WTF with Marc Maron

WTF with Marc Maron is a weekly podcast and radio show hosted by stand-up comedian Marc Maron. The show was launched in September 2009. The show is produced by Maron's former Air America co-worker Brendan McDonald. In early 2011, the show began receiving positive press, including articles in The New York Times.[1]

WTF with Marc Maron
WTF with Marc Maron.png
Hosted byMarc Maron
GenreComedy, interview
Length60–120 minutes
No. of episodes1,154 (list of episodes)
Original releaseSeptember 1, 2009 (September 1, 2009) – present


The show's title stems from the Internet slang abbreviation WTF (for "What the fuck?"). WTF launched in September 2009 following the cancellation of Maron's Air America terrestrial radio program Breakroom Live with Maron & Seder. Maron retained his Air America building keycard and, without permission, used their studios to record the first several episodes of WTF.

After the first episodes, Maron moved from New York to California. Most episodes of the show are generally recorded in Maron's home garage, nicknamed "the Cat Ranch", in Los Angeles. He ends most podcasts with the phrase "Boomer lives" in honor of a cat he brought from New York who went missing. The phrase became a hashtag and his production company name.[2]

Occasionally shows are recorded in Maron's various hotel rooms (while on the road performing standup), the offices of his guests, or other locations. Every show opens with an audio sample of one of Maron's lines from the film Almost Famous: "Lock the gates!"[3]

It began being distributed to radio by Public Radio Exchange in 2012.[4]


WTF has received generally positive reviews, including positive writeups in The New York Times[1] and Entertainment Weekly.[5] On average, it receives over 220,000 downloads per episode—with the show purportedly reaching 100 million downloads by December 9, 2013.[6] In 2014, Rolling Stone listed WTF #1 on their list of The 20 Best Comedy Podcasts Right Now.[7]

Notable podcastsEdit

  • Louis C.K. gave a two-episode interview, in which Maron and C.K. revealed that the two of them had a falling out, and discussed and rekindled their old friendship. During the podcast, C.K. became audibly emotional when talking about the birth of his first daughter. Slate called the interview the greatest podcast episode of all time in a 2014 list.[8][9][10]
  • In 2013, Maron's assistant asked if he would be interested in interviewing "Kevin McDonald", to which Maron, a fan of The Kids In The Hall comedy troupe, agreed. On the day of the interview, Maron was greeted by a publicist who said that her client would be arriving to promote the movie he'd directed. Maron was surprised that McDonald had a publicist and was unaware that he'd directed a movie, but he thought little of it, as he rarely does much research or preparation before interviews, especially not for guests with whose work he's already familiar. When the interviewee arrived, Maron learned that it was not Kids In The Hall comedian Kevin McDonald, but instead Scottish film director Kevin MacDonald, who Maron had never heard of. Since MacDonald had arrived early, Maron excused himself, then researched MacDonald and learned that he'd directed The Last King of Scotland, which he had seen, and Being Mick, which he had heard of. Maron used this knowledge as a starting point for the conversation, but the interview was shorter than a typical episode (which Maron speculated MacDonald didn't notice, as he didn't seem to be particularly familiar with the podcast and, if anything, may have thought it went on for a little longer than he'd anticipated). Later, upon bumping into him while they were both performing in Los Angeles, Maron invited Kevin McDonald to interview shortly after, so it could be a second segment of the podcast episode. McDonald agreed, saying that he had never met the director but that they were both represented by William Morris Agency and had been mixed up before (including once by the Internal Revenue Service). The episode was released with the title "Kevin MacDonald/Kevin McDonald" on March 10, 2014.[11]
  • Carlos Mencia came on and discussed allegations of his plagiarizing other comics. After the interview, Maron said that "something didn't feel right". He did further research, and interviewed comics Willie Barcena and Steve Trevino, who offered accounts of Mencia stealing material. Maron then contacted Mencia, who immediately returned for a follow-up interview. Mencia admitted that during the initial interview, he "had an agenda", and then went on to discuss the allegations and his reputation in a much less guarded, more forthright manner.[12][13]
  • Maron confronted Dane Cook about accusations of plagiarizing Louis C.K. and about his tension with Steve Byrne.[14][15]
  • Maron brought up online accusations against Gallagher about his performing of homophobic material. An argument ensued, in which Gallagher became the first and only guest on the podcast to walk out mid-interview.[16]
  • In a special broadcast of "WTF Uncovered", Maron aired a September 2016 recording with Jerry Lewis that was planned as a full episode. The episode was never released, since Lewis ended the show abruptly after about 20 minutes of conversation.
  • Todd Glass used his appearance on the podcast to come out of the closet as gay.[17][18]
  • Todd Hanson gave a detailed account of his suicide attempt in a hotel room in Brooklyn, and spoke about his lifelong struggle with depression.[19]
  • Kevin Smith complained about Bruce Willis's lack of involvement in promoting the film Cop Out, which triggered a public feud between the two of them.[20]
  • On an episode released in April 2010, Robin Williams discussed contemplating suicide.[21] Maron later reposted the episode following the news of Williams' death, complete with new host segments talking about how much the episode shaped the show and his own personal life.[22]
  • President of the United States Barack Obama recorded an interview in June 2015 (recorded Friday June 19, 2015, in the garage). The interview received much media attention due to the President's use of the word "nigger" while discussing racism in America.[23][24]
  • Maron interviewed Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels in October 2015. The interview was significant because throughout the history of the podcast, Maron would frequently discuss Michaels and his own rejection from being hired for SNL in the mid-1990s. The two-hour interview was posted in November 2015.[25]
  • Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson appeared on the program in September 2017 and revealed his diagnosis and treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder.[26]
  • Actor Sean Penn discussed his book Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff as a form of catharsis for current events, as he no longer wants to make movies.[27]
  • In February 2019, actress Mandy Moore revealed on the podcast that her marriage to musician Ryan Adams was "entirely unhealthy" and emotionally abusive.[28]
  • Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer discussed the circumstances surrounding his exit from the band in his first public interview since leaving.[29]

