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Learn from Marc

10 Things I Learned From Marc Maron as a Young Comic

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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