Fred Melamed is instantly familiar, not only because of his scene-stealing performances in the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man and Maria Bamford's Lady Dynamite, but because he is an indelible New York character. But that familiarity came with a price, as 20 years of successful work actually led to a complete bottoming out in Fred's life. He tells Marc how he pulled out of it. Plus, Andy Kindler stops by to talk about the big change in his life. This episode is sponsored by Showstopper on Spotify, Proper Cloth, and Sonos.
Eugene Levy brings more than five decades of comedy history from north of the border into the garage. He tells Marc about his early days as a college student in Canada hanging out with Martin Short, Ivan Reitman, and Catherine O'Hara, performing in a fabled production of Godspell in Toronto with an all-star lineup of comedy stars, and joining the Second City theater, which paved the way for SCTV. Eugene also explains what goes into co-writing Christopher Guest's largely improvised films. This episode is sponsored by The High Court on Comedy Central, Proper Cloth, ZipRecruiter, and Stamps.com.
Whether you see her in Christopher Guest's movies or on 2 Broke Girls or as Stifler's mom, Jennifer Coolidge is always a unique comic presence. She tells Marc how she put her wild New York City cocaine days behind her to come to LA and join the Groundlings, where she established her comedic chops. Jennifer also talks about her blown chance to get on Saturday Night Live and what she learned from that missed opportunity. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace.
Filmmaker Raoul Peck spent more than a decade putting together the documentary I Am Not Your Negro, a powerful film illuminating the words and life of writer and social critic James Baldwin. But as Marc learns in this conversation, Raoul’s own backstory of living under dictatorships, studying across four continents, and learning how to engage activism through art is just as important in understanding how to respond to the world today. This episode is sponsored by Indochino.
Singer-songwriter Norah Jones can float between multiple genres of music with ease, whether its jazz or standards or country or acoustic pop. That's not surprising when you consider how she was influenced by her Texas roots, her early piano playing, performing arts school and her estranged father, who she only got to know later in life. Plus, Pete Holmes stops by to test how prickly Marc will get as they talk about Pete's new HBO series, 'Crashing.' This episode is sponsored by Blue Apron.
Comedian Trae Crowder does not shy away from his Southern upbringing, in which he saw economic devastation and drug abuse lay waste to several generations around him. But in defiance of the stereotypes some might assign to him, Trae finds himself being called the Liberal Redneck Comic. He and Marc talk about what those labels mean in today's social climate. Plus, Lena Dunham returns to the garage as the final episodes of Girls draw near. This episode is sponsored by Crashing on HBO and Stamps.com.
Unfolding world events are messing with Will Arnett and Marc as they sit in the garage, but they won't let the existential terror stop them from tracking Will's path and finding out how growing up in Toronto, getting kicked out of school, becoming a voiceover actor, hanging out at UCB, doing off-Broadway plays and working on failed pilots all led to Arrested Development. They also discuss how the lines between fiction and reality got blurred while Will was making his new show, Flaked. This episode is sponsored by Missing Richard Simmons, Squarespace, and Casper.
Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams knows there's a stark difference between the way he views the work throughout his career and the popular perception of it. Whether it's his years in Whiskeytown or his song New York, New York becoming a rallying cry after 9-11, Ryan tells Marc why history has created a different narrative of these events than what he experienced at the time and how that guides what he's doing today. This episode is sponsored by Detroiters on Comedy Central, Blue Apron, and Stamps.com.
If Steve Jones was going to start a band after a troubled upbringing filled with petty crime, it makes sense that the band wound up being the Sex Pistols. Steve takes Marc through the formation of the band, the rocket ride to the top and the just-as-fast dissolution, which led to Steve's descent into heroin addiction. Also, Marc's neighbor Jed Maheu of the Zig Zags stops by to premiere the band's new song. This episode is sponsored by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO and Shari's Berries.
If Bill Paxton hadn't suffered from rheumatic fever when he was growing up in Texas, he might not be in show business. Bill tells Marc some great stories about some of his most memorable work in things like Weird Science, Aliens, Big Love and his new TV show Training Day. Plus, Marc's friend Dylan Brody returns with an all new ornate wardrobe. This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon, The Bouqs, CNN's The History of Comedy, and ZipRecruiter.