Marc Maron welcomes comedians, actors, directors, writers, authors, musicians and folks from all walks of life to his home for amazingly revealing conversations. Marc’s probing, comprehensive interview style allows guests to express themselves in ways listeners have never heard.
Here's the Latest Episode from WTF with Marc Maron Podcast – Marc Maron:
To play Richard Jewell, Paul Walter Hauser knew he needed to tap into a part of himself he thought he left behind in Saginaw, Michigan. Paul and Marc talk about his Christian upbringing as the son of a Lutheran pastor, the importance of faith in his life today, how show business initially beat him down and kicked him back to his home town, and how he got back in the game with an emotional audition that changed everything. They also talk about his performances in I, Tonya and Blackkklansman. This episode is sponsored by the Watchmen Podcast, SimpliSafe and American Express.
Before he was a King of Comedy, before he was even an entertainer, he was Cedric the Insurance Claims Adjuster. Cedric and Marc talk about his emergence in the St. Louis-area comedy scene and how the business of Black Comedy took off. Cedric also looks back on his brief but game-changing touring days with Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey and DL Hughley, his roles in movies like Barbershop and First Reformed, and his current CBS series The Neighborhood. This episode is sponsored by WHO by The Who, Zoro.com, American Express, and Stamps.com.
Photographer Ethan Russell is the only person to shoot album covers for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who, which is quite an achievement considering he didn’t even want a career as a photographer. Ethan talks with Marc about going from the U.S. to England in the 1960s to become a writer, only to find himself working with Mick Jagger and taking rock and roll photographs that stand the test of time. On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the ill-fated Altamont Free Concert, Ethan describes what it was like to document the event and be on the helicopter that got the Stones out of there when it all went down. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com and SimpliSafe.
There was a point in Jessica Kirson’s life where she was living with too many secrets. She was a pot dealer, she had a hidden cocaine habit, and she was deeply in the closet. Jessica worked to unburden herself of all those secrets and found a breakthrough when her grandmother told her, at 29 years old, that she should be a comedian. Jessica and Marc talk about her therapist mom, her stepbrother Zach Braff, her ex-girlfriend Susan Powter, and her unexpected friend Robert DeNiro. She also explains what it’s like to finally allow herself to experience success. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Stance Socks.
Keith Wager is a recovery friend of Marc’s who has a lot to be thankful for. Instead of doing drugs and getting arrested, like he did in the past, now he’s telling stories about his addiction and recovery on his podcast It’s All Bad. And because it always helps to talk about things, Keith and Marc talk about the bad decisions he made while drunk or on speed, his time in various detention centers, and his new life as a Hollywood wardrobe stylist. Plus, Marc delivers his annual reminder of how to manage the emotional minefield of Thanksgiving. This episode is sponsored by Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, SimpliSafe, and American Express.
Mike Sweeney tried on several different careers before becoming the head writer for Conan O’Brien: trial lawyer, standup comedian, warm-up comic. But it’s a miracle he was able to do any of them after growing up in a violent, unpredictable household. Mike tells Marc the truly shocking circumstances of his early life, as well as the better days doing comedy in New York City, the highs of Late Night on NBC, the chaos of Conan’s Tonight Show days, and the many hats he now wears in the Conan Empire. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com, Stamps.com, and Pepsi.
Comic Louis Katz was working with Marc just before the launch of WTF. In the ten years since, Louis and Marc have taken paths that are both similar and completely different. They share their experiences on the road and get into the nuts and bolts of comedy club standup, then and now, as well as the persistent East Coast-West Coast split between comedy sensibilities. Louis also talks about what it was like to have a long distance relationship when starting out in comedy and what he’s only learning about himself now after spending the past two decades working in the field. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and SimpliSafe.
