Can Marc Maron be happy and funny at the same time?
A fair enough question, considering his personal and professional circumstances by 2017, when he has just now released his first Netflix stand-up comedy special. The short answer: Yes.
Each hour finds the comedian slightly more assured, definitely tighter in his writing and performance, and a little bit happier to boot. He’s still the guy who prefers to sit onstage on the stool in a crouch, only with a more regular smile across his face. The change is most evident from one particular camera angle positioned in about the third row, looking up at the comedian. It’s also quite visible as Maron enjoys more physical act-outs of his material onstage.
For all of the rambling pontification that may precede any of his podcast interviews, there’s no longer any WTF moments about how Maron presents himself onstage.
Whether that’s a side effect of his better acting gigs on series such as GLOW, getting to interview President Barack Obama and just about anyone else he could dream of speaking to in his actual garage, or the confidence that comes from steadier and larger paychecks, it all shows here in Too Real. Even when Maron takes the stage to talk about our collective frustration about someone who acts like an abusive stepfather (without having to mention who’s he’s talking about by name). “I could say things to you that would never make sense previous…but now you’re like, right.” Eventually he capitulates and says the Trump word, wondering who his supporters may still be a year after the election, and how Americans can bridge the divide between us. Loving Tom Petty, apparently, is not enough of a common denominator to unite us once more. Although he’s more popular than ever now. Maron; not Petty. If Trump voters can apologize, even if it’s in the minute before the world ends, that may be enough. At least for him.