Dispatches from the Head

LaFonda is back.

Here we go, People-

I will be at RiotLA on Saturday, September 22nd for a storytelling show and a live WTF with Ron Lynch, Chris Garcia, Lance Bangs, Andy Dick, Jim Earl and Eddie Pepitone.

On September 29th I will be at the Magic Bag Theater in Ferndale, MI for two shows. Should be good. I hear Detroit is on the rebound!

I don’t know when or how you all listen to the show but I thought I should inform you that LaFonda is back. To recap, she freaked out because there were strangers in the house. In a panic and fury of fur and muscle, she squeezed herself out of a three inch gap between a hooked screen door and its hinge. It was troubling to watch. Stretched rear legs shimmying out into the world terrified. She goes outside. She has been gone before. Jessica put it in my head that she might be hurt. Then I started obsessing on whether or not she ruptured something or broke a bone. Then I thought she couldn’t have gotten very far if she were hurt. Then I got mad at Jessica for putting that in my head. Then we both freaked out for a while and I walked up and down the street for an hour, in and out of my neighbors' yards, calling out her name. I ran into Robert, my neighbor Trish’s dude, and told him the situation. He knew LaFonda from her occasional tours of his yard and said he would go take a look around the property. Robert has a definite old hippy vibe. He seems like he’s seen his share of craziness and had a bit of a higher understanding of things, almost instinctual. He was one of those old, mystical sixties souls. He was going to survey about two acres of hill and beat up yards. I wasn’t holding out much hope. I went home. Within 20 minutes Robert was at the door.

“I found her. She’s under the shed on the lot next door,” he said.

I though he was a savant of some kind. A re-incarnated tracker. A cat whisperer.

He lead me over to this rotting shed behind some old cars and we looked underneath. Amidst scary, old lumber and precarious balanced car parts and crap there was LaFonda. Just hanging out.

I knew I couldn’t get her to come out but I was happy I knew where she was. I went home and eased the tension between Jessica and I that had built up from the panic. I was just shy of having another female in my life shimmy out the door panicked and angry.

LaFonda came back all jacked up from the outdoors, wild and wise. It took her an hour to settle back into the couch.

Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key are on the show today. They are the creators, writers and performers of their own sketch show on Comedy Central. Great guys. We had a fun smart talk about women, puppets, race and acting, among other things. On Thursday I talk to Jim Rash about Community and The Descendants. It was a great window into the evolution of script.



WTF - Marc talks to Key & Peele about ladies.

Full episode out 9/17

WTF - Kliph Nesteroff explains “stand up’s purest form.”

Full episode out 9/13

I Believe!


I will be at The Magic Bag Theater in Ferndale, Michigan, on September 29th for two shows if you are around. Also, I will be doing a Live WTF at RiotLA and a storytelling event on September 22nd if you are in the area. I’m pulling back on the travel due to the production schedule of my IFC show. Shit is getting real, folks. It seems to be going well. The scripts are looking good.

Cabinets makers and wood workers! Thank you for all of your emails and examples of your work. There are some amazing craftsmen and women out there. I am so glad that I have such creative fans. I guess many of you listen to me as you work. I am flattered.

It is odd how I made my choice of who to do the shelves in my living room. I got an email last week from a dude I met briefly a couple of times up in the Bay Area. He heard my call for a wood worker and said he would be in LA for two weeks beginning this week and would knock out the shelves while he was here. I loved the immediacy of it all. I looked at some of his work. It seemed good. He came over. I drew him a sketch of what I wanted. An hour later he sent me a plan. I said, ‘Do it!’ So, this cat is making my shelves in his mother’s garage with tools he brought down from the Ukiah area. We’ll see how it goes. I just love the spontaneity of the whole thing. It’s like he’s going to riff these shelves into my house. I believe!

The work that some of you do is so beautiful. Some of it was almost too nice for my house. I would be afraid to set things on it. I will be needing more stuff so, again, I thank you for stepping up with work.

