On July 16, 2012, veteran stand-up comedian Marc Maron celebrated a milestone: the 300 episode of his uber-popular Podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. For those of you unfamiliar with the show you must not be a fan of Podcasts since WTF has regularly been one of the top 10 downloads on iTunes, with seven hundred thousand downloads a week. Trust me, that number is impressive.
In fact, “Wow” is a more accurate way to perceive this accomplishment. This success has not only reinvigorated Maron’s career, but also has proven the comic right about his choice of style in regards to comedy. The Podcast is a complete reflection of how Maron performs his stand-up and lives his own life; there is no plan, nothing is scripted, total commitment to rolling the dice and letting the chips fall where they may. As he puts it, “I’m what you call a ‘chancer.’” And taking chances is one of the things Marc does best.
The other thing is NOT to prepare, “…and if you don’t prepare and it works, you’re a genius…” Most of the time, Maron will be the first to admit, it doesn’t work and he just comes off as the guy who didn’t prepare. That he doesn’t care about the end product being tied up in a neat bow is what makes him so unique; that’s all about the journey and exploration of life itself – both his own experiences and that of his guest at the time.
This is also why he isn’t a household name and everybody’s cup of tea. When I think of Marc Maron, to me, it’s as if someone put Woody Allen, Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce in a blender, hit the whip button for a minute or two and out poured a vulnerable lunatic who lusts to fly by the seat of his pants. What is his saving grace is that he is inherently funny; therefore the humor usually does find its way into his train of thought and out to his audience.
As Marc closes in on turning 50, he has grown as a person, which in turn has allowed WTF to evolve into something even he could not have foreseen. It has taken a long time for the fruits of his labor to pay off, and if you have followed the Podcast since its inception in the fall of 2009 you will have noticed minor, slow adjustments over time. It has become a place where some friends of Maron’s (who include Craig Ferguson, Robin Williams and Steven Wright) line up to confess their sins and walk away feeling absolved, and others remind us of universal truths that we all share.
Maron points out in the 300 episode special, that after episode 100 he became more open to listening, caring and laughing. Obviously, that is when he really began to pick up speed and made a hit of others doing the looking back for him. And I personally wish to add, all hail to the late bloomers.
About the Author: Andrea Elizabeth Mitchell is a professional comedy writer and performer who has been in the business close to thirty years now. She has worked in several types of media including TV, Radio and Print. To branch out even further this year Ms Mitchell's work will be seen on both the internet and the big screen. Yes, a feature film she co-wrote is going into production, and who knows where this internet thing might take her!