Have you heard of this podcast called WTF? Of course you have. It’s tops. Well, Marc Maron spoke with the Believer about how it started, evolved, and influenced his career. When asked about how he gets the guests to open up, his answer was much more inward than one would expect:
I think it’s because I show up with my baggage, and I’m not afraid to unpack it. In a lot of ways, I’m seeking some sort of peace of mind for myself. I’m a fairly emotionally petty, resentful guy who has an inflated sense of himself, and I needed to take that down a notch. I really had isolated myself in this weird, entitled paranoia because of my marginalization—either self-imposed or otherwise—from the comedy community and stand-ups at large. There’s nothing more horrifying than the possibility or the idea that you will just fade away into obscurity. The idea that I would just fall off the map was paralyzingly horrifying, and it was a real possibility.
I’m honestly fearless onstage. That’s after spending a lot of my career pretending to be fearless, which I think for the first however-long-it-takes is about 80 percent of the job. And, yeah, I do have a lot of people coming to see me. I’m excited to go out, but I still do clubs, and, you know, a third of the audience might not know who I am, but I enjoy the challenge of making them laugh. I always thought I was funny, but I was very sensitive, and very provocative just to get a rise out of people, and now I’ve sort of let myself be onstage, as opposed to being defensive, and it’s great. It’s great to have people come out. I do worry, though. They know me very intimately, in a way, if they listen to my show; they know a lot about me.