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“If you’re an American, fascism should be seen as a threat, not as the future.” – Marc Maron
This week I sat down with my friend Marc Maron. We had a lot of laughs during this interview talking about Boston comedy, his creative process and Marc’s unlikely rise to fame as a superstar podcaster.
For over thirty years, Marc Maron has been writing and performing raw, honest and thought-provoking comedy for print, stage, radio, online and television. With his landmark podcast WTF with Marc Maron, which achieves more than 55 million listens per year, he’s interviewed icons such as Conan O’Brien, Terry Gross, Robin Williams, Keith Richards, Ben Stiller, George Clooney, Lorne Michaels and Former U.S. President Barack Obama.
A legend in the stand-up community, Marc has appeared on many television talk shows, including David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Charlie Rose and Bill Maher. He has appeared on Conan O’Brien more than any other comedian. That record will stand for eternity!
Connect with Marc Maron
- Podcast – WTF with Marc Maron
- Facebook – Marc Maron
- Twitter – (@marcmaron)
- Youtube – WTF Podcast with Marc Maron
- Instagram – (@marcmaron)
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Transcript – Please note, this Transcript is AI Generated. It has not had the discerning ears of a real human to edit it, as such, there are bound to be a few errors.
Jimmy Tingle 0:00
Hey everybody, this is Jimmy, thank you so much for joining us today. Today’s episode has been brought to you by our sponsor humor for humanity, a social enterprise that I found that a few years ago that raises spirits, funds and awareness for nonprofits, charities, and social causes. Our mission is your mission humor for humanity. You can find out more information at Jimmy tingle.com Thank you so much and enjoy today’s show.
Everybody, this is Jimmy, welcome to the show. I am so excited today to have my guests Marc Maron. He’s back in town ladies and gentlemen, he started here in Boston way back in the day when I was the open mic post at the Dinho. On Tuesday nights. Mark stopped in for one of his few sets back in the day in 1984. And he has since taken the comedy world and the podcasting world by storm and it’s completely a fluke in many respects. And I will get into that in a second. But he’s coming to the Wilbert this Saturday night. Let’s see That’s April 16. To Saturday night two shows at the Wilbur you can get tickets at the wilbert.com or you can also get tickets at his website w t f pod.com. And now you can become familiar with his podcast if you’re not already familiar with it and his extensive tour date. It’s got a ton of dates coming up. But for those of you who may not know Mark for over 25 years Marc Maron has been writing performing raw, honest thought provoking comedy in September of 2009. He’s changed the podcast landscape when he started WTF with Marc Maron featuring conversations with iconic personalities check this out, such as Conan O’Brien, Terry Gross, Robin Williams, Keith Richards, okay. Ben Stiller, Lorne Michaels and President Barack Obama. I’m not kidding you. He actually interviewed Obama in his garage in Los Angeles. I recently listened to an episode with George Clooney as well, which is fascinating. And Mark gets into all this read all this enthusiasm about doing stand up again after this pandemic and getting back on stage and it was just coming off a great gig and the ridge theatre Richton Theatre in Richfield, Connecticut Richfield Ridgefield, Connecticut, which was awesome. And I got so psyched listening to that interview. It just, it just felt the importance and the significance of stand up in my own life listening to you just go on and on about how great it was. So he’s a legend in the stand up comedy community folks, he’s appeared on many television op shows David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Charlie Rose, and Bill Maher, and he has appeared check this out on Conan O’Brien, more than any other comedian and because Conan O’Brien is no longer on the air. That record will stand for eternity forever. Welcome. The one the only Mr. Marc Maron. How are you, pal?
Marc Maron 2:52
Thank you, buddy. That’s quite an intro. I think we’re ready. Is it time to wrap it up?
Jimmy Tingle 2:58
I want to make sure I hit all the bases. Great to see amok. Man, how impressed I am with with the with WTF and the podcast. Because as you said to me off stage, many times this was a fluke, you will like work in it ever America. Right?
