Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Marc Maron’s latest comedy special is as uneven and sincere as you might expect from his podcasts. The difficulty in assessing his comedic worth, in the wake of his phenomenally successful WTF show, is that for all his aims of honesty and self-discovery and exploration he exists, as any sort of comic force, due to a cult-of-personality situation now – which is almost ironic given his aims and intentions. Oh, I have no doubt he’d always be doing comedy, but the interest in his act is primarily from devotees to his podcast. I mean here I am, guilty as charged.
More Later is named after an excruciating device that Maron has borrowed from other comics – most obviously it would seem to be a version of Jim Gaffigan’s inner-monologue-made-outer. “More later” is what Maron gruffly repeats when his “inner blogger” signs off. The Inner Blogger is there whenever jokes get derailed, but most often it’s this (extra) voice that does the derailing. As a comic device it allows Maron into the realm of meta-commentary. Unfortunately it runs off with the thread of the show, it’s repetitive, without nuance and self-sabotaging.
Self-sabotage is one of Maron’s themes – so I guess it’s not all bad.
He doesn’t seem to be too interested in jokes these days – and his comedy is more an evisceration of the lingering bitterness that haunts and taunts him as both person and comic.
There are a few funny lines, there are some wise truths, there is – particularly toward the end – a commendably excruciating honesty…but I can’t reconcile the current version of Maron the stand-up outside of Maron the podcaster. We follow him because of that show and what that has become about. And again, this approaches some sort of irony. He’s best when he’s not trying. You hear him deep in flow in those recorded conversations and he loses himself but never loses the thread. On stage it’s the opposite. He is too ferociously aware of himself to really have anything approaching a good time and yet so easily loses the thread. More Later is largely a collection of non-sequiturs bundled up and delivered by a guy with enough experience at working a room to get by, to make enough of it stick.
But add the now marquee name and you have more interest in the finished product than the material probably deserves.
I say this, once again, as a fan. A baffled fan. Locked in the dance. A lifer.