The Hilarious World of Depression

50 EpisodesProduced by American Public Media

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 de… read more

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Naomi Ekperigin Brings In Her Baggage, Unpacks It

December 10th, 2018

"There's a lot to unpack, John," says comedian, actor, and writer Naomi Ekperigin during the course of this interview and indeed there is. The New York native, now uneasily dwelling in Los Angeles, has dealt with …

Check-Ups on Gary Gulman, Linda Holmes, Janelle James, and "Steve." Plus, Sock Opportunities

December 3rd, 2018

Mental health is a journey. Rarely does someone have a problem, fix it completely, and never worry about it again. On this episode, we touch base …

Aparna Nancherla Is Having a Harder Time Doing Something She's Great At

November 26th, 2018

It's pretty easy to be a fan of Aparna Nancherla. Not only does she create incredibly funny, smart, relatable comedy, she does so in a variety of formats. You can catch her standup on Netflix or Spotify and you can see …

John Ross Bowie and Jamie Denbo Don't Need Your Suggestions For Their Life Improv

November 19th, 2018

In a whole lot of ways, improv comedy is the opposite of depression. It requires you to be present in the moment, unconcerned about past regrets and …

Adventures in Therapy

November 12th, 2018

True stories of beautiful epiphanies and majestic, horrible disasters. Talk therapy is one of the most popular ways to address depression and it's …

Guy Branum Goes to Minnesota, Gets Good Internet, Finds Self

November 5th, 2018

Comedian and writer Guy Branum was expected to be a construction worker his whole life. Maybe a football player. He was large, strong, and grew up in …

The Hilarious NIGHT of Depression

October 29th, 2018

Our show took to the stage recently for a live event packed with laughter, insight, and music. We were joined by Paul F. Tompkins, Aimee Mann, Ted …

Words: Am We Uses Them Good At Mental Health?

October 22nd, 2018

Finding and using the right words for something as complex as mental illnesses can be exasperating. And it can take a lot of effort to avoid the wrong words. In this episode, using words, we explore terms like "crazy" …

Scott Thompson Keeps Getting Back Up Again

October 15th, 2018

He's a writer, a stand-up comedian, and an actor, but Scott Thompson will likely always be best known as one of five members of The Kids in the Hall, one of the best sketch comedy groups ever. Scott has made a lot of …

Chris Gethard Does Not Avoid the Collision

October 8th, 2018

Comedian and actor Chris Gethard has a lifetime of experience with depression. Chris has turned moments of his life dealing with the illness into an off-Broadway show and an HBO special, which is more than one might …

Figuring Out Regular Adolescent Behavior vs. Alarming Disorder with Jen Kirkman

October 1st, 2018

Young people can be morose, angry, withdrawn. It's often chalked up to being a "phase," a natural initiation ritual to adulthood. What if it's not? …

Neko Case Leaves Bad Places, Goes to Better Places

September 24th, 2018

Long before Neko Case was known as one of the top singer-songwriters working today, she was a punk teenager running around the streets of Tacoma, …

Your Amazing Therapeutic Jukebox

September 17th, 2018

We asked you, our listeners, for the songs that help you most when depression is really acting up, and the stories behind those picks. On this episode hear stories about and music from Leonard Cohen, Bjork, Neil Young, …

Mortified's Dave Nadelberg Presents Your Shame Live On Stage

September 10th, 2018

You can think of Dave Nadelberg's vast Mortified project as The Hilarious World of Embarrassment, Awkwardness, and Redemption. Through stage presentations, film, TV, and books, Dave invites people to share their most …

Open Mike Eagle Goes Outside And Meets People

September 4th, 2018

A lot of rappers are heavily influenced by the rough and real streets where they grew up. Mike Eagle grew up on those streets too but he was always inside, reading books and watching TV. He loved comedy, cartoons, and …

Impostor Syndrome: True Tales, Tricks, and Tactics for When You're Feeling Fraudulent

August 27th, 2018

You know the feeling, right? You finally achieve something -- a new job, a promotion, an award -- and while you know you should be proud, you just …

Thom Tran Is a Regular Standup Comic Except for the Part About Being Shot in the Head in Iraq

August 20th, 2018

Yeah, you don't hear a lot of on-stage material from Chris Rock or Sarah Silverman about the time they were on a mission with their unit in Iraq and …

Andrew Zimmern Wrecks His Life, Rebuilds His Life, and Eats Weird Food

August 13th, 2018

Celebrity chef and Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern has made a reputation as a culinary expert with an adventurous streak, traveling the world and …

