Marc Maron Has No Patience for Comics Complaining About Wokeness
Fox Nation is quickly becoming a home for a certain kind of comedy special, from Roseanne Barr’s Cancel This! to Rob Schneider’s Woke Up in America. The running theme is pretty apparent from the shows’ titles — wokeness and cancel culture are killing comedy. When it comes to a certain kind of humor, “there is no forgiveness from the liberal intelligentsia,” Schneider told Fox & Friends, complaining that jokes have to be approached “in a more gentle way” due to the current political climate. But comedian and podcaster Marc Maron is calling bullshit on that attitude.
During Maron’s recent appearance on Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, he voiced his contempt for comics who whine about “wokeness” harnessing their comedy material, calling opinions like Schneider’s “a very hackneyed position.”
“A lot of people who whine about being canceled, no one can give a shit about,” Maron said without naming names. (I took the liberty of naming a couple for him.) “It’s a hack point-of-view. If you want to go up there, and hammer liberals or trans culture or LGBTQ, like, it’s just hack. There’s a type of comic mind out there, and they think they have to go up and address trans people. You don’t. You’re just getting juice from it.”
Why wouldn’t comics want to be woke, Maron wondered, a term that in his world basically means “open-minded and empathetic.” After all, some level of tolerance is necessary for democracy to work. “But now, there is no tolerance, and ‘wokeness’ has somehow become a bad thing in the mind of people. Whether they know it or not, a lot of these comics are just being used by right-wing ideology to justify this division,” he argued. “And also this sort of sense of homogenous culture, which is, you know, fundamentally white, Christian, and intolerant.”
It’s also lazy comedy, he added. His latest HBO special, From Bleak to Dark, mined personal tragedy instead of picking on easy cultural targets like Bud Light or COVID masks. “For me, in that special, I was like, ‘I’m going to take real emotional risks here,’” he explained. “Whatever risk you think you’re taking by diminishing marginalized people or people who are already struggling, it’s not real. It’s a device you’ve stolen to avoid actually talking about who you are and how you feel because you don’t have the courage to do that.”
Something tells me that we’re not going to see a Marc Maron comedy special on Fox Nation anytime soon.