Marc Maron welcomes comedians, actors, directors, writers, authors, musicians and folks from all walks of life to his home for amazingly revealing conversations. Marc's probing, comprehensive interview style allows guests to express themselves in ways listeners have never heard.
Johnny Flynn and Marc already developed a rapport while they were road-tripping through Canada. They were playing David Bowie and Bowie’s publicist at the time, but they still got to enjoy each other’s company. Now they get to converse just as themselves, as they talk about the movie they made together, Stardust, as well as Johnny’s personal journey from a fishing boat to acting school to rock bands and record contracts. Johnny also brings up a bit of advice Marc gave him when ...more
Michael J. Fox didn’t intend to be an inspiration but he’s glad he can help out. As Marc learned from talking with him, Michael maintains a perspective on life filled with gratitude and optimism as he lives with the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Recently, after a run of health setbacks, that perspective faltered. But Michael tells Marc how he got back on track, how he maintains strong bonds with his wife and children, how he felt about giving up show business for a second tim...more
It took Glenn Close a long time to open up about some aspects of her past. Shame was stubbornly in the way. But Glenn tells Marc she was able to discover her inner rebel and push past that shame, many years after she already became famous for finding the buried emotions of complicated characters. They talk about Glenn’s personal evolution, as well as the mark she left with her performances in The Big Chill, Fatal Attraction, Sunset Boulevard, 101 Dalmatians, and her latest film Hillbilly E...more
Better Call Saul features characters who are not honest about their lives and identities, so it’s appropriate that one of the show’s stars, Rhea Seehorn, suffers from imposter syndrome in real life. Rhea and Marc compare notes on why they both feel insecure and inadequate despite their natural talents, such as Rhea’s skills at painting, sculpting and building. They also talk about her father’s secretive life in the Naval Intelligence Services, the perils of pilot season, ...more
Mel Brooks once told Frank Langella, “Nobody would believe you’re from Bayonne. You look like a prince without a country.” But whether he’s playing Dracula or Richard Nixon or King Lear, Frank is still a Jersey Boy at heart. Marc asks Frank about that upbringing across the Hudson and how being an introverted, sensitive middle child led him to a life of transforming into larger than life characters. They also talk about an amazing gift Frank was given by Ron Howard, the li...more
With the world still wondering what this year's Presidential election really means, it's the right time for Marc to talk with actor and playwright Heidi Schreck, who knows a thing or two about power structures and why they don't serve everyone equally. They talk about Heidi’s acclaimed Broadway show, What The Constitution Means To Me, and how her recognition of generational trauma in her family prompted her to write a show about unequal rights and the people who help stack the deck. They a...more
David Cross is one of Marc’s oldest friends in show business. And right now is a good time for them to catch up, as David balances his life as the dad to a three-year-old with the demands of going back to work on film and television sets during the pandemic. David explains to Marc how he was feeling more antisocial even before COVID-19 hit, why he wanted to become a dad late in life, and what he had to physically endure while making his new movie, The Dark Divide. Marc and David also compa...more
If comedy equals tragedy plus time, comedian Melinda Hill has reached the point where she can make some funny out of the traumas from her past. Melinda and Marc talk about processing the pain, particularly dealing with parents suffering from mental illness. They also talk about Melinda’s trajectory in the comedy business, starting with success in voiceovers to her influential LA stand-up showcase What’s Up, Tiger Lily? to her acting, writing and podcasting ventures. Plus, Melinda tal...more
When Hari Kondabolu was a college student, he interviewed Marc for a research paper about standup comedy. Twenty years later, they’re talking to each other as peers whose lives have changed considerably in the past two decades. With a newborn baby, a recent Netflix special, and a documentary about Apu from The Simpsons that spurred a global conversation about representation in pop culture, Hari gets Marc up to speed on where his life is at right now. He also explains how he developed his c...more