Special Episode: Mental Health First Aid and Lady Gaga's Mom

June 26th, 2018

CPR training has been widely available for many years now and offered in a variety of convenient ways. But what if the problem isn't physical but mental? A new wave of first aid training is rapidly sweeping the world …

How to Get Help

June 8th, 2018

Here's a repeat of an episode originally aired last year. We're offering this repeat because some things need repeating, such as how to get help for your mental health when you really need it. It's a conversation with …

Highlights From A Hilarious Night of Depression

March 5th, 2018

The show busts out of studios and quiet intimate spaces for an on-stage performance at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. Comedian Mike Brown joins …

Hannah Hart Gets Drunk, Tries To Make Grilled Cheese, Gets Famous, Tries To Enjoy It

February 5th, 2018

Although she comes across as confident and happy on her incredibly successful YouTube channel, Hannah Hart has plenty of experience with insecurity …

Ted Leo Stops Beating Up File Cabinets, Songs, Self

January 29th, 2018

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 …

Rachel Bloom Finds Her Voice, Then Uses It To Sing About Stealing Pets and Moving to West Covina, California

January 22nd, 2018

Rachel Bloom has never moved across the country to chase a boy like Rebecca Bunch did. Rebecca is the character Rachel plays in "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," the hit show she co-created and stars in on The CW Network. But …

Reggie Osse Puts It Together

January 15th, 2018

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 …

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

January 8th, 2018

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 …

Rhett Miller Really Hates That Brass Cat

January 2nd, 2018

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 …

Mike Brown Trains as an Engineer to Prepare for Comedy

December 26th, 2017

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 …

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

December 18th, 2017

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 …

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

December 11th, 2017

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 …

The Holiday Coping Mechanism Spectacular

December 4th, 2017

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 …

Ana Marie Cox Is Not Really Edited Much At All

November 27th, 2017

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 …

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

November 20th, 2017

Growing up, actor and writer Julie Klausner was too busy battling depression and daydreaming about an imagined Merlot-sipping cosmopolitan adulthood …

Jeff Tweedy Didn't Want to Take His Doctor On Tour Because the Doctor Was Terrible

November 13th, 2017

Long before Jeff Tweedy was the founder and leader of the enormously popular band Wilco, he was a kid in Illinois with severe migraines and a …

Patti Harrison Figures Out Who She Is and She's a Woman Who Likes Gross Jokes

November 6th, 2017

With one recent appearance on The Tonight Show, Patti Harrison went from being a well-regarded alternative comedian in New York to being a de facto spokesperson for transgender people. She's proud of who she is and …

Gary Gulman Is a Brilliant Comedian and an Ineffective Offensive Lineman

October 30th, 2017

Although Gary Gulman has been a successful stand-up comedian for decades - with acclaimed specials, a loyal fan base, and appearances on all major …

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

October 23rd, 2017

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 …

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

October 16th, 2017

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 …

Neal Brennan Gives Ketamine and Magnetic Impulses a Try

October 9th, 2017

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 …

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

October 2nd, 2017

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 …

Wil Wheaton Is Really Hoping It's All Worth It

September 25th, 2017

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 …

PREVIEW: Season 2 starts Sept. 25!

September 18th, 2017

Season 2 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.

PLACEBO: Imagine Depression as a Person and Describe Them

August 28th, 2017

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 …

PLACEBO: How to Get Help

August 15th, 2017

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 …

PLACEBO: Hitting the Nail on the Head

July 31st, 2017

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 …

PLACEBO: John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats on where all that coping music comes from

July 17th, 2017

When we asked listeners about their favorite songs to listen to while battling depression, The Mountain Goats' music kept coming up. We caught up with the band's founder, singer, and songwriter, John Darnielle, to learn …

PLACEBO: The Things We Tell Ourselves That Help

July 5th, 2017

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 …

PLACEBO: Vol. 2 of Listeners' Favorite Coping Songs

June 19th, 2017

When clinical depression, the ol' Clinny D, starts getting the best of our listeners, a lot of them reach for the headphones to fire up some choice …

PLACEBO: Listeners' Favorite Coping Songs

June 5th, 2017

We asked our listeners to tell us about the songs they use when depression is hitting hard. Take a listen to some of the responses, both the songs themselves and the stories behind them in this highly musical trip …

PLACEBO: Coping Ideas From a Real Live Sad Clown

May 22nd, 2017

More ideas from listeners for unusual methods they used to address their depression that actually worked. We've heard a wide variety of ideas from all over the world, including Jonna Nummela of Helsinki, Finland who …
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