If you’re from Atlanta and ever tuned into The Bert Show in the morning, you’ll love this week’s guest. Brian Moote spent nearly three years in Atlanta on The Bert Show before leaving to co-host the Morning Show at 97.1 AMP in Los Angeles. He joins me (squee) for this week’s episode of Southern Life Indian Wife.
And y’all, I barely kept it together.
Brian’s originally from Washington, but he’s spent enough time in the South to know what it’s all about. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Atlanta, and his career as a comedian and radio personality give him an amazingly open-eyed perspective that I enjoy digging into during our conversation. For a writer, finding out what makes people tick is pure gold.
We talk about each of our short-lived teaching careers, and Atlanta’s god-awful humidity. He shares his opinion of Kim Kardashian’s Kimono clothing line, and we discuss the political climate and snowflake culture we’re in and how it affected programming on The Bert Show after the 2016 presidential election. He even gives me showbiz advice for my son.
He’s candid and kind at the same time. And the smart kind of funny that I like to be around. Subscribe to Southern Life Indian Wife where you listen to podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and TuneIn. Keep up to date with the podcast and my upcoming book news by following me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! And…email me at email@example.com to order a signed copy of my book The Unexpected Daughter.
Find Brian Moote all over the internet world and lots of places in Los Angeles. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, his website, 97.1 AMP Morning Show. And for tickets to his stand-up shows 8/24 in Woodstock, GA go to Madlife Stage and Studios! I’ll see you there!
I’m a lifelong Southerner married to an Indian man who grew up in South Africa during apartheid and I am fiercely proud of both. If you don’t like that, well, bless your heart. I’m Sheryl Parbhoo and this is Southern Life, Indian wife.
If you’re from Atlanta. Ever tuned into The Bert Show in the morning. You’ll love this week’s guest.
BRIAN MOOTE spent nearly three years in Atlanta on the Bert show before leaving to co-host the morning show at 97 1 amp in Los Angeles. I’m so excited he joins me in this episode and you’ll barely kept it together. Brian’s originally from Washington but he spent enough time in the south to know what it’s all about. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Atlanta and his career as a comedian and radio personality. Give him this amazingly open eyed perspective that I so enjoy. For this writer finding out what makes people tick is pure gold. We talk about each of our short lived teaching careers and Atlanta is god awful humidity. He talks about Kim Cardassian kimono clothing line and the political climate and snowflake culture we’re in and how it affected the Bert show programming after the 2016 presidential election. He even gives me show biz advice for my son. He’s candid and kind At the same time and that smart kind of funny that I love to be around. I’m very pleased to welcome Brian.
OK so I am super excited to have you here with me Brian. Thanks so much for taking time to chat with me.
Yeah of course there’s going to be exciting and very exciting.
So OK. So the podcast is called Southern life and in life and a lot of the time I talk about culture and what it’s like to be in the south then who southerners are.
But you’re totally not a southerner right now no.
I grew up as about as far away from the south and technically in terms of Atlanta like I literally think on the Pacific Northwest about as far away as you can get Whidbey Island Washington like 30 minutes from the Canadian border. So like diagonally I don’t think I could be any farther from this.
I could definitely use United States. Yeah but you did live in Atlanta for a couple of years while you were on the.
Yeah. Yeah. Did morning radio in Atlanta for almost three years. My girlfriend lives in Atlanta so I’m in Atlanta. Man I’m still in Atlanta. Probably good you know 10 to 12 weekends a year and then a lot of holidays and vacations. I still have a good foot in the south which I really enjoy because it’s so different. Just as a place than from where I grew up. So it’s always kind of nice to me I’ve I’ve been someone who’s lived in Boston New York Los Angeles now Seattle so I kind of enjoy having a reason to be in the south. There’s so many things I love about the South that kind of makes it just a different pace for me especially living in L.A. now.
Oh yeah. I can just imagine. Well so I guess you know you kind of maybe have earned a little bit of a southerner a badge to you for me for being here so often then right.
Look I lived through the I 85. Burning up so I feel like that’s when I earned my my my stripes of being an 80s alien Atlanta resident it was when we all had to deal with that 85 Freeway burning which is a national news story which I think is hilarious.
So yeah that was hilarious. Yep that was quite an interesting thing is that man that affected our traffic. We have. OK. So you live in L.A. and then you’ve been here what is our traffic light compared to there.
Here’s the thing about L.A. L.A.. The traffic in Los Angeles is worse but you don’t have to sit in it if you don’t want to. You just the people who have to commute long distances like they just kind of accepted their fate. The thing with Atlanta is you have to sit in it. You have no way to avoid the drive from Woodstock or Kennesaw or Lawrenceville into the city and it all bottlenecks at one point which is very similar to L.A. where you have the bottleneck of the 75 85 400 just such a bad design where everything just kind of mashes into itself right in the center of the city.
But the thing is is like you can avoid it in L.A. where you just there’s other cities around so your commute may not be into Atlanta but Atlanta like Atlanta is it. There’s not a whole lot going on outside of Atlanta. There’s no like you know as good as Kennesaw is as big as like you know dictator and stuff those cities are growing and having their own businesses and industry is really everything is in Atlanta. So at some point in time it just traffic is unavoidable and it just the humidity makes it worse even though it’s hot in L.A. just the humidity is such a different type of just like soul crushing heat where your lip is sweating and you just sweat on your shirt and air conditioning doesn’t help but just it’s this swampy.
Yeah it’s like you’re walking through super. Some days it’s off.
I’ve had I’ve had my day my entire day plans changed by the moment I walked out the door I’ve had plans I’ve been like you know what I’m going to go down to Ponce City Market I’m going to take the dogs to fetch dog park we’re gonna go drink some beers go to the Beltline and then as soon as my front door opened I was like Guys what’s an inside day all of us we’re going to watch movies.
