For Linda Cardellini, a person whose spiritual crisis took her all the way to the Vatican, it's appropriate that the pivotal moment in her career happened when she took a leap of faith on a little TV pilot called Freaks and Geeks. Linda and Marc talk about that seminal show, the initial failure of which was hard to accept, along with the other projects that make her so recognizable to audiences, like ER, Mad Men and the new movie Green Book. They also try to figure out why Linda is still so hard on herself and why she avoids a lot of trappings of celebrity. This episode is sponsored by Black Monday on Showtime, Deadly Class on SYFY, and Stamps.com.
Howie Mandel went to Hollywood and tried to make a living by putting a latex glove on his head. He never thought he’d be able to maintain it, so he always made other plans: Investor, entrepreneur, actor, voiceover artist. And it wasn’t until Deal or No Deal when all the disparate things he did came together for a project that transformed his life. Howie talks with Marc about his struggles with OCD and AHDH, how those challenges made it difficult for him to fit in, how getting started in comedy came out of his impulsive behavior, and why he remembers the first time he ever laughed. This episode is sponsored by I'm Sorry on truTV, TurboTax Live, Deadly Class on SYFY, and the New York Times Crossword App.
Not only is Sam Lipsyte one of the funniest modern fiction authors, he’s also one of Marc’s best friends, a kindred spirit with whom Marc shares a deep mutual respect and understanding. Whenever Marc is in New York City, he and Sam sit around and talk, going over the pressing questions and answers about the way things are. This is the first time they recorded it for an extended period of time. They get into Sam’s early years with the art-punk band Dungbeetle, how he creates his stories in a manner he calls “moving sideways,” how his life has been enriched by teaching, and why it took him a while to write his latest novel Hark. This episode is sponsored by Comedy Central, Squarespace, Stamps.com, and Deadly Class on SYFY.
When Steve Coogan realized he was good at doing impressions, he also realized it was a really good way to get attention. But Steve also knew he had to deliver beyond the impressions if he wanted to get funnier. Steve talks with Marc about that evolution, with some help from "Michael Caine," "Sean Connery," and others. Plus, Steve explains how his new Alan Partridge series will force the beloved presenter to adapt to a changing world, how his new movie Stan and Ollie is really a love story about comedy, and how he became friends with his co-star John C. Reilly much the same way the real Stan and Ollie did. This episode is sponsored by Tigtone on Adult Swim, SimpliSafe and the New York Times Crossword App.
Seth MacFarlane can host award shows, create button-pushing animated shows, and sing standards in symphony halls, but nothing changes the fact that he’s an introvert by nature. Seth tells Marc why he’s always enjoyed making trouble through comedy, how that impulse got him into hot water when Family Guy started, and why many of the things he’s doing now - studio recordings, live performances, his show The Orville - are rooted in his respect for the past. He also talks about making Ted, hosting the Oscars, the evolution of offensive comedy, and the influence of The Far Side. This episode is sponsored by Standup Month on Comedy Central and Deadly Class on SYFY.
Before directing his first feature film, Reinaldo Marcus Green's life could have gone down multiple paths. There was baseball in his teen years, then teaching elementary school students, then going to work on Wall Street, then helping his brother and other filmmakers with their movies. But it was a short film of his own made with a cop friend that led to an impassioned discussion between the two of them, which provided the impetus to make Monsters and Men. Reinaldo takes Marc down all of these connected routes ending with a film that asks difficult questions and doesn't provide easy answers. This episode is sponsored by TurboTax Live and the New York Times Crossword App.
Kyle Dunnigan was saved from a midlife crisis by Instagram. He explains to Marc how he bent the social media platform to suit his comedy as they both discuss the challenges of facing down middle age. Kyle takes Marc all the way back to when he was a young song-and-dance-man in high school who got suspended for doing a stand-up routine at the talent show. Kyle also talks about the conditions surrounding his high-profile writing jobs, first writing on Sarah Silverman’s show after the two of them had broken up and then being in the middle of a joke-stealing controversy while writing for Amy Schumer. This episode is sponsored by the New York Times Crossword App.
