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

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-baring 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. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant

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