By Jaime Weinman - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 0 Comments
Marc Maron is a pioneer of an inward-looking style embraced by the likes of Louis C.K.
Marc Maron is a stand-up comedian about to get his own TV show. That’s normal. What’s not is that he was never famous enough to get a TV show until he started doing a podcast, WTF?, where he’s less known for jokes than for his serious, confessional monologues about his life and career. “Marc’s a comic who struggled for many years, without really making it,” says Sivert Glarum, writer and executive producer of the 49-year-old stand-up’s new semi-autobiographical comedy Maron, premiering on IFC on May 3. “When he started the podcast, he was at the end of his rope, career-wise and emotionally.” And the experience redefined him as what one newspaper called a “stand-up tragedian.”
Comedy podcasting has taken off in the last few years as a cheap, easy way for comedians to introduce themselves to a wider public. But few people have used it to change their image as spectacularly as Maron, who does WTF? out of his garage and has interviewed almost 400 people since the show began in 2009. Not only does he talk seriously about his frustrations, but his most famous interviews are the dark ones, like the one with Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley, who told Maron that thanks to a Canadian divorce court, “I’m literally obligated to give away 400 per cent of my income, or otherwise go to jail.” Todd Van Allen, a comic who hosts the podcast Comedy Above the Pub, says that Maron is famed for “brutal honesty and the fearless broadcasting of his inner-most feelings.”
That’s a type of broadcasting you don’t normally associate with comedians, but Maron is at the forefront of a more inward-looking type of comedy. Other successful podcasts, like Comedy Above the Pub or Comedy Bang Bang (which was adapted into an IFC series last year), primarily try to be fun, with sketches and impersonations. But Ed Crasnick, host of the podcast The Self-Help Comedy Hour and the guest on a 2010 episode of WTF?, says Maron “probably wants the guest to be more real than funny.” Glarum adds that in the TV show, the podcast is portrayed as a way “for Marc to seek opinions from people on the problems going on in his life,” just as he does on the real podcast.
By Jessica Allen - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 10:33 AM - 0 Comments
Michael Friscolanti talks about his investigation into the collapse of the Elliot Lake mall
Drawing from court documents, property records, inspection reports and dozens of interviews with the people who lived it, Doomed: The Untold Story Behind the Collapse of the Elliot Lake Mall, tells the shocking backstory of a mall that was cursed before it even existed, a star-crossed structure plagued by dreadful timing, dubious decisions and a collective case of wilful blindness.
By Peter Shawn Taylor - Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:05 AM - 3 Comments
Catch up on everything you wish you’d learned in school, a half-hour at a time
You’ve grasped the intricacies of quantum mechanics, toured the great museums of Europe, understood the significance of the Peloponnesian War and come to terms with why evil exists. So what’s next? Perhaps wine appreciation, the mysteries of brain science or Hitler’s rise to power.
Welcome to The Great Courses, a company that’s been selling erudite audio and video lectures delivered by top-notch professors to well-heeled and inquisitive American customers for over 20 years. Now it’s planning a big Canadian presence too. Minds: prepared to be expanded.
The course selection at The Great Courses reads like an educational playground for the intellectually curious. It’s as broad and detailed as any university course calendar, although much more convenient. Courses typically consist of 12 to 36 half-hour lectures on CD, DVD or audio file. Packed with undergraduate-level information, each lecture is short enough to enjoy while commuting, after dinner, or while killing time during your kid’s dance lesson.