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WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
77 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
Episode 1285 - Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson didn’t start singing with her eyes open until she was 19 years old. That’s not a metaphor. Jennifer tells Marc how she was so afraid to sing in public, the only way she could do it was by closing her eyes. They talk about what it was like to finally feel brave enough to open them and the doors that also opened up when she did. Jennifer explains the centrality of church in her life, how faith helped guide her through unspeakable tragedy, and why she got Aretha Franklin’s blessing to portray her in the movie Respect. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
89 minutes | Dec 2, 2021
Episode 1284 - Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch is a busy man. When he’s not holding the Marvel Universe together as Doctor Strange or making prestige dramas with celebrated directors, he’s flying between the U.S. and the U.K. to raise a family. Benedict and Marc talk about his latest projects, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain and Jane Campion’s The Power of The Dog, as well as his early life as the child of two working actors. Plus a lot of talk about cats. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
84 minutes | Nov 29, 2021
Episode 1283 - Bill Pullman
Bill Pullman’s upbringing in rural Western New York prepared him for a multifaceted life, since he always had to keep his options open. So aside from being an actor, Bill’s also been a theater teacher, a rancher, a fruit grower, even a traveling Shakespeare performer in Montana. Bill and Marc talk about how he incorporated dream analysis into his performances in both David Lynch’s Lost Highway and his current show The Sinner, why Spaceballs was actually a great crash course in movie acting, and what’s the root cause of the timeless Pullman-Paxton confusion. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
81 minutes | Nov 25, 2021
Episode 1282 - Jason Bailey / Fun City Cinema
WTF takes over the historic Paris Theater in New York City for the first live audience episode of the show in more than six years. Marc is joined by film critic and historian Jason Bailey, author of the new book Fun City Cinema. They get into what the movies tell us about New York and what New York tells us about ourselves. Marc and Jason go over this history of movie making in NYC, including a deep dive into The Taking of Pelham 123 from Jason’s Fun City Cinema podcast. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
72 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
Episode 1281 - Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott has a secret weapon as a filmmaker and it probably has a lot to do with his career longevity and versatility. As a young boy, he would draw everything, and to this day he still storyboards every one of his films with his own drawings. That helps him deliver the finished product efficiently, often under schedule and under budget. Marc talks with Ridley about how he worked his craft on films like Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, American Gangster, and his two most recent films, The Last Duel and House of Gucci. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
94 minutes | Nov 18, 2021
Episode 1280 - Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh had a lot on his mind when making the movie Belfast, a film based on his own childhood. He thought mostly about loss. Loss of family, loss of where you come from, loss of innocence. As Kenneth tells Marc, he’s been thinking about loss a lot lately and figuring out how to strike a balance between heartbreaking and heartwarming. Marc and Kenneth also talk about the importance of visiting the graves of people you admire, what discovering Shakespeare did for Kenneth at a young age, why he might be ready to play King Lear, and why he worries about something actors call The Bleed. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
85 minutes | Nov 15, 2021
Episode 1279 - George Clooney
George Clooney is 60. Which means, much like Marc, he’s always reminding himself that he doesn’t know how much time he has left. George tells Marc how this mindset affects all his decisions, whether it’s the projects he takes on, the causes he fights for, or the time he frees up to spend with his children. They also discuss George’s directorial work, including his latest film The Tender Bar, his introduction to show business by his father and his Aunt Rosemary, and his thoughts on avoiding further tragic accidents involving guns on movie sets. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
80 minutes | Nov 11, 2021
Episode 1278 - "Canceled Comedy" w/ Kliph Nesteroff and David Bianculli
Marc is trying to get to the bottom of something. What does it really mean to be 'canceled' in comedy? Is it something comedians have always worried about? What does actual censorship in comedy look like? And who or what is traditionally responsible for censoring the comedy world? Marc talks to comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff and Smothers Brothers biographer David Bianculli about the history of comedians complaining they “can’t say anything anymore” and what it looks like when they actually do get canceled for speaking their minds. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
81 minutes | Nov 8, 2021
Episode 1277 - Felipe Esparza
The challenges of standup comedy were nothing compared to the obstacles Felipe Esparza faced throughout his childhood. His family was caught crossing the border and sent back to Mexico. When he finally made it to America, he found himself living with an abusive father in a Los Angeles neighborhood being decimated by crack and PCP. And as Felipe tells Marc, even when he was getting good standup gigs, he couldn’t escape his past. They also talk about Felipe’s vegan journey, the big comedy lesson he learned from the library, and the difference between doing his act in English and in Spanish. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
93 minutes | Nov 4, 2021
Episode 1276 - Bob Spitz
How did Bob Spitz become the preeminent biographer of the most important and influential names in rock and roll? Before he wrote the definitive narratives of Bob Dylan, The Beatles and now Led Zeppelin, Bob was a business manager who was there for the discovery of Bruce Springsteen and flew around the globe with Elton John. Bob tells Marc how he merged his experience in the business with an investigative approach to these music biographies and then extended it to other subjects like Woodstock, European cooking, Julia Child and Ronald Reagan. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
