Marco Polo Channels helped this actor, podcaster, and American Glutton share the wisdom of “failing better”

Ethan Suplee

Ethan Suplee’s biggest fans know him as an actor on famed shows like My Name is Earl and Santa Clarita Diet and as a successful podcast host. Many also know of his public journey through gaining and losing weight – a lot of weight. Following every diet and fitness plan under the sun taught Ethan a few things about the body and the mind, and each week on The American Glutton podcast, he feeds his endless curiosity about nutrition, fitness, and his own “very complicated relationship with food.”

In early 2021, interested in connecting directly with his followers, Ethan launched Fail Better 2021, a one-month group intensive on Marco Polo Channels. Over a quick Q&A between reps, Ethan shared his Channels experience with the Marco Polo Channels team. Our interview has been edited for length.

With the American Glutton podcast, you took your deeply personal interest in food and exercise into the public arena. What sparked that desire, and what got you interested in coaching others on Marco Polo Channels?

I don’t really think of myself as a coach, so for these purposes I’ll call myself an amateur professional dieter. I had gotten to a place with health, nutrition, and fitness that I felt really comfortable with, but having spent decades unhappy, I felt like sharing my story.

My interest in Marco Polo began entirely because of my wife. It’s her preferred way of communicating right now, especially with me. I was happy to share my experience with others on Marco Polo Channels because I’m mostly uncomfortable with video, and this idea of speaking to someone candidly through Channels felt better to me than posting a video somewhere else. 

How does Channels compare to the other platforms you’ve used to reach your audience, for example your podcast or social media?

For me, the biggest difference was the idea that I was directly communicating with someone who was interested. With Instagram, Twitter, and my podcast I’m generally doing something for myself and then sharing it. With Marco Polo Channels, the idea was to speak specifically to someone else. It was a nice perspective shift and more personal.

You offered Fail Better 2021 as a one-time, one-month course on Marco Polo Channels. What kinds of topics did you cover, and how did you organize the offering?

The Channel started with a structured concept, then went only free-form, and finally I organized myself back into the structure I had originally set out to talk through. 

At first I tried to post every day and acknowledge and answer every reply, but I eventually fell into a groove: talking about how to get through the weekend, meal prep, then various exercise ideas through the week.

Any features you particularly liked? Any wish list items to share with the hard-at-work team building Marco Polo Channels?

I liked that people could tune in or out and that they could watch me at 2x speed, which always makes me feel like I appear energetic.

And literally the only new feature I’d like is the option to flip the video so they could read my shirts!

There’s more to “fail better” than excellent word play. What were your goals for yourself and your Channels audience – what did you want your members to come away with?

My biggest desire was for people to see some possibility of success, that setbacks were to be expected, and hopefully, through moderation and determination, goals achieved.

I also absolutely believe in the strength of having a community around you, so I was interested in having a platform to connect with my American Glutton listeners, to hear what they struggle with, and to try and help – as well as have them help each other.

I was happy to share my routine and ideas. That was all I hoped to get out of it. But what I didn’t expect, the personal connection with people, was fun for me and everyone on it.

Find out more

Get a deeper look into Ethan’s journey, his Channel, and his fridge in Men’s Health. And check out our website to find out how you can increase your impact with Marco Polo Channels, the video-first coaching platform.


Photo by Casey Fyfe.

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