You know everything here and the dogs look at you they say like we have my girlfriend I have two dogs. They don’t even want to go outside either they will turn around and just be just as happy like you know what. This is a bad idea. Is this too hot. Let’s all just let’s call it a day.
Yep absolutely my dogs are the same way.
Yeah. So that commute that everybody has here in Atlanta though I guess that’s why so many people know who you are here because we’re stuck in our cars and have to listen to morning radio so that’s it on a morning radio is.
Yeah morning radio is a huge thing I’m finding in in those major cities like I’ve been in Dallas on radio Atlanta on radio Seattle. Any major city that has like the Mecca of their commute you know Los Angeles has multiple commutes of different areas but people really just you know podcasts are great and podcasts really kill the midday where you’re in your office and you’ve got seven hours to kill and you know what I mean listen this entire conversation but morning radio can be just so mindless you’re it’s early you’re tired you don’t you know you don’t want to think too much and it’s just so much easier just that you turn your car on it’s already on the station that you like.
So in terms of media is I know podcasting and audio media in general is becoming such a larger way to reach audiences and morning radio is still one that just emerges as kind of the front runner in terms of radio in general and radio just such an easy free medium and that’s going to I know. Yeah.
You know you like I hate commercials. Like what would you rather pay a subscription fee that you could do that if you want to.
Right now I don’t think people want to do that. Yeah.
But you know that whole morning thing like I have to admit I had probably only heard you on the radio a couple of times before Brad and John were suggesting that I talk to you because I was always in during that rush hour time I was in carpool line dropping my kids off at school and I could do this and we met so that’s funny we tried and the virtual live shows in Atlanta if you know Atlanta radio Well it’s one of the shows that you would try to walk the fine line and I would do that in L.A. as well where we try to be cognizant of the kids in the car and try to be a little bit more family friendly when that’s happening but still like even innuendo and kids are so much more inquisitive nowadays and they pick up on innuendo so much more quickly because of social media because of YouTube because of just the weight Entertainment’s change that innuendo almost leads to a worse conversation with their parents and peers like why couldn’t you just say sex why did you say birds and the bees.
Now they want to know what that is and I got to explain it sex. They’ve heard that word a thousand times they just think it’s an adult thing and they don’t ask me any questions right. That’s the right perspective.
Yeah yeah I would try to avoid radio shows with my son my youngest son is 11 so he would play he would stream YouTube videos of these British guys talking about their fortnight games over my car stereo. So he went from listening to that kind of stuff to now he listens to Eminem he’s about to go into seventh grade.
So I don’t know if my sheltering from because now it’s the worst.
Yeah well I would say that Eminem is a real confidence booster if you’re gonna walk into a school feeling confident. Maybe maybe to a detriment of confidence but Eminem was not a rapper that rappers to anybody to be a yo scared of new things and be intimidated.
So Ryan’s a plus side. That’s true. OK. So you were here in Atlanta for about three years and then you went to L.A. and you’re on the radio there.
Yeah I was kind of crazy how that whole thing worked out I went from doing Newstalk Radio in Seattle and I had a morning show in Seattle and then I was doing news talk during the Trump election actually during the Trump the primaries the Republican primaries I was in Atlanta during the actual election and then I went from Seattle to Atlanta.
And I was there for two and a half three years and then Carson Daly retired from radio in L.A. and six months after he retired they were looking at putting a new show together and my contract was up in Atlanta and my goal has always been as much as I love Atlanta. I still do I still love the radio in Atlanta. I love the Bert show everyone on it are friends of mine. It was one of those things where you got to look at where you want your career at in the next five years you kind of plan your life out in blocks of 5. When you work in morning radio and I’m a comedian I’ve always wanted to get back to Los Angeles and these opportunities don’t open up very often to to go start a show and you know the challenges is starting a show or differently. You know like when you’re on a heritage Top 40 show that’s number one like the Bert show. I mean sure we could do pretty much whatever we want to for you know 10 to 15 20 minutes sometimes and stuff that’s like would not fly on a brand new show. And now here you’re kind of introducing yourself to the audience over and over again and you we kind of talk about it like you know consistency being good but also you really don’t have the luxury of just wasting time you know not being deliberate and trying to not be entertaining because it could be every day is someone’s first time gone.
I’m sick of Seacrest we’ll see what they’re doing over there.
Yeah well that’s I mean that’s interesting because I’m not in the radio business and this whole podcasting thing is brand new to me so getting a different perspective from people just about that whole wider world that’s out there that’s awesome.
And so like one of the reasons that I wanted to talk to you is because you’re kind of the opposite of me. I got married young I had five kids young. I’ve been living in this world. I grew up a Southerner. I’m married to this Indian guy I’ve raised my kids. I’m a writer. I’m a hermit. When I write I just sit in my house and I don’t talk to anybody. So talking to you.
I wanted to hear what your experience is like because it sounds like you’re you know a complete extrovert and completely different from me.
Well I think it’s the funny part about being I had this conversation actually the other day with somebody because we were talking about millennials a study that just came out that millennials are having trouble making friends at work. I mean I’m on the upper end of the millennial spectrum. And you know because of social media because the other ways that we communicate we’re not so good at face to face communication you know like I love the idea of me breaking up with a girl face to face was like mortifying. This is email started you know and I was like when I was in high school. But I think for me I was very uncomfortable public speaking very uncomfortable communicating in front of people feeling judged in almost introverted way. But what I tell people is I’m not inherently an introvert but stepping outside of what you had as your comfort zone for a long time is uncomfortable and can make people go like I’m just I’m not. That’s not me. I’m introverted I’m not you know I’m not a social person. Like no no no you are a social person.
