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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.


Ted Leo Stops Beating Up File Cabinets, Songs, Self

January 29, 2018 · Duration: 47:00 · Play

It’s hard to settle on a musical description for Ted Leo. We ended up going with “if The Beach Boys were ’80s skateboarders” to summarize his melodic intense post-punk sound. Similarly hard to nail down is whether Ted’s longtime issues with depression and anger stem from his brain’s built-in wiring or from abuse he suffered […]

Reggie Osse Puts It Together

January 15, 2018 · Duration: 51:05 · Play

In one of the last interviews he gave, Reggie Osse, aka Combat Jack, talks about the connection between the status of the African-American man in contemporary society, the changing role of masculinity in hip-hop culture, and mental health. Osse was an important figure in hip-hop as a lawyer, editor, podcast host, and thinker. This interview […]

Linda Holmes Leaves Law to Concentrate On Watching TV and It Works Out Great

January 8, 2018 · Duration: 45:33 · Play

Before she was the host of NPR’s popular Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, Linda Holmes was an attorney working at the Minnesota Legislature. Before that, she was a student living in squalor. And before that, she was the victim of some seriously messed up mean kid behavior. We hear about her unusual path to a […]

Rhett Miller Really Hates That Brass Cat

January 2, 2018 · Duration: 47:45 · Play

If you’ve ever heard this show before, you’ve heard singer-songwriter Rhett Miller. He wrote and performs the theme song about “the world’s greatest clown.” On this episode, Rhett tells of his teenage suicide attempt, a mysterious illness, his musical salvation, and his grandmother’s owl fixation. He even brought his guitar along and performs a few […]

Mike Brown Trains as an Engineer to Prepare for Comedy

December 26, 2017 · Duration: 50:06 · Play

New York comedian Mike Brown is a big fan of objective cause-and-effect scenarios. This drew him into playing video games, studying math and engineering, and ultimately getting on stage to tell jokes and get laughs. The thing is, sometimes you have to face events that are completely senseless.

Janelle James Discovers She’s a Comedian and Not a Gardener

December 18, 2017 · Duration: 42:00 · Play

New York comic Janelle James never even imagined being a comedian. She had grown up in the Virgin Islands, worked in fashion PR, had two kids, and was living in Illinois when she first walked on stage at an open mic night. She was 30 years old. But as soon as she hit the stage, […]

Jenny Lawson is Very Fond of Creepy Smiling Dead Animals and Worries Quite a Bit

December 11, 2017 · Duration: 50:50 · Play

She’s the author of bestselling books and an incredibly popular blog, but Jenny Lawson showed up to our interview wondering, at least a little, if her appearance on this show and her whole career, really, was part of some delusion. It’s not. She’s the real thing: an incredibly funny and honest writer with a legion […]

The Holiday Coping Mechanism Spectacular

December 4, 2017 · Duration: 1:00:35 · Play

We’ve gathered up a whole lot of tips, tricks, ideas, and stories to help you get through this time of year when merriness and jolliness aren’t always in abundant supply. Hear holiday thoughts from Wil Wheaton, Margaret Cho, Jenny Lawson, John Green, Aimee Mann, and more. Plus, a story about a slobbering zebra.

Ana Marie Cox Is Not Really Edited Much At All

November 27, 2017 · Duration: 1:22:23 · Play

You know those things that happened but that you don’t talk about very much? Or even at all? Because they’re too upsetting? In this episode, host John Moe and guest Ana Marie Cox put those things on the table. Ana is a journalist, pundit, and podcaster; she talks about the lowest point in her mental […]

Julie Klausner Builds a More Confident and Dumber Version of Herself For Our Amusement

November 20, 2017 · Duration: 44:52 · Play

Growing up, actor and writer Julie Klausner was too busy battling depression and daydreaming about an imagined Merlot-sipping cosmopolitan adulthood to really engage in the world itself. It wasn’t until she entered the world of comedy and improv as an adult that things really started to click into place. That led to creating Difficult People, […]

