WTF Podcast

Episode 373 - Ari Shaffir

Comedian Ari Shaffir tells Marc what it was like to grow up in an Orthodox Jewish household, what led him to part with his faith, how his parents reacted and why he turned to stand-up comedy. Plus, Marc and Ari delve deep into the mythos of The Comedy Store. This episode is sponsored by GoToMyPC from Citrix. Try it free by using the code WTF and access your computer from anywhere at any time.


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Michael P. Gowdy March 28, 2013 at 9:26 am

I constantly hear bits and pieces about Michael Becker on this podcast and Rogan’s podcast. You guys talk about him for a few seconds or less than a minute then switch to something else.
He is an interesting character to me partly because he was featured on the classic late ‘80s Unsolved Mysteries “Ghosts” episode during which I think that almost everyone who was involved with The Comedy Store stories was lying out their asses. But I believed everything about it *at the time* because I was a little kid.
Anyway, from what I gathered from the few seconds that Rogan talked about him he was caught in some sort of scandal at The Store(?) then fired immediately(?).
I’m still uncertain.

smitty March 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm

...getting fucked up on ‘boat pills and nicotine lozenges’ ?  maron,you are now officially, forever banished from the lower east side….

smitty March 28, 2013 at 6:49 pm

  @ lora bander

    i think Ari’s point was, that[divorce law proportionality] has not kept up to current workaday reality. you’re going after the jugular because he was flippant and awkwad [which i’ll agree with].  however, it seems to me, you’re blowing up on him,full frontal nuclear angry chick;and, assuming that he’s a chauvanist neanderthal. and maybe he is,but we really don’t have enough information to make that call. this is precisely, why men stay out of the world of women’s rights, for the most part. because, even off the cuff remarks, get full scale gender police drone strikes, as retaliation. and,that’s why the right is so strong. they have a simple primitve stupid message,that they follow. too many women,want dudes to be lockstep stepford feminist zombies,that can’t have their own notions,that are nonetheless supportive on core progressive issues for women. yet, not necessarilly be on the same page, on all matters across the board. it’s spousal alienation with a sociologic twist.  it’s so freakn’ tired….

Beelzebud March 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm

The thing that annoyed me was the he could have made the point without naming a female comedian, who has jack shit to do with marriage laws.  He’s also glossing over the whole issue involving children.

smitty March 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm

my bigger problem, is with the rampant cynicism so prevalent with comics. adam parfrey,in the previous interview, dropped a nice little smackdown on maron. marc was being dismissive of the esoteric side of wilhem reich. adam simply retorted, that just because you can’t measure something;doesn’t mean it isn’t true,or doesn’t exist. ari,making much ado about his atheism, was boring as shit. e from the eels, was cool about his more or less indifference, to the “god thing”. i’m so tired of evangelic/atheist assholes,thinking that they are any more compelling, than the standard religious fanatic. so you were raised in a religious orthodoxy,and you rebelled against it. wow,how fucking original…. it’s been done,i respect it,it’s just not interesting. the comic shop talk that followed, was pretty cool. the first half bitchfest on lapsed judaism,not so much. it’s been done to death,boys…

Justin March 29, 2013 at 4:06 am

I gotta admit I am beyond tired of every 2nd stand-up being some kind of smug atheist who’s sure it make them special or more informed or some kind of enlightened gnostic disciple. It’s so redundant that it comes off as pure hack now. Even if they are sincere - it just becomes another ‘Oh.. this again’ reaction from me. I was raised Catholic/Jewish, realized God was stupid etc.

Anyways, not here to bad mouth and complain really. I don’t like this Ari guy and I really don’t like any of the Joe Rogan people - however - one of the great things about WTF is that I get to know the ‘real person’ (at least a little more) and often realize that they are surely good dudes after all.
So I think that might be true with Ari. Dislike the ‘act’ or ‘public Ari’ but I feel he must be a good guy with a good heart in there.

TheKid March 29, 2013 at 11:14 am

Nice conversation. I have to admit that all I knew about him was that he is Rogan’s guy and that Mencia stole from him. Very cool guy after all. I appreciate a lot his honesty about the STDs. Learn from it boys and girls. Have fun but be responsible. Or you’ll get a rude awakening like that nameless 18 year old groupie. wink


Hysterical Feminist March 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm


Sorry darling, but feminism doesn’t even try to advocate equality. It’s all about getting rights without responsibilities. The 75 cents thing is a myth that has been completely debunked. But hey, wouldn’t want those diversity bureaucrats to lose their budgets, right?

TRIGGER WARNING: facts and statistics ahead.

Michael "Mike Becker" Becker March 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm

@ Michael P. Gowdy - No scandal. Just Mitzi being Mitzi and kicking me to the curb after almost 20 years of loyal service to save money. I vowed when it happened that I would take the high road and not talk about her in public while she was still alive, but this scandal thing is news to me and I felt I had to set that straight. Marc and all the comics - ok, most of the comics - were great to me and I’m really happy to see Marc ‘s success after all the hard work he’s put in since I knew him as the doorman in the Original Room 150 years ago. Marc if you read this, say hi to the guys and keep fighting the fight.


Real Mike Becker March 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm

@Michael “Mike Becker” Becker, Stop impersonating me jackass.

Michael "Mike Becker" Becker March 30, 2013 at 2:40 am

@ Real Mike Becker - You may continue to impersonate me, but I want a piece of the action. From now on you can be “Mike Becker II” and handle all the states east of the Mississippi. I’ll take the West Coast and Guam. Gallagher’s attorney will draw up the papers.

JD March 30, 2013 at 5:59 am

Funny show and great intro! Thanks

Michael P. Gowdy March 30, 2013 at 6:54 am

Becker, thanks for clearing it up.
I’m not sure if I heard “scandal” or what. I just remember that you somehow broke your arm or leg then, not much later according to a couple of comics on someone’s podcast, “thrown out on [your] ass” (I think that I remember that phrase verbatim although I know that it certainly didn’t happen literally). So “thrown out on his ass” seemed like it was an abrupt and bad end to me.
Anyway, I always love to know about The Store’s history. Thanks.

J March 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I could be wrong, but I really got the sense that this guy is very disrespectful of women from several comments he made. If those comments do not represent how he really thinks and feels, he should try to work on the way he phrases things and talks about the issues. He really came across as quite hostile towards women. I found myself getting very mad while listening to him.

NTT March 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Holy shit, when did this place turn into feminism central?

Barbara (Real Barbara) Becker April 01, 2013 at 9:24 am

It’s probably not considered cool and edgy to comment on your little brother, but what older sister could resist.  Even as a small person, Michael ‘Mike Becker’ Becker was funny, clever and creative.  Still is.  As I recall the Comedy Store incident, after surgery for double hip replacement, Mike was unceremoniously ‘reorganized’ out of a job. After almost 20 years. Nice. Ah well. Hope I haven’t mortified him beyond belief.  His real sister, Barbara

maron id April 02, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I know my version of a troll on the comment boards is the same as any comedian who gets notoriety from the best week ever or a roast. I have to rethink that but, I can’t because it will then fuel any negative comments. Only I the mighty Maron can make such comments. Oh fuck, I’m reading my own headlines.

delrose April 05, 2013 at 7:32 am

Ari is best known for writing the world’s most obvious topical joke, then blaming other comedians for “stealing” it.

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