Sandy Hackett learned from the best, but not just because Buddy Hackett was his dad. But also because Buddy was his best friend, his road companion, and the guy he opened for night after night. Sandy tells Marc what it was like to grow up in and around Las Vegas, how his entertainment career actually started out as a career in hotel management, and why he decided to create a touring show about The Rat Pack. Plus, Sandy shares some stories about Buddy, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Johnny Carson, and Elvis Presley. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and 23andMe.
Rita Rudner is very likely the only person to start a comedy career because of an article in the New York Times business section on soft soap. It was quite the turn of events for Rita, who was dancing professionally on Broadway since she her teenage years. Rita tells Marc how she utilized the performing arts culture of New York City to create a comedy curriculum for herself, how she rose up through the city clubs and took her act on the road to become a major headliner, and why she decided to start working regularly in Las Vegas. This episode is sponsored by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, YouTube Music, Stamps.com, and ZipRecruiter.
Roger Daltrey believes you can't retire from rock and roll, rock and roll retires you. But for now, as long as Pete can still play and Roger can "sing the s--- out of the songs," The Who will go on. On the release of his memoir, Roger talks with Marc about building his first guitar by hand, meeting Pete Townsend and John Entwistle as schoolboys, finding Keith Moon in a Beach Boys cover band, getting kicked out of The Who over NOT doing drugs, coming back in time for the band to achieve its greatest success, and maintaining his close relationship with Pete after all these years. This episode is sponsored by Screen Dive from 20th Century Fox, The New Yorker, and ZipRecruiter.
Zoe Kazan doesn't think much about the concept of "Hollywood royalty." Yes, her parents are in show business, but she still had to run the gauntlet of failed auditions and odd jobs. Yes, her grandfather's body of work is legendary, but she had a relationship with him that was completely removed from his career. Zoe talks with Marc about paving her own way, as well as working with the Coen Brothers, enjoying the unexpected success of The Big Sick, and collaborating with her partner Paul Dano on their new film Wildlife. This episode is sponsored by Screen Dive from 20th Century Fox, SimpliSafe, and Amazon Music.
Python Week continues on WTF as Eric Idle gives Marc his perspective on the creation of the legendary British comedy group, talks about the making of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Rutles, and Spamalot, and explores his feelings about the other Pythons. Eric also explains what it was like growing up at the end of World War II, how rock and roll became his escape from reality, and why he wound up having lasting friendships with David Bowie, George Harrison and Robin Williams. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music and Quip.
John Cleese says there's one constant throughout his life, from Monty Python through today. He still has a very strong childish side and it has done him well. John talks to Marc about putting that childish side to work when he was doing sketch comedy at Cambridge and why the success of Monty Python had a lot to do with five guys who all liked pushing boundaries. Also, John and Marc try to find the line between affectionate and inappropriate comedy by telling each other a string of off-color jokes. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith on Spotify and Stamps.com.
Actor Richard E. Grant keeps a daily diary and has done so since he was ten years old. Having immediate access to his past experiences has no doubt helped his performances as a wide variety of characters throughout his career. Richard and Marc talk about his standout roles, working with directors like Scorsese, Coppola, and Altman, and now working side-by-side with Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Also, comedian Brian Posehn stops by to talk about his new memoir and how being a nerd can also be a religion. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and YouTube Music.
Busy Philipps is on the cusp of becoming a late night talk show host, so it's appropriate for her and Marc to talk about anything and everything during an afternoon in the garage. Busy explains what it's like raising young daughters, how she navigated life after a sexual assault, and why she feels like she's done with acting, despite staring in beloved shows like Dawson’s Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Cougar Town, Vice Principals. This episode is sponsored by This Week at the Comedy Cellar on Comedy Central, Dream Corp LLC on Adult Swim, Nutrafol, and 23andMe.
Recording artist Kurt Vile and Marc like a lot of the same stuff: Tom Scharpling, the blues, Randy Newman, Neil Young, flat driveways. They get to share their mutual admiration of these things while also talking about Kurt's unique upbringing with nine siblings in Philadelphia and the banjo that led to his development as a musician. In his early 20s, Kurt had a job driving a forklift and in his free time he was making home recordings, which eventually became the tracks on his first album. They also get into Kurt's time with The War on Drugs, his band The Violators and his various side projects. This episode is sponsored by SimpliSafe and Smart Nora.
Writer and comedian Charles Demers has a lot of thoughts on the differences between the United States and his home country, Canada. Differences that are political, social and professional. But he also tells Marc his thoughts about how Canada presaged Donald Trump in one specific way, how socialized medicine in Canada helps the national psyche as well as individual lives, and how the alt-comedy scene in Vancouver took off with the help of a couple prominent American comedians. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music, The Alec Baldwin Show on ABC, Policygenius, Stamps.com and SimpliSafe.