Gary Gulman Is a Brilliant Comedian and an Ineffective Offensive Lineman

October 30, 2017 · Duration: 46:02 · Play

Although Gary Gulman has been a successful stand-up comedian for decades – with acclaimed specials, a loyal fan base, and appearances on all major late night shows – this was not his original plan. Gary is 6’6” and athletically gifted, he loved basketball, and had a full ride athletic scholarship to a Division 1 program. […]

Aimee Mann Discovers That Having Feelings About Terrible Things Is Perfectly Fine

October 23, 2017 · Duration: 50:03 · Play

Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann has a reputation for making music that is raw, emotional, and sometimes not all that cheerful. In real life, she’s perfectly cheerful – thank you very much – and has traveled a long road of depression, anxiety, a difficult childhood, and writer’s block. Through it all, she’s taken a calm, considered, and […]

John Green Falls Victim to Some Bad Fiction While Writing His New Book

October 16, 2017 · Duration: 56:39 · Play

Author John Green had one of the best-selling books of the last 10 years with The Fault In Our Stars. The problem is, when you write an acclaimed smash hit, everyone wants you to somehow do it again. In attempting to write that follow-up, Green went off the meds he’d been taking for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, […]

Neal Brennan Gives Ketamine and Magnetic Impulses a Try

October 9, 2017 · Duration: 50:47 · Play

If you’ve enjoyed any comedy in the last 20 years, there’s a good chance Neal Brennan helped make it. He’s a veteran comic, writer, director, and co-creator, with Dave Chappelle, of the acclaimed Chappelle’s Show. Over the past 20-plus years, he’s also tried everything he could think of to tame his depression. Hear Neal’s epic […]

Margaret Cho Works Out A Lot And Makes People Upset In New Jersey

October 2, 2017 · Duration: 41:18 · Play

She’s one of the most influential and innovative comedians of the last few decades, but before all that, Margaret Cho was a Korean-American girl growing up in the 1970s in San Francisco. We hear about the sometimes very darkly humorous ways her family and culture dealt with depression and suicide, and how she harnessed her […]

Wil Wheaton Is Really Hoping It’s All Worth It

September 25, 2017 · Duration: 49:07 · Play

Wil Wheaton was a child star in Stand By Me, a regular on Star Trek: The Next Generation as a teenager, and has been trying to figure out his role in show business for a long time since then. He was dealing with the pressures of fame and the fickle tastes of Hollywood, all while […]

Episode #PREVIEW: Season 2 starts Sept. 25!

September 18, 2017 · Duration: 3:44 · Play

Season 2 of The Hilarious World of Depression starts on September 25, 2017. Get a jump on it by hearing from some of the comics, actors, authors, and musicians you’ll get to know this season.

Episode #PLACEBO: Imagine Depression as a Person and Describe Them

August 28, 2017 · Duration: 13:23 · Play

What if clinical depression was not just a thing in someone’s brain but an actual other person entirely? What would they look like? Act like? Who would they be? And how would you interact with such a person? It’s a mental exercise that many find helpful in isolating the disease from the self to better […]

Episode #PLACEBO: How to Get Help

August 15, 2017 · Duration: 23:58 · Play

If you are having problems with your mental health, please get help. You’ve heard that before on this show and probably plenty of other places as well. But how do you actually do that? How do you go about finding professional help to get things on a better track? It’s a process that can be […]

Episode #PLACEBO: Hitting the Nail on the Head

July 31, 2017 · Duration: 13:10 · Play

Depression can be really hard to define, making it difficult for anyone who doesn’t have it to be understand it. And that can make the people who do have it feel that much more alone. We asked our listeners what movie, TV show, artwork, or other piece of culture gets depression right. The answers range […]

Episode #PLACEBO: The Things We Tell Ourselves That Help

July 5, 2017 · Duration: 13:04 · Play

There are many ways to address depression: therapy, meds, exercise, music. And then there are our own thoughts. We learn the mantras, reminders, and rituals that some of our listeners use to get through it when Clinny D flares up.