In case you missed it yesterday, Jesse Thorn from The Sound of Young America revealed that he'd been working for months to get WTF with Marc Maron on public radio, too, and that his project (with Thorn's editor, Nick White) was a success!
They culled through Maron's many episodes and, with Maron's help, produced a 10 episode best-of collection edited for public radio. Public radio icon Ira Glass also chipped in with on-air promos for WTF and helped get the show on WBEZ and Chicago Public Media.
You can check out all 10 episodes on PRX. They include Judd Apatow, Conan O'Brien, Bob Odenkirk and Maria Bamford, Louis CK, Ben Stiller and Tig Notaro, Robin Williams, Mike DeStefano and Margaret Cho, Carlos Mencia, a triple-header with Tom Lennon, Dave Attell and Andy Richter, and an episode with Dane Cook and Janeane Garofalo.
PRX, aka Public Radio Exchange, describes itself as an online marketplace for distribution, review, and licensing of public radio programming. It's presenting WTF in two formats for public radio stations: a 59-minute version with no hole for newscast updates and two floating one-minute cutaways, or a 54-minute version that includes the newscast hole. Either version bleeps words that may be offensive for station listeners.
Here's the "first" episode with Marc Maron's new introduction to listeners before talking to Judd Apatow.
On Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night, Marc Maron -- whom you know now as a popular comedy podcast interviewer via WTF with Marc Maron (a new live episode from Brooklyn featuring Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Chuck Klosterman, Sarah Vowell and Eric Drysdale is out today) -- talked about how being separated from society by technology has prompted him to seek out human contact. That's as true for his airport TSA pat-down as it is for his decision to "date aggressively" since his second divorce.
It all fascinated Ferguson so much, he asked Maron to sit down and tell him more about his recent sexual conquests, and what it's like to date a dominatrix. They also discuss their stories about going to Australia, as Maron is preparing to perform in Melbourne. Hopefully it goes a lot better than the first time he went Down Under 20 years ago.
Roll the clip!
My very first live podcast, everybody, and it happened at SXSW's 2011 Interactive Festival!
For those of you who missed the panel I moderated in Austin, "Social Media and Comedy: F**k Yeah!" or who just want to listen to it all over again, it was recorded for posterity. I asked Marc Maron, Michael Ian Black, Comedy Central's digital director Jordy Fox Ellner, The Comedy Store's Alf LaMont and Kambri Crews all about how the Internet has completely changed the game for comedians in the past few years. We talked about Twitter (obviously) but also MySpace (because it mattered) and more.
The hour starts out rough, but only because I moderated the panel and opened in a manner that suggested I needed to watch The King's Speech first, and also because I want to do what I've already just done in this paragraph, which is to lower your expectations. Don't worry, though.
Since we had a large screen hooked up to my laptop in the Hyatt's ballroom, I'll give you a few link cues to click on things during the discussion.
Enjoy listening to "Social Media and Comedy: F**k Yeah!" live from SXSWi 2011.
Follow my panelists on Twitter and elsewhere:
Kambri Crews @kambri
and me, Sean L. McCarthy @thecomicscomic
Twitter won't let me go back to find the questions that went unanswered via our official hashtag at #smcomedyfyeah, so if you did have a question during the panel, please remind me again and I'll try to provide you with an informative and slightly amusing answer.
Also, if the guy who held up his new iPad 2 throughout the hour to videotape us (and also thereby block the view of the people behind him, if he decides to share his video with the rest of us, I'll be sure to post that, too.
Furthermore: Give feedback on my panel back to SXSW via the mobile APP, or email them at inter AT sxsw DOT com
It's never too early to start planning your schedules for Montreal's Just For Laughs festival, and this year, you'll have to adjust your schedule to the end of July. Because that's where all of the action is.
The festival announced that Louis CK would be honored as this year's Comedy Person of the Year at its conference on July 29. It'll be followed by a special panel with this year's "Variety 10 Comics to Watch" (normally they only appear to pick up their awards, but this year they'll speak, too!), and then the annual "State of the Industry" address by Andy Kindler.
JFL liked Marc Maron's intro of Kindler from a couple of years ago so much that they've asked him back to provide the keynote address on July 28.
And on July 30, activities will include a special pitch session that'll reward one lucky comedian/group with a development deal from My Damn Channel.
