DID YOU READ

Marc Maron on Mining His Real Life for Comedy

marc-maron-interview

Posted by on

Success is hard – even after it’s attained. That’s what Marc Maron, both the character and real person, has come to realize. On the second season of IFC’s Maron (premiering Thurs, May 8 10p), the comedian and podcast pioneer must deal with fame and the baggage that comes along with it: anxiety, doubt and a hostile appearance on The Talking Dead. Here’s Marc, in his own words, on the show’s evolution, this season’s guest stars and what it was like stepping behind the camera.

Many of the season-two guest stars (Conan O’Brien, Michael Ian Black, Sarah Silverman, etc.) have appeared on the WTF podcast. Was there something about their appearance that made you think they’d be right for the show?

Maron:
Well, when it comes down to that, some of the guests on the TV show Maron playing themselves, some of them integrate into the stories that we had conceived. The stories come first, and then sort of the guests—I kind of figure out who would be best to kind of amplify or accentuate the story. So a lot of those decisions are made later like, let’s say, Caroline Rhea, for example. That story about the nostalgic sex-buddy episode, it’s a very funny thing about Caroline because Dave Anthony, who was a writer on this season and also plays Dave in several of the episodes as my friend, both Dave and I had both dated Caroline Rhea 20 years ago.

So we had both been with her, so the idea of using her to play the part of the person that I decide to have sort of a sexual tryst with at this age—it was great that we could get her because it was all very founded in reality. A lot of times it has to do with availability, but mostly it’s sort of how would this guest playing themselves kind of accentuate or fit into the story, and that was mostly the decision. It was based on my knowledge of them or my friendship with them, but it was really usually about the story.

You directed an episode this season. Did you enjoy that experience, and if so, do you hope to direct other projects in the future?

Maron: Yeah, it was a great opportunity that I’m happy I took. I did enjoy directing. Knowing the process, being in front of the camera and writing and everything else, to try directing was a real thrill. I learned some stuff, and I would love to do it. I’d like to direct a show or an episode where I’m not in every scene. It does make it very tricky to direct and be in every scene, especially on the time budget that we had in terms of getting the show done.

But it was a great experience, and I was surprised to find that so much of the directing television experience happens in the editing room and just getting the coverage you need and then getting and editing and sort of trimming it down and making those choices. It was something I never really thought I would do, and I would love to do it again. It was great.

And that episode is very important to me. That is the episode called “The Joke” that stars me and Joey Diaz, and the story revolves around me accidentally doing someone else’s line on the Conan O’Brien show, and I really needed to get the emotions and the narrative of that thing exactly right where I wanted them, and I was fortunate that that was the episode that I directed.

What is it about Bobcat Goldthwait’s directing style that fits so well with the show?

Maron: Well, have you seen his movies? Bob has got a very acute sensitivity to how to play and move our comedy forward. He has a very unique vision around comedy that is not mainstream or predictable. He’s got a great feel for essentially the type of comedy that the show is, and it’s always great working with him. It’s nice having him on set.

video player loading . . .

Want the latest news on Maron? Like the show on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @MaronIFC

Maron airs on IFC on Thursdays at 10p.

Watch More
JaniceAndJeffrey_102_MPX-1920×1080

Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

JaniceAndJeffrey_106_MPX-1920x1080

IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

Watch More
IFC-Die-Hard-Dads

Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

Watch More
IFC-revenge-of-the-nerds-group

Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

geowash_flat

Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet