DID YOU READ

Marc Maron on Mining His Real Life for Comedy

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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.

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Maron airs on IFC on Thursdays at 10p.

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

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The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.

Quirks

Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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