The Just For Laughs Comedy Conference runs this year from July 28-30, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency in Montreal. The full comedy festival itself starts July 14 and goes through July 31.
Calling all romantics. It's Valentine's Day today, and some comedians are ready to help and serve you with advice both real and really funny.
Marc Maron wrote an essay for the New York Post about how all men can learn from his past mistakes. Stick with chocolate and flowers, please. "Another thing, you might be tempted to get something cute and creative, like a cool rock, a daisy, an ironic vinyl record and a card you made out of a diner menu and used Metrocards. This is only okay if you are 14 to 25 (or emotionally that old)."
Rob Delaney has a few choice words for Funny or Die about the day, and his dream date: Jennifer Hudson.
If you wrote in to The A.V. Club looking for advice today, then Julie Klausner has some for you.
The Axis of Awesome knows that even down under, it's still Valentine's Day, and what better time to teach you how to write a love song:
When you think of romantic men, the first two names to pop up were Moshe Kasher and Brent Weinbach. Obvs. This short film on dating etiquette has a 25% funny rating! Which means three out of every four people have no idea what's going on here.
Congrats to comedian Marc Maron for getting profiled in this coming Sunday's New York Times for his wonderful podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. Yes. Today is Thursday. But that's not going to stop you from watching this short video the NYT shot with Maron during his recent visit to the city to record his next Comedy Central CD.
Roll the clip! Here's a link to the print story, too.
Do you even enjoy comedy? Do you care about comedy? Then listen!
Louis CK and Marc Maron have known each other since they started together in the Boston comedy scene in the 1980s. This pic, Maron says, dates to about 1989.
What happens when Marc Maron finds his happy place? Can he get to there? Maron wonders this and more, including his love of texting and driving and whether it might kill him, in his appearance last night on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Roll the clip!
On today's new edition of Marc Maron's WTF podcast, Maron sits down with Dane Cook -- and Cook apparently has video footage of this, which may or may not see daylight, too -- you get to hear Maron be an asshole while accusing Cook of being an asshole. It makes for an interesting listen. Both guys seem to have an agenda. Both guys seem to have an understanding of the other person that fits while at the same time doesn't fit. In between bits of verbal sparring, you get to hear Cook talk about his childhood and school life, his father's alcoholism, and about his outlook on life.
Happy ending? Listen to the whole thing (including Maron's opening monologue about his battles with nicotine):
If you haven't listened to Marc Maron's interview with Carlos Mencia that went online on Monday on Maron's WTF podcast, then you can just skip ahead to today's second part, because it's much more revealing. Maron himself felt that his first chat with Mencia hadn't really uncovered much, so he reached out to Willie Barcena and Steve Trevino, then texted Mencia and said he needed a follow-up discussion. That happened quickly.
Their conversation goes for a while, and Mencia's emotional state veers between defensive and contrite. At one point, he even acknowledges that comedians and the comedy world would love nothing more than to hear him apologize. And then much later, at the end of their chat, Mencia indeed apologizes, and tells Maron that he had "never been confronted like this about why I go onstage like this for so long."
Mencia said: "I don't want to be that person anymore."
He's talking specifically about bumping headliners at comedy clubs. But then he's also talking about being the comedian that everyone thinks is a lying, cheating asshole. It's become a "ridiculous" situation, Mencia said. So his message to people who think he's taking a joke of theirs that they think will take them to the next level? "Call me, and I'll drop it."
"I guess I really do want to be perceived as a nice guy."
To that end, Mencia even has been acknowledging the @replies heading his way on Twitter @carlosmencia and offering replies of his own. And he promoted the first part of his WTF podcast interview on Monday, knowing full well that the second part would be hitting the Internet now.
I don't know how it will affect your perception of Carlos Mencia, or Ned Holness for that matter, as a comedian or as a person. For me, it's refreshing to hear him finally confront the situation and attempt to address it in an honest fashion. Hopefully moving forward, Mencia can find peace not only offstage with other comedians, but also onstage with himself.
Marc Maron sat down recently with Carlos Mencia and tried to figure out what makes Mencia tick, as well as what has made Mencia tick off so many other comedians. Turns out one installment of Maron's WTF podcast would not be enough, as (spoiler alert) Maron decides at the end that he needs to follow-up with some additional questions. So look for that later this week. Listen to part one of Marc Maron and Carlos Mencia on WTF here.