When a very complementary newspaper profile called Nathan Lane “the last of the great entertainers,” Nathan couldn’t help but wonder, “Is that all there is?” Nathan talks with Marc about the subsequent steps he took to get himself out of the box people wanted him in, which included taking on roles like Hickey in The Iceman Cometh and Roy Cohn in Angels in America. They also discuss Nathan’s early days of dinner theater and stand-up comedy, his theory on why The Producers was such a big hit, and why he finally wanted to get married. This episode is sponsored by Watchmen on HBO, Stamps.com, and ZipRecruiter.
Actress Lili Taylor and Marc quickly realize how much they have in common, like their nearly 50 combined years of sobriety, their similar stories about parents struggling with mental illness, and their search for belonging in New York City when they were younger. Lili tells Marc what it was like to be a central figure in the independent film community of the 1990s, but that was only a short moment in the first part of her life. The question Lili’s been asking herself lately is, Am I up to the task of the next part of my life? She may have found her answer in bird watching. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com, SimpliSafe, and Stance.
Tony Hale is trying to be more present. He’s motivated by the fact that some of the biggest moments of his career on shows like Arrested Development and Veep are lost down the memory hole. Tony and Marc trace the reasons for these mental gaps, which are largely attributable to childhood panic attacks, codependency, and a long-running search for identity. They also talk about Tony’s reliance on his faith, his comedy partnership with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and his emergence as a beloved children’s character, Forky. This episode is sponsored by Vital Farms, New Mexico, The Only Podcast Left, and quip toothbrushes.
Kate Nash says getting cast on GLOW saved her life and, when you hear about the emotional roller coaster she was on before landing the gig, that might literally be true. Kate tells Marc what it was like to leverage her MySpace account into pop stardom at age 19, with a number one record and sold out shows for thousands of devoted fans. And then she explains why it all fell apart, with anxiety, OCD and a near-total breakdown to follow. They also talk about working together for the past four years, gaining confidence through wrestling, and the importance of a bunny in Kate’s life. This episode is sponsored by the Adult Swim Podcast, Zoro.com, Intercept Festival presented by Amazon Web Services, and SimpliSafe.
John Goodman has more than four decades of experience on stage, in movies, and on television, but he’s just now learning to trust himself. After a lifetime of trying to please everyone and beating himself up over everything, John tells Marc what finally caused his perception to shift. John also talks about being shaped by comic books and Mad Magazine, finding inspiration working with David Byrne and Al Pacino early in his career, and why he knew there was something special about the Coen Brothers the first time he saw one of their scripts. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com, Squarespace, and Stamps.com.
Marc doesn’t consider himself a “folk music guy” but he cannot deny how strongly he responds to singer-songwriter Joan Shelley’s work. Joan talks with Marc about her Kentucky upbringing and how she’s careful to respect the roots of folk music while also infusing her work with a vulnerability and texture that is her own. She also discusses her collaborative relationship with Nathan Salsburg, working with Jeff Tweedy as her producer, and her reasons for recording her latest album in Iceland. Plus, Joan gives some songwriting tips to Marc to help him overcome his own insecurity so he can finally write some songs. This episode is sponsored by Comedy Central, WNYC's Scattered podcast, SimpliSafe, and the Adult Swim Podcast.
Edward Norton knows the importance of slowing things down. While many entertainers feel the need to move immediately from project to project, Edward has learned from his peers, his idols, and his own experience that sometimes it’s all about what you don’t do. Edward talks with Marc about the lessons he learned from working with David Fincher and Milos Forman, the inspiration he takes from David Bowie and Bob Dylan, and the stories behind American History X and The Incredible Hulk. Edward also explains what inspired him to write, direct and star in a very unique adaptation of Motherless Brooklyn. This episode is sponsored by the Adult Swim Podcast, Watchmen on HBO, Stamps.com, and The RealReal.
No one can doubt Pamela Des Barres’s commitment to the life of rock and roll. She’s known as THE rock groupie, but further distinguished herself as a writer, educator, tour guide and interviewer, all involving her life on the road throughout modern music history. Growing up in California with a love of Jesus and Elvis, it wasn’t surprising she was drawn to the charismatic allure of rock stars. Pamela tells Marc about her time with Frank Zappa, Phil Spector, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Keith Moon, Mick Jagger, Tiny Tim, Jim Morrison, Waylon Jennings, and more, as she experienced the highs of the Free Love 60s as well as the era’s dismal end at Altamont. This episode is sponsored by Zoro.com and New Mexico Tourism & Travel.