Topher Grace is at a point where he’s only going to make what he wants to make. Not all actors can afford that luxury, but Topher tells Marc that working on That '70s Show for seven years taught him more about acting than any school, working with Ashton Kutcher taught him about being fully committed to everything you do, and working with auteurs like Steven Soderbergh, Christopher Nolan and most recently Spike Lee taught him you don’t have to compromise your vision. Topher and Marc also talk about the difficulty of playing a person for whom you have no empathy, as was the case with David Duke in BlacKkKlansman. This episode is sponsored by Stand-Up Month on Comedy Central, Squarespace, SimpliSafe, and Carnival Cruise Line.
Fahim Anwar's path to show business went through Boeing. It's not the most traditional route to Hollywood success, but it was necessary for a son of immigrant parents who did not approve of his standup comedy pursuit. Marc finds out about those early days in Seattle when Fahim was engineering by day and secretly doing standup by night. They also talk about comedy attire mistakes, experimenting with drugs later in life, and Fahim's new sketch comedy project, Goatface. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and YouTube Music.
Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz deal with many of the typical challenges of middle age, but they’re still deeply in touch with the alter egos they created four decades ago: Mike D and Ad-Rock. They tell Marc about running wild as kids in late-70s/early-80s New York City, meeting their bandmate Adam “MCA” Yauch, collaborating and then falling out with Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, the differences between opening for Madonna and opening for Run-DMC, and the honest self-reflection prompted by the music and style of their early years. This episode is sponsored by Springsteen On Broadway: The Complete Live Performance Album, Holmes & Watson, Stamps.com, and Squarespace.
Maggie Gyllenhaal grew up with filmmaker parents but didn't really feel like her family was in show business. That disconnect has helped her in her work and life, like when she performs with her husband, Peter Sarsgaard, or when she turns to her mother for screenwriting advice. Maggie and Marc also talk about the sexual politics of The Deuce and how they match up with the Hollywood today, her relationship to poetry and how that factored into her performance in The Kindergarten Teacher, what she learned about herself making Secretary, and what kind of support system she shares with her brother Jake. This episode is sponsored by Omaha Steaks, YouTube Music, 23andMe, and the New York Times Crossword Puzzle App.
Jeff Daniels has delivered great performances in films, plays and TV shows for more than 40 years but he thought a true “dream role” had eluded him. Until now. Marc talks with Jeff in the midst of rehearsals for Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird on Broadway, in which Jeff plays Atticus Finch. Jeff explains how he applies his Midwest work ethic to acting, why he sustains his own theater company in Michigan, and what he learned about the job of acting from people like James Cagney, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, and Debra Winger. This episode is sponsored by Spotify, Holmes & Watson, SimpliSafe, and quip.
Ted Alexandro is a comic who believes deeply in social responsibility. Whether it’s responsibility to his fellow comics as he fought for better pay from clubs, or to his fellow citizens as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, or to his audience as he wrestles with effectively addressing the Trump Era on the comedy stage. Ted talks with Marc about the evolving nature of a comedian’s role in the culture, how his experience as an elementary school teacher prepared him for standup, and why he felt it was necessary to do material at the Comedy Cellar that was critical of Louis CK’s return to the Comedy Cellar. This episode is sponsored by Funny or Die's No Activity on CBS All Access, Omaha Steaks, Molekule, and YouTube Music.
Tim Blake Nelson might be a familiar face due to his indelible character roles in many films, but that didn’t stop him from defying just about all of Marc’s preconceptions about him. Marc had no idea, for example, about Tim’s Jewish upbringing in Tulsa, or that his family escaped the Holocaust and became oil drillers in America, or that Tim tried his hand at stand-up in the 80s, or that he studied the classics in hopes of becoming a professor or an archeologist. They talk about all of that stuff and a lot about the Coen Brothers, too, particularly their new movie with Tim, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. This episode is sponsored by The Shivering Truth on Adult Swim, Spotify, SimpliSafe, and Stamps.com.
Jeff Tweedy doesn’t spend a lot of time reflecting on the past. But he awakened a whole lot of it while writing his new memoir. That means he has fresh thoughts on his mind about Jay Farrar, Uncle Tupelo, the early days of Wilco, and coming into his own as a musician and producer, which is on display in his new solo album, Warm. Jeff also talks with Marc about his experiences with mood disorders, painkiller addiction, parenthood, and converting to Judaism. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music, Nightflyers on SYFY, YouTube Music, Quip, and the New York Times Crossword App.