Marc Maron 3:18
It was desperation. I think Fluke is a nice word for that. It was one of those positive loops. You know, I just said this to a friend of mine. I said, and I said this to him on its way. Do you know if the things that only happened to you? Or good things? It would be a great thing. But But no, it was one of these things where, you know, I had nothing to do. I was going through a bad divorce. And I had been sort of I was out you know, they fired me from the job at Air America. And I had no idea what to do. But we were still being that they were good liberals. You know, they fired us from the from the we’re doing a streaming video show, but they didn’t kick us out in the building. We still had we still had a month on our contract. So I knew people were doing podcasts. So we just started hijacking the studios, the radio studios late at night when no one was in and we knew the tech and we just started doing it. You know, bringing guests up on the freight elevator. No, it wasn’t these actual that it is now then, but that’s how it started. Me and Brendan McDonald, committed to just doing a new show every Monday and Thursday and that was that was the only commitment we made and we kept it a new show every Monday and Thursday since September 2009 And it kind of evolved into the show that it is now I figured out how to do it from my garage at home but it was all like yeah, I was staring down the barrel of a stage of my life just doing you know be rooms and having nobody know me it was it was a dark time. Jimmy I could have gone either way in the garage. It could have been could have been found hanging in there. Alright man or start the podcast. Well, I
Jimmy Tingle 4:50
have to tell you I didn’t know Brendan McDonald was he should produce a now for you guys have been together since 2004.
Marc Maron 4:56
That didn’t tear America. He was a kid. He was an associate producer on my first ever radio show on Air America. So however long that is, yeah, yeah, it’s like, one time. Wow.
Jimmy Tingle 5:09
And so that’s fabulous. Because he’s an awesome producer. And it’s so great. It’s such a great team. And I’m sure that’s really gonna be a success.
Marc Maron 5:19
All of it. You know, I get we, when we talk about, like, if we’re ever going to stop, I’m like, Well, I’m not I’m not going to even think about if you got to, if you want to stop, we’ll stop. So we have this weird standoff, where like, there’s no reason to stop. So let’s just keep going, you know, right.
Jimmy Tingle 5:33
So Mark, your roots go back to Boston. Big time. Like, I remember introducing you at the open mic night at that. Dinho in 1984. In the summer, then you left
Marc Maron 5:44
you were Yeah, I remember you were sweaty and playing harmonica.
Jimmy Tingle 5:49
I’m still sweaty. And I’m still playing. I was I was the pink wonder.
Marc Maron 5:56
Yeah. Yeah. I just remember that place because there was a minute there. Because I did comedy in college a little bit. I was in a team with a guy we put together an app, but then he graduated. And I was like, well, I’ll do it myself. And it was a very drunken summer because I was I was doing open mics. And I was living up on Egremont Street in Austin, you know, in a in a room that should was supposed to be a patio. That was like so hot, it was humid. And I just remember buying bottles of vodka and going to play it against Sam’s and waiting around. But I remember all the guys that I started with it that first wave. Yeah. And I made it out to the dining hall a couple of times. Like I remember one night you were hosting one night Lenny was hosting. I remember one in one night I played against him for Kenny Rogers was Roger Stone was hosting and he got so sick days that he forgot to put me on I waited there all night. I still remember that. Wow.
Jimmy Tingle 6:51
Well, and do you remember when Air America you 2004 We had the unconventional comedy convention at my theater in Davis square. I booked you there but you also I went on the air. I think it might have been with Barry Crimmins on your show you were doing it out of the cafe there in Davis square than we were doing. We did a month long program of just political humor. And in July, I guess it was right. 1004 we had you. We had Jim Morris Durst I think we had Janine Garoppolo who was a great Bremen’s. You know, it was an awesome
Marc Maron 7:25
it’s so funny. I used to live like when I was in Boston when I went back to Boston, you know, to start my college and at 88 Maybe I lived in Somerville before, you know anyone cared about Somerville was sort of like this strange. Little Yeah, you know, working class little dark community. And I lived in an attic, on cottage Jabra. And then it like when I was there, that’s when they built Redbones and then everything changed. Wow. But that’s just remember, I was so excited. Just going to Dunkin Donuts. They built an entire bank building next to the house I was living in. And so I was up half the night, you know, doing drugs and doing comedy. And then they were like they were drugged pounding steel foundation rods into the ground with this drop thing at seven in the morning. Oh, yeah. I remember like, we did the American thing. I remember those shows that you did. Whatever America happened. It was an interesting thing. You know, I got called by. You know, Wiz Winstead, who, like I also used to do gigs with back in Boston, like the great thing about New England when I talked about started doing comedy there is the whole thing was built. There were clubs in town, but the entire experience was built around one nighters, right? Yeah. So you would being an opener, it was usually a two person show. And you open it would do a half hour headliner would do 45 minutes. And you’d have to drive them. Yeah. So there’d be these guys that would come in from other places. And you just be in a car with some bitter headliner from somewhere. And driving to like, Matcha is maned, you know. And you’d hear them do their act twice. You sit there in a car with a guy for two hours, and he’s talking and then you get up on stage and saying this exact same thing. I can tell you who that was Sam Greenfield. Okay. Sam Greenfield. Oh, man. I don’t know. Yeah. So he was funny. Yeah. Yeah. Now, I used to go like I went to I went drove too much. I actually drove him to CHAI Studio, which is the furthest point east in this country. In Maine. I drove up there for like eight hours or whatever it was in my heart to open for Fred Santos.
