Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank #50: Buddhism (with Duncan Trussell)

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Skeptic Tank #50: Buddhism with Duncan Trussell (photoshop by @JohnSof)

Skeptic Tank #50: Buddhism with Duncan Trussell (photoshop by @JohnSof)


Duncan Trussell and I shared a ride out to Brea, CA to do shows at the Brea Improv. Duncan has always been into Buddhism and I figured what better time to talk about modern Buddhism than on a ride to the Inland Empire. It was a really interesting talk and it completely enlightened me to the humongous differences between that and the Judeo-Christian religions in regards to daily life. Enjoy.


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 Guest Videos

Duncan doing standup at the Laugh Factory. Man, they really have some beautiful looking clips. Jamie spent, like, a million dollars putting that system in. I don’t know if it’s worth it or not but everything they shoot looks amazing.


I had completely forgotten about this. If I remember right, I was faking a little. I like spicy foods so I don’t know how hard it would’ve hit me. But that other little girl was really hurt and later was really angry, so she was legit.


Duncan did this Fuel TV show with Brian Jarvis called  Stupidface. I couldn’t find my favorite sketch, an English muffin commercial featuring a heroine addicted father neglecting his daughter, but this one was really good.



The Music

Kansas. God damn, they have a few of the most awesome songs in history. Between this and Carry On My Wayward Son, you can’t get much of a better 1-2 punch. And you absolutely HAVE TO admire those clothes and hair styles.


Mason Jennings – Adrian

I think the message is right along the lines of what Duncan was telling me about living as a Buddhist.


This wasn’t in the podcast but it’s also by Mason Jennings and I love it. I first heard it with Mike Burns, Mike Bridenstine and about 40 other comedians at a strip club in Portland and the way the girl danced to it was one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen in my life.


I cried when I watched this video. I’m telling you, they’re just an amazing band to see live. It’s all about love and togetherness and colors. I got to see them live once. It was with Jeff Ross at the end of the Montreal Comedy Festival in 2011. Wayne Coyne, the lead singer, randomly walked by when Jeff and I were talking after the last of my storytellers shows wrapped up the festival. They had met at Bonnaroo that year or the year before. It was a fun encounter. Wayne came back with us to the comedian’s party at the hotel. He invited Jeff to his show the next day at Osheaga Music Festival and Jeff invited me. We decided to change our plane tickets and stay an extra day. And it was SOOOOOOO the right decision. We got to hang out with the band for a little and watched a few bands from the audience and then went on stage to watch Death Cab for Cutie and then The Flaming Lips. Jeff got to introduce them. It was the most nervous I’ve ever seen him and I saw him film a pilot.

Their set was amazing. I cried nearly the entire time and I wasn’t on any drugs except for pot, which barely counts.

Wayne married two people on stage, and then they brought in a real chaplain to marry them as soon as the show was over. All those people in costumes on stage are just fans they picked out to dance for the show. After it was done, he spent 5-10 minutes with each and every one of them talking about their lives and just making them feel special as fuck. I was amazed at his generosity of time. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Then afterwards we all went back to the tour busses and hung out with the roadies, who were equally cool, and drank some beer we found. Then they had to drive to Colorado so we hiked back to the highway and found a cab.

It was an epic night. Seriously, if you EVER get the chance, see them live.


The last song (first song in the podcast) is Bodhisattva Vow by The Beastie Boys. I couldn’t find a single youtube clip of it because the record label pulled them all down. But it’s from Ill Communication. Great album. It’s got Sabotage, which is an epic video, so just watch it and be happy.


Twitter Links




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Ooh. I learned something new. Embedded podcast. Nice! (it may or may not load) Photoshop by @Vegas_702.


5 Responses to “Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank #50: Buddhism (with Duncan Trussell)”

  1. Jordan says:

    Great guest! Also, great graphic for podcast.

  2. sarah d says:

    awesome podcast! though i’m pretty sure you guys talked about hinduism more than buddhism

  3. julie says:

    This is a great episode. I’ve listened to it twice now, I’ll probably listen a third time.

  4. Tim says:

    Another great podcast. Love your work Ari.
    Here is that video you wanted. http://www.viduse.com/Play/4384047/0/Beastie-Boys/Bodhisattva-Vow.html