Click here to read part one of our interview, where Dave talks about playing a “psycho” version of himself and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the acclaimed “Racegate” episode.
Comedian Dave Anthony pulls double duty on Maron as both cast member and writer. As season four progresses, Dave finds success while his “frenemy” Marc struggles with the fallout of a drug relapse. We spoke with the real Dave about the new season and how the writing staff works to keep things real and hilariously cringe-worthy even as Marc’s journey goes to some dark places.
IFC: What was the thinking behind having Marc fall back into addiction? It looked like at the end of last season things could have gone a bunch of different ways.
Dave: Yeah, it could have. We kind of left it that way so we could think about it and figure out what to do. Marc, on his own, decided that he wanted to do a season that was completely fictionalized, that had nothing to do with his actual life. I had always talked about, we should have [the Marc Maron character] drink for an episode or go off [his sobriety] for an episode. [Marc] was like, “why don’t we just do it? That will be the starting point.” We come back and he’s lost everything. It’s almost like rebuilding the show, in a way. We thought that would be really fun to write.
IFC: Why the storage locker?
Dave: We wanted to have a place, like [how] he always opens the show, and he lifts up the garage door. We wanted him to open up a big door. We wanted to have a place that he could sort of lie to himself that things weren’t that bad when they were clearly horrific. One of the writers knew of a guy who lived in a storage locker for like a year. We just took it from that.
IFC: Were the characters Marc encounters in rehab planned out ahead of time, or did you discover them while writing the season?
Dave: The only thing we really wanted to do was have people that were younger than [Marc] so that he sort of stood out for being the guy who screwed up late in his life. Then we wanted people that seemed a little more real, but were a little bit odd in a way. [Adam], the guy who stutters, is a kid [comedian Drew Lynch] who actually started stuttering when I believe he was 22 or 23. He got hit [in the throat] by a softball.
IFC: Adam wasn’t written to be a stutterer?
Dave: We auditioned people and the casting director just brought [Drew] in because she liked him as an actor. The character wasn’t written to stutter, he was just stuttering because that’s what he does. We were like, “Well that’s a kid that might, if something like that happened to someone, that’s kind of a tragic turn and you might start drinking.”
IFC: What about Trey, the wannabe rapper played by Chet Hanks?
Dave: I always wanted to do a white kid rapper as [Marc’s] roommate. I couldn’t think of anyone who would be more opposite of Marc to room with than a white guy who wants to be a rapper.
IFC: This season goes to some very emotional places. In terms of tone, do you and the other writers give thought to whether something is more sad than funny?
Dave: We’re not really concerned about things getting too dark or too weird. The only thing we really try to shy away from is being really too funny, so that if you’re just going for the funny, it doesn’t come across as real. Like a network [sitcom] will do joke, joke, joke, joke and it will just be about the jokes. We’re really trying to find the real moment, which was a hard balance this year, because in previous years, it was based on [Marc Maron’s] life — the moment and the emotions coming out of those moments were already established. Whereas this season, there’s a lot more discussing what a fictional character would do in the setting we’re putting him in.
IFC: Dave finds success this season with his own TV show. What was that like to play in a fictional setting?
Dave: That was really fun. To move my character into this place where he’s super successful but sort of still has that weird personality was really, really fun to act. Me personally, I’m super tied up in this old way of thinking that I’m not successful at all. It’s just part of my personality; I can’t get past it. Then I get to play with the character because the thing about me — and I would say this is the thing that’s most closely tied to my character — is that no matter how much success I’m getting, I always still feel like an open mic-er. I always still feel like no one knows who I am.
Watch what happens when Dave gets his own show tonight at 9P on a brand new Maron.