It turns out Michael Chiklis and Marc went to Boston University at the same time, but soon after school Michael got cast as John Belushi in the movie Wired, which almost ended his career on the spot. Michael talks about how he bounced back with The Commish, transformed himself with The Shield, and finally got to engage his passion for music with his debut album Influence. Plus, Kurt Braunohler and Lauren Cook are in the garage to talk about their new podcast Wedlock, with Lauren on the verge of giving birth at any minute. This episode is sponsored by J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only on HBO and PLAYBASE from Sonos.
Marc tries not to fanboy out too much with Anne Hathaway in the garage. While he attempts to keep it together, they talk about her path from party girl to motherhood, the lessons gleaned from messed up relationships, dealing with the aggressive anonymity of the Internet, and the real monsters in her new movie Colossal. Plus, Aimee Mann just released what Marc thinks is her best album, so she stops by to play one of the songs from it. This episode is sponsored by The AV Club on Fusion, J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only on HBO, and Stamps.com.
For the 800th episode of WTF, Marc welcomes back the show's very first guest, Jeff Ross. Just as WTF evolved since that first episode in 2009, Jeff evolved from the Roastmaster General to a comedian using his talent as a put-down artist in order to help us all better understand each other. He also talks about the unique relationships he built along the way with people like Buddy Hackett, Billy Crystal, Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks and, yes, Donald Trump. This episode is sponsored by Louis CK 2017 on Netflix, 2 Dope Queens on Spotify, and Kabbage.
New York Times comedy critic Jason Zinoman is the one person analyzing comedy from the most prominent journalistic platform in the world. So naturally Jason and Marc would want to talk about the nuts and bolts of creating comedy and, very specifically, the origin of David Letterman's influential brand of comedy, which is the subject of Jason's new book. Plus, Hank Azaria is back in the garage to talk about bringing a gleefully drunk sportscaster to your televisions. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and ZipRecruiter.
Marc was blown away by author Paul Beatty's celebrated novel The Sellout and wanted to know how a writer can turn a stew of ideas about identity, race, pride, language and representation into a provocative and hilarious book. Paul visits the garage to provide some answers and reflection. Plus, Marc's friend Jackie Kashian stops by to talk possums, iguanas, sci-fi, and her new comedy album. This episode is sponsored by 2 Dope Queens on Spotify, Kabbage, 1-800 Dentist, and Sonos.
Paul Shaffer takes Marc down the path that turned a piano-playing kid from Canada into a keyboard-for-hire who became the bandleader for the famous Toronto production of Godspell. And from there, the dominoes fell, as Paul joined the SNL band, the Blues Brothers band, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame house band, and the band for David Letterman's show, which turned into a relationship that lasted for 33 years. This episode is sponsored by The Comedy Jam on Comedy Central, Kabbage, Stamps.com, and Blue Apron.
Religious scholar Reza Aslan has spent his life studying the facts and misconceptions about belief and the evolutionary reasons people need to believe in something larger than themselves. Beginning with his family fleeing a religious revolution in Iran, then landing in Oklahoma as a child and growing up in a Latino community in San Jose, Reza talks with Marc about his lifelong exploration of faith, including the findings of his new documentary series, Believer. This episode is sponsored by Proper Cloth, the new movie Wilson, and Seeso.
Actor and writer Paul Rust knew how to be funny as a kid growing up in Iowa and struggling with OCD. But he tells Marc it was his knack for taking intense, borderline-unspeakable risks on stage when he got to LA that caught the attention of people like Scott Aukerman, Paul Reubens and Judd Apatow, which led to his Netflix show Love. Also, Dax Shepard returns to the garage to talk about CHiPs, the movie he wrote, directed and stars in. This episode is sponsored by Audible, the new film Wilson, and Proper Cloth.
Filmmaker Louis Theroux once tried to make a documentary featuring Marc but he never used the footage. Marc's been puzzled by that ever since, but when you look at the subjects of many Louis docs - addicts, criminals, hate mongers, pornographers - Marc might be lucky Louis never made that movie. Marc talks with Louis about evolving as a filmmaker, learning from Michael Moore, and what went into Louis's latest film, My Scientology Movie. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, Fusion's The AV Club, and Casper.
Kevin Nealon is trying a new approach to life in order to be less of a people pleaser and to allow himself some anger from time to time. But Kevin is able to keep that anger at bay while he tells Marc about heading to LA during the '70s comedy boom, working as a bartender at the Improv, getting onto The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and unexpectedly landing on SNL. Kevin also talks about the importance of his friendship with the late Garry Shandling. This episode is sponsored by Proper Cloth, Blue Apron, and Stamps.com.