82 minutes | Nov 1, 2021
Episode 1275 - Ricky Velez
Being from Queens is as much a part of Ricky Velez’s personality as his humor, his dyslexia and his depression. Ricky tells Marc how he put it all together when he started doing standup in New York City as a teenager, which eventually led to collaborating with Judd Apatow, who produced Ricky’s new HBO special. They also talk about Ricky’s friendship with Pete Davidson, his failed attempt to join the Coast Guard, and how a TV segment with Bill Nye led to an internet nightmare. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
85 minutes | Oct 28, 2021
Episode 1274 - Jennifer Lee Pryor
Jennifer Lee Pryor was there for Richard Pryor’s highest highs and his lowest lows. She experienced so much with Richard that she married him twice. Jennifer and Marc talk about the brilliant, complicated, visionary, frustrating man that was Richard Pryor and how Jennifer became the guardian of his legacy, culminating with a new career-spanning box set. They also talk about Jennifer’s time as a ‘70s wild child, making her way through show biz on both coasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
97 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
Episode 1273 - Hasan Minhaj
Hasan Minhaj took the pressures put on him to become a lawyer and channeled them into the ambition necessary to start a standup career, become a Daily Show correspondent, host his own show (Patriot Act), get cast on a prestige drama (The Morning Show), and have a future in comedy as bright as anyone in his peer group. Marc and Hasan break down the roots of that ambition, how it differs between different generations of comedians, and whether or not there’s a correlation between comedy and entrepreneurship. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
91 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
Episode 1272 - David Chang
David Chang wouldn’t have opened his first restaurant if he wasn’t depressed. Now, with his Momofuku empire that brings joy to foodies everywhere, David still finds himself struggling to find joy. Marc talks with David about their shared demons and what steps they each take to overcome them, in particular creating boundaries, being less angry, and working to correct past mistakes. They also talk about David’s new show The Next Thing You Eat, his friendship with Anthony Bourdain, and his life as a new dad. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
70 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Episode 1271 - Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall has hope. Yes, even in these times. That doesn’t mean the good doctor looks at the world with rose-colored glasses. It means she knows hope is a necessary part of our survival as a species. Marc talks with Dr. Goodall about The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times and finds out what inspires her these days. They also talk about her famous primate research that changed the way we humans understand ourselves, her work to spread environmental equity, and her thoughts on Bigfoot. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
73 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
Episode 1270 - Alan Ruck
As Connor Roy on Succession, Alan Ruck finally has the kind of role he’s been waiting to get for more than 30 years. And as Alan tells Marc, some of those years weren’t very fun. There was the time after playing Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when he could only get work in a Sears warehouse. Or the time before making Speed when he left acting and started tending bar. And then the time when he got sick while shooting Spin City and almost died. At least there were some Star Trek conventions sprinkled in the mix. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
81 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
Episode 1269 - Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson says all her f***s are behind her now. But after three decades in show business, Taraji admits she only feels freedom from her f***s because of her openness around mental health. Taraji and Marc talk about the importance of coping with mental illness, as well as Taraji’s work to encourage mental health awareness in the Black community. They also talk about her landmark performances, from Baby Boy to Empire to Hidden Figures, and how she dealt with getting pushed out of roles after being told that “Black doesn’t sell.” See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
89 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
Episode 1268 - Kelefa Sanneh
Kelefa Sanneh has been writing about music for his entire career. Drawing on his experience as the music critic at The New York Times, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a lifelong music obsessive, Kelefa took a detailed look at how music unites and divides us with his new opus, Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres. Marc and Kelefa talk about their own personal musical journeys, how genres are comparable to communities, and how identities can be established and shaped by the music we love. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
88 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Episode 1267 - Julie Delpy
American audiences fell in love with Julie Delpy as the romantic French traveler Celine in Before Sunrise and its two sequels. But Julie didn’t have an equal love affair with the making of Hollywood films. She tells Marc that she was always happier as a writer and director, and her ongoing fight against institutional biases and sexism left her more than a little frustrated. With her new comedy series on Netflix, On The Verge, Julie is creating an unfortunately rare depiction of women in their 40s and 50s. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
80 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Episode 1266 - Rosebud Baker
Rosebud Baker knows all about the fine line between sadness and funny. She’s learned how to get laughs out of the tragedy that befell her family, her alcohol addiction, her co-dependent and abusive relationships, and her grandfather, who happened to be one of the most powerful people in the world. Marc and Rosebud also talk about how she found stability in her life and how she’s going about rebuilding her standup act after turning out her first special. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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