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Episode 78

You Made It Weird

Brent Weinbach

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You Made It Weird #78: Brent Weinbach

Brent Weinbach (Conan! The Legacy Music Hour podcast!) is hands down one of the weirdest guests we’ve ever had. Pete felt conflicted about this conversation for DAYS after recording it because how do you navigate a person like Brent?! Holy cow. He out weirded our weirdest weirdness in a hilarious and fun way. Great ep, great guest, WEIRD TIMES WITH PAT HALMS.

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51 comments

  • How is Brent’s weirdness any worse than Pete’s inability, as a man in his mid-thirties, to have a conversation without pathologically interrupting people, or interjecting his own inanities born of self-importance, or drowning people out constantly with his over-the-top and often insincere laughter?

    How is Brent’s weirdness any worse than Pete’s pathetic need to be loved and praised, or his need to minister to people about his newfound veganism and how to live his version of a “good life”(since he no longer ministers about religion – old wine, new bottle)? Because Pete admits to it and “owns” it? What good is owning a character flaw (and yes, these are flaws, not simply “quirks”) if you continue to embody them, as Pete so obstinately does ? Give me a break.

    I don’t know the backstory between these two, but Pete was being awfully pushy from the get-go and even admitted that there is something in Brent that brings out his inner bully. I really found Pete to be more obnoxious than usual, no matter how much he masked his contempt with superficial laughter, and I certainly don’t question why someone would have a hard time being straight forward about their less desirable qualities in that context.

    P.S. I took the liberty of checking out a few of Brent’s videos on YouTube and I have to say that while he may not be as savvy as Pete when it comes to tireless self-promotion, he’s a better natural talent. I generally like Pete’s podcast (although that fact might not be reflected here), but his show and his stand-up are hit-or-miss, with a lot more miss than hit.

  • I applaud Brent for being himself. It’s so refreshing to hear a guy, especially in the public eye, be so honest and confident of his beliefs. I have similar beliefs/choices as Brent but feel embarrassed about it in our society. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

    I always loved Brent’s stand-up and it was refreshing to hear this side to him.

  • It’s been a month since I listened to this YMIW and I still can’t stop thinking about it. Pete- I think you did a great job trying to make Brent feel comfortable talking about his weirdnesses, but he was just not willing to be open. I guess that was the hardest part as a listener, that we (as weirdos) are automatically interested in what the guest has to say and it felt like Brent was assuming that we/society as a whole are the enemy. It’s like fear is the driving force in his life. Protection mechanisms are not a bad thing, we all have them. So I don’t want to shit on Brent. I guess that’s why I like this podcast so much, because as a whole comedians are people who don’t react out of fear. They react out of faith.

  • Wow. What an episode.

    I never heard someone sound creepier when talking about holding someone’s hand….

    I think what may have baffled Pete was that all Brent’s restrictions are self imposed, not because of outside influences like religious beliefs, upbringing, etc. But after listening to Brent for a while it became clear that for the most part they don’t feel like restrictions to him. To each his own, right?

    I think he’s just a very different guy. I don’t blame him for wanting to keep some things private.

  • Really conflicted about this episode. I’m sure Brent is a pretty decent, normal guy and maybe even a funny comedian. Some of his quirks seem outré and silly, sure, but none of us are in a position to clinically diagnose him or anything.

    With that said, he’s an awful podcast guest, especially for YMIW. A good conversation with Pete requires a certain level of playfulness which Brent not only doesn’t seem to have or want but seems to treat as distasteful.

  • I am amazed how some of Brent’s choices in life are so threatening to some folks.

    Give me a fucking’ break with all the ‘he needs therapy” and the ever so lovely “i hate to judge, oh but let me do so anyway…” comments.

    He is hysterical. His honesty is refreshing and interesting. He’s no “weirder” than some of the other guests that have been on Pete’s show.

    btw – If you REALLY have a hard time with this episode, you really need to look at own self and ask why (…and remember to shut off your cellphone while doing so).

  • Thast was certainly the most fascinating episode. There was such a wild mix of candor and guardedness. I felt like I was getting whiplash.

    I have to agree with Anonymous that I don’t think it is really fair to “diagnose” Brent. He has made some different choices for himself. Different isn’t bad. He isn’t forcing them on anyone else. If he is happy with his life then there is nothing wrong with him.

    I see why Pete was so conflicted about this ep, though. I can see this content is going to be more than just ear-candy… it’s going to leave me thinking for a while.

