Dispatches from the Head

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

WTF - David Koechner’s family is in the turkey biz.

Full Episode out 8/16

It’s the waffle city.

Okay, Friends-

I made it out of SLC without becoming Mormon and I had great shows there. Thanks to everyone who came out to Wiseguys. It got weird, good weird. Things happened that will never happen again. I’m pretty sure that a relationship ended between two people about a third of the way into one of the shows. We all worked through it and I believe they may be back together. Alcohol is a magical elixir. What type of magic you wield with it is really on you, but most of the time it is of the dark type.

I’ve grown to really like SLC and not mind the LDS. There is sterility to the city but the folks are very pleasant. I’ve become a bit fascinated with the LDS and being in the city that houses the corporate headquarters is intense. I’m not as freaked out as I used to be. Also, for some reason, the best belgian waffles I’ve ever had -- no wait -- one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth is in SLC at Bruges. It’s amazing how sugar and ice cream can shift your perception of even the weirdest, most peculiar religions. Powerful drug that sugar. SLC is no longer the Mormon City to me; it’s the Waffle City.

I really appreciate all of the positive feedback about my appearance on Louie. I even liked the way it turned out. It was an honor to do it. I was thrilled that Louis asked me and even more excited that I was playing myself, which is actually a difficult role. For all of you speculating about the real emotions behind the scene I can put some of that to rest. Given that many of you know a bit about my history with Louis I can report that we are getting along well. We’ve known each other a long time. The shoot was a blast and it was loaded only in the sense that Louis and I got to explore our history and emotions in a hilarious scene. The day after the shoot we hung out at Louis' place, had some food, watched some rough cuts of the season’s shows and took a drive to pick up his kids who I haven’t seen in years. I even got to see his ex who I don’t think I’ve seen more than twice since I was at their wedding. Honestly, if you know someone as long as we’ve known each other it’s a rare and great thing to have any relationship. People get busy, lives move on and it becomes difficult to stay in touch. After his appearance on my show we have been in touch and we check in with each other. We worked through the shit and now… we’re good.

Am I still jealous of Louis’s success? Sure, a bit. That’s only natural for me. Does it hinder our relationship anymore? No. Because I know it’s my issue. I really couldn’t be happier for him or prouder of him as a friend. He is a rare dude and a ballsy, inspired artist and comic.

I’ll be at the Blue Ridge Comedy Festival in Victoria, BC on August 17th and 18th. Come out if you are in the hood. I will also be doing a few gigs at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater in LA. On August 14th and 21st I will be workshopping new material and on August 28th we will be doing a live WTF with Dave Hill, TJ Miller, Jake Fogelnest, Aries Spears, Mike Bobbit and Jim Earl (Pepitone is away).

On the show this week we have the immaculate Sebastian Maniscalco on Monday and the goofy Dave Koechner on Thursday. Fun week. Enjoy.


WTF - Sebastian Maniscalco is clean.

Full episode out 8/13

WTF - Brett Gelman is a Marx-ist.

Full Episode out 8/9

Are you Satan?

Okay, people-

Only a few more gigs away before I have to lock down and only focus on the production of the TV show. I will be in San Francisco for one night at Cobb's Comedy Club with Arj Barker this Wednesday, August 8. It’s a benefit for the SF ACC animal shelter. Do it for the kitties. I will be at Wiseguys in Salt Lake City on Sat. August 11th for two shows. Come out Mormons and non-Mormons. It will be good. I like SLC. It’s weird there. On the 17th and 18th of August I will be at The Blue Ridge Comedy Festival in Victoria, BC if you are up that way.

Getting ready to do my last show in Chicago as I write this. I have to say that the Mayne Stage Theater is probably one of the best venues in the country for comedy. Either that or I am just doing very good comedy right now. I am wary to give myself all the credit but I have been having the best shows of my life here. I am really loving this city as well.

I had a weird experience here that was a bit jarring. I did the Paper Machete show at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. The venue has a bad history with comics. Al Capone invested in the club through one of his henchman specifically to get the comic singer Joe E. Lewis to perform there exclusively. When Lewis balked they slit his throat. He recovered and performed at the venue but his voice was a bit rough after the “incident.” The ghosts of that era and that action pervade the place and no number of precious nerds gathered for a variety show is going to diminish that energy. It enters people.

I sat at a table next to some comics I was talking to. A very intense, gaunt, frightening woman with glasses and stringy, oily hair, wearing a sun dress that hung off her like it would a hanger, rushed up to the table and said, “This is my table. I reserved this table.”

“Okay, when you are ready to sit down I’ll move.” I said.

“I may not sit here but I have people sitting here.” She said.

“Fine. When they come, I will move.” She stormed off.

I knew right away the kind of person she was. A regular at the show who somehow thinks she is running the room. A control freak hanger-on who is tolerated. That was my take. I don’t know for sure. She had no idea who I was and that I was on the show but even when she found out I could tell she was hung up on what she perceived as my defiance of her system, her being. She exuded the horrible, angry lack of boundaries of a petulant child who didn’t get her way. Only she was a middle-aged woman. Not attractive.

Katie Rich went on before me and she was hilarious. Moments before I was to go on the freak lady came up to me and literally put her face right up to mine and said, “You think you can follow that?” She ripped a breaking angry smile.

“Are you fucking Satan?” I asked like a punch.

“Yes, I am,” she said and stormed off in a huff of self-importance.

Then, as they were introducing me, she came bounding back and stood right beside me and started saying something and I turned and said, “Get the fuck away from me.”

I have not felt so psychically violated in a long time, especially by a stranger. I was surprised at how angry and defensive I got in that moment. I have been very open lately and very available as a person and performer. Because of that I became a payback portal for whatever broke that woman.

I went up and had a great set. I did it for Joe E. Lewis.

On the show this week we have the sardonic and charming Ryan Stout on Monday and the odd and sweet Brett Gelman on Thursday. Enjoy.