Jimmy Tingle 9:41
The magician No, he’s a hypnotist.
Marc Maron 9:44
The excellent the R rated hypnotist.
Jimmy Tingle 9:46
Oh man. Did you have to drive him?
Marc Maron 9:51
No, I’d have to drive flew in I need to drive and listen to all those gigs dude. Yeah and tighten. To tighten Regency punch over years and lemon stir ranks and Franklin. Yeah. Yeah. Johnny Yi’s.
Jimmy Tingle 10:06
Yep, yep. Oh man, Mike, you know it all those, you’re bringing such, you know, interesting memories back. Okay. But all of that. I mean, it just makes your success so, so much more profound and just sweeter from my perspective anyway.
Marc Maron 10:24
Well, no, no one’s gonna say I didn’t earn it, Jim Yeah. Well,
Jimmy Tingle 10:28
I mean, really, it’s all about taking the initiative in this business. It’s completely about taking the initiative because there’s no agents in Boston, there’s nobody in wherever that was in Maine going, hey, you know, we want to really help you out here. It’s all about the taking the initiative and doing it. I have a couple of questions. Number one, when when in stand up in this whole series of one nighters and work in the door at the Comedy Store in LA, and working, you know, just these one night is all over the place, and just hand to mouth and trying to get sober and all these things. At what point did you think you know what, I think I can do this.
Marc Maron 11:04
I don’t know if I ever felt that to be honest with you. I mean, you know, because you kind of go on this assumption, I was not grown up around the nature of showbusiness, I didn’t know how anything was done. I just knew that I wanted to be a comic. And that’s what I dedicated my life to. And for some reason, after a certain point, I didn’t see any other way to go. Like, there’s certain people that are sort of like, I’m going to try and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll do this, like, certainly, at some point, you have sort of a plan B. But then you get to a certain point where you’re like, you know, if I don’t do this, I could always and you’re like, oh, shit, there used to be something there. I don’t think you know what I mean? Yeah. So you’re sort of in your lifer. And there’s no going back. But I don’t know that I ever felt like, you know, there was no decision making process around like, now it’s for me to be successful. And it happened. Yeah. I mean, I had I had a manager out here at agents out here sometimes. And I get opportunities, and I had deals and stuff, but nothing ever went anywhere. Yeah. And it wasn’t until, you know, that out of desperation and add of just the the ability to do it occurred that the podcast happened 2009. That, you know, the fluke of it was, by the time I did the podcast, I knew I was I can do that I had, I was compelling on those mics. I don’t know why I don’t know what that is. It’s a gift I get. And I liked doing radio. But then like we did the podcast in the fluke of it was it just the cosmic timing worked out that we were there the beginning of the popularizing of this medium and the industry of podcasting, just starting to grow around us. None of us knew how to make money. None of us knew how to do anything. But you know, it was at that time that there were people building networks, we were all doing each other shows there was a sort of community around it. No one really knew how to make money. I was you kidding. I was I was I thought it was NPR was offering people donation packages, my entire house was filled with envelopes with a T shirt and three stickers in the people that would give $10 a month, you know. So it was unclear how we were going to really make a living. And it wasn’t that important. It was just that we were doing it. And we were engaged with it. It was exciting. And most all the early podcasts were just me apologizing to people. Like, you would have comics then like, that’s how I developed my my style of interviewing was me. You know, I would invite celebrities over to talk about my problem. I was kind of sort of it was all service. Yeah, I was making an amends. Yeah. It was just me having comedians over and saying things like, you know, I think I kind of pissed you off that time. They’re like, I don’t remember that at all. And you sort of, you realize how much of that stuff you’re just making up like you’re holding on to these things like, That guy’s never gonna talk to me. And you go talk to that guy. He’s like, I don’t even know your name, you know, like, hilarious.
Jimmy Tingle 13:49
You know, Mark, I heard I don’t know if we said this off stage. Or maybe I heard you say it, or maybe we talked about it before, but talking about the ability to talk alone to yourself on the right, I have a guest. Yeah, just the confidence of just talking. Did that just happen? Because you were late at night? There’s no nobody there.
