WTF Podcast

Episode 498 - RuPaul Charles

For RuPaul Charles, it all started with Monty Python. RuPaul joins Marc in the garage to talk about leaving an indelible mark on pop culture, both in and out of drag, and the influences that paved the way, from The B-52’s to David Bowie to Cher. This episode is sponsored by Slingbox, One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute To Don Rickles, Stamps.com and the WNYC app

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  • 28 Comments


Haley May 19, 2014 at 4:36 am


Haven’t heard the episode yet, but I’m excited because I’m newly obsessed with Drag Race. It’s a fun/funny show. It’s cool that these two different worlds I love (comedy and drag) are coming together and people can be open minded about it.

Arizona Bayou May 19, 2014 at 6:39 am


Amazing interview. (git it done, marc)

DM (Not Depeche Mode) May 19, 2014 at 11:22 am


Amazing, I wish more guys in your generation were able to come across as at ease with people challenging comfort zones. Like, imagine Jim Norton doing this interview,  or don’t, it would probably save you from the psychic trauma.

Bumper May 19, 2014 at 11:40 am


What a fantastic interview. I loved it. Thanks for that.

newmiracle May 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm


I think in the spirit of this podcast and interview, the only logical thing left to do is a Marc Maron/RuPaul musical collaboration.

Alex May 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm


If you guys liked this interview you should check out RuPaul’s podcast. www.rupaulpodcast.com

J R May 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm


I’m not familiar with RuPaul but this was a freaking amazing episode.

Bryan May 19, 2014 at 4:17 pm


Thank you so much for having Ru on! You can hear the serenity and joy in his voice when he talks, VERY calming. I also think his thoughts of the “she-mail” controversy were spot on.

Now you just have to have Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio on! 2 best comedy queens out there!

SarahCynthiaSylviaStout May 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm


Love. 
Most interesting part – the back story was there; the drugs and drama of one’s past. (the details that often make your best interviews what they are)
Other than a couple of references to it, it wasn’t the story… more of just a baseline.

My afternoon has been enlightened by a conversation between Marc Maron and Ru Paul…
Who knew?!

Thanks for being you.

Obey Enjoyment May 20, 2014 at 1:22 am


Marc’s psychotherapy: Marc, you might assume that I assume that I understand the complexities of the buffalo meat story. But I know this: John Lennon used Yoko Ono as a wedge to extricate himself from an obligation he’d grown to regret. No one, no one has offered this insight into the Lennon-Ono phenomenon in past popular culture. This is my revelatory vision of one trivial relic. Yet I see how the buffalo meat story could easily harbor similar tacit delicacies otherwise left unacknowledged.¬¬ –

RuPaul’s interview: not a “need to connect” but an incapacity to wholly acknowledge, accept, and appreciate the “Jungian connection” always already in place: all worlds are concurrent within/through the human mind—too much to take in without more preparation. You remain a default, psychosocial singularity, Maron.–

Marȫn Crȕe: some have indicated I’m a world class Garlic Baker on the jazzkit, yet a provincial Carl Jȕng.

Manuel May 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm


Great interview! Albert Camus comes to mind, the absurdity of the social construct ETC. Great job Marc and Long Live Rupaul!

Lauren Z May 20, 2014 at 1:39 pm


Hugely, hugely helpful, this interview.  You might say life changing.  I had NO idea RuPaul was also a spiritual guru.  Holy smokes.  This interview is right up there with your talk with Phil Stutz in terms of life-altering goodness.  Thanks, Marc.

Leah White May 21, 2014 at 10:31 am


This might be one of my favorite episodes ever. It was inspiring, hilarious, and I even teared up at one point! I demand a sequel!! (please?)

Barbara May 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm


It’s not often that I listen to a podcast that enlightens as well as entertains.  Thanks to both of you for a great interview.  Who knew RuPaul was such a powerful motivational speaker!

