Comedian Eleanor Kerrigan knows a lot about The Comedy Store. Not only did she become the club's head waitress, she also became a confidant and sometime-assistant to the owner, Mitzi Shore. After a stint as a professional wrestler and an opener for Andrew Dice Clay, Eleanor finally found herself on stage at The Store and she hasn't left since. She tells Marc what it was like to get to know Mitzi, why she can't escape her South Philly roots, and how she's trying to pass along the history of The Store to new audiences. This episode is sponsored by the film Three Identical Strangers, the Outside the Box podcast, Stitcher Premium, and Ben & Jerry's.
Lil Rel Howery burst into the mainstream as a hero. Playing the character who saves the day in Get Out, Lil Rel can see how that role changed everything for him, as he's now the lead in the new movie Uncle Drew and he's putting his life on TV with his own show. He also talks with Marc about learning empathy and compassion from his mom and how those lessons helped him with his comedy. It also helped him see another side of a person who Lil Rey believes is struggling with grief: Kanye West. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith, Hearts Beat Loud, and ZipRecruiter.
New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff came into Robin Williams's life right around the same time Marc talked to Robin for WTF. Dave and Marc share notes on what they learned about this one-of-a-kind comedic performer, how his death affected the world, and what Dave was able to glean from working with Robin to write his biography. Then, after their conversation, hear the full interview Marc conducted with Robin back in 2010. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith, Hearts Beat Loud, and Ben & Jerry's.
Billy Bob Thornton sees himself in a certain way and feels as though the world sees him differently. That's why he feels uncomfortable at parties, uneasy about being a celebrity, and most relaxed when he can retreat into a new role. With Marc's help, Billy Bob tracks a lot of his anxiety back to his childhood in Arkansas, his pursuit of a life as a rock musician, and his stumble into a long and prosperous career in Hollywood. They also talk about Robert Duvall, Richie Havens, Sling Blade, and the new season of Goliath. This episode is sponsored by Drunk History on Comedy Central, Squarespace, and Burrow.
Holly Hunter left the family farm in Georgia to become an actor. She talks with Marc about her early days in New York, catching the attention of the Coen Brothers as they were on the verge of making their first film, and everything that followed, including her foray into voice acting with The Incredibles and its new sequel. Also, Amber Tamblyn returns to talk about being a new mom, fighting for gender equality, and how it all relates to her new novel Any Man. This episode is sponsored by Outside the Box, Gossip, StitchFix and Sonos.
Bob Balaban was born into show business and he didn't even know it until he was 10. The ubiquitous actor tells Marc how his immigrant family came to Chicago at the turn of the century and broke into the movie business, eventually winding up in charge of Paramount Studios. Bob also talks with Marc about Charlie Brown, Midnight Cowboy, Altered States, Christopher Guest, Francois Truffaut, and his many roles in film, stage and TV, including his new show Condor. This episode is sponsored by the new film Hearts Beat Loud, Ben & Jerry's, and Stamps.com.
From Episode 233, this is Marc's conversation with Anthony Bourdain, conducted in 2011. Anthony died on June 8, 2018, at age 61.
Vanessa Hollingshead can honestly say that a cruise ship saved her life. She tells Marc what led to a comedy career in the first place after a childhood spent in communes, foster homes, and around lots of grown-ups on acid and other psychedelic drugs. Vanessa got a hot start in comedy and her big break was right in front of her, and then it all went away, followed by a crushing personal tragedy. And if it wasn't for that cruise ship, she might not be here telling this story. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and SimpliSafe.
David Harbour became pretty cynical about the acting profession before landing the star-making role of Jim Hopper on Stranger Things. But he and Marc are in agreement that it was probably better for David to hit it big after four decades of dealing with anxiety, self-hatred, mania, fear, sobriety, and the difficult project of building one's identity. David and Marc also talk about Hellboy, the elves on the edges of reality, and the one character trait of Hopper's that David likes the most. This episode is sponsored by Casper and Audible.