Marc Maron: podcast star and GLOW actor takes it easy on his UK mini-tour (4 stars)

Marc Maron

Comedian brings a light touch to his latest stand-up routine

Marc Maron exudes effortlessness. Perched on his stool, notes at his feet, he gives us a casual, laid-back yet bitingly funny hour and a half, one that the American self-deprecates will be tight by the end of this short UK and Ireland run. But it would be something of a shame if it was. The experience gleaned from his 35 years in the comedy business and 55 years of life certainly shows. Maron opens with the obligatory section about the city he's in, off the cuff yet consummate descriptions of Manchester's 'sad rain' and 'working-class coughs' capturing the essence of the city, albeit as portrayed in the early years of Coronation Street.

He jokes that he's a mid-level celebrity; one in three guys walking down the street will be a fan but then have to explain who he is to the others. He probably should be better known but this cult positioning with greater longevity and respect feels like a good place for him. Lately he's best known for his WTF podcast (which recently reached its 1000th episode), where he interviews many talented folk in his LA garage, the most notable of which has been Barack Obama.

Maron casts a self-aware eye over his life, now devoid of drugs with cocaine being replaced by tea. He airs frustrations at his elderly father, discusses how he wears his Jewishness thinly albeit with a hard anxiety, and questions exactly how 'woke' he can be as a middle-aged white guy. All of this is covered with a lightness of touch in the humour and given a fresh angle.

Subtlety is held back, however, for his coverage of politics. Of course, there's plenty to be discussed but, at least tonight, Trump is largely overlooked in favour of Mike Pence who takes a starring role in Maron's finale. And what a role it is, with one visual image you won't forget in a hurry.

Marc Maron is on tour until Thursday 11 April. Seen at The Lowry, Salford.

Marc Maron

American stand-up comedian and podcast host.

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