WTF with Marc Maron

This past summer, I started listening to the WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. I keep telling people to listen to it, but everyone’s like, “Yeah, yeah, Adrienne. Whatever.”

But I’m telling you, it’s really good.

Maron is a standup comedian who interviews other comedians. He approaches his subjects as one imperfect human being talking to another, and he focuses on the creative process–what brought people to comedy, what their neuroses are, how they work. I started out listening mostly to interviews with comedians whose work I enjoy, like Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Ed Helms, and Conan O’Brien. Marc’s interview with Bryan Cranston made me finally start watching Breaking Bad. Just yesterday, I listened to the podcast where Marc has Mike Birbiglia (who I know from This American Life–his piece in this episode is one of my Favorite Things Ever) interview him, which I wound up listening to twice because there was so much to think about going on. I find, though, that even when it’s a comedian I think I will be completely uninterested in, the interviews are still compelling. For instance, I don’t think I’d ever go see Carrot Top perform, but I was still glued to my headphones listening to his interview.

The thing that makes the podcast worth listening to is that it transcends its subject. Certainly listening to it is an education in comedy as an industry, but a lot of it is about life and fears and hopes and dreams. Because most comedians write their own material, a lot of it is about writing, and, of course, a lot of it is about performance. One thing I find comforting that I hear over and over again from the comics is that they feel compelled to perform even though they get really nervous about it, which I completely relate to.

At this point, I’ve listened to most of the freely available podcasts (he has about fifty or so available for free), so I paid for access to the back catalog (he’s on episode 224 and adding two more every week). What I love best in life are things that make me think and laugh at the same time, and this is one of them.

13 Comments

  1. momster
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I admit a love of podcasts and I’m always looking for new ones I might love:-)So I’m glad you posted this.Later today I’ll download a few to listen to:)

  2. Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Okay, you sold me. I find I actually have far more “aha” moments when listening to artists outside my chosen creative field.

    We started Breaking Bad, too. Honestly don’t know if I can take the intensity. But it’s good, really, really good.

  3. Lori
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I love Marc Maron! He cohosted a morning radio show back when Rochester still had a progressive radio station. Another podcast you should be listening to if you are not is Judge John Hogdman.

  4. adrienne
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Momster and Sara, You’ll have to let me know what you think.

    Sara, I love making those connections between different kinds of art. Along the same lines, I find that I learn more from non-library conferences than I do from library conferences.

    I am not sure about Breaking Bad yet, either. I’m still curious enough to watch the next episode, but I feel like I might hit a wall.

    Lori, Thanks for the tip–I subscribed.

  5. momster
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been listening to a Dominick Dunne novel.He doesn’t do true stories of the very wealthy as well as Capote,but I still find this book riveting.It is pretty densely packed with info on crime among other things.He isn’t “literary”but he is good.And I’m reading “Black Creek Crossing” by John Saul.That will be followed by the book for the next Murder Loves Company.I download podcasts and listen to them sometimes late,or while waiting for appointments.I will let you know,for sure:-)

  6. momster
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Gotta say the Bryan Cranston interview is good.I’m doing other things as I listen,and it is pleasant.I’m not a huge Breaking Bad fan.I do like this actor though.I like the way he has a long time to make his points.He is quite open and gives very goos insights into the business and his art.

  7. adrienne
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I’m just now listening to his interview with Ira Glass (http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-117-ira-glass), which has been really, really interesting. I love This American Life, but I didn’t know a whole lot at all about Glass or how that show started.

  8. momster
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m doing laundry and listening to the Hamm interview.This IS a really good show–and I’m not easily amused!

  9. olivia
    Posted November 8, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I listened to you when you brought it up! I’m just too busy with the Nerdist podcast. :)

  10. adrienne
    Posted November 8, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I downloaded a Nerdist, but I haven’t listened to it yet. And did you see that Marc Maron interviewed the Nerdist? Pretty recently, too, I think.

  11. olivia
    Posted November 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    oooh, which Nerdist? You know I recommend Penn :)

  12. Posted November 9, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I finally listened to one today, the one with Seth Myers, which had me laughing outloud in many spots. Thanks!

  13. adrienne
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    You’re welcome! I swear, I listen to about one a day. I don’t know what I’ll move up to when I’m caught up.

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] You, which was an intriguing title. When I investigated further, I found that Marc Maron (of the WTF podcast you should all be listening to) was also a contributor, so I put the book on [...]

  2. [...] listened to enough episodes of WTF that I thought it was probably time to attempt a list of my ten favorite episodes. I should note [...]

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