But this new setting is different for you. It’s it’s it’s gonna feel awkward and right instead of running from that you have to kind of push through it and you know I moved out around the country so many times that I’ve realized that look there’s gonna be nobody steps into any new room and is like well I’m exactly the same as I am with my best friends. That’s impossible. You know if you are that person you’re too noxious a sociopath who isn’t listening to anybody or has any sort of like ability to feel the energy of a room. And we’ve all been around those people who never change their energy no matter where they’re at. You know I tell people that there’s a difference between pushing yourself to be in uncomfortable positions and and be yourself. And people who definitely have like you know serious actual anxiety issues when it comes to being in public places or generalized anxiety or things are different I think that we nowadays have a tendency just to be like I’m uncomfortable with that. I’m you know I’m anxious. It’s like yeah I mean anxious is still like a natural human feeling but some of us can push through it just because we don’t actually have the chemical imbalances that other people have. So right. It took me a long time and I think stand up comedy is what ultimately got me to feel comfortable putting myself out there and and being in front of people because I remember in college I would do anything I could to avoid public speaking Oh man anything I could do which is funny because now I do it for a living every single day I’m speaking publicly on some form or platform or whatever.
Do you ever get nervous or is it just kind of nerves are gone.
The nerves I get now are only for when it comes to standup when I’m being judged on something or you know like it’s an audition showcase for like Conan O’Brien or The Tonight Show or something and I’m trying to put a representation of my material out in a way that you know is very me but also connects with an audience and gets you booked on the show. I think one thing I’ve never had was nerve nerves about radio and I’m not exactly sure why that is other than maybe because stand up to me was always so much more difficult.
And you know to be honest I kind of forget that that tens of thousands of people are listening to you at any one time which I think is a good thing and a bad thing. I think you mean in my role as a comedian it’s great because I’m not I forget like this literally happened today. I’ve been I might have some pretty strong opinions on like the Kardashians. Kim taking the word kimono and making it a Spanx line for herself completely steamrolling the fact that kimono is very traditional Japanese thing I mean some the Japanese culture but she doesn’t care because her culture is money. So I went on a rant about I went on a rant about the Kardashians is really deep deep down their culture is money its success is TV they don’t have like a heritage culture they don’t kimono would never ring a bell to her because she’s never been in a life where cultural things matter to her from her history.
And so I’m you know on this blazing hot tear and then five minutes later Camila Cabello posted an Instagram story listening to our radio show as we introduced one of her songs I was like oh my I totally forgot these people live in the neighborhood like Here I am taking a blow torch to Kim Kardashian about how she has no culture and I don’t know her I’m just making an observation that a lot of people make. And based on her you know her behavior is totally with no awareness that like there’s a chance that she’s just scrolling through and hears me just and I don’t know what that means for my life. I was hoping that maybe she’d tweet me that would mean something I guess. But you know it’s like that kind of ability to like block out those nerves I guess is a is a pretty solid ability but I’d say that’s probably for anything like when you know as a writer I’m sure you have to sit there and when you submit something to be you know critiqued or judged or edited you have to there’s a probably moments like well here we go oh yeah.
Every single moment. Yeah. You send it off like with my first book when I put it out. I had to practically hide in my house for the first week because I knew people were out there reading it and I was terrified. Yeah. Yeah I spent four years writing it. That was the goal. But then when it really came to happen I was like oh crap you know. And I kind of feel like we use the podcast too it’s like yeah I wanted to do this but now I don’t want to hear. I don’t wanna hear my voice I don’t want to hear anything that anybody has to say about it but it’s fine.
It’s like when you send out an important email that you need a response to and that response is either a yes or no positive or negative.
And you you see that email they replied and it takes you a little bit of time to work up the courage to open it and to say yeah cause you know it’s gonna change your day but you know whatever’s in that email is going to change the outlook of your day whether it’s. Yeah. Great. This is an awesome idea. You do it or like. Absolutely not. You know so I’ve had to set my phone down to be like oh I got a reply and just walk away from it like it’s a you know like it’s about to explode or something.
Right yeah. That feedback you can put it away when it’s an email but you were a teacher I was a teacher you’re kind of faced with like you know live or die right in that moment when you’re teaching so you’re up there in front those kids and you can’t walk away you can’t hide from it.
So yeah I was not like teaching. I taught kindergarten. I did one year in kindergarten then I subbed and I always felt like immediately I think every kid knew that I was in over my head from the moment they walked in the room so I feel like we had a real good like. You know they learned that they did the kindergarten stuff is not a whole lot. You got to do you know working on you know a little bit of reading a little bit of signing your name some cursive for whatever reason we still teach kids cursive. But I feel like they could just tell because I was younger and not like any other teacher they had in the school at any other time. They kind of took it easy on me a little bit and I think we skated that year a little bit on sense of humor. But I remember the second day in the teaching kindergarten I was like Well this is a one and done year for me I want to not be a full time teacher next year.
Yeah that’s how I felt after my first year too. I taught high school ESL well. So all of my students were brand new immigrants from Guatemala. And it was quite an experience because I was trained in middle grade language arts and I was not known for that but I know and in your standup you talk about the kids eating boogers. Oh yeah. I mean it’s it’s kind of the same way with these high school kids. Some of these kids will sit in the back of the classroom and eat their boogers and then ask to go to the bathroom and go have sex with somebody in the bathroom.
It’s like Oh Jesus you kind of get the worst of all worlds.
