David Wain (The State) Talks with Craig Wedren on the Talkhouse Podcast

Bathtime tips, health scares, Shudder to Think and more.

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got two guys whose work I’ve admired for decades, but who I never realized were as close as they are personally: David Wain and Craig Wedren.

Wain is a writer-director-actor (and more) who first came to fame with the hilarious sketch-comedy group The State, whose mid-’90s MTV show was and is a cult sensation—and still holds up to this day. Proof of that: The State has been doing reunion shows recently, and today’s podcast was inspired by the fact that I saw today’s other guest, Craig Wedren, in the audience for their recent Chicago show. After The State, Wain went on to direct a bunch of hilarious movies, including Wet Hot American Summer, Wanderlust and Role Models. He’s also done lots of acting, and way more stuff than I can list here in a reasonable amount of time. On top of that, he started the just-for-fun, cheekily named Middle Aged Dad Jam Band, whose core also includes State alumnus Ken Marino and lots of big special guests. The Jam band will be playing at SF Sketchfest, which starts today, with tons of other great acts, including… The State.

Craig Wedren started his career as the singer of Shudder to Think, the DC-based band of art-rockers whose early records came out on Dischord. After that band split up—which had something to do with Wedren being diagnosed with a pretty serious cancer in his mid-20s—he switched his focus to scoring and soundtrack work, at which he has undoubtedly succeeded. He’s made music for tons of TV and film, including many of Wain’s projects. He’s also made some fantastic solo albums, including one that’s due for release next week called The Dream Dreaming. It’s maybe the most accessible thing he’s ever done, but as Wain points out in this conversation, accessible music by Craig Wedren is still beautifully odd. Check out “Play Innocent” from The Dream Dreaming.

As a huge fan of both Shudder to Think and The State, I’m surprised I didn’t realize that Wain and Wedren weren’t just professional collaborators, but literally life-long friends. They’ve known each other since they were about 4, and they started making creative things together not long after that—they get into that history here. In this conversation, they talk about their history together, what they’re doing now, the ups and downs of doing it yourself, bath-time tips, and Wedren’s health issues over the years, including one that just happened. It’s a great chat. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to David Wain and Craig Wedren for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting service, and check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Feature photos courtesy of the artists, edited by Keenan Kush.)

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