Interview with Marc Maron of "Maron" on IFC - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

The TV MegaSite, Inc.  TV Is Our Life!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Click here to help fight hunger!
Fight hunger and malnutrition.
Donate to Action Against Hunger today!


MainNewsReviewsOur ShowsEpisode GuidesBuy!CommunityPolls
AutographsPhotosWallpapersPuzzles & GamesLinksStarsVideosOther

Primetime  Articles & Interviews Page

We Love TV!

This is just an unofficial fan page, we have no connection to any shows or networks.

Please click here to vote for our site!
Click Here to Visit!

By Krista

Interview with Mark Maron of "Maron" on IFC 4/17/13

Final Transcript
Conference Call with Marc Maron
April 17, 2013/10:00 a.m. PDT


Molly OíGara, BWR Public Relations
Marc Maron


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for standing by. Welcome to todayís Conference Call with Marc Maron. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session with instructions given at that time.

With that, Iíd like to turn the conference over to our host today, Ms. Molly OíGara. Please go ahead, maíam.

M. OíGara: Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today for the Conference Call with Marc Maron to talk about his new show; Maron premieres Friday, May 3rd at 10:00 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on IFC. With that being said, David, letís go ahead and start with the first question.

Moderator: Certainly. Thank you, weíll hear from the line of Dave Walker with The New Orleans Times Picayune. Go ahead, please.

D. Walker: Hi, Marc.

M. Maron: Hi, whatís up?

D. Walker: Thanks for doing this call; I really appreciate it.

M. Maron: Absolutely.

D. Walker: And thanks for resetting the Jonathan Winters piece on the site too. Could you sort of walk us through Ė walk me through how this came about from your perspective? How you and your life and the podcast came to be a TV show? I know thatís a very broad question, but if you could start there, Iíd appreciate it.

M. Maron: Absolutely. Basically, what had happened was Ė it was really, the podcast was doing pretty well, and Jim Serpico over at Apostle, the production house, really enjoyed the podcast. He set a meeting with me and said look, I love this thing. I wonder if thereís something we can do.

As a comic who knows that if you want to be on television, every few years you have to pitch some version of the life youíre living to TV executives to see if you can build a show around you. Having had two or three deals in the past, eventually you wonder if your life is going to continue changing enough to make it unique as a story to be the center of a show around it.

At this point, I was, like, well look, Iím a guy who interviews celebrities in his garage, whose career was in the toilet, and now everythingís different, and I think we should build a show around my life, or the life I was living, the first year or so of the podcast. Because thatís certainly a story you couldnít have told ten years ago. And he was into it.

He introduced me to Duncan Birmingham, whoís a writer on the show and a co-producer. We sat down and we wrote, basically, a pilot presentation that was never meant to be aired but to just, sort of, be shot as such. Apostle was in business with Fox Studio, who provided the money to, basically, shoot a pilot presentation in my home that Duncan and I had written.

The plan was to make it 10 to 12 minutes and to show it to potential buyers who were networks, cable networks and regular networks, so they would get a feel of the tone of the show we wanted to do. The production turned out to be about 20 minutes. We had Luke Matheny direct it and Ed Asner played my father and Angela Trimbur played the girlfriend, and we had some other actors in there, some comics and stuff, and we walked that around.

Theoretically, it could have been an episode, but it was not really the plan Ė it was not quite long enough. We brought it around to networks and IFC responded and got behind it and wanted us to do the show. That was sort of what happened. In the end, some of the actors changed because of availability or just because of choices made.

Thatís how it all started. It was from a presentation based on Jimís interest to see if we could do something with it and my interest to sort of flesh it out in that way.

D. Walker: I had a quick followup. Tell me about if you enjoyed the process of converting your life into a script and then a show and how your participation Ė did it include the small touches, like using the garage door as an iconic moment in each episode? Tell me a little bit about that process and whether it was difficult or something that you thought was kind of cool.

M. Maron: Well, look, you know, to be quite honest with you, by the time I started with the podcast, I had really let go of the possibility of this happening. Of me doing a TV show, or of me being a relevant comic, even. So all of this was a surprise and it was very exciting to me.

I think that, at this point in my life, Iíve never been more prepared to do this. Iím not a kid anymore, Iím not full of anger and fear and out of my mind, so the opportunity was very timely for me because I was completely ready and excited to do this. I really had no expectation of it ever happening.

At this point in my life, I like collaboration, I like working with writers. I was very excited to work with other actors. I knew I had an innate ability to act, and Iíve been told I was good at it, but Iíve never done that. Iíve never written for television. Iíve never produced a show. Iíve never had the type of responsibility, creatively, that I had.

