Ben Bailey and Marc share a particular gripe as comics. Both of them became widely known for beloved projects they started doing on a whim. For Ben it was Cash Cab, for Marc it was this podcast. And as much as they love those projects, they really just wanted to be known as stand-ups. Ben tells Marc how he got his start answering phones at The Comedy Store and how he really wanted to be a marine biologist before he got into comedy. He also describes his lifelong fascination with fish tanks and other tank-based aquatic environments. This episode is sponsored by the Unspooled podcast.
Terry Crews survived a lot. He survived a tumultuous upbringing in an alcoholic household. He survived the destruction of his hometown, Flint, Michigan. He survived playing in the NFL. He survived a pornography addiction that sent him to rehab, and his marriage survived it too. And he survived a confrontation with Hollywood agents that he was certain would end his career. Terry tells Marc how his love of art, music and comedy always won out and how projects like Idiocracy, Brooklyn 99 and America’s Got Talent have embedded him in the culture. This episode is sponsored by Dave's Killer Bread and Yo, Is This Racist?
Josh Klinghoffer came over to Marc’s house just days after receiving the surprising news from the Red Hot Chili Peppers that his time with the band was over. He talks with Marc about John Frusciante’s sudden RHCP reunion and being the odd man out. But he also talks about what it’s like to develop as a solo artist under the name Pluralone after may years of feeling like he was hiding in other people’s projects, including well-regarded collaborations with Bob Forrest, the Butthole Surfers, Jon Brion, Beck, PJ Harvey, Danger Mouse and more. This episode is sponsored by Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People and ZipRecruiter.
When listening to actor Brian Cox talk with Marc, it’s hard to see how this pleasant man is anything like the despotic, cold-blooded patriarch Logan Roy, who he plays on HBO’s Succession. Except there is one thing they have in common: They both see the human experiment as rather ludicrous. Brian’s view of a world that is absurd above all else has served him well playing any number of Shakespearian characters, Hannibal the Cannibal, and his real life role as a champion for Scottish independence. This episode is sponsored by Awkwafina is Nora from Queens on Comedy Central and SimpliSafe.
Randall Park’s Korean immigrant parents were skeptical about their son’s career path. But that all changed when Randall played the actual dictator of North Korea in The Interview, a movie that caused an international incident. Randall also tells Marc why he founded an Asian-American theater company in college and why he’s taking the same mentality at the core of that group to his Hollywood production company. They also talk about Fresh Off The Boat, Always Be My Maybe, his friendship with Ali Wong, and the magic of a root canal. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace.
Lily Tomlin received a bit of advice early in her life that she really took to heart: If you can’t be direct, why be? Lily’s direct approach to performing, exemplified by her creation of original characters, led her to early success in New York cabarets, spots on The Merv Griffin Show, and her breakout showcase on Laugh-In. Lily and Marc talk about her personal and professional relationship with her longtime collaborator and now wife Jane Wagner, her roles in movies like Nashville and 9 to 5, and her friendship with Jane Fonda that continues today as they reach the sixth season of Grace and Frankie. This episode is sponsored by Avenue 5 on HBO and Capterra.
Joe Mantegna is about as Chicago as they come. He grew up in Chicago, he talks like he’s from Chicago, he got his acting start in Chicago, he even used to play with the band Chicago. That might explain why he tells Marc he still thinks of himself as a blue collar guy with a blue collar job. Joe talks about the moment West Side Story changed his life, how David Mamet became his champion, and why he choses such a wide variety of projects, including his 13 years on Criminal Minds and his 30 years as Fat Tony on The Simpsons. This episode is sponsored by Stamps.com and Shyn.
During a victory lap for their movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio put movie stardom on hold for an hour to have a chat with Marc. They talk about their early days as show business outsiders, the moment they knew their lives would never be the same, the times they've known a movie they're in is going to tank, why they don't want to direct and why they love to produce. This episode is sponsored by SimpliSafe and Everything's Gonna Be Okay on Freeform.
Scott Caan stars in major movies, is on a long running television series, published his own photography, wrote more than 20 plays, and yet he’s still not sure what he wants to do when he grows up. Scott and Marc talk about finding professional fulfillment after a lifetime of personal growth, from being a kid looking for trouble to mellowing with age, letting go of anger, and embracing fatherhood. Scott also tells Marc about his aborted rap career and the evolution of his relationship with his dad. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace.