It's all about bouncing back

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bitter much? The Maron Episodes on You Tube

Okay -- you all know I love Marc Maron. But even as an avid fan, I really haven't known what to make of these silly You Tube episodes he has been posting recently. Like most of his work, they range from the funny (I like the cats and political commentary mixture -- clip below) to the rambling and bitter. Recently, though, bitter has definitely been winning out.

Let me know what you think:

Cats and Politics:

Cat Poops, Class and Scones:

Scones Pt. 2:


Anonymous said...

Bitter videos? Oh, you have NO idea. You should see him live!

Seriously, though, he is recovering from a MAJOR life transformation at the moment. He and his second ex-wife have been undergoing separation and divorce proceedings for over a year now, and that long stretch of time, plus the back-and-forth events between them, have taken a toll on the guy's mentality. At one point, he wasn't even sure that he'd be able to keep his house; it strikes me that losing the property might still be a possibility if his finances don't improve. The events surrounding this financially-devastating divorce, coupled with losing the woman he has thought of as his soul-mate, have been incredibly hard on him.

Career-wise, things are tough as well. He's been doing comedy for 25 years but he isn't a big, big celebrity. This is a tough reality to face, particularly here in fame-obsessed Hollywoodland. He had a script ready to go for a cable network, only that network shifted its studio heads and the project appears to have died an ugly death in the interim.

I dunno... I think the man has earned the right to a little bitterness for the time being. Consider it a phase in his development as a comic and as a human being. Marc has admitted that he's learned a few humbling lessons from this experience ("I used to make my wife waffles and pancakes. But you know what I've found? No amount of pancakes will erase, 'Shut the f--k up! Just shut the f--k up!'").

(But it must be said: good on Marc Maron for weathering the storm clean and sober, and for not relapsing into his old drug and alcohol addictions as a way of coping!).

Rebecca O'Malley said...

Marc? Is that you? :-)

Look: I have nothing against bitter. So it's possible that I worded this post badly (I wrote it very quickly). I'll try to clarify.

Yes, his live show can generally be even more bitter (saw him most recently at Giggles in Seattle where he did much of the divorce material you mentioned -- it killed - awesome); but he presents bitterness on stage with such precision and professionalism that it feels natural, acceptable and even sympathetic, relatable (which is a tribute to his skill -- he never sounds like a whiner and the laughs per minute combined with sufficient humility keeps the audience on his side throughout).

The You Tube shorts felt different -- more self pitying, which caught me off guard. You're certainly correct that anyone going through a divorce and financial trauma might inevitably sound a bit bitter from time to time, but I guess I am used to seeing him handle such matters with a degree of strength and dignity, exhibited primarily through his performance skill. I didn't see that here, which surprised me only *because* I otherwise admire him so much.

Anyway, I hope that clarifies what I was trying to express. Bitterness is a totally reasonably response to life's ridiculous slings and arrows. And much of Maron's work to date addresses that point very skillfully. I was surprised to see him address those topics without his usual aplomb --that's all.

I probably expect too much from a You Tube video; but, again, only because I love.