Episode 926 - Dave Itzkoff / Robin Williams from 2010

New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff came into Robin Williams's life right around the same time Marc talked to Robin for WTF. Dave and Marc share notes on what they learned about this one-of-a-kind comedic performer, how his death affected the world, and what Dave was able to glean from working with Robin to write his biography. Then, after their conversation, hear the full interview Marc conducted with Robin back in 2010. This episode is sponsored by Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 KeithHearts Beat Loud, and Ben & Jerry's.

Episode 925 - Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton sees himself in a certain way and feels as though the world sees him differently. That's why he feels uncomfortable at parties, uneasy about being a celebrity, and most relaxed when he can retreat into a new role. With Marc's help, Billy Bob tracks a lot of his anxiety back to his childhood in Arkansas, his pursuit of a life as a rock musician, and his stumble into a long and prosperous career in Hollywood. They also talk about Robert Duvall, Richie Havens, Sling Blade, and the new season of Goliath. This episode is sponsored by Drunk History on Comedy CentralSquarespace, and Burrow.

Episode 924 - Holly Hunter / Amber Tamblyn

Holly Hunter left the family farm in Georgia to become an actor. She talks with Marc about her early days in New York, catching the attention of the Coen Brothers as they were on the verge of making their first film, and everything that followed, including her foray into voice acting with The Incredibles and its new sequel. Also, Amber Tamblyn returns to talk about being a new mom, fighting for gender equality, and how it all relates to her new novel Any Man. This episode is sponsored by Outside the BoxGossipStitchFix and Sonos.

Episode 923 - Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban was born into show business and he didn't even know it until he was 10. The ubiquitous actor tells Marc how his immigrant family came to Chicago at the turn of the century and broke into the movie business, eventually winding up in charge of Paramount Studios. Bob also talks with Marc about Charlie Brown, Midnight Cowboy, Altered States, Christopher Guest, Francois Truffaut, and his many roles in film, stage and TV, including his new show Condor. This episode is sponsored by the new film Hearts Beat LoudBen & Jerry's, and Stamps.com.

Episode 922 - Vanessa Hollingshead

Vanessa Hollingshead can honestly say that a cruise ship saved her life. She tells Marc what led to a comedy career in the first place after a childhood spent in communes, foster homes, and around lots of grown-ups on acid and other psychedelic drugs. Vanessa got a hot start in comedy and her big break was right in front of her, and then it all went away, followed by a crushing personal tragedy. And if it wasn't for that cruise ship, she might not be here telling this story. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and SimpliSafe

Episode 921 - David Harbour

David Harbour became pretty cynical about the acting profession before landing the star-making role of Jim Hopper on Stranger Things. But he and Marc are in agreement that it was probably better for David to hit it big after four decades of dealing with anxiety, self-hatred, mania, fear, sobriety, and the difficult project of building one's identity. David and Marc also talk about Hellboy, the elves on the edges of reality, and the one character trait of Hopper's that David likes the most. This episode is sponsored by Casper and Audible.

Episode 920 - Rachel Brosnahan

Rachel Brosnahan related to the pressures and insecurities of standup comics when she got the lead role of a 1950s standup in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. That's because she feels constant dread as an actor, going from project to project, always worried it's not going to go well. Rachel compares notes with Marc about being a standup vs. being an actor, learning the craft in school vs. learning on the job, and why working on episodic television may be the best training for actors. This episode is sponsored by The Break with Michelle Wolf on Netflix and the Outside the Box Podcast.

Episode 919 - Tom Papa

Tom Papa got the comedy bug early in life but his unconventional path went from football to live theater to standup. Once Tom started writing jokes while working as a security guard, there was no turning back. Tom talks with Marc about the competitive '90s comedy scene, his close friendship with the late Greg Giraldo, his public failure with The Marriage Ref, his new gig on public radio, and the two people who took a chance on him and helped shape his life and career: Jerry Seinfeld and Steven Soderbergh. Tom's new book is called Your Dad Stole My Rake. This episode is sponsored by Arrested Development on Netflix.

Episode 918 - Paul Rodriguez

Paul Rodriguez has always been paying his dues. Even before he paid his dues doing open mics and parking cars at The Comedy Store, he paid his dues growing up in Compton, serving in the Air Force, and struggling with the religious devotion of his family. Paul and Marc talk about those early days, as well as his first appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, his infamous comedy special in San Quentin, and his most recent comedy special which Paul insists will be his last. This episode is sponsored by Joe Pera Talks With You on Adult Swim and the Outside the Box podcast.

