At the time when Juno became an award-winning hit film, Ellen Page experienced two things she never experienced before in her young life: She was now instantly famous and she fell in love. Unfortunately, the pressures of the former prevented her from publicly acknowledging the latter. Ellen talks to Marc about the struggles she faced in hiding her true self and the relief of coming out seven years later. They also talk about the importance of using one’s platform to advocate for change and how Ellen’s documentary work is shining the spotlight on injustice.
Sarah Snook plays a character on Succession who exists in the center of the American power structure. But in real life, she’s riding out the pandemic on the other side of the world, from her homeland of Australia. Sarah and Marc talk about how she was told she was “too much of an enigma” in drama school and how she evolved into the kind of actor who Helen Mirren requests by name as a co-star. They also discuss how she relates to her Succession character, Shiv Roy, and why she never warmed up to moving to LA.
Joe List shot his new standup special a week before everything shut down, but that doesn’t mean he’s given up on comedy. He’s been performing in parks, at drive-ins and even on Zoom. Marc talks with Joe about pandemic comedy. They also explore Joe’s roots as a standup, from his first viewing of a George Carlin special to his training in Boston to his experience bottoming out with alcohol while on the road. Marc and Joe compare notes on getting sober as comics.
Tumultuous times call for sensible comments from voices of reason. Who better to speak to the issues of the day than Ice-T? The legendary rapper, rocker and actor talks about his personal experiences with COVID to offer some much-needed perspective. He also gives his take on the importance of the anti-racism protests around the world and how it relates to the race-driven firestorm over his Body Count album in 1992. Marc and Ice also talk about Redd Foxx, Richard Belzer, and a time Marc saw Ice at an aquarium in Spain.
Not only is Marsha Warfield one of the early pioneers of the Comedy Store scene, she was also there at the start of standup comedy as we know it in Chicago. Marsha tells Marc what it was like to compete for limited spots while coming up against the politics and prejudices of the day. Marsha also talks about the friendships she developed with Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney, how her life changed overnight after her first episode of Night Court, and what it was like to retire from comedy for 20 years and come back as a 60-year-old rookie.
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.
Chris Fairbanks lives the life of a comic, which means a lot of his life is on hold right now. Chris and Marc compare notes on what it’s like to live alone during Covid, a non-ideal situation that is nevertheless providing them both with room for personal growth. They also talk about Chris’s upbringing in Montana, skateboarding, chewing tobacco, making miniatures, and why having a mustache helps with comedy. Chris also explains what it’s like to have a lot of true crime fans coming to his shows, thanks to his podcast with Karen Kilgariff.
Tom Scharpling and Marc spend some time talking about the kind of things we all cared about when things were normal: music, coffee, comedy, live performances, and other things that make us feel alive. Leave your worries at the garage door and listen to these two friends wax nostalgic about Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, the music that first hooked them as kids, their favorite comedy albums and their renewed love of Rodney Dangerfield and Don Rickles.
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.
Colin Jost has 15 years of Saturday Night Live under his belt but the time in his life he feels he’s still running away from is his upbringing on Staten Island. Colin tells Marc why his Outer Borough roots loom so large in his life and how he’s linked with his SNL castmate Pete Davidson by more than just their hometown. Marc and Colin also talk about the stress of hosting the Emmys, the secret gift of Lorne Michaels, and the silver linings Colin and Scarlett Johansson are finding in quarantine.