Hear Marc Maron's Montreal speech

Comic puts keynote online

Marc Maron has released his inspirational keynote speech to the Montreal comedy festival online.

The comic has posted the uncut audio from his heartfelt, funny and occasionally emotional address to listeners of his popular WTF podcast.

In the speech to movers and shakers at the Just For Laughs Festival, Maron called for more respect for stand-ups from the industry. He described in first-hand detail the daily sacrifices comics make on the road, and the battles many have with their own personality flaws.

But he said agents, managers and TV executives often don’t give stand-ups respect for the work that goes into perfecting the craft.

‘With comics and the comedy industry, it’s not really Us versus Them, but sometimes it feels like it is,’ he said.

‘The industry takes comics for granted, and makes us jump through hoops. I get it, but what about some respect for the commodity, the clown?

‘I’ve spent half my life building my clown, fuelled by jealousy and spite.’

Although he joked about never attracting industry ‘heat’, Maron also described how three years ago, he hit rock bottom both personally and professionally, but was saved by launching his WTF? podcast, in which he interviews fellow comedians.

‘My manager at the time said I was unbookable and without options,’ he said. ‘So I started this podcast in my garage; it’s been an emotional thing for me.

‘I was lost, but found out who I was by talking to other comics. Doing the podcast and talking to other comics saved my life. And do you know how much the industry had to do with that? Nothing.

‘It took me 25 years to do the best thing I ever did, and there was no way to monetise it.’

Here is the full speech, which earned him a standing ovation:

Published: 30 Jul 2011

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