These are appropriate times for reflection and Matthew McConaughey just went through the process of reflecting on his whole life while writing his memoir, Greenlights. Marc talks with Matthew about the revelations he encountered, the perspective he gained, and the philosophies he was able to codify in the process. They go through Matthew’s upbringing in Austin, his first movie role in Dazed and Confused, his launch into superstardom, his self-imposed hiatus, and his career rebirth that saw...more
Patti Smith has been at the vanguard of art, poetry, rock and roll, and other forms of self-expression since the 1960s. But this talk with Marc happens to be her very first one-on-one conversation done over Zoom. They talk about Patti’s days living at the Hotel Chelsea, carrying on the legacy of the Beat Generation, and forming life-changing relationships with William Borroughs, Sam Shepard, Allen Ginsberg, and Bob Dylan, among others. Patti also recalls the most mortifying live performanc...more
Everyone needs to let off some steam these days and there are few people better who do it better than Lewis Black. Marc welcomes his old friend back to the show for a talk about pandemic comedy, going stir crazy during quarantine, avoiding cults and pulling for democracy to make it through these times. They also talk about Lewis's new standup special, Thanks for Risking Your Life, which was filmed the day before the country shut down. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne was in Los Angeles and decided to stop by the garage for a rare pandemic-era in-person chat. It’s been a long time since Wayne and Marc hung out last. Since then both dealt with deaths of people close to them and they talk about how processing those losses gave them perspective on what we’re all living through. Wayne also talks about being a new dad in his late 50s, how an epiphany while working at Long John Silver’s changed his personal trajec...more
Wynton Marsalis created a profound examination of America, race, class, politics and human impulses with his latest epic composition, The Ever Fonky Lowdown. He explains to Marc how his perspective for the piece was largely aided by his fear of flying. Wynton’s worldview was also shaped by watching his dad play jazz to limited audiences, realizing what it meant to play solely because you believe in the music.They also talk about Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock and Wynton&rsquo...more
John Cusack is always trying to stay engaged with the world. From a young age when activist priests used to visit his parents to the Reagan years when he underwent a political awakening to present day, John uses his perception of how the world works as a way to build the characters he plays. That comes in handy in the new series Utopia, where John plays an evil billionaire. John also tells Marc what it was like to play Brian Wilson while working with Brian Wilson, how Being John Malkovich got ma...more
Barbara Kopple is known for her acclaimed documentary films, but for Marc the most memorable time Barbara spent behind the camera is the day she directed him in a phone commercial. Marc and Barbara reminisce about how that happened and talk about her entry portal into documentaries working with the Maysels Brothers on Salesmen and Gimme Shelter. They also discuss Barbara’s Oscar-winning film Harlan County, USA, how Bruce Springsteen saved one of her early movies, and how she got Jimmy Cart...more
The adage “you can never go home again” didn’t apply to Cecily Strong. She did, and it’s what got her on Saturday Night Live. Cecily tells Marc why she didn’t stick around in Los Angeles after studying acting at CalArts, a move that people told her was a mistake. They also talk about why she got kicked out of her high school, how she battles her depression, what it was like to perform for the Obamas, and why she was in a Chinese opera with Alison Brie. See omny...more
Barry Levinson finds himself waking up in disbelief to every outlandish and shocking item in the day’s news. It’s a different mode for a filmmaker who spent his career focused on the natural, quiet moments that make up everyday life. Marc and Barry talk about his beginnings at a Washington, DC television station, his early comedy writing that landed him at The Comedy Store, The Carrol Burnett Show, and with Mel Brooks, and his breakout movies like Diner, The Natural and Rain Man. The...more
It's a New York City doubleheader! First up, Marc talks with the woman behind the modern day New York anthem, Alicia Keys. On the release of her seventh studio album, Alicia looks back on what it was like to start a huge music career so young and how she had to finally meet her monster in order to come into her own. Then Marc talks to John Leguizamo about his defining one-man shows, his relationship with other New York City artists, and his new movie Critical Thinking, which is the first feature...more
