Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast by Marc Maron

Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast

"I'm British, so I'm medically dead inside, but even I can't help but open up whenever I talk to Marc. He uses his honesty like a scalpel, cutting himself open in front of anyone he's talking to, and in doing so, invites you to do the same. "--John OliverEach week over a million and a half listeners tune into WTF with Marc Maron to hear Marc and a guest do something remark...

Title:Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast
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Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast Reviews

  • Robin

    Ah, yes! The thrill of receiving an advance copy of a book you are excited to read was manifest the day this book came in the mail at the library. After becoming a fan of the WTF podcast in 2015 (this is because I heard that President Obama had been a guest on a podcast which records in a man's garage...turned out to be Maron!) I've been an avid twice a week listener ever since. If you have heard the podcast, you will want to read through this book. It's not the type of book you'll read in one s

    Ah, yes! The thrill of receiving an advance copy of a book you are excited to read was manifest the day this book came in the mail at the library. After becoming a fan of the WTF podcast in 2015 (this is because I heard that President Obama had been a guest on a podcast which records in a man's garage...turned out to be Maron!) I've been an avid twice a week listener ever since. If you have heard the podcast, you will want to read through this book. It's not the type of book you'll read in one sitting because it's divided into topics but, on the other hand, you won't want to put it down because it's engrossing especially when you discover a person interviewed whom you hadn't known about.

  • Jason Miller

    It's not unusual for a Marc Maron interview to blow my mind. Christy Brinkley. Norm MacDonald. Molly Shannon. There have been over 800. The honesty of the conversations come through my podcast player clear and strong, and it often leads me to want to share my new insight or understanding with someone.

    Numerous testimonials out there describe how Maron's conversations have let listeners know they aren't the only one struggling with a problem (e.g., addiction, mental illness, bad parents) and givi

    It's not unusual for a Marc Maron interview to blow my mind. Christy Brinkley. Norm MacDonald. Molly Shannon. There have been over 800. The honesty of the conversations come through my podcast player clear and strong, and it often leads me to want to share my new insight or understanding with someone.

    Numerous testimonials out there describe how Maron's conversations have let listeners know they aren't the only one struggling with a problem (e.g., addiction, mental illness, bad parents) and giving them a nudge in the direction of a solution or solace. This book is an interesting reformatting of the long-running podcast that allows guests to speak in their own voices and reach the reader like they did when they were sitting in "the garage" talking with Marc. Each of the eleven chapters addresses a theme (e.g., sexuality, identity, parenting, addiction, failure, success) that's been a thread in his years of talks. Marc opens each chapter with a few paragraphs on the topic, and then he lets his guests speak. From that point on, he allows his guests (simply identified by name and professions or professions) to speak by sharing a transcript of part of their conversation. Sometimes, Maron includes some of their dialogue, but most of the time Maron is listening along with us, the reader.

    I've been a faithful listener of the podcast since I heard Ira Glass advertise it on

    , so I can safely say I've listened to every episode. This book captures many of the piquant moments that I remember, and it reminds me of many that I'd forgotten.

    The book isn't a substitute for listening to the podcast. Many great recorded moments are not memorialized on these pages. But Marc and Brandon's organization of hundreds of conversation snapshots create a gripping and don't-want-to-put-it-down arc in each chapter.

    Who will like the book? If you like the WTF podcast, you'll enjoy the book. If you enjoy hearing celebrities talk about how they really think and feel, the book will be very satisfying for you, even if you have not listed to Maron's podcast. If you have a heavy heart for some reason, there may be something for you here, even if you don't know who the fuck Maron is.

    NOTE: I received an advance reading copy (trade paperback) in April 2017 after entering some sort of raffle. I never win anything in raffles, so I consider getting this book a huge deal.

  • Bookish

    I picked up Waiting for the Punch by Marc Maron and Brendan McDonald while I was at BookCon. It’s a collection of excerpts from Maron’s WTF Podcast, divided into chapters titled “Growing Up,” “Identity,” “Addiction,” “Success,” and the like. With guests like Amy Poehler, Robin Williams, Margaret Cho, Patrick Stewart, and even President Obama, you can imagine that the responses to conversation about these topics vary widely. But in their differences, there’s also a beautiful sense that they (and

    I picked up Waiting for the Punch by Marc Maron and Brendan McDonald while I was at BookCon. It’s a collection of excerpts from Maron’s WTF Podcast, divided into chapters titled “Growing Up,” “Identity,” “Addiction,” “Success,” and the like. With guests like Amy Poehler, Robin Williams, Margaret Cho, Patrick Stewart, and even President Obama, you can imagine that the responses to conversation about these topics vary widely. But in their differences, there’s also a beautiful sense that they (and we) are all living the human experience. Even without any addiction issues (except perhaps to coffee) so many of the excerpts really resonated with me—in all of the chapters. —Kristina (

    )

  • Erin O'Riordan

    I’d never heard Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, but I read parts of this book because I was interested in a lot of the people he interviewed on his show about universal topics like relationships, mental health, and sexuality.