  • Pete/Brent –

    I’ve been listening from the beginning of YMIW and have enjoyed nearly episode thoroughly for their own unique reasons. I saw Brent and Moshe last year in Scottsdale and had a blast. I think Brent is a brilliant performer and is almost robotic (as Pete mentioned) with his deliveries. I couldn’t recite 5 seconds, let alone 5 minutes of his bits without breaking. Pete, can’t wait to see you in Scottsdale come September.

    Now to the episode. I can relate to both in so many ways. I too was raised a “normal” Christian and had a kind of slow, prolonged separation from the church. I was the kid that had parents who forced them to go to church every sunday while living at home and I resented it the entire time. Although I consider myself Agnostic, the church setting never felt right and was always uncomfortable. I felt so lonely as everyone else seemed to get something that I wasn’t getting.
    I too haven’t tried drugs…not even tobacco. I drink probably once every 4-6 months for special occasions, but could definitely stop without any hesitation. I don’t think the anti-drug campaigns worked on me, I just have never had any urge to try. I think my turning point was seeing everyone else around me change for the worse and not seeing how that would add to my life. On the other hand, I do think that Brent’s sex outlook could be stunted and could be preventing him meeting the right one. I married and don’t have any more answers than the next guy, but I definitely think from just a physiological point of view that not masturbating for 10+ years is bad for your health and sanity.
    In the end, it just felt that Brent had made these decisions so long ago and for so long that breaking them would completely upend his worldview and compromise who he thinks he really is. I feel I have an extremely high level of self-control, but I almost envy his level. That being said, I hope that he can continue to find joy in what he does and find that special person.
    Just a note to some of the other people who are commenting: Shame on you. This is supposed to a supportive community and all I hear is subtle bullying subdued with hipster stylings…get a fucking life.

  • I think everyone needs to cut Brent some slack. Since when is it okay to get angry at people for NOT wanting to take drugs? I know most of the stuff we heard about drugs in school was dumb, but I also knew a few people whose lives were obliterated by drug use. Either way, if someone elects not to periodically douse their brain with toxins, I don’t think anyone can blame them. To some people, the entire idea of drugs just isn’t appealing on a fundamental level. Deal with it.
    I experience weirdness, passive aggression, and occasionally outright anger when people find out that I too do not drink, smoke, or use any drugs — and never have. That is not a flaw, especially if you’re not preachy and in peoples’ faces about it. You don’t need drugs to live a full and happy life.

    I can also relate to Brent on some of his relationship issues, though I think I’ve come a long way in overcoming most of mine from high school and college (it takes some guys a LONG time to get over pedestal issues) and I think it’s great that people like Brent can make up their own minds and construct their own worldviews that don’t rely on fitting in and being normal – especially if fitting in and being normal requires doing a bunch of stuff that makes you uncomfortable. Human sexuality exists on a variety of spectrums and Brent is obviously a very neutral sort of fellow. There are TONS of people like this – you just don’t usually hear about them because they aren’t typically compelled to dicuss it in public.

    I cannot relate to Brent in regard to seat-sniffing. I just learned to get over the fact that the world is a filthy place years ago, but he also pointed out that sometimes he just has to bear it and sit down or whatever, so it’s not like he’s completely obsessed.

    I think this was a great episode, even if Pete kept talking over Brent (which is not something he usually does) and even if it got a little tense and frustrating at times.

    For the nay-sayers — are you forgetting the name of the show?! : )

    Brent seems like a really nice guy who has made a lot of choices that make sense to him (and a few that make sense to me) even if they don’t make a whole lot of sense to most of us.

    The only thing I would sy to Brent is this – There’s no reason to so abjectly fear change (I’m really surprised that he was so open about that, but it only shows greater levels of introspection on his part). The world is constantly changing. You don’t have to change who you are to keep up.
    BUT, as an entertainer… you should… probably have a cell phone?

    Great episode!

    Keep it Crispy Mr. Pete.

  • Oh PETE! I was rooting for you to get some. And There was sooooo much blocking going on! I felt like this was a performance piece about a politician who’s platform is “No fun allowed – nope – not ever.”

    I do want to check out Brent’s comedy, just to see if he can doff that wet blanket.

  • I had a tough time with this episode, and an even harder time understanding why. I’ve read through the comments and some seem too harsh, and others seem like they just want to say something nice, even if it has no real weight to it.