Wendell Pierce isn't doing a lot of acting during the pandemic, but he's keeping busy. He's spending more time with his 95-year-old father in New Orleans, he's hosting radio shows on a local station he bought, and he's helping to figure out the future of live theater. Wendell and Marc talk about his time on The Wire and the unique way he experienced that show. They also discuss what he learned playing Willy Loman last year and how Led Zeppelin and jazz helped him become a better actor.See omnyst...more
Toni Collette might be the first actor to tell Marc that, yes, she does learn about herself through the characters she plays. That's a lot of learning, considering the wide range of characters Toni has played over the years. Toni and Marc talk about how she grew into herself while starring in movies like Muriel's Wedding, The Sixth Sense, Hereditary and now in Charlie Kaufman's latest, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, a movie that left Marc asking a lot of questions (which he'll try to get Toni to...more
Even in the face this year, Martin Short remains an optimistic guy. Maybe it’s because he’s had a career he loves, or maybe it’s his mild-mannered Canadian disposition, or maybe it’s because he suffered through a lot of tragedy as a kid. Martin and Marc try to figure it out, and they also talk about his live shows with Steve Martin, the difference between doing SCTV and SNL, why Martin considers 80% of his career to be a failure, and why believes that a 20% success rate i...more
One year ago, Marc used the Labor Day episode of WTF to find out why so much bad stuff in the world gets birthed in the darkest corners of the internet. A year later, it's only gotten worse. Marc talks with comic artist Matt Furie about how his creation, Pepe the Frog, was appropriated by online racists and Nazis, and Arthur Jones explains why he made a documentary about Matt's quest to reclaim Pepe. Also, Andrew Marantz from The New Yorker joins Marc to help draw the line from Pepe to QAnon and...more
J.K. Simmons faced a tough balancing act when his lifelong nonchalance about awards for acting came up against him becoming the runaway favorite to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. J.K. and Marc talk about how he reconciled that contradiction with help from Jason Reitman and how his late-blooming Hollywood career helped him maintain perspective. They also talk about his time on stage in Seattle, Broadway and regional theaters across the country, his fear of being typecast when he was on O...more
Chelsea Peretti joined Marc in the garage more than ten years ago on a very early episode of WTF. Since then she became a writer for Parks and Rec, played Gina on Brooklyn 99, got married to Jordan Peele, and became a mom. Now she’s catching up with Marc about coffee, creative satisfaction, overcoming her fear of commitment, raising a toddler while sheltering at home, and the coping strategies of the pandemic era. They also talk about her first lead role in the new movie Spinster.See omnys...more
It’s been 20 years since Marc demanded that someone “lock the gates” on Billy Crudup and the rest of the band in Almost Famous. Now that both of them are older and wiser, Billy and Marc discuss the simultaneous drudgery and privilege of acting. They also talk about why Billy often opted for roles in the theater over roles in movies, why he thinks he wasn’t destined to be a Hollywood leading man, and how he’s settled into a career as a character actor by virtue of on...more
Whether it’s Gus from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul or Buggin’ Out from Do The Right Thing or Moff Gideon from The Mandalorian, Giancarlo Esposito’s characters always leave an indelible impression. Perhaps that’s because Giancarlo spent a lot of his life reflecting on his own character and where he belonged. He talks with Marc about growing up as the son of an Italian carpenter and a Black nightclub singer, trying to figure out where he fit in. They also talk about li...more
A lot is going on for Kieran Culkin right now. He’s a new dad, he has an Emmy nomination, he’s dealing with life during the pandemic like the rest of us. But chaos is familiar to Kieran, who grew up in a railroad apartment with six brothers and sisters, all of whom were pushed toward show business by their father. Kieran and Marc talk about that childhood environment, why Kieran and his brothers love pro wrestling, and how he established himself as an actor, including in his role as ...more
Kerry Washington has a lot to talk about with Marc, but it’s appropriate that they spend the first portion of their conversation singing the praises of Lynn Shelton. Kerry talks about what Lynn brought to Little Fires Everywhere, but they also discuss how the treatment of race was different on the show than it was in the book and why that adjustment was so important to Kerry. She tells Marc about her childhood in the Bronx, her feeling of being “the other” in high school, and h...more
