"WHAT THE FUCK! with Marc Maron": 5 Episodes You Can't Miss


Written by: Zombievictim

Ask me ten years ago what a "podcast" was and I would have looked at you blankly. There are thousands upon thousands of them out there, and why shouldn't there be? We live in the time of the internet where content is distributed by consumers, not just for consumers. "With so many podcasts out there, how am I ever going to know which ones are worth listening to?" Well worry not, loyal reader, I have just the podcast for you. Not only is this consistently the most downloaded comedy podcast on iTunes, this is one of the first podcasts to take the mantel of "critically acclaimed." I'm of course talking about What the Fuck! With Marc Maron.

Don't know who Marc Maron is?  Don't worry, I'll catch you up: Marc Maron is an alternative stand-up comedian who has been working in the industry since the 80's and only recently has gotten his big break through both his podcast and his TV Show, Maron. Despite lack of fame until recently, he has made many big connections throughout the years, allowing for many great guests to sit in on his show. His easy to talk to persona make for some of the most revealing interviews that the likes of Robin Williams, Will Ferrell, and Mike Myers have ever given.

Got it?  Good.  Let's go over the basics of what makes this show so praised and special.

What seems to help add an intimacy to the show is that Maron's base of operations is the garage of his house. Some of the bigger guests are done in their own offices remotely, but for the most part, the podcasts are recording at his own place. This adds a comfort level that few of the big podcasts have, since those are recorded in a studio (Earwolf and Nerdist both do this). I can sit and tell you how deep and thoughtful this show is for pages and pages but what good will that do? So instead, I want to draw from specific moments of the show's 500+ episode run. I know, 500 is a rather intimidating number but fortunately though, I give to you the perfect guide for getting all the essentials.

EPISODE 245: Todd Glass

Obviously an important part of someone's life, Todd Glass decided to use the podcast to publically come out of the closet.  It was genuine moment that can't help but make you smile as you hear Todd audibly becoming more comfortable with what he put out there.  Maron reacts as all people should -- with open arms and sincerity.  He brings up the pain that the word "gay" brought him throughout his life, urging people not to use it anymore due to the damage it can do.  He compares it to the current use of the word "retard," that has grown from playful and joking to NC-17.  I've always been of the belief that words are words and anyone that gets offended by them are immature and need to grow up.  Glass posits a similar belief, only he looks at it from the side of the "in the closet teen" and the irreparable damage derogatory words can have on a youth.  Adults may be able to deal with what's thrown at them but everything is end of the world when you're thirteen.  It certainly made me rethink my opinion on the matter.  While I can't say I've ever really been around for anyone coming out of the closet, it's a nice insight into a life that I wouldn't have otherwise.

EPISODES 111 & 112: Louis CK

Louis CK and Marc used to be best friends growing up in the comedy world.  Then Louis became more popular and drew some resentment from Maron because of it.  So what would any right-minded friends do?  Talk it all out on the air.  That's right, we get to hear a legitimate rekindling of a friendship and this at the core of what makes WTF so special.  It's a podcast that brings you into the personal lives of those we usually only see superficially.  Louis and Marc work out their problems like adults and, as evidenced by the remainder of the podcast, they have remained good friends to this day.

EPISODE 75 & 76: Carlos Mencia

If you're a fan of comedy then chances are that you dislike Carlos Mencia.  Act aside, which should be reason enough to dislike him, Mencia is known for being a joke thief.  Several incidents throughout the years have firmly planted the label on him, with some comedians refusing to perform if he's even in the room.  So to hear Maron treat Carlos respectfully is a little difficult.  Maron may not buy into all of Carlos' bullshit, but he doesn't call him out on it, which leads to a part 2, where Maron brings in other comedians that have legitimate heat with Mencia, to discuss the stealing.  Both podcasts are thrilling but if you're expecting a huge confession from Mencia then you're going to be disappointed.  The closest we get to any kind of satisfaction is hear the man squirm in his seat as he contradicts himself over and over.

EPISODE 479: Lena Dunham

Dunham is one of the biggest young names in Hollywood and has been for the last several years.  Girls made her into an overnight sensation and her talent has carried her through to a book and film deal.  So it's no wonder why Maron becomes smitten with her very early on.  Dunham is smart, funny, and clearly very creative but what makes the interview intriguing is hearing so much wisdom from such a young mind.  She's in her 20's and she's done more than most of us have with our entire lives.  This makes me all the more anxious for Dunham's post-Girls projects where she can get away from the vanity of New York living, and create something a little more relatable.

EPISODE 444: CM Punk

Shortly before leaving the company that made him a star, Phil Brooks decided to sit down with Maron, a person without much of any wrestling knowledge whatsoever.  As someone who loves wrestling, this interview is both captivating due to the stories being told and also interesting to see Maron struggle to keep up with the various concepts of professional wrestling.  Marc shows just how good his interview skills are with his genuine curiosity towards a subject that evokes a lot of condescension from the uninformed.  By the end, you can tell that Maron shares a certain appreciation and respect for Punk and his day-job, something that didn't seem to exist before.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to each and every one of these episodes.  Do it on your drive to work, at work, or working out.  Do it wherever because I promise you that after you listen to a full episode, you will be hooked and have an appreciation for things you never even gave a second thought to before.  And if you listen to one and don't like it?  Well I just have one thing to say to you then… what the fuck?
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About The Damn Beast

Pre-op trans-minotaur, sci-fi/fantasy/horror author, metal singer, videogame journalist, pop culture blogger. I also lift heavy things and put them down again repeatedly to occupy more space.
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2 comments:

  1. All the rest are examples of podcasting at its best, but really have to disagree with you on the Lena Dunham one. It's the biggest load of piffle and self serving arty navel-gazing I've ever heard. If it wasn't for the fact Marc was going to be in an episode of Girls, any other interviewer would have given her a much harder time. And yes, I know Marc doesn't interview in the classical sense, but she should have at least been challenged on some level.
    Andrew

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  2. Totally agree about CM Punk. Great interview. And I'm not into wrestling at all.

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