You can tell that the host of the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast is a stand-up by his actions onstage, even when he’s not telling jokes. Maron’s appearance on Saturday night at the New Yorker Festival was billed as a conversation with the magazine’s Kelefa Sanneh, but the comedian spent most of his time engaging with the audience. However, Sanneh did get Maron to answer a few questions, such as why the Comedy Store is inhabited by demons and how long it takes for Louis C.K. to text him back, now that they’ve rekindled their friendship on the podcast’s most famous episode not including a sitting U.S. president. (Louis answered his “Hey pal” with a “Hey” in about 23 minutes and 23 seconds.)
Speaking of the president, when Sanneh mentioned that Obama’s episode answered the recurring question of who would be harder to book, the president or Lorne Michaels, Maron calmly responded, “Turns out the president is easier to book than Lorne Michaels.” But he added, “I’m going to talk to Lorne Michaels — it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen on Monday.”
Fans of the “WTF” podcast will understand the collective shock that befell the audience. For Maron, an interview with Lorne Michaels has been the great white whale. Not only because Maron has interviewed a wide array of SNL alumni, but because Maron has shared many times the story of his failed audition to be a “Weekend Update” anchor, and the mystery of whether he was there to replace Norm Macdonald or used to taunt him.
“I’m set up for something to be horrible,” Maron lamented. “I don’t have the right attitude for this interview … I have like some daddy shit to work out.” But he does seem to have a sense of humor about it. “The best and worst thing Lorne Michaels can do is when I go, ‘That day that I came in here for the meeting,’ and he goes [in Lorne’s voice], ‘I have no recollection,’” he said. “That would be so amazing. I would cry.”