The beautiful thing about Marc Maron is that he has no filter. As a podcaster, he will go where the conversation takes him, even if he ends up in a very uncomfortable place. The only rule is to keep it honest. This often results in some illuminating (and downright hysterical) interviews. But every now and again things can go off the rails. Here are a few times that Maron and the guests on his WTF podcast just didn’t click, with downright awkward results.
5. Episode 111/112: Louis C.K.
Louis C.K and Maron were close friends in the ’80s, as they were both getting their start in the world of stand-up. Over the years, they drifted apart, as Marc found himself unable to get over the jealousy of his more successful friend. Maron, in fact, actually asked Louis to stop calling him at one point, because he felt like all they did was talk about how well his career was going. Over the course of this classic two-parter, Louis and Marc hash out what drove them apart, and Maron for the first time is forced to confront his role in it. A fascinating episode exploring friendship, resentment and reconciliation, it’s one of the more honest conversations you’ll ever hear between two people in the limelight. (Click here to listen to the episodes.)
4. Episode 477: Kevin Macdonald/Kevin McDonald
When Marc’s assistant asked him if he wanted to interview Kevin McDonald, he leapt at the chance. A fan of Kids in the Hall, he’d already interviewed Dave Foley and was eager to talk to another member of the seminal Canadian comedy troupe. But when a man showed up at his door claiming to be “Kevin Macdonald,” some sort of director, Marc panicked. Hiding in another room, he frantically researched the man, who turned out to be the director of The Last King of Scotland. Not wanting to be rude, he went ahead with the interview, which turned out fairly well all things considered. Realizing he had time to fill, he quickly lined up an interview with the other Kevin McDonald, so he could release the two as a very unique double episode. (Click here to listen to the episode.)
3. Episode 716: Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler’s first spot on WTF produced some awkward fireworks. With her second visit to The Cat Ranch, Maron hoped things would go a bit more smoothly. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t. It’s not that Chelsea and Marc ever overtly argue — they just fight a passive aggressive battle, insulting each other between laughs, until it’s hard to tell what’s a joke and what’s meant to be genuinely rude. Chelsea finds Marc’s love of cats to be emasculating. She mocks his equipment, his snacks, the noise his shoes make and at one point the entire country of Russia. Marc points out it’s a good thing that Chelsea is such a generous person, because otherwise she would be “a f–king monster.” Basically, this interview consists of Chelsea calling Marc a p—y over and over again, until they both agree to just call it a day. (Click here to listen to the episode.)
2. Episode 76: Carlos Mencia
Probably the most famous episode in WTF history, Marc interviewed Mind of Mencia star Carlos Mencia, having a perfectly pleasant chat about comedy, and people’s misconceptions of the controversial comedian. It was only after the interview was done that Marc started to feel like he’d been played. He quickly set up a follow-up interview, where he confronted the stand-up on joke stealing accusations, charges of racism and his habit of bumping comedians at clubs as a show of power. Mencia tried his best to answer honestly, but the interview ended up exposing him as something of a fraud, derailing his career and helping launch Maron’s into the stratosphere. (Click here to listen to the episode.)
1. Episode 145: Gallagher
Famous prop comic Gallagher, best known for smashing watermelons with a hammer, was clearly ill prepared for the type of interview Marc likes to conduct. With the news surrounding Gallagher in recent years turning sour, with reports of homophobic and racist behavior, Maron was clearly there to see what happened to this strange performer whose heyday had long since past. Gallagher, in the meantime, clearly thought of himself as a provocative and powerful voice in comedy who was speaking truth to power and was being punished for it. When these wildly different perspectives clashed, it resulted in one of the most hilariously awkward and angry interviews in WTF history.
Between talking crap about former colleagues, and theorizing that he was passed over for talk show fame by Leno and Letterman because he had to tour too much, Gallagher’s mood starts to darken. When Maron brings up his penchant for homophobic and racist jokes, Gallagher insists he’s never written one. He just tells other people’s jokes, and some may happen to be offensive. The interview ends with Gallagher screaming and storming out, as Maron is left to utter the now immortal phrase, “Oh c’mon, Gallagher!” The entire episode only lasts a half an hour, but there’s never been another one like it. (Click here to listen to the episode.)