John Flansburgh and John Linnell tell Marc the unlikely story of how a couple high school friends became a two-man band at the height of the New Wave performance art era in crime-ridden New York City and somehow carved out four decades of mainstream success as They Might Be Giants. The Johns also talk with Marc about children’s music, selling out, the early days of MTV, Malcolm in the Middle, and more. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, Spotify, and The Black Tux.
Sean Penn wrote a novel to slow things down. He fell out of love with making movies, he is disillusioned by the culture, and he finds it hard to draw hope from current events. Sean explains to Marc how writing makes him feel like he's not part of the noise, how he finds strength from the Parkland students, and how an upcoming movie made him feel like he could actually rekindle his love of filmmaking. Also, Lynn Shelton returns to the garage to talk about directing her new movie, Outside In, and explain what it's like to direct Marc. This episode is sponsored by Barry on HBO, Spotify, and SimpliSafe.
Nick Nolte makes an appropriate guest for the 900th episode of WTF because he clearly has about 900 episodes worth of stories to tell. They can't get to all of them, so Nick tells Marc the ones about football, farming, irrigation, Martin Scorsese, getting arrested, Marlon Brando, Tropic Thunder, Danny McBride, The Thin Red Line, and an epic prank involving Sean Penn and Woody Harrelson. Also, for Episode 900, Marc commemorates the last days of the Garage at the Cat Ranch. This episode is sponsored by Barry on HBO, Spotify, Just For Men Beard Care, and Amazon Music.
Nell Scovell has written for a Murderers' Row of television comedies - including The Simpsons, It's Garry Shandling's Show, Murphy Brown, and Newhart - created Sabrina the Teenage Witch, wrote for Vanity Fair and Spy Magazine, and co-wrote the mega-hit book Lean In. But as she tells Marc, and outlines in her new memoir, Nell also worked hard to change attitudes in male-dominated writers rooms and challenge the lazy biases of Hollywood. Also, Bill Hader returns to talk about his new show Barry, where he plays a hitman not unlike himself. This episode is sponsored by Comedy Central Tuesdays, Krypton on SyFy, Stamps.com, and Spotify.
David Mamet's love for Chicago shows up all the time in his works, including his new novel which is called, yup, Chicago. The prolific playwright-director-novelist-screenwriter talks with Marc about his Chicago roots and how he learned a lot about drama by watching the improv actors at Second City. They also talk about David's theories on acting (very few are good at it), William H. Macy (one of the very few), Eugene O'Neill (he wasn't that great), Shakespeare (he was), and marriage (you can take a mulligan on the first one). This episode is sponsored by Ricky Gervais: Humanity on Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Music, and IFC Films' The Death of Stalin.
Ted Danson is one of the most visible and familiar actors of the past four decades, and yet he still describes himself to Marc as "a phony," "a fraud," "an outsider," someone with "no real talent," and "too chicken" to do theater. Ted explains why such insecurities still exist for him, even after a lifetime of doing a job he loves. Ted also tells Marc about the quirks of being Larry David's friend, the reason CSI was a challenge for him, and his unique perspective on Sam Malone. This episode is sponsored by Spotify, Tearing at the Seams by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, and Babbel.
David Oyelowo got America’s attention with his instantly-iconic portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the film Selma. But this classically trained actor was making history on stage years prior, becoming the first black actor in the U.K. to play an English king in a major Shakespearean production. David talks with Marc about the importance of bringing his cultural background and life experience to roles of all stripes, including his character in the new movie Gringo, who was not initially written as a Nigerian immigrant. This episode is sponsored by The Death of Stalin, Squarespace, and Spotify.
Sharon Stone made a decision after she achieved fame with Basic Instinct. She wanted to build a way forward in Hollywood without being typecast. Sharon tells Marc how she navigated that part of her career, leading to projects like her recent multimedia mystery series Mosaic and collaborations with artists she always admired. Sharon also talks about the family incident that forced her to mature at a young age and gives her opinion on Hollywood's reckoning with sexual harassment and abuse. This episode is sponsored by Big Questions with Cal Fussman, Dear Franklin Jones, Just for Men, and Stamps.com.
Comedian and activist Barry Crimmins passed away on February 28, 2018 at age 64. Here are Marc's conversations with Barry on WTF. First, from Episode 443, a one-on-one talk with Barry in June 2013. Then, from Episode 626, a talk with Barry and Bobcat Goldthwait in August 2015 upon the release of Call Me Lucky, Bob's documentary about Barry.
When Marc was a young comic living in Boston, Buffalo Tom was one of his favorite bands. Buffalo Tom frontman Bill Janovitz joins Marc in the garage to talk about the band's rise from the pre-Nirvana days of indie rock to a point where huge mainstream success remained just out of reach. What happened after that? Also, Marc's buddy Danny Lobell returns to talk about turning his life and standup routines into a comic book in the style of one of his heroes, Harvey Pekar. This episode is sponsored by IFC Films' The Death of Stalin, Zip Recruiter, and SimpliSafe.