Dispatches from the Head

Oddball Festival has been great.



Oddball, folks. Oddball.

It's Bob Week on WTF. It was an honor and a true privilege to be able to sit down with the legend that is Bob Newhart. I went to his home in Bel Air and we talked for almost two hours. He changed the game and he did it never really having done standup before he became the biggest standup in the world. His first three comedy records really redefined comedy in my opinion. Obviously his TV shows were great but the standup has to be remembered for what it was: Genius. He’s had an amazing career in show business and, again, it was a true honor to talk to him. You’ll hear it Monday.

On Thursday I talk to another legendary Bob… Bob Mould. His band, Husker Du, almost invented Indie Rock. His band Sugar was monumental. His solo work is great. He has evolved as a person and an artist in a way unlike anyone I’ve talked to. I don’t want to spoil anything. This is a great week for the show.

So, I did it. Arena comedy. Outdoors. In Tampa, Charlotte and Atlanta tonight—well as I am writing this it is tonight. When you get this it will be done. The Oddball Festival has been great.

Before I tell you about it, if you live in Charlotte, NC, I will be back there this weekend at The Comedy Zone doing the big set. Also, NYC, if you want to see me, tickets for the NY Comedy Fest in November are going fast so you might want to get on that.

Oddball. I was nervous going in because I felt like I had spent the good part of the last decade getting smaller and more intimate with what I do. In my mind there was no way to do an outdoor amphitheater without getting bigger, like Old Maron big. I was wrong. I had been driving myself a bit crazy about what my set would be. I know it needed to be tight-ish and I felt like I had pick stuff that had defined tags because it’s going out to 10,000 people who may need to know where the joke ends. I really had no idea what 10,000 people sounded like laughing outdoors but I knew I needed to hear it.

So, the first night out, Tampa, I was second up after Brent Morin who did really well. The host, Jeff Ross, brought me up. I focused, I had picked the material, leaned into it (overcompensated a bit), and did well. Killed. I got it. The next night in Charlotte I pulled back, did a completely different set, relaxed, was more myself, killed harder. And I’m not a guy who likes to use the work killed. It was just feeling that size crowd responding was pretty intense and great. I’m glad I have the skills to do it. I earned them. Good to know I can be myself in front of 2-10,000 people with not much variation.

Initially I didn’t know how doing comedy in the environment would be or how the crowds would be but it’s great. It was a big show. Me, Morin, Ross, Reggie Watts, Hannibal Buress, Chris Hardwick, Aziz Ansari and CK. The crowds are there for comedy. They are comedy fans. All of us are on point and putting it there. I highly recommend the shows. If you want to see me do more than 15 minutes, come out to a club, but the event of Oddball is pretty awesome to see a bunch of great comics do big room comedy. The lineups vary from place to place. You can go to wtfpod.com to see where I will be but there’s great comics on all the lineups. Dig it.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron


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