I met Noah Gardenswartz backwards. That is to say, I don’t know how we didn’t know each other earlier on in life. He grew up in the Jewish community in Denver, Colorado – a smaller Jewish community as far as they go, that I was, at the very least, tangential with as a shitty half-Jew who never went to synagogue but was fluent in bar and bat mitzvah parties. Then he went on to East High School, my beloved alma mater that I won’t seem to shut up about. But it wasn’t until stand-up that I ever met the dude. And even then, it was in a round about way. My buddy Ben Roy met him at a comedy festival in Atlanta, where the two bonded over their mutual Denver connections. Ben told him to come do the Grawlix should he find himself in Denver, and like that I met Noah for the first time backstage at our monthly show at the Bug Theater. And then the connections became even stronger. He knew my little sister, went to East with her. We had a ton of friends in common. I was already a fan of his comedy after watching his set, but those common interest made me a fan of the guy, because what are we but naval-gazing entities wandering the planet looking for someone who’s interests/geography/experiences somewhat mirror our own?
But then Noah and I sat down for this podcast and I learned so, so much more about him. And now I feel that shared connection even deeper. He taught for awhile, like I did. He wrote for an alt-weekly for awhile, like I did. But also, sadly and more profoundly, he’s had to experience tragic loss in his life. Like I did. So we talked about it. And much, much more. And you’d be amazed how helpful that simple act can be. I walked away from recording this episode feeling somehow cleansed. I guess in a way I needed it. I hope Noah felt the same way. Simply put: this is probably one of my favorite episodes of My Dining Room Table we’ve done. I really hope you enjoy it.
For his video Noah decided to go with a Denver deep-cut, “Handlebars” by my friends The Flobots. You know I can get down with that.