Published on October 27th, 2013 | by Brendan Flaherty0
Marc Maron – Thinky Pain
Marc Maron doesn’t care about what you think of him. As demonstrated in his new special Thinky Pain (Netflix), he’s going to do his stand-up comedy in his own way, a method cultivated through decades of struggle and hard work and drugs and marriages and failures and even some successes. He will probably spend most of his time sitting on a stool. He will not have a planned set, but will instead randomly work through story after story, sometimes with very little forethought as to the impact they will have on you. He’s not here to tell you jokes. He’s here to put in the time, do the work, blow some minds.
Marc Maron cares desperately about what you think of him. He’s going to do 90 minutes of stage time and never seem entirely comfortable. He’s going to feverishly pace the stage in a basement in New York and look people in the front row in the eye, daring them to look away in a strange game of comedy ‘chicken.’ He’s going to explain the exact method to his comedy, as if producing the very cocktail napkins and torn-out sheets of notebook paper that his disparate thoughts are scrawled on and displaying them to the audience will give validation to a flawed system that hasn’t yet been that big of a problem. The special will begin and end with cameos from Sam Lipsyte and Tom Scharpling giving Maron pep talks. He will seem to need to talk through his anxiety pre- and post-show. It’s likely that these conversations happen regularly for Maron. He is hyper-aware of both his comedic significance and his existential insignificance.
The duality of Marc Maron is what makes his comedy so compelling. In order to lock in, it isn’t necessary to know much or any of his fascinating backstory — chopping lines for Sam Kinison at the late-80s Comedy Store, exemplifying alt-comedy in 90s New York, married twice, divorced twice, chewed up and spit out by the comedy world, fired from a low-profile radio gig, only to turn around and start what would turn into one of the best and most popular comedy podcasts in existence. The guy up on the stage clearly has a lot to say. Some of it is profound, some of it inane, some of it is almost perfect. All of it is interesting.