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Marc Maron Calls Out Rob Durham, the Local Comic Who Wrote a "How-To" Book on Standup

Categories: Jesters
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Standup Marc Maron
For comedy nerds, standup Marc Maron needs no introduction; for the rest of you, he's one of the artform's leading intellectuals, a "Dostevskyan cut-up" (writes James Wolcott), who is "angry, probing, neurotic and a vulnerable recovering addict" (says the New York Times).

But most importantly for our purposes here, he's a parable of DIY success: With few prospects in 2009, he launched a podcast called WTF, done mostly out of his garage. Now, more than 200 interviews later, it's become "the definitive comedy podcast of record," (quoth Ira Glass) and resurrected his career.

So it seemed like a fairly big deal yesterday, when Maron called out a St. Louis comic, Rob Durham, who recently wrote a how-to book on how to break into standup the traditional way:

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But it turned out that Maron was defending comedy-as-artistic-expression first and foremost. Durham's book is mainly about the nuts-and-bolts logistics of making money in the industry.  Are these mutually exclusive?

It's not clear from the Twitter convo that ensued (in which anther comic, Jay Black, caught Maron's tweet and assumed the role of Durham):

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So far, Rob Durham himself has not responded on Twitter.

What say you, Rob?

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25 comments
ThinkThankThunk
ThinkThankThunk

Spoken like a man who hasn't even read all the comments on here. Did you use superior intellect to figure out I hadn't read the book yet, or just read the part where I said, "I haven't read the book, but intend to"? I think we agree on most of this, so...what's your point?

Let's recap, since it may be complicated: critiquing the book is only legit if you've read it, and making some money while helping fellow comedians using a book is OK. Also, Maron must be threatened in someway by Durham or he wouldn't have bothered to "tweet him".

Also, I have not read the book, yet. This is why I have not commented on the book specifically.

Finally, I have not read the book.

JH
JH

Rumor mill has it that it was a favor from Mr. Maron for a comic who was crapped on by Mr. Durham. Made sense to me, an eye for an eye.

Guywhosfunnierthanyou
Guywhosfunnierthanyou

anybody who wants to comment on the book should actually READ it first. I actually got my hands on a copy. I make my living doing stand up and from what I have read so far the book has some solid tips and not much that is objectionable. I would actually recommend it to people who are new to the game and/or thinking about making stand up their career. I think Marc should be a man and read the book and then have Rob D on his podcast with any questions/objections he has. Instead of hurling insults via tweet. That is beneath a man of his stature. I like Maron and I am actually a HUGE fan, so I was pretty disappointed to read his tweet kicking Durham in the balls. Unless he has actually READ the book and has something that he objects to, he owes Durham an apology. I wish I had a book like this when I was starting out. Cocksuckers. 

MikeDavid
MikeDavid

Why does this book bother Mr. Maron?  Was he hoping for some advice and didn't find it in Mr. Durham's book?  Did he even read it?  Seems to be getting positive feedback from all those who did.  This article, plus the others, made me curious enough to order one.  I realize Maron's "thing" is to be angry, but really...mad at a book?  I'd be interestsed in his constructive criticism vs. offhand vague re"marc".

Also for "NYC", that was a bit of a low road, I'm sure Mr. Durham would not endorse your comments.  Bravo for him for staying above the fray.  Silence is golden.   

NYComic
NYComic

WTF would Durham respond to this?  His book actually helps people, unlike Mr. Anger management...  Whether or not some former coke head, third-tier comic who made his name on a pod-cast rather than on-stage thinks a book is good is irrelevant.  Fact: the book is good.  I think it's great that it's even a discussion point, maybe this will allow people who need a book like this to go out, buy it, and learn something.  Or... they could keep listening to some d-bag spew anger on a podcast in their parents basement.   

Mattconty
Mattconty

Not sure about this thread but I lost 8 lbs after reading Rob's book.

ThinkThankThunk
ThinkThankThunk

GuywhoisfunnierthanME:  Oops, I spoke like a guy who didn't carefully read the comment and the "in reply to dylanPickle".  I just used my very own superior intellect to see that.    I guess I thought it was a reply to me.  Mea Culpa.  I guess that's why I was confused as to what we were disagreeing about.  

TTT

Guywhosfunnierthanyou
Guywhosfunnierthanyou

yeah, well. attacking a man via the internet is about as cowardly as it comes. if you guys have shit to say to rob d say it to his face you jealous ass haters. go write a better book. i predict rob's book will sell a lot of copies if you guys like it or not. funny thing is, i downloaded a bunch of maron episodes of WTF that i planned on checking out until i saw him attack a kid from st louis who has no beef with maron whatsoever. i already deleted the podcasts and i won't be supporting marons projects any longer. he never read the book and he attacked it and that goes against everything i THOUGHT marc maron stands for. I'm sure i'm not the only guy who thinks he is a jerk now because of this blindsided attack. 

Guywhosfunnierthanyou
Guywhosfunnierthanyou

why not fight his own battles instead of having maron do it? Maron did Durham the favor. Now we are all talking about his book. Haahahahahaaa. Big dummies. 

ThinkThankThunk
ThinkThankThunk

I hope that's not true.  Either Durham is just a teacher trying to make a buck and pissing on the fine art of Stand-up or he's an up-and coming player in the industry worthy of taking cheap shots at.  If it's the first, Maron would be a "d-bag" as NYC so unelequently stated.  If it's the latter, fine; just admit it, have him on the show (If he would even go at this point) and talk about it.  Sounds like a podcast I would listen to.  Step one would probably be to actually read the book.  I haven't read it, but may have to now. 

