WTF Podcast

Episode 418 - Michael McKean

Michael McKean goes to 11 in this garage interview with Marc. The actor-comedian-musician spills all the details surrounding This Is Spinal Tap, as well as the reason Lenny and Squiggy made it to television. Plus, Michael explains the circumstances behind his year on SNL and reminisces about his life-long friendship with Christopher Guest. This episode is sponsored by Comedy Central and by Stamps.com. Click on the radio mic and enter WTF to start a no-risk trial.

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Sorta Totally August 26, 2013 at 6:51 am


The maxim you wrote on the record bag was a pithy flash of insight. So true, and it extends to things like religion, which is culturally assumed (take xtianity, which is almost entirely non-canonical in content) and then molded to reflect culture back at its participants, the way they want to see themselves. Art is both that reflection and the intersection, Provided, as you point out, we intersect.

Bumper August 26, 2013 at 9:00 am


Michael McKean? Holy fuck! I can’t wait to listen to this.

Kristen August 27, 2013 at 2:49 am


I was at the early show on Friday in Denver, my first time at Comedy Works but it won’t be my last.  You and Troy were both hilarious.  I was previously only familiar with you from your cameo in Sleepwalk With Me and what they play on our local 24/7 Comedy station.  I had also heard your interview on Fresh Air.  I’m glad I came to see you instead of staying at home alone like a sad fuck.  Of course, I’m probably kind of a sad fuck for going to a comedy show alone, but whatever, I enjoyed myself.  Can’t say I’ve had your experience with the drunk people in downtown but I’m not really a bar or club hopper.  I do agree that the art scene here is fucking fantastic.  I just started listening to WTF this weekend after hearing a bunch of people after the Denver show talking about it.  I’m impressed at how quickly it seems you put these podcasts together.  I will donate as soon as I can.  Comedy Works is a nice club but between the ticket and the two drink minimum I can’t afford it right now.  At least they validate parking.  Well, this turned put to be rambling and lengthy, but so are you, right?  Now go calm down, and you can have some ice cream smile

J R August 27, 2013 at 8:26 pm


Great interview. Michael McKean’s voice kinda sounds like a well-adjusted Michael Ian Black.

Cat Admirer August 28, 2013 at 12:41 am


About the passing mention of Cassavetes… His improvisational film was “Shadows,” his first. Though he obviously incorporated improvisation after that, all of his subsequent movies were fully scripted. Many of them are also quite funny, as JC himself could be quite funny! See: “Minnie and Moskowitz,” “Gloria,” and “Love Streams,” all of which contain funny Cassavetes characters and scenes (and all without Falk). Gena Rowlands was an outstanding comedic actress under her husband’s direction. Richard Lewis can probably set Marc straight on this. : )


The improvisational movie Cassavetes and Falk made with Elaine May is another story.


In any event, Mike Leigh is the name that would have made the most sense where Cassavetes was mentioned. If Leigh didn’t directly influence Guest and Co., he certainly had established the most notable precedent for what they went on to do.

Joe Tily August 29, 2013 at 9:55 am


Great interview Marc, thanks! . . . FYI - on the This is Spinal Tap (Special Edition) DVD there are around an hours worth of deleted scenes that are really good.  Just as funny as the movie itself.  There is also a commentary track with the guys in-character as the band . . . also funny as hell.

Christopher August 30, 2013 at 10:29 am


Hate to be the negative nelly here but surprised this one wasn’t more funny and/or interesting. WTF? I’m a fan of McKean’s too. Even Marc sounded bored during parts of it. On the flipside, the Catherine O’Hara one was awesome.

Ann Chagnot August 31, 2013 at 9:42 am


Michael McKean is legend

TimenatorX September 06, 2013 at 2:45 pm


Yeah Denver! Sorry to have missed your show. Missed Maria Bamford a few months back as well. WTF I have to see more comedy! Too bad the Oddball freak show is at Fiddlers Green, bummer. Yes Lodo is a drunken mess and probably the most dangerous place in the city Thur-Fri when the bars barf out the beer muscle knuckle heads. Wax Trax and the museum is the safe choice. Great interview McKean is a classy guy. Christopher Guest next?

Bill September 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm


I was lucky enough to see Marc’s tits in Denver, and they were somethin.




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