I do a decent amount of flying for work. One of the things that passes the time on flights has been Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast. When I have 45 minutes to kill — too short for a movie but when I am too beat to read a book — its the perfect slice of distracting entertainment.
What I really love about the podcast is that it doesn’t try to do comedy, it is instead about the craft of comedy. Maron is a cantankerous self-destructive hyper-mouthed crank who interviews the many comedians he has become acquainted with from over his 30 or so years on the road as a stand up. The results are these odd, funny vignettes, filled with moments of surprising wisdom and brutal honesty.
Over the past few years, I found them charming and addictive.
Apparently, so have other people. The WTF podcast first developed a cult following, then moved some way into the mainstream — if a self loathing, recovering doper, comedian who lives with too many cats can be considered mainstream. There are now nearly 400 episodes, an app, and a huge fanbase.
All of this led to the Independent Film Channel tagging the WTF podcaster to do a series, loosely based on Maron’s own life. If you listen to the podcast the show is instantly recognizable as part garage-based broadcast, part sitcom, and part something else entirely.
It has quickly become my favorite show of 2013.
Maron uses the podcast as a similar device to the stand up routines in Louie (which uses them much more effectively than NBC network-based Seinfeld ever did). Like Louie, there is a raw honesty here that cannot be faked. Unlike that show, it seems that the podcasts Maron is doing is really actually working out his stream of consciousness in front of the viewer. My favorite moments are his genuine insights into himself and the hard earned wisdom he learns. Maron seems to be genuinely surprised by his own occasional self-enlightenment.
The shows tagline is “He has issues; sharing is not one of them.” This is one of those rare corporate promotional things where the promo tagline is dead on.
Most of the first four episodes of Season 1 are online.
Enjoy . . .
Maron on Independent Film Channel Friday nights at 10pm
My Seinfeld Year (February 21st, 2012)