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Podcast / WTF with Marc Maron

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WTF with Marc Maron is a podcast hosted by stand-up comedian Marc Maron that premiered in 2009. An edited and censored version of the podcast began airing on radio in 2012.

In each episode, Marc sits down with a guest to speak at length about the guest's personal and professional lives. Guests have included many very notable figures from comedy, acting, and other performing arts, even including a sitting President of the United States.

The podcast is critically acclaimed for Maron's skills as an interviewer and his ability to get guests to open up and speak candidly about some very intimate subjects. His 2010 interview with Robin Williams was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as its coverage of sensitive topics (including: addiction, mental health, and suicide) is regarded as a milestone for podcasting as a medium, elevating it into a platform for serious and incisive conversation.

Episodes may be found on the podcast's official website, though older episodes are behind a paywall. Otherwise, many such episodes can be found unofficially on YouTube.

See also Maron, which depicts a fictional version of Marc Maron working on his podcast.

This podcast provides examples of the following:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Before Space Jam: A New Legacy came out, a fan animated Marc doing his typical interview format with Bugs Bunny. Marc shared it on his Twitter page.
  • All Jews Are Ashkenazi: Marc occasionally mentions that his genealogy is Ashkenazi Jew for as long back as his family can trace.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: In a memorable exchange, Marc says he thought he had asked an insightful question, but in hindsight he realized he had set himself up for an unanswerable response:
    Marc Maron: When you do a record like Egypt Station now, do you think this is the best work you're doing of your life right now, or how do you look at it?
    Paul McCartney: Well that’s kind of difficult, you know, because I was in The Beatles.
  • The Cast Show Off: Most episodes include a couple of minutes where Marc indulges in some riffs on his electric guitar.
  • The Corrupter: A light-hearted example. Knowing that Marc is a nicotine addict who's been struggling to quit smoking, Keith Richards kept waving cigarettes in Marc's face until Marc caved and lit one up.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The guitar transitions heard in the podcast are played by Marc himself.
  • Every Episode Ending: Each episode ends with Marc yelling “Boomer lives!” a Shout-Out to one of his old cats.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: “WTF” being the well-known abbreviation for “What The Fuck?”
  • One-Steve Limit: Marc once agreed to an interview believing he would be speaking to Kevin McDonald from The Kids in the Hall only to find out that he'd agreed to meet Kevin MacDonald (the director of The Last King of Scotland). Marc later interviewed McDonald and packaged the two interviews together into a single episode.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": By his own admission, Marc was reduced to a babbling fanboy when he got to interview Keith Richards.
  • Long-Runners: The podcast has been going consistently since 2009, only a few years after the invention of podcasting as a medium.
  • Must Have Nicotine: A recurring topic across multiple episodes. Marc discusses smoking with many guests. Some guests talk about how much they love it while others talk of struggling to quit. Marc, himself, repeatedly mentions how chewing nicotine gum messed up his jaw and that he relies on lozenges as a result.
  • Paying Their Dues: invoked Almost every comic who appears as a guest will talk about having to work short sets at strange hours in the hopes of connecting with audiences or impressing a more-established name who could make the right introductions. Those who came up through the Comedy Store, including Marc, also talk about having to deal with Mitzi Shore, the owner, and having to stay on her good side while dealing with her idiosyncratic opinions on what was funny and appealing.
  • Rage Quit: Gallagher angrily stormed out of his interview, claiming that Marc was being intentionally contrarian.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Marc has been low-key obsessed with a failed meeting he took with Lorne Michaels about possibly being the Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live. He's had cast members from that time period fill in the blanks before Lorne himself appeared on the show to re-tell the story in his own words.
  • Recovered Addict: Marc regularly talks with brutal honesty about sobriety and his past struggles with substance abuse. This helps him get guests to open up about their own struggles.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In his interview with Jerry Seinfeld, the two comics butted heads on the philosophy of comedy, with Seinfeld (Blue) arguing that the highest purpose is simply to please the audience with laughs, and Maron (Red) arguing that the laughs should be used in the service of making a more significant social commentary.
  • Very Special Episode: Two episodes are cited as being particularly notable and bringing international attention to the podcast.
    • Marc's 2010 interview with Robin Williams caused waves as Williams took the opportunity to go into detail about his struggles with sobriety and mental health as well as suicidal thoughts.
    • Marc's 2015 interview with Barack Obama made history as it was the first time a US president ever appeared on a podcastnote . Alongside the historic first and their in-depth conversation, President Obama made headlines with his frank use of the n-word when speaking of race in America. This episode is so important, Marc keeps it and its companion analysis free for anyone to listen.