At the time when Juno became an award-winning hit film, Ellen Page experienced two things she never experienced before in her young life: She was now instantly famous and she fell in love. Unfortunately, the pressures of the former prevented her from publicly acknowledging the latter. Ellen talks to Marc about the struggles she faced in hiding her true self and the relief of coming out seven years later. They also talk about the importance of using one’s platform to advocate for change and...more
Sarah Snook plays a character on Succession who exists in the center of the American power structure. But in real life, she’s riding out the pandemic on the other side of the world, from her homeland of Australia. Sarah and Marc talk about how she was told she was “too much of an enigma” in drama school and how she evolved into the kind of actor who Helen Mirren requests by name as a co-star. They also discuss how she relates to her Succession character, Shiv Roy, and why she n...more
Joe List shot his new standup special a week before everything shut down, but that doesn’t mean he’s given up on comedy. He’s been performing in parks, at drive-ins and even on Zoom. Marc talks with Joe about pandemic comedy. They also explore Joe’s roots as a standup, from his first viewing of a George Carlin special to his training in Boston to his experience bottoming out with alcohol while on the road. Marc and Joe compare notes on getting sober as comics.See omnystud...more
Tumultuous times call for sensible comments from voices of reason. Who better to speak to the issues of the day than Ice-T? The legendary rapper, rocker and actor talks about his personal experiences with COVID to offer some much-needed perspective. He also gives his take on the importance of the anti-racism protests around the world and how it relates to the race-driven firestorm over his Body Count album in 1992. Marc and Ice also talk about Redd Foxx, Richard Belzer, and a time Marc saw Ice a...more
Not only is Marsha Warfield one of the early pioneers of the Comedy Store scene, she was also there at the start of standup comedy as we know it in Chicago. Marsha tells Marc what it was like to compete for limited spots while coming up against the politics and prejudices of the day. Marsha also talks about the friendships she developed with Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney, how her life changed overnight after her first episode of Night Court, and what it was like to retire from comedy for 20 year...more
Trigger warning if you are an anti-Semite: First of all, why are you listening to this show? Get lost! Secondly, you are REALLY not going to like this episode. Seth Rogen returns to WTF for the first time in six years and has, by far, the Jewiest talk with Marc that two Jews ever had on this show. And that’s saying something. The subject matter of Seth’s new movie, An American Pickle, might have something to do with it, but they really get into their shared childhood experiences, the...more
Chris Fairbanks lives the life of a comic, which means a lot of his life is on hold right now. Chris and Marc compare notes on what it’s like to live alone during Covid, a non-ideal situation that is nevertheless providing them both with room for personal growth. They also talk about Chris’s upbringing in Montana, skateboarding, chewing tobacco, making miniatures, and why having a mustache helps with comedy. Chris also explains what it’s like to have a lot of true crime fans co...more
Tom Scharpling and Marc spend some time talking about the kind of things we all cared about when life was normal: music, coffee, comedy, live performances, and other things that make us feel alive. Leave your worries at the garage door and listen to these two friends wax nostalgic about Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, the music that first hooked them as kids, their favorite comedy albums, and their renewed love of Rodney Dangerfield and Don Rickles.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy informatio...more
Jim Carrey just wrote his first novel, a semi-autobiographical look at show business and an examination of persona. It makes sense because Jim has been playing with persona during his entire career in show business. Jim talks with Marc about his days doing stand-up in Canada, LA and Las Vegas, and the late night realization that forced him to change his act and create the public image that launched him to superstardom. They also talk about In Living Color, Ace Ventura, Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Ki...more
