Last June, Martha and I had the great good fortune to see Marc Maron perform at a local comedy club (read my review here). Though I’d been a fan of his for a long time, this was the first time we’d seen him in person. At the time, it was clear he was working out material for what would become his next Netflix special. We laughed a lot.
In September, I was in Los Angeles and went to the Comedy Store, where I was pleasantly surprised to find Maron’s name on the list of standups who’d be taking the stage for 15 minutes apiece. When it was his turn, he did a couple of new bits, as well as some of the same material I’d already seen — which sounded even better because he’d had the time to hone it and get the wording just right.
Well, that Netflix special has arrived, with the perfectly-timed title, “End Times Fun,” and it’s terrific. I would say that if all it included was his chunk about taking turmeric (“Really? The spice we use one time to make a curry dish and permanently stain our wooden spoons? We’re doing that now?”). But he also had us laughing all over again at the lizard portal, yoga instructors, the Marvel Universe, and an extended riff on a masturbation fantasy gone wrong. He ends the seventy-minute show with a profane yet hysterical piece in which Mike Pence finally gets to meet Jesus (and it does not go well).
Maron is one of our most effective storytellers, a very smart guy whose combination of neuroses and comedic sensibilities give him a different view of the world we live in. Considering the challenging times we’re all trying to get through at the moment — and since you’re going to be home alone craving great entertainment — “End Times Fun” makes things a lot better.
I give it a 9.5 out of 10.