Keith Wager is a recovery friend of Marc’s who has a lot to be thankful for. Instead of doing drugs and getting arrested, like he did in the past, now he’s telling stories about his addiction and recovery on his podcast It’s All Bad. And because it always helps to talk about things, Keith and Marc talk about the bad decisions he made while drunk or on speed, his time in various detention centers, and his new life as a Hollywood wardrobe stylist. Plus, Marc delivers his annual reminder of how to manage the emotional minefield of Thanksgiving. This episode is sponsored by Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, SimpliSafe, and American Express.
Mike Sweeney tried on several different careers before becoming the head writer for Conan O’Brien: trial lawyer, standup comedian, warm-up comic. But it’s a miracle he was able to do any of them after growing up in a violent, unpredictable household. Mike tells Marc the truly shocking circumstances of his early life, as well as the better days doing comedy in New York City, the highs of Late Night on NBC, the chaos of Conan’s Tonight Show days, and the many hats he now wears in the Conan Empire. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com, Stamps.com, and Pepsi.
Comic Louis Katz was working with Marc just before the launch of WTF. In the ten years since, Louis and Marc have taken paths that are both similar and completely different. They share their experiences on the road and get into the nuts and bolts of comedy club standup, then and now, as well as the persistent East Coast-West Coast split between comedy sensibilities. Louis also talks about what it was like to have a long distance relationship when starting out in comedy and what he’s only learning about himself now after spending the past two decades working in the field. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and SimpliSafe.
When a very complementary newspaper profile called Nathan Lane “the last of the great entertainers,” Nathan couldn’t help but wonder, “Is that all there is?” Nathan talks with Marc about the subsequent steps he took to get himself out of the box people wanted him in, which included taking on roles like Hickey in The Iceman Cometh and Roy Cohn in Angels in America. They also discuss Nathan’s early days of dinner theater and stand-up comedy, his theory on why The Producers was such a big hit, and why he finally wanted to get married. This episode is sponsored by Watchmen on HBO, Stamps.com, and ZipRecruiter.
Actress Lili Taylor and Marc quickly realize how much they have in common, like their nearly 50 combined years of sobriety, their similar stories about parents struggling with mental illness, and their search for belonging in New York City when they were younger. Lili tells Marc what it was like to be a central figure in the independent film community of the 1990s, but that was only a short moment in the first part of her life. The question Lili’s been asking herself lately is, Am I up to the task of the next part of my life? She may have found her answer in bird watching. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com, SimpliSafe, and Stance.
Tony Hale is trying to be more present. He’s motivated by the fact that some of the biggest moments of his career on shows like Arrested Development and Veep are lost down the memory hole. Tony and Marc trace the reasons for these mental gaps, which are largely attributable to childhood panic attacks, codependency, and a long-running search for identity. They also talk about Tony’s reliance on his faith, his comedy partnership with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and his emergence as a beloved children’s character, Forky. This episode is sponsored by Vital Farms, New Mexico, The Only Podcast Left, and quip toothbrushes.
Kate Nash says getting cast on GLOW saved her life and, when you hear about the emotional roller coaster she was on before landing the gig, that might literally be true. Kate tells Marc what it was like to leverage her MySpace account into pop stardom at age 19, with a number one record and sold out shows for thousands of devoted fans. And then she explains why it all fell apart, with anxiety, OCD and a near-total breakdown to follow. They also talk about working together for the past four years, gaining confidence through wrestling, and the importance of a bunny in Kate’s life. This episode is sponsored by the Adult Swim Podcast, Zoro.com, Intercept Festival presented by Amazon Web Services, and SimpliSafe.
John Goodman has more than four decades of experience on stage, in movies, and on television, but he’s just now learning to trust himself. After a lifetime of trying to please everyone and beating himself up over everything, John tells Marc what finally caused his perception to shift. John also talks about being shaped by comic books and Mad Magazine, finding inspiration working with David Byrne and Al Pacino early in his career, and why he knew there was something special about the Coen Brothers the first time he saw one of their scripts. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com, Squarespace, and Stamps.com.