John Mellencamp considers his whole career to be a total fluke. Maybe that’s because he never planned for anything in his life and just let the chips fall where they may. As he releases his twenty-fifth studio album, Strictly A One-Eyed Jack, John tells Marc what he learned opening for The Kinks, why he had to take the name Johnny Cougar, why he still hasn’t written something that makes him proud, and why David Letterman’s mom attributed Dave’s career to John.
Nicole Byer hosts the hit shows Nailed It! and Wipeout, is working on her new standup hour, hosts four different podcasts and is starring in the new primetime NBC series Grand Crew. But she still had time to join Marc in the garage so they can try to figure out why they both have such a hard time with physical affection. They also talk about Nicole’s days as an endearingly bad waitress, how she coped with losing both of her parents at a young age, and what few things she actually knows how to bake.
Drew Michael wants his comedy to feel different. He wants the audience to have a unique experience. This mindset actually reminds Marc of his own style of comedy, as well as a few other iconoclastic stand-ups who used their time on stage to get laughs but also get to the bottom of life’s problems. Drew and Marc talk about the combustible nature of experimental comedy, specifically Drew’s new special Red Blue Green. They also talk about how Drew’s childhood hearing loss shaped his life and made comedy a viable way for him to be understood.
Javier Bardem finds lots of inspiration in his native Spain: the art, the creativity, the history, the ham. Marc talks with Javier about the importance of being raised in a creative family, including his uncle who fought the fascists through his films and his mother who was his greatest teacher. They also talk about some of Javier’s most memorable performances in films like No Country for Old Men, Before Night Falls and his recent portrayal of Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos.
Marc pays tribute to comedian Bob Saget and revisits his three WTF appearances from September 2010, April 2014 and November 2017. Bob died on January 9, 2022 at age 65.
From 2015, Marc talks with director Peter Bogdanovich about his life as a filmmaker, his days in the theater and his friendship with Orson Welles. Peter died on January 6, 2022 at age 82.
Most people who know David Manheim don’t know him as David Manheim. To fans of the Dopey podcast, he’s just Dave (no last name given), a recovering drug addict who built a tight-knit digital community around addiction, recovery and being human. David talks with Marc about how his career in show business fizzled out as addiction took hold of his life and how starting a podcast with a friend he met in recovery was his salvation. They also talk about Dave’s other life at Katz’s Deli and they get into the important hierarchy of deli meats.
Recently, Marc talked with television historian David Bianculli about The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and the important place it holds in American culture. Talking with Tom and Dick Smothers themselves, Marc finds that the brothers are as surprised as anyone that they left such an indelible mark. Starting with an act that grew out of the folk music scene, Tom and Dick talk about the evolution of their variety show, how they wound up locking horns with the network that ultimately fired them, and why they’re getting back on stage after 12 years of retirement.
When Rory Cochrane started acting, he knew he didn’t want to be a movie star. He wanted to be a freight train that keeps on moving. Rory tells Marc about the practices and measures he put in place to attain his goal of career longevity and artistic satisfaction. They also talk about why it’s important for him to work on productions where the crew is treated well, why he asked to leave CSI: Miami when it was still the biggest show on TV, and what led to some of his pivotal career moments in movies like Dazed and Confused, Black Mass, and Argo.
Aida Rodriguez wanted her first HBO special to be more than a comedy show. She wanted to depict the parts of her past that are foundational to her comedy. So that’s why she filmed a short documentary about her visits to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, as she reunited with the father she hadn't seen in 40 years. Marc and Aida talk about how she got comedy material out of a life story that included being kidnapped twice, finding herself raising her children without a home, and breaking into the business later in life.