Martin Mull has many job titles in front of his name: Actor, musician, painter, writer, comedian. But when he was younger, struggling to make it as any of those things, he couldn't afford heat for his apartment and had to borrow an electric blanket, which he also could not afford. Martin tells Marc how things turned around, how he found himself in music circles with the likes of Harry Nilsson and John Lennon, how his comedy performances led him to friendships with the likes of Steve Martin and Fred Willard, and how he wound up acting in everything from Roseanne to Sabrina the Teenage Witch to his new show The Cool Kids. This episode is sponsored by Nightflyers on SYFY, The New Yorker, and ZipRecruiter.
Comedian and writer Annie Lederman saw her adolescence take a turn for the worse after a childhood car crash. She was growing up with learning disabilities and attending a Quaker school. Then after the crash she was making choices she didn’t want to make and finding herself in situations that left lasting scars, physically and emotionally. Annie tells Marc how she pulled herself out of the darkness, started her comedy career and ended up in an unexpected relationship that helped her process her trauma. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, Headlong: Surviving Y2K, and SimpliSafe.
Kenneth Lonergan doesn’t think there’s a real difference between comedy and drama, at least not in the way he writes and directs. The playwright-screenwriter-director talks with Marc about the lie of sentimentality, how ideas collapse when he’s writing and new ideas emerge, and why he hopes to get to 95% satisfaction with his work (he’s gotten to about 90% so far). That work includes Manchester By The Sea, Margaret, You Can Count On Me, and plays like The Waverly Gallery, which is now on Broadway. This episode is sponsored by Loop Jewelry, Screen Dive from 20th Century Fox, YouTube Music, and Stamps.com.
Michael Douglas produced an Academy Award-winner for Best Picture, was the star of a successful television series, and was compiling a notable filmography both in front of and behind the camera. But he still didn't feel like he made it. That finally changed in his 40s, with movies like Wall Street and Fatal Attraction, and Michael tells Marc why that period was such a breakthrough for him. They also talk about why his early work on TV was vital for his career, why Jack Nicholson calls him a “hair actor," and why he was draw to making a serialized comedy like The Kominsky Method with Alan Arkin. This episode is sponsored by Screen Dive from 20th Century Fox, YouTube Music, 23andMe.
"The most dangerous place for black people to live is in white people’s imaginations." That idea has allowed D.L. Hughley to organize a lot of his thoughts on what we're dealing with as a country, and he believes what we're really doing is fighting fear. D.L. tells Marc about his experiences growing up in South Central Los Angeles, getting out before he got lost, and building himself up through comedy. They also talk about two of D.L.'s influences, Robin Harris and Bernie Mac, his tours, his specials, his TV and radio shows, and Kanye. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith on Spotify, Loop Jewelry, SimpliSafe, and Quip.
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.
Sissy Spacek was a girl from Texas with a guitar who just wanted to sing. But after spending some time as a teenager living in New York City with her relatives, Rip Torn and Geraldine Page, Sissy got the acting bug. She talks with Marc about the life-changing moment when she made Badlands, how the studio didn't want her in Carrie, what it was like going on the road with Loretta Lynn for Coal Miner's Daughter, and a lot more about her life and prolific career, including her new film with Robert Redford, The Old Man and the Gun. This episode is sponsored by New Mexico, Squarespace, and Casper.
Anna Faris had Marc on her podcast once. They both agree it got a little weird. They try to navigate that weirdness in the garage for Round Two, while also discussing Anna's painful insecurity as a teen, the great advice she got from Keenen Ivory Wayans, her breakout movie roles, the reasons actresses have it tough if they want to be honest, why she became clickbait fodder, and why she loves her co-star Allison Janney so much. Marc and Anna also make podcast history with an interlude from an unexpected location. This episode is sponsored by ZipRecruiter.
Gale Anne Hurd is one of Hollywood’s most successful producers, with films like The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss and Armageddon under her belt. She tells Marc how her first job out of college, working as an assistant for Roger Corman, prepared her for a lifetime in the movies and how her collaboration with James Cameron helped her storm the gates of the studios. Gale also talks about shifting from feature films to producing documentaries, why most producers don’t understand how film sets operate, and how she juggles her concurrent products, like the new movie Hell Fest, the new season of The Walking Dead, and the Amazon series Lore. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music, SimpliSafe and Starbucks Doubleshot.
