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.
Dame Helen Mirren is a winner of the Oscar, the Tony, the Emmy, and the BAFTA, and is in the middle of an illustrious career in which she played the great roles of Shakespeare, Catherine the Great and Queen Elizabeth, to name a few. And yet she still begged to be cast in the Fast and Furious franchise. Helen tells Marc why she finds film acting powerful, challenging, and uniquely fulfilling compared to her stage work. They also talk about her breakthrough on Prime Suspect, her job at an amusement park, and bears.
John Legend is a multiplatinum recording artist, a winner of the coveted EGOT, a loving family man and, as Marc found out in this conversation, a tremendously nice guy. The combination of John’s talent and his kind disposition is what makes him the type of artist who works with a wide variety of collaborators. John talks about how collaboration defines his professional career, from his first gig working with Lauryn Hill to his new record Bigger Love. He also discusses his marriage to Chrissy Teigen, his work on criminal justice reform and his relationship with Kanye West.
George Lopez says much of his career is driven by spite. He talks with Marc about how the people who told him he wasn’t going to make it served as fuel for his ambitions, especially coming from a background where his opportunities were limited. George remembers what it was like to get on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, develop a hit sitcom with Sandra Bullock as his producer, and become a late night talk show host. He also sets the record straight on what happened between him and Carlos Mencia.