A lot of comedians spend years or decades finding their voice on stage, but Jeff Dunham was very young when he settled on his comic voice. He then proceeded to throw that voice, to great success. Jeff tells Marc what attracted him to ventriloquism, how he studied it, and where he started doing it. Jeff also explains how he designs and creates new puppets, why he uses the puppets when he’s interviewed on the radio, and how he’s responded to accusations of racial insensitivity in his characters.
One thing Byron Bowers knows for sure is that comedy taught him who he is. He needed it after a childhood filled with parental discord and moving around Georgia. That was followed by a period where Byron was living three separate lives, as a basketball player, a college student and a drug dealer. Then he had to come to grips with his father’s schizophrenia and wonder if there was a difference between his dad’s disorder and his own delusional pursuit of a comedy dream. Byron also compares notes with Marc about their experiences at The Comedy Store. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Dave's Killer Bread.
From Episode 348, Marc's conversation with songwriter and musician Adam Schlesinger about Fountains of Wayne, That Thing You Do, Broadway and more. Adam passed away on March 31, 2020.
Even with the popularity of his HBO series High Maintenance, Ben Sinclair is still not great at taking compliments. He gets a lot of them, considering the show is one of the early success stories from the world of DIY web series that crossed over to mainstream television. Ben tells Marc how he lived a classic struggling artist life in New York before making the show, complete with a failed audition for Blue Man Group, an apartment with bedbugs, and sleeping on a futon in a lobby. They also talk about how he fell in love, got married and got divorced, but still maintains a close working relationship with his ex, series co-creator Katja Blichfeld. This episode is sponsored by Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action.
Kathy Valentine is in one of the most famous and profitable female rock bands ever but she’s really taken to becoming a writer. That's because she’s got a lot of stories to tell. Kathy talks with Marc about her new memoir that chronicles her early life and the peak of The Go-Go’s. She explains why the band fell apart after their period of success and tells Marc how the bandmates recently strengthened their bond with each other. Kathy also compares notes with Marc about finding the gift of forgiveness in sobriety. This episode is sponsored by Ozark, Season 3 on Netflix and The Last Degree of Kevin Bacon on Spotify.
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.
John Goodman has more than four decades of experience on stage, in movies, and on television, but he’s just now learning to trust himself. After a lifetime of trying to please everyone and beating himself up over everything, John tells Marc what finally caused his perception to shift. John also talks about being shaped by comic books and Mad Magazine, finding inspiration working with David Byrne and Al Pacino early in his career, and why he knew there was something special about the Coen Brothers the first time he saw one of their scripts. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com, Squarespace, and Stamps.com.
Edward Norton knows the importance of slowing things down. While many entertainers feel the need to move immediately from project to project, Edward has learned from his peers, his idols, and his own experience that sometimes it’s all about what you don’t do. Edward talks with Marc about the lessons he learned from working with David Fincher and Milos Forman, the inspiration he takes from David Bowie and Bob Dylan, and the stories behind American History X and The Incredible Hulk. Edward also explains what inspired him to write, direct and star in a very unique adaptation of Motherless Brooklyn. This episode is sponsored by the Adult Swim Podcast, Watchmen on HBO, Stamps.com, and The RealReal.
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.