    I skipped some of the interview subjects whose names I didn’t know or whom I didn’t think were quite as interesting, but the ones I read had a lot of good, insightful things to say. Some of the interviewees whose wisdom I gleaned from this book included:

    Ali Wong

    Anna Kendrick

    Barac

    I’d never heard Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, but I read parts of this book because I was interested in a lot of the people he interviewed on his show about universal topics like relationships, mental health, and sexuality.

    I skipped some of the interview subjects whose names I didn’t know or whom I didn’t think were quite as interesting, but the ones I read had a lot of good, insightful things to say. Some of the interviewees whose wisdom I gleaned from this book included:

    Ali Wong

    Anna Kendrick

    Barack Obama

    Carl Reiner

    Carrie Brownstein

    Chelsea Peretti

    Dan Savage

    Dave Foley

    Elizabeth Banks

    Judy Greer

    Kevin Hart

    Leslie Jones

    Margaret Cho

    Mel Brooks

    Melissa Etheridge

    Michael Keaton (talking about Tim Burton, Batman, and Beetlejuice)

    Natasha Lyonne

    Penn Jillette

    Robin Williams

    RuPaul Charles

    Sarah Silverman

    Sir Ian McKellen

    Sir Patrick Stewart

    Wanda Sykes

    Some of these folks are real gems of human beings. They have a lot of worthwhile things to say. Some of these things are very funny, some are poignant, some are both. All of these people are smart people capable of articulating a coherent thought, which is shockingly refreshing in this era of idiocracy.

  • Woody

    While I've heard most of the episodes included in here, for some reason my reactions reading the same statements had a more visceral effect. Maybe it's because I've always dealt with the world emotionally more through books than actually people. Literally made me laugh & cry & exclaim "Oh, shit!" more than a few times. Anyway, words of wisdom on a variety of subjects from everyone from Conan O'Brien to Barack Obama. Must read.

  • Christina

    I liked the blend of humor and solemnity. I thought the book did a good job of balancing the different perspectives under each chapter heading to sort of play devil's advocate - one idea against the next - but in a thought provoking way, not too contradictory.

  • Mary

    I read 95% of this---I skipped over some guests' graphic descriptions of events in their lives. I'm a longtime WTF podcast listener, but I haven't heard all the conversations---after all, Marc has now done 840 episodes. Much of this book moved me deeply. (My copy is an ARC. The book will be released in October 2017.

  • Kevin

    In 2009, comedian Marc Maron began interviewing his friends for a twice-weekly podcast he still records in his garage. With each episode of WTF with Marc Maron running an hour or longer, Maron's intimate setting and relaxed, freeform conversational style lures comedians, actors, writers, directors and musicians into becoming more vulnerable and open. WAITING FOR THE PUNCH is a powerful and fascinating collection of some of those conversations. Although the majority of these conversations are wit

    In 2009, comedian Marc Maron began interviewing his friends for a twice-weekly podcast he still records in his garage. With each episode of WTF with Marc Maron running an hour or longer, Maron's intimate setting and relaxed, freeform conversational style lures comedians, actors, writers, directors and musicians into becoming more vulnerable and open. WAITING FOR THE PUNCH is a powerful and fascinating collection of some of those conversations. Although the majority of these conversations are with comedians, they are deadly serious when they discuss childhood sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addictions, failed relationships, mental illness, sexuality and death.

    These soul-bearing interviews are woven together by topic, and form a compelling tapestry of voices and advice from survivors who have faced tragedies, loss and shame, and have put themselves on the path to healing. Bruce Springsteen discusses reversing parent-child roles with his schizophrenic father. Aubrey Plaza reveals she suffered a stroke at age 20. Artie Lange and Natasha Lyonne share their struggles with sobriety.

    The extensive roster of celebrities sharing harrowing and darkly humorous tales include Amy Schumer, Garry Shandling, Lena Dunham, Mel Brooks, Barack Obama, Dan Savage, Margaret Cho, Sasha Baron Cohen and Amy Poehler. Louis CK sums up Maron's gift for creating a confessional space: "We understand each other's flaws really well. That's why we're able to tell each other things that we don't want to tell anyone else." WAITING FOR THE PUNCH is a knockout collection of heartbreaking conversations that will help heal many readers.

    Harrowing and darkly humorous, this collection of celebrity conversations from Marc Maron's long-running podcast is shocking, revealing and healing.

  • Christopher

    Collected a lot of my favorite highlights of the podcast over the years. Definitely recommend. Almost like an odd self-help book in a way.