Joan Jett wanted to be a rocker ever since she got a hold of a guitar, even though she was told girls don’t play rock and roll. That didn't stop her from forming The Runaways despite the sexist roadblocks the band faced. It also didn't stop her from putting out her own albums when she couldn't get a record label to do it. Joan takes Marc through her past, most of which was shared with her longtime producer and collaborator Kenny Laguna, who also joins Marc and Joan in the garage to add some detail and perspective. This episode is sponsored by Spotify and Molekule.
Slash is known for guitar wizardry, the top hat, and a prolific career across several major rock acts. But he's less known as Saul Hudson, a British, biracial son of a costume designer who was into drawing and BMX, not music. He tells Marc about being involved with a tangled web of Los Angeles bands that led to the formation of Guns N’ Roses, the band no one wanted to see succeed except the people who were directly involved in it. Slash also discusses collaborating with Michael Jackson, Carole King, reuniting with GNR, and his recent projects with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Starbucks Doubleshot.
Kristen Bell had an experience as a guest on WTF that not many others get to enjoy: Marc made her a meal beforehand. So with a full stomach, Kristen and Marc talk about why Dax Shepard is pushing her to have an ecstasy party, why does she have a hard time remembering things, and why she began singing opera at a young age. There's also some talk about her beloved projects like Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Frozen, and The Good Place. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music, the Around the NFL Podcast, Starbucks Doubleshot, and Fahrenheit 11/9.
Comedian, actor and writer Adam Cayton-Holland didn't plan on having a memoir in his 30s. But Adam's life took a stunning turn when his sister took her life six years ago and the grief process ran through the writing. Adam and Marc talk about hereditary mental illness, the urge to romanticize depression and self-destruction in comedy, and navigating the aftermath of a family tragedy. Adam also remembers what it was like to discover alt-comedy while living in Denver and wonders about the future of his TV series Those Who Can't. This episode is sponsored by Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 and SimpliSafe.
Billy Eichner was singing before he was yelling. The star of Billy on the Street had an early love of Broadway and musical theater but, as he tells Marc, comedy didn’t come quickly. No stand-up, no improv, no sketches. Then he developed a stage show in New York and the seeds of his comedic persona were planted. Billy also talks about the new season of American Horror Story, his role in the upcoming remake of The Lion King, and the return of Billy on the Street. This episode is sponsored by Sam Morril: Positive Influence on Comedy Central, YouTube Music, Stamps.com, and Starbucks Doubleshot.
Marc talks with Paul McCartney about, well, a lot: The Beatles and Stones rivalry that wasn’t, his current relationship with Ringo, the influence of Little Richard, The Who, The Beach Boys, how he needs to have an out-of-body experience to really examine the Beatles legacy, the reception of his solo work after the Beatles, recording Band on the Run in Nigeria, what messages are in his songs, which songs still make him emotional when he performs them, and what he brought to the table for his latest album, Egypt Station. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Ears Edition, and Casper.
Dan Schlissel died recently. He tells Marc all about it, along with the less harrowing tale of how an isolated Jewish kid from Nebraska got into producing records. Dan turned his production know-how into a vibrant business when he started Stand Up Records and became a Grammy-winning comedy industry mainstay, producing and distributing albums for everyone from Maria Bamford to Doug Stanhope to Hannibal Buress. And yes, even Marc Maron. This episode is sponsored by New Mexico, Podcasts on Spotify, Starbucks Doubleshot, and the Around the NFL podcast.
If there was a competition for WTF guest who comes from the most far-flung, middle-of-nowhere place, comedian Ian Bagg would probably win by a lot. Ian tells Marc about growing up in Northern British Columbia, being part of the blast crew in a gold mine, and realizing that the satisfaction he got blowing things up was equaled only by doing stand-up comedy. Also, Bert Kreischer returns to the show on the cusp of a mid-life crisis that is mitigated a bit by his new Netflix special. This episode is sponsored by the Around The NFL Podcast, NHTSA.gov, SimpliSafe, and ExpressVPN.
Jo Koy is one of the biggest headlining comedians in the world and it might not have turned out that way if he hadn't become a vigorous self-promoter. Jo tells Marc how moving around a lot as part of a military family and dealing with his brother's severe mental illness made him realize that if he was going to do something big, he had to do it himself. Jo and Marc also talk about holding down other jobs while doing comedy, the hazards of burning through material, and why people mistakenly think being a stand-up is easy. This episode is sponsored by The Jim Jefferies Show Podcast, ZipRecruiter, and Starbucks Doubleshot.
