Tim Reid’s life changed on a New Year’s Eve in the 1960s when he lucked his way into a club to see a hot young comedian. That club was Mister Kelly’s, that comedian was Richard Pryor and nothing has been the same for Tim since. Tim tells Marc about his segregated upbringing, how he and Tom Dressen created the first interracial comedy team, how he got out of comedy and into acting with roles like Venus Fly Trap on WKRP in Cincinnati, and why he’s currently spending a lot of his time on historical preservation.
Steve Buscemi has covered a lot of ground in New York City: standup comedy, experimental theater, independent film, even firefighting. Marc talks with Steve about his career beginnings and some of his most memorable roles. They also talk about his time as a New York City firefighter, how he joined his old Engine Company after 9/11 to aid in the recovery operation at Ground Zero, and how he’s working to keep attention on the continuing health needs of firefighters with the new documentary Dust: The Lingering Legacy of 9/11.
Marc revisits his conversation from earlier this year with actor Michael K. Williams. Michael died at age 54 on September 6, 2021.
Sasheer Zamata doesn’t have a ton of free time. She’s on the Hulu series Woke, the ABC sitcom Home Economics, a voice actor, a standup, a podcast host and an ambassador for the ACLU. This all happened in the wake of her departure from Saturday Night Live, which started with a very rare public audition process that put her immediately in the spotlight. Sasheer talks with Marc about having the courage to walk away, how she and Nicole Byer are actual best friends, as the title of their podcast says, and what it means that she was “friends with Pluto” during her time working at Disney World.
From 2015, Marc talks with actor Ed Asner about his legendary career, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the time he played Marc’s dad, and more. Ed died on August 29, 2021 at age 91.
When Zoe Lister-Jones found herself dealing with the anxiety and uncertainty we all encountered during the pandemic, she made a movie about the end of the world. Marc talks with Zoe about how she often finds herself channeling her fears into her work, including a filmography which she calls a direct investigation of lifelong codependency. They talk about Zoe’s start in acting, growing up with artists, and her experience jumping into studio filmmaking with The Craft remake.
Billie Jean King is forever remembered as the winner of the Battle of the Sexes, but the battles she fought for equal pay and non-discrimination are still reverberating today. Billie talks with Marc about her realization at 12 years old that she needed to fight for equality, her founding of the Women’s Tennis Association, and her advice for today’s players. They also talk about the mental and emotional toll of sports for all athletes, which were compounded for Billie as she struggled with her sexuality and suffered from an eating disorder.
Ever since Marc and Kimmy Gatewood said goodbye to each other and their fellow castmates on the set of GLOW, the world has been in a constant state of flux. Marc and Kimmy spend some time catching up and dive into the details of Kimmy's experience directing her first feature film, Good On Paper. They also talk about Kimmy's improv history, her studies of Samuel Beckett, her partnership with Rebekka Johnson, and their early days of podcasting as The Apple Sisters.
Barry Jenkins is grateful that he’s been able to harness the tools of filmmaking in order to tell the stories of his ancestors. Barry and Marc get into all the details of making the ten-part series The Underground Railroad and how Barry differentiates between the projects he’s made with his head and the ones he’s made with his gut. The also talk about Moonlight, bringing James Baldwin’s words to the screen, and why it was important to have an on-set counselor for this recent undertaking.
When Liesl Tommy got hired as a first-time feature film director to make the new Aretha Franklin movie Respect, she knew there were 100 reasons why she couldn’t screw it up. Marc and Liesl talk about their experience making the film together and Liesl explains how she’s no stranger to uphill battles. From growing up under apartheid in South Africa to being an outsider as an immigrant in America to making her way around the world as a theater director, Liesl’s path to Respect is anything but a traditional Hollywood story.