Marc Maron 14:11
kinda, kinda, I was always nervous about it. But you know, the guys who the real radio guys, it’s sort of like, you know, when you’re a comic, and you’re paying your dues, and you’re building your time, right? So there comes a time where, like, I got 20 I got a good 20 I gotta go to half hour. And then you know, eventually, you know, you just you crossed the hour plateau. And then you know, you have a freedom of mind, but takes a year. So, same with radio, there was a time I think what happened was I had to fill in for somebody. I don’t remember if it was cedar, or Garoppolo or somebody, but they needed a guest host. And it was a solo gig. And I was terrified. Because like you because you’re thinking like how do I feel this air and you listen to pro guys, a lot of the right wing guys are very good at it. You know, you know rush you know, yeah, wherever that he’s, you know Burning. You had a rush limbaugh could sort of pace himself. And he just sit there for hours filling people with garbage. But he had a great style. So you, sir, yeah, so like, you know, he just sort of tried to find the freedom of mind, you kind of look out into the world and you got a you got to start to enjoy yourself talking. And also, you know, not really mind that it’s not being received anywhere necessarily. It just, it was just it was like learning how to juggle, you know, when
you get that third ball in the air, like I’m doing it. And I don’t know how it happened. But that’s how it happened out of necessity. And so, so from there, you and Brendan just put this show together. And the podcast was brand new, the whole style was brand new. Well, yeah, a lot of people
were kind of doing radio shows. And we had at the beginning, we had segments, we had a couple of guests find a lot of different things. But once I moved to Los Angeles, I would generally do a 10 to 15 minute monologue of some kind about myself. And then the abio eventually evolved into you know, in of long form interviews, right. And Brendan’s a genius, you know, so, you know, his, we are very specific about the audio nature of the podcast, we don’t do the out because there’s a certain amount of crafting, for the conversation that happens editorially. And you know, and we just, he’s very protective of me. And he’s like, this guy’s been listening to me talk for 20 years. I’m like, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. So. But, but our working relationship we’re in we’re 5050 partners in this venture. And we have been since the beginning. And that’s just, you know, he’s as essential as I am. And we have a, we have a thing worked out. We don’t fight, you know, we don’t you know, and I trust him implicitly with everything. And that’s the way it goes, great,
Jimmy Tingle 16:44
man. That’s great. And that’s something that just happened out of nowhere as well. I just happened to meet him. Yeah, kinda,
Marc Maron 16:50
you know, he, I swear to God, I met him. He was like, 2425 years old. And, you know, for years, you know, after we started the podcast, he was doing, you know, he was working at Sirius, he, you know, you sort of moonlighting with the podcast and doing it under the radar. He couldn’t, I couldn’t bring his name, uh, you know, at, you know, when, when I was being interviewed, because he didn’t want to get into trouble with it his other job. And then I remember there was like, I guess it’s probably about 10 years ago now already, where, you know, maybe eight years ago, he’s like, I’m gonna come on to the podcast full time. It’s just gonna, I’m just gonna do the podcast. It was like, Hey, wait, man, you got a family I got I got nothing to lose you here you want to? Don’t be crazy, you know, this could all go down the toilet. And it’s just me, you know, I’m just gonna lose my shitty out. But he was like, bullying me. I did the research. I’m like, Okay, let’s do it. So it’s been it’s, we’ve been exclusive on this, you know, it’s been our, been our it’s been our nut, our business for
Jimmy Tingle 17:45
a long time actually successful. I just googled it today. I mean, I know you spent many, many weeks months and probably years in the Top 10 Top 20 podcasts in the country, which is remarkable.
Marc Maron 17:56
We still do alright. Obama was at the house, we still do. All right, you know, they do they do this big thing where, you know, they it’s called the Edison ranking, I guess. And it’s, you know, really based on listenership and we’re still up there, man. We’re still in the top. Like, we were like, 2223, you know, in 12 years, and that’s not known. You know, and you’re considering those a million podcasts via the Obama thing was kind of mind blowing, you know, I bet that lived in a city with less than 1000 square feet. And that broken down garage, right where it started to show. I remember, we get the, you know, the his people reached out, and they’re like, you want to interview Obama? I’m like, What do I’m gonna come to the White House? He’s like, No, he wants to come to the garage. Like, are you kidding me?
Jimmy Tingle 18:38
And when they first called you, did you think it was like a prank call? Or did you think it was serious?
