Actor Willem Dafoe might have had a hard time standing out while he was growing up as the seventh of eight kids. But he found a way to express himself performing in community plays, which led to the pursuit of stage acting and an embrace of the avant-garde performance world. Willem talks to Marc about his early stage work as well as his many notable films like Platoon, To Live and Die in L.A., Auto Focus, and his latest movie The Florida Project. This episode is sponsored by the new podcast The Daily Zeitgeist and Sonos.
Bassem Youssef was a surgeon in Egypt who started doing a YouTube show from his house and eventually became the most popular television personality in his country, doing what people called "The Egyptian Daily Show." Bassem talks with Marc about using comedy as a political weapon and what happens when the government pushes back in a life threatening way. Also, Marc's old friend and co-worker Sam Seder stops by to talk about doing political news every day in the current climate. This episode is sponsored by Tracey Ullman's Show on HBO, Squarespace, and ZipRecruiter.
On a list of the world's funniest people, Tracey Ullman ranks pretty high. But Tracey tells Marc she doesn't consider herself a comedian or a comic, but rather a character actor. The fact that she started performing as a way to cheer up her widowed mother means she's always trying to find sympathetic notes in the characters she's creating, with an ability to mock and humanize simultaneously. Tracey and Marc talk about her TV shows, her family, The Simpsons, and her brief pop music career that led to a friendship with Paul McCartney. This episode is sponsored by The Opposition with Jordan Klepper on Comedy Central, Stamps.com, and Casper.
Despite being born Brian Warner, Marilyn Manson doesn't separate his stage persona from who he is as a person. That makes for an interesting chat with Marc in the garage. Marilyn talks about his early years getting kicked out of Christian school, being beaten up for playing the triangle in the school band, and starting up a poetry night for his first taste of performing. He also talks about becoming friends with Alice Cooper, patching things up with Trent Reznor, and getting a kick out of David Lynch. This episode is sponsored by The Jim Jefferies Show Podcast and Squarespace.
It just so happens that Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges are both in new movies at the same time (Only the Brave and The Mountain Between Us, respectively). So it's as good a time as any to have the two brothers in the garage for separate chats. First, Beau tells Marc about being the big brother, taking a First Amendment stand, and staying busy in fickle Hollywood. Then Jeff talks about the music he makes, the path to enlightenment, and the transcendence of The Dude. This episode is sponsored by Sonos and Stamps.com.
From Episode 247, Marc talks with comedian Ralphie May about his journey to become one of the most popular headliners in the country. Ralphie passed away on October 6, 2017 at the age of 45.
Marc presents a special audio version of the first chapter of Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast. This chapter features thirty WTF guests talking with Marc about growing up. Hear from Conan O'Brien, Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Hart, Mel Brooks, RuPaul Charles, Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, Maria Bamford, Paul Scheer, Norm Macdonald, Molly Shannon, John Darnielle, Ahmed Ahmed, Dave Attell, Russell Peters, Joe Mande, Ron Funches, Allie Brosh, Gillian Jacobs, The Amazing Johnathan, Jon Glaser, Amy Schumer, Wyatt Cenac, Aimee Mann, Tom Arnold, Bruce Springsteen, Leslie Jones, Terry Gross, Dan Harmon, and President Barack Obama.
Elliott Gould was at the vanguard of American New Wave Cinema in the 1970s, but he tells Marc there were two enemies always working to diminish his potential: ego and vanity. On the cusp of launching a new network sitcom, 9JKL, Elliott talks about his earliest memories, his marriage to Barbra Streisand, his collaborations with Robert Altman, and his difficulties working with others, including one specific comment that Elliott believes put the breaks on his career. This episode is sponsored by Meteor Shower on Broadway, Hello Fresh, and Capterra.