They don’t have so much of that sort of funny because I was such a I was kind of sheltered as I am in my own high school upbringing I grew up on an island. My graduating class at 60 people in it. And so we didn’t really like if I would have ever heard that someone skip that someone went into the bathroom and had sex during school I’d be like whoa really. That’s great because in my school you know everybody had known each other since we were you know kindergartners and by that point time in high zone was like now we’re not dating and like no one’s dating each other anymore I was just ready to move yeah. No no I’m there done that.
Finished with that. Yeah. Now it’s definitely crazy in the high schools these days. My very first day of my first job two kids got kicked got caught having sex in the bathroom very first day school why are you going to do that.
But they were famous you know.
Oh yeah. You’re legendary at the school for that. That’s so yeah. I’ve always I’ve always wondered and this is something that I’ve always been interested in because of just the racial dynamics and I know that my girlfriend grew up in Kennesaw. I went to school in Kennesaw and we had a conversation once because I was so fascinated growing up in the Puget Sound Pacific Northwest learning we learned about slavery from people who grew up in the northwest. People have no vested interest in the hit in the history of slavery or the South other than we read about it in the history book too. And we’re going to tell you guys what we learned in a history book like I’ve never met anybody who’d been to the south had never been a Southerner in my entire life.
And when we were driving in Savannah Georgia once and I remember being so fascinated that they still use the word plantation or you go to this plantation or are we being in Savannah we’d be on this ghost tour and every single goes to her was the same as like well this house is haunted by a crazy old white guy who raped a bunch of people and kill and then it’s like man what.
How come there’s no black. Go some black people pissed off and it’s like wires on white and crazy old white men. Where are they goes down here. And so we heard our talking and we were going through like different historical monuments in Savannah and which we started talking about the Civil War. And I grew up like stood like specifically we learned growing up in my schools in the Northwest that slavery was all about or that the civil war all about slavery. And she learned grown up that it was it was about states rights. Yes. One of those rights was the right to have slave like the primary right. It was. But it was. But the emphasis was always. No it states rights were where I never heard one thing about states rights. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and I think it’s because it was easier for kindergarten teachers and you know or I think we learned about civil war and stuff and maybe third grade second or third grade. And it was it was so much easier to vilify the South. Like all my can you believe what they did down there because we don’t know anybody from there. Yeah it was easier for us to be like well we would never do that. Oh my God. I think thankfully the North would put an end to that.
You know like the perspective is so warped and I’ve always been interested in the dynamics of having to teach things in history that are really rough. Like slavery that impact the community is still that and you have people that live in the south that are descendants from both sides of that aisle of slavery. You know like how. And you grew up in the south. How. Like how do those dynamics change do you think.
I don’t think that the dynamics have changed much in the South since the Civil War to be really honest unless you’re in a really urban city. I think that people are really good at pretending that things are different. But I think that they’re not the school that I taught at. It was it’s very rural. The population was probably 30 percent Hispanic 30 percent probably 30 percent Hispanic than the rest white and African-American and they were all really very separate very much it at odds with each other. Most of the teachers were white. So you know it just was different. The Hispanic kids were treated as less than and I’m probably going to get a lot of trouble by people that teach in the school system that are here in this but they were not treated well they were not treated like equals. And I think that. Yeah. It’s just there’s still a lot of racism there’s still a lot of. I don’t want to say that white people don’t want to admit that what they did was wrong but it is kind of like it was a fight about states rights and we can do right. We want. I don’t think that people want to change a lot about that. And it’s kind of like that. My husband is Indian we’ve always lived in the south. We’ve lived in the Atlanta area for 25 years. People still look at him differently. He’s like one of three and I think in our little community. And it’s just different. And they don’t really want to know anymore. And that’s one of the reasons that I do this podcast because people need to know they need to hear stories and if you’re not. Yeah. Different stories you’re not going to learn.
I think people like to pretend that slavery and that I mean good guy like Jim Crow laws and the civil rights movement in the 60s I think we’d like to think that in this country I think that when the civil war happen and slavery was abolished I think that for white people nowadays I go like but I haven’t so long over good we’re good we’re good. Not so long ago without addressing any of the the the the factors that contribute to still people that are you know disenfranchised and at a disadvantage in certain communities the you know the. I think we like to look at you know that that wasn’t that long ago in this grand scope of history through you know 300 years 250 years is not a long time to go from people being treated like property and and you know murdered and immuno like you God murders and lynchings and things and violence and racism happening in the south and I mean not even the South all over this country by giving the atrocities that happen out in the way in the West with Native Americans things that and by no means that’s these are not isolated things we like to pretend that that happened so long ago in one respect where it’s kind of like let’s just move on everybody are we good. But then you do see a lot of like inherent like racism in terms of and I think people are getting more comfortable with being voicing that race now unfortunately based on like the political climate we have. And this whole like snowflake culture where people are just unwilling to ever see the other side of someone’s perspective whether you want to call it racism or not like to go back to the Kim Kardashian thing you know instead of calling everybody who is of Japanese descent a bunch of snowflake babies for being mad about her taking come on why do you ask why it hurts. You know what. What did she say like oh I’ll you know I’ll default to your perspective or or when you look at like police brutality with people of color. I was like Well this is a crazy thing is epidemic it is like this is not just a new thing it’s just newly being videotaped. There’s been things that have been happening in these communities for hundreds and hundreds of years which is why there is a huge distrust amongst you know African-American communities and other communities of of with people of color who have been judged on their complexion out the jump at every interaction you’ve had with law enforcement. It’s been like an evolving process. And I think that we like to pretend those things don’t exist in white America until it suits us to pretend that it does.
