I’ve been a fan of so many things Marc Maron has done, from his WTF podcast (which set the standard for online long-form interview shows) to his work on the Netflix series “Glow” to his appearances on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman’s late-night shows to his standup specials. However, until a few nights ago, I’d never seen him perform in person.
Now that I have, I am even more impressed with Maron. After twenty minutes from the very funny Mary Radzinski (so much better than the majority of opening acts I’ve seen in comedy clubs), Maron came on and did 90 solid minutes. He touched on politics and religion, his mother and father, his relationships with women, his relationship with tea, his life as a road comic, and so much more.
His pacing was deliberate as he wove his way through each piece, proving himself a master storyteller who knows exactly where the laughs will come and how to elicit them. Even when interrupted by an outburst here and there from the crowd, Maron was never thrown off or lost his place. After 35 years of working comedy clubs, you’d expect that, but I’ve seen other comics taken aback when something untoward happened, then struggle to get themselves and the crowd back in line. But not Maron.
One thing that surprised me is that he appeared at the Helium Comedy Club, which only seats 275 people. All of his shows through the weekend were sold out, but he deserves to be working bigger spaces (e.g. The Pageant holds 2,000, and I’d bet he could fill it). Perhaps he prefers the intimacy of a smaller venue, or is using places like Helium to test material before he takes it to theaters and then records it for the inevitable next Netflix special.
Whatever the reason, it was a pleasure to spend the evening listening to Maron share some stories and lots of laughs. I hope to see him again soon.