Michael Douglas produced an Academy Award-winner for Best Picture, was the star of a successful television series, and was compiling a notable filmography both in front of and behind the camera. But he still didn't feel like he made it. That finally changed in his 40s, with movies like Wall Street and Fatal Attraction, and Michael tells Marc why that period was such a breakthrough for him. They also talk about why his early work on TV was vital for his career, why Jack Nicholson calls him a “hair actor," and why he was draw to making a serialized comedy like The Kominsky Method with Alan Arkin. This episode is sponsored by Screen Dive from 20th Century Fox, YouTube Music, 23andMe.
"The most dangerous place for black people to live is in white people’s imaginations." That idea has allowed D.L. Hughley to organize a lot of his thoughts on what we're dealing with as a country, and he believes what we're really doing is fighting fear. D.L. tells Marc about his experiences growing up in South Central Los Angeles, getting out before he got lost, and building himself up through comedy. They also talk about two of D.L.'s influences, Robin Harris and Bernie Mac, his tours, his specials, his TV and radio shows, and Kanye. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith on Spotify, Loop Jewelry, SimpliSafe, and Quip.
Sandy Hackett learned from the best, but not just because Buddy Hackett was his dad. But also because Buddy was his best friend, his road companion, and the guy he opened for night after night. Sandy tells Marc what it was like to grow up in and around Las Vegas, how his entertainment career actually started out as a career in hotel management, and why he decided to create a touring show about The Rat Pack. Plus, Sandy shares some stories about Buddy, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Johnny Carson, and Elvis Presley. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and 23andMe.
Rita Rudner is very likely the only person to start a comedy career because of an article in the New York Times business section on soft soap. It was quite the turn of events for Rita, who was dancing professionally on Broadway since she her teenage years. Rita tells Marc how she utilized the performing arts culture of New York City to create a comedy curriculum for herself, how she rose up through the city clubs and took her act on the road to become a major headliner, and why she decided to start working regularly in Las Vegas. This episode is sponsored by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, YouTube Music, Stamps.com, and ZipRecruiter.
Roger Daltrey believes you can't retire from rock and roll, rock and roll retires you. But for now, as long as Pete can still play and Roger can "sing the s--- out of the songs," The Who will go on. On the release of his memoir, Roger talks with Marc about building his first guitar by hand, meeting Pete Townsend and John Entwistle as schoolboys, finding Keith Moon in a Beach Boys cover band, getting kicked out of The Who over NOT doing drugs, coming back in time for the band to achieve its greatest success, and maintaining his close relationship with Pete after all these years. This episode is sponsored by Screen Dive from 20th Century Fox, The New Yorker, and ZipRecruiter.
Zoe Kazan doesn't think much about the concept of "Hollywood royalty." Yes, her parents are in show business, but she still had to run the gauntlet of failed auditions and odd jobs. Yes, her grandfather's body of work is legendary, but she had a relationship with him that was completely removed from his career. Zoe talks with Marc about paving her own way, as well as working with the Coen Brothers, enjoying the unexpected success of The Big Sick, and collaborating with her partner Paul Dano on their new film Wildlife. This episode is sponsored by Screen Dive from 20th Century Fox, SimpliSafe, and Amazon Music.
Python Week continues on WTF as Eric Idle gives Marc his perspective on the creation of the legendary British comedy group, talks about the making of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Rutles, and Spamalot, and explores his feelings about the other Pythons. Eric also explains what it was like growing up at the end of World War II, how rock and roll became his escape from reality, and why he wound up having lasting friendships with David Bowie, George Harrison and Robin Williams. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music and Quip.
John Cleese says there's one constant throughout his life, from Monty Python through today. He still has a very strong childish side and it has done him well. John talks to Marc about putting that childish side to work when he was doing sketch comedy at Cambridge and why the success of Monty Python had a lot to do with five guys who all liked pushing boundaries. Also, John and Marc try to find the line between affectionate and inappropriate comedy by telling each other a string of off-color jokes. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith on Spotify and Stamps.com.
Actor Richard E. Grant keeps a daily diary and has done so since he was ten years old. Having immediate access to his past experiences has no doubt helped his performances as a wide variety of characters throughout his career. Richard and Marc talk about his standout roles, working with directors like Scorsese, Coppola, and Altman, and now working side-by-side with Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Also, comedian Brian Posehn stops by to talk about his new memoir and how being a nerd can also be a religion. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and YouTube Music.
