Marc Maron is neurotic, emotionally needy, and seething with anger, qualities common to most great comedians. Theyre not traits usually associated with great interviewers, but his self-awareness and honesty lends his top-ranked podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, a singular charge. With Maron setting the tone, past guests including Robin Williams, Judd Apatow, Carlos Mencia, Louis CK, and Janeane Garofalo have opened up about neuroses, regrets, addictions, and insecurities to a shocking degree. It makes for uneasy listening but gripping radio, a glimpse into the side of performers that publicists try their damnedest to keep on the DL. No matter how dark the comedy-club confessions get, Maron keeps things engaging, somehow embodying the twitchy intensity of a shock jock as well as the thoughtful curiosity of an NPR host. For this Sketchfest appearance, he takes WTF out of his garage and on the road. The shows live recordings are usually less structured than a regular episode, featuring Maron's off-the-cuff standup, probing interviews, and short sets by up-and-coming comics. Hes joined by a group of kindred spirits at Cobbs, including Bobcat Goldthwait, the comedian and filmmaker whose sensibility and voice are as corrosive as battery acid, and Maria Bamford, whose act hilariously navigates her jagged emotional terrain. Emerging comics Will Franken and Baron Vaughn round out the bill.
Fri., Jan. 21, 8 p.m., 2011