Maron brings WTF Podcast style to Sacramento

Marc McLaughlin

Originally published in Sacramento Press

The recipe for the evening at the Punchline Comedy Club in Sacramento : a lot of self-reflective humor, a pinch of mid-life introspection, a sliver of parental issues and satire to taste. The combination together, along with the awkward silences and comedic breaks makes Marc Maron, the host of the WTF Podcasts, so interesting.

Maron is notorious for his self-criticism and very little in his set is deprived of it. At one point he looks at the audience and says, “Recently, my wife brought it to my attention that I have an anger problem. She did not say that, she just left me.” It is in this personal humor that Maron’s true comedic genius shines. Each line, each blurb is based on some mental fixation that either was or will be soon; if that does not make sense than go see him and it will.

For many Maron takes a bit of getting used-to. His shows are not fast-paced and full of momentum but instead sporadic and almost ADD like. It is not unusual for Maron to start a joke and part way through silence strikes. Then, as if you are searching Google, he starts right back up; normally with a completely new line. It is hard to tell if Maron’s set is so finely polished that these quirky pauses and changes are real or if he is honestly creating entirely new and entertaining thoughts on the go. Either way, it makes for an intellectual rollercoaster that must be seen and heard to understand and appreciate.

Maron gives the audience a keen sense of honesty in his hour long set and very rarely disappoints. Whether he is talking about religion or race most of his jokes paint vivid pictures of someone struggling with the world around them. When he brings up his family nothing is off limits, not even the manic-depressiveness he states his father had. While discussing the problems within the family he said, “I don’t know if you have a manic-depressive in your life, but if you do life is exciting half the time.”

For those who like the thought-provoking humor of a bygone era then Maron is for you. He makes no excuses for who he is and instead uses it to his advantage. One must be prepared for profanity and awkward silence but in the end you should not walk away disappointed.