Yeah. And now we just can see it more because of social media and it spread around a lot more. And you know speaking of the political climate when I was teaching it was the year of our most recent presidents election. We as teachers weren’t even allowed to talk about the election the next day. We weren’t allowed to show the inauguration in our classrooms. We couldn’t talk about it with the students. And I was like What the hell. Because there were so many kids that were Hispanic they knew it was going to cause some sort of a backlash. And it was absolutely ridiculous to me because I thought we needed to talk about it. This is school. This is where they need to hear about it. Right.
As teachers a student is especially with I mean you talk about Latino populations right. I will live in California now. We have 60 percent are like 55 percent of the population in Southern California has Latino roots of some of some varying degree because of how long that Latinos have been in this community.
You’ve got a lot of you know the cultural blending which is fantastic but it is a thing that’s real. And so much of that election was based on the wall immigration things that hit close to home for a lot of even American citizens who have family members who are maybe undocumented maybe are dreamers things like that.
And what I noticed when I was working in the south on radio it it became politics became a topic we could not touch on a morning radio either. No one wants to hear about it instead of everybody going like Well look I mean we can all say that some like this this political race has been weaponized in terms of draw driving a wedge into people like Republicans Democrats like there was no way after Trump won that we were all going to come together and just hold hands because of the way that those those campaigns were run. They are run aggressively they’re run never apologize. They were run. If you’re offended it’s you not me. So yeah you can’t fire up populations of people on two sides of the fence and expect as soon as the outcome happens everyone’s gonna high five in the center. You gotta come together and make some positive change in this country. Yeah and in Atlanta Yeah Atlanta was really interesting because people and especially on morning radio you would talk to people who man we have so much in common area. And then all of a sudden politics comes up like oh wow you this.
And it became such a divisive topic that I mean initially we were going to try to do a thing on the bird show where we were going to find someone from who was a Trump fan and Hillary fan and the people who said they if the other person won they were leaving moving to Canada.
We’re going to do a thing we were gonna like finance their move to Canada but we realize Phil we thought it’d be really funny and it’d be a way to kind of talk about you know both sides and not have a side on it because know we’re not a political show by nature but it was a thing where the election got so dirty so nasty so controversial that it really became something that it wasn’t even funny to talk about trying to move somebody to Canada if their candidate lost. Right. And you can see it now with you know with the governors election the you know the recount the voting day disasters the. You know and then as soon as you know you now you see with the abortion stuff it’s just this country is in a. It was turned on its head you know like kind of an environment of chaos in 2016 and it has not come close to rebounding in any sort of way that makes anybody in any sort of political party feel comfortable.
No I don’t even know what the solution is because I feel I think a lot of people feel like you can’t really express your opinions on Facebook because somebody is going to just destroy you. I feel like I can’t even talk to people in person like my husband is a dentist. OK so he is very conservative in his peer group is very conservative very Republican. I can’t talk about my feelings about abortion. I don’t think that I don’t even want to live in Atlanta. I don’t want to live in Georgia because of this abortion ban but I can’t express that to people because then they’re going to look at me like I’m just some bleeding heart liberal and they’re going to criticize me. My husband has even said don’t put anything out on social media.
Don’t talk to anybody about it out in public and I just hate that because how do you overcome those problems if you can’t talk about it.
So there’s never a way to bring those things up in a way that like people feel because people will latch onto hot button topics and they’ll just see the word abortion and then it’s like everything else turns into Charlie Brown’s teacher talking about what I want. They don’t even hear it. They just want to voice their own opinion.
And I remember look like I I’ve I’ve worked in conservative liberal areas I’ve and I’ve learned that look you can have a discussion about the things. And my thing with people who are big fans of the Harpy Bill in Georgia or like yet they’ve they believe that every every pregnancy is God’s gift and she then has rights. OK well if that’s your stance I’m OK with it. If you’re gonna be consistent throughout the life of that individual. So if you are very pro-life you be pro-life the entire spectrum of the human life. Don’t start slashing funding for four kids because they come from low income backgrounds from a mother who may or may not have wanted or needed to not have that pregnancy or not you know terminate the pregnancy because now you just don’t want to pay money because you want to be conservative there. You can’t pick and choose it’s not a buffet if you’re pro-life to be pro-life all the way. And if someone is that person who votes for every single education social justice social service initiative and they hate abortion I’m like look logically what you’re saying that’s your life it’s the people who then vote everything down don’t take any money from my taxes.
But also I believe that Jesus wants you to have that baby that you know that sixteen year old who may have been sexually assaulted or whatever but now can’t afford or didn’t know where he was hiding a pregnancy way too long for parents to even get an abortion.
Yeah there was just recently beginning of this month I think in Forsyth County here in Georgia there was a baby found in a plastic bag out in the woods behind somebody’s house.
That’s the kind of thing that happens when you don’t allow women to do what they need to do. So yeah I don’t know. I don’t have a solution to that for sure but I sure wish that there was some way that we could come to some sort of agreement not talk each other all the time.
I feel like I don’t know if there’s going to be and I don’t think as a country where we’re gonna be able to come together until we stop with this like if you’re offended. It’s a you thing like I think everyone needs to have enough introspection and I offend people plenty just by trying to make jokes and stuff. But look I’m not trying to and if you have an opinion that differ is different from mine I’m willing to see the logical argument here. But at the end of the day if it’s just like well that’s just because what I believe and I’m look I’m not interested in having that conversation because you are just you have your knee jerk reaction you’re going to stick to it and you’re going to be offended. I think we all need. If someone’s offended ask why and if and if you. Who’s he. And you find out why they’re offended and it’s completely asinine ridiculous to move on with your life. But if they have a point then OK you have a point there. I didn’t see it that way. Yeah. I mean it’s not I’m Yeah.