But I can say that I was very into it, I was very prepared to do it, and it was completely exciting and completely challenging in the best of ways. I was thrilled about it and I just wanted to do a good job, I wanted to make the best show we could with what we were given money-wise and time-wise and talent-wise. I was completely immersed in it. I think we did a good job.

Obviously, when you look at a first season of something, Iím assuming that youíre like, oh, wow, maybe if we get more of these, we could do this or we could do that. You get excited about the possibility of doing more with the characters or doing more with the stories. I found it completely exciting and I was thrilled to be part of it.

Also, I worked my ... off. Iím in every scene of that show. I didnít have a lot of time to think once shooting started because I would go, I would act, I would do the thing, we would fix scripts, we would do what we had to do, and then Iíd go home and Iíd have to memorize anywhere from 8 to 15 pages for the next day. So it was very engaging and very demanding, but very satisfying.

D. Walker: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. In just a moment, Iíll open the line of Olivia Cathcart. Ms. Cathcart from Your line is open.

O. Cathcart: Thank you, Marc. Question: this show is semi-autobiographical. Youíre very used to talking about your life on your podcast and in standup. But on the show, having to actually act out scenarios, was it hard to, almost, go through the experience again?

M. Maron: Yes. Well, some of these things were actually experiences that I was afraid of happening that may not have happened already. All of the stories, maybe except for one, are rooted in life experience. But life experience is a little myopic in that sometimes life experiences are insulated. When you bring these stories, when we had to break stories, me and the writers, I have a story, but then youíve got to flesh it out and make it a little bigger.

Some things were actually a little emotionally passing for me to watch because I never had that conversation with my father. It was a conversation I wanted to have with my father, but when I watch it, the, sort of, me demanding him to take responsibility for these things that happened when I was a child, it was very uncomfortable for me because I was looking at myself acting this stuff out thinking youíre a grown man, you should be over this ....

There were elements of it that were things that I wanted to happen that didnít happen, so they were actually happening for the first time on the show. Some of them are a little hairy and a little intense and, I think, very real in that way. That I was, actually, not unlike the podcast, working some stuff out on the TV show.

Itís very different in that way, and itís very different to be surrounded by actors playing these parts that are based on people, but obviously not exactly the people. Also having the control to make decisions around stories and how some of these things would play out had they gone the full way.

Yes, some of it was very emotionally challenging and compelling along those lines. They were all very new to me. Yes, it was a different thing, but there was definitely some of the risk still there, you know?

O. Cathcart: Was it hard to allow, or give power to a group of writers, and to have them write about your life?

M. Maron: Well, you know, itís interesting, having never been in this situation before, just how collaborative it really is. These were guys that we working on my show, we had a lot of support from IFC and from Fox and from Apostle. We did not have the same demands on an executive level that, I think, a network show has Ė at least from my experience and from hearing about other peopleís experiences.

From the very beginning, we all were very aware that these were my stories and that I was the center of this show. If there were things that I didnít think were right or I couldnít say or that I didnít think were funny, there was discussion about it. Every script at every point of the process was collaborative. Even when we went off to write our own script based on outlines and stories that we had all worked together on, you bring those back in the room and then we go over them again and again.

Thereís really nothing in the show that I didnít want to be in the show, and thereís nothing that was demanded to be taken out that we didnít agree to or understand the logic behind. It was all very collaborative and the power thing was not really an issue. We were all on the same team there.

O. Cathcart: Alright. Thank you, Marc.

M. Maron: Yes.

Moderator: Thank you. Next weíll hear from the line of Krista Chain with TV MegaSite. Go ahead, please.

K. Chain: Hi, Marc. Thanks for taking the call today.

M. Maron: Sure.

K. Chain: I was just wondering: what is the biggest thing that you learned through making this show?

M. Maron: The biggest thing that I learned was that Ė I found that when I got to work, at all points during this process, I was able, or at least tried, to put my ego aside as much as possible because I knew that I was new to this. I know that Iím the personality that this is built around and that is driving it, but I had not had experience in writing television. I had not had experience being on a production or a set that long or having these responsibilities or acting and everything else.

The biggest thing I learned was itís really best to just show up for work and just be a guy thatís working with other people and you respect that and trust other people as much as possible. Make sure thereís a lot of communication around things that youíre not comfortable with or you donít think is right, or what.

I guess what Iím saying is that even though this thing was built around me and it was my show, when I showed up for work, either in the writing process or in the production process of the shooting, I wasnít walking in thinking Iím the boss here, this is my show. I really didnít have that ego going in. I just wanted to be part of the collaboration and do the best job possible and trust the people to do their other jobs.

