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I do stand-up comedy, I write, I act, and I do a podcast called WTF with Marc Maron. My producer Brendan McDonald and I wrote Waiting for the Punch, a book that uses hundreds of interviews from the podcast to help understand what it means to be alive. Let’s talk. (Brendan is here too and he’ll sign any questions he answers with ‘BM.’)
That was fun. We've got to run to a thing. Thanks everyone for talking and asking and listening. If you preordered Waiting for the Punch, thank you so much. If you didn't, go get yourself a copy. We think you'll really enjoy it.
Hi Marc, big fan, absolutely loved your work on GLOW! Was there a scene that was your favorite to work on? And, if you were to create your own wrestling personality, who would you be?
The scene in the abortion clinic and the scene with my daughter were the most challenging and exciting to do as an actor.
My wrestling personality... how about Captain Annoying?
Hey Marc, huge fan of the podcast and your standup.
What's your least favorite city to perform when you're on a standup tour?
City of Florida
So when are you and Randy Newman putting out an album together?
As soon as he wants to.
What has been your most surreal experience either interviewing someone or on tour? Like an experience that had you wondering, "WTF just happened?"
Thanks in advance, can't wait for my copy of the book to arrive.
After the President of the United States left my house, I had that feeling.
Hey Marc. Longtime fan. It was great meeting you at the D.C. show in May.
Do you ever worry you will run out of note-worthy guests to interview? And do you have any plans of retiring the show anytime soon, or this something you can see yourself doing well into your 70's?
There's no shortage of interesting people to talk to and there's no end in sight for the show. For humanity, I don't know.
hey marc how are your cats? i hope theyre good
I quit cigarettes about 4 years ago and have been vaping ever since. I am at that point, like you were a month ago, where I’m sick of the dependency. My question to you is: How do you create wins when quitting nicotine? What keeps you from nicotine, when all you want is a little taste!
Just got Waiting for the Punch in the mail, it’s a lovely birthday present (tomorrow’s my birthday), looking forward to reading it over and over. Thanks for making my Monday’s and Thursday’s go by just a littler faster.
Oh hi Marc,
What unique advice would you have for a recent college grad English major who wants to avoid the mundane 9-5 day to day week at all costs?
How do you feel about homelessness?
Hi Marc, love the podcast. What caused you and Chris Hardwick's feud?
That was fictional.
How do you think the industry will respond to the Weinstein scandal? Do you feel you behave differently when interviewing male and female guests on WTF?
The industry is responding to it. People are speaking out.
Do I talk differently to men than I do to women? Sometimes, but for different reasons.
Best advise you’ve ever gotten? Worst advise you’ve ever gotten?
Best advice was when I asked Paul Reiser, "How do you get started in comedy?" I asked him that when I was in college. He said, "Well. You've just got to do it."
Worst advice was "Cocaine will help."
Hi Marc, I read the Denial of Death after your recommendation and it was great. What other seminal books would you recommend everyone reads in order to understand themselves and life in general?
p.s. Boomer Lives!
The Big Book
When are you gonna interview somebody from Phish? Those guys are all huge Zappa fans and have battled their own demons and I bet the convo would be fucking killer
But besides pestering about dream interviews, I wanted to say thanks for letting people who don’t always know where to turn to have a place where they can feel welcome, where they can hear someone going through the same shit they’re going or have gone through. It’s not always the happiest stories but goddammit if they don’t all resonate in some way or another.
Yeah, as soon as I get done listening to everything they've ever recorded.
follow-up to that: will you invite mr trump for a sequel?
I won't invite, but if he requests it and wants to play on the same terms as President Obama, sure.
What about Kumail Nanjiani?
We talked about it on the pocast, episode 820. We're good.
Marc...love ya man!
When do you plan on returning to Iowa City for more existential conversations about Dave Matthews Band?
I like Iowa City. I don't have immediate plans, but I'd go back there to perform.
How did you decide on the common threads to pull together from the interviews, and how difficult was it to condense? Was permission from anyone an issue, or do you already have the rights to the whole interview?
Thanks again, you were the first podcast I listened to before I went down the podcasting rabbit hole, and your interviews have meant a lot to me! (Also great episode on the Turnaround and Lovett or Leave It).
BM: The threads came together after re-listening to everything and pulling out the good stories. Then it was assembled like a puzzle and the themes became obvious.
Two people requested their material not be used.
If not their names, could you share their reasons?
BM: One person did not want the material to be used outside of a one-man show starring Billy Crystal.
The other person had a lot of lawyers and managers who did not think it was best for Donald Glover to participate at this time.
If you could give any piece of advice not relating to your profession, what would it be?
Decide whether or not being hard on yourself is proactive or completely undermining.
Your conversation with Martin Starr is one of my favorite wtfs. Did you ever take up his offer to meditate?
I've tried it a couple times, I might get back to it.
do you find that interviewing musicians helps with your own guitar playing, and do you ever ask for pointers from your guests, or do you just leave them to it? Also; what sort of guitars are you playing these days, any new gear to talk about?
