Filmmaker and kindred guitar noodler Gus Van Sant meets Marc in the garage and jumps in for a deep dive on his movies, including Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, To Die For, Gerry, Elephant, Last Days, Milk and more. Gus tells Marc why doing Good Will Hunting felt like such a personal risk at the time, why the remake of Psycho got green-lit in spite of itself, and why his latest movie Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot owes its existence to Robin Williams. This episode is sponsored by Sonos and ZipRecruiter.
Ray Liotta had no intention of getting into acting but his fearless disposition led him to performing in school musicals, and the rest was history. Ray tells Marc about why being on a soap opera was great training, why he owes his movie career to Melanie Griffith, and why the filming of Goodfellas was emotionally tumultuous for him. Also, comedian Jim Jefferies stops by to talk about parenting, his new Netflix special, and Crocodile Dundee. This episode is sponsored by Ben & Jerry's and SimpliSafe.
Filmmaker and hip hop artist Boots Riley wants his audiences to be radically engaged. He grew up with parents who were organizers and he believes political radicalism prompts cultural change. Boots and Marc talk about social movements, power structures, and how he wanted to take on all of it with his years-in-the-making movie, Sorry To Bother You. Also, Bobcat Goldthwait returns to the garage to talk about grief, getting older, and his new series Misfits and Monsters. This episode is sponsored by the Outside the Box podcast, Rocket League, Casper, and Stamps.com.
Peter Fonda is happy to be figuring things out, no matter how long it took. Childhood traumas and an emotionally distant father affected his life and career, and he finally has some missing pieces of the puzzle. Peter also talks with Marc about Easy Rider, the time he talked George Harrison down from a bad trip, and working with Christopher Plummer on the new movie Boundaries. Plus, Andy Kindler and J. Elvis Weinstein stop by to try and explain what their podcast Thought Spiral is all about. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, StitchFix, and Ben & Jerry's.
One constant for Paul Rudd as he spent a large portion of his childhood moving around the country, chasing an identity, is that he loved watching adults be silly. Even when he was in acting school and performing Shakespeare on stage, he took a lot of cues from influences like Letterman, Carlin and Kaufman. Paul talks with Marc about those early days and the big days that were to come after Wet Hot American Summer, the Judd Apatow movies, and now Marvel's Ant Man and the Wasp. This episode is sponsored by the film Sorry To Bother You and SimpliSafe.
Comedian Eleanor Kerrigan knows a lot about The Comedy Store. Not only did she become the club's head waitress, she also became a confidant and sometime-assistant to the owner, Mitzi Shore. After a stint as a professional wrestler and an opener for Andrew Dice Clay, Eleanor finally found herself on stage at The Store and she hasn't left since. She tells Marc what it was like to get to know Mitzi, why she can't escape her South Philly roots, and how she's trying to pass along the history of The Store to new audiences. This episode is sponsored by the film Three Identical Strangers, the Outside the Box podcast, Stitcher Premium, and Ben & Jerry's.
Lil Rel Howery burst into the mainstream as a hero. Playing the character who saves the day in Get Out, Lil Rel can see how that role changed everything for him, as he's now the lead in the new movie Uncle Drew and he's putting his life on TV with his own show. He also talks with Marc about learning empathy and compassion from his mom and how those lessons helped him with his comedy. It also helped him see another side of a person who Lil Rey believes is struggling with grief: Kanye West. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith, Hearts Beat Loud, and ZipRecruiter.
New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff came into Robin Williams's life right around the same time Marc talked to Robin for WTF. Dave and Marc share notes on what they learned about this one-of-a-kind comedic performer, how his death affected the world, and what Dave was able to glean from working with Robin to write his biography. Then, after their conversation, hear the full interview Marc conducted with Robin back in 2010. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith, Hearts Beat Loud, and Ben & Jerry's.
Billy Bob Thornton sees himself in a certain way and feels as though the world sees him differently. That's why he feels uncomfortable at parties, uneasy about being a celebrity, and most relaxed when he can retreat into a new role. With Marc's help, Billy Bob tracks a lot of his anxiety back to his childhood in Arkansas, his pursuit of a life as a rock musician, and his stumble into a long and prosperous career in Hollywood. They also talk about Robert Duvall, Richie Havens, Sling Blade, and the new season of Goliath. This episode is sponsored by Drunk History on Comedy Central, Squarespace, and Burrow.
