If you’ve been aware of the comedy scene at any point in the past … oh, twenty years or so, you probably know who Marc Maron is. Even if you’re not familiar with his standup, you know that he has a certain stature in the world of comedy. And you’ve probably listened to at least part of the podcast he did with Barack Obama out of his garage.
Anyway, Maron is now bringing his comedy chops (honed through decades of standup, years of his über-successful podcast, and his own show, IFC’s Maron) to Netflix’s GLOW, which is pretty much already a hit, if we’re going by critical acclaim and word of mouth alone.
Maron has a spectacular turn in the show as Sam Sylvia, the sleazy but visionary creator and “director” of the fictional version of Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. His constant pratfalls getting into and out of the ring are hilarious, but are nothing compared to Sylvia’s manic, coked-up stream-of-consciousness creation of a wrestling promotion using women who largely don’t know what pro wrestling is. If comedy can be said to contain a bravura performance, Maron has done it here.
I had a chance to chat with Maron at the Los Angeles premiere of GLOW and ask him about the show and about his journey from real-life wrestling skeptic to fictional wrestling impresario.
I know that you were never much of a wrestling fan, but you’ve since formed a friendship with Colt Cabana and some others. Has that influenced or changed your opinion of wrestling over the years?
Colt, and [CM] Punk, and Mick Foley. I know those guys. I interviewed Mick Foley years ago. My producer for the podcast is a big wrestling kid. I was one of those guys that was sort of like, [condescending voice] “Wrestling? Isn’t that bullshit?” And he kind of started introducing me to wrestlers, and I started interviewing wrestlers, [and] I started to understand it more.
This was years ago [now], before I even did GLOW. I think it’s sort of hard to come to wrestling as a fan at my age, but I certainly understand and appreciate the spectacle of it, and the sport of it. I’ll call it a sport, because it does take a lot of physical [ability]. Watching these women do it, they were there for weeks doing it. And when I got there, they were like – oh, my god! They were like a team already.