The President Was Here
June 26, 2015 5:47 PM   Subscribe

From the minute the Presidential motorcade pulled away, Marc began recording his reaction to the momentous event that just occurred in his garage. Hear Marc's ongoing reflections in the aftermath as well as a discussion with WTF producer Brendan McDonald about how this happened in the first place. [1h18m]

Background: Marc Maron's podcast WTF hosted Barack Obama for a rather excellent interview on June 19, which was posted on June 22, which caused a bit of a fuss because of a single word used by the President. But which also caused a fuss because it was an excellent interview of the sort we've rarely heard from Obama.

The conversation with producer McDonald is held literally as Obama is making his way out of the neighborhood, but after that Maron went to KPCC studios in Pasadena to record a "fresh from the experience" interview for The Frame [~11m], and then went on to talk to Terry Gross for Fresh Air with remarkable frankness about the whole thing.

Of course, it's not surprising that Maron would strip down to emotionally naked for Gross. His interview of her in front of a live audience at BAM a few weeks ago seemed to be one of the most remarkable interviewing experiences in either of their lives.
posted by hippybear (43 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was a latecomer to Marc Maron's podcast, one of the people who took note only when Slate named his interview with Louis C. K. the best podcast of all time a few months ago. I've been listening to podcasts for ten years but knew of Maron only from a dim memory of his Air America show; for that matter, since I haven't watched TV to speak of for ten years and have lost a lot of my pop-culture literacy, I barely knew who Louis C. K. was either. I was miffed that Slate had failed to acknowledge any of the science-y/skeptic-y podcasts that I follow, so I began listening to the Maron/Louis episode with a "prove it" attitude.

And for the first maybe 10 minutes I was thinking "this is the best podcast ever? It's just a bunch of 'hey-manning' and bro talk." And then... it started getting interesting. And then really interesting. It was two people, both clearly smart, egotistical, and brilliant in their way, opening up and pulling you into their lives. After it was all over it reminded me of nothing so much as the experience of watching My Dinner With Andre for the first time. So I was hooked, and by now I've gone through a few dozen WTF's and enjoyed most of them.

Back in the 18th century it was well understood that conversation was an art, and the great masters of conversation were honored and in high demand–think Samuel Johnson, Ben Franklin. Maron has been good enough at what he does that the world has taken note, so I was actually not surprised that the White House plugged into it. It was a good venue for Obama, he said some important things with a lower percentage of canned content than I've heard from him for a few years, and Marc Maron rose to the occasion.
posted by Creosote at 6:13 PM on June 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


This was an amazing podcast. Maron was clearly really nervous, and usually does a better job on his side of things. But the interview came off terrifically. I really love Obama, and I loved him a little more after Maron's podcast.
posted by persona au gratin at 6:43 PM on June 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought Maron seemed less nervous for this than when he was talking to Keith Richards. Which, I agree, is the correct order of nervousness.
posted by downtohisturtles at 6:49 PM on June 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


I just got around to listening to the main interview earlier today, but have not yet heard the post-interview stuff. It's too bad it only lasted a little over an hour. It seemed like they had just reached the point where Marc could have taken the interview to some interesting places, both serious and casual, when I assume someone on Obama's staff gave the 'wrap it up' sign indicating that the President's available time was up.

Marc handled the whole thing exceptionally well. Were there questions I wished he asked? Sure. Did the President open up about his thought processes as much as I would have liked? No, but the proportion of "actual conversation" to "necessary talking points" was far more than I expected. But to get to that place where such things flow naturally really needs about an hour to lay the groundwork for, and alas, an hour was all they had, which is why I would have really liked for that extra 45-60 minutes to have happened.

I've been listening to his podcast for a long time now, and enjoyed his work since his old stuff on HBO and Comedy Central/Comedy Channel back in the late 80s-early 90s. Marc's come a long way since the beginning of his podcast, both as an interviewer as well as just an evolving person through his exposed "self-examining, semi-transparent man" style. Watching his progress from "desperate guy essentially breaking into Air America studios late at night to record his podcast" to "having his own multi-season TV show and crazy successful podcast where even the President will come to his garage" has been really interesting. I'm legitimately happy for the guy and his progress.
posted by chambers at 6:49 PM on June 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


This interview confirmed, for me, how wise and rational Obama is. No wonder so many people hate him.
posted by davebush at 6:55 PM on June 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


This interview confirmed, for me, how wise and rational Obama is.

