Moontower 2014, Day 3: Marc Maron

The comic's comic again plumbed the depths of angst and anger

Moontower 2014, Day 3: Marc Maron

Although his current late-blooming career surge was sparked by the popularity of his interview podcast WTF and its spinoff IFC sitcom Maron, the true medium of veteran comic's-comic Marc Maron has always been the live stage.

In nearly three decades as a stand-up, he's earned a rep as a fearless, fiercely original voice with a knack for channeling seething rage and myriad insecurities into illuminating performance art, and exploring the darkest corners of his tortured psyche in a manner that's equally harrowing and hilarious. Although his unflinching insights are prone to alienate the fainthearted, Maron also maintains an underlying sense of playful self-awareness that keeps even his most raw revelations entertaining rather than merely troubling.

Fortunately, the young fans who have tapped into the 50-year-old Maron's distinctive sensibility via his podcast seem to have embraced his edgy stand-up with equal enthusiasm. So he had a full, highly receptive house for his rambling but consistently compelling Paramount set, which embodied the combination of raw-nerved immediacy and bemused self-reflection that he manifests when he's firing on all cylinders.

Although Maron is more than capable of delivering tight, well-crafted shows when he's so inclined, he's a sufficiently riveting performer that his less structured, more unhinged sets – of which this was one – can be equally satisfying. The anything-can-happen volatility that's a hallmark of such evenings manifested itself early on, when Maron berated an overly chatty female audience member who had the poor judgment to distract him mid-rant, causing her to eventually walk out.

That confrontation set the tone for the rest of the show, with Maron plumbing the depths of anger, romantic angst, and existential terror, ultimately tying the thematic threads together with an extended account of an extra-frustrating cable company dispute, an anecdote that resolved itself on an unexpected note of spiritual resolution. As with all of Maron's best work, the effect was both cathartic and uplifting.

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More Moontower Comedy 2014
Moontower 2014, Day 4: Fred Armisen
Moontower 2014, Day 4: Fred Armisen
Less comedy show than meet-and-greet, but oh, Armisen charmed

Russ Espinoza, April 28, 2014

Moontower 2014, Day 4: She Bang
Moontower 2014, Day 4: She Bang
Women comics take society put-downs, turn them into laughs

Ashley Moreno, April 27, 2014

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

Russ Espinoza, Sept. 18, 2014

Moontower, Day 3: IFC Screening of 'Maron'
Moontower, Day 3: IFC Screening of 'Maron'
The comic's new cable show digs into what makes Marc Maron tick?

Dan Solomon, April 27, 2013

More by Scott Schinder
Music DVDs
The Byrd Who Flew Alone: The Triumphs and Tragedy of Gene Clark

Dec. 19, 2014

Box Sets
Bob Dylan & The Band
The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 (Record Review)

Dec. 12, 2014


Moontower Comedy 2014, Marc Maron

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