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By Krista

Marc Maron

Interview with Marc Maron of "Maron" on IFC 4/22/14

Final Transcript
BWR PUBLIC RELATIONS: Conference Call with Marc Maron
April 22, 2014/10:00 a.m. PDT

SPEAKERS
Marc Maron
Molly OíGara

PRESENTATION

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Marc Maron Call. We ask you to please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up. You may then re-queue, and additional questions may be taken if time permits. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I will now turn the conference over to Molly OíGara for opening remarks.

Molly Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today for the conference call with Marc Maron. Season two of Maron premieres Thursday, May 8th at 10:00 p.m. on IFC. As always in these calls, if we feel that anyone is harping on a particular subject we do reserve the right to jump in and move the call along.

With that being said, Kathy, letís go ahead and start with the first question.

Moderator Our first question will come from the line of LA Ross with TheWrap.com.

LA My question actually has to do with possibilities for you beyond IFC. Your name has come into contention for replacing Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central, so I was wondering if youíve had any conversations about that or just what your thoughts are on that?

Marc Well, Iíve definitely had conversations, not with Comedy Central, about the possibility of doing a talk show that could sort of honor the type of thing I do with WTF. I donít know whether or not the Colbert slot is where that could happen, but I have interest in trying to create and put together a fairly solid idea for an intimate talk show that would honor my style of conversation and interviewing and comedy. There have been no direct talks, but the talk of that for me has happened elsewhere.

LA Just to follow up, when you say elsewhereóI mean, obviously you have the podcasts and IFC. Can you just give me an idea of what you mean by elsewhere if it hasnít been directly with Comedy Central?

Marc Well the sort of idea that it would be sort of a natural transition to try to do a talk show, I was not that necessarily into it a while back, but now that Iíve sort of [indiscernible]. Obviously I went to IFC first, and Iíve been having conversations with them about it because I am in business with them. So that is where that conversation took place, and itís still evolving.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Vincent Genovese with IFC.com.

Vincent I wanted to ask, a lot of the season-two guest stars have appeared on the WTF podcast before, was there something about their podcast appearance that made you think theyíd be right for the show?

Marc Well when it comes down to that, some of the guests on the TV show Maron playing themselves, some of them integrate into the stories that we had conceived. The stories come first, and then sort of the guestsóI kind of figure out who would be best to kind of amplify or accentuate the story. So a lot of those decisions are made later like, letís say, Caroline Rhea, for example. That story about the nostalgic sex-buddy episode, itís a very funny thing about Caroline because Dave Anthony, who was a writer on this season and also plays Dave in several of the episodes as my friend, both Dave and I had both dated Caroline Rhea 20 years ago.

So we had both been with her, so the idea of using her to play the part of the person that I decide to have sort of a sexual tryst with at this ageóit was great that we could get her because it was all very founded in reality. A lot of times it has to do with availability, but mostly itís sort of how would this guest playing themselves kind of accentuate or fit into the story, and that was mostly the decision. It was based on my knowledge of them or my friendship with them, but it was really usually about the story.

Moderator Our next question will come from a line of Olivia Cathcart with TheLaughButton.com.

Olivia Season one, a lot of your first seasons are about establishing and introducing characters and scenes and setting the tone. Whatís the big difference in season two? What was your goal for this season in writing?

Marc Well, I think that the primary thing is itís tricky at the budget weíre working at and the idea tható Recurring characters are tricky because you can only have them for a few episodes before you hit a different pay grade, say you kind of have to tier them out. There are several different story arcs in the show, but the primary difference between this season and the last season is that this is Marc, the character, at a slightly different elevated level of success, like heís starting to deal the first wave of attraction around his podcast and around visibility and things starting to work out.

Really the undercurrent of the entire season is Marc dealing with having a little bit more success, and whether he does that gracefully or not emotionally or otherwise is anyoneís guess. But that was really the through line is that the primary difference is that itís a littleó This season obviously in my life, the life that Iím really living, would be when the podcast started taking off and opportunities start to happen, and obviously thereís still a lot about my inability to function in relationships. But I would say the primary thrust is how does Marc deal with just a little bit more successónot even a lot.

Olivia Just a follow-up, when you go back and you watch season one, what is it like to watch yourself basically reenact past experiences but from a bystanderís point of view?

Marc Oh. Well, a lot of my concern in this season was that havingó When I answered the first season, I really had no real experience at acting. I had no real experience in TV writing or producing television, so it was kind of like I was showing up, and I was certainly ready to do what I was doing, but I put a lot of faith in a lot of the people around me and really had to learn on the job. So when I watch it as a bystander, Iím actually watching season one too to figure out what I thought worked and what didnít work story-wise, character-wise, what I wanted to do more of, what I wanted to do less of.