Thanks for the podcast and for doing this AMA!
Yeah, I definitely ask for pointers and they usually give them to me. Every time I do the Conan O'Brien show, Jimmy Vivino shows me some new licks.
I've been playing a Gibson reissue of a '56 Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top.
hey man its 5:15am here and ive been waiting just to ask you 2 things
do you think youll ever do a show in new zealand? (the south island to be percise) . youre my favourite stand up comedian and ive always wanted to see you live. you could come down do some shows and have a vacation
do you know of the band my morning jacket and could you please try get one of the members on the podcast? the singer jim james would be brilliant. your one of my heros, there my heros, so you doing a podcast with one of them would be amazing to me.
thanks man i really love your stuff. your latest special was fucking great by the way
I might come to New Zealand.
I know the band but I don't really listen to them. I'll give it a try.
Hi Marc, huge fan of both the podcast and the Show,
There's a house fire and you can only save one record, what do you pick?
I'd save my cats, because most records are replaceable. Though I do have an original pressing of Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn that I'd probably grab.
Outside of Keith Richards, which guitarist had the biggest impact on you during an interview?
Jimmie Vaughan, which has not aired yet, and Derek Trucks.
Hey Marc, love to hear you talk with musicians, what have you been listening to lately?
I've been listening to Night of the Cookers. It's Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, live.
What has been your favorite album of 2017?
I've got to go with Villains by Queens of the Stone Age.
I've been catching up on a lot of old records and ones I didn't know about. I just got the new Replacements Live at Maxwell's in Hoboken. It's pretty great.
Hi Marc and Brendan
I'm a big fan of the podcast. I'm going to ask a super generic question, since my mind is blanking right now.
Who would you guys love to have on the podcast? (both dead and alive)
Dead: Richard Pryor
Alive: Albert Brooks
Have you considered going to England to do interviews? I would like to hear Charlie Brooker, Richard Ayoade, Graham Linehan, the Pythons, the League of Gentlemen guys, the Mighty Boosh guys, etc.
Also, why don't you do the live WTF shows anymore?
I did it early on with Stewart Lee, Tim Key, Harry Deansway, Adam Bloom. I'd do it again.
The live shows are a big undertaking and were done initially as premium content. They don't really honor what we do anymore, though they are entertaining.
My favorite interview of yours was the one with Paul Thomas Anderson. I think your approach in going step by step through his filmography and asking just about the perfect questions got fascinating insights to all of his movies.
My question is have you thought about going about this approach with the other directors you have on with expansive filmographies?
I know that you like to just go at it like a normal conversation, but that one really felt like you wanted the information because you were a fan of his work.
Anyway, thanks for all the pods and everything else you do, you make the day go by a bit faster on Mondays and Thursdays. Love ya.
That's right, but also there weren't that many movies. With some directors who have been around a long time, you have to pick and choose. Because they're not all good. Paul's are all interesting.
Will you be my sponsor?
I can't but if it helps to listen to the show, keep doing that.
What are your thoughts on Canada and when are you moving here?
It's something I ask myself every day.
My thoughts are, what I used to think might be boring about Canada seems very relaxing to me now.
Hey Marc, saw you in Lincoln last year.
I remember seeing that you tried to reconcile with Jon Stewart and have him on your podcast and he pretty much threw it back at you, but offered to sit down and have coffee. Now that he's off the Daily Show, have you had any other contact with him?
No and don't hold your breath.
Hey, Marc, big fan since Thinky Pain, just had a quick question for you. Did you ever find the Beefheart?
Yeah, I got a handle on it.
Been listening to your podcast for awhile now in search of an answer to a very simple question. Unsure if it's been sufficiently answered yet, so I'll ask it here:
What the fuck?
That's the eternal question. There's no right answer.
Hey Marc, do you still hate the hat?
Hate's a strong word.
What's the usual process for getting a guest onto the podcast and how did you get Obama on there?
BM: I'd say about 50% of the guests come directly to us and 50% go through the booking agency we work with.
Short answer on the process to get Obama is that the White House contacted us first. Long answer is heard on episode 614 where Marc and I explained the whole shebang. http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_614_-_the_president_was_here
Least favorite guest?
They're all special.
That was fun. We've got to run to a thing now. Thanks everyone for talking and asking and listening. If you preordered Waiting for the Punch, thank you so much. If you didn't, go get yourself a copy. We think you'll really enjoy it.
If you had Trump on your podcast what would your first question be?
What's wrong with you?
Marc and Brendan,
Thanks for the countless hours of entertainment over the years. I have to drive about 3 hours round trip a day for work, so you've definitely kept me sane during those mind numbing drives. I find myself going back and re-listening to a lot of your podcasts. I do this a lot with guests who I was not familiar with beforehand. So I was wondering, who is a guest that you weren't very familiar with, or was unsure of that really surprised you during your interview?
Huey Lewis, RuPaul, Paul Scheer.
