WTF Podcast

Episode 490 - Alan Bursky

Comedian Alan Bursky is like a dark Zelig passing through modern standup. As Marc finds out in their conversation, Alan played a pivotal role in birth of The Comedy Store and in the lives of several major comics. Plus, writer and classic showbiz expert Kliph Nesteroff stops by to talk about legendary producer George Schlatter. And Marc pays tribute to the comic duo Otto and George. This episode is sponsored by LegalZoom, and the WNYC App.


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Michael P. Gowdy April 21, 2014 at 4:23 am

Alan is an interesting guy, but he needed to calm the fuck down about comics who curse. Marc, I loved the end when, minutes after yet another one of Alan’s rants against cursing, you said, “Wayne Kramer: what a story that is. Holy fucking shit.” As a former resident of Ann Arbor for five years, I concur completely.

jane April 21, 2014 at 6:53 pm

“I’m sorry it all changed, Alan.”

Favorite line of the show.

Peter McMarry April 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm

intriguing recitation in the preshow improve oratory antics…
rather Ginsbergian when you get those page-wide one-breath lines going on Jesus….

PMcM April 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm


Pauline Alessandro April 22, 2014 at 12:43 am

your show produced this rumination within my beer soaked mind this evening: the Lost in La Mancha doc on TerryG’s failed Quixote film with JDepp should’ve been recast with RWilliams as Quixote, viz. The Fisher King. Bridges coulda made a cameo some place. not sure the connection to this episode but lets wait and see…

Michael P. Gowdy April 22, 2014 at 1:26 am

Marc, I just realized that March 31 was the ten year anniversary of the launch of Air America (RIP to the initial concept of that network, not the abortion that it devolved into).
I love the fact that this podcast was launched on stolen Air America equipment.
Firetruck forever, brother. Fire. Motherfucking. Truck.

Mark N. April 23, 2014 at 6:25 am

I can barely contain myself: I am soooooo looking forward to tomorrow’s interview with Brother Wayne Kramer! He’s a guy who has packed about three different lifetimes in one lifetime and I know he has some fascinating stories to tell.


alex April 24, 2014 at 4:24 am

I hate to be the snark guy, but this is who those great comedians hung out and did blow with? I would have titled this interview “Bursky in LA: A Report on the Banality of Comedy.”

B. Albright April 26, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Great interview, but I’m calling BS on Burskey’s statement, when you asked if he was a gun guy and he said “No” [1:10.00]. He rattled off not only the gun used in the Bond movies, but the model of the copy that Freddie Prinz bought, as well as the details of the Charter Arms revolver that he also bought. I don’t know if the gun started out as Burskeys, but he sure did remember everything about it over 30 years after it was used. Burskey’s a gun guy.

Elias C. April 29, 2014 at 7:47 am

Hey Mark, just wanted to say that for as much as you always complain about not being able to do adult things, hearing you admit and accept Sam Kennison hurt your feelings, was probably one of the most mature things I had ever heard from a 40+ year old male.  So I think that’s something you should be proud of, most people (that I know at least) aren’t that emotionally confident to deal with feelings that openly.  Thanks for the show, well all the shows, keep it up.

smitty June 02, 2014 at 2:09 am

warning:  listening to this episode, may give you a terminal case of name ‘Name-drop-itis’.  this guest just rattles off names, without giving much context for most of them. sorry , but that’s annoying.  very interesting info,though filtered through a crazy delivery system

Smitty June 02, 2014 at 5:13 am

just heard the whole thing…......this dude is a narcissistic creep,who might as well have been talking into a tape recorder.    weasel vibe…

JockHigh June 18, 2014 at 3:12 am

The scepticism in Maron’s voice when Bursky denies being a gun guy and Marc responds “you didn’t even know you could snort heroin” was priceless.

Oh, and everyone had coke, Bursky wasn’t a dealer, but Belushi would hold him upside down and shake him til his pockets emptied. Hmm.

Agree with B. Albright’s BS call on Bursky not being a gun guy, too.

Tremendous interview.