Episode 917 - Neal Brennan

Nearly seven years after doing an episode of WTF that never aired, Neal Brennan sits down with Marc for a conversation that is probably the one they should have had all those years ago. Neal and Marc talk about how the two of them have changed since then, especially in light of Neal’s recent comedy special 3 Mics, which mixed heavy personal stories with jokes. Now that they feel better about themselves and each other, Marc and Neal try to figure out what they really want next and whether they should be doing more with their lives. This episode is sponsored by SpotifySquarespace, and Casper.

Episode 916 - Mary Steenburgen

Mary Steenburgen started out pretty far away from Hollywood, as a young girl in Little Rock, Arkansas, growing up during the era of school desegregation. She fortified herself in that environment before heading out to become an actor, working directly with legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner and getting her big break thanks to Jack Nicholson. Mary and Marc also talk about parenting, fame, divorce, re-marriage, and the close friendship she has formed with the co-stars of her new movie, Book Club. This episode is sponsored by Joe Pera Talks With You on Adult SwimPodcasts on Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Episode 915 - Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin knows that time and maturity saved his life. Going back to his rebellious youth, Josh can point to many times where he could have been done in, even after he was already a successful actor. Josh and Marc talk about addictive behavior, self-destruction, and why sobriety finally stuck. They also talk about Sam Shepard, Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, the Coen Brothers, Denzel Washington, and the surprising fulfillment of making superhero movies, particularly Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2. This episode is sponsored by Patrick Melrose on ShowtimeCasting Call podcast from Squarespace and Gimlet CreativeZipRecruiter, and Stamps.com.

Episode 914 - Melissa McCarthy

Before comedy and acting were ever on Melissa McCarthy's radar, she was like a lot midwestern teens trying to find herself. She tells Marc how her cheerleading years were followed by a partially-shaved head and goth makeup. The search for an identity led to acting, which led to New York, which led to LA, which led to an all-star class at the Groundlings. They also talk about how she met her husband, how she got cast on Gilmore Girls, how Bridesmaids came to be, why she played Sean Spicer on SNL, and what went into making her new movie, Life of the Party. This episode is sponsored by Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife on Netflix and SimpliSafe.

Episode 913 - Rachel Bloom

Rachel Bloom is a self-described show pony, a people-pleaser with a lifelong desire to perform as a means of keeping her anxieties at bay. She tells Marc how those impulses pushed her toward musical theater, which in turn led to self-produced music videos on YouTube, which eventually led to the creation of her hit show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Rachel and Marc also discuss Jewish grandmothers, gender disparities in TV comedy, and the new movie she made with her husband, Most Likely to Murder. This episode is sponsored by Patrick Melrose on ShowtimeSquarespace, and Shari's Berries.

Episode 912 - Drew Carey

Drew Carey was in a bad place. After losing his dad at a young age, suffering through anxiety and depression in high school, confused by the pressures of religion, Drew made a rash decision when he was in college. But it was comedy that pulled him out of the abyss. Drew tells Marc how he figured it all out, plus some talk about Cleveland (The Indians! Ghoulardi! The Cuyahoga River Fire!) and why hosting The Price is Right wound up being the perfect job for him. This episode is sponsored by Ben & Jerry's Pint Slices and Shari's Berries.

Episode 911 - Scott Thompson / Tom Rhodes

Scott Thompson from The Kids in the Hall isn't too worried about the way of the world these days, mostly because he's been through so much that it all seems like gravy from here out. Scott tells Marc about his recent battle with cancer, his family's tragic encounter with mental illness, and his house being firebombed by Islamic fundamentalists. Also, Marc welcomes back to the show his old friend comedian Tom Rhodes, who had to manage his own grieving process in the past few years. This episode is sponsored by Sonos and Shari's Berries.

Episode 910 - Mandy Stadtmiller

Writer Mandy Stadtmiller's career as a dating columnist was taking off as her post-divorce social life was filled with late-night excitement and famous hookups. But she also couldn't get off the hamster wheel of trauma and feel better about herself. Mandy talks with Marc about how she came to terms with the compromises she made writing for a tabloid newspaper and the trouble she encountered when putting her experiences into memoir form. This episode is sponsored by AudibleSonos, and SimpliSafe.