  • Barry Wightman

    Full disclosure. Before this heartfelt, scatterbrained book landed in my lap, I’d never heard of Marc Maron. According to the bio on this collection of podcast interviews, Waiting For the Punch, he’s a “stand-up comedian, actor, author and host of the WTF podcast,” which my iPhone tells me is currently number 59 on the podcast charts! Mr. Maron is just ahead of Anna Faris is Unqualified, and Your Mom’s House with Christina P and Tom Segura! Whoa…I had no idea. I was totally out of it.

    But I remed

    Full disclosure. Before this heartfelt, scatterbrained book landed in my lap, I’d never heard of Marc Maron. According to the bio on this collection of podcast interviews, Waiting For the Punch, he’s a “stand-up comedian, actor, author and host of the WTF podcast,” which my iPhone tells me is currently number 59 on the podcast charts! Mr. Maron is just ahead of Anna Faris is Unqualified, and Your Mom’s House with Christina P and Tom Segura! Whoa…I had no idea. I was totally out of it.

    But I remedied the situation. Quickly, I flipped through the WTF catalog (is that what they’re called, catalogs?) of past shows – jeez, there’s a lot of ‘em, what’s the matter with me? – I found a couple that were up my alley – a long interview with Bruce Springsteen, and a chat with Randy Newman. I was about to leave on a long road trip, so the timing was perfect. Fired up the trusty Subaru, headed to Vermont.

    Long story short, Mr. Maron ain’t Mr. Smooth, no Dick Cavett, interviewer-wise. Rough around edges, nasally voice, sort of charming in a guy-on-the-next-barstool kind of way, he interrupts Springsteen, he’s an all agog fan boy, hey-I’m-from-Jersey-too!, agreeing with the Boss on just about everything – yes, right, right, oh yeah, what was it like to…on and on and on for an hour and a half.

    Bruce’s book, Born to Run, was better.

    Same with Randy Newman. Rather listen to his records.

    It was a long trip to Vermont.

    But here’s the thing. Maron got those guys talking. And that’s the point of a podcast. As comedian John Oliver says in his Foreword, “He uses his honesty like a scalpel, cutting himself open in front of anyone he’s talking to, and in doing so, invites you to do the same.”

    And they do. Folks talk, and talk.

    Here’s another thing – Waiting For the Punch is almost four hundred pages of snippets of past interviews – comedians, musicians, actors, comedians, TV hosts, and comedians – sixty or seventy percent of whom I’d never heard of. Your mileage may vary, but I wanted to throw the book across the room.

    And I did.

    But then I thought better of it, retrieved the book, and did the right thing.

    I dipped in and out of the book, leafing through it, finding somebody or something I cared about. Oh, look, here’s Ian McKellen, Carl Reiner, Patrick Stewart, Mel Brooks, Springsteen, or….Barack Obama. Yes, I know, Obama isn’t a comedian, but he made the cut. I read those bits.

    That’s how you read this book.

    Organized into sections that reflect the culture of our self-centered times – Growing Up, Sexuality, Identity, Relationships, Parenting, Success, Failure, Mental Health, Mortality, and Life Lessons – Waiting For the Punch is edited like a movie trailer. Super quick cuts, a little bit of her saying this, little bit of him goofing on that, banality, and the inevitable punch lines, the money shots of the podcast, little potted 21st century epiphanies we can wrap up, call our own and take home.

    Maron introduces each section, getting us into the mood. Here’s a bit from his intro to Mental Health:

    “It seems there are people who talk about mental health and there are people who really don’t talk about it at all. I’m a talker. Or at least I was. I’m not as much as I used to be, which I can only see as an indication that I am getting better…look, I’m still pretty fucked up but I’m not as dangerous to myself or others…sometimes you just have to be okay with who you are.”

    I feel better already.

    But then Norm Macdonald, Jenny Slate, Chelsea Peretti, Whitney Cummings, Dave Attell, really get into the subject. Here’s how Aubrey Plaza listens to her hair, “I do a loop and then I scrunch it inside of my ear. I’m usually freaking out when I do that. My therapist said it’s a soothing thing, a defense mechanism.”

    Phew. Hope she’s okay now.

    Thankfully, there’s Michael Keeton talking about coming up with his Beetlejuice character. Or Mel Brooks riffing on Blazing Saddles, with Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder – nothing earth-shaking or deep, just entertaining. Did I read that somewhere else years ago? I dunno. Doesn’t matter.

    But then, way out on page 386, the last bit of the book, President Barack Obama wraps it up:

    “The more you do something, you lose fear. I was talking to somebody the other day about why I actually think I’m a better president and would be a better candidate if I were running again than I ever have been. It’s sort of like an athlete, you might slow down a little bit, you might not jump as high as you used to, but I know what I’m doing and I’m fearless. You’re not pretending to be fearless...it almost compensates for the fact that I can’t play basketball anymore.”

    Makes Waiting For the Punch almost worth it.

    Nah.

    I threw it across the room again.

    (This review was originally published by The Washington Independent Review of Books, October 25, 2017.

    )

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