In the meantime, here is the sketch that Mencia referred to early in his conversation with Maron -- Mencia said it's exactly what you think it would be, a spoof on infomercials that's promoting an "Americanizer kit" for illegal immigrants to fit in and not be outed by Arizona's law enforcement. Roll the clip!
I was among the witnesses for Marc Maron's live taping of his WTF podcast over the weekend from the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, in which Hari Kondabolu, Ian Edwards and others gave Maron the business in front of a packed live audience. That should be a fun one to listen to.
Maron told me in Portland that this new episode of WTF is even more illuminating. And listening to Maron spend an hour with Robin Williams, I can agree it's quite a treat. Williams treats Maron with sincerity for the hour, only rarely jumping into bits and characters, and talks about his recent relapse into alcoholism, dealing with life as a stand-up both now and back in the day, and even addresses the longstanding rumors that have dogged him about joke theft. Williams says when he drops in at comedy clubs now, he won't even pay any attention to the show before and after he's on, saying he'll sit upstairs in the restaurant instead (which I can attest to personally when I've seen him recently at the Comedy Cellar, where he always has been more than gracious toward other comedians). That latter part comes in more than a half-hour into Maron's chat with Williams from his Marin County home in Northern California. But the whole thing is worth listening to. So do it.
If you're not listening to Marc Maron's WTF podcast, then you're missing out! Fun and interesting conversations with comedians twice a week. In today's episode (#26), Maron revealed his pre-Thanksgiving WTF moments with his mother in Florida, sat down with comedian Jen Kirkman to talk about her personal (newlywed) and professional (writing/performing on Chelsea Lately) life, and also welcomed Latino radio host "El Chupacabra" (aka comedian/actor Nick Kroll). You can listen to Episode #26 of WTF here.
I watched the latter part happen in front of me own two eyes and me Flip camera two weeks ago, live from the garage of Maron's "cat ranch" in Los Angeles. Improvised, all in one take. YouTube allows me to share only 10 minutes of it with you. Are you ready for it? Here it comes. Roll it!
This isn't the first time El Chupacabra has been seen in the flesh. Kroll's radio host also made an appearance on Comedy Central's Reno 911! Relive the good times...
My trip to Los Angeles worked out to be oddly timed -- some friends and performers I've missed because they're out on tour, while others have seemingly followed me out West from New York City. I had noticed that Marc Maron was hosting a special edition of his new WTF podcast in front of a live audience on Sunday night at the UCBT-LA, so I made sure to catch that. Maron conducted fun chats with Maria Bamford, Chris Hardwick, Whitney Cummings and Doug Benson, plus welcomed Jim Earl for a poetry reading and Eddie Pepitone for a last-minute rant that included jabs at the following show's young performers who, as Pepitone said, were preparing for their next episode of Parks and Recreation. Actually, Eddie, Don Glover is on Community. But you had the right night and network.
At any rate, Maron mentioned during the podcast that he had just moved back to Los Angeles, leaving his Queens apartment behind (for good?). You can listen to all of that in a week or two. Today, though, Maron's latest WTF podcast features Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac. You also can learn more about Maron with this short video that I shot earlier this week when I met up with Maron at his home in the Highland Park neighborhood (so noted in the WTF intro) -- btw, he introduced me to some of the greatest cheap Mexican food I've ever tasted, so much so that I may have to detour my rental car again to Huarache Azteca -- and he talked about returning to L.A., his cats, the success of WTF with Marc Maron, and even dished about a pilot presentation he's working on for Comedy Central.
If you want to see Maron live, this weekend he's at the Laughing Skull in Atlanta with the very funny Kyle Kinane opening.
We're about to see a bunch of new live stand-up comedy on our basic cable TV sets thanks to Comedy Central. The fourth season of Live at Gotham debuts this weekend, and in the first week of November, 24 stand-ups get to tape their very own half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials to air in early 2010. In between those two things, the network has given the go-ahead to John Oliver to present his very own stand-up showcase. If John Oliver & Friends sounds like something as fun and magical as the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, well, then you can pretty well guess the lineup. It's going to be good.
