Comedy Wednesday: Marc Maron @ Trepany House (formally the Steve Allen Theater)(7/17/12)
I always get so frustrated with my cell phone photos failing me, so for last nights comedy show I thought I’d try an experiment. I think you can tell from the photos below, it failed miserably. If there’s something I’m good at, it’s admitting defeat. I brought my fancy camera to the show. I turned off the volume and flipped the screen inside out so no light or sound was emanating from the camera. There’s nothing worse than being called out in a comedy show so I try to do whatever I can to blend in. The unfortunate part is that I couldn’t tell how my photos were coming out and without a flash I risked them all being blurry. So it was all a guess to me if any of the photos I took actually came out. When I uploaded them blurriness was a problem but mostly the comedians were blocked by heads and the bright lights completely washed them out. I couldn’t zoom, since I could see how the photos looked. It failed, although I’m still working hard to get you the best images and so I’ll keep experimenting. Here’s how the show went.
Last nights show was not Comedy Bang Bang. I decided to take a week off to go see Marc Maron now that he’s back in LA performing at the Steve Allen Theater. I thought I was getting tickets to a live taping of his podcast, but when I arrived and saw the stage and it was not set up for podcasting (no table, chairs or mics).
Marc Maron came out with a stool and told us he deceived us. He decided not to do a podcast taping (of WTF) and instead try out new material. First he brought up Jonah Ray, who was also trying new material. I’ve seen him perform at Comedy Bang Bang before and he was very funny. Tonight was no exception, although you could tell he was visably nervous trying out his new material. Comedians take such a risk getting out on stage and I can’t imagine trying out new material that’s only ever been practiced in front of a mirror. What if it completely fails is it often can? Comedians have to be so fearless and I admire that.
See my crappy photo? What a failure. The sad part is I was thinking “Pat yourself on the back, Bethany, for you have probably found a great solution to a challenging problem,” while I was taking these awful photos.
Next up, Ryan Singer. His name is familiar, but I didn’t recognize his comedy style or apperance. Maybe I’ve seen him at Comedy Bang Bang? I’m not sure. He had some great bits, although his stuff flowed so well together you could tell he’d memorized his routine and wasn’t working off-the-cuff. It’s funny that I respect off-the-cuff humor more than pre-planned humor, which seems counterintuitive. I should probably respect the prepared comedian more than the “winging-it” comedian, but there’s something I appreciate about a comedian effortlessly making jokes on the spot.
After Ryan, MArc came out to do his set. The timing was about 10 minutes for Jonah and Ryan and then an hour and 45 minutes (?) for Marc. I point this out because he did the type of long-form set that you would pay a high-price ticket to see. Why he felt like he had to trick the audience into coming, is confusing to me because he performed a great show. I saw him perform at Comedy Bang Bang last week, so I got to see him take those jokes and really work them out on stage and develop them further. No joke was retold the same way so it felt like all of it was new, despite being some of the same topics.
Marc is another stand-up (like Maria Bamford) where it can take seeing him perform several times to really begin to understand his dark comedy. There are comedians like Tommy Papa, who can do a delightful, very funny, clean set and it only takes seeing them once to get what they’re about. Marc has such a history that you can slowly learn about in each set, and knowing that history adds so much to his jokes. His comedy feels like Marc’s in therapy working out his issues with the audience and there’s something very familiar about his tone. Like you’re the only person he’s talking to and he’s just shooting-the-shit about what has been on his mind.
I highly recommend giving Marc’s podcast a listen. It’s called WTF and he interviews comedians and celebrities about real topics. It’s serious and it’s funny. He’ll be performing more at the Trepany House in the next couple months. Get tickets HERE!