Comedy podcast 'WTF' is therapy for Marc Maron (and his guests)

August 3, 2012

Maureen Mackie

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It was just a few years ago that veteran comedian and onetime Air America host Marc Maron was struggling for an audience.  His only way out of this lull seemed to be appearing on Dancing with the Stars - and rather than embarrass himself doing the foxtrot or cha-cha, he decided to try something really crazy: a comedy podcast.

Maron's podcast - titled WTF with Marc Maron - features conversations with guests that go beyond the traditional Q&A interviews and more often than not can get quite frank and adultIt's been considered a sort of groundbreaking therapy - not just for Maron, but his guests as well - an exhaustive list that includes Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Conan O'Brien, Chris Rock, Zach Galifianakis, Ira Glass and Louis C.K.

WTF has enjoyed incredible success since its inception in 2009: it passed the 300-episode mark last week, has earned rave reviews from The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly, and is among the most downloaded podcast on iTunes. Last year, WBEZ helped create a public radio adaptation of WTF that's been aired on stations across the country. And earlier this year IFC announced they'll be debuting a TV show about Maron's life and podcast next year. Not bad for a project that's recorded out of Maron's garage in L.A.

Maron's in Chicago for a set of shows at Mayne Stage this weekend, and he joins Afternoon Shift Friday to discuss his career, his comedy podcast, and how he found success he's had over the years.