President Barack Obama has appeared several places that no sitting president has before – and now he’s taking his act to even more unfamiliar territory, comedian Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast.
The program which has gained a considerable following since its debut in 2009, is known for it’s no-holds-barred content and Maron’s intentionally confrontational style. The president recorded an interview with Maron that will be posted online Monday and was recorded in the comic’s garage not far from one of Obama’s alma maters – Occidental College in California.
“If I thought to myself that when I was in college that I would be in a garage a couple miles away from where I was living, doing an interview as president with a comedian – it’s not possible to imagine,” Obama told Maron.
According to Maron, no topic was off limits and he had final say over the editing of the broadcast. The comedian, who was a fan of the president’s memoir “Dreams From My Father,” but who has been largely apolitical in recent years said the entire idea behind the interview originated from the White House. After sitting down with Obama, Maron says “he’s just a guy.”
“I was just hoping that it would be a guy sitting across from me, that at some point I’d go, ‘He’s the president, but I need him to be just a man, just a dude.’ And he was like that very quickly,” Maron told Entertainment Weekly. “Maybe that’s how good he is, and maybe that’s really what I was experiencing. But then he disarmed me very quickly – I don’t know if I disarmed him – but I felt comfortable with him.”
“I felt like I was talking to a real person – very gracious and thoughtful – but you see his face, and you see his skin and shake his hand, touch his shoulder. He felt like a real person to me. I felt like he was genuine and connected. That was surprising to me,” he added.
Maron talks to Obama about his favorite comedians and his family, but also more timely issues like guns and race. Although Maron has conducted high-profile interviews in the past – his sit-downs with Lena Dunham and Louis C.K., for instance – this is by far his biggest get. When Entertainment Weekly asked him if this show was different than other ones, he sarcastically answered: “He’s the president.”