Day 337: See stand-up

August 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m a comedy nerd. There is no denying that. But before tonight, I had never seen a live stand-up act.

I’m a huge fan, love to watch Comedy Central specials and clips on youtube, but had never dished out the dough to see someone perform live. But then I learned that Marc Maron, host of my favorite podcast and my comedy hero, was coming to the Mayne Stage, a theater not even fifteen minutes away from our apartment. I’ve attempted to proselytize WTF before, on Day 208: Become obsessed with podcasts, but as far as I know, I haven’t been able to get a single person to start listening. Though now it’s nationally syndicated on NPR. But anyway, so I dragged Stephanie to the show.  And so began one of the best nights of my life.

Like a true fanboy, I wore my WTF Pod shirt to the show.

It’s of Marc and his three cats: Monkey, LaFonda and Boomer. They’re a regular topic on the podcast. The minute we walked into the Mayne Stage lobby, Marc was right there, in the flesh, stepping onto an elevator. I was nerding out so hard I was about to have a panic attack. He pointed at me and said, “Nice shirt,” just as the doors closed. Stephanie says I blushed. I probably could’ve gone home happy right there.

The opening act was a comedian named Ryan Singer, who dressed like Cosmo Kramer. He was great. Here is a sample joke:

I was at a flee market when I was sexually harassed by a 15-year-old girl. And I was really creeped out by it, thank god.

Because, I mean, you never know how you’re going to react until you’re actually confronted with a situation.

Then came Marc. Don’t get me wrong, Ryan’s act was really funny, but Marc’s stand-up was so raw, so natural and heartfelt and hysterical that I honestly can’t tell you whether or not he actually came up on stage with material prepared. But it was incredible. Marc is known for treating the podcast like a stream of consciousness. He practices full disclosure, openly discussing anything and everything that has or is going on in his life. He’s up close and personal about his relationships, his past problems with addiction, and the beef he holds with the comedians he interviews. Tonight he was on for about an hour and a half, and there was literally a time when he just fielded questions from the audience and riffed off of them. Like we were all just old friends.

That’s what it was like. Through his podcast, you come to know him so personally that coming to the show was like coming to see an old buddy. And when some guys who had a little too much to drink started making a racket about halfway through the set and Marc had to do some crowd control, I felt apprehensive. I wanted him to like us. It was bizarre. His stand-up was the same as the podcast: intimate, honest and hilarious.

Here’s a clip of Maron on Craig Ferguson’s show:

That. was. incredible.

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