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The Hilarious World of Depression


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 haveRead more

Popular episodes

Introducing Depresh Mode with John Moe: Joel Kim Booster Is In A Pit

Aug 4 • 51:41

It's tempting to try to look for a reason why Joel Kim Booster, ordinarily a very funny and engaging person, feels dead inside, trapped in a persistent depressive state. His father recently died of COVID. The two hadn't been very close (Joel's dad was a conservative Christian, Joel is a gay Hollywood star) but were beginning to reconnect. You could point to the pandemic, w...

Movies That Get Depression Right

May 25 • 45:18

It’s easy for movies to get depression wrong, portraying a clinical disorder as equivalent to just being bummed out and, in the case of romantic comedies, curable with a magical kiss. People with actual depression know better and appreciate films that show the truth. In this episode, our listeners, the beloved THWoD-balls, give their picks, ranging from sci-fi to historica...

Steven Page Camouflages Songs About Depression

May 18 • 45:28

As co-founder and co-frontman for the band Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page belted out a lot of up-tempo pop hits. But if you look at the lyrics to songs like "One Week" or "Pinch Me," you can see a lot of darkness and that's an approach that has continued with his solo work. We hear about his bipolar diagnosis, his drug arrest, and his penchant for creating multi-layered music....

Mike Birbiglia Faces His Darkest Fears and Puts Them On Stage

May 11 • 41:02

Monologist and comedian Mike Birbiglia has always had a mile-long dark streak. Even if he’s never been diagnosed with clinical depression, he’s recognized his own lack of capacity to feel joy and is constantly aware of a kind of existential dread that haunts him. But rather than shy away from all that, he picks at it. Mike fills us in on how he deals with that darkness and...

Free Chapters of The Hilarious World of Depression: The Book: The Audiobook

May 4 • 42:52

To celebrate the release of our book we are excited to offer you a sneak preview of the audio version, read by author and THWoD host John Moe. Hear how he started to unlock his own mental mysteries with the help of a productive relationship with a therapist, a lot of time with dogs, and some key decisions. The book is available on all platforms as of May 5, 2020. Check it...

Emmy Blotnick Once Ate a Whole Head of Cabbage. Alone. In Silence.

Apr 27 • 47:18

Standup comedian and writer Emmy Blotnick is a rising star in the comedy world. But along the path to success, she’s had to navigate a depression that manifested in some pretty unexpected ways, including culinary disasters involving pumpkin puree, kidney beans, and butternut squash soup. Thanks to some hard work, EMDR therapy, and more nutritious choices, she’s on the righ...

Lulu Miller Treats Her Depression With Fish Research, Finds Fish Don’t Exist

Apr 20 • 47:01

Public radio and podcast audiences have been listening to Lulu Miller’s storytelling for years on Radiolab and on Invisibilia, a show she co-founded. Her work is generally about other people but on this episode, she shares her own story, which is by turns harrowing and triumphant. Lulu’s new book is “Why Fish Don’t Exist” (Link: and it’s about her h...

Dave Holmes Puts the ADHD in Dave Holmes

Apr 13 • 42:48

Some people don’t have short job titles. Dave Holmes is, among other things, a writer, MTV VJ (despite losing the contest that landed him the job), TV host, actor, and even a former advertising executive. He has dealt with anxiety, depression, and a thorny time coming out as a gay man. Just before our conversation, he received a new diagnosis of ADHD and suddenly a lot of ...

Call A Friend, Find Out How They’re Doing

Apr 6 • 33:12

During this long stretch of just staying home, we decided to reach out to some friends of THWoD, hear their voices, and find out how they're holding up. Writer Ana Marie Cox is drawing strength from her sobriety, actor John Ross Bowie is balancing work and fatherhood, and comedian Solomon Georgio has found a soothing new hobby of driving to the airport and then turning aro...

Lori Gottlieb Has Seen All Possible Sides of Therapy

Mar 30 • 50:11

Having experienced therapy as a patient, a student, and an actual therapist, Lori Gottlieb has a lot of insight into what therapy is, what it isn't, and how to get the most out of it. We hear how she ended up in the profession after repeatedly putting a UPS guy in an uncomfortable spot and how, years later, she needed more therapy herself when her world fell out from under...

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