A lot has changed in the 30 years since Marc and Tanya Donnelly worked together at a luncheonette in Boston. Tanya saw her emerging music career take off in the early '90s, thanks to her bands Throwing Muses, The Breeders and Belly. Now in the midst of a Belly reunion with tour dates and a new album, Tanya tells Marc how things evolved in the more than two decades since. Also, Jason Bateman returns to talk about the second season of Ozark on the heels of Marc binge-watching season one. This episode is sponsored by The Jim Jefferies Show Podcast, the Around The NFL Podcast, Starbucks Doubleshot, and SimpliSafe.
Shooter Jennings was born into Nashville royalty, the son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. But he didn't exactly fit the Outlaw Country archetype. In fact, he was a computer nerd whose real influence was Nine Inch Nails. Shooter talks with Marc about developing his own style, idolizing George Jones, collaborating with Stephen King, and always changing things up. Also, Rob Riggle stops by to explain how a fake idea he told people about to mess with them turned into an actual show, Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy. This episode is sponsored by NHTSA.gov, Disenchantment on Netflix, and Burrow.
There were two times Joe Walsh felt part of a community. The first was as a student at Kent State, but that all went away after the National Guard shooting. The second was when he got to LA and met a bunch of other musicians, including Don Henley and Glenn Frey, and that almost went away in a haze of substance abuse. Joe talks with Marc about his days with The James Gang, opening for The Who, Led Zeppelin, and every band under the sun, joining The Eagles, breaking up with The Eagles, getting sober, and going back on tour with the Eagles after Glenn's death. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Starbucks Doubleshot.
Jimmy O. Yang felt like an outsider growing up in Hong Kong and then felt like he didn't fit in studying economics in America. It was only once he starting paying five bucks to do an open mic night in Hollywood that he found a community. Jimmy tells Marc how the immigrant story was different for everyone in his family, how he got his first real lessons in American life from watching BET, and how his performances in Silicon Valley and Crazy Rich Asians are so different when it comes to the pressures of representation. This episode is sponsored by Spotify and Casper.
Chris O'Dowd charmed and amused audiences in things like Bridesmaids, The IT Crowd, and recently the Get Shorty TV series, but things could have gone differently if he had followed through on his political science major. Chris and Marc talk about growing up in the Irish countryside and heading of to university in Dublin, only to find out he enjoyed acting much more than studying politics. They also talk about Bono, the Native Irish vs the Boston Irish, and having cats but not being a "cat person." This episode is sponsored by The Dave Dameshek Football Program, Rocket League, Audible, and Starbucks Doubleshot.
Jay Leno came up as a comic's comic, a performer recognized by other comedians as one of the best in the game. He also became one of the most successful late night television hosts in history, not once but twice. Those two sides always seemed at odds with each other, especially in the minds of many other comics, but Jay never saw it that way. He tells Marc about the early days in the clubs with Pryor, Carlin, Robin and others, how he and Letterman influenced each other as comics, and how things went south as they both made it big. And then there's the whole Conan thing. Marc and Jay deal with all of it, and then some. This episode is sponsored by The Happytime Murders, Sennheiser CX Sport Headphones, ZipRecruiter, and Stamps.com.
Luzer Twersky is an actor who has been seen on shows like Transparent and High Maintenance. But prior to 2008, he wasn't seen by anyone outside of his Hasidic Jewish community. Luzer tells Marc about his cloistered upbringing, the details of Hasidic life, his troublemaking as a youngster, his crisis of faith, and ultimately his exile from the only world he ever knew. Luzer also explains what role Marc played in his journey and where things stand now with the people from his past. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, Rocket League, and SimpliSafe.
Mila Kunis says she's had a most fortunate trajectory in show business. That's because she got to experience it as a hobby and as a career. She explains to Marc what that means, along with telling him what it was like to arrive in LA as a religious refugee, why Ashton Kutcher is turning into an old man, and why she didn't realize she was supposed to be promoting her new movie, The Spy Who Dumped Me. Also, Iliza Shlesinger returns to talk about her wedding and her new special. This episode is sponsored by Rocket League and the Sennheiser CX Sport Headphones.
