On a list of the world's funniest people, Tracey Ullman ranks pretty high. But Tracey tells Marc she doesn't consider herself a comedian or a comic, but rather a character actor. The fact that she started performing as a way to cheer up her widowed mother means she's always trying to find sympathetic notes in the characters she's creating, with an ability to mock and humanize simultaneously. Tracey and Marc talk about her TV shows, her family, The Simpsons, and her brief pop music career that led to a friendship with Paul McCartney. This episode is sponsored by The Opposition with Jordan Klepper on Comedy Central, Stamps.com, and Casper.
Despite being born Brian Warner, Marilyn Manson doesn't separate his stage persona from who he is as a person. That makes for an interesting chat with Marc in the garage. Marilyn talks about his early years getting kicked out of Christian school, being beaten up for playing the triangle in the school band, and starting up a poetry night for his first taste of performing. He also talks about becoming friends with Alice Cooper, patching things up with Trent Reznor, and getting a kick out of David Lynch. This episode is sponsored by The Jim Jefferies Show Podcast and Squarespace.
It just so happens that Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges are both in new movies at the same time (Only the Brave and The Mountain Between Us, respectively). So it's as good a time as any to have the two brothers in the garage for separate chats. First, Beau tells Marc about being the big brother, taking a First Amendment stand, and staying busy in fickle Hollywood. Then Jeff talks about the music he makes, the path to enlightenment, and the transcendence of The Dude. This episode is sponsored by Sonos and Stamps.com.
From Episode 247, Marc talks with comedian Ralphie May about his journey to become one of the most popular headliners in the country. Ralphie passed away on October 6, 2017 at the age of 45.
Marc presents a special audio version of the first chapter of Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast. This chapter features thirty WTF guests talking with Marc about growing up. Hear from Conan O'Brien, Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Hart, Mel Brooks, RuPaul Charles, Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, Maria Bamford, Paul Scheer, Norm Macdonald, Molly Shannon, John Darnielle, Ahmed Ahmed, Dave Attell, Russell Peters, Joe Mande, Ron Funches, Allie Brosh, Gillian Jacobs, The Amazing Johnathan, Jon Glaser, Amy Schumer, Wyatt Cenac, Aimee Mann, Tom Arnold, Bruce Springsteen, Leslie Jones, Terry Gross, Dan Harmon, and President Barack Obama.
Elliott Gould was at the vanguard of American New Wave Cinema in the 1970s, but he tells Marc there were two enemies always working to diminish his potential: ego and vanity. On the cusp of launching a new network sitcom, 9JKL, Elliott talks about his earliest memories, his marriage to Barbra Streisand, his collaborations with Robert Altman, and his difficulties working with others, including one specific comment that Elliott believes put the breaks on his career. This episode is sponsored by Meteor Shower on Broadway, Hello Fresh, and Capterra.
From Episode 427, this is Marc's conversation with iconic television host Monty Hall. Monty passed away on September 30, 2017 at age 96.
Top Chef's Tom Colicchio discovered a passion for cooking at a young age, thanks to a book his corrections officer father found in a prison library. Even now as a celebrity chef, with restaurants around the country, Tom still marvels at the simplicity of cooking. He talks with Marc about food trends, the respectful competitiveness he has with fellow chefs, and being politically engaged around food sustainability and hunger issues. This episode is sponsored by The Jim Jeffries Show Podcast, Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO, and Sonos.
Saturday Night Live's "Resident Young Person" Pete Davidson might be the only member of the SNL cast who knew about the show exclusively through YouTube clips. Pete tells Marc how he landed the show just shortly after graduating high school, how he survived a lonely upbringing on Staten Island watching Eddie Murphy's standup concerts, and how a life-changing traumatic event in his childhood pushed him toward comedy in the first place. This episode is sponsored by Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO and Stamps.com.
Television comedy impresario George Schlatter created Laugh In at the peak of cultural upheaval in 20th Century America. He tells Marc why he linked the rebellious youth movement of the '60s to a buttoned-up style firmly rooted in the history of show business, which he learned all about as manager of the legendary Sunset Strip nightclub Ciro's. George talks about getting his education from luminaries like Groucho Marx, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, and Milton Berle, and sparking the careers of bright talents like Richard Pryor and Lorne Michaels. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Sonos.
Lee Daniels got his start in show business by running a nursing agency. That may seem unusual but the road to success for the producer-writer-director behind Precious, The Butler and Empire has always been unorthodox. As Lee tells Marc, the sideways nature of his path to achievement matches up with his personal life, in which he found out by phone one day that he was going to have to put the breaks on his partying and become a father to his niece and nephew. This episode is sponsored by ZipRecruiter and Stamps.com.
From Episode 464, this is Marc's conversation with actor Harry Dean Stanton who passed away on September 15, 2017 at age 91. This episode also includes a follow-up conversation with Sophie Huber, director of the documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction.
Kathy Bates hammered her way into movie and pop culture history with her Oscar-winning performance in Misery. Kathy tells Marc why acting never seemed like an option when she was younger, what she learned working with colleagues like Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Tandy, Mike Nichols, and James Caan, and why after decades of work on the stage and screen she decided now was the time to do a show like Disjointed, a three-camera sitcom with a live studio audience. Plus, comedian Graham Elwood stops by to talk about Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary. This episode is sponsored by Vice Principals on HBO and Casper.
Ken Burns and his frequent collaborator Lynn Novick have made indelible documentaries about American life, on subjects like jazz, baseball, the Civil War, and World War II. Their latest film is a ten-part examination of the Vietnam War, and Marc talks with them about the bold storytelling choices used in the film, the decade-long process that went into making an 18-hour documentary, and the lessons learned that show we are still living in an America defined by this specific war. This episode is sponsored by Comedy Central, Stamps.com, and Hello Fresh.
Not every global pop superstar would feel at home in Marc's garage, but Lorde isn't your average global pop superstar. The singer-songwriter takes some time before kicking off her worldwide Melodrama tour to talk with Marc about her life in New Zealand, her frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, and the math of making pop music. They also go down a music rabbit hole as Lorde reveals herself to be a knowledgable student of classic rock, power pop, rhythm and blues, and Phil Collins. This episode is sponsored by Sonos, Soothe, and the Harold Ramis Film School.
Warren Hutcherson and Marc were getting their starts in standup around the same time. Then, as Marc recalls it, Warren was suddenly a television writer and wasn't on the standup scene anymore. Warren explains how his college-age writing was responsible for his somewhat accidental entry into comedy, which led to him running the network television gauntlet, navigating the conventions and biases of Hollywood on his way to becoming a writer and showrunner on programs like The Bernie Mac Show. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Audible.
From Episode 332, this is Marc's conversation with comedian Shelley Berman. Shelley passed away on September 1, 2017 at age 92.
Steve Jordan is considered one of the greatest rock and roll drummers of all time. He joins Marc in the garage to talk about his years playing in the house bands for David Letterman and Saturday Night Live, which included being part of The Blues Brothers' band. Steve also shares stories of his collaborations with Neil Young, Don Henley, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones, which led to a prolific partnership and friendship with Keith Richards. This episode is sponsored by the new film 'mother!' from Paramount Pictures and The Harold Ramis Film School.