Pod-Fascination: Will IFC's Maron Be Any Good?

Every time a comedian starts a podcast, a kitten is kicked. Or so it seems. With podcasts almost breaking through the mainstream bubble, it is not surprising that a television show about a podcast is coming in April. IFC has just finished ten episodes of Maron, based on the life, relationships, and podcast of the king of podcasters, Marc Maron.

Marc Maron isn't just any podcaster; WTF With Marc Maron consistently tops charts. In it, Marc Maron interviews fellow comedians, but goes deep. So deep that he often brings up tensions or backstory with the guest, and they work it out before your very ears. Furthermore, the first ten or fifteen minutes before the interview Maron does a monologue of his neurosis or panic attack of the week. He does the neurotic Jewish comedian well, but for a younger, hipper audience. He's like a hipster Larry David.

As far as shows based on podcasters, Maron seems like a logical choice. Maron has been a working comedian for over twenty-five years, and although he worked alongside the greats, he never really achieved widespread recognition. Only after he started interviewing other comedians has he achieved widespread acclaim and recognition. And deservedly so: he's had great conversations with Louis C.K., Steven Wright, Mel Brooks, Bob Odenkirk, Robin Williams, and all the hip alternative comedians the kids are into these days. One of the most touching and memorable episodes features guest Todd Glass, who after the suicide of a bullied gay teen, decided to come out after several decades and went on WTF to talk about it.

I'll certainly tune in to the TV show, but I'm not sure how the concept can sustain a whole series. I am sure producers will find a lot of situations for Maron to feel awkward in, but I also have a hard time believing the social follies and cringe-worthy moments of people who have clearly succeeded in the entertainment world (Louis C.K., I'm looking at you). Will this appeal to people outside of Maron's fan base? I guess we'll find out in April on IFC.

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