Marc Maron 18:44
No, we knew it was serious, because there was talk about, you know, Biden doing it when he was vice president, there was people within the White House, that that were fans of the show. And then I think what happened was, you know, in that last year of his presidency, they thought, well, let’s get him out there, you know, because you don’t get the possibility of lame darkness, you know, sort of happens at that point, you know, and, you know, the last year, your second term, and but he became a very, you know, so it was like, yeah, he wanted to get out there. And I think it was a way to bring attention in a unique way. And it certainly brought attention to the medium of podcast app. And you know, what was going on that week? You know, it was a different type of interview than I was used to doing because we really, we had an, you know, a tight hour. We had a I had to do questions. I couldn’t wing it. There was stuff in the news that happened, you know, within the last few days of him coming to where we didn’t even know if he was coming. There was that horrendous shooting with that kid who shot all those people with that black church. I had, you know, happened like that. Yeah, like a couple days before, and, and there was a lot of sort of stuff that had to happen that they had to come the Secret Service had to come to secure the house to figure out how to secure the perimeter. I had asked my neighbor if it was okay to put snipers on his roof and He’s very excited he just retired is the greatest thing in like a year he is the, the snipers are intense man. So like, you know, the day of they put these two things, these isolated phone lines in my one, the spare bedroom, these two boxes that are there during the entire global communication system breaks down that he’s got a line out. And they were just humming in that room for two days before he got there. And yeah, I’m just thinking like, Oh, we don’t need us. You know? And you know, and it was so funny because you know, you had secret service about well 15 Secret Service to cops that attend the driveway to add a walkway up from the road and get the all the cars off the streets. And it’s funny, I was out I was out on the deck, you know with the Secret Service guys. Am I How am I gonna know he’s coming he’s it will give you a heads up 20 minute heads up. And then we saw you had the presidential helicopter. Like there’s two Ospreys these two small planes that are odd looking at travel with the helicopter, and they were gonna land over the Rose Bowl, which is 10 minutes from my house, as opposed to stop up traffic in the entire city of Los Angeles to get there from Beverly Hills. Like I saw him in the air and like, I guess he’s coming. He’s close. That’s it. Then yeah, it’s wild. He showed up and he’d been in the neighborhood before went to Occidental, which was really down the street.
Jimmy Tingle 21:23
Yeah. Cool. So was he was he friendly? Was he nice? Was the loose with you?
Marc Maron 21:27
Totally, very, you know, because like you and you kind of jacked up. You know, everyone’s just a person. You know, he just happens to be president. It’s a big deal. Right. But when he showed up is a bunch of people. You know, he’s like, we do it. He’s just gonna be on the set. I’m like, I don’t know. I hope so. And but he’s very disarming, very candid. I remember on the show, I asked him, I asked him, Are you nervous about this? He said, If I was nervous about this, we’d all be in trouble. He’s a funny guy. He is. It was very good. He was candid. And you know, there was a lot of news made around the podcast because he, he said the N word in context. And boy, that lit everything. I remember that that lit everything. Oh, I remember that. Yeah, cuz after that, like, we didn’t expect that. But then we I had a sort of insulate myself, you know, because everyone would want it. You know, reporters out in the street, trying to get comment. I’m like, Look, man, it’s all on the podcast. So I did two interviews about it. I did a Chris Hayes. I did Terry Gross. And that was another thing Brandon was like, Brandon was like, you know, we’re not doing nothing. Don’t talk to anybody. Talk to Chris will talk to Terry Gross. That’s it. And I’m like, Okay, no problem,
Jimmy Tingle 22:33
though. Let’s get on the line. Chris Hayes, MSNBC, Terry Gross, untangle. So the three interview thing good about him?
Marc Maron 22:41
Was just Well, yeah, it was like, in Kindle, right? No, no, I’ll talk to you. But I’m just talking immediately following that, because he’s used that word. And there was like all this clickbait and craziness around it, both politically. And otherwise, you know, the right the right wing was going nuts with it. You know, like, Why can he use that word? Right. But, but they were Yeah, they were just looking for anything. So we just detached from all of it. And I thought Brendan handled very well.