I had met Andrew W.K. briefly once before but I really had no idea what a wild mind and intense charisma he had until I got him in the garage. We had an amazing free flowing conversation covering everything from conspiracy theories to Captain Beefheart. You will hear that talk on Monday. On Thursday one of my favorite writers, who works the beat of old show biz stories, is on the show. Kliph Nesteroff is an absolutely amazing chronicler of the seedy old days of comedy and a unique historian of the dark side of funny. You can see his work at WFMU’s Beware of the Blog. Great talk.



WTF - Andrew W.K. wants stimulation.

Full episode out 9/10

WTF - Nate Bargatze sets Marc straight about the South.

Full episode out 9/7

WTF - Mike Doughty and his inspiration.

Full episode out Wednesday 9/5

I like getting lost in the panic.

Labor Day, People!

Hope you are all taking a moment to reflect on the days when people fought for something they believed in for the benefit of all people in a time when we made things here.

I just spent the day cooking for a party that I could barely be part of because I was too busy cooking and cleaning. I think I like that. I like entertaining and cooking for people. I like getting lost in the panic of timing food. I am in no way prepared to entertain. I guess, over time, I have slowly gotten rid off everything that I was given as gifts for my two failed marriages. Maybe some day I will have serving spoons and glass pitchers again.

Well, I’m at sort of loss for content at the moment so I will tell you what I made today. I dry rubbed three tri-tip steaks with Santa Maria rub. I made a tray of baked mac and cheese. I made a fennel slaw. I made a fruit salad. I cooked up some kielbasa and some andouille sausages. I grilled several kinds of vegetables. Oh, and I did that all on a small Weber grill. I am a fucking grill hero. I don’t need a Green Egg or whatever it’s called. I don’t need a giant gas grill. I just need the basics. I'm a purist. I would also like to mention that I burned all the hair off of my right arm and I think I ate most of the tray of mac and cheese. So, needless to say I am nearly asleep now.

Many people brought many beers. I have no idea what I am going to with them. Maybe I can do a new type of podcast where I get all of my guests buzzed. I think someone is already doing that but it’s worth a try.

This week is a big week. We are doing three new episodes. On Monday, the amazing James Adomian will share his life and his impressions with me. On Wednesday, Mike Dought tell tales of being Mike Doughty and plays and sings. On Friday, the hilarious Nate Bargatze talks about growing up in the South and is just generally hilarious.

That's it. I have to sit on the couch and hate myself.


WTF - James Adomian’s Marc Maron Impression

Full episode out 9/3

WTF - Aaron Freeman and the hormone-spiked chicken.

Full episode out 8/30

I’ve never been this busy in my life.

How ya doing, People?

We have a live WTF tomorrow, Tuesday Aug. 28th, at The Trepany House in the Steve Allen Theater here in Los Angeles. It will be an interesting show. I have Dave Hill in from New York and his pal Moby will be stopping by. I’ve got Mike Bobbitt from the Midwest. TJ Miller, Jake Fogelnest, Aries Spears and Jim Earl are all on the show as well. No Pepitone because he’s still out of the country. Should be a hell of show. I don’t know if there are tickets left but you can check.

It’s been a busy few weeks. I want to thank everyone who came out to the Tuesday night workout shows over the last month. Between those and my road gigs I’m closing in on a new hour of material, which I really wanted to have before the production schedule for my show became too overwhelming. Speaking of that, it’s been pretty exciting for me. I have never been in this situation before. I’ve had deals where I wrote scripts but they never got past the script. Now, I am working with three other writers and we are writing ten scripts by October, which is when we start shooting the ten episodes of the IFC show. The scripts we’ve finished are funny and I think they’ll make great episodes. The story for the other seven are coming along and I am very happy with them. I also have to finish the second draft of my book, which is hanging over me, and I want that to be great as well. So, I’m fucking busy. If I don’t get back to you or if I seem a bit crazy it’s because I’ve never been this busy in my life. I’m handling it. I’m not freaking out. That’s growth. That’s the best I can ask for. I’m actually pretty excited about the whole thing.