This is the man pushing hard for the TPP, which yields unfettered corporate control over food quality, worker safety, copyright, environmental regulations, and labor standards. Which pretty much puts the most significant oversight of modern daily life into the hands of secret, unaccountable, extranational courts. That "rational" voice is the calm, dead-eyed voice of suffocating, ironclad corporate hegemony.

Maron has many good qualities as an interviewer, but he's far too easily impressed by traditional celebrity and power. That failing was painfully spotlighted during the Obama interview.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:22 PM on June 26, 2015 [27 favorites]


I have to admit I got a vicarious thrill from all this. I remember listening to Maron during the Air America days but to me he sounded like just another drive time morning show guy. I watched Maron on Breakroom Live with Sam Seder (who I was a big fan of) and got more into him when he started doing small segments about cooking and having bedbugs, and ruminating about his post divorce life...and he became more human. I'm happy for this person I don't know.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:23 PM on June 26, 2015


I've been listening since the 1st episode, and it has been an interesting and satisfying evolution. I remember early on being captivated by this guy who was barely holding onto his life, bitching about his divorces, having bitter talks with younger comics, fighting with his parents, etc.

As the podcast grew in success and made way for his IFC show, he seems to have grown a lot as a person, which I like to imagine partly due to the deep diving conversations and connections that the podcast facilitates. But it may also just be that Maron is deeply competitive and when he was "losing" at the game of professional comic, he lashed out, but when he learned he could "win" at podcasting it gave him the breathing room to relax, grow up, accept his role in the world, and continue to kick ass at it.

The Obama interview got real in little spurts here and there, but yeah, more time would have been awesome. The follow up was surprisingly almost equally interesting.
posted by p3t3 at 7:37 PM on June 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


The TPP is going to happen, period. Now do you want it to happen during Clinton's presidency or Obama's? This is perfectly in line with his comments during the interview about pushing for small changes and steering the ship 2 degrees at a time.
posted by dilaudid at 8:08 PM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is perfectly in line with his comments during the interview about pushing for small changes and steering the ship 2 degrees at a time.

Given what mainstream Democrats have been willing to countenance and excuse under Obama, I look forward to their embracing naked fascism under Clinton. There's no better illustration of the utter political and moral bankruptcy of the mainstream US 'left' than its bland acceptance of the TPP.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:33 PM on June 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yale English professor David Bromwich wrote an article for the June issue of Harper's Magazine entitled "What Went Wrong: Assessing Obama’s legacy" (paywalled, unfortunately).

On May 27th, Bromwich had a thoughtful and wide-ranging interview with host Krys Boyd on KERA's Think radio program (mp3 link) discussing the article and his analysis of the Obama presidency. I think he's been one of Obama's most insightful and perceptive critics in articles in the London Review of Books, Harper's, and elsewhere. The interview makes an excellent counterpoint/addition to Maron's WTF podcast.
posted by Auden at 8:45 PM on June 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


The TPP is going to happen, period. Now do you want it to happen during Clinton's presidency or Obama's?

I'm a pretty consistent Obama defender on a number of issues, but this is total horseshit, even if we ignore the part where we're supposed to pretend the 2016 election is a coronation.

International treaties are agonizingly difficult to make happen. Not only do you have to get them through Congress, but you have to get dozens and dozens of countries to agree on every little detail. The TPP doesn't happen unless Obama wants it to happen, and he's getting it done by partnering with pro-corporate Democrats and Republicans.

This notion that policies are just predestined to happen based on some irresistible force of the universe really needs to die.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:51 PM on June 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


Given what mainstream Democrats have been willing to countenance and excuse under Obama, I look forward to their embracing naked fascism under Clinton. There's no better illustration of the utter political and moral bankruptcy of the mainstream US 'left' than its bland acceptance of the TPP.

Yes yes, you're very well-informed. Now maybe just go away. This isn't what this thread is about. Like the TPP or hate it, there is a real thinking man here and we're talking about the extent to which this interview shed light on that.
posted by dry white toast at 9:12 PM on June 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


Maron has many good qualities as an interviewer, but he's far too easily impressed by traditional celebrity and power. That failing was painfully spotlighted during the Obama interview.