There will be three tapings (Oct. 23-25) at NYU's Skirball Center, which will produce six half-hours of stand-up comedy, featuring Oliver and his friends. A few names appear multiple times, which is curious and suggests the format could spin a bit. We'll just have to wait and see, won't we!
SHOW 1 ~ Friday - Oct. 23 - 6:45 p.m., with Marc Maron, Janeane Garofalo, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac and Pete Holmes
SHOW 2 ~ Saturday - Oct. 24 - 7:45 p.m., with Paul F. Tompkins, Maria Bamford, Greg Fitzsimmons, Nick Kroll and Eugene Mirman
SHOW 3 ~ Sunday - Oct. 25 - 5:45 p.m., with Brian Posehn, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, Greg Fitzsimmons, Eugene Mirman, Pete Holmes and Mary Lynn Rajskub
If you're going to be in NYC and are at least 18 years old, go to The Black List's John Oliver page and follow the instructions to request tickets.
Marc Maron has an acute awareness about himself and is unafraid to share that onstage. If you've seen Maron perform stand-up, then you already know that. If you haven't, then do we have an opportunity for you. Here is a full, 71-minute performance Marc Maron gave at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood last month. In it, he confronts the state of his career, his one-man show he staged this year, his personal demons, and he engages the audience throughout. It's quite something to watch, especially since you hardly get the chance to see stand-up videos this long on the Internets. I checked with Maron this afternoon, and he's more than happy to share this and let you into his world. (Thanks also to comedian Troy Conrad for filming this)
In related news, Marc Maron launched a new podcast series yesterday. It's called WTF with Marc Maron. His first guest was Jeffrey Ross, and you can hear them talk about how far back they go in comedy, roasting, the Friars Club and more. Click here to listen in a new window!
As I sit here, living off of the boissons gratis of the 24-hour Subway restaurant and paying for temporary WiFi access in Montreal's Trudeau airport terminal, I realize that my initial plan to bring you a full slate of reviews from Montreal's Just For Laughs festival today might not come to fruition. Something about spending most of the afternoon trying to get a flight to New York City, then boarding a flight that takes off, and almost makes it there only to circle back and land in Canada, forcing you and your fellow passengers to pass through Customs even though you just left (the Customs agent had a quizzical view of the situation, as well), then spending the rest of the evening and into the morning hoping that the skies have cleared and airports reopened -- it all leaves me tres fatigue, as the French write. At least for a few hours, though, I was sitting in a chair in the sky!
With that nod to Louis CK, who put on two of the best shows (and hottest tickets) during the fest, I do want to share some initial thoughts about Montreal's annual celebration of comedy, and how it fared this summer. More in-depth reviews of the shows I saw will get published once I'm back home in New York City, to be sure. But first, a few thoughts, opinions and ideas to get you thinking about -- and hopefully talking about -- comedy.
Show business loves patting itself on the back all of the time, and not just during awards season, but for the comedy industry, the past 14 or so years have included one day in which they all sit down in a room and agree to be roasted by one comedian: Andy Kindler. So it was again this afternoon in a conference room at the Hyatt Regency in Montreal. Today's "State of the Industry" address felt a little tamer, more subdued than the past couple of years. Was it the audience? Was it Andy? Was it the recession? Was it the microphone issues, blocking his face and getting great sound out of his shoulders? Probably the latter. Let's not launch an investigation into the matter.
But if you want to relive my interview with Andy Kindler immediately after 2008's State of the Industry, you can watch that here.
Marc Maron introduced Kindler. "I, like Andy, have absolutely nothing left to lose," Maron said. He reminded the comedians, agents, managers and executives in the room that they ask for this year after year, "and minutes after leaving this room, convince yourself that this has nothing to do with you." He noted how being on the road with Kindler "is like traveling with the history of the Jewish people," and gave us all his "popcorn analogy for the comedy industry." In short, Maron observed that every time you make popcorn, you wind up with kernels at the bottom of the bowl/bag. "You know why they don't pop? Because they have integrity!"
Well played, sir.
As for Kindler, he spent the first few minutes worrying about the microphones -- his manager, Bruce Smith, interrupted him to note "the microphone is blocking your face" -- and the podium's inability to serve the primary functions of a podium. "Am I getting Punk'd, or is that too old a reference? Am I getting Punk'd 2.0?"