WTF with Marc Maron (podcast, strong language)

Vaguely recognize this guy? Then you too may have watched too much Comedy Central in the early 90's.

“Two friends. Go ahead and chuckle to yourselves. Two friends, how many do you really need? I can’t stand people who say ‘I’ve got lots of friends.’ You don’t. You have a bunch of shallow relationships with people who talk behind your back, and you call that drama a ‘life.’ Because you’re bored at your jobs.

“All I need are two: I need the main guy, and the guy I go to when I drain the main guy. Yeah. Because I’m a needy, panicky man. I’m an angry man.”

Marc Maron is a stand up comic with a podcast. He mostly records it in his garage. There are several podcasts like this, but WTF is the only one I’ve bothered to listen to. It’s pretty good.

As a child of the “imprison your children at home to protect them from the world or a meaningful childhood of any kind” generation, I spent a fair portion my pubescent years watching Comedy Central. Back then (well before South Park and the Daily Show), Comedy Central mainly showed Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and lots and lots of standup comedy.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to get at was that I once watched a lot of standup, and I laughed quite a bit, which helped with the pain of being a bored teenager. But since it was basic cable, and there wasn’t much more to it than clips and clips of standup, I was missing a whole side of standup that this podcast brings out. With unscripted, personal interviews with other comics, including a recent double show in which Marc confronts Carlos Mencia about being a joke thief, you really get a front seat to all the backstage drama behind being a comic.

My favorite ep so far has to be an hour-long snippet from a car ride home from a comedy festival with Maron and Maria Bamford (she’s in The Comedians of Comedy). This episode is extremely personal, with both comics getting in deep about their mental issues and the complex relationships that spring around them, and I’d bet dollars to donuts that Bamford had no intention of getting that personal at the start. Even better, Maron probably had no intention of it himself; if he has an agenda at all, it’s to talk about himself as much as possible. The show comes across as very natural and genuine, even when it’s clear that Maron is trying out new material on his podcast audience before taking it onstage.

This podcast is more than a radio show, it’s more than an arena for an aging experienced comic to trot out material. It’s a personal showcase, and a ticket to the backstage nonsense that comics have to deal with. Marc has a lot of personal issues (don’t we all, and aren’t we all just a little angry about it), and it’s clear he needs something like this. I feel lucky that I found this show, because I think I need it too. Not just because I’m not as funny when I talk about my problems, I also commute in the Bay Area.

WTF with Marc Maron is damned listenable, and very funny. Just don’t listen to it around any children, employers, parents, or significant others. Let’s just say the title is very rarely pronounced in its abbreviated form.

Check it out at http://wtfpod.com/. (Warning: Strong Language. This man has no filter.)

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