Jimmy Tingle 23:05
But that’s great. Mark. You know, one of the things I remember you’re talking about moving away from I know, you did a lot of politics back in the day when you first started because it’s fun pages all the time. And we did a lot of commentary error. America was clearly a political show. It was that was the whole purpose of it. That was the reason for right to existence. But you also talked about what connects with people. And you were talking about your cats. And you were talking about how, like the strangest things, you would be surprised that actually what connected with the audience,
Marc Maron 23:38
but that’s it, you know, like I? Well, I got I met I, when I started the podcast, both Brendan and I were like this, we’re not doing and we didn’t, because, you know, life is is filled with nuance and stories and existential challenges. And that was really my forte, I think I’m better at, you know, when I showed up at Air America, between me and you. My sense of civics was limited. You know, I showed up with the American government for dominance book, because I didn’t feel confident in my understanding of the political system. And I had to do a political show used to drive me crazy. But all these guys I was working with Brendan included and Dan Pashman and Jonathan Larson, the producers, they knew what was up and I was not part of the dialogue. I was just your, your, your standard, kind of like, reactive, angry comments. So for me, it was like, authority was the problem, you know, understanding the Senate is beyond me. So I had to go I was just like, Fuck all of them, you know. So I had to figure it out. And you know, learn how to get into the sort of the dialogue of politics on a day to day basis and, and how it all worked. It was all very hands on education, but it’s exhausting. And I believe with politics that you’ll act to a certain point when you do it as a pundit, or as a commentator. You will find eventually you’re not really having your own thoughts. about it, you’re sort of like, following talking points. And following an agenda that, you know, it’s hard to connect your own ideas with it, because there’s a momentum to it. And that bothered me. And so, when we detach from it, we really detachment, and I’ll talk about politics, and certainly during the Trump bite, I engaged around my fear of fascism. But you know, it wasn’t really partisan politics. You know, I am, by nature, a liberal person. But it was really existential difficulties. And I think, you know, for me, it should be whether it doesn’t matter what political party you’re with, if you’re an American, you know, fascism should be seen as a threat, not as you know. So, that became very well said. And that became, you know, so that became an issue. But yeah, initially, and to this day, I still kind of blabber on about my cat. Like, the breakthrough on Air America, when I was on the radio was really about me overcooking, some lentils, you know, I like, I went on this weird and you gotta, you gotta, you gotta realize, man, I’m just getting up at three in the morning to do a six o’clock show, till nine o’clock. And the reason we had to get there like 333 o’clock was we at crunch news, because we were, we had to do news and commentary. And I had a co host, Mark Reilly, who was great, who was supposed to carry most of the weight of the news. But we had to get there and put the show together. And we were also not an angel. And, and, you know, like Brendan, and Jonathan, everybody was like, you know, we had to do it, right. We felt a lot of pressure. And we were writing original comedy every day. We had comedy writers, it was crazy. But I was exhausted. And I would get up, I would stop at Dunkin. I get like a two large Duncan’s and a bag of m&ms. And I’d start shuffling that in the morning. So by six and out, yeah, I was like, it was like I was on blow Jimmy bite by the time we went to air. I was sweating and furious. You know. And, and, and I remember just going up like I the night before, I tried to cook lentils and I forgot about them. And they created this like almost like this resin this car. And I just went off on this long riff about lentil resin and how they probably used it to seal arrowheads. And in the past and did this strange kind of primitive riff on on lentil resin, and it got all this email there. People were like, that was amazing. And, really, I got to talk about this more often than I do. Then he just started talking about my cats, because at that time, I trapped four cats in the alley in my house. And I didn’t realize they were wild. And I tracked them in a shoebox, and I brought them into my apartment. And I just wanted to like friend, we kittens, but I brought four wild animals into my house, and I couldn’t get them out. So the adventure of the cats became this ongoing thing. And I realized, that’s what people connect with what you really connect with on the mic. And same with comedy, if you really connect with it, and you’re passionate, and you’re not thinking about anything, but you know, telling that story. People will connect with it. That’s really, really interesting. Mark with stand up.
Jimmy Tingle 28:06
You know, I’m really interested in your process. I’m interested in the show that you’re going to be doing at the Wilbur, but I got so psyched listening to you and George Clooney talking about when you were playing in Connecticut, and how great it was to be back on stage. This was back in November of 21. But you are back on stage, and you’re just killing and loving it and thinking, you know, you were saying I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun doing stand up in my life. And I’m curious, like I’ve had Colin on Colin Quinn and Gary Gulman. And Paula, I’m interested in people’s processes, because that’s something we don’t really talk about as comment. It’s such a lonely, not lonely, but it’s just as you know, it’s a solo enterprise. And we don’t have any coaches really had no teachers and you and yeah, just out there on stage and the audience is telling you what works and what doesn’t work. But I never really talked to many people about their process. So what is your process? Yeah,
Marc Maron 29:03
it’s so funny to talk about that, because I just did like a run kind of through New England. I did New Haven, Troy, New York, with Coney in New Hampshire, and Burlington. And those are the gigs. Those are the areas we used to do one magazine, it was so funny, because I rented a car and I’m driving by myself in the fucking snow. And I’m Mike, I’m back here. It’s back. Full Circle. Yeah, but
Jimmy Tingle 29:25
you got sold out houses, man, you come, you’re coming in as a star now.
