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Originally published Friday, November 25, 2011 at 5:30 AM

Marc Maron — news from the garage

Comedian Marc Maron once compared the Internet to the CB radio craze of the 1970s, saying that neither amounted to much more than some weirdo broadcasting banalities from his backyard shed. Now, Maron is that man in the shed. Maron, who has a new CD out, "This Has to Be Funny," performs Friday at Seattle's Neptune Theatre.

Special to The Seattle Times

On the Internet

Listen to Marc Maron's podcast: http://www.wtfpod.com

Comedy preview

Marc Maron

9 p.m. Friday, Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th St. Seattle; $19 (877-784-4849 or www.stgpresents.org).
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Comedian Marc Maron once compared the Internet to the CB radio craze of the 1970s, saying that neither amounted to much more than some weirdo broadcasting banalities from his backyard shed.

Now, ironically, some 16 years later, Maron is that man in the shed. His bi-weekly show, "WTF," one of the top-rated comedy podcasts on iTunes, is broadcast from his Los Angeles garage.

"There was no Internet when I started," said Maron, speaking over the phone three weeks ago. "Obviously it's evolved and you have to adapt and engage with it."

Maron, who has a new CD out, "This Has to Be Funny," performs Friday at the Neptune Theatre.

Before his podcasts, Maron's career as a comedian and liberal talk-radio host on Air America had hit a plateau.

"They ran out of money and fired me a few times," Maron said of his time hosting "Morning Sedition" and "Breakroom Live."

In 2009, Maron started "WTF," sneaking into the Air America studios after-hours.

The format of the show is simple: Maron interviews A-list comedians such as Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Conan O'Brien and Louis C.K., as well as a slew of lesser-known comedians and comedy writers whom Maron has met in his 25 years on the comedy-club circuit.

Maron is good at getting his guests to open up. Carl La Bove, perennial opener for the late Sam Kinison, divulged on the show that Kinison was the father of Bove's daughter.

Maron is a shining example of how comedians have embraced the Internet and social media to reach fans outside the comedy-club scene. He posts excessively on twitter (@marcmaron) throughout the day and promotes both the podcast and his stand-up gigs on Facebook.

"A lot of the people that are coming to my shows are telling me that this is their first comedy show," Maron said.

Much of Maron's stand-up is informed by an unfiltered inner dialogue. (On "Never Not Funny" he confesses he has long conversations with his cats.)

But he is also political, and unflinchingly liberal in his views. His interview with prop-comic Gallagher ended abruptly when Maron accused Gallagher of being racist and homophobic.

On the other hand, the left is not immune from Maron's criticism.

"They're relatively humorless, a lot of times they're righteous and a lot of the time they're hypocritical," Maron said.

Who is Maron to criticize? He's just a guy who talks to his cats and does a podcast from his garage.

Jeff Albertson: 206-464-2304 or jalbertson@seattletimes.com

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