It’s very likely Rick Baker created something that made you smile, laugh, cringe, scream, or all of the above, as one of the most innovative and memorable creators of makeup effects in movie history. Rick tells Marc about being obsessed with movie makeup at 10 years old, watching monster movies on television, and drawing inspiration from Lon Chaney and his future colleague Dick Smith. But he had to fight to be accepted in an industry that didn’t want him, as he went on to create iconic cinema moments, from Star Wars to American Werewolf in London to dozens of versions of Eddie Murphy to The Grinch to gorillas. Lots and lots of gorillas. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and the Adult Swim Podcast.
Living in Hawaii gives Woody Harrelson a pretty good perspective of what life should really be about. It’s a mentality that influences the way he chooses projects, the way he engages in activism, and the way he fulfills is spiritual side. Woody and Marc talk about this mindset and how it evolved over his career. He talks about the offer he turned down that would have kept Cheers on the air, the process he went through to get into the mind of a psychopath for Natural Born Killers, and the way his life changed after playing Larry Flynt, as well as some talk about Kingpin, No Country for Old Men, and Zombieland: Doubletap. This episode is sponsored by Living with Yourself on Netflix.
Marc sees Rachel Maddow on TV almost every night. But there was a time when they saw each other every day, back when they worked together at Air America Radio. Rachel and Marc talk about those early radio days which turned out to be a transitional point in both of their lives. Rachel also explains how her early days of AIDS activism and public policy studies eventually led her to the broadcasting career she has now, which is something she never imagined herself doing. They also discuss depression, prayer, self-confidence, and why she felt compelled to write her new book, Blowout. This episode is sponsored by Vital Farms, Stamps.com, and The RealReal.
Jackie Tohn is the co-star on GLOW who Marc feels he knows the most. Not because they knew each other before making the show, but because they share backgrounds and upbringings that make them very familiar to each other. Jackie tells Marc about growing up on Long Island, intent on pursuing an acting career, only to be met with heartbreak after heartbreak, from pilots that didn’t go to last minute casting changes to an American Idol bust. Jackie explains how a disappointed friend helped snap her out of her funk and how she’s embracing her musical abilities in her comedy today. This episode is sponsored by SweeTango, The RealReal, Intersect by AWS, and Pepsi.
Argus Hamilton is the human embodiment of The Comedy Store, with the distinction of being one of the original Comedy Store comics and the only person of his generation who still works there today. In other words, he’s the perfect guest for WTF, as Marc continues building a comprehensive oral history of the infamous club. Argus tells some stories and dispels some myths about The Store’s origins, about the comics who really put the place on the map, about the big names like Pryor, Williams and Kinison who made the place their playground, and about his unique relationship with Mitzi Shore, the woman behind it all.
Danny DeVito is one of America’s most beloved actors and that’s true across multiple generations. Whether it’s because you came of age with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or watched Taxi every week or accepted his version of The Penguin as definitive or followed his antics with The Gang for 14 years on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Danny is probably someone you feel like you know. Marc takes the time to know more about Danny, finding out about his Jersey Shore childhood, his days as a gardener and hairdresser, and his life behind the camera, directing favorites like Throw Momma from the Train and producing movies like Pulp Fiction. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and SimpliSafe.
Marilu Henner will not forget what was said in this conversation. That’s mostly because she has a rare condition that allows her to remember virtually everything that ever happened to her. But it’s also because she and Marc go deep into her life and multifaceted career. They discuss the eccentric environment she was raised in, the tragedy that befell her family, the acting break that got her started in show business, the health challenges in her life that led to a career as an author, and her varied relationships with costars like John Travolta, Andy Kaufman, Burt Reynolds and Donald Trump. This episode is sponsored by SweeTango, Zoro.com, and Stamps.com.
