Learn from Marc

10 Things I Learned From Marc Maron as a Young Comic

Maron Gallery Art

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By Nikki Wantz

Being a struggling stand-up is not easy. Having to handle hecklers, getting down a “tight five” in the hopes of making an audience laugh and the general malaise that comes with competing over the big game on the bar television. Why stick it out? Marc Maron seems to be an overnight success 20 years in the making. His hard work is admirable to say the least. Listening to his WTF podcast and watching his IFC show, he gives us hope that we all can get there. Here are the top 10 things I have learned from watching Marc Maron’s career as a young struggling comic.

10. It’s okay to be sober.

Marc has been sober since he was 35. I’m not in AA or anything but I’ve quit drinking for a while and thought I would lose my edge being sober. It’s had the exact opposite effect. I can still write jokes! Marc makes it cool to have a clear head.


9. It’s possible to find fame late in the game.

Sure, Marc had some HBO specials and has been a well-respected comedian for years, but it was his WTF podcast that helped him reach a much broader audience. And Marc turns 52 this year. Gives me hope as a newer comedian that I can still make a mark even though I’m in my mid-thirties. I’ve got time!


8. It’s cool not to have kids.

I’ve never had a biological clock. I’ve never wanted to have kids. Listening to Marc’s podcast and seeing the show we know that NOT having a child is a monumental decision for any human being. And it’s not for everyone.


7. You’ve got to work hard.

Marc makes his devil-may-care attitude seem effortless but he works hard and can be hard on himself. Beating yourself up is part of the game of life for your art. It’s okay to push yourself to your limits to get to the best place you can be.


6. Have a cheat day once in a while.

We know that the Marc on Maron has issues with eating that stems from his mother’s vanity. I’m sure some of that stems from real life. I have taken on his cheat day approach and it WORKS! Not only a funny comedian but a diet guru! Marc should write a book!


5. Dance to the beat of your own drum.

Marc plays by his own rules. He did what worked for him and ran with it and he didn’t give up. Everyone has something they are good at. Find out what works for you.


4. Own being an outsider.

Marc always seems like he’s uncomfortable when out and about with his celebrity comedian friends. This is the life of the comedian. Never fitting in is the norm for us and Marc makes it look so good.


3. You don’t always have to be the cool guy.

Sometimes when Marc tries too hard to be the cool guy in the room he falls short. He’s funny without trying too hard. Like Oscar Wilde once said, Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.


2. Take every day as it comes.

Not everyone is going to kill the room with laughter every time. Not everyone is going to be on every second of the day. It’s okay to have a bad night. It’s what keeps you humble in the comedy game.


1. Learn from your mistakes.

After two failed marriages and countless doomed relationships, Marc has learned who he is through the trials and tribulations of dating, relating and mating. The delicate balance of being an artist and a partner is not an easy path. Marc is still trying to figure it out and hell, so am I.


Nikki Wantz is a stand-up comedian and writer based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter, why don’t ya?

Want more Marc? Check out his thoughts on Season 3 of Maron

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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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