Mike Campbell was more than Tom Petty’s bandmate. He was more than a friend, too. He was a partner who had an almost telepathic writing relationship with his famed frontman. Mike talks with Marc about crafting so many of those Petty hits, how they developed the Heartbreakers sound, what song he played that made Tom put him in the band, and why he wants to keep playing guitar and writing music into his 70s.
Johnny Flynn and Marc already developed a rapport while they were road-tripping through Canada. They were playing David Bowie and Bowie’s publicist at the time, but they still got to enjoy each other’s company. Now they get to converse just as themselves, as they talk about the movie they made together, Stardust, as well as Johnny’s personal journey from a fishing boat to acting school to rock bands and record contracts. Johnny also brings up a bit of advice Marc gave him when they were on the road that changed the way he looked at his life.
Trigger warning if you are an anti-Semite: First of all, why are you listening to this show? Get lost! Secondly, you are REALLY not going to like this episode. Seth Rogen returns to WTF for the first time in six years and has, by far, the Jewiest talk with Marc that two Jews ever had on this show. And that’s saying something. The subject matter of Seth’s new movie, An American Pickle, might have something to do with it, but they really get into their shared childhood experiences, their attitudes about Judaism that have changed over the years, and a consensus pick for who is the world’s toughest Jew.
Jim Carrey just wrote his first novel, a semi-autobiographical look at show business and an examination of persona. It makes sense because Jim has been playing with persona during his entire career in show business. Jim talks with Marc about his days doing stand-up in Canada, LA and Las Vegas, and the late night realization that forced him to change his act and create the public image that launched him to superstardom. They also talk about In Living Color, Ace Ventura, Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison, and holding out hope for the future.
From 2013, Marc talks with Carl Reiner about his journey from writing to acting to directing, as well as his collaborative relationships with Sid Ceasar, Dick Van Dyke, Steve Martin and, of course, Mel Brooks. Carl died on June 29, 2020 at age 98.
WTF started as a comedy podcast. It’s a show made by a comedian who wanted to talk to other comedians about comedy. Finally, after more than 10 years, Marc talks with the most well-known, most successful, and arguably most influential comedian in history, Jerry Seinfeld. About comedy. About how Jerry got started in comedy, how he was incapable of socializing, how he forged a friendship with Larry David, how he fueled himself with anger toward one person in particular. But mostly just about comedy and what comedy is. They have some, it’s fair to say, differing opinions on it. This episode is sponsored by Pataday Once-Daily Relief and Stamps.com.
Marc revisits his 2012 conversation with comedic actor Fred Willard, in which they discuss Fred’s career in improv-heavy films and beloved television projects. Fred passed away at age 86 on May 15, 2020.
Marc pays tribute to his creative collaborator and romantic partner Lynn Shelton, who passed away at age 54 on May 16, 2020. This episode includes her August 2015 interview on WTF.
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.