On Killing My Mother

A few weeks ago I was asked to tell the story of my decision to kill my mother in front of a live audience for RISK!.

If you’re not familiar with RISK!, it’s a storytelling show based out of Los Angeles and New York that’s hosted and curated by Kevin Alison, who was a member of the short-lived comedy troupe The State. For those of you who are too young to remember, The State got their start on MTV back in the mid-90s with the show You Wrote It, You Watch It — a project they produced in collaboration with plucky young up-and-comer Jon Stewart. Since then, The State folk have gone on to create shows such as Reno 911, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, and, obviously, RISK!.

I’ve been doing a lot of live storytelling this year. Most of it has been with The Moth, but there have been other shows as well. (The most interesting/terrifying of these: Mystery Box!, a show where everyone’s stories have to be about sex.) Still, being picked to do RISK! was a bit of a surprise. People who get asked to do RISK! are usually people you’ve heard of, like Sarah Silverman, Mark Maron, Kevin Nealon, Janeane Garafalo, or Michael Ian Black. So it was a bit of an honor to have been asked at all.

Even more of an honor was getting the email this morning that my story had been chosen for the Risk podcast. Between multiple shows in New York, L.A., Seattle and Portland, I believe there were thirty-two Risk! stories told the week I told my story. Only three were chosen for the podcast.

All of which is to say that if you’ve ever found yourself sitting around wondering, “Hey, I wonder if Tod ever made the decision to murder his mother, and if so how exactly he planned to do it,” then wonder no more.

You can live-stream it here, or if you prefer, you can download it for free on iTunes. (For those looking in iTunes, it will be the September 29th issues, titled Scarred.) I’m the first story, and if you want to skip over the intro stuff it begins right around the 4:45 mark.

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8 thoughts on “On Killing My Mother

  1. I taught myself how to stream the podcast through my Bluetooth system in my car just so I could listen to this on my way to Vancouver while sitting in traffic. Totally worth it. Fantastic and heartbreaking.


  2. Your story left me at a loss for words and emotionally drained. My mother is dealing with a terminal lung cancer diagnosis and this really hit home. I look forward to hearing more of your stories, you’ve got a real talent with the spoken word.


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