Colin Jost has 15 years of Saturday Night Live under his belt but the time in his life he feels he’s still running away from is his upbringing on Staten Island. Colin tells Marc why his Outer Borough roots loom so large in his life and how he’s linked with his SNL castmate Pete Davidson by more than just their hometown. Marc and Colin also talk about the stress of hosting the Emmys, the secret gift of Lorne Michaels, and the silver linings Colin and Scarlett Johansson are finding in ...more
Dame Helen Mirren is a winner of the Oscar, the Tony, the Emmy, and the BAFTA, and is in the middle of an illustrious career in which she played the great roles of Shakespeare, Catherine the Great and Queen Elizabeth, to name a few. And yet she still begged to be cast in the Fast and Furious franchise. Helen tells Marc why she finds film acting powerful, challenging, and uniquely fulfilling compared to her stage work. They also talk about her breakthrough on Prime Suspect, her job at an amusemen...more
John Legend is a multiplatinum recording artist, a winner of the coveted EGOT, a loving family man and, as Marc found out in this conversation, a tremendously nice guy. The combination of John’s talent and his kind disposition is what makes him the type of artist who works with a wide variety of collaborators. John talks about how collaboration defines his professional career, from his first gig working with Lauryn Hill to his new record Bigger Love. He also discusses his marriage to Chris...more
George Lopez says much of his career is driven by spite. He talks with Marc about how the people who told him he wasn’t going to make it served as fuel for his ambitions, especially coming from a background where his opportunities were limited. George remembers what it was like to get on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, develop a hit sitcom with Sandra Bullock as his producer, and become a late night talk show host. He also sets the record straight on what happened between him and Carl...more
From 2013, Marc talks with Carl Reiner about is journey from writing to acting to directing, as well as his collaborative relationships with Sid Ceasar, Dick Van Dyke, Steve Martin and, of course, Mel Brooks. Carl died on June 29, 2020 at age 98.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
One thing Alan Zweibel learned by being a writer for so many funny people is you have to set your ego aside. In doing so, Alan was able to have a career spanning decades and criss-crossing with multiple generations of comedy history. Alan tells Marc about his days selling jokes to comics in the Catskills, being part of Saturday Night Live in its first five years, finding a comic partner in Gilda Radner, creating a beloved sitcom with Garry Shandling, making his way to Broadway with Billy Crystal...more
As Marc dealt with personal grief, he looked around the Internet for some guidance on coping with loss. He found a TED Talk by Nora McInerny, who spoke about losing her father, her husband and her unborn child within the span of a few weeks. Since that time, Nora has been able to move forward with her grief, not move on, as she began a career as a published writer, a public speaker, and podcaster. Nora and Marc talk about processing the harsh realities of life while maintaining the ability to fi...more
Janelle Monáe is not going to stop creating, but right now she feels the urge to use her creativity in the service of action. Marc talks with Janelle about the social and political unrest in the country today and why no one has an excuse to remain silent. Janelle explains how her fears of emotional abandonment when she was younger laid the groundwork for her music career and her acting, including her most recent performance in Homecoming. They also talk about Prince, Stevie Wonder, David ...more
It's been five years since President Obama joined Marc in the garage and WTF is marking the occasion not with Donald Trump, but with comedian J-L Cauvin, who talks to Marc about his Trump impression going viral and reinvigorating his standup career. Then Marc talks with comic Amber Preston who, like J-L, held down a day job in Corporate America while her career in comedy took shape. Amber and Marc talk about North Dakota, Scandinavians, having Dead Head parents, and trying to shake her Fargo min...more
Joe Pantoliano is widely known for playing bad guys, lowlifes and disreputable characters. He even has his own pseudo-Mafioso nickname: Joey Pants. But Joe tells Marc the reason he got so good at playing bad guys is because he was always bullied when he was younger. Tapping into that helped him with his acting, but he had to wait until later in life to tap into the cause of his depression, which was tied up in his complicated parentage and inescapable genetics. They also talk about some of his b...more
