Today is a wonderful day. Marc Maron, self-deprecating comic and not-so-underground hero of the podcast world has come to Atlanta to delight from behind the mic. I’m taking Darryl to see him perform tonight. I’m pumped. You know I really believe a good comic is a good writer — a good storyteller, first.
Creative Loafing did a nice write-up of Maron’s career and persona in honor of his visit. Maron hosts the show WTF with Marc Maron (yes, that would be What the Fuck), which I discovered on my beloved LA-based radio station KCRW. During the average show, Maron goes off on a riff for a few minutes then leads into an in-depth conversation with a fellow comic.
What makes the show great is that unlike most interviews where the questioner is on the outside of the subject’s world, Maron is speaking from way inside. His deeply personal knowledge of the (struggling) comedian’s life makes for intimate conversation, revealing anecdotes and a lot of shop talk. Honestly, I never thought of myself as the biggest stand-up comic fan — I keep up with the well-known names, but wasn’t indie-savvy — so the initial attraction was the relaxed, informal nature of two jokers joking. And sometimes being brutally honest. Brutal, y’all. Like, hearing Patrice O’Neal describe his experiences in an adult prison as a teenager. Oy.
Maron usually records from his garage at his home in LA, and it’s a barebones approach. No major music fade-ins. No pauses for news desk briefs. Just an hour-and-change of conversation — you’ll occasionally here Maron + company sipping a beverage or munching food. Super casual. But effective. It’s fantastic radio.
He’s interviewed Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, Jon Hamm, Donald Glover and even Anthony Bourdain. That was a good one. You can stream or download the most recent 50 episodes for free on iTunes or from the show’s site.
So tonight, he graces the stage at The Laughing Skull Lounge in Midtown Atlanta to a sold-out crowd waiting to hear some good stand-up. May he begin with those three precious words.