Jeannie Gaffigan had a lot on her plate. She was raising five kids, writing comedy with her husband Jim, and producing a television sitcom. She was so busy taking care of others that she forgot to take care of herself. Jeannie tells Marc how that self-neglect led to the inadvertent discovery of a brain tumor the size of a pear, a ten-hour surgery to remove it, and the complications that threatened her life. Now, on the road to a full recovery, Jeannie is learning how to let go of some of the control she used to rely on and embrace the messiness of life. This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp and EverlyWell.
How did Byron Allen go from teenage stand-up to highly successful media mogul and entrepreneur? Byron thinks it has everything to do with growing up in Detroit, watching his dad working at Ford and internalizing that factory worker mentality. Of course, his mom was a big help too, working as a tour guide at NBC Studios so young Byron could watch and learn from Johnny Carson, Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor and many others. Byron tells Marc how he found The Comedy Store, how he put in the hard work to get his own show on television, and how he came to own a media empire that includes The Weather Channel. This episode is sponsored by South Park and Crank Yankers on Comedy Central, the Hella Mega Tour, and BetterHelp.
Chaunté Wayans has a last name that adds a lot of pressure to a comedy career. She also happens to be the niece and cousin of many famous comedians with that last name. That’s one reason she stayed away from comedy when she was younger, choosing instead to get into film and television production. When Chaunté was working as an editor, she started struggling with anxiety, which led to alcoholism, which led to multiple arrests. Chaunté talks with Marc about rebounding, embracing her own comedic identity on stage, and launching her stand-up career with encouragement from people like Tiffany Haddish and her uncle Damon. This episode is sponsored by Between Two Ferns: The Movie on Netflix, Spotify, The Righteous Gemstones on HBO, and the Hella Mega Tour.
June Diane Raphael knows people are likely to mispronounce her last name (it’s RAY-feel) but she’s ok with it. She has other things on her mind right now, like being a working mom in Hollywood, getting more women encouraged to run for office, and the simple things like aging, the meaning of life, and the acceptance of death. June and Marc talk about all of that, as well as her improv background, her marriage to How Did This Get Made? co-host Paul Scheer, and what she learns from working with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, SweeTango Apples, and BetterHelp.
Danny Huston felt somewhat doomed when it came to show business. His father John and grandfather Walter were legendary Hollywood figures and his half-sister Anjelica seemed like the coolest person in the world to him. To Danny, getting into the business seemed daunting. But after helping to shoot the opening credit sequence on one of his dad’s films, Danny was hooked. His father was his friend and collaborator but his death left Danny rudderless. And that’s when he started acting. Danny talks with Marc about his many roles, from small independent films to blockbusters like X-Men and Wonder Woman to his new film which he directed, The Last Photograph. This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp and Pepsi.
When Bruce Dern showed up at The Actors Studio, Lee Strasberg told him he was going to be their Frankenstein Monster and Elia Kazan told him “you’re not into acting, you’re just into being.” But they also told Bruce he would never be a leading man and no one would know who he is until his 60s. It was the start of a career that spanned hundreds of movies, TV shows and plays, and shows no signs of letting up. Bruce goes through all of it with Marc, including his experiences working with legends, shooting John Wayne in the back, being friends with Jack Nicholson, and finally becoming that leading man with a breakthrough performance at age 79. This episode is sponsored by Vital Farms and Stamps.com.
When Marc first saw Edi Patterson on Vice Principals, he knew she was the kind of performer who can’t possibly stifle who she is. It turns out her raw, comedic intensity was born in Texas oil-refining country, where she was an anxious, sensitive kid who was in a full-blown existential crisis in fourth grade. Edi tells Marc how she figured out how to fake confidence, how she owes a lot of her growth to an actor from Hogan’s Heroes, and how she wound up collaborating with Danny McBride on shows and movies, including their latest series together, The Righteous Gemstones. This episode is sponsored by Spotify, SimpliSafe and BetterHelp.
