122 episodes

What happens when we die? What if this is the afterlife? Comedian, coma survivor, and former Pitchfork writer Dave Maher ("This American Life") asks artists, entertainers, and activists for definite answers to these unanswerable questions.

This Is Your Afterlife Dave Maher

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 23 Ratings

What happens when we die? What if this is the afterlife? Comedian, coma survivor, and former Pitchfork writer Dave Maher ("This American Life") asks artists, entertainers, and activists for definite answers to these unanswerable questions.

    Choke Sex with Susan Messing

    Choke Sex with Susan Messing

    "If you're not having fun, you're the a*****e," is a Susan Messing joint. It's a zen koan of a piece of comedy, art, and life advice that I took issue with back in my improv days. The hella influential improviser and teacher shares why she said it, her own issues with it, and ideas about death, learning what you actually want, a motorcycle ride with her dad, Neptune Society, and being choke f****d with love by a redwood tree.
    Content warning: cancer, stroke, improv comedy.
    Patreon supporters make This Is Your Afterlife possible and get awesome bonus episodes. Become an Afterhead at patreon.com/davemaher.
    Susan is teaching a 5-day improv intensive with Rachael Mason at iO Chicago December 12-16, which you can sign up for here.
    Follow Susan on Instagram: @susanalicemessing
    Leave me a voicemail to play on the show: (313) MIST-URA (647-8872).
    Subscribe to my newsletter, Definitive Answers, for weekly personal and culture essays, plus music recs. And follow me @thisisdavemaher on Twitter and Instagram.
    ---
    Transcript: This Is Your Afterlife on Podscribe
    Music = Future: "Use Me" / James Blackshaw: "The Cloud of Unknowing" / Johnnie Frierson: "Miracles"

    • 1 hr
    I've Experienced Blob with Madeline Lane-McKinley

    I've Experienced Blob with Madeline Lane-McKinley

    We need good comedy criticism, and Madeline Lane-McKinley's new book, Comedy Against Work, assesses comedy not just as an art form but as a way of envisioning utopia. She examines our relationship to work and the kinds of futures we imagine through the lens of comedy on stage and TV.
    In this episode, she shares herself as well as her ideas. She also tells me what to do for my next show.
    Content warning: suicide, childbirth, constipation, the opposite of constipation, childhood abuse, misogyny, Blob.
    Patreon supporters make This Is Your Afterlife possible and get awesome bonus episodes. Become an Afterhead at patreon.com/davemaher.
    Buy Comedy Against Work: Utopian Longing in Dystopian Times, and read more of Madeline's work in Blind Field Journal.
    Follow Madeline on Twitter: @la_louve_rouge_
    Leave me a voicemail to play on the show: (313) MIST-URA (647-8872).
    Subscribe to my newsletter, Definitive Answers, for weekly personal and culture essays, plus music recs. And follow me @thisisdavemaher on Twitter and Instagram.
    ---
    Transcript: This Is Your Afterlife on Podscribe
    Music = Future: "Use Me" / James Blackshaw: "The Cloud of Unknowing" / Johnnie Frierson: "Miracles"

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Out of Body with Franco Danger

    Out of Body with Franco Danger

    Franco Danger is a superb standup I met when he opened for Chris Gethard, and we immediately hit it off. That energy—and a jaw-dropping Relive 1 Memory segment—translates into one of the funniest conversations ever on the podcast.
    Content warning: anxiety, Catholic guilt, Edinburgh Fringe, food poisoning, God is a single dad, multiverse reincarnation.
    R.I.P. Mimi Parker of Low. Revisit my conversation with Mimi and her husband/bandmate Alan Sparhawk here.
    Patreon supporters make This Is Your Afterlife possible and get awesome bonus episodes. Become an Afterhead at patreon.com/davemaher.
    Follow Franco on Instagram: @franco_danger
    Check him out on Twitch and YouTube at @francodanger
    Leave me a voicemail to play on the show: (313) MIST-URA (647-8872).
    Subscribe to my newsletter, Definitive Answers, for weekly personal and culture essays, plus music recs. And follow me @thisisdavemaher on Twitter and Instagram.
    ---
    Transcript: This Is Your Afterlife on Podscribe
    Music = Future: "Use Me" / James Blackshaw: "The Cloud of Unknowing" / Johnnie Frierson: "Miracles"

    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Hormones, The Obsession with Tiffany Topol

