Bathroom Emergencies and the Human Condition with Doug Mand

dougmandDoug Mand is a successful TV writer (The Comedians, How I Met Your Mother, NTSF:SD:SUV::). But he's also the host of Doodie Calls, a podcast where comedians, which have included past guests Lauren Lapkus, Bob Saget, and Jon Daly, confess their embarrassing bathroom stories. The through line connecting these two roles is a lifelong struggle with anxiety that both directly inspires and hinders his creativity. With Doodie Calls celebrating its 100th episode at UCB Franklin on April 29th, I talked to Doug about how anxiety affects the writing process, pooping's connection with the human condition, and how love is strengthened during life's most embarrassing moments.

Your podcast Doodie Calls is centered on comedians telling their most embarrassing bathroom stories. What is it about these situations that made you want to start a show devoted entirely to that topic?

I’m someone who’s had what my parents call a nervous stomach since I was seven. If I ever was in a position where I couldn't use the bathroom, that's when I'd have to go. In a friend's parent's car or a bar mitzvah. Any place you're not supposed to stand up in the middle of and leave, that's when I would have to go and it's happened my whole life. So I have a ton of those stories and I've always loved hearing other people's stories because it makes me feel less crappy about myself.

Was there a particular incident in your adolescence that scarred you?

When I was 13, I went to Milwaukee with my really good friend to visit his grandparents. And they were really wealthy and in the upper crest of Milwaukee. One day they were like, "Do you wanna go to the All-Star Game?" Because they were friends with [MLB Commissioner] Bud Selig. And we were like, "Yeah, of course." So we went to the game on a private jet with Bud Selig and there were seven people in this jet. Around halfway into the flight, I had to go. But there wasn't a real bathroom, there was a jump seat that was also the toilet. And it wasn't covered fully, it just had a curtain. Basically it was there if you had to pee. So I had to get up and shit in a private jet with Bud Selig probably seven feet from me. And the whole plane stunk to the point where his grandparents were actually mad at me. And on the way back, they plugged me full of Imodium because that could never happen again. I felt so much shame that I was with the one person who the All-Star Game couldn't have happened without and he spent 45 minutes smelling my shit. READ MORE