I think the biggest thing I learned was to be excited and vigilant about collaborating, but also leave a lot of room for other people to do their thing and open up the conversation around what the best thing to do is. That was, really, what I learned. Iíd never done that before and it was a very good experience.

K. Chain: Thanks, and good luck.

Moderator: Thank you. Weíre going to go to the line of Rob Owen with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

R. Owen: Hi, Marc. Thank you for doing the call; I appreciate it. I wanted to ask Ė youíve talked about how events in the series are sort of inspired by things that happened in real life, but sometimes may be juiced up for storytelling purposes. Iím wondering, can you talk about, specifically, something in the first episode thatís going to air and how whatís in the episode differed from, perhaps, what happened in real life?

M. Maron: Yes. The process of me tracking down a troll who was posting bad things about me on another website Ė it wasnít a Twitter event, but it was actually a separate website, a smaller website that I didnít usually go to Ė and I just found this guy that was, basically, campaigning against me and using information that was very revisionist. It was just this weird, very focused, and ongoing attack on me.

The method I used to find him, to figure out his real identity, was very similar to what happened in the show. I ended up engaging that guy, and it went on for months. But it happened all online. That story took a different direction. Being that that was the root of this, we had to figure out, well, letís get me outside, letís get me out in the world and go track this guy down, and create a character for this guy.

Thatís the way that changed, but the root of it and how I engage with trolls, if I do, and how extreme that can get, was very real. The process of it, that, you know, in order for the story to have movement, we created the character who was attacking me and we went to him. The outcome was not exactly the same, but that is always the outcome. You donít really know why exactly youíre engaging this person, but itís usually because you want to argue them into liking you, somehow. In that way, the heart of the story is the same, but the actual process of tracking the guy down became larger in the episode.

R. Owen: Just one other quick question. How many days does it take to shoot an episode of your show?

M. Maron: Well, we were going, we were doing, like, two and half days, two and half, three days for each episode. It was a pretty hairy production schedule. I think we shot all ten in about six and a half, seven weeks.

R. Owen: Did it mess with your podcasting at all?

M. Maron: No, I was able Ė they rebuilt my home inside another home about a half mile away, so I was able to get enough interviews in the can to where I was just doing the openings and the promotion and the advertisement. I set it up so I could handle it, and we did okay with that.

R. Owen: I have to ask about they built your home inside another home?

M. Maron: Yes, my house is a small house and my girlfriend wouldnít tolerate a crew here for seven weeks. It was really Ė itís a difficult environment to shoot in because of space. I wanted to keep the show in Highland Park, where I live, because itís a unique neighborhood. We were able to find a house that was very similar to mine, but it was over by the college, by Occidental, and whoever owned the house had built a large addition onto the house in the back, a two-story addition to create more bedrooms so he could rent it out to students.

What that afforded us, because the home was a little bigger, was we actually had room to set up production in that back part of the house. Like a video village and dressing rooms and makeup and wardrobe. Also the garage was a two car garage, which gave us room to build my small, one car garage within the two car garage and afford us room to set cameras and have movement and to create a moveable wall. They also decorated the house with specifically my taste, actually in a much nicer way than my actual house is decorated, which caused me some problems.

I will say that the couch on the show is my couch, and that is genuine cat damage from my cat. I decided it was time for a new couch, so I gave the set my old couch and I bought a new couch. So thatís a real couch.

R. Owen: Great, thank you so much.

M. Maron: Yes.

Moderator: Brendan Murray from Pop Curious, your line is open.

B. Murray: Thank you. Marc, I was wondering if Ė you said before that the episode with your father, that it was a conversation you never had with him. Are you seeing the show as a kind of therapy to, maybe, open a dialogue with people like your father? Or you had that hilarious, yet kind of cringe-inducing scene about your ex-wife, meeting her in the coffee shop with your cat. Are these things that you want to work out on the show for your own self or is it something that, in your personal life, you hope it opens up a conversation with them till you work through some rough patches?

M. Maron: I donít know that I saw that as therapy. I saw these as stories that I think Ė itís always hard for me to know, until lately, that the life Iím living is not that rarified. These issues are issues that happen with all of us, to some degree. At least some of us have these feelings.

The ex-wife moment Ė I donít know that anything I do is going to open up any type of beneficial conversation with that woman. So no on that one. And in terms of my father, he and I have had these conversations before and some of that stuff I have a little closure on.

The actual effect Iím hoping is not the opposite of what youíre suggesting, which is that Iíve picked open a wound of some kind. I hope that his reaction isnít, like, I thought we were over this stuff. The character of my father is different enough Ė my father doesnít live in a mobile home and things have not gotten that bad for him.

