JOURNALIST Q&A: Marc Maron

"Self-loathing," "angry," "neurotic," and "bitter" are just some of the words Marc Maron uses to describe himself.

"Self-loathing," "angry," "neurotic," and "bitter" are just some of the words Marc Maron uses to describe himself.

So is it really any wonder he ended up on political talk radio? Originally a comedian/actor/television host, Maron made the leap to radio when Air America, the uniquely liberal, all-talk radio network, debuted in April. His show, Morning Sedition, airs from 6am to 9am weekdays. And if you're wondering what he looks like, all you need is a Blockbuster card: He's the angry concert promoter who chased Stillwater's tour bus in the 2000 film Almost Famous.

PRWeek: Air America launched in April to great skepticism and greater expectations. More than a few people have taken joy in its bumps along the way. What is it like to try to be funny in that situation?

Marc Maron: Being funny wasn't the problem. It was maintaining sanity at the level of sleep deprivation I was operating at that was the real concern. There were times at the beginning when I was adjusting to waking up at 3am when the show started. I didn't know if I was dreaming or actually hosting a radio show. The bumps - i.e. technical problems, working with others, new medium, fear of checks bouncing - actually snapped me into reality. The bumps were helpful; they kept me on the edge, which is where I work best.

PRWeek: Have you been barraged by publicists representing liberal commentators who've been in search of a talk-radio outlet? Would you like to be?

Maron: No. If you didn't know, we have a guy named [Al] Franken who also works at the station. We get his leftovers occasionally. I don't get personally barraged by publicists. They usually go through our booker, Renee. This is better because I know publicists have secret powers that break people down. It's probably better for me to let Renee deal with it because I don't have the sturdiest personal boundaries to begin with.

PRWeek: You weren't previously known as a radio guy. Why the transition?

Maron: I'd only done radio to promote gigs as a comic. I was always interested in the medium. I thought AAR was a good cause. It is a relatively unheard point of view, and I happened to share it. And I like to talk and learn and improvise.

PRWeek: What is it about talk radio as a medium that gives it so much influence in the political sphere?

Maron: It's the only medium in which people with a viewpoint can actually execute full conversations. It is an intimate medium. Your listeners really listen. They think it's just you and them. It resonates on a deep level.

PRWeek: If you were on Kerry's staff, what advice would you give him?

Maron: Everyone is giving him advice. Maybe we should all just get behind him now. I say do whatever you have to do to win.

PRWeek: Same question, re: President Bush.

Maron: Bite the bullet and tell the truth. Then leave.

Name: Marc Maron

Publication: Air America Radio

Title: Morning Sedition host

Preferred contact method: marc@marcmaron.com


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