Stacey Abrams believes deeply that the problems facing America today - police brutality, racial discrimination, economic inequality, Covid-19, creeping authoritarianism - all require the same solution: Free and fair elections. As the only Black woman ever nominated for Governor by a major party, Stacey tells Marc how she maintains hope that obstacles can be overcome and change can be achieved. Stacey also talks about how her family traditions of faith and service shaped her political identity an...more
WTF started as a comedy podcast. It’s a show made by a comedian who wanted to talk to other comedians about comedy. Finally, after more than 10 years, Marc talks with the most well-known, most successful, and arguably most influential comedian in history, Jerry Seinfeld. About comedy. About how Jerry got started in comedy, how he was incapable of socializing, how he forged a friendship with Larry David, how he fueled himself with anger toward one person in particular. But mostly just about comed...more
Chris Cooper was a guy who worked with his hands. He was raised to be a cowboy on his father’s ranch, spent time building Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, and worked as a jack-of-all-trades when he was trying to scrape by. Then he became known as a guy who worked with his heart and got to the top of his craft by doing so. Chris talks with Marc about breaking his shyness to become an actor, meeting his wife in acting class, working with John Sayles, and winning an Oscar for his madcap performanc...more
G.E. Smith started playing guitar when he was four. As he grew up, he liked The Beatles fine but it was really the Kinks and the Stones that grabbed him. Cut to many years later and G.E.’s had the opportunity to play with many of his heroes. He tells Marc about working with Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Roger Waters and more. They also talk about G.E.’s time as the bandleader on Saturday Night Live and the current dire situation for live music. This episode is sponsored by Patreon and Hon...more
Film and television production is on hold, but Jeffrey Wright is using the time to focus on his community. Jeffrey tells Marc how his attempt to help out a friend led him to a Brooklyn-wide effort to keep neighborhood restaurants afloat while feeding frontline workers. They also talk about ancestry, working in prison, Angels in America, Basquiat, Batman, Muddy Waters, and the great acting lesson Jeffrey learned from Christopher Walken. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, Capterra, and HBO ...more
Marc revisits his 2012 conversation with comedic actor Fred Willard, in which they discuss Fred’s career in improv-heavy films and beloved television projects. Fred passed away at age 86 on May 15, 2020.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Marc pays tribute to his creative collaborator and romantic partner Lynn Shelton, who passed away at age 54 on May 16, 2020. This episode includes her August 2015 interview on WTF.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
From Episode 746, Marc's conversation with John Prine about Kris Kristofferson, Steve Goodman, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and delivering the mail. John passed away on April 7, 2020.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
From Episode 348, Marc's conversation with songwriter and musician Adam Schlesinger about Fountains of Wayne, That Thing You Do, Broadway and more. Adam passed away on March 31, 2020.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
During a victory lap for their movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio put movie stardom on hold for an hour to have a chat with Marc. They talk about their early days as show business outsiders, the moment they knew their lives would never be the same, the times they've known a movie they're in is going to tank, why they don't want to direct and why they love to produce. This episode is sponsored by SimpliSafe and Everything's Gonna Be Okay on Freeform.See omnystudi...more
From the minute the Presidential motorcade pulled away, Marc began recording his reaction to the momentous event that just occurred in his garage. Hear Marc's ongoing reflections in the aftermath as well as a discussion with WTF producer Brendan McDonald about how this happened in the first place. This episode is sponsored by Stamps.com, Squarespace, Comedy Central, and Vegas.com.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Marc welcomes the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to the garage for conversation about college, fitting in, race relations, gun violence, changing the status quo, disappointing your fans, comedians, fatherhood and overcoming fear. And yes, this really happened. This episode is presented without commercial interruption courtesy of Squarespace. Go to MarcMeetsObama.com to see behind-the-scenes photos and captions.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.