Comedian Guy Torry spent 13 years creating and running the most famous all-black comedy night in America at The Comedy Store. And now Guy just spent another 13 years making a documentary about that influential weekly comedy show, Phat Tuesdays. Guy and Marc talk about the limited opportunities for Black comedians in mainstream clubs and how the racially divided climate of 1990s Los Angeles highlighted the need to fill a comedy void. Guy explains the importance of comedian Robin Harris in mentoring young comedians and how comics like Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac and others thrived in the new environment.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been around for almost 40 years and Flea has been there for every minute of it. He and Marc talk about Flea’s jazz-based upbringing that made him the bassist he is today, the various incarnations of the band, and the current reunion with multi-time bandmate John Frusciante for their new album, Unlimited Love. Flea also talks about the heartbreak of losing the Chili Pepper’s founding guitarist Hillel Slovak to drug addiction and the demons the rest of the band have fought to overcome.
Sam Jay has a lot of irons in the fire. She’s on the comedy series Bust Down, she has her own HBO late night show Pause, and she never stops doing standup. Sam tells Marc that standup is the one thing that’s guided her through it all, whether it was getting through tough personal times when she was younger or when she was hired as a writer on SNL with no formal writing experience. It’s always been standup that served as her North Star, which she now uses as a way to communicate across generational and racial divides.
Jeff Foxworthy still cringes when he knows other comics are watching his work. That persistent insecurity and the desire to always stay funny is why Jeff has a new Netflix special and a whole new act. Jeff talks with Marc about the drive that made him quit his job at IBM to try and get on Johnny Carson. They also talk about how he formed the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and how he feels about being known for his “You Might Be A Redneck” hook even though it hasn’t been part of his act for 20 years.
Ariana DeBose knows there was no way for her to prepare for what’s happening right now. There’s no instruction booklet for being a professional dancer at age 18 and suddenly becoming an Academy Award-nominated actress. Ariana and Marc talk about how getting voted off So You Think You Can Dance changed her life and how she checked herself by watching The Devil Wears Prada. Ariana also goes into the details of making West Side Story, including her collaborations with Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner and Rita Moreno.
It’s been almost seven years since Marc smoked a cigarette with Keith Richards in a radio studio in New York City. Since then, Keith gave up smoking, continued to tour with the Rolling Stones, released multiple new albums including a blues record, and is now re-issuing his solo album Main Offender. Marc and Keith catch up on all of that and also talk about the passing of Keith’s friend and bandmate Charlie Watts. Also, Marc revisits his full conversation with Keith from 2015.
Mike O’Brien has the distinction of being responsible for Marc Maron crossing over into the world of improv. With a background in the Chicago improv and sketch scene and seven seasons writing for Saturday Night Live, Lynn Shelton approached Mike to help create a movie that would be entirely improvised by the cast. That movie was Sword of Trust starring Marc Maron. Mike and Marc talk about the making of the film, Mike’s comedy background, and the fan movement that gave Mike’s TV show, A.P. Bio, a new life.
Not many people know Marc the way Caroline Rhea does. They have a history that runs through the many different stages of each of their lives and careers. Caroline and Marc sit down for a conversation about confronting the past, learning from failure, and reckoning with the fact that their work now resonates with multiple generations of fans. They’re also able to compare notes on their experiences in comedy, such as which clubs are actually the good ones and what missed opportunities were better left unaccomplished.
Mira Sorvino has a lot of talents beyond acting. She speaks Mandarin Chinese, she dances ballet, she plays guitar. But acting is what Mira believes she was born to do. And then for almost 20 years, she was prevented from doing it on her own terms because of a powerful man and a complicit industry. Mira and Marc talk about how she went from winning an Oscar to being put on a Hollywood blacklist by Harvey Weinstein and how she didn’t learn the truth until 17 years later. They also talk about her career renaissance, including her scene-stealing turn on the new series Shining Vale.