While I too would have liked a pointed question or two about the TPP and explore some of his reasoning about his support for it, I don't think he was overly fawning over the president either. This clearly was never intended to be some Frost/Nixon-like situation of a long string of strategic questioning played like a game of chess to 'get the real story,' and I can't see how people would have expectations beyond a casual, conversational interview.

Marc's smart enough to know you can't just come out swinging or have some clever scheme to box in a guy midway through to get to that 'release the kracken!' question. Obama's smart enough to see this coming a mile away and would avoid something like that with ease, and then any chance of having the conversation itself take it somewhere interesting would be gone. Marc was smart enough to recognize the value of letting the talking points come, but find the thread in there and follow it up to get to the kinds of conversation one has a hard time getting out of most other interviews.

Also, this is his job (well, one of three), and he had to be well aware that making it into a fawning love-in or an interrogation would seriously damage his career. How he handled that interview will determine how easy or difficult it will be for getting 'big' guests in the future, and how guarded they will be if they decide to do an interview with him. I think Marc did a good job with it by avoiding either extreme. His show depends a great deal on his guests feeling safe talking about uncomfortable or personal stuff if the conversation goes there, no matter how famous or powerful they are or feel they are.

As for his being 'impressed by traditional celebrity and power,' a lot of that comes from the fact that a good amount of his interviews are with people he respects and has had an enormous influence on him, some since his childhood. Sometimes that respect is mixed with a bit of intimidation and sometimes some resentment, too. That respect not only lets his guests be more open, but actually opens them up more because they can see that this guy is actually into the craft of what they do, how they do it, how they got here, and why they do what they do, and not just collecting words to assemble into a disposable feature article for the web or print.

Did you honestly expect this to be some sort of 'let's get him in the hot seat, put the lights on him, and make him talk' or a 'lets just yell at him for an hour' kind of thing? Look, I too think the subject of the TPP is important, and I'd really love to hear a full explanation of his reasoning regarding his support about it in a long-form manner with the least amount of sound-bite phrases as possible. However, a surprise one hour podcast interview with a comedian in a garage is not really the best place for that.

If anything, the success of this interview shows this is clearly a style and format that needs to be used a lot more in media to get those long-form answers, and there is a market for it. Most mass media news interviews follow three main formats - quick soundbites, 60 Minutes style, or the hour-long "Charlie Rose interviews some important person in some sort of dark dimension" style . All three follow a very precise, calculated interviews often with very rehearsed, prepared responses. A Maron-style wandering, meandering interview that does a good job with actively shying away from direct project/cause plugging and just goes where the conversation takes them could be quite a successful program. The odds are against it, but it seems it might be possible with the right people.
posted by chambers at 9:17 PM on June 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


I don't listen to every WTF, but I always keep an eye out for interesting guests. Maron is dealt good at getting to a real place with his guests by being open about his flaws. If you haven't heard it, I highly recommend you listen to his last interview with Robin Williams, which he re-broadcast last year after his death. Williams was a master at deflecting people away from the darkness under the surface (he basically built his career on it), but with Maron he was honest about what he dealt with in a way I'd never heard. Mostly by acknowledging his own darkness.

I feel like we learned a lot about the kind of President and kind of man Obama is this week, and this interview was no small part of that.
posted by dry white toast at 9:18 PM on June 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I relistened to the episode a bit and I'm really struck by the way he talked about gun laws. Basically calling attention to the fact that gun manufacturers and pro-gun groups make a business out of the fear of gun laws. I've never heard him or many other politicians actually admit that before.
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:51 PM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you're complaining about how Obama isn't perfect, I invite you to listen to the podcast, where he spends nearly half the interview talking about how you ought not chase perfection at the expense of the reality of democracy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:47 PM on June 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


"This is the man pushing hard for the TPP, which yields unfettered corporate control over food quality, worker safety, copyright, environmental regulations, and labor standards."

"Corporate control"? Don't you mean "government control"?! If anything has been remotely clear since the Bush administration, the current government of the U.S. has significant leeway as to how it interprets international treaty obligations. So do the other governments of the world.

Sure, corporations and lobbyists can push to influence the TPP's policies and how they are implemented and interpreted, but the idea that we'll be handcuffed into horrible policies is just not true, any more than it is true for any international treaty.