Unlike Marc, Dale Beran was immersed in internet culture for most of his life. He considered himself an artistic, creative person with aspirations to become a writer. But what Dale discovered in the online communities he frequented was a disconnected, nihilistic disposition that evolved from meme creation to activism to alt-right and white supremacist ideologies. Dale thoroughly documents the online worlds that created a culture of toxic trolling in his book It Came From Something Awful, which provides a major piece of the puzzle to understand what happened in the 2016 election and what is happening to youth culture in America. This episode is sponsored by The Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin, Squarespace, and Bombas.
Legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy had many insecurities about performing and they didn’t really subside until musicians like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck would tell him how big of an influence he was on them. Buddy tells Marc about is humble beginnings, growing up in Louisiana to sharecropper parents, picking cotton for small amounts of money. His high energy performances, inspired by Guitar Slim, helped Buddy stand out among his peers, but respect in the industry was hard fought and late coming, with his breakout record arriving when Buddy was in his 50s. This episode is sponsored by Starbucks Tripleshot Energy and Ben & Jerry's.
Betty Gilpin’s performance on GLOW has brought her critical accolades, Emmy nominations, and personal fulfillment. So why does she feel like she’s constantly running from a monster that is snapping at her ankles? Part of it is she lost a certain degree of invisibility as a performer and as her visibility rises the job gets harder and weirder. Betty and Marc discuss the strange out-of-body experiences of talk shows and junkets, and how learning to fight for yourself becomes a critical survival tool. Betty also deploys an elaborate metaphor for life that involves vestibules, Patti Smith, soil and brain scrolls. This episode is sponsored by Anchor (anchor.fm/wtf), Spotify (spotify.com/drive), Google Fi, and BetterHelp.
David Shields is always looking to push the form forward, whether it’s by way of his writing, his filmmaking or his thinking. Using collage-style prose and film techniques to help draw connections, David intrigued Marc with what his art says about the world and our place in it. So the two of them had a talk about some of David’s recent work exploring war, journalism, race, masculinity, Donald Trump, and football player Marshawn Lynch. Both David and Marc try to find the connections, in the work and in their separate lives. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, NHTSA, and Ben & Jerry's.
Patricia Clarkson came to show business by way of New Orleans, where exposure to all manner of public figures who were equal parts good and bad may explain why she never judges the characters she plays, even if they’re monstrous. That’s true of her Emmy-nominated performance in Sharp Objects and her stage performance as Blanche DuBois, a role Patricia says she had to survive. She also talks with Marc about working with Brian DePalma and Clint Eastwood in her first two films, struggling in Hollywood in her 30s, and feeling like actors her age are now having a heyday. This episode is sponsored by The Righteous Gemstones on HBO, Stamps.com, and Starbucks Tripleshot Energy.
From Episode 930, Marc's conversation with actor Peter Fonda about childhood trauma, Easy Rider, and talking George Harrison down from a bad trip. Peter passed away on August 16, 2019.
Stephen Root grew up moving all over the country because of his dad’s job. Being uprooted all the time meant he was shy and quiet without too many friends. Fortunately, shy, quiet people are good observers. Stephen tells Marc how he was able to channel this childhood disposition into his acting and each opportunity always led to something else. Shakespearean acting helped him play a Klingon on Star Trek. Working on King of the Hill led him to a table read of Office Space. Stephen even sees Newsradio as paving the way for his work on Barry, for which he received his first Emmy nomination. This episode is sponsored by The Righteous Gemstones on HBO, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ben & Jerry's, and Starbucks Tripleshot Energy.
Bashir Salahuddin is having a moment. He has two new shows out that he co-created and stars in, South Side and Sherman’s Showcase. He’s back in the third season of GLOW. And he’ll be in Top Gun: Maverick next year. But despite all this, Bashir tells Marc that he still struggles with the business aspect of show business. They also talk about his upbringing in Chicago, working with his comedy partner Diallo Riddle, writing for Jimmy Fallon, and dealing with a case of impostor syndrome while working with Tom Cruise. This episode is sponsored by Lights Out with David Spade on Comedy Central, Spotify, Good Boys from Universal Pictures, and Starbucks Tripleshot Energy.