This week is a bit packed for the show as well. On Monday the amazingly funny Andy Daly joins me at the mics. On Wednesday, in honor of the year’s last episode of Breaking Bad, we will be re-posting the Bryan Cranston episode. I know many of you haven’t heard it. On Thursday, we’re doing a music double header. We’re posting my interviews with singer/songwriter Todd Snider along with an interview with Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) in the same show. Note that the interview with Aaron was done before the announcement that Ween broke up so that is not addressed. When I talked to him it seemed they were just having problems.

Enjoy the week. I’ll be working my ass off.


WTF - Andy Daly on being recognized the wrong way.

Full episode out 8/27

WTF - Tenacious D soundcheck/guitar talk.

Full Episode out 8/23

I performed in a curling rink.

Okay, People-

Hope everyone is good. I have a couple of local shows coming up if you are in the LA area. Tuesday, Aug. 21st, I am doing the last of a series of workshop shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. I will be doing a live WTF there on the 28th featuring Dave Hill, Aries Spears, TJ Miller, Jake Fogelnest, Mike Bobbitt and Jim Earl. Should be wild. Come out if you are in the neighborhood.

Thank you, Victoria, BC. I never thought in my life I would be able to say that I performed in a curling rink. That’s all changed now because I have. I was at The Blue Bridge Comedy Festival and I played the Esquimalt Curling Club. So, mark that off the life list. I had a great show up there on Saturday night at The Upstairs Cabaret and I want to thank all of you who came out.

On Tuesday, I will also be appearing on Jeffrey Ross’s show "The Burn" on Comedy Central. I had mixed feelings about doing the show. I don’t think I am very good at roasting or mean comedy. I’m generally only insulting out of spite, defensiveness and insecurity of some kind. It is something I try to keep in check, not embrace. When Jeff asked me to do it I was apprehensive. I didn’t want to come off as mean, angry and unfunny. My only experience with this type of comedy was The Chevy Chase Roast, which despite how it looked on TV was one of the worst nights of my life. I was scared and too intense to pull off the funny in my mind. So, when Jeff asked me to do his show I had to overcome fear and learn how to be mean with the warmth necessary to make it funny.

That is the difference. It’s the delivery and where it comes from. Insult comedy is very specific and it is completely detached from hate and even opinion if it is done well. That is why it seems insensitive and wrong-minded to some people, because it is. That is its intent. The laugh that occurs in reaction to mean, insult-style jokes is the laugh of shock and the release of the wrong. Whether it affirms or reinforces what people consider wrong in this world depends on how any individual processes the joke. Its intent is diffusion through the extreme embracing of taboos like impoliteness, political incorrectness and cultural/personal immorality. It releases something in the psyche that I would argue is rarely the affirmation or reinforcing of wrong thinking but the opposite. What I found in writing jokes for the show on my own and with some of the writers was that there was almost no attachment to the subject matter other than to find the juice of wrong in the situation or event; to rip it open for the effect and the shock of embracing emotional and moral bankruptcy through an intentional lack of compassion and a turn of phrase to pop the laugh. The trick of it is to deliver it with a warmth and humility that belies the heart and intended harmlessness of the joke. It’s a delicate balance. It is its own form and when done well is hilarious.

That said, after the taping I felt a little dirty, but I had a good time. I shared the dais with Gilbert Gottfreid and Russell Peters. They were fun to spar with and it was great to see them.

So, that’s that. On the show this week, the host of "How Was Your Week" and author of “I Don’t Care About Your Band” Julie Klausner hangs out in the garage on Monday. We chat it up. On Thursday, Jack Black and Kyle Gass jam a bit and talk about themselves and their band, Tenacious D. Are you ready to rock? Be ready.

Good week. Be well.


WTF - Julie Klausner & Marc talk about psychology.

Full Episode out 8/20