    I’ve been re-listening to the older episodes because I’m mad I don’t live on the right coast for seeing the Midnight Show (at least for now) but after listening to Brent’s episode, I’m now listening to Maron’s episode and there’s a part of it that made me think, ‘oh that was my biggest problem.’

    Pete and Maron talk about how they will talk about all of their problems because that’s how they know how to handle them. I like people who talk about their stuff, and I feel like YMIW usually has people who are good at talking about themselves and their views, and Brent is just a very private person, so it was aggravating when things would start to get somewhere, just to have them sidetracked with a joke or shut down entirely. It also relates to the Sarah Silverman episode in which she talks about how someone who she dates would either need to have done therapy or at least be able to point out where there issues come from.

    Still, it was interesting/weird to see an episode like this, but it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as all of the others.

    Also, for all the weirdos, I think you’ll all enjoy this gaelic phrase:
    “An rud is annamh is íontach”
    “What is weird is wonderful.”

  • Yikes … I love this podcast, and I hate to judge but … This guys is ubber weird and seems straight up uncomfortable about being a human being. Sounds like he lives a sad life with all his made up rules about being safe, anti emotional, and respectful to women, and yet he sniffs dirty butts?!?! WTF … this guy is deff gonna be a crazy homeless dude when hes 60.

  • Its fun that we can experience these episodes not as entertainment filled with content of people giving their time and opening up for free but rather a forum to eviscerate peoples personalities as flawed or broken and unacceptable!

  • great episode. Brent is a hilarious standup. I understand what it’s like to have control issues and to fear change. I did mushrooms two times in my life and both experiences were complete nightmares (because when I was hallucinating, I completely lost control of the world around me and its terrifying). I was hoping it would be as fun and positive as other people said. Brent knows himself enough that it would not be a good thing for him to try.

    That being said, the fear of change is something that in the long run can have a negative effect on your life, and therapy is a great way to get perspective on it. Accepting that everything is changing at every second is a good way to relieve the stress that comes from trying to control your world.
    Anyway, thanks PETE and thanks BRENT for the conversation. I could relate big time. I don’t think Brent is in trouble or needs help, but I believe therapy can be beneficial for anyone, whether the person is “normal” or “weird”.

  • EmGee, your comment is the only one to make me angry. Stop being horrible.

    And also, what’s with trying to define people with tyranny instead of understanding people with empathy. Brent came off as a little holier-than-thou and naive, and same with Pete, but that’s just my understanding of their exchanges.

    Brent seemed to have a sense of humor about his weirdness and that awareness says a lot, I think.

    Also, where did we get this idea that drug use and sex make up a meaningful life? If seat-sniffing is important to you, I say, sniff that fucking seat and never stop sniffing it!

  • This episode was the only one to make me angry but I listened to the end. I hope Brent is funny because this interview was just sad. He has a lot of fears that he is in denial about. I didn’t get laid in high school and know what it is like to put pussy on a pedestal and Brent seems to be a classic case of a socially awkward person making up rationales for his failures and fears. Prob has a bit of OCD as well.

  • Great, great episode. I’ve never heard such an in depth conversation with Weinbach. I find the more uncomfortable Pete is, the more I’m enjoying what’s happening.

  • Brent.

    Most of that negative imagery you associate with drug use, particularly of mushrooms, is artificial. I suppose you have some awareness of that, citing your disinterest in drug use to anti-drug propaganda, but you don’t go the extra step and see the truth. It’s complete doublethink. The feelings of bad association, drugs just can’t be good for, drugs pollute your mind, etc. are invented by the government.

  • This episode is intensely raw, honest, funny, and profound. Weinbach is one of my favorite comedians and I always knew he was a unique person but I didn’t know he led such a monastic life.

    I think the reason people would think someone like Weinbach is weird is because he simply isn’t mainstream and that makes people extremely uncomfortable. I am a young person and I don’t own a cell phone. Not for any great reason, I just don’t have one. I think Brent bristles at being called weird or inhuman because he’s just trying to be an individuated person who happens to be really different than most people.

    Pete, you gotta release that Janeane episode already!

  • We have only ONE Brent Weinbach. ONLY ONE! Hilarious and singular. Even with some editing, he was far more open and forthcoming than I could ever be. Seems like a very sweet and decent human being. Big ups to him.