Greg Kinnear actually bailed on being an actor. Even though he performed in high school plays and hosted his own radio show as a teenager, when he started acting in college he decided it wasn’t for him. As Greg tells Marc, it felt like too much of a crap shoot. So he tried broadcast journalism instead, eventually hosting Talk Soup on the fledgling E! channel and Later on NBC. Greg explains how these gigs led him back to acting, and they discuss some of his best roles in As Good As It Gets, Auto Focus, Little Miss Sunshine, and his new movie Brian Banks. This episode is sponsored by Anchor (anchor.fm/maron), Good Boys from Universal Pictures, Capterra (capterra.com/WTF), and Google Fi.
Walton Goggins has played tough guys, weird guys and guys who completely defy description, but to him it’s all just playing pretend. Walton found himself as the center of attention at a young age while he was being raised by a group of women - his mother, his aunts and his grandmother. He caught the performance bug wile living in Georgia and a random American Express mail promotion became his ticket to Los Angeles. Walton tells Marc what it was like to learn on the job from Robert Duvall and Anthony Hopkins, why he panicked after watching Vice Principals for the first time, and how he first met Quentin Tarantino. This episode is sponsored by Lights Out with David Spade on Comedy Central, Squarespace, and SimpliSafe.
Juston McKinney’s story keeps coming back to New Hampshire. It’s where he grew up, where he lost his mother at age six, where his father was a homeless alcoholic, and where Juston became a cop. He tells Marc why he joined the police force in the first place, why he gave it up for comedy, how his background as a cop made him a hot comedian with TV deals and big money promises that all went away. Through the career ups and downs, Juston always finds himself back in New Hampshire, for comedy purposes and for his family. This episode is sponsored by Good Boys from Universal Pictures.
At some point in the past decade, Kurt Andersen felt like he had to figure out America. Coming from a professional career rooted in satire and troublemaking, Kurt had a pretty good vantage point to examine the tug of war between reason and magical thinking that has become a chronic American condition. Kurt talks with Marc about putting this all into his book, Fantasyland, and recalls the founding of Spy Magazine, where he and Graydon Carter took pleasure messing with public institutions like the New York Times, Hollywood, and Donald Trump. They also talk about Kurt's time at the Harvard Lampoon and how he came to host Studio 360. This episode is sponsored by Lights Out with David Spade, Stamps.com, and ZipRecruiter.
Now that Tom Dreesen has 50 years in show business under his belt, he wants to enjoy life. He’s earned it because he’s already experienced enough for five lifetimes. Tom takes Marc all the way back to when he was a kid in suburban Illinois, holding on to a life-changing secret. After wandering aimlessly through jobs in construction, private investigation and the military, he started doing comedy with his partner Tim Reid. Tom talks about going to LA where he became a regular at The Comedy Store, helped the comics organize and eventually was the face of the famous comics strike. He also remarks on his long friendships with David Letterman and Frank Sinatra. This episode is sponsored by Starbucks Tripleshot Energy and Good Boys from Universal Pictures.
Geena Davis says the biggest thing she had to learn as she made her way through show business was how to speak up for herself. This was particularly difficult because she was taught at a very young age that politeness was paramount, to the point where it endangered her life. Geena talks with Marc about how the industry as a whole needed to go through a similar change, which is why she gathered a team from her institute to amass evidence of institutional sexism and gender bias. They also talk about the legacy and cultural relevance of movies like Thelma and Louise and A League of Their Own. This episode is sponsored by Good Boys from Universal Pictures, Starbucks Tripleshot Energy, and Ben & Jerry's.
