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I’m super excited to say that my true story, The Downward Spiral, that originally aired on the RISK! podcast a couple years ago, will be included in the forthcoming RISK! book, to be published on July 17, 2018 by Hachette Books!

I’ll be in the collection of some of the best true stories to ever air on the RISK! podcast, alongside awesome stories from Marc Maron, Aisha Tyler, Ts Madison, Michael Ian Black, Dan Savage and more. I’ve read the whole manuscript of the book, and it’s just incredible. The stories are SO GOOD, even if you’ve listened to them before on RISK!, and there will be lots of new stories as well, so whether you know these stories from the podcast or not, you need to get this book.

You can preorder the book now at TheRISKbook.com. It’s only $17, and every preorder we get from now through July 17 will count toward our first week sales. If we get enough of those, we’ll be on the New York Times Bestseller list, so please go preorder tons of copies for yourself and your friends and help us make this a big success. If you love uncensored true stories you won’t hear anywhere else, this is the book for you!

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I had a great time speaking at Viacom this week on a panel on podcasting for the Junior Hollywood Radio and Television Society. I’ve been wanting to speak on a panel for a while, so I jumped at this opportunity, and it was just as fun as I had hoped.

My fellow panelists were super funny and there were so many laughs. I loved talking about how podcasting is an awesome way that artists can make a living, have a ton of fun, and do things their own way, with total artistic freedom. And I really loved talking to young people who are interested in starting their own podcasts and just needed a little encouragement and guidance.

Even though I have a lot of fun working on the RISK! podcast, and I do it mainly in my pajamas, I really have learned a TON about running a business, podcasting, working in entertainment, managing employees, creating the life I want, and making a great show, and it’s awesome to feel that that knowledge is valuable and powerful and can inspire others to build something awesome of their own and thrive on their own terms.

Thanks to Junior Hollywood Radio and Television Society for having me, and I can’t wait to speak at more events and inspire more people to do what they love!

SEPH - a new play by Tori Keenan-Zelt

A few weeks ago, my good friend Anna Haas asked if I could jump into a play she wrote the music for, and I happily said yes. That’s how I ended up in the Greek Chorus of the off-Broadway play SEPH, which, it turns out, was written by my Harvard ’06 classmate, Tori Keenan-Zelt! You can see me and the rest of the chorus above, belting our hearts out and making paper bird puppets fly.

It was great to be on stage again, and I hope it’s not another ten years before I do some theater, because it’s still a ton of fun!

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I’m happy to announce that I played two voice roles on Disney Junior’s adorable new show, P. King Duckling! I was Hippo in Season 1, Episode 10, “Wombat and the Hilly Boyz,” and Dr. Flamingo in Season 1, Episode 13, “Wombat Has Fleas!”

You can watch both episodes on DisneyJunior.com when you click “Watch” and then find P.King Duckling and sign in with your cable provider. Enjoy!

Yesterday, I got a text from my friend Melissa, who has my two favorite dogs in the world (other than my dog), Rufus and Macey, who are Italian Greyhounds. Rufus is a timid, skinny little man who is so light that when he jumps onto a couch, he floats as if he’s in an old timey cartoon. Macey is a butch, barrel-chested lesbian who eats garbage such as used tampons and diapers for pleasure and seems to have no soul except when she smiles or nuzzles her head into you. Both of them are pretty old and have tons of health problems.

I got a text from Melissa saying that after battling cancer for months, Rufus had finally collapsed and died on her kitchen floor after cuddling on her chest one last time. Rufus was the single cutest, most lovable dog in the world. His face could have made Kim Jong Un embrace democracy and a representative government of the people. I used to say that when Rufus died, I would die, because I loved him so fucking much that I didn’t want to live in a world where he was dead. Of course I was exaggerating, but I still hated that he was sick and going to die. So when I got this text, I called Melissa right away.

Me: Hey man, I’m so sorry about Rufus.

Melissa: I know, I know, it’s so sad. But I can’t really talk right now because I’m trying to get rid of the body.

Me: Hey! Just because he was an ITALIAN greyhound doesn’t mean you can talk like a mobster! Stop saying you’re trying to get rid of the body! And what do you mean? What are you doing with him?

Melissa: Well, the law is that you have to put him in a plastic bag marked “dead animal” and throw him in the garbage.

Me: Jesus Christ, you’re throwing him in the fucking garbage?! What kind of a monster are you?! And you can’t throw him away before your daughter and husband get to say goodbye to him!

Melissa: You know, you’re right, I probably should wait and give them a chance to say goodbye. But I’m not going to cremate him because I can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on getting him cremated when that money could go toward Syrian refugees.

Me: …You are one of a kind. Hang on to him. I have to come say goodbye myself.

An hour and a half later, I was at her apartment. Rufus’ body was in a shoe box by the door. I was fine at first, but when I saw Macey, I started to cry, because I hated the thought of her being sad about losing her life partner. Then I opened the box and looked at Rufus and cried some more.

Melissa: Is he definitely dead?

Me: I know he’s dead because he’s not running away from me like usual. The only way he’ll let me pet him is if he’s fucking dead.

We started to laugh. I stroked his pronounced cheekbone and his neck that was softer than angel breath and his crinkly little ear, and looked into his sad, sunken, dead eye. My tears dripped onto my pants.

Melissa: Does he smell?

Me: Yeah, a little. He smells like cookies and death.

We laughed again. Melissa put on sad, appropriate songs, like “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men. Her 6 year old daughter, Bea, said, “Stop playing sad songs. Let’s play some happy songs, like Shake It Off by Taylor Swift.”

Me: We can’t play Shake It Off right now, that’s crazy! What are we supposed to do, shake off our favorite dog’s death?! That’s not what that song is about. But I guess if we changed the lyrics, like…

Cuz the doggie’s gonna die die die die die
And the family’s gonna cry cry cry cry cry
Now it’s time to say good bye bye bye bye bye
Shake it off! Shake it off!

We all laughed. Greg, Melissa’s husband, came home, and soon it was time to take Rufus’ body away.

Melissa: We should sing a song to say goodbye to him.

Me: I can play “Seasons of Love” on the piano!

Melissa: Let’s do it!

Then the four of us, me, Melissa, Greg and Bea, sang Seasons of Love as a farewell to Rufus. “525,600 minutes! 525,000 moments so dear…let’s celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends. Remember the love..” And it was beautiful and sounded great and we harmonized. And when we were done, we laughed. We laughed at being the kind of people who sing a song from RENT for a dead dog to say goodbye. We laughed at how much this dog meant to all of us. We laughed because there was a lot of great humor on this sad occasion. And because we laughed, because we played, because we saw the humor in the horror, we made it through. Goodbye, Rufus. We loved you so much.