JM May 21, 2014 at 8:25 pm


I love Rupaul as an entertainer and he’s a hella awesome person. I loved the stories about going to six flags on acid, I can’t believe he couldnt convince anyone else to go with him.

But I kinda feel like he just doesnt understand why he, as a cisgendered man, shouldnt be using the word Tranny.

I don’t want to turn the comments into a political flame war but Rupaul 2014 could learn a bit from Rupaul 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/03/rupaul-amanda-bynes-faggot_n_3377868.html

Awesome interview besides tho, keep up the great work

Alicia Aguilera May 22, 2014 at 2:37 am


In the top five!!!!!!  A fun, exciting inspirational interview. And deep!  But fun!  Good one, Marc.

Slim May 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm


Translate this interview into French, and it could give Proust’s “Sodome et Gomorrhe” a run for the money.

“Lift up your skirts and fly, Lady-kins!”

Justin May 23, 2014 at 1:24 am


Instant Classic Episode.
      Looking forward to RuPaul #2 where it get’s even more real and crazy!

*wishlist:

Marc’s partner ‘Kyle’ (Josh Brener)

and obviously..  WTF on getting Danny Trejo in the garage???  Let’s do that thing!

ND May 23, 2014 at 4:32 am


AMAZING!!! Great podcast…so good, I played it twice.

bubba booey May 23, 2014 at 5:16 am


Holy shit, that RuPaul is fucking awesome! My expectations were confounded in the best possible way. Love the podcast Marc, and the tv show is hilarious.

Kal May 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm


n***er is his to reclaim, fa**ot might be his to reclaim (although as he refuses to identify as anything, I’m not sure), tr***y is NOT.
It was a brilliant interview up until that last part. He is a cis man, transphobic slurs are not his to reclaim and it wasn’t just a “few people” who got upset, a very large portion of the trans community spoke out, he just chose to ignore them and dismiss them as “too sensitive”.
Fuck that.

zipdisk May 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm


what a brilliant guest.

strength has always been part of his schtick and strong people are currently vilified. i’m probably too young to understand why drag was ever considered ‘edgy,’ but Ru’s ‘weak bitch’ comments are powerful in an age where people sit around waiting to be offended on other peoples’ behalf.

madz May 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm


Kal- still wanting everybody to behave in their roles- the exact thing RuPaul talked about for the whole hour, indeed, his WHOLE LIFE as a identity renegade. do you not see the irony in your scolding him?

Kristen May 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm


Such a moving interview - I listened to this and promptly therafter shared it with my friends at dinner only to find you were actually sitting right behind us.  Then I waved at you like a maniac while you got up to leave….at which point you tried to escape the restaurant through a locked door and slowly shuffled towards the main exit.  So Maron.
THANK YOU

Fishtsicks May 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm


I loved this interview. Such a great idea to get him in there. I listened to it 5 times. I watched Drag Race by chance a few years ago, initially to see the costumes and the process of getting into drag but then kept tuning in for the humor and the positivity. I was curious who RuPaul really was in his private life. It all makes sense to me.

Smitty May 31, 2014 at 7:46 am


it never ceases to amazes me, how people think that they are entitled to an “ideologic copyright” around a word.  it’s silly and moronic on on end,and outright dangerous on the other.  i’m not talking about wanton insensitivity her,either.  communication in America today, has been hijacked by all political persuasions;from middle of the road mediocre muck, to polar extreme flame throwing.

Smitty May 31, 2014 at 7:51 am


...and yes,i’m with RuPaul on the T-word issue…

Michael June 02, 2014 at 5:44 pm


I’d never have guessed I’d be saying it, but Rupaul is one of the coolest people in the world.  I’d honestly forgotten about him for a decade or so until this interview.  This is the best kind of WTF - a person you had no really opinion of turns out to be totally fascinating and awesome.  With the instant classics still being cranked out at the 500-episode mark, I’d say you’re doing just fine, Mr. Maron.  Thank you for putting this out there!