Not only did director and writer Alex Ross Perry work in a video store while he was learning to become a filmmaker, his first film crew was made up of his friends and co-workers at the video store and they remain his crew today. Alex explains to Marc that watching films by directors like David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick made him want to have an immediately identifiable style. He found his style while embracing a true independent film aesthetic, which means virtually no money and very few shooting days. It all culminated with Alex’s most recent film, Her Smell, which he made with his frequent collaborator Elisabeth Moss. This episode is sponsored by Anchor (anchor.fm/start), Squarespace (squarespace.com/wtf), and Zinus (zinus.com/WTF).
Sean Lennon admits that he was naïve about his family legacy when he began a career in music. He also admits that when he received bad reviews for his first solo record, deep down he agreed with them. Sean talks with Marc about how he grew into himself as an artist and musician, how “John and Yoko” as the world sees them are different from his dad and mom as he knows them, and how the trauma of losing his father at a young age left him with memories that will never go away. They also talk about his work with Les Claypool, scoring films, and producing for other artists, including his mom. This episode is sponsored by Google Fi, Ben & Jerry's, and Stan Lee's Alliances: A Trick of Light, an Audible Original.
When Nahnatchka Khan started developing Fresh Off The Boat for TV, she knew it was an undertaking that no one had tried for more than 20 years: A network sitcom with an Asian-American cast. And it was a premise that appealed to her as a first generation American whose parents are Iranian immigrants. Nahnatchka talks with Marc about getting her start working in kids animation, how she learned the nuts and bolts of show running, and why directing the film Always Be My Maybe is another example of centering people from diverse cultural backgrounds at the core of traditional stories. This episode is sponsored by Starbucks Tripleshot Energy and Zinus.
You only need to hear David Lee Roth talk for a few seconds to understand why he is the consummate rock and roll frontman. Diamond Dave takes Marc on a stream of consciousness ride through his past, present, future and whatever else he’s thinking about in the moment. They talk about David’s love of Big Band music, jazz guitar, his Uncle Manny, working as an EMT in the Bronx, and his serendipitous pairing with the Van Halen brothers that created musical perfection and nonstop personal animosity. This episode is sponsored by Present Company with Krista Smith, SimpliSafe, and Stamps.com.
Jamie Lee started her career in close proximity to comedy, but not actually doing it. She was working in PR at Comedy Central and found herself around a lot of comics in a professional capacity. It wasn’t long before she caught the bug and was doing open mics in New York City. Jamie tells Marc about the influence of her parents, who were photographers for ZZ Top and later rock concert promoters and club owners. She also talks about working with Pete Holmes on Crashing and why the stress, shame and tension surrounding weddings made her write a book about getting married. This episode is sponsored by Google Fi.
Stephen Dorff started acting in movies before he was a teenager, but the sudden and tragic death of his brother made him contemplate leaving the business altogether. Stephen tells Marc why he stuck it out and how he wound up landing one of his most fulfilling roles of his career in True Detective. Stephen talks about the good fortune he’s had in forming relationships with an older generation of actors, like Dennis Hopper, Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson, and in working with a variety of great directors, like Michael Mann, Sofia Coppola, Oliver Stone, and John Waters. He also explains why he thought Blade would be the end of his career. This episode is sponsored by the Mailchimp podcast The Jump, Squarespace, and SimpliSafe.
Even though Brent Butt grew up in rural Saskatchewan, his path to comedy is similar to American comics, except it was exclusively Canadian. He was a directionless youth who was taken in by comedy on Canadian TV, he booked gigs throughout the Canadian countryside to hone his act, he dealt with monopolistic club owners and did sets in lousy environments like curling rinks. It all led to him being the first native Canadian with a #1 comedy series in Canada, Corner Gas, which was turned into a hit movie and now a cartoon. Brent tells Marc about his journey, and why he has no regrets that he remains fairly anonymous in America. This episode is sponsored by Turo.