Really, if we were talking about the UN and our treaty obligations there, your fearful interpretation of TPP would essentially translate to our government being controlled by blue hats, with no national sovereignty... giving away our freedoms, with no possibility ever of regaining them.

In short, what you are suggesting simply is not true. It is fear mongering, and floating of worst-case scenarios.

Meanwhile, you don't seem to be interested in how the TPP could reduce food and basic commodity costs to the poor, for example... something that we can be pretty sure that this treaty would do. You lack the intellectual curiosity to examine how the TPP could lift people out of poverty, and help encourage really basic rights for labor, encouraging more fair, less exploitive governments overseas.

"That "rational" voice is the calm, dead-eyed voice of suffocating, ironclad corporate hegemony."

No. That rational voice is reasoned and... well... rational. And your irrational voice is dominated by fear, and shows a profound lack of respect for the US and its ability to create and interpret its laws.

We've entered into thousands of international treaties, right?! Please point me to any of them which are, as interpreted by our laws, as tyrannical as the straw man you are floating here... because if you are saying that the TPP is the worst, most tyrannical law ever, well... basic statistics seems to argue against that fact.
posted by markkraft at 5:18 AM on June 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


From the interview:
"So when I take a unemployment rate from 10% down to 5.5%, when I drive the uninsured rate to the lowest it's ever been ... When I restore people's 401ks ... When I make sure that we're doubling clean energy and we are reducing our carbon footprint, and high-school graduations are the highest they've ever been, college attendance are the highest they've ever been, and LGBT rights have been recognized and solidified in ways we couldn't even imagine 10 years ago... When I look at those things, I can say that in terms of, not just managing the government, but moving the country forward, we've had a lot more hits than misses and we've made a difference in people's lives... and that is ultimately what you're looking for. When you wake up every day, you say to yourself are things a little bit better and if you take that long view, you're less nervous or stressed about the day-to-day ups and downs... you're staying focused on your ultimate destination.

On most fronts I have been able to find ways to make progress, even in the face of obstruction, even in the face of resistance, even in the face of gridlock... just through rule making, we've been able to double the fuel efficiency on cars. . . the truth is, though, it is accurate to say that I believe in reason, and I believe in facts. And I believe in looking at something and having a debate and an argument, but trying to drive it towards some agreed upon set of assumptions of what works..."

posted by markkraft at 5:43 AM on June 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


The TPP includes 12 countries:United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The US already has free trade agreements in place with: Canada, Mexico, Australia, Peru, Chile and Singapore. Those agreements already hold us to most of the conditions of the TPP on a bilateral (e.g. US-Peru fta) or multilateral basis as in NAFTA.

Of the five that would be added under the TPP Japan and New Zealand do not present a significant threat to American jobs or regulations.
Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia are the nations where there are concerns over political, labor and human rights issues. However the agreement is supoosed to contain mechanisms to improve those items across the memebership.

I think that the rational and even handed Obama sees that this agreement in our interests.
posted by humanfont at 6:50 AM on June 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Honestly I wish they had talked less about policy and more about Obamas personal relationship with Race but Marc Maron probably isn't the best partner for that conversation.

Actually I could even have dealt with 30 minutes of them talking about Richard Pryor.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:17 AM on June 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


If Maron had tried to have a serious conversation about trade policy with the president it would have been awful. Does anyone really think he's equipped to handle that? What would he be able to squeeze out of Obama if he tried?
posted by lownote at 7:33 AM on June 27, 2015


Also, the last few months have felt like listening to WTF has been more about seeing Marc try to handle his improbable success. It's interesting to see someone almost accidentally fall into a position where he can just chat with two rolling stones, the president, and Terry gross. I think he's great and deserves it but it still seems sort of Truman Showesque.
posted by lownote at 7:33 AM on June 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


President Obama has been a valuable, well-reasoned agent of change. His long term, strategic approach to politically possible change may not earn him a lot of support and doesn't always go over well in today's media-driven culture, but it has generally been quite successful.

In an important related note, our pessimistic nature is statistically likely to lead us to making bad decisions and wrong assumptions.

