KEEP ON MARCIN’ ON
KEEP ON MARCIN’ ON
The Indefatigable Second Act in the Life of Marc Maron
By Andrew Cook
Marc Maron is a pleasantly confounding man.
He’s a standup comedian by trade, which by definition means he should be most comfortable with large audiences and room-sized crowds, and yet his greatest claim to fame is an intimate podcast delivered to an audience of one - you, the listener, at such close proximity that he’s inside your personal in-ear headphones. He’s also a living, breathing contradiction to Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s infamous claim that “there are no second acts in American lives.” Maron was a leading light of the comedy world in the 1990s, headlining stages across the nation and making regular appearances on Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, and any number of HBO specials. All this came to a crashing, grinding halt when Maron’s addictions to alcohol and drugs threatened to put a stop to his late night dominance permanently, thereby validating Mr. Fitzgerald’s turn of phrase. Unlike the ill-fated Jay Gatsby, however, Maron did get his second chance. Not only that, but the second half of his career has been more prolific, more durable, and more successful by any measure of success and imagination.
Maron is the host of “WTF with Marc Maron,” a podcast debuting, if not daily, then at least several times a week, where the comedian conducts deep and insightful interviews with a litany of guests - everyone from Robin Williams to Keith Richards to then-sitting President Barack Obama. “WTF with Marc Maron” was a pioneering experiment in a then-blossoming medium; the Apple Store may be an Alexandrian Library of podcasts from true crime to cooking now in 2022, but when Maron began his interviews in 2009, it was largely uncharted territory, so the popularity of the series and the crowds of subscribers it drew can now be seen as a game-changer for the format as a whole. The podcast rakes in over six million downloads each month, and boasted more than 250 million lifetime downloads in its first six years online. Only last week, a new episode featuring actor Sam Elliot generated international headlines after Elliot made several comments pertaining to the Oscar-nominated cowboy drama The Power of the Dog and the film’s LGBTQ themes, placing Maron (in his capacity as interviewer) yet again in a place with which he’s very familiar by now: the spotlight.
No matter his prominence now, Maron was born to typically modest beginnings, the son of Jewish-Ukranian parents in Jersey City, New Jersey. He moved frequently as his parents’ careers dictated throughout his childhood, before eventually graduating from Boston University in 1986 with a B.A. in English Literature. From there, he made his name in the comedy clubs of Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, launching the career that brought him to such heights in the 90s. He has since branched out beyond comedy and even podcasting, into the realms of TV, film, and even music. He starred in his own semi-autobiographical series Maron on IFC, featured alongside Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar-winning lead performance in 2019’s Joker, and received a slew of accolades and nominations for his role in Netflix’s GLOW. He has also authored two books - The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah and a collection of essays titled Attempting Normal - released four comedy albums, and produced a number of specials around his stand-up performances on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
If you’re exhausted reading that, just imagine how Maron feels living it.
And yet, perhaps cognizant of how it was all very nearly lost to him, Maron shows no signs of stopping or slowing down his second act in any way, shape, or form. He continues to tour his stand-up routine regularly between episodes of his podcast, and is coming to Laconia’s Colonial Theatre this Friday at 7:00pm for a stop on his This May Be the Last Time tour. Audience members can expect a relaxed, informal atmosphere similar to the easygoing nature of the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast, showcasing Maron’s signature comedic style that blends deeply personal, self-deprecating, introspective humor with sly analysis of any number of big societal topics, and will no doubt come away like so many millions of podcast listeners every month - deeply grateful that Marc Maron’s American life is having such a bright second act.
Tickets for Marc Maron: This May Be the Last Time at the Colonial Theatre Laconia on Friday, March 11 at 7:00 pm are $39-$59, and are available now at www.coloniallaconia.com, or by calling 1 (800) 657- 8774