WTF Podcast

Episode 443 - Barry Crimmins

Barry Crimmins is a peerless political satirist, but he’s also the founder of one of the most important clubs in the Boston comedy scene. Marc talks with Barry about shaping political activism into a comedy act, as well as the deeply traumatic events in his life that gave rise to his political worldview and his comedy. This episode is sponsored by “Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles” on HBO, Saturday, November 23. Also sponsored by LegalZoom and Adam & Eve.

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  • 11 Comments


Mark Duwe November 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm


Thinking clearly is something that seems to be lost on most people these days. Barry does this well.

sydney November 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm


What an episode.  Many thanks to Barry for showing why it’s important to be vulnerable.  It’s not the same as being weak, and it’s critical to being human.  You are an example of someone who survived something traumatic and came out on the other side to live an authentic life.  Hopefully someone who has experienced something similar will hear this and have enough self compassion for themselves to move through the healing process and live their lives.  I hope Barry pops up on Paul Gilmartin’s podcast.

Karen November 16, 2013 at 7:19 am


Really? We hear this incredible interview with this comedian and human rights activist, then you go and throw in the B word and ask if you get a pass? Would you get a pass for using the N word? How is it not the same? Disappointing end to a great talk.

Stephen November 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm


this is an excellent episode, Marc. Although I’ve heard you talk about Barry before on the show, this was the first time I actually heard him. it’s a fantastic listen.

BigGuy November 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm


Raped by your baby sitters father when a toddler, repeatedly, and having your parish priest try to fondle you, over and over, when a tween, are not how most young men grow up, thank God. 

Barry has recovered.  He has grown into a mature, loving man.  That comes across.  May all of us recover from our own traumas as well.

Bruce November 20, 2013 at 1:54 am


Very mind opening episode, deep at points with a little bit of fun. Highly recommend listening all the way through.

Pat Hartman November 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm


The part about tripping at Niagara Falls, Goat Island and the Three Sister Islands - that resonated with me. In the late Sixties I lived a five-minute walk from the brink of the falls.

Niagara Falls was a great place to grow up. I know it’s hard to believe, but trust me on this one.

I believe Barry Crimmins contributed the largest number of quotable lines of any guest so far. How did I ever go so many years without ever hearing of this guy? Shame on me. But now, another culture hero for my pantheon.

The one hand clapping story is magnificent.

michael woloschinow December 05, 2013 at 12:53 pm


Karen sounds like a bitch

Whitney H December 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm


    Oh, my wow. What a tremendous conversation between the two of you. I love the ability to use humor and find purpose from the struggle instead of self negation. I was abused as a child by an uncle when he would babysit us. When I told my mother, her own defenses wouldn’t let her believe it. Under the rug it went to continue for years. Now I’m aware it happened to me because I was strong enough to endure it and my trauma kept it away from my sisters. They went on to college and have now started families of their own. Where I went down a long road of self destruction and self medication. I had no clue if I should live or die there for a while.
    This show held so much truth and resonance with me I had chills the whole time it was spot on. Loved it all. Thank you guys for being such fantastic examples of triumph through perseverance. Keep it up. You’re awe inspiring.

Barry Crimmins December 22, 2013 at 1:35 am


Thanks to all for the very kind comments. And thanks to Marc for creating a forum in which it was easy to tell a sometimes tough story. I have also received all sorts of lovely replies via twitter, Facebook and my website. 100% positive, Lucky me!
Barry Crimmins

Provenza January 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm


SO good to hear Barry Crimmins - and kudos to Marc for championing him as the iconic satirist and truth teller he is. Crimins is a great example of a comedian who doesn’t get the attention he deserves - except from a generation or two of comedians who are/have been influenced by his peerless work.