Yeah. So yeah I mean my son had a really big awakening. He just graduate from high school I’ve got twins that just started college one of them got accepted to the Tisch theater school at NYU and we’re like oh crap if you got accepted there we have to let you go. So he moved out tonight right here.
Yeah. And it’s been a huge culture shock but it’s been a huge cultural awakening for him too to be among people that have such a different Well there’s so many different ways of thinking up there but predominantly liberal. And he’s just in heaven. He loves it there because he just feels like wow you know it’s so much more so.
When you were raising your kids you know multicultural unassuming. Right. So you know your husband’s Indian. Mm hmm. And how is that process when you come to look like your kids can be racially targeted you know inappropriately or is there a way that you. Is that. As a mother who has kids that are have a different complexion than you do in this environment. Like what kind of things you talk about do you. And how do you educate someone like look. The South is different do you have those conversations.
Oh yeah we definitely have those conversations because my family is from Kentucky OK. I never lived in Kentucky but the whole gang is from there so it’s a very Southern way of thinking.
And we’ve always lived here and we had to just kind of laugh about it.
We in our family we just laugh about who’s the brownies who’s the whitest one man to be totally okay with it. And if anybody gives them a hard time with it I just always wanted them to be totally ok with who they are. But then there were issues like my son was at Georgia Southern University and he was out camp and one time and I got lost and he was with all of his white friends and they came upon a I know a trailer in the backwoods and there was a guy that was there with a toting a rifle and he said I’ll take you back to camp.
And he kept calling him hos a because they just don’t. Yeah. People just don’t know what he is. Sometimes they’ll come out and ask what are you and you know Michael Moore What is your name is General right.
Yeah. Come over like a racial base.
Yeah. And it doesn’t always happen but my daughter has really made it work for her because she works at a hotel in New York City and she can be any race you want her to be.
So that international kind tell that come up there and if everybody feels comfortable with her cause she looks a little bit why she looks a little bit Arab she looks a little bit Italian. So we’ve just always taught them you know work with it. And if somebody doesn’t like you you know tell them to f off and just keep on walking cause it’s not you it’s them.
Yeah I mean nobody who is gonna make a snap decision on somebody based on the on on what they perceive as their ethnicity. I mean that’s a reflection of who they are internally. Yeah I know we’ve been dealing with a lot in Southern California and I think it’s happening around the country too but I think it’s it’s I think it’s more of a new thing for more liberal areas where it’s happening now I think more because I don’t know what the what the trend is of kids on social media thinking it’s cute or funny to be racist on Snapchat or whatever. And I think there is a problem in a number of ways one I think parents need to be way better educating their kids on social media in general.
And once you put some out it’s out there it doesn’t matter who you were trying to be funny putting blackface on and dropping the N-word like you’re a white person that’s going to trend and people are going to make Judge.
Well I’m not racist. Well I only have one thing to base your character on and that’s his video and so I’m gonna go ahead and there on the side of your racist right. Absolutely. I don’t know you.
I only know what I’m seeing right here. And I’ve had I’ve you know I’ve had it out with radio personalities who are more on the conservative side about the OK hand sign because that’s a sign that’s been a hand gesture that’s been kind of commandeered by white supremacists as a white power thing.
And then you get this kind of like and I feel like this whole this trend of kind of woe is me white guy all we can’t do anything right. Kind of emerged in the last few years ago and everything’s offensive that I do.
And so we will know everything is not offensive you’re smart enough to know everything when you throw up a hand sign a 100 percent of the time your intent is always very clear whether you’re flipping someone the bird or you’re throwing up an okay sign could you like. Got it. Roger that. Okay. Or youth or you’re in a white power rally throwing up an okay sign or if you’re a white kid in blackface or an open okay sign. It’s it baffles me that we’ve hit a point where white men are are kind of acting like oh we can’t we just can’t get it right. Everything’s offensive no everything’s not offensive.
You know exactly when something’s offensive. It’s no one’s come out of the woodwork and mean like you just did that hand sign here and you’re like No I’m just telling my my kid that everything’s OK like you’re gonna be fine you just scuffed a knee. No one’s calling you racist.
They’re calling you racist when you’re doing in a white power parade in Orlando you know wearing a Make America Great Again hat gleaming white power like that is when it’s racist. Yeah absolutely. It’s a strange phenomenon.
It really is and I hear that kind of argument about the whole me too movement two men are saying oh we can’t do anything right. Everybody says you know whatever we do a woman is going to take advantage of that and you know go to the public go to the media and say you know he assaulted me.
That’s just bull. Just don’t do it. And then the women won’t say it about you. You know that’s all you have.
I mean every day gentlemen every time I have a guy and I’m like I work in the comedy world where people are like oh God here we go.
It’s like dude then you know you’ve been a creep like you’ve been creepy. You’ve done creepy things.
The fact that you’re you’re trying to play this like I can’t do anything right. Victim is because you feel insecure about the behaviors that you’ve engaged in the past. Now look if you owe some people an apology like look I was very inappropriate I was drunk and hitting on you. I’m sure they’d appreciate it. Also if you’ve committed acts of sexual assault then you have whatever you have coming to you. But to act like there’s some sort of half an hour cannot compliment a woman. It’s like no now you’re more cognizant of what in what is it an inappropriate compliment telling someone they’ve got a nice ass is probably not the compliment that anyone wants to hear because it makes people feel uncomfortable. And so I just believe we’re smart enough to figure these things out and I do. I agree with you that this the the thing with me too. I think it made a lot of people look at themselves and the people that reacted in insecure ways were people that looked at their own lives are like oh good lord I have not been very good I have not been very respectful of women in general in my life.
And you can clean that up at any point in time my friend. You have to just now. You don’t have to now argue that everyone’s in trouble for trying to hit on a girl it’s like now.
