What: Marc Maron
When: Thurs., March 8 at 8 p.m.; Friday, March 9 at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 10 at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Where: Acme Comedy Company, 708 N. First St., Minneapolis
Sure, Marc Maron is a stand-up comedian. But as much as he loves making people laugh, he’s never seemed that interested in humoring anyone.
Magician might be a more fitting label, considering the seemingly mystical feats he’s accomplished on his podcast, “WTF with Marc Maron.” By being an intensely open and emotional interviewer, Maron has untangled the douchey web of Carlos Mencia, turned Robin Williams into a real person and impressed the living daylights out of Ira Glass, who blogged that WTF is the Gray Lady of podcasts.
This January, comedian Todd Glass came out on the podcast. In an interview with A&E shortly after, Glass said that he chose WTF partly for the comfort factor.
“And once I approached [Maron] on it, he was really patient and understanding with me and it made me feel comfortable to proceed with him,” Glass told A&E.
In spite of his podcast’s solid successes, Maron is a stand-up comic, through and through. His bottom line is laughter, and it always has been.
You can catch Maron doing what he’s done the longest this weekend at ACME Comedy Company.
For now, read some of the things he told A&E over the phone.
On coming back to Acme:
“The last time I was working at Acme, I was still drinking, doing drugs. And that was twelve years ago, over twelve years ago. I remember the last time I was there. I had a good time. Maybe too good a time.”
“I used to work there when I was younger all the time. But then all of a sudden, I was persona non grata. He [Acme owner Louis Lee] had a problem with me, and we seem to have resolved that and now it’s my big return.”
“The last time I was there [in Minneapolis], I worked the club up in Mall of America. Rick Bronson’s place. Yeah, he’s a good guy. And he treated me well. And I worked his club in Canada too. I just feel that my fans are probably more geared toward coming out to Acme and Acme meant a lot to me when I was a younger comic and it always sort of hurt me that I couldn’t work there anymore. I’m just glad that I’m able to again.”
On comedy as an art form:
“I think that there’s a craft to comedy. And depending on what you do with that determines where you are on the art scale. I mean, you can be just a journeyman comedian. You can just be an efficient comic who’s got his craft in place and works for a living and does the job.”
“But then there’s always people, like in any other craft or discipline, people who take it to another place and do something different with it, or just transcend the mode entirely, and that would be the art.”
“A lot of time, it’s like poetry. It can pop open something. It can make you look at something a different way. It can make you realize something. It can change your mind about something. It can shift your point of view about something if it’s done right. Or it can just sort of bubble by.”
On a possible TV show:
“Over the course of my career, I’ve had a couple of deals here and there to write scripts. But nothing ever really went. And at any given point, in a comedian’s life — if that’s what they’re drawing from — then, you know, you pitch a show based on your life.”
“It just seems my life is sort of unique and interesting now that I have people like Russell Brand and Richard Lewis and Conan O’Brien and Ben Stiller coming to my garage to talk to me that it would make an interesting backdrop for a scripted TV show. Hopefully that will happen.”
On his day-to-day routine:
“I get up very early. I drink a lot of coffee. I get a couple nicotine lozenges going over about an hour. I get online. On a Monday or a Thursday, I’ll get online — that’s when we drop the shows. So today I’ve got to get up and get on Twitter and put the show out there into the social media universe. So I’ll post that on Facebook, put the show out there, see what’s going on in the world of my emails. Drink some more coffee. I just made myself some eggs.”
“I wander around my house, generally, in my underwear, doing things with slippers that were made for me. I feed my cats, see how they’re doing — my own cats and the [expletive] strays out there. And then eventually I’ll go out to the garage and start setting up shop out there. I got an interview today.”
“I washed some dishes. I skinned some beets that I cooked yesterday. Put them in the refrigerator. Put some balsamic vinegar on them. Some salt.”
“Then I’ll interview someone at noon. I got to do some writing, I’ve got a book due. And then maybe I’ll go do some comedy. Maybe I’ll cook some more. Maybe I’ll sit around and think. Maybe I’ll lose three hours in a Twitter vortex. I’m open for adventure.”
On changes in the past few years:
“Certainly, I’m working more. I’m much busier. I feel better about myself and what I’m doing. I think I’m doing the best work I’ve ever done and I’ve sort of grown over the last couple years.”
“In terms of the world, from where I’m sitting, it’s okay. I know it’s not okay for everybody, but from this chair where I sit, it’s okay. It’s not great in my head, but I hope things are getting a little better for other people. They’re a little better for me.”
On writing another book:
“It’s a pain in the ass. I don’t like writing books. I wrote one before and it’s just a lot of work. It’s like being in college again.”
“I’m happy to write when I’m actually into it, but approaching the writing, getting into it, is tricky.”
“When the spirit moves me, I do it. You know, I’ll go sit and write and usually if I sit down to do it, I do it.”
“When the spirit’s being paid, it tends to move a little more.”