Before Stephen Colbert knew what he wanted to do with his life, all he wanted was to be Hamlet. Not to play Hamlet, but to be Hamlet. That’s how he felt as an outsider teen dealing with family tragedy and deep, unaddressed grief. Stephen tells Marc how comedy gave him a refuge from sadness, how his anxiety dissipated when doing improv and sketch comedy, and how a nervous breakdown made him realign his life. They also talk about The Colbert Report, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and doing The Late Show in the age of Trump. This episode is sponsored by the new Mailchimp podcast The Jump, Hair Club, and Allbirds.
David Letterman started out doing the very thing that scared him to death - getting up in front of strangers and trying to make them laugh. Now after wrapping up a legendary and influential career as late night host, Dave talks with Marc about his early days at The Comedy Store, his enjoyment of the longform interviews he’s doing for Netflix, and his focus on the hard work of becoming a better person. Dave also reveals his favorite thing about his old show and the one comic he always thought was the funniest, despite everything else that happened between them. This episode is sponsored by Turo and Starbucks Tripleshot Energy.
Brené Brown’s degree in social work and her research into conditions like empathy and vulnerability led to one of the most viewed TED Talks of all time, millions of readers of her books, and celebrity boosters like Oprah Winfrey. But it was her academic work on shame that started it all and is the aspect of her work that resonated strongly with Marc. Brené talks with Marc about the evolution of her work, how it’s reflected in social and cultural changes, what her research told her about hope, and what is the biggest challenge of adult life. They also discuss her new Netflix special, The Call to Courage. This episode is sponsored by Ramy on Hulu and Capterra.
To celebrate the milestone of 1000 episodes, Marc and WTF producer Brendan McDonald reflect on how they got here, why they created the show in the first place, and what the future holds for them and WTF. They answer listener questions and divulge some never-before-heard revelations, such as the time the show almost ended and how the White House reacted to President Obama's interview in the garage. Most importantly, Marc and Brendan talk about how their working relationship evolved into a deep friendship with a profound understanding of each other. This episode is sponsored by Aspiration and Stamps.com.
Mandy Moore has already gone through several career phases in her young life, from teenage pop star to animated voice artist to dramatic actress. But her latest phase, as matriarch Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us, came after a long period in which she put her career on hold and lost her sense of self. Mandy explains to Marc what it meant to be emotionally locked into a relationship, how that tumultuous time was preceded by a stunning development in her family, and why she finally feels comfortable going back to making music. This episode is sponsored by Stamps.com and 23andMe.
Kristen Bell had an experience as a guest on WTF that not many others get to enjoy: Marc made her a meal beforehand. So with a full stomach, Kristen and Marc talk about why Dax Shepard is pushing her to have an ecstasy party, why does she have a hard time remembering things, and why she began singing opera at a young age. There's also some talk about her beloved projects like Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Frozen, and The Good Place. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music, the Around the NFL Podcast, Starbucks Doubleshot, and Fahrenheit 11/9.
Marc talks with Paul McCartney about, well, a lot: The Beatles and Stones rivalry that wasn’t, his current relationship with Ringo, the influence of Little Richard, The Who, The Beach Boys, how he needs to have an out-of-body experience to really examine the Beatles legacy, the reception of his solo work after the Beatles, recording Band on the Run in Nigeria, what messages are in his songs, which songs still make him emotional when he performs them, and what he brought to the table for his latest album, Egypt Station. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Ears Edition, and Casper.
From Episode 233, this is Marc's conversation with Anthony Bourdain, conducted in 2011. Anthony died on June 8, 2018, at age 61.
From the minute the Presidential motorcade pulled away, Marc began recording his reaction to the momentous event that just occurred in his garage. Hear Marc's ongoing reflections in the aftermath as well as a discussion with WTF producer Brendan McDonald about how this happened in the first place. This episode is sponsored by Stamps.com, Squarespace, Comedy Central, and Vegas.com.
Marc welcomes the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to the garage for conversation about college, fitting in, race relations, gun violence, changing the status quo, disappointing your fans, comedians, fatherhood and overcoming fear. And yes, this really happened. This episode is presented without commercial interruption courtesy of Squarespace. Go to MarcMeetsObama.com to see behind-the-scenes photos and captions.