  • Pete was so cautious in positing explanations for Brent’s behavior. Yet Brent never hesitated to offer a very confident explanation as to why Pete was getting frustrated: “you just can’t Understand me. You need to just accept that some people are different.” That little explanation that he so casually fired off is indicative of how he formed his whole messed up personality. The obvious answer explaining Brent is a lack of strict parents. It seems like he filled the void of discipline that could have been filled with school, sports or god with seat sniffing and wet dreams, I’m surprised that Pete never brought that up, but at this point in Pete’s progress, the idea that religion could be helpful in bringing up a youth is inconsistent.

  • Do you guys realize how mean and hurtful it is to write things like “he was weird in a bad way” or “he needs help”? You sound like bullies on the school yard making fun of someone for being different. Shame on you for criticizing someone’s unique personality, especially after he was willing to be open about it in a public forum. People are different, so just accept that and respect it. If you don’t relate to a person, it doesn’t mean they need therapy or that they have problems. Stop trying to apply your own personal issues and hang ups to them like Pete did until he realized that’s what he was doing.

  • One of the weirdest. I was right there with Pete, there was definitely something off about this one. Brent had me laughing hard at parts, he’s a funny guy, but when he was being prodded about his eccentricities he seemed to freeze up. A lot of vague generalities that didn’t really make sense. I feel like he’s dancing around something that maybe he hasn’t come to terms with.

  • I feel a lot of affection for Brent Weinbach and he makes me laugh in a great, strange way. He’s a unique person and I’d never want to change that. But dude should probably go to therapy or something. Actually, he should just take some mushrooms but that’s not going to happen. What’s funny is…he might have sort of a bad time on mushrooms, at least the first time, for the very reason he ought to try them. He’s got these huge blocks in his personality that need to be destroyed, he’s smart enough to rationalize them but there were unmistakable walls of denial Pete kept running into. There remains this clear aspect of the bizarre child he was, it feels like (I realize I’m a HUGE asshole armchair shrink right now and I’m sorry) at some point he embraced his oddball nature with a certain stubbornness…and where most kids like that got to college and realized they should stop wearing a cape in public, he turned it into a worldview. For example on The Indoor Kids he absolutely refused to acknowledge that any part of his fascination with video game music could possible be related to nostalgia. His putting sex on this insane level of sacrament because it made him feel bad that some girl had given a handjob at the movies absolutely breaks my heart. It’s also partially bullshit by this age, the only thing that can really override the human desire to fuck is fear, any other explanation is a big bag of ballllllls. Godspeed Brent Weinbach…maybe someday I’ll put LSD in your drink without asking. Just kidding, LSD is expensive.

  • I can see everyone was as conflicted as me by this one! I’m glad you enjoyed the weirdness, I really appreciate these thoughtful comments. I do love Brent, I just wasn’t sure what to say to him. And yes, there were some edits, I’m sorry to say. I always want the guest to be comfortable with what’s released so a couple topics were lifted. I like the “Vulcan” and DnD comparisons!

  • He’s not weird because of his temperament. He’s weird (I would say bizarre and in need of help) because he sniffs chairs and has an irrational obsession with ‘ass smell’, also that he can’t see how mobile phones are simply an incredible convenience for 90% of people, rather than a life-damaging distraction machine. His attitude to sex is just a different version of puritanical prudishness and the insistence that sex must always be some kind of sacred act.

  • Brent is known for being “weird”. He was sincere, because this is just who he is.

    Actually, he’s not that weird at all. He’s just a very neutral person. He’s like the exact middle road. Imagine Pete as the far end in the energetic and wacky side, then the old angry Marc Maron as the opposite end of the spectrum, then Brent is in the very middle.

    In DnD terms, there’s Chaotic Good Pete, Chaotic Evil Marc Maron, and then True Neutral Brent Weinbach.

    Now put Brent in the same room with Pete, whom we’re used to being super silly, and it’s no coincidence that some people see the relatively un-emotional, Vulcan-like Brent as the weird one.

  • This was an odd episode. Brent just seemed sort of… “off”. The whole show, I couldn’t tell if he was being sincere or not. It was really uncomfortable.

    Well, he definitely made it weird, but I’m not sure that it was weird in a good way.

  • Shit IS everywhere. If you take swabs of the various parts of your house you touch with an exposed body part, the microbes from your toilet are indistinguishable from the ones on your pillow.

  • I feel as if this guy is like.. you know the movie coneheads? Where they’re alien espionage cadets.. and like.. they go to earth and kind of understand how to behave but there’s definitely something off as well. Well Brent feels like an alien that was enrolled as a candidate of such an alien academy but graduated at the bottom of his class and he was sent to a low priority planet . SUPER weird, i was tense listening to the entire thing.