Marc Maron 29:30
That’s right. That’s true. And I appreciate that. But my process has always been sort of the same. I don’t know if it’s the best process. You know, I always judge it against other people’s process or what I think other people process are. But when I’m trying to build an hour, and I gotta, I gotta tell you during the pandemic, there was a period there where I was like, you know, I didn’t miss comedy at all, you know, and I was sort of like, Microsoft was like, Maybe I’m all better. And then that may be questioned why I do comedy, either. Like, maybe I’m fine. Now at I have to, I don’t have to seek out that I have to talk about my, my insanity with strangers. But um, but then the funny thing is, as soon as other people started doing, I’m like, Alright, here we go, That guy’s out there, I guess I gotta go out there. But my process, which I can see very clearly now and I and in the past is like, I have ideas, I have things I’ve written down. Like I wrote down that thing that you said that I said to you. And this is what my process looks like, a lot of posted napkins, pieces of paper I just wrote, fascism is supposed to be a threat, not the future. I didn’t want to forget that. Because I never said that before. That’s awesome that I don’t know if that’ll go anywhere. But I have had so many posts and notebooks. And what I do to really build an hour is I’ll put myself in a position like this last time, you know, I had a gig I had booked at the New York Comedy Festival. So right when we started to work, I knew that I had to have a new hour at least to do that. So that’s in my mind, because I never know where the new hour is going to come from. I’m always sort of like, I don’t know, if I got it in me. And then what I’ll do is when I got enough ideas on a piece of paper, I think I had one or two bits left over from before the pandemic that didn’t make a special. So I had sort of that, that I you know, that I can hang something on. But then I’ll just make, you know, outlines and write things down. And I’ll book out a theater, like the kind of theater you had, like here, the dynasty typewriter, seats, like maybe 200, maybe. And I’ll just say, Look, I’m working through stuff. And you know, and I sell tickets, I got enough of a fan base, that are interested in that, I used to do a $5 ticket at the Steve Allen theater and give the proceeds to the theater. And just like I would basically say, like, I don’t know what I got, but I’m gonna get up and talk for an hour or two, and see what hits. And that’s my process is like, I am one of these guys in the get the joy of it is, if I’m stuck on stage, your thumb part of me knows at this point that I’m supposed to be funny. So if I’m talking about something, and I don’t know where it’s going, you need to be funny will kick in, and then the the punchline will be delivered to me. I don’t know where they come from. But like it happens in a real moment. And then I gotta remember it or write it down. And then it becomes part of the act. So that’s really my process is refining by like talking. So it’s by repetition. And just by getting up there and like things get this organized and things get lost like that. I think joke writers have a benefit. And that like they can just have a fairly effective way of cataloging everything they’re saying. But with me, it’s continuing to talk through these ideas, and let them kind of evolve as I just got a new punchline The other night. I like when things connect to other things and create callbacks. I did a show two nights ago. And I got two new callbacks, just out of necessity. Because I was left hanging. I was talking and I had nowhere to go with it. And something came out of the out of the ether. And I’m like, Oh, thank you. And I write that down. Cool.
Jimmy Tingle 32:56
And are you recording the set when you’re doing them? Out? Yeah,
Marc Maron 33:00
yeah. I never wouldn’t. But don’t listen. i i 100 on it, but you don’t listen, right? Yeah. I don’t I don’t listen. That’s hilarious. That you probably got three more hours. Yeah. And listened to material. I know. That’s all that’s left of my self sabotaging. Like, I used to be much more effective and self sabotaging. Now, I just, I just don’t listen to the sets. And I go, Yeah, I get something done. Anyway, let’s
Jimmy Tingle 33:25
talk about the Wilbur, what’s the name of the show at the Wilbur? What can people expect? Because I want to, I want to do my best to get as many people in there as we can, because you’re a great performer. And you deserve it.
