Everyone's a comedian, right?
Actually, no: while we may fancy ourselves the belles of the comedy ball when
we're half a bottle of whiskey deep, being a real stand-up comic is hard work.
Having been in the game since the late '80s, BU alum and "comedian's comedian"
Marc Maron knows all about that. "I've been doing this a long time, and people
actually want to see me now," he says. "So that's an ongoing ‘what the fuck.' "
Hence the title of his biweekly podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. Dude
knows about paying comedy dues, so before his Boston gig, we asked him WTF is up with
making a career out of being funny.
On rookie mistakes: "I think the number-one mistake is
assuming they're not going to like you. And the number-two mistake is assuming
that they will."
On taboo jokes: "I don't think there's anything
that can't be joked about. If you have a good joke, whatever the topic is, give
it a whirl. If you get flack, you're going to have to answer to that flack and
see where you really stand on something. You just have to figure out what your
intentions are and decide whether it's worth it."
On hecklers: "There are only a couple of things you can
do. You can be diplomatic for a minute, and then, if that doesn't work, I would
say unleash all of your anger on him. Just try to completely destroy him. But
then you have to kind of rebuild the show, because the rest of the audience
will be surprised by just how much anger you have. [Laughs]
I've had somebody come onstage and tackle me; that was pretty bad. When
heckling gets physical, it's always bad."
On which is more awkward, losing stage virginity vs. losing actual
virginity: "Definitely stand-up, because with the other, you're definitely going to
come. It [his first stand-up gig] was pretty horrible because you spent days or
weeks freaking out, just beating the shit out of yourself in fear, and then
this three- to five-minute thing finally happens, and there's just no way it's
going to match that month of self-abuse that it took you to get there. On some
level it's disappointing. But certainly whatever happens up there that first
time, the one thing you know is that you never feel more alive in your life than
that first time."
On the suggestion that what he described was actually a great metaphor for losing one's actual
"That's right! But a lot of times, with losing your real virginity, it's a
surprise. You know you want to lose it, but most of the time
you're not sure when it's going to happen. With a stand-up show, you're booked,
you've got that open-mic spot three weeks from now, so that's going to happen.
The virginity thing is kind of vague. . . . I don't think many people schedule
Marc Maron is at the Wilbur Theatre
on February 8 :: 246 Tremont St,
Boston :: 7:30 pm stand-up; 10:30 pm live WTF podcast :: $20-$25 :: ticketmaster.com