7 Essential Episodes of the WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Your guide to the essential WTF episodes is here.
Your guide to the essential WTF episodes is here.
Dmitri von Klein / WTF with Marc Maron

Comedian Marc Maron began the WTF with Marc Maron podcast on September 1, 2009. A fixture in the '90s alternative comedy scene, the shift from stand-up to interviewer was not necessarily the most predictable path. However, it's what has made audiences so dedicated to his every-man way of digging deep into the lives of comedians, actors, musicians, writers, and more. Clocking in at an average of an hour and a half each, Maron starts from the top and works his way down his subject's careers. Rarely is there a structure, and the episodes never dwell on ticking off the boxes of a "normal" interview. For starters, they're almost all recorded in Maron's garage studio in Highland Park, California. They exist more as conversations, ideally not muddled by any preoccupation with promotion. 

Nearly seven years and 700-plus episodes later, the biweekly show has amassed a huge audience, with 500,000 to 1 million downloads an episode. There have been some landmark moments, including a disgraced Carlos Mencia admitting to joke plagiarism, Gallagher walking out mid-interview, and burying the hatchet with Louie C.K. He even has a sit-down with the man behind Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels, a fixture of obsession for this former SNL hopeful. 

Maron will be spending Saturday, August 20, at Stand Up Live in Phoenix, performing two sets at and 9:30 p.m. To celebrate, we've gathered a list of some classic WTF episodes for your enjoyment. 

Will Ferrell (#450)
Maron, like most of us, expected Will Ferrell to walk in and start bouncing off the walls like some of his famous characters. Although he was running the circuit for Anchorman 2, he was hardly Ron Burgundy in real life. More introspective than erratic, the interview has a way of centering fans on the fact that Ferrell is a real person and not a cartoon. 

Robin Williams (#67)
Another testament to Maron's specific brand of real talk is the way in which he got Robin Williams to open up in this April 2010 interview. The actor was candid about his struggles with depression, addiction, and his heart attack the previous year. In an intro given when he re-posted the episode following Williams' suicide in 2014, Maron said, “That conversation is what defined this show from that point on, and what defined my life in a lot of ways.”

Dave Grohl (#353) 
As a guitarist and self-proclaimed audiophile, Maron's affinity for interviewing musicians can be measured in his level of geek-out with the interviewees. When he spoke with Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl, it was turned up to 11. We could listen to the two of them bounce through a series of "Dude!" "Dude." "I know, dude." "Seriously, dude," on repeat, all day long. 

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