Moontower, Day 3: IFC Screening of 'Maron'
“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Marc Maron said upon emerging from backstage at the Stateside, after the premiere screening of an episode from his forthcoming IFC sitcom, Maron . Which sounds intense, coming from him.
This is, after all, a comic whose entire persona is built around the small, idiosyncratic, and very real difficulties involved in being Marc Maron. The hardest thing he’s ever done was watching us watch his show? Do we get a prize?
Kind of, we do – in the form of a trip down a very peculiar rabbit hole. Maron stars Maron as an exaggerated version of Marc Maron, the at-times-overwhelmingly neurotic comic and host of the interview-based WTF Podcast With Marc Maron. All of those elements are very much on display in the episode – the neuroses, for sure, and the podcast (former Kids In The Hall star Dave Foley appears as himself, a guest on the show) – and there’s something fairly mind-bending about watching an episode of a television show about a relentlessly self-analytical comedian who then emerges onstage to analyze the episode, and his performance and writing. It’s kind of a neat trick.
That’s especially true when the post-screening discussion is moderated by Austin comic Matt Bearden, who played well off of Maron, and brought out the best in his self-reflective subject. Maron walked the audience through the way that doing the show resembled therapy (he was able to cast an actress to portray his ex-wife during a random encounter, something he admitted being terrified of in real life) and even managed a few moments where the nervous energy was rather subdued – like he was actually proud of the accomplishment of having a ten-episode television season in the can, and like the audience more or less laughed in the right places.
Of course, it wouldn’t really be Marc Maron if he didn’t eventually start dwelling on his ex-wife and getting belligerent with his host after misinterpreting a question – but that’s what we want from the guy, anyway. Or, as Bearden put it, “Your good mood lasted 10 minutes. I’m really proud of you.” The slower Maron’s personal growth, the more episodes of Maron we’re likely to get, which sounds like a fair trade.