Marc Maron Gave An Aspiring Comic the Best Rant Advice
“For my next trick, I will make everyone understand me.”
That’s the goal of WTF podcast host and stand-up comedy veteran Marc Maron, perhaps best known for his hilarious, vitriolic rants about, well, virtually everything. Yes, even the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So who better to give advice to aspiring comic ragers than Maron? Reddit user u/tinypenishugeballs recently told the folks in r/standup that Maron made a huge difference in their early comedy career. “I was 18 and a bright eyed new comic, I saw Maron perform in a theater. I was always amazed by his ability to turn frustration and ranting into laughs.” u/tinypenishugeballs was after something similar in their own stand-up, but furious diatribes at open mics often fell flat.
They loved ranting but finding the balance between righteous indignation and hilarious comedy was a challenge. As a beginning comic, they’d sometimes stumble into a funny bit while putting a subject on blast, but the comedy felt more accidental than purposeful. So who better to ask for advice than Maron, a king of tirades that somehow are brimming with both venom and wit?
“So I went up to him after and asked him ‘How long did it take you to find the intersection of angry and funny?’”
Maron’s response: “Just remember that you don’t need anything from them except for them to laugh.”
That small bit of advice gave u/tinypenishugeballs a lot to chew on. “I still think about that quote a lot, because it’s so applicable to everything,” they posted. “The audience isn’t there to validate my trauma and sadness, to listen to my anger about the world, to be my therapist. They are there to laugh, that’s what I need from them. And when I make them laugh, it’s more therapeutic than any therapy session.”
A young Maron turned to comedy ranting to help him deal with his own rage. “I thought comedians had a handle on things, that they could frame things in a way that made them manageable,” he told Shondaland earlier this year. “I think that humor is a way to reframe almost anything — fear, sadness, anger. You can do anything with it and make those things manageable and less destructive.”
And when comedy doesn’t reframe that anger? It’s no fun for the audience, who, incidentally, didn’t pay for a lecture. “We are not philosophers or politicians, we’re closer to circus clowns,” concludes u/tinypenishugeballs. “But we have the ability to sneak a little bit of that stuff in there, as long as they laugh. That’s all that matters.”