Podcast with interviews of people who were struggling, now are successfu
July 20, 2015 4:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for podcasts featuring interviews of people who, for a time in their life, were really struggling - terrible luck, financial disaster, serious illness - who were able to pull it all together and become comfortably successful.

I'm also interested in podcasts featuring people who never really recovered, but have ended up with something to be interviewed about anyway.
posted by WasabiFlux to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Both Chris Hardwick (Nerdist) and Marc Maron (WTF) talk about that quite a bit.
posted by pyro979 at 5:20 PM on July 20, 2015

You'll either like or hate his style, but this is Mick Betancourt's wheelhouse. I also recommend listening any podcast with Jerry Stahl - he has come through some horrible, horrible self-inflicted sewer-crawling and is able to talk about it in a blunt, funny, clear-eyed way from the other side.
posted by ryanshepard at 5:29 PM on July 20, 2015

In a similar vein to WTF, Mental Illness Happy Hour primarily features comedians who have struggled with mental illness and the ensuing complications that arise and have since found success. There are also episodes featuring listeners who are still managing their illnesses.
posted by lunch at 5:31 PM on July 20, 2015 [4 favorites]

To add to what pyro979 (and on preview, lunch) said, Pete Holmes's You Made It Weird often gets really deep and personal. Pick a guest that you like and try it out.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:33 PM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Lunch beat me to plugging Mental Illness Happy Hour. You can find some big comedy names in the archives, and most of them tell stories of harrowing bad times. Three who leap to mind are Maria Bradford, Steve Agee and Teresa Strasser. They may not be household names exactly, but they are super talented and their stories really haunt you. (I think Strasser is the one who really stunned people. Most of us know her as the former host of While You Were Out, but behind the endless quips and the charming smile she is a tortured, brave soul.) It kind of depends on how dark you're looking for. MIHH can get dark.

Maron and Hardwick also have plenty of stories to tell. Both were in really dire straits before they turned it around.

Wil Wheaton's blog used to be mostly about his failed auditions and his efforts to prove to everyone that he was something more than that snotty kid actor who walked away from Star Trek at the peak of its popularity and never worked again. Writing about that stuff found him a whole new audience on the web and gave his career a new life.

After Star Trek William Shatner lived in the camper of his van for a while, broke and typecast. (He was also doing cheesy as hell supermarket commercials while rocking the saddest comb-over ever. Warning: Schadenfreude has its limits, and if you have a soul this commercial will make you sad.)

Jackie Earl Haley wasn't broke, but his acting career badly stalled when he grew up and he finally moved to Colorado (IIRC) and was working as a producer of local commercials. He was out of Hollywood for over a decade and had absolutely no intention of returning to acting, but then somebody offered him a role in Little Children. He took the part, nailed it, and has been an in-demand character actor ever since.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:43 PM on July 20, 2015

Dammit. I posted that and then saw the OP was asking for PODCASTS. Well, MIHH, WTF and Nerdist are great, but the other stuff isn't that relevant.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:46 PM on July 20, 2015

These are all only tangentially related:

The Moment: filmmaker Brian Koppelman talks to people in various careers about their pivotal moments or turning points.

The Reboot Podcast: VC and professional coach Jerry Colonna interviews enterpreneurs about their lowest lows and highest highs.
posted by doctordrey at 7:47 PM on July 20, 2015

Beginnings, How to be Amazing with Michael Ian Black
posted by knile at 9:10 PM on July 20, 2015

I have not listened to it yet, but Resume is a podcast where people are interviewed about past careers. Probably fits the bill of what you are looking for.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:27 AM on July 21, 2015

Most fresh air podcasts seem to fit the bill.
The most recent one being Judd Apatow who now churns out comedy hits at everything he touches but until Anchorman, all of his films failed at the box office.

Mike Birbiglia was another who is well known comedian but at a point his sleepwalking killed his relationship and issues, Louis CK had a lot of struggles through his early life too.

So yeah most fresh air ones .
posted by radsqd at 8:59 AM on July 21, 2015

Another vote for the Mental Illness Happy Hour, especially Mick Betancourt's episode.
posted by blueberry at 10:22 PM on July 21, 2015

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