Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11. WTF with Marc Maron

At the moment, we have 1747 unlistened-to podcast episodes waiting for us in iTunes. It would take over 50 days of listening (24 hrs/day, 7 days/wk) to hear them all. We need to prioritize, to put our ducks in a row. For the past several months, WTF with Marc Maron has been one of our favourite podcasts. It took us a while to warm to Marc's intense, personal monologues that open each episode. (Idea for a drinking game: Imbibe every time Maron says "What's wrong with me?!") We also didn't initially love his tendency to focus on himself during interviews. Now we can see that by talking about himself Maron (inadvertently or not) encourages his guests to talk about themselves -- and it works.

How we discovered WTF with Marc Maron:
We don't remember. Maybe it was through The Sound of Young America (still probably our very favourite podcast). Maybe it was an interview Maron did with the Onion's AV Club.

Why WTF is worth a listen:
If you like comedy -- particularly stand-up comedy -- you'll like WTF. (The lion's share of Maron's guests are comedians.) If you don't like comedy, you might still like the show. No promises, though.

Maron has been a stand-up comic for about 20 years, so the dynamic when he's interviewing another comedian is unique. It's essentially a conversation between peers. The fact that he's willing to talk about his insecurities and flaws often means that his guests do the same. It's particularly interesting when he has a guest on the show who he's known for a long time. His two-hour chat with Louis C.K. -- who was once Maron's roommate -- was fascinating. They had been good friends, then some shit came between them -- Maron was jealous of Louis' success, Louis felt that Maron had not been there for him when his marriage ended and his TV show Lucky Louie was cancelled, etc. -- and they talked quite openly about this shit on the air.

To our ears, WTF has one of the best hosts out there, features fantastic guests, and is updated with surprising regularity (hour-long episodes are generally uploaded twice a week).

Here's the first part of his interview with Louis CK:

Recommended viewing:
Obviously, we've been really into stand-up comedy lately. Here are two really good documentaries about stand-up we can recommend:
  1. Comedian follows Jerry Seinfeld as he develops a new stand-up routine after being away from it for many years. We're not the hugest fan of Seinfeld (the comedian or the TV show), but the documentary is great and really illuminates the process of developing a set.
  2. I Am Comic. The director talks to a bunch of different comedians (e.g., Andy Kindler, Jim Gaffigan, Dana Gould, Rosanne Barr, Phyllis Diller, etc.) about the business and the art of stand-up comedy. Great stuff.

Another delay

Clearly, we've been neglecting this blog. Heck, we've even changed its name from from Enthusiasm of the Week to Enthusiasm of the Moment to more accurately reflect how frequently [sic] we add new posts.

The original idea was to write a post a week for a year. 52 posts in 52 weeks. So far, we've added 10 posts in about 68 weeks. It's kinda like that poem "The Shadow People" by Auden: "This is the way the world ends, world ends, world ends / Not with a flood but a trickle." (If we're not mistaken, that poem might be where the band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet found inspiration for its name. We particularly like the SMoaSP album Dogs Go On With Their Doggy Life.)