Hey Marc, it's Melissa. Was Jerry Lewis as hard to interview as the industry keeps claiming? What was your biggest take away from that one?
I had a fine conversation with Jerry Lewis. He thought it was going to be a half hour and he just stuck by that. I'm sure he can be difficult but it was not my experience.
Hey Marc, big fan of the podcast and your show! I've just got two questions...
Do you have any favorite guests you've had on your podcast?
Fav Beatles Album?
Thanks so much for doing this!
It's really hard to pick a favorite guest. I've been thinking about the Springsteen one a lot lately.
The Beatles Second Album is one of the first records I ever had and I love that album. But I'm going to go with Abbey Road.
Hello Marc and hello Brendan, first of all I wanted to say thanks for the weekly podcasts, your twice a week treats are what made me start listening to podcasts and I am thankful. Also ironically I think I'm one of the few people who came across you first via your IFC show, which I miss.
Anyways, my question is what jazz music would you recommend to someone like me? I'm fairly young, well at least legal to drink now since the beginning of October, and have gotten into recently. I listen to most of the general and popular stuff, but I think you could send me into a path that I don't want to return from after I get lost in the awe of some great fucking music. So what's a must to listen to? Thank you for reading man, and finally Boomer Lives!
Get Kamasi Washington's Epic
Hey Marc, any chance to see you in London / Europe in general anytime soon? Last year I missed you.. You should come over more often. Audience is growing.
Maybe in the Spring.
Really enjoyed your talk with Bill Simmons last week, when is he going to make an appearance on WTF?
We'll find a time.
Hi Marc! huge fan of the podcast here.
Who are your top 5 favourite guitar players?
Peter Green, Jimmie Vaughan, Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Keith.
And Angus Young. Just thought of that one.
Hey Maron! Can’t thank you enough for how much your neurotic ramblings help me deal with some personal darkness. Aside from your books, what book should I check out? Also, can I give you a hug at barnes and nobles later today? Thanks man!
Read Sam Lipsyte's The Ask.
Hey Marc, what's your favorite Coen brothers movie?
I'm kind of a Barton Fink guy, though No Country For Old Men is right up there. Fargo is great, their tightest movie.
How much upkeep does that gorgeous moustache require?
Not much. I trim it when I taste it.
Huge fan, you honestly inspired me to start standup at my local open mics and while I'm not good still it's some of the best times.
Would you ever be willing to star in another Marc themed tv/Netflix show? I love Glow but it doesn't quite fit the same roll Maron filled in my heart.
Yeah, I'm open.
Hi Marc and Brendan, this for both of you guys:
If you weren't producing the podcast, writing, acting, or doing stand-up what do you think you'd be doing for work and where would you be doing it?
That's it. Thank you for the laughs, the introspection, and the honesty in your work. Waiting for the Punch will be on my doorstep when I get home from work today!
MM: I'd like to think I'd be a sous-chef on the way to becoming a chef, but I'd probably be working at a record store.
BM: I'd probably still be working in live television, a job I would not have given up if I didn't have the podcast.
Your meaning-of-life interview with Jason Segal is something that has suck with me ever since I heard it. Of the interviews you've done, aside from Obama which was epic for being Obama, has there been any conversation that's stayed with you ever since? Or really changed your perspective on things? Also, thanks for the work you do and for the bravery in your transparency.
Any time I talk to someone who's been around for a long time, I feel my knowledge and understanding of life and the past become deeper.
Do you own a ferret?
Also, it would be just swell if you happen to find your way to okc.
No, I do not own a ferret.
What is your favorite breed of cat? Would you say this answer has changed over the years?
I like the orange ones. And ginger ones.
Mark - What’s a favorite joke / bit of yours that bombs but personally you still love?
"If you're ever yelling at a woman, all you should be saying is, 'Why can't you be my mommy? Why are you NOT my mommy?'"
Rarely gets a laugh.
Would you rather interview Ernest Becker or Spinoza?
Can I buy you a coffee?
Currently working in a pretty uninspiring 9-5 cube job, but your empathetic, insightful, and thought provoking interviews / conversations really add some depth to the monotony. I don’t think I’ll be doing this for long, but in the meantime it removes a lot of the dread and “time wasted feeling" of the day.
My question is if you have any similar outlets (favorite albums, podcasts, movies during travel) that get you through tedious / tough times?
Also any books you recommend?
Love the show and thanks!
I listen to music, I play music, I cook, I recommend the book Dreamland by Sam Quinones, but that's not going to get you out of anything. That's going to get you way in.
Hey Marc and Brendan. I'm a big fan of both the podcast and your comedy. Have you ever tried to book Noel Gallagher from Oasis on WTF? He is an amazing talk guest, would be a great episode. Now would be a perfect time, he is releasing is new solo record.
I like that one record.
Hey Marc Maron,
Who is your favorite musician or band that you've seen perform live?
I just saw John Hammond, and that was great.
Hi Marc. I look forward to the podcast twice a week. What was the moment you realized that WTF had become something special?
The two-part interview with Louis CK.