DylanPickle
DylanPickle

To have Rob Durham on the podcast would be a wasted episode as well as nothing more than a bullshitter bullshitting.  If his RFT interview is any indication of how he talks, the podcast would just go in circles.

FoxyLexi
FoxyLexi

I agree, thumbs up to Mr. Durham and the book, thumbs down to NYC and his tactic.  

Big ? For Mr. Maron.  His comment was a little vague and out of left field.  Why is he threatened by Mr. Durham's book?  Kind of a compliment, I guess?  

About the book: I enjoyed it and the associated blog...hopefully it helps me in my budding career.  I'll also take Mr. Maron's advice and watch the entire history of comedy...I guess?  I do enjoy the podcast, that's for sure.  Thanks to both Durham and Maron, both seem to be trying to help.  (although I wish Maron would clarify a little more)

LL
LL

Fact: How you feel about a book is an OPINION. 

Jrmoorecomedy
Jrmoorecomedy

Way to throw a rock and hide your hand. I bet its easy to attack someone when your not using your real name.

SillyAmyTime89
SillyAmyTime89

 Wow, degrading a recovering addict, you sir have won.  Oh and did you notice the SUBTLE sales pitch, "Gee wiz, I suppose you ought to buy the book and find out for yourself, DURR!"

StLComic
StLComic

To attack a man for his past is the act of bruised ego.  Maron is and has been sober for over 12 years.  He speaks openly and apologizes often for his previous drug use, and his transition from unknown artist to the voice of modern comedy is inspirational and helpful in being an artist.  Listening to his podcast has given hundreds of comics around the country insight on the harshness of the business and the beauty of the artform. 

Furthermore, "the book is good" can not be a fact.  To say that Maron is either a) a 3rd tier comic or b) hasn't made his name on stage is asinine.  Fact: Marc Maron is a 20+ year veteran who's been on Letterman, Conan, Comedy Central, HBO, (not to mention one of the most listened to and respected podcasts in the country) and he hasn't written a how-to book. 

No one needs a book like this, all the books on stand up worth writing are already written.Marc said it the best in his tweet, "You have the history of stand-up at your fingertips. Watch it. There's your how-to."

DylanPickle
DylanPickle

It's better if Maron is taking pot shots at someone trying to make it than if Maron was defending an artist against a teacher trying to make a buck?  This confuses me, Durham's book reduces stand up to a purely business venture.  Make it so anyone can be a comedian.  Comedy is an art form and this book pisses in the face of that statement. An artist defending an artist is just, just trying make a buck is hollow.

Guywhosfunnierthanyou
Guywhosfunnierthanyou

if anyone knows about wasting time on line, it's a guy who is an online hater like you, who is criticizing a book he never even read,  pickles. you win. 

MikeDavid
MikeDavid

I agree, hopefully Mr. Maron clarifies a little.  Would like to know if he read the book and saw something I didn't.  I respect his opinion, but also respect Mr. Durham after reading his book.  Seemed like he wanted to help people avoid some mistakes he's made and seen.  What's wrong with that?  Book must be threatening in some way I guess?  Was Mr. Maron planning a book?  Anyone know?    

ThinkThankThunk
ThinkThankThunk

Pickle:1) So you HAVE read his book..."Durham's book reduces stand-up to a purely business venture"  That's a good critique and valid if you read the book.  I was under the impression that you hadn't read it. 2) Every comedian who sells merchandise is "trying to make a buck" outside of the "art".  Durham is just doing it with a book.  At least his merchandise helps people more than a T-shirt or something else.   3) Why is having a second job a bad thing, especially teaching (the two salaries combined probably don't equal what most make)  Does stepping in a classroom or writing a book somehow sully the sacred art of joke-telling?  4) Again it just comes down to either: a)Durham is relevant enough to warrant Maron bashing him; b)he's just a guy trying to make a buck and therefore should not be on the RADAR of Maron.   In which case: Maron=D'bag. My money is on a.   I also like the theory that Maron was about to write a book...which is just as valid as your theory that Durham, the teacher who has no validity in the comedy world, somehow offended one of Maron's "peeps" so he had to "bust a tweet on his ass".   Very gangsta...in the comedy world you best respect the boss's people or you'll get tweeted. 

Guywhosfunnierthanyou
Guywhosfunnierthanyou

those who can do. those who can't teach. and those who hate their lives so much that they have to get online and shit on other people's lives to make themselves feel important are dylan pickle. 

DylanPickle
DylanPickle

Not ignore them, but recognize those are people he asked to put a blurb on his book, and friends of his.  Maron wasn't attacking the book, just the fact that you can't write a book about working as a stand up when it's your side gig to teaching.  But as they say, those that can't do, teach.

MikeDavid
MikeDavid

Pickle:  So you're going to ignore the endorsements from Jimmy Pardo and Tommy Jonagain? This tells me all I need to know about your "ignorance".  See, I put random quote marks in my comment too.    

DylanPickle
DylanPickle

 Perhaps the reasoning for this will never be known, what's important is the fact that Marc Maron called out Rob Durham's credibility.  This to me tells me more about my need to buy this "advice" book than anything.

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