You’re probably aware that Marc Maron had famed comedian Gallagher as a guest on his podcast WTF recently; the episode just went live today. You may also know how that interview ended– that is, with the watermelon-smashing jokeslinger storming out of the interview.
Maron had brought up a few politically incorrect jokes from Gallagher’s routine. The comics then had what I believe to be a healthy, spirited and entertaining back and forth about the effects a comedian can have on divisive social and political issues. In short, Gallagher disagreed, explaining time and again that his job is to make people laugh and that despite the content of some of his jokes, there is simply no power, beyond the laugh, embedded in the meaning.
But as he does, Maron pushed. Gallagher had enough, and exited Maron’s Portland, OR hotel room, where the interview was being recorded.
I chatted with Gallagher’s manager Craig Marquardo to find out what happened. “I don’t think he knew how aggressive Maron would be,” Marquardo said, adding that Gallagher is not at all sorry for walking out on the interview and that Gallagher “doesn’t care.” In fact, Marquardo relayed that after Gallagher left the interview he was seen being mobbed by fans on the street, where the comic took pictures with fans and signed autographs. “Where would you rather be?” Marquardo said.
Marquardo added, “I respect what Marc was trying to do, but he did it in a douchey way.”
But Maron doesn’t see it exactly that way. “I’m in the game of conversation,” Maron tells me. “I don’t want to be talked down to. If I was being douchey it was a reaction to being condescended to and dismissed.”
Maron continues: “I’m generally more sympathetic than I am attack-oriented. I didn’t get into this [podcasting] to be Mike Wallace.”
Want to know what else is interesting about this whole thing? It was Gallagher’s management that got in touch with Maron’s management so that their client could be a guest on WTF! “I didn’t ask for Gallagher. I wouldn’t have interviewed Gallagher,” Maron says.
In Gallagher’s management’s defense, it was a smart move: Gallagher’s launching a stand-up tour wherein there will be no fruit smashing, and what better way to get a new, hip set of fans than to get him some prime exposure on one of the country’s biggest comedy podcasts? It sounds like Gallagher should’ve been prepped a bit more. Marquardo told me that Gallagher hadn’t even heard of Maron before the idea of doing the show came up. Wow. Also, really?
Finally, the Twitter account @RealGallagher that’s been causing a bit of a stir today, is totally fake, according to Marquardo, who explained that Gallagher has been on a plane to Japan and couldn’t have possibly written those tweets.
And, by the way, Punchline is a proud sponsor and supporter of WTF with Marc Maron. I think I’ve said all of the above with a fairly even-handed stroke; but I’m not claiming to be The New York Times (pre-Jayson Blair.)