Miami Living Magazine

Bailee Madison

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Very quickly, Pete went from not making any money to making as much as his wife did as a teacher. He began touring colleges, and around this time in real life, his wife left. "She was with me for all this formative time, and then she took off right before I started making a living, which was weird that I started doing that alone." Comedy got him through this tough time. He recalls performing two days after she left and how it made him feel better. "I loved comedy so much more than anything else in my life, any person or any comfort." He's quick to add that he was not a neglectful husband, and would tell me if he was. "When my wife left, it was devastating, but it's like, stand-up is kinda like a wife. Even having a TV show, I love it, it's a dream come true —and is your exciting mistress. And it's an open relationship. She knows about this one, but you stay kinda loyal to the thing that got you there." I ask if his ex-wife and he are in touch, and Pete tells me that they haven't spoken in over a decade —only because there's nothing to really say. "I don't think that's out of malice or anything. I just think when someone, especially when someone cheats on you, it's kinda best to leave it alone." It was a "very sweet, nice marriage… We never fought once, including when she was like, 'I'm having an affair.'" (Last November, Pete married Valerie Chaney.) "The fact that this unpleasant thing led to me being able to pursue my dream in a way that I wasn't able to while I was also trying to be this perfect husband, ended up being a blessing in disguise." On Crashing, Leif points out to Pete that the affair is helping Pete fulfill his destiny. "Leif represents a lot of things…his character represents me now a little bit, meaning when he says like, 'This is sending you from where you're afraid to go, to where you need to be.' That's me almost talking back in time to what I probably wasn't ready to hear, but what I would've liked to hear, needed to hear, and eventually figured out. So, it's nice to have those characters that can offer perspective, when in reality, I was just kinda left figuring it out. I could've used a Leif," he laughs. "The Leifs of my life came later, and I appreciated that." In a far better place than he was back then. Additionally, Pete has a podcast, You Made It Weird, where he invites comedians on to share their weirdness. "Every thought I've had, I feel like we've recorded at this point —almost 400 episodes now. So, I don't really have any secrets," Pete tells me. Since he's so candid on his podcast, it's a challenge for him to find something that fans would be surprised to find out about him. He calls his wife, Valerie, over to our table –she's standing nearby with friends. "Peter Projects," says Valerie. "Oh, I'm obsessive!" says Pete. "It's always a new supplement…. One time, he bought a gold pyramid to hang over his bed – for what reason?" Valerie asks. "Because copper pyramids channel positive vibes." He pulls a few pill bottles from his pockets. "This is CBD oil. This is a nootropic, which is like a vitamin for your brain. I'm always looking to improve myself," he laughs, "But I get a little weird about it." He thinks about my question some more. "Oh! I take a lot of psychedelics, like mushrooms and LSD. I like altered states of consciousness," he adds nonchalantly. So, what's the most surreal part of all of this? "All of it is very, very surreal. We were in the kitchen the first day of the first episode and Judd Apatow, who's a hero of mine, yells out 'action' and 'cut.' I was like, that's surreal. That's really, really crazy and then there's lots of little moments. Anytime someone's seen the show —I still get excited when I talk to people that love the show and that makes it very surreal for me and exciting for me. Occasionally, you'll meet someone like another person on a TV show and they'll have seen it or something, which is surreal." Pete has come a long way — it's nice to see the nice guy get the last laugh. He's getting a lot of laughs. ML Keep up with Pete by visiting and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @PeteHolmes, and Don't miss Crashing on HBO on Sundays at 10:30 pm. Photo credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

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