Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 13 – Alice Wetterlund

Ethan Nichtern - The Road Home - Ep. 13 - Alice Wetterlund

Comedian and actress Alice Wetterlund shares a conversation with Ethan about the intersection between comedy and meditation, the practice of sobriety and cultivating self-awareness.

Alice Wetterlund is a stand-up comedian, improviser and actor originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She performs regularly at all the UCBees as well as San Francisco’s Punchline, and LA’s Largo and The Hollywood Improv as well as festivals and clubs throughout the continent. She currently resides in LA with her two feline sons, Biscuit and Birdie. You can see Alice as Carla Walton on HBO’s Silicon Valley, as Kelly Grady in the upcoming People of Earth on TBS, as well as in the feature Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, coming this summer to theaters. Check out Alice’s upcoming shows at

Show Notes

Coming To Sit (Opening) – Alice shares her path to becoming a meditation practitioner. She and Ethan talk about the relationship that exists between meditation practice and improv comedy. They look at the current role that mindfulness and meditation practice hold in mainstream Western culture at the moment.

Step 11 (11:45) – Ethan and Alice talk about the intersection between Buddhist practice and addiction recovery. Alice shares her own experience of getting sober, making her vows as a Buddhist and finding Sangah in her recovery community.

“My spiritual and meditation practice happened with other sober alcoholics. My experience of Buddhism too also happens in that world because I live in L.A. and there are a lot of people who are both. It is a really interesting overlap for me.” – Alice Wetterlund

The Mind of a Comedian (14:10) – We look at the similarities between the way that the minds of comedians and meditation practitioners work. Alice talks about how her career as a comedian and improviser has been influenced by her meditation practice. She also speaks to the hurdles that come up when trying to maintain a regular practice and talks about finding compassion for ourselves as we work through things.

“Other art forms have a medium. There is the artist, and their thoughts and visions, then there is a medium, like a painting or musical instruments, and there is an audience. A lot of times there is even a time delay. With standup, it is literally the artist, their thoughts and then the audience – with no delay. It is all happening and being destroyed at the same time.”- Alice Wetterlund

Explore the intersection between comedy and meditation with Lama Surya Das and comedian Pete Holmes on Ep. 42 of the Awakening Now Podcast

Shifting Perspectives (32:20) – Ethan and Alice talk about Alice’s podcast, Treks and the City. They discuss bringing new perspectives to the table and widening the tent of inclusivity in the worlds of sci-fi and pop culture. The two also talk about Louis C.K., Pres. Trump and the need for cultivating self-awareness.

Ethan Nichtern - The Road Home - Ep. 13 - Alice Wetterlund

To love ourselves, we must know ourselves. To love one another, we must know one another. But our assumptions, distractions, fears, expectations, and personal sense of unworthiness obscure these kernels of truth. As William James wisely explained, “Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.”
Join Sharon Salzberg at 1440 Multiversity, April 12 – 14, and explore a gentle but thorough method to know yourself, connect with others, and stop your mind from getting in the way of the connection you yearn for.  Find this and other transformative retreats here at


Images via Alice Wetterlund and Society 6