons in fact, who also grow weed and wear cool clothes.  I sat with them for a while, trying to coax them into thinking about perhaps some things they had never thought about, or had but were scared of (like me), or haven’t but will when someone who is more adept at talking about such issues does.  I told a few of my jokes (I don’t really do that in a social situation offstage) and I had just about one of the most fun conversations I’d ever had– of course it was the greatest night of my life, every night is– and I was so grateful for them, for the night sky in Arizona, for two people who would listen to my ramblings regarding death.  One thing I saw though was something that I will work the rest of my life to correct (and there is no correct or incorrect remember, an absurdist isn’t even one):  When I talked about how tonight, if tonight we knew we were going to die in the morning, with no specified time– we don’t have to be scared, and we should be happy.  We didn’t have to talk of gluten-free and working out and growing our own food and avoiding carcenogens and various approaches to living longer, we’ve already lived as long as we need to.  Some of us haven’t lived at all, and still the greatest of us will beginning living this instant.  We don’t have to fear dying, we can talk about it, and it’s actually got quite an upside since there’s no parking tickets.  Or crying in the shower.  Or thinking about other people crying in the shower, strangers who’ve been hurt or violated, friends who have had loneliness overtake their evening sky.
        The minute I mentioned it:  Both of these wonderful and kind people had something in their eyes, had an instinct or reflex to rail against the idea of nonexistence, to act the way we all act towards death because we have all been taught to act this way, as we all march steadily towards it:  To fight.  But there is nothing to fight.
        Epicurus, my favorite philosopher and gardner said (and I paraphrase, and I ponder- why do people attack philosophers (comedians)?  I suppose the same reason Nietzsche was such a piss poor excuse for a crybaby, a baby who didn’t cry but wailed, and whaled for philosophers who were much better and bigger than he, he even!, a shrimp in a sea of ideas he couldn’t understand!!!):
        “Why should we fear death?  When we are, death is not, when death is we are not…”
        not what Epicurus?  Not going to finish the sentence?  Well what the hell does that mean?  Obviously that peanut butter on pizza is worth a try…..
        -t.j. (of course not)

        • Tj-   either you’re drunk (fine) or still a freshman in college (also really fine), but some of the grandstanding you did on this podcast and this comment board comes across as very hypocritical.  ”Nothing matters to an absurdist”!  yet you go to great pains to edit what you said about Michael Bay, lest your career suffer.   “You’re open to everything and live your life in complete gratitude”!  Yet you pompously deride Pete (who seems ten times more open and gracious and unassuming than you) for not “living this way”.  Are these the actions of an absurdist who’s constantly living with gratitude.  They seem more on par with someone drunk on ideas that they haven’t yet really taken to heart, much less put into practice.I’ll take Pete’s openness any day of the week over this blind pomposity.