Marc Maron

“A year and a half ago I was fucking suicidal, says comedian Marc Maron. “I had nothing, and I had no prospects.” During that nadir, he took his problems to the mic in his Los Angeles garage—beginning a series of podcasts about his career and life worries, and those of comedy peers like Robin Williams, in the acclaimed interview show WTF With Marc Maron ( “It came out of complete desperation,” he says. Before, the veteran comic explains by phone, he wasn't exactly a stranger to the Web: “I'm into all social media. I'm compulsively on Twitter. It's bordering on an addiction. If you don't extend your narcissism out into the ether, and directly connect with the people who are interested in what you're doing, you might as well be in outer space. It's an adaptation one has to make.” What he didn't foresee was how the show's intimate, confessional tone would change his stage act—more empathy and less pop-cultural and political jokes, he says, more concern for our shared “existential struggle.” Citing the book The Tyranny of Email, Maron explains, “I view what I'm doing as human experience. I always wanted to connect with people. I think what's happening on the podcast, even though I'm using this technology, is something very human that we're losing.” Another benefit: The podcast is bringing new fans to Maron's live shows who hadn't ever seen him perform stand-up. He chuckles, “The number of people who've never heard of me is actually reassuring.” BRIAN MILLER

Fri., Feb. 25, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 26, 8 p.m., 2011

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