    The Hormones, The Obsession with Tiffany Topol

    Tiffany Topol's debut album, Sophomore Effort, is a bubbly, swooning, nostalgic pop record years in the making. I'm so happy she came on this show to share her anxieties about death and have a full-on psychological epiphany.
    Content warning: seeing NSYNC live as a 14-year-old, sensory deprivation chamber, friend's death, crying to Beyonce's Lemonade, how reliable is your memory?
    Patreon supporters make This Is Your Afterlife possible and get awesome bonus episodes. Become an Afterhead at patreon.com/davemaher.
    Listen to Tiffany's album, Sophomore Effort!
    Follow her on Instagram and TikTok at @tifftopol.
    On/after November 11 (I say November 4 in the intro, don't crucify me!), check out the new Youth in a Roman Field album Tiffany plays on, Get Caught Trying.
    Catch her live with Youth in a Roman Field at Mercury Lounge in New York City on December 1.
    Leave me a voicemail to play on the show: (313) MIST-URA (647-8872).
    Subscribe to my newsletter, Definitive Answers, for weekly personal and culture essays, plus music recs! And follow me @thisisdavemaher on Twitter and Instagram.
    ---
    Transcript: This Is Your Afterlife on Podscribe
    Music = Future: "Use Me" / James Blackshaw: "The Cloud of Unknowing" / Johnnie Frierson: "Miracles"

    • 48 min
    This Is Your SLASHERLIFE: Ravenous (1999) plus bonus Braiding Sweetgrass with Bettina Johnson

    This Is Your SLASHERLIFE: Ravenous (1999) plus bonus Braiding Sweetgrass with Bettina Johnson

    Cannibalism? Addiction? Colonialism, patriotism, capitalism? What is the Windigo?! Abolitionist organizer and previous guest Bettina Johnson and I get to the bottom of Ravenous (1999) on this edition of This Is Your SLASHERLIFE.
    Content warning: blood, guts, skeletons, eating people, tricksterism, telling time by the moon, overblown queer readings of this movie, did Dave condescend to the Indigenous painting?
    Show your love for This Is Your Afterlife at patreon.com/davemaher. Subscribers get extended episodes, aftershows and Afterlife Movie Club episodes, and shoutouts in future episodes.
    Read Braiding Sweetgrass, and check out Liberation Library, an organization Bettina co-founded that provides books to incarcerated youth.
    Subscribe to my newsletter, Definitive Answers, for weekly personal and culture essays, plus music recs! And follow me @thisisdavemaher on Twitter and Instagram.
    Leave me a voicemail to play on the show: (313) MIST-URA (647-8872).
    Thanks to Associate Producer Sam Welbel!
    ---
    Transcript: This Is Your Afterlife on Podscribe
    Music = Future: "Use Me" / Johnnie Frierson: "Miracles"

    • 1 hr 50 min
    This Is Your SLASHERLIFE: Annihilation with Oui Ennui

    This Is Your SLASHERLIFE: Annihilation with Oui Ennui

    All that shimmers is... whatever The Shimmer is. I'm talking Annihilation (2018) on this edition of This Is Your SLASHERLIFE with previous guest Oui Ennui, the brilliant and thought-provoking experimental musician.
    Content warning: bad words, magic, the gimp, is it COVID?, Isaac Mizrahi & Lena Dunham.
    Show your love for This Is Your Afterlife at patreon.com/davemaher. Subscribers get extended episodes, aftershows and Afterlife Movie Club episodes, and shoutouts in future episodes.
    Listen to Oui Ennui's music!
    Thanks to Associate Producer Sam Welbel!
    Subscribe to my newsletter, Definitive Answers, for weekly personal and culture essays, plus music recs! And follow me @thisisdavemaher on Twitter and Instagram.
    Leave me a voicemail to play on the show: (313) MIST-URA (647-8872).
    Thanks to Associate Producer Sam Welbel!
    ---
    Transcript: This Is Your Afterlife on Podscribe
    Music = Future: "Use Me" / Johnnie Frierson: "Miracles"

    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

knitiva ,

A very good and thoughtful time!!!

Love a show with questions so good that it makes me rethink my own answers every time I listen. Just a super sincere time talking about big life stuff. Dave is such a good dude and I’m thankful for his vulnerability. Every time I listen I find myself wishing for it to be my turn as a guest. Does that make me self centered? I dunno, probably! But that’s not the point! The point is the show is good & it makes you think & jeez just listen to it already.

jsjsjsttt ,

Dave died for your sins - what more do you want, you monsters?!

Death is a hard topic to cover and Dave does it effortlessly week to week. His personal journey, his years as a performer and teacher and his wonderful voice make him the perfect person to tackle such a heavy topic. If you can’t afford therapy, call your congressman but also subscribe!

cbf27yeah ,

Highlight of my Tuesday

Who is having THAT conversation? This podcast!!!

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