Marc Maron & Brendan McDonald
The book of the podcast – it seems an odd notion, but there’s gold in them there hills, clearly. And why not…
I’m a fan of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. It’s made me mad, curious, fascinated, enlightened, enraged – so it can’t be all bad. Not at all. It’s made me stick with his comedy, read his books, take in his comedy albums and specials, and I’m a devoted follower of the podcast. It could easily be argued that were it not for his podcast I would not have started my own. I’m not even the only person in New Zealand that can say that, let alone the only person…
So – Waiting For The Punch: Words To Live By is less a quirky version of the self-help, more a celebration of the podcast. But Maron fans will often convince you they’re there for both reasons, for some help and celebration.
I enjoyed this book – essentially excerpts of longer, larger interviews, cut-up and represented now, so that Bruce Springsteen’s musings sit alongside Barack Obama’s, sit alongside Sarah Silverman’s, sit alongside Louis CK’s.
But at the same time I wondered who the book was really for – the answer: Fans of the podcast. I haven’t heard every single episode and yet I could recall most of these conversational snippets; could hear them in the original voice even. That’s maybe to the power of the podcast and what it stands for, but I don’t have time in my life, nor the inclination to revisit any of these interview in full, despite Maron often doing a wonderful job.
So, then, it’s really a badge of honour or piece of merchandise – or both. And that might be reason enough for it to exist. Yes, there’s wisdom here, but I still enjoyed it more when I heard it on the podcast. Nothing here leaps from the page as being a profound piece of read-and-read-again/and-then-listen-again piece of wisdom. But that’s me. I know there are fans of the podcast that have favourite episodes they cue it for second/third/fourth/fifth times. Now they have a book to add to their shelves to somehow legitimise the time wasted spend listening to “fashionable radio”.