Busy Philipps is on the cusp of becoming a late night talk show host, so it's appropriate for her and Marc to talk about anything and everything during an afternoon in the garage. Busy explains what it's like raising young daughters, how she navigated life after a sexual assault, and why she feels like she's done with acting, despite staring in beloved shows like Dawson’s Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Cougar Town, Vice Principals. This episode is sponsored by This Week at the Comedy Cellar on Comedy Central, Dream Corp LLC on Adult Swim, Nutrafol, and 23andMe.
Recording artist Kurt Vile and Marc like a lot of the same stuff: Tom Scharpling, the blues, Randy Newman, Neil Young, flat driveways. They get to share their mutual admiration of these things while also talking about Kurt's unique upbringing with nine siblings in Philadelphia and the banjo that led to his development as a musician. In his early 20s, Kurt had a job driving a forklift and in his free time he was making home recordings, which eventually became the tracks on his first album. They also get into Kurt's time with The War on Drugs, his band The Violators and his various side projects. This episode is sponsored by SimpliSafe and Smart Nora.
Writer and comedian Charles Demers has a lot of thoughts on the differences between the United States and his home country, Canada. Differences that are political, social and professional. But he also tells Marc his thoughts about how Canada presaged Donald Trump in one specific way, how socialized medicine in Canada helps the national psyche as well as individual lives, and how the alt-comedy scene in Vancouver took off with the help of a couple prominent American comedians. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music, The Alec Baldwin Show on ABC, Policygenius, Stamps.com and SimpliSafe.
Sissy Spacek was a girl from Texas with a guitar who just wanted to sing. But after spending some time as a teenager living in New York City with her relatives, Rip Torn and Geraldine Page, Sissy got the acting bug. She talks with Marc about the life-changing moment when she made Badlands, how the studio didn't want her in Carrie, what it was like going on the road with Loretta Lynn for Coal Miner's Daughter, and a lot more about her life and prolific career, including her new film with Robert Redford, The Old Man and the Gun. This episode is sponsored by New Mexico, Squarespace, and Casper.
Anna Faris had Marc on her podcast once. They both agree it got a little weird. They try to navigate that weirdness in the garage for Round Two, while also discussing Anna's painful insecurity as a teen, the great advice she got from Keenen Ivory Wayans, her breakout movie roles, the reasons actresses have it tough if they want to be honest, why she became clickbait fodder, and why she loves her co-star Allison Janney so much. Marc and Anna also make podcast history with an interlude from an unexpected location. This episode is sponsored by ZipRecruiter.
Gale Anne Hurd is one of Hollywood’s most successful producers, with films like The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss and Armageddon under her belt. She tells Marc how her first job out of college, working as an assistant for Roger Corman, prepared her for a lifetime in the movies and how her collaboration with James Cameron helped her storm the gates of the studios. Gale also talks about shifting from feature films to producing documentaries, why most producers don’t understand how film sets operate, and how she juggles her concurrent products, like the new movie Hell Fest, the new season of The Walking Dead, and the Amazon series Lore. This episode is sponsored by YouTube Music, SimpliSafe and Starbucks Doubleshot.
Joan Jett wanted to be a rocker ever since she got a hold of a guitar, even though she was told girls don’t play rock and roll. That didn't stop her from forming The Runaways despite the sexist roadblocks the band faced. It also didn't stop her from putting out her own albums when she couldn't get a record label to do it. Joan takes Marc through her past, most of which was shared with her longtime producer and collaborator Kenny Laguna, who also joins Marc and Joan in the garage to add some detail and perspective. This episode is sponsored by Spotify and Molekule.
Slash is known for guitar wizardry, the top hat, and a prolific career across several major rock acts. But he's less known as Saul Hudson, a British, biracial son of a costume designer who was into drawing and BMX, not music. He tells Marc about being involved with a tangled web of Los Angeles bands that led to the formation of Guns N’ Roses, the band no one wanted to see succeed except the people who were directly involved in it. Slash also discusses collaborating with Michael Jackson, Carole King, reuniting with GNR, and his recent projects with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Starbucks Doubleshot.
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.