Marc Maron 33:35
And yeah, the second show could use people. Yeah. Because I just added that second show. So I think the first show so that Well, I mean, you know, the name of the tour is just might be the last time and I and that’s it doesn’t mean I’m retiring, I mean for everybody. So. So it’s really, it’s really just where I’m at right now just talking about it seems to theme that sort of happening. It’s just sort of really reckoning with the amount of stupidity in the world, but also the scary stupidity. But also the fact that we all kind of know that things are, you know, there’s, something’s in pending, and it’s not good. And we all kind of feel it. And we’re all coming out of this very traumatic time of the pandemic. But we’re now that we’re kind of through it, or else we did, we’re not really host COVID, but we’re sort of fuck COVID. So, but there’s still that feeling of, of, of nervousness, and I’m trying to kind of like focused on that. I do. I’m very, I’m working on this very dark bit about like, you know, what is our place as an entertainer, what are we really doing as entertainers or as comedians, and I’ve been sort of stuck on this image about, you know, when someone’s Jimmy when somebody’s like, dying in the hospital, you know, what he hears from everybody, you know, about three weeks before he dies? You’re gonna make it, you’re gonna get through this. That’s sort of what we’re doing as entertainers.
Jimmy Tingle 34:51
Right. Well, I’ll be at the show Saturday Night. I’m excited to be there. I’m at the first show. I’m excited to be there, Mark. People can find out more about it.
Marc Maron 35:02
I don’t think I know. I don’t know that. I don’t know if I sold it that well, let me make it clear that you know, I am sort of a dark minded person, but it’s all very funny. And if you’re like minded certainly you’re gonna enjoy funny,
Jimmy Tingle 35:14
man. It’s, it’s hilarious. It was I was at the one at the Shubert the last one you were at. That was great. I look forward to coming this Saturday night. I want to encourage my audience to come. If you’ve never seen mark, you got to check it out. If he had never listened to the podcast, it’s one of the best ever. And that’s no exaggeration. It really is. The guy’s a great interviewer. That’s why people like Obama and George Clooney and Robin Williams and Keith Richards,
Marc Maron 35:42
George Clooney. George Clooney is sort of like talking to a president. Yeah, they talk to George Clooney. It’s like, yeah, he’s so you kind of talked to him? And you’re like, why can’t you just be president?
Jimmy Tingle 35:52
He’s great. He was a great interview. That’s why people do the show. Because yeah, you know, you’re incredibly smart. You ask great questions, you keep the conversation going. You’re really interesting. And it’s, it’s an awesome thing. And again, that came out of nowhere. And that’s what I love about your success. And that’s what I love about the comics. Because all of us, there were no rules. And there was nobody really guiding you along. There’s more support now than there ever was. You know, there’s comedy classes and all that.
Marc Maron 36:21
Thank God. Thank God for back guarantee. We were all just sent out on our own to figure out how to live in the world. Mark, what else can
Jimmy Tingle 36:30
you tell us before we go?
Marc Maron 36:32
Well, it’s always great to see your Jimmy and I’m happy that you’re doing okay. You always make me happy. It’s great to see. And I’m just trying to, you know, stay sane and not get too dry. Lived a sober life and very unsightly. I
Jimmy Tingle 36:45
saw that you’re posting a gala up in the Montreal Comedy Festival.
Marc Maron 36:51
That’ll be coming up.
Jimmy Tingle 36:52
I know. Yeah. My great. You and I did that. 2007 I think we were up there. Do you remember it was me you on the bill? It was me. Yo, John Oliver was the host. Yeah, me you? Yeah, we were on that we did it might have been on coin might have been on it. A couple of other guys.
Marc Maron 37:10
I’m very excited to do it. You know it. It’s so funny, though about Canadian television. It’s like, I’ve been on so many of those guys in so many different Canadian markets. And I’ve never heard anybody tell me they saw it. Not a tweet. Not an email. Nothing ever. I got to be on nine Canadian stand up shows. No feedback. Zero.
Jimmy Tingle 37:34
Well, that’s going to change this summer. One of the one of the dates for that. Good. One of the date. good
Marc Maron 37:39
segue. Yeah. What are the dates? I have no idea. It’s Comedy Festival in July. Yeah.
Jimmy Tingle 37:47
All right, Mark, great to see you. Thanks again for being on today. Thanks for helping us out with this. And Brendan has been a joy to work with. And we’re going to ask him for some more advice as well. Yeah.
Marc Maron 37:56
Brendan’s pretty generous with his advice. He loves you, buddy. All right. I see. All right,
Jimmy Tingle 38:00
thanks so much. My take Yeah, take care. Thank you for joining us today. This has been a humor for humanity production. I am the founder of humor for humanity, a social enterprise that raises spirits, funds and awareness for nonprofits, charities, and social causes. You can find out how we can help you or your organization, raise spirits, funds and awareness for you and yours. Our mission is your mission humor for humanity at Jimmy tingle.com Thank you