Most things improve.
Inequality isn't as horrible as you think.
Social development keeps happening, even if you don't have great wealth and power.
Your fears are usually exaggerated, and are holding you back from making better decisions in life.
posted by markkraft at 7:37 AM on June 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm really enjoying the roll Maron's been on lately. Like a lot of other people have mentioned, he really seems to have grown as a person over the past few years and it's been cool to see (and kind of inspirational; as someone with some of the same mental baggage, it's really encouraging to see that growth is possible at any stage of life). I catch myself being happy for the guy just for being able to interview Obama or the Stones. (I'd love it if he could have Obama on again after 2017, and maybe go into more personal depth then. Unlikely, but it'd be cool)

I also saw Maron's standup act in Minneapolis earlier this month. I'd seen him before and thought he was really good but not great; but this show was flat-out great. I'd never seen standup mastery like that before...
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:41 AM on June 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Needs a dropsmic tag.
posted by Mike Mongo at 8:17 AM on June 27, 2015


If Maron had tried to have a serious conversation about trade policy with the president it would have been awful.

Maron is more knowledgeable on policy than he usually lets on. But you're right. He said in the intro that he wanted to get a different kind of interview with Obama than anyone else had gotten. And I think he pretty much succeeded.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:47 AM on June 27, 2015


Honestly I wish they had talked less about policy and more about Obamas personal relationship with Race but Marc Maron probably isn't the best partner for that conversation.

Actually I could even have dealt with 30 minutes of them talking about Richard Pryor.


I can't think of a better way for Obama and Marc to have a productive conversation about race, perceptions and identity, than having a 30-minute or more discussion about Pryor. In fact, it feels like such a conversation is custom made for Obama's 'start from common ground, and expand out from there' style. Reactions and experiences are shared and exchanged, tangents are explored, and everyone, including the listeners, will most likely come away from it with something new to think about.
posted by chambers at 9:36 AM on June 27, 2015


start from common ground, and expand out from there

Which also describes Maron's interviewing style pretty well, particularly when he doesn't already have a relationship with the person he's interviewing.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:47 AM on June 27, 2015


Thinking back over the WTF interview from the perspective of having heard Obama's unapproachably powerful Charleston eulogy, it would seem that to an extent Obama was using parts of the interview as a warmup for reconnecting with his deepest self and to be able to speak from that center when called on to memorialize the tragedy. Partly that, and at other times just being able to let his guard down a bit and have some fun before a week that he knew would be intense.
posted by Creosote at 11:08 AM on June 27, 2015


This was the best and most interesting interview I've heard Obama give, and kudos to Marc for that; but it's not the best interview I've heard from Maron (perhaps understandably) and recommend to those unfarmiliar with him to check out some of his others.
posted by rocket88 at 6:02 PM on June 27, 2015


Before I dive into his back catalogue, which others are you particularly thinking of?
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:27 PM on June 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


one takeaway from the week for me is that barack obama is worthy of the office he holds (and then some, to be perfectly honest). the same can not be said of all the others who have held that office - his predecessor, for starters (among others).
posted by fingers_of_fire at 2:29 AM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Harvey Kilobit - I've been listening to Maron for years, charting his evolution into a better person through his interviews with others. I honestly recommend getting the six month all access pass and just flipping through. Any time he talk about Kinneson is great, but the real gems are often comics you haven't heard of telling road stories of working performers. Take your time and learn what you can.

Maron is the same age as my dad, who had early performance success and addiction issues as well. Listening to Maron grapple with his anger and past helped me understand (but not forget) a man who was drowned in his own anxieties and took out his frustrations on those he loved. There's a reason Mark has two ex wives.

I'm thrilled that Marin's show exists because it is a record of someone who chose to change his life and personality for the better in middle age.
posted by EinAtlanta at 5:39 AM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Before I dive into his back catalogue, which others are you particularly thinking of?

Personally, I think Maron works best with musicians (Chrissy Hynde and Rivers Cuomo were particularly interesting) and fellow comedians (I liked Mike Myers, Andrea Martin, Artie Lange, Wanda Sykes, and Godfrey)
posted by rocket88 at 6:40 AM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


@harvey Kilobit Bob Zmuda (Andy Kaufman's writing partner) is a particularly good but typical Maron interview. Dr Phil Stutts (actor Hank Azaria's hollywood therapist) is atypical and noteworthy and follows Maron's interesting interview of Azaria himself not long before.
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:19 AM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I haven't heard a Maron interview that hasn't been worthwhile. I haven't always been interested in (or even knew about) the people he was interviewing, but the interview has always been a worthwhile investment of my time and mental energy.