Just be you know what. I don’t see anything wrong with being a human being.
Absolutely and you know when you protest too much then you know we know what is behind that yep so OK.
So you were a teacher and what brought you to teaching. I’m just really curious about that because of what you do now. How did you go from being her to this and do you think that there’s an evolution of helping people. I’m sure you wanted to help people as a teacher so do you think you’re helping people now.
Well I got into teaching just because I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. And I had a psychology degree and when I moved back to the state of Washington after college they were in an emergency situation with classrooms that had behavior issues. So I was a psychology major and I took some education classes so they credentialed me just for at risk youth kindergarten and so I was more in the behavior area.
I’ve always wanted to help you but I just I really didn’t know what I want to do with my life.
I mean I went to a school that had a broadcast program a really good one and I took psychology because I played basketball and I didn’t really know what else to do with my life. Then when my NBA dreams became more of like a really not going to have it I started just doing standup comedy just that night because I felt like I I’d never I’d never had a creative outlet really. I play you know I was I played in the high school jazz band for a while but I just I didn’t really know I had no clue. So I just started doing standup and started getting into radio just by a when you start touring on the road you get asked to go sit in on radio shows and promote the shows that you’re doing for standup and all that kind of fun. So I used to hit up radio stations when I was on the road and be like hey I’m in town on Thursday doing a show is it cool if I come by and hang out and goof around like here’s a sample of some of my other appearances and you’d hit up a lot of afternoon rock shows who were just so sick of each other and sick of talking to you. They’d welcome everybody in the room. And then I went and went back to get my masters in social work because I’ve always been very politically oriented in terms of public policy. I wanted to. So I got a social work degree in Boston at Boston College and I emphasized my emphasis was public policy. I worked at the State House in Boston for a while. I mean mind you the whole time I was doing three to four stand up shows a night. Why do you like just hitting every room from like open mikes of coffee shops to bar shows late night to comedy clubs. And when I got out of college it was really hard to find a social work job. So I started just touring as just touring clubs and colleges and you know goofing around on radio and I had the chance and I did an MTV prank show for two seasons that was based out of New York. I was a cast member on a just goofing around and then slowly kind of found my way into radio. But I’ve always been very active in the fundraising part. I’ve I think meet me going to graduate school was two things one I come from like a very hard working Irish family with my grandfather all immigrants. So you know dropping out of not not getting a master’s degree was never an option with my grandmother. My parents were just like Yo she’s gonna be so pissed if you try to be a comedian.
So I was like an Indian family right.
Yeah. He’s had no choice. I guess I’ll just keep and they respect and social work because they respect social justice.
And so I went and I think for me getting a Social Work degree is always kind of forced me to look at things from a policy standpoint but also what’s fair what’s not fair. And you know it’s funny because now you know now I do get a regular paycheck. I do have benefits for so many times in my life. I’ve been skating on the system you know never having health insurance and all that and you know stealing Wi-Fi or whatever and it’s kind of like all right it’s my turn to pay back into the system. I feel like my social work background makes me really want to use the radio platform to one entertain. I mean that’s really what I got into this whole thing to do but also you know when people hit us up about fundraisers and you know I have like a kind of the spot that I really love to help out with his special needs. And you know education policy for low income at risk youth it’s like what. You know how can we donate raise money to help kids with you know take home lunch programs for the weekends for low income areas that don’t have you know their kids like last good meal the kids get is on Friday afternoon and they don’t get another good word on Monday morning. Yes living on potato chips all weekend. So trying to do things like that. And I think that radio and just entertainment in general is like afforded me the ability to blend those two things where I kind of had to go to graduate school to learn about public policy and social justice and find out who I was as a human being like where my my heart lies today and being effective at making people laugh about you know ripping on the card ashes then the next thing we’re trying to raise money for kids to go back to school.
Yeah. You gotta get people laughing So you can get them listening to the good stuff.
It’s a good way to do it. I think well if people like you inherently they’ll though they’ll bitch at you less right. Get less hate on your Instagram comments. If people have some sort of likeness or they like you a little bit that is a good thing.
Well I must be very loved because I get all kinds of offers on my Facebook and my my Instagram like I just got a message couple of months ago from this guy that he looked like a Bollywood star in his profile picture. And he said Hey white woman white woman I want to have your baby. So I get that kind of stuff all the time. Maybe people like me.
Did you also tell him like Look man if you got some technology lets you have my baby that’s great because you all that because right now I feel like I’m going to have to do all the work in that situation just inherently. It’s more of me having yours. Technically I don’t have you know a baby stuff works but yeah I don’t know.
You didn’t know how to write English very well either so I don’t know he’s a very good candidate. Feel like I’ve done this five times and it’s a lot of work. It is and I am so done I would never do it again.
That’s fine. Yeah. So OK I have to ask you just from a mom’s point of view because I’ve got a kid that wants to go into show business.
He is getting this theater degree at NYU. Super freaking expensive and he’ll never be able to use it for anything else but showbiz so right. Do you think that the way you did it is a better way or the way he’s doing it. Because I mean what are the chances he’s gonna be waiting tables when he gets out of school.
I think that there’s I think the one thing that he do. Because here’s the thing I think that both ways have positives and negatives.
You know like the way that I’m that I did it was more life experience more things to talk about. My perspective wasn’t wasn’t as narrow. I think that can be a problem with with people who go straight into acting and showbiz school you keep your circles very tight. You don’t change your environment very often.
