Talking Podcasts, Standup, and Motherhood Taboos with Christina P

christina-pWhile learning to write ad copy I was told that the best way to reach the most people is to keep the content at a 6th or 7th grade reading level. I was reminded of that advice while talking to comedian Christina P, who describes her meaning of life/philosophical musings podcast, That’s Deep Bro, as “7th grade humor.” When explaining Your Mom’s House, her other podcast with co-host and husband Tom Segura, she uses words and phrases like “farting” and “bowel movement.” In her recent Netflix special, Mother Inferior, she tells in honest, graphic, plain English what really happens when you bring a human life into the world. By taking the ugly truths of adult life and distilling them down to junior high-level discourse, Christina P is reaching people and changing lives, including her own. I recently talked to Christina about how podcasting can improve a marriage, challenging the taboos of motherhood, and how she’s making philosophy accessible to the masses.

How have things been going since the special dropped?

It’s been crazy, really great, and kind of overwhelming.

I jumped on the Reddit AMA that you did recently and it was cool to see so many of your fans doing inside jokes with you. You had some people asking you for comedy advice, but there were so many deep cuts that I wasn’t even familiar with.

Yeah, those are fans of Your Mom’s House. Your Mom’s House has its own language. It’s its own living, breathing, bizarro fart joke that exists between my husband Tom, myself, and the audience. You’ve got to keep up.

One of the things that’s been fascinating to watch about podcasts over the last few years is that you can be working in other areas of entertainment – writing, standup, whatever – and then you launch a podcast and it takes on a life of its own and brings people to you that may not even be that familiar with the rest of your work.

It’s pretty awesome. What I like about it is that podcast fans are unlike the other fans. They know what you had for breakfast. They know what your bowel movement was like that morning. It’s so much more in-depth. It’s really special.

You just hit the seventh anniversary of your podcast, right?

I think so, yeah.

So you started in a time where podcasts weren’t nearly as popular.

We were one of the early adopters. It was Joe Rogan who suggested we start one. They call him The Podfather because he was one of the earliest adopters. He told Tommy and I, “You guys are both really funny. Why don’t you do your own show?” It was like, “Wait, what? What’s a podcast, first of all?” First we did it with Redban as part of DEATHSQUAD, but that got too hard to coordinate. Eventually we were like, “Why don’t we just try two microphones and a tiny board and do it out of our house?” That’s really when Your Mom’s House became Your Mom’s House because it became a dialogue between Tom and I. It was all the stuff that we talked about during the week and then we would share it with people.

What effect has the podcast had on your relationship? Has it brought you guys closer?

Tom and I like to work together as friends, comedians, husband and wife. The show is a wonderful world that we step into every week — and we have adult responsibilities now. We were just two douchebags living in this hipster neighborhood with no responsibilities and now we’re this adult couple with the mortgage, a baby, careers. Your Mom’s House is a magic circle that we step into and transport back to a simpler time in our relationship. I think it’s really good for us to sit down and be silly for that hour and a half and get back to who we really are with each other before the baby and everything that can weigh down a marriage.

That’s really sweet. I know that in some ways doing a podcast is work, but it’s nice that there is this dedicated time every week that holds you accountable to each other to sit down and communicate one-on-one. I think that it’s something that other people could incorporate into their relationships, not necessarily through a podcast, but just carving out that regular time.

That’s a really good point. A lot of relationship experts say you should have a shared hobby, whether it’s going to sporting events, gardening, or whatever you do as a couple. Ours just happens to be a show where we talk about farting. That’s the glue that bonds our relationship together. We are lucky that way.

In your new special you pull back the curtain on pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood. I imagine it’s good for other people who have gone through that experience to hear you telling the truth about it. There seems to be a societal stigma against mothers saying how truly awful it can be sometimes.

There are so many taboos still surrounding motherhood, including the ambivalence about it sometimes. I’m no psychopath. I absolutely love my son to death. My husband and my child are my world. But there are still a lot of taboos around it. What I’m really proud about is that I wrote a lot of that stuff in the throes of severe postpartum depression. I literally wrote those jokes at four in the morning rocking the baby. It’s great that in my darkest hour something good came out of it that may help other people. It’s also good to know that it passes. Things change and get better. Maybe the second hour will be about that. Also, women are people having children. It’s not like that baby came out and I automatically knew what to do. I had to learn how to change diapers the same way my husband did. There is a learning curve that can be complicated.

When you said that you weren’t a psychopath it made me realize that I’m more afraid of the people who present the well-polished, shiny, perfect version of parenthood. “It’s nothing but blessings. It’s perfect. It’s all light and sunshine.” You can see the deadness in the eyes of those people. Those are the people that I worry will run their entire family off a bridge.

Yes! You’re never supposed to say “Sometimes this is really really hard” or “I don’t know what to do when my toddler throws a tantrum. I don’t know how to do this.” It’s like people who pretend to be perfectly religious, that they don’t do anything bad, and then you find out the dad is having homosexual relationships in bathrooms and doing blow. Maybe we should just acknowledge the darker side of things and process them better.

Dan Savage was recently talking about how areas of the country that are more conservative often have the highest rate of internet searches and porn searches for the things that they are supposed to be morally against. It points to the idea that those folks are interested, or maybe even practicing, those things themselves.

I love psychotherapy. I love Carl Jung. He talks about the shadow self. If we don’t know acknowledge the stuff inside of ourselves it will show up in other areas. You have to accept all the parts of yourself — at least that’s what I’ve learned in therapy in the last decade.

This is a good transition to discuss your other podcast, That’s Deep Bro. You got your Bachelor’s in philosophy.

Yeah, there are two things in life I’m very passionate about outside of my family, and that’s definitely philosophy and comedy. There’s so much cool stuff about philosophy, but a lot of it is made inaccessible by the language that is used to write and discuss it. I wanted to do a show where I could kind of break down the ideas into plain language — take the stuff that’s really helpful and try to apply it to people. It ended up being a show where millennials started emailing me questions, like life advice. It’s weird because I was thinking, “Who would listen to this?” and it’s become millennials, young boys and girls who don’t know how to talk to each other and don’t know how to figure their life out. I ended up being the person talking to them, which is so special.

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