Marc welcomes back to the show two comedian friends from the early years of WTF, both of whom have experienced a lot of changes in their lives since their previous visits. First, Sue Costello talks with Marc about how she persisted in the face of ingrained show business obstacles and is finding herself coming out clean on the other side. Then Jim Gaffigan tells Marc how one day he was out there doing comedy and the next day his family life went topsy-turvy after his wife's visit to the doctor. This episode is sponsored by The Roast of Bruce Willis on Comedy Central, Starbucks Doubleshot, and StitchFix.
One constant for Paul Rudd as he spent a large portion of his childhood moving around the country, chasing an identity, is that he loved watching adults be silly. Even when he was in acting school and performing Shakespeare on stage, he took a lot of cues from influences like Letterman, Carlin and Kaufman. Paul talks with Marc about those early days and the big days that were to come after Wet Hot American Summer, the Judd Apatow movies, and now Marvel's Ant Man and the Wasp. This episode is sponsored by the film Sorry To Bother You and SimpliSafe.
From Episode 233, this is Marc's conversation with Anthony Bourdain, conducted in 2011. Anthony died on June 8, 2018, at age 61.
Before comedy and acting were ever on Melissa McCarthy's radar, she was like a lot midwestern teens trying to find herself. She tells Marc how her cheerleading years were followed by a partially-shaved head and goth makeup. The search for an identity led to acting, which led to New York, which led to LA, which led to an all-star class at the Groundlings. They also talk about how she met her husband, how she got cast on Gilmore Girls, how Bridesmaids came to be, why she played Sean Spicer on SNL, and what went into making her new movie, Life of the Party. This episode is sponsored by Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife on Netflix and SimpliSafe.
Comedian and activist Barry Crimmins passed away on February 28, 2018 at age 64. Here are Marc's conversations with Barry on WTF. First, from Episode 443, a one-on-one talk with Barry in June 2013. Then, from Episode 626, a talk with Barry and Bobcat Goldthwait in August 2015 upon the release of Call Me Lucky, Bob's documentary about Barry.
Jennifer Lawrence takes a break from being one of the biggest movie stars in the world to stop by the garage and talk with Marc about Kentucky, cats vs. dogs, older brothers, Winter's Bone, The Hunger Games, David O. Russell, Darren Aronofsky, Amy Schumer, learning a Russian accent for Red Sparrow, and living a relatively private life for someone with a very public profile. Jennifer and Marc also compare their respective symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Spoiler: There's a lot of overlap. This episode is sponsored by The Black Tux and Casper.
Ring in the New Year with the Maron Family. Marc takes a trip back to some of the earliest episodes of WTF to hear classic interactions with his father, mother, and brother, all of whom help explain how and why Marc got to where he's at now. From his dad's wild ideas for Marc's career to his mom's cautious relationship advice to his brother's concern over getting in too deep with their parents, Marc has no shortage material to take to his next therapy visit.
Marc presents a special audio version of the first chapter of Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast. This chapter features thirty WTF guests talking with Marc about growing up. Hear from Conan O'Brien, Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Hart, Mel Brooks, RuPaul Charles, Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, Maria Bamford, Paul Scheer, Norm Macdonald, Molly Shannon, John Darnielle, Ahmed Ahmed, Dave Attell, Russell Peters, Joe Mande, Ron Funches, Allie Brosh, Gillian Jacobs, The Amazing Johnathan, Jon Glaser, Amy Schumer, Wyatt Cenac, Aimee Mann, Tom Arnold, Bruce Springsteen, Leslie Jones, Terry Gross, Dan Harmon, and President Barack Obama.
From the minute the Presidential motorcade pulled away, Marc began recording his reaction to the momentous event that just occurred in his garage. Hear Marc's ongoing reflections in the aftermath as well as a discussion with WTF producer Brendan McDonald about how this happened in the first place. This episode is sponsored by Stamps.com, Squarespace, Comedy Central, and Vegas.com.
Marc welcomes the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to the garage for conversation about college, fitting in, race relations, gun violence, changing the status quo, disappointing your fans, comedians, fatherhood and overcoming fear. And yes, this really happened. This episode is presented without commercial interruption courtesy of Squarespace. Go to MarcMeetsObama.com to see behind-the-scenes photos and captions.