So entering the second season itís hard for me to look at it as a bystander, but Iím very proud of the first season and the emotional risks that the stories took and that I took, but heading into second season there were certain things I wanted to do a little differently, and I had a little more confidence because I had those ten episodes under my belt. So I looked at thoseó Hey, I think itís very hard for me to look at it as a bystander, but there are certainly some scenes that make me a little uncomfortable as me because they were very emotionally loaded, and I think thatís good. So as a bystander I found some of it entertaining in a very troubling way.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Virginia Rohan with The Record newspaper.

Virginia In line with what the previous woman was saying, I just was wondering is it kind of a weirdóI wondered this when Jerry Seinfeld was doing his show and Larry David, but playing a character with the same name, this weird dichotomy, is there kind of a weirdness to it, and do people confuse you with the character Marc?

Marc Well, itís weird. I donít know about Jerry or Larry, but it seems that Iím always playingótheyíre all different sort of versions of myself. A lot of what Iím doing is coming from not a manufactured place, and it seems that what I do creatively is expose myself emotionally in sort of a raw way but a fairly honest way. And more so than not what Iím seeing when I watch a 22-minute episode of me on television is itís just a contextualized version of who I really am.

Itís limited by the fact that we created a story, and we have a set, and itís an episode of television, but it is definitely true to me in that medium. So I donít feel like itís that different. I mean, I think that because itís a character on television thereís only a certain amount of time, and thereís not a lot of room for some of the other elements of my personality, which is probably better off.

Virginia And just because we are a Jersey paper, I wanted to ask about your connection to Wayne. I saw a piece in New Jersey Monthly, but I also then saw that you were only there until you were six, and I just wanted to get you to clarify.

Marc Well, New Jersey was very important to me in my life. Both of my parents are from Jersey, and my grandparents lived in Pompton Lakes for a good chunk of my life, and Jersey is really where I come from on a genetic way. But, I spent a lot of time in my childhood. I grew up in New Mexico, but I would go back east three or four times a year, and my grandma Goldie and my grandpa Jack were very essential in my life, and Pompton Lakes and Wayne was down the street. My parents lived there for a couple of years, but Jersey was very prominent in my childhood.

Moderator Our next question will come from a line of Krista Chain with The TV MegaSite.

Krista My question is can you give us just a little bit of insight on what to expect in season two?

Marc Yeah, in season two Iím sort of dealing with the first wave of success of somebody whoís starting to get a little recognition for what heís doing. You can expect some troubling relationship stories. There are episodes with my parents. There are episodes with people Iím dating. There are episodes with other comedians. You can expect a lot of very unique stories that deal with everything that being alive brings.

Krista As a follow-up, is there anyone that you would like to have on as a guest star that you havenít been able to get yet?

Marc You mean on the series?

Krista Yes.

Marc Oh yeah, sure. There are plenty of people. Do you have connections to people? Can you help me out? Thereís a huge list of people that I would love to work with and love to have on the show, and hopefully, if we get a third season, I can get some of those people. It would be very funny to have some of the old-timers come on, which Iíve not beenólike, it would be great to have Mel Brooks or Bob Newhart or Albert Brooks play themselves on the show. Seth Rogen would be fun, and there are a lot of people that I would love to have on playing themselves. That list is very long.

Moderator Weíll go back to the line of Virginia Rohan with The Record newspaper.

Virginia You mentioned Caroline Rhea and the storyline there, and about a year ago, I think, you were on with Conan OíBrien where Larryís talking about dating age-inappropriate women. So does this tie-in at all, and are you still dating age-inappropriate women?

Marc No, that relationship ended painfully and not so great. I was not out looking for younger women. Itís just things sort of happened. I have been dating a woman my own age, and sadly there are just as many problems with that. So I havenít really figured out the whole relationship thing. Iím trying not to give up, but Iím not sure how much the heart can take. But weíll see.

Virginia One other thing, I also saw you on a show where you were talking about making up with John Stewart. Has anything further happened there?

Marc No.

Virginia No, Iím just thinking if you do replace Colbert that youíd have to make amends.

Marc Well, hereís what I will tell you. If John Stewart, if he owns that spot after Colbert or after The Daily Show, if that is his real estate I will never replace Colbert. Letís just put it that way.

Moderator Next weíll go to the line of Sean McCarthy with The Comics Comic.

Sean Just getting ready for Austin. In the meantime, the first teaser clip went up from IFC that shows you with some juicy interplay with Michael Ian Black and Chris Hardwick, and Iím curious for season two which comedians you were really glad to get on the show and kind of play around with?

Marc Oh man, Andy Kindler and I have known each other forever, and itís always good to work with him, and heís in a couple of episodes. But Dave Anthony came on as a writer and performer, and Iíve known him for 20 years as well, and we have sort of a very specific dynamic. So that was amazing. It was great working with Dave, both as a writer and as a performer.

