The “comedian’s comic” is brilliant, imaginative, and deadly precise. Yet, most of the time these individuals are relegated to cult like figures, reltively ignored commercially, appreciated by true lovers of comedy. This double edged sword of a label could have been placed on comedian Marc Maron in the past, but not anymore. In September of 2009, Maron launched the “WTF Podcast.” WTF is a twice weekly interview style broadcast which typically pairs Maron with one of his comedic peers, and tapes in his garage-turned-studio which he has dubbed, “The Cat Ranch.”
My own personal discovery of Marc Maron is a tale similar to most of his fans. I was at my grandparents house in Ocean Township, NJ in 1994 watching Comedy Central (My town didn’t have the channel yet, so Grandpa Irving was kind enough to oblige) While watching the network a program came on called “Short Attention Span Theater,” which was hosted by Maron. I quickly latched on to his unrelenting and sometimes manic personality. From there, I added Maron to my arsenal of go to comedians and began closely following his career.
I stumbled upon his podcast purely by chance. Scanning through the news on Huffington Post, I came upon a link to an audio interview featuring Kids In The Hall member Dave Foley. Upon clicking it, I not only heard the distinct voice of Foley’s but also, Marc Maron. Maron’s interview with Foley was frank, and sometimes heartbreaking to listen to. Deep revelations of divorce and the perils of paying alimony launched from Dave’s lips.
But unlike a typical interviewer who just asks questions in order to receive stock answers, Marc Maron interjected stories from his own life, including tales of his own failed marriage into the discussion. This made for a tremendous interview- showing that Maron could talk to fellow comics about anything, and get them to open up because in the end he is one of them.
Last night Maron recorded the WTF podcast in front of live audience at Brooklyn’s The Bell House. The show had been sold out for months, and a massive crowd of fans lined up both in and outside of the venue. I could finally see how popular his podcast was with my own eyes, and I was pleased to see this success in the flesh.
We attended the late show with comedic guests that included SNL Head writer Seth Myers, 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit, Gabe Leidman, Jodi Lennon, Julian McCullough, and Rachel Feinstein. From the very moment the sound guy played the podcast theme, the crowd and Maron jelled together to produce one of the funniest, and most insightful events I have ever had the privilege to witness.
Maron took the time to interview all his guests face to face, putting them at ease with his self deprecating wit, which produced some of the funniest and most honest moments of the evening. Conversations between Maron and his guests ranged from topics including; a debate over the use of the word, “dick” or “cock,” cats, and cancer.
After the solo interviews were through each of the guests remained on the dais. This produced a fantastic back and forth between them and our host. The comedic timing of these talented people was simply impeccable. But throughout the entire program Maron included the audience in the jokes. WTF is an inclusive show, where the listener feels like they know Maron. The fact is they do. We can trust what he has to say, because he hides nothing, as he is the same guy on stage that he is off. And for this fan and listener, seeing that trait in a person is truly humbling experience.
- Jayson Rubin