Chelsea Peretti joined Marc in the garage more than ten years ago on a very early episode of WTF. Since then she became a writer for Parks and Rec, played Gina on Brooklyn 99, got married to Jordan Peele, and became a mom. Now she’s catching up with Marc about coffee, creative satisfaction, overcoming her fear of commitment, raising a toddler while sheltering at home, and the coping strategies of the pandemic era. They also talk about her first lead role in the new movie Spinster.
It’s been 20 years since Marc demanded that someone “lock the gates” on Billy Crudup and the rest of the band in Almost Famous. Now that both of them are older and wiser, Billy and Marc discuss the simultaneous drudgery and privilege of acting. They also talk about why Billy often opted for roles in the theater over roles in movies, why he thinks he wasn’t destined to be a Hollywood leading man, and how he’s settled into a career as a character actor by virtue of only taking the parts he finds interesting.
Whether it’s Gus from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul or Buggin’ Out from Do The Right Thing or Moff Gideon from The Mandalorian, Giancarlo Esposito’s characters always leave an indelible impression. Perhaps that’s because Giancarlo spent a lot of his life reflecting on his own character and where he belonged. He talks with Marc about growing up as the son of an Italian carpenter and a Black nightclub singer, trying to figure out where he fit in. They also talk about life lessons Giancarlo received from George C. Scott and Spike Lee.
A lot is going on for Kieran Culkin right now. He’s a new dad, he has an Emmy nomination, he’s dealing with life during the pandemic like the rest of us. But chaos is familiar to Kieran, who grew up in a railroad apartment with six brothers and sisters, all of whom were pushed toward show business by their father. Kieran and Marc talk about that childhood environment, why Kieran and his brothers love pro wrestling, and how he established himself as an actor, including in his role as Roman Roy on Succession.
Kerry Washington has a lot to talk about with Marc, but it’s appropriate that they spend the first portion of their conversation singing the praises of Lynn Shelton. Kerry talks about what Lynn brought to Little Fires Everywhere, but they also discuss how the treatment of race was different on the show than it was in the book and why that adjustment was so important to Kerry. She tells Marc about her childhood in the Bronx, her feeling of being “the other” in high school, and her determination to tell stories that amplify voices that are otherwise unheard.
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.