As a long-time listener to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, I was happy to hear Maron would be getting a show on IFC. I’d heard Maron for years and was happy whenever he’d pop up on things like Opie and Anthony’s show on SiriusXM. After years of working on the fringe, I think he’s poised to make a mainstream breakthrough.
It will inevitably draw comparisons to FX’s Louie starring Louis C.K. and that has to rankle Maron a little bit considering the history he and C.K. share but it seems an apt comparison. When Louie premiered, I didn’t really like it at first but it grew on me. I find myself liking Maron’s show right out of the gate.
The first two episodes, “Possum” and “Internet Troll”, introduce us to Marc’s world where his guests who stop by to do his podcast also feature into some story in his life. In “Internet Troll” a sad-sack Dave Foley stops by to do Marc’s show on the wrong day and ends up riding with Marc to hunt down an Internet troll who’s been heckling Marc on Twitter. Initially Foley is reluctant to go but is bribed with the promise of a burrito. In “Possum”, Denis Leary is the guest who helps identify the rank smell emanating from underneath his house (the titular possum) and Marc has to figure out how to remove it in a manly fashion. The rotation of guests into the show should keep things fresh and having folks like Sally Kellerman and Judd Hirsch play his parents are a nice touch.
I was afraid that this show might end up being like Jim Jeffries’ Legit on FX where a comedian I like is put in a show where he ends up doing his act in contrived situations and it doesn’t live up to my expectations. I’ve only seen two of the episodes so anything is possible but I don’t think it will go that way. In the first two episodes, Maron doesn’t yet seem quite comfortable playing himself though. The way he comes across on the podcast and in person is somewhat crankier than he does here. That’s understandable considering he’s being mass marketed on the TV show and one aspect I’m curious about is how they’ll keep him relatable while still keeping him true to his offscreen persona. An apt comparison would be the movie Private Parts where Howard Stern in the movie seems to be much more genteel than on his daily radio show. Every show starting out wobbles a bit and this is a minor thing that will likely get better over the course of the season.
IFC’s Maron airs Friday nights at 10 PM EST.