Joey Diaz plays a character in a very important episode called ďThe Joke,Ē and he was brilliant. We wrote it for him, and I was glad that he was able to do it and do it so well because itís a real comic-driven episode. In this season I did a little more of that. Like last season, I was little wary of integrating my standup life into the show, but this season I do a bit more of that. Tig plays a small part. She was great. Karen Kilgariff plays, like, a two-line part that was genius. Bill Burr plays himself, and he was Bill Burr; he was great.

Ray Romano has a very big part in ďCelebrity Friends,Ē and he plays a bit against type, and he was just brilliant. All the people that play themselves were great. Gabe Cross plays himself but also is integrated into the story, and heís just so natural and so funny. Jonah Ray plays a record store clerk, and it was really his first role, a big role in piece, and he was great.

I love working with comics. It makes me so happy and so grounded and so excited to do the scenes and stuff because I know these guys. We all come from the same place, and itís very comforting to me. Everybody did a good job.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Tim Clodfelter with the Winston-Salem Journal.

Tim As a fellow crazy-cat owner, can you give us an update on your menagerie? Are the cats that are seen in the show real pets or are they actor cats?

Marc No, we found very early on tható Well, I knew that my cats could neveróthey can barely interact with other people. Theyíre a little nutty. But, we did find this year, we found a pretty great cat-wrangler person. Cats are very tricky. In our first season, people wanted more cats, but given the fact that we had three days to shoot entire shows, that the funny thing about even actor cats is that theyíre still cats, and there is a limit to what you can get cats to do. But we did sort of land with a really good cat handler this season, and there are definitely more cats in the show. But they are not my cats. They are professional actor cats.

Tim I partially asked because that orange tabby in the season premiere looks like my cat, Scrambles.

Marc Bob. Yeah, Iíve got a couple of cats. My cats are fine. Boomer never came home still. Iím just going to have to let that go. Iíve got this weird little wildcat that I feed every day thatís a black cat, and heís deaf, canít hear a thing, and heís completely out of his mind. But Iíve got a pretty good relationship with him. A couple of cats come and go, and thereís another feral I feed, but I havenít seen in a while.

There are coyotes up here, so itís a tough life for a cat out there. I donít know how the deaf cat survives. Heís such an inspiration to me that heís just a wildcat living out here on the hills with coyotes, and he just keeps going. Heís got to be one tough little guy to not be able to hear and still survive. Heís like heís my hero, the deaf cat.

Tim Does he have a name?

Marc Yeah, deaf black cat. Thatís his name.

Moderator We do have a follow-up question for line of Vincent Genovese with IFC.com.

Vincent So you directed an episode this season. Did you enjoy that experience, and if so, do you hope to direct other projects in the future?

Marc Yeah, it was a great opportunity that Iím happy I took. I did enjoy directing. Knowing the process, being in front of the camera and writing and everything else, to try directing was a real thrill. I learned some stuff, and I would love to do it. Iíd like to direct a show or an episode where Iím not in every scene. It does make it very tricky to direct and be in every scene, especially on the time budget that we had in terms of getting the show done.

But it was a great experience, and I was surprised to find that so much of the directing television experience happens in the editing room and just getting the coverage you need and then getting and editing and sort of trimming it down and making those choices. It was something I never really thought I would do, and I would love to do it again. It was great.

And that episode is very important to me. That is the episode called ďThe JokeĒ that stars me and Joey Diaz, and the story revolves around me accidentally doing someone elseís line on the Conan OíBrien show, and I really needed to get the emotions and the narrative of that thing exactly right where I wanted them, and I was fortunate that that was the episode that I directed.

Vincent Just to follow up with that, what is it about Bobcat Goldthwaitís directing style that fit so well with the show?

Marc Well, have you seen his movies? Bob has got a very acute sensitivity to how to play and move our comedy forward. He has a very unique vision around comedy that is not mainstream or predictable. Heís got a great feel for essentially the type of comedy that the show is, and itís always great working with him. Itís nice having him on set.

Molly Okay, everyone, with that we are going to wrap up todayís conference call. Thank you so much for joining us. As a reminder, season two of Maron premieres Thursday, May 8th at 10:00 p.m. on IFC, and photos can be found on press.IFC.com. At this point, Iím going to hand it back over to Marc for a quick final remark.

Marc Well, thank you all. Thank you for doing this. I want you to know thatóand this is not said lightly, because I donít always experience this, but Iím very proud of this season. I think we created some really sweet and touching and darkly funny stories, and I just want to say Iím happy with them. Iíd like that to be on record because Iím not generally known to be that happy, and I appreciate you all taking the time to do this.

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