So I think these are just Ė the way the stories are structured, I think theyíre to show what ultimately is the truth of that, is that no matter what these conversations are, I have to deal with my side of it. These people have obviously Ė either theyíre not going to change or theyíve moved on with their lives. If itís anything, itís a mild exorcism of my own infantile feelings.

But I didnít really see them as therapy or as a means to engage these people. If I really want to engage him, I could call him, or I imagine I could contact her. I donít think thereís any real reason to, but thatís the show. So thatís that.

B. Murray: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you very much. We will hear next from Dave Walker with The New Orleans Times Picayune. Go ahead, please.

D. Walker: How will you judge the success of this adventure? Is it enough to have converted it to television, which, at this stage of your life and at this point in your career, is a big deal? Will you be disappointed if it doesnít Ė you know what Iím saying? Are you happy with it now, and if nothing else happens beyond this, would you be happy?

M. Maron: The questions about my happiness are always tricky. Ultimately, I think what happens when you are able to Ė especially after as long as Iíve been doing this Ė to really engage in a new creative endeavor. It was very exciting for me to be involved in this process and to make television and to be on a set and to write and to have a say in all this stuff, and the creativity of the whole thing was something that Iíd never experienced before.

I certainly hope that the show resonates with some people. With as many as possible, really, and I hope people enjoy the show. But thereís that part of you thatís sort of, like, well this is new and exciting, imagine what we could do if we really sat down with what weíve done, take some time and really think about how I could do a better job with the character of me.

How does this character of Marc Maron fit into these different scenarios? What are the strong points? What other risks can we take? What other comedic things can we do? Thereís that craving to, sort of, like, I want to make more and I want to make them better and I want to make them funnier and I want to put this guy in different situations. I want to do a better job taking control of my acting and finding new ways to be funny or poignant.

You get a sort of bug, thatís like, I want to do some more of this. Ultimately, I am very happy with what I did and I am satisfied with it, but I think what would make it an amazing experience is that we can push it a little further and do some more episodes and see what the show can do now that weíve got a handle on what it is.

Yes, I would be happy just having this, but as anyone knows who does this kind of stuff or who does anything creative, if thereís an opportunity to do more of it, you sort of want that.

D. Walker: One quick followup: Is it important to push the show to people who maybe donít know anything about you? The podcast following is substantial, I understand that, but for it to really work on television, doesnít it need to be bigger than that? Was there talk about that in the formation of the show? Or was it more no, letís just do Marc and the podcasts and his life and those people who know him will get it and weíll see how it goes from there?

M. Maron: No, I think there was always, when youíre dealing with TV people at any network, theyíre looking at a broad audience. I think that they were excited that I have a lot of fans and a lot of people who listen to the podcast and a lot of people were excited about it. But I think that when youíre making a show, you are, certainly, wanting as many people as possible to dig it and to enjoy it, so I think that was always a consideration.

I think that they were able to let me honor who I was. I wouldnít say that Iím immediately a loveable character, but I would say that Iím a familiar character to many people. I know the limitations of the medium that Iím popular in. In podcasting, I do have a lot of listeners, but it is still a, sort of, nascent medium, and not everybody is there and there are plenty of people out there in the world that have no idea what a podcast is or who I am. Certainly weíd like them to come in and take on the show.

So yes, I think thatís always a consideration when you are producing television, whether itís a cable network or a network network, thatís always a consideration on behalf of the people that are making television. I think that that was always part of the discussion, was that there was always question of who this character is. But we didnít trim it or necessarily try to accommodate this unseen audience. But I think itís obviously always a consideration that you want as many people to watch it as possible.

D. Walker: Thank you.

M. OíGara: At this point, weíre going to wrap up the conference call for today. Thank you, everyone, for joining us. As a reminder, Maron premiers Friday, May 3rd on IFC, and photos can be found at At this time, Iím going to turn the call back over to Marc for a final remark. Marc?

M. Maron: Yes, I hope all of you folks enjoy the show, and weíll see what happens. Thatís my final comment. Iím very proud of what we did and thanks for talking to me.

Moderator: Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes your conference today. We appreciate your participation and your using AT&T Executive TeleConference. You may now disconnect.

Back to the Main Articles Page

Back to the Main Primetime TV Page

We need more episode guide recap writers, article writers, MS FrontPage and Web Expression users, graphics designers, and more, so please email us if you can help out!  More volunteers always needed!  Thanks!

Page updated 9/17/13

ComedyDramaSci fi and FantasySoap OperasCompetition

Bookmark this section!
HomeDaytimePrimetimeTradingSite MapBuy!What's New!
Join UsAbout UsContactContestsBlogHelpCommunity