Episode listEdit


  1. ^ a b Saltzstein, Dan (January 6, 2011). "The Comic Who Explores Comedy's Darkest Side". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  2. ^ "Flavorwire Interview: Marc Maron on Life at the "Cat Ranch"". June 12, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  3. ^ Movieclips (October 11, 2011). "Almost Famous (5/9) Movie CLIP - Do You Wanna Buy a Gate? (2000)". YouTube. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Marc Maron's podcast headed to public radio".
  5. ^ Rottenburg, Josh (January 17, 2015). "Marc Maron: The comedian's comedian". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  6. ^ Weekly email update
  7. ^ "1. 'WTF With Marc Maron'". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  8. ^ Haglund, David; Onion, Rebecca (December 14, 2014). "The 25 Best Podcast Episodes Ever". Slate. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  9. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast - CastRoller". April 6, 2016. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "Marc Maron shooting scenes for 'Louie' so we transcribed the famous friendship chat from WTF". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  11. ^ Horst, Carole (December 12, 2013). "Marc Maron's Morning Scramble Was a True 'WTF' Moment".
  12. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast - CastRoller". March 11, 2015. Archived from the original on March 11, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Stranahan, Lee (May 31, 2010). "Marc Maron Enters Mind of Carlos Mencia, Then Has Trouble Leaving". The Huffington Post.
  14. ^[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Dane Cook chats with Marc Maron: A study on first impressions and the 'real' self". Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  16. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  17. ^ Luippold, Ross (January 16, 2012). "Beloved Comedian Comes Out As Gay On 'WTF'". The Huffington Post.
  18. ^ "Episode 245 - Todd Glass". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  19. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  20. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  21. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  22. ^ "Remembering Robin Williams". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  23. ^ An Interview With Marc Maron About What It Was Like to Grill Obama (and How It Happened in the First Place), Laura Bennett, Slate, June 19, 2015, accessed June 21, 2015
  24. ^ 4 Takeaways from Barack Obama's WTF Podcast with Marc Maron Archived June 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Vague Direction, June 23, 2015
  25. ^ Matthew Love (November 9, 2015). "10 Things We Learned from Lorne Michaels' WTF Interview". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  26. ^ "'SNL' Star Pete Davidson Reveals Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  27. ^ "Sean Penn / Lynn Shelton". March 26, 2018.
  28. ^ "Mandy Moore Addresses Ryan Adams Relationship on Marc Maron's 'WTF' Podcast". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  29. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast: Episode 1091 - Josh Klinghoffer". Retrieved January 23, 2020.

External linksEdit