Holly Hunter left the family farm in Georgia to become an actor. She talks with Marc about her early days in New York, catching the attention of the Coen Brothers as they were on the verge of making their first film, and everything that followed, including her foray into voice acting with The Incredibles and its new sequel. Also, Amber Tamblyn returns to talk about being a new mom, fighting for gender equality, and how it all relates to her new novel Any Man. This episode is sponsored by Outside the Box, Gossip, StitchFix and Sonos.
Bob Balaban was born into show business and he didn't even know it until he was 10. The ubiquitous actor tells Marc how his immigrant family came to Chicago at the turn of the century and broke into the movie business, eventually winding up in charge of Paramount Studios. Bob also talks with Marc about Charlie Brown, Midnight Cowboy, Altered States, Christopher Guest, Francois Truffaut, and his many roles in film, stage and TV, including his new show Condor. This episode is sponsored by the new film Hearts Beat Loud, Ben & Jerry's, and Stamps.com.
From Episode 233, this is Marc's conversation with Anthony Bourdain, conducted in 2011. Anthony died on June 8, 2018, at age 61.
Vanessa Hollingshead can honestly say that a cruise ship saved her life. She tells Marc what led to a comedy career in the first place after a childhood spent in communes, foster homes, and around lots of grown-ups on acid and other psychedelic drugs. Vanessa got a hot start in comedy and her big break was right in front of her, and then it all went away, followed by a crushing personal tragedy. And if it wasn't for that cruise ship, she might not be here telling this story. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and SimpliSafe.
David Harbour became pretty cynical about the acting profession before landing the star-making role of Jim Hopper on Stranger Things. But he and Marc are in agreement that it was probably better for David to hit it big after four decades of dealing with anxiety, self-hatred, mania, fear, sobriety, and the difficult project of building one's identity. David and Marc also talk about Hellboy, the elves on the edges of reality, and the one character trait of Hopper's that David likes the most. This episode is sponsored by Casper and Audible.
Rachel Brosnahan related to the pressures and insecurities of standup comics when she got the lead role of a 1950s standup in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. That's because she feels constant dread as an actor, going from project to project, always worried it's not going to go well. Rachel compares notes with Marc about being a standup vs. being an actor, learning the craft in school vs. learning on the job, and why working on episodic television may be the best training for actors. This episode is sponsored by The Break with Michelle Wolf on Netflix and the Outside the Box Podcast.
Tom Papa got the comedy bug early in life but his unconventional path went from football to live theater to standup. Once Tom started writing jokes while working as a security guard, there was no turning back. Tom talks with Marc about the competitive '90s comedy scene, his close friendship with the late Greg Giraldo, his public failure with The Marriage Ref, his new gig on public radio, and the two people who took a chance on him and helped shape his life and career: Jerry Seinfeld and Steven Soderbergh. Tom's new book is called Your Dad Stole My Rake. This episode is sponsored by Arrested Development on Netflix.
Paul Rodriguez has always been paying his dues. Even before he paid his dues doing open mics and parking cars at The Comedy Store, he paid his dues growing up in Compton, serving in the Air Force, and struggling with the religious devotion of his family. Paul and Marc talk about those early days, as well as his first appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, his infamous comedy special in San Quentin, and his most recent comedy special which Paul insists will be his last. This episode is sponsored by Joe Pera Talks With You on Adult Swim and the Outside the Box podcast.
Nearly seven years after doing an episode of WTF that never aired, Neal Brennan sits down with Marc for a conversation that is probably the one they should have had all those years ago. Neal and Marc talk about how the two of them have changed since then, especially in light of Neal’s recent comedy special 3 Mics, which mixed heavy personal stories with jokes. Now that they feel better about themselves and each other, Marc and Neal try to figure out what they really want next and whether they should be doing more with their lives. This episode is sponsored by Spotify, Squarespace, and Casper.