WTF Podcast host Marc Maron tells all

Story from To the Best of Our Knowledge. Listen to audio above for full interview.

Marc Maron knows failure. When he lost his job for the third time and was going through a divorce, Maron said he often thought about suicide.

Other than a few stints waiting tables and working in talk radio, Maron had been in the stand-up comedy business for almost 25 years. Like many Americans who lost careers in the struggling economy, Maron didn’t know what to do.

“When you’ve done it for 20-25 years, how do you quit that?” Maron said of that time. “Those Plan B’s had long faded.”

It was during that dark time that Maron discovered podcasting. Based in Maron’s garage, WTF began as Maron used his contacts in the comic world to have conversations. 

“Because over the last couple of years I’ve had a tremendous amount of emotional upheaval and I had a lot to rebuild personally, I was really talking about myself a lot to these people I was interviewing,” Maron said. “I think that creates a type of intimacy.”

These comic-to-comic interviews recorded in Maron’s “man cave” became candid looks into the lives of comedy’s most famous personalities.

“Comics are a unique bunch of people. We’re all sort of misfits and social outcasts and self-involved,” Maron said. “They realized they could have an honest discussion about who they are and what they do.”

Maron has talked with many well-known celebrities. Robin Williams proved to be “a really sweet guy,” as opposed to the hyper-manic persona we see on screen. Carlos Mencia went on WTF and rejected the notion he was a joke stealer. Maron and Louis C.K. repaired a broken friendship.

“I’ve always felt that comedians were philosophers and poets and social critics,” Maron said. “[WTF] isn’t really about the joke or what movie project they’re in. It’s about capturing, through conversation, who that person is.”

Not that all of Maron’s podcasts delve into the depths of the soul. They’re all comedians — they know how to laugh a little.

“If we’re not going to go there, we’re not going to go there. So let’s just have a fun conversation,” Maron said. “I can do that too.”


“To the Best of Our Knowledge” is an audio magazine of ideas – two hours of smart, entertaining radio for people with curious minds. More “To the Best of Our Knowledge”

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