Moontower Day 1: Marc Maron

The master of 'WTF' came out swinging at the Stateside

"Are you fucking kidding me?" Marc Maron wants to know.

I have no idea how the Anthony Jeselnik show next door at the Paramount went, though the line for that show snaked around the corner, just as it had for Bill Hader. But clearly the contrast between the crush over there and the far more subdued and sparsely populated scene at the Stateside was not a good thing for the egos of the talent booked there.

Even for a comedic icon like Marc Maron, host of the hit L.A. podcast WTF With Marc Maron, who, having taken in the situation pre-show, came out swinging with: "Are you fucking kidding me?" Okay, okay, he calmed himself down in his signature self-therapeutic style: "We're going to work through this issue together." But really, wasn't it bad enough that he had to look out at nine empty rows in the back and be able to see the faces of the audience judging him ("like a jury") because it was apparently too much trouble for the theatre to turn off the lights during his set? Finally, with a jab at Moontower for "running 90 shows in a town that can barely support four," Maron got down to the Being Marc Maron thing.

And was it ever brilliant.

Maron's brand of obsessive, rapid-fire, seemingly off-the-cuff observations about himself and his various "processes" is so smart that you can't help feel that it's impossible for an audience (or maybe just last night's?) to grasp how truly funny he is. (Not saying they didn't laugh – and hard – just a post-show feeling I had.) A Maron narrative is a manic but perfectly paced interior monologue in which he starts a story with frequent detours, say, to question his motives or bona fides, then, having resolved that query, circles back to the original story. Or not. Sometimes a digression may go a little dark or even verge on TMI, but Maron manages to reel it in with a course-and- tone-correcting private laugh.

A confounding amalgam of self-deprecation and cocky- with-a-chip, Maron is a master at alternately baiting the crowd ("Are you bored, bald guy? Or are you just taking it in?") and charming them with his willingness to expose his insecurities. ("Are we arc-ing now?" "You want some stronger material?" "Let's do some well-structured story material.")

Maron put on a terrific show at the Stateside. Like I said, he's the thinking person's comic.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Marc Maron
Return to the Hipster Alamo
Return to the Hipster Alamo
More Marc Maron: The comedian on WTF, SXSW, and the ATX

Russ Espinoza, Sept. 18, 2014

Moontower 2014, Day 3: Marc Maron
Moontower 2014, Day 3: Marc Maron
The comic's comic again plumbed the depths of angst and anger

Scott Schinder, April 28, 2014

More Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival
Moontower Comedy 2020: Wave 3
Moontower Comedy 2020: Wave 3
Marlon Wayans, Chris Fleming, and more inked as headliners

Robert Faires, Feb. 7, 2020

Moontower Comedy 2020: The Second Wave
Moontower Comedy 2020: The Second Wave
Thirty-two more comics plus new podcasts added to the lineup

Robert Faires, Jan. 17, 2020

More by Anne S. Lewis
Austin Polish Film Festival Breaks New Ground and Keeps Up With Tradition
Austin Polish Film Festival Breaks New Ground and Keeps Up With Tradition
The 14th fest focuses on the media's responsibility and the perspectives of women

Nov. 1, 2019

Pain, Pathos, and Prescience: The Work of Agnieszka Holland
Pain, Pathos, and Prescience: The Work of Agnieszka Holland
AFS and Austin Polish Film Festival celebrate the Polish pioneer

Oct. 22, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Marc Maron, Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, Anthony Jeselnik, Bill Hader

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle