Marc doesn’t consider himself a “folk music guy” but he cannot deny how strongly he responds to singer-songwriter Joan Shelley’s work. Joan talks with Marc about her Kentucky upbringing and how she’s careful to respect the roots of folk music while also infusing her work with a vulnerability and texture that is her own. She also discusses her collaborative relationship with Nathan Salsburg, working with Jeff Tweedy as her producer, and her reasons for recording her latest album in Iceland. Plus, Joan gives some songwriting tips to Marc to help him overcome his own insecurity so he can finally write some songs. This episode is sponsored by Comedy Central, WNYC's Scattered podcast, SimpliSafe, and the Adult Swim Podcast.
Edward Norton knows the importance of slowing things down. While many entertainers feel the need to move immediately from project to project, Edward has learned from his peers, his idols, and his own experience that sometimes it’s all about what you don’t do. Edward talks with Marc about the lessons he learned from working with David Fincher and Milos Forman, the inspiration he takes from David Bowie and Bob Dylan, and the stories behind American History X and The Incredible Hulk. Edward also explains what inspired him to write, direct and star in a very unique adaptation of Motherless Brooklyn. This episode is sponsored by the Adult Swim Podcast, Watchmen on HBO, Stamps.com, and The RealReal.
No one can doubt Pamela Des Barres’s commitment to the life of rock and roll. She’s known as THE rock groupie, but further distinguished herself as a writer, educator, tour guide and interviewer, all involving her life on the road throughout modern music history. Growing up in California with a love of Jesus and Elvis, it wasn’t surprising she was drawn to the charismatic allure of rock stars. Pamela tells Marc about her time with Frank Zappa, Phil Spector, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Keith Moon, Mick Jagger, Tiny Tim, Jim Morrison, Waylon Jennings, and more, as she experienced the highs of the Free Love 60s as well as the era’s dismal end at Altamont. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com and New Mexico Tourism & Travel.
It’s very likely Rick Baker created something that made you smile, laugh, cringe, scream, or all of the above, as one of the most innovative and memorable creators of makeup effects in movie history. Rick tells Marc about being obsessed with movie makeup at 10 years old, watching monster movies on television, and drawing inspiration from Lon Chaney and his future colleague Dick Smith. But he had to fight to be accepted in an industry that didn’t want him, as he went on to create iconic cinema moments, from Star Wars to American Werewolf in London to dozens of versions of Eddie Murphy to The Grinch to gorillas. Lots and lots of gorillas. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and the Adult Swim Podcast.
Living in Hawaii gives Woody Harrelson a pretty good perspective of what life should really be about. It’s a mentality that influences the way he chooses projects, the way he engages in activism, and the way he fulfills is spiritual side. Woody and Marc talk about this mindset and how it evolved over his career. He talks about the offer he turned down that would have kept Cheers on the air, the process he went through to get into the mind of a psychopath for Natural Born Killers, and the way his life changed after playing Larry Flynt, as well as some talk about Kingpin, No Country for Old Men, and Zombieland: Doubletap. This episode is sponsored by Living with Yourself on Netflix.
Marc sees Rachel Maddow on TV almost every night. But there was a time when they saw each other every day, back when they worked together at Air America Radio. Rachel and Marc talk about those early radio days which turned out to be a transitional point in both of their lives. Rachel also explains how her early days of AIDS activism and public policy studies eventually led her to the broadcasting career she has now, which is something she never imagined herself doing. They also discuss depression, prayer, self-confidence, and why she felt compelled to write her new book, Blowout. This episode is sponsored by Vital Farms, Stamps.com, and The RealReal.
Jackie Tohn is the co-star on GLOW who Marc feels he knows the most. Not because they knew each other before making the show, but because they share backgrounds and upbringings that make them very familiar to each other. Jackie tells Marc about growing up on Long Island, intent on pursuing an acting career, only to be met with heartbreak after heartbreak, from pilots that didn’t go to last minute casting changes to an American Idol bust. Jackie explains how a disappointed friend helped snap her out of her funk and how she’s embracing her musical abilities in her comedy today. This episode is sponsored by SweeTango, The RealReal, Intersect by AWS, and Pepsi.
Argus Hamilton is the human embodiment of The Comedy Store, with the distinction of being one of the original Comedy Store comics and the only person of his generation who still works there today. In other words, he’s the perfect guest for WTF, as Marc continues building a comprehensive oral history of the infamous club. Argus tells some stories and dispels some myths about The Store’s origins, about the comics who really put the place on the map, about the big names like Pryor, Williams and Kinison who made the place their playground, and about his unique relationship with Mitzi Shore, the woman behind it all.
Danny DeVito is one of America’s most beloved actors and that’s true across multiple generations. Whether it’s because you came of age with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or watched Taxi every week or accepted his version of The Penguin as definitive or followed his antics with The Gang for 14 years on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Danny is probably someone you feel like you know. Marc takes the time to know more about Danny, finding out about his Jersey Shore childhood, his days as a gardener and hairdresser, and his life behind the camera, directing favorites like Throw Momma from the Train and producing movies like Pulp Fiction. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and SimpliSafe.