I've learned a lot about interviewing by listening to Maron. He's got a particular thing he does, and he does it really well, and he's able to adapt (whether consciously or un-) his style to whomever he's talking to, and generally the hour-plus has always been illuminating, if nothing else from the "here's another human telling their story" angle, but often in many other ways.

If you're new to Maron and WTF, I'd say, browse the available interviews, listen to the ones where you recognize the names, if you still like, pick a few names you don't know, and go from there.

I subscribe to his podcast and try to make sure I stay current at least week-by-week, and sometimes there are two interviews with "who the fuck is that?" in the same week, but I always listen, and it's always worthwhile.

YMMV, but I doubt by very much.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 AM on June 28, 2015


I've listened almost all the way through the post-interview podcast chat with Maron and his producer and really enjoyed their reflections on the whole experience. Maron comes across as so so human, and I dig that he isn't afraid to let us in on his anxieties.

Also loved the producer talking about how much he comfortable he felt working with the White House and Secret Service.

Fascinating top to bottom.

And yeah, Maron and Obama talking about Richard Pryor for 30 minutes would have been epic but you get why that didn't happen.
posted by dry white toast at 9:40 AM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Before I dive into his back catalogue, which others are you particularly thinking of?

Robin Williams' episode was a turning point for the show but Patrice O'Neal was the personality who really blew me away.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:55 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've listened to Marc Maron's podcast, probably since 2011 and I feel like Marc's tone and level of happiness was really affected by his level of success. The better his podcast did, the more popular he got, the better he felt. He got kinder to himself and to others and his heart seemed to get bigger.

I might be wrong, I know success leading to happiness and self-confidence seems But I'm happy he feels good about himself. I enjoyed his podcasts more and more the happier he got, because I honestly have such a low, low, low threshold for hypercynicism and hypercynical people at this point in my life.


Loved the interview (because I love POTUS and FLOTUS so much, and they are incredibly genuine people), loved the "The President Was Here" interview. So happy Marc's feeling good about himself:)
posted by discopolo at 4:08 PM on June 28, 2015


Also, I think it really was a great interview. And I agree with what was said above: clearly, POTUS was thinking deeply about what he wanted to say in the incredible eulogy he gave at Rev. Pinckney's funeral.

For these things, the ability to think deeply and keep an even temperament, I'm grateful he is our president, that I have witnessed such a great man and a great and amazing woman like our FLOTUS, be our leadership.
posted by discopolo at 4:36 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Before I dive into his back catalogue, which others are you particularly thinking of?

Going over the episode guide, I'll list a few here that stood out to me as ones that might otherwise be passed over, but ended up containing a lot more interesting stuff than I expected.

Episode 327 - Jimmie Walker (great stories and history, a must-listen episode!)
Episode 593 - Henry Winkler
Episode 461 - Ed Begley, Jr.
Episode 384 - Huey Lewis
Episode 331 - Pauly Shore
Episode 197 - Andrew Dice Clay

I'd also give honorable mention to Episode 377 - Rob Schneider, because even though I'm not a fan of his work, the interview did humanize him in a way that separated my opinion of him just by his characters and roles he's played from my opinion of him as a working comedic actor. While I still don't respect the former, I have at least given a bit of respect to the latter.
posted by chambers at 11:02 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maria Bamford, oh my goodness that was a good one. Tig Nataro, Wanda Sykes. The live episode with Sarah Vowell. Fiona Apple is quite interesting, I'm still struck by her bird story. Pauly Shore made me feel empathy towards him; he was always going to turn out to be Pauly Shore. I still want to see the movie Phunny Business, which got it's own episode (super interesting about black comedy clubs in Chicago). I was embarrassed for him with the past Rolling Stones interviews, but I just saw him perform last night, and his Stones bit was touching, smart, and slapstick at the same time, so that totally made up for it.

(been listening almost daily on my long commute for the past 1-2 years, and I'm freaking out because I'm going to catch up real time, this summer.)
posted by armacy at 5:08 PM on June 29, 2015


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