And I think that that’s important just as a human being. But then eventually you run into the problem where you don’t like the people that he’s going to school with are eventually going to be the power players in different areas of entertainment. They won’t all be actors some will end up as agents casting directors producers directors writers. So that part of it of school is the most valuable part of it. I mean I missed out on that with my social work degree because all I did was move straight out of Boston and to L.A. and was doing standup when you know all the connections that your school has or all in the area. So the thing I would tell him to do is always try to get new experiences but also do the things that the people who aren’t going to school are doing when he has the time. Like take improv classes at UCB or second city or do open mikes at weird coffee shops even if he doesn’t want to be a standup just do the things that the other people who aren’t in school are doing the hustle and you can kind of get the best of both worlds because ultimately you’re gonna have a leg up on everybody in terms of the connections you have.
We all end up waiting tables or or worse in show business. I mean I was working in warehouses for a while. I was working overnight shifts in Boston as a intake coordinator at homeless shelters and going straight to another job.
So but those are all experiences I think that kind of add to the fabric of your creative perspective.
All right well I’ll make sure he listens to this so he can get that. Yeah it’s because he sure doesn’t miss home he he’s got a hit.
He’s got to hit one of those laundromat open mikes in Brooklyn just a bunch of comedians doing laundry and they’re all looking at their notebooks and if you get anybody to listen to You’re doing great.
But but really you’re just you’re just learning to appreciate the hustle that everybody’s doing who is actually going to try to compete with you for your jobs but they come from different perspectives.
Right. Right. Yeah. That makes total sense. I just gotta get out there and hustle and push. Oh yeah.
Yeah. So what are you doing now. You’re you’re doing your radio in L.A. but do you travel the country doing standup.
I know you’re coming here to Atlanta in August I try to travel as much as possible.
It’s been a little bit difficult lately just because starting a brand new radio show takes up a lot of time and you know we we’re doing a campaign on our morning show where we’re crashing listener parties all summer long. So like I’ve been to bar mitzvahs. I’ve been to Quinceaneras. I’ve been to barbecues in Inglewood. I’ve been there you know these crazy wild parties all over Southern California just with listeners in the backyard. So I haven’t traveled as much. I perform a lot in Atlanta. Woodstock I’m there August 24th setting up something for Marietta at the Strand Theater probably in October OK. Like once every three months I’d like to get out to land and do a show I’m actually gonna do a show at Fetch dog park and bar the Saturday night just doing I’m jumping on their show night which is a cool dog park bar down in East Atlanta and I try to get to Dallas a little bit Nashville other markets I’ve been on radio Seattle Salt Lake City but it’s I have to tour deliberately where you know I try to do one night shows instead of two because the weeks for me are so busy and sometimes I have to perform all weekend. When you’ve been working all week and you friends come and see you and they’re like hey what are you doing here.
I have another show I’m going to hang around.
Working the entire time. And so yeah. So this and this year I’m trying to do a couple more TV things than I did last year trying to trying to loosen up that was the first year I mean starting a brand new radio show is a time intensive and it’s different than you know when you’re on an established morning show you going to roll in there with a little bit of a hangover and just swinging for the fence the whole show and just trying to make you laugh.
But when it’s your job to design the entire show make sure that it is. Things are happening at the right times and you know to to win in terms of ratings. So a whole different ballgame.
Yeah. You’ve got to be on top of your game at all times right.
And maintain my relationship with my girlfriend who I love dearly but she’s in Atlanta.
So it’s like trying to balance all those things at one time and she’s been super supportive of of the creative aspects of what I do. I mean she the first person to know that Los Angeles had been interested in or was interested in trying to get me for starting a new show. And she was like you need to do it. I mean you’ve always wanted to be in Los Angeles again. So you’d be miserable if you stayed here. I don’t know if I’d be miserable. I still love it.
Yeah well sounds like she really loves you cause she wouldn’t let you go if she didn’t.
Most days most days she goes Well you know what. A bit of a handful.
I think living apart can be a really good thing because familiarity definitely breeds contempt if you’re stuck together all the time. So maybe it’s a good thing.
That’s what I told her I said look if we’re gonna be together for the next 45 50 years however long we go live like at some point I’m going to run out of stuff to tell each other. So maybe we should keep some of these stories like you know write them down in a notebook and we’ll go back and do the greatest hits when we’re when we’re in our 60s.
Yeah I know when my husband goes out of town I’m so much happier to see him when he comes home and I am right every morning.
It’s a good day. It’s like the dogs are happy to see me. She’s happy to see me go and have a good time.
Were talking about why we’re we are the day we’re talking about why it’s hard for us to save money. I’m like well that’s because every time we’re living like we’re on vacation every weekend because you’re either here I’m there and we’re like Let’s go eat dinner on a rooftop you know.
Yeah it’s a big celebration. Exactly yeah.
Well I can’t wait to be able to see you next time you’re in Atlanta. I’m not gonna be able to see you in August because I’m going to be up in New York but maybe I’ll get to Marietta to see in October.
Yeah definitely I’ll keep you posted on that. I love performing in Atlanta. I’m in Atlanta all the time too. So if you just ever just tracked me down on social media usually I’ll usually be popping up at the punch line or the laughing skull or somewhere around town just because you know I love telling jokes.
Hobson Well you’re good at it. That’s for sure. Well thank you I appreciate it. Yeah. Thanks for being here with me. With you listening Great.
Any Emmy I mean right now it’s like we’re both in virtual studios across the country so who knows who’s with who.
Right now we’re just together over the Internet. That’s all that matters. Yeah. I’ll come back anytime. Awesome. Thanks so much. Take care. Thank you.
If you like this podcast so far please continue following along by tapping the subscribe button wherever you listen to podcasts. If you really liked it go on the awesome and leave a rating and a review. Find me on all social media too by searching Sheryl “with an S” Parbhoo. That’s P-A-R-B-H-O-O. Thanks for listening to Southern Life, Indian Wife.