Like many stand-up comedians, Marc Maron has dealt with more than his fair share of darkness and personal demons over the course of his mercurial career. The son of a Jewish doctor and a stay-at-home mother, Maron entered the world of comedy in the 1980s. Although the “just say no” culture of the Reagan administration would have relegated drug culture to the hazy and freewheeling 1970s, the entertainment industry in Maron’s early years was positively rife with drinking and stimulant use.
Although he once said that his “graduate work” consisted of cutting lines of cocaine for fellow stand-up and personal idol Sam Kinison, Marc Maron did not discriminate when it came to substance abuse. He prudently refused to get involved with any form of intravenous narcotics but was otherwise a fervent and omnivorous drug user who spent a great deal of every day high on alcohol, marijuana, psychedelics, cocaine and a variety of additional controlled substances.
After blowing his interview with Saturday Night Live Producer Lorne Michaels and watching many of his contemporaries go on to lucrative sitcom deals and television specials, Marc Maron’s issues with addiction only worsened. Fueled by his widely publicized anger, jealousy and disappointment, Maron’s struggles with alcohol and cocaine ultimately resulted in two messy divorces. By the end of the 1990s, he had finally had enough.
Maron checked himself into a 12-step program, and while he continued to express some reservations about the religious aspects of these treatments (“I’m not that hung up on the God thing”) the power of regular meetings and speaking to other addicts was certainly a game-changing event in his life. Marc Maron is presently 13 years sober and professes continued amazement at the fact that he no longer even craves the chemicals that one ruled his every waking minute. He recognizes, however, that he must always remain vigilant against a potential relapse.
In 2005, Maron lost his regular gig as host of the morning show on the now-defunct, liberal radio network, Air America. Jobless, broke and increasingly desperate, he seemed to be setting the stage for a return to drug and alcohol abuse. Maron’s positive decisions during this trying time, however, would lead to a triumphant comeback and the greatest success of his decidedly mixed career.
Life After Addiction
Sneaking into the Air America studios during off hours, he began conducting and recording interviews with his friends in the world of comedy. With no other place to disseminate these interviews, Maron turned to iTunes and an emerging technology called a podcast. Today, Marc Maron’s WTF program is one of the most successful podcasts of all time. Rocketing him to new levels of fame and recognition, WTF led to a range of professional opportunities. A new semi-autobiographical television series starring Maron was recently picked up by the Independent Film Channel for a 10-episiode run in 2013.