"You can't tell a lesbian joke in Boston, Minneapolis, or Portland. They'll boo you."
"I'm not sure I handled it well...it kinda went off the rails."
Marc Maron's WTF podcast has been a sleeper hit in the comedic world (and increasingly, every other world too), often uncovering artists' and other people of note's source of motivation and inspiration in ways that uninspired journalists are unable to access. Maron's open-door policy to his checkered past (drugs, foot-shooting), no-or-all-bullshit oratory, and long history in comedy provide a perfect vehicle to the insecure, constantly questioning, and genuinely interesting wire frames that compose the minds of the talented and famous.
So in that spirit, last week Maron sat down with Gallagher... and Gallagher stormed out halfway through.
A little background: Some of my (and I would venture to guess most people's of a certain age) earliest memories are of Gallagher on the infant version of Comedy Central, smashing food items with anti-capitalist abandon and a big smile. His voice, so perfectly tuned for the ears of babes; his shirts, all Jimmy Buffett beachwear--he was practically designed for my generation's television-as-nanny childhood. What we didn't know then was that he's a godless, racist, homophobic conundrum, covered here by the Stranger ("'Hey, President Obama,' he spits out the name like a mouthful of burning hair. 'You ain't black. I don't care what you say--you're a latte. You're half whole-milk. It could be goat milk--you could be a terrorist!'").
Which is where Marc Maron wanted to go.
After an 18-minute diatribe introduction (Maron definitely knows when he's sitting on gold) and several protracted introductory minutes talking science (Gallagher is a trained chemical engineer...YAWWWWN!), Maron began to move the conversation toward a black hole. "Fast forward to where we are now, and you've got this reputation for being racist," he states. From there it quickly devolves, and the lines blur between reasonable and vitriolic. Gallagher keeps his cool through and through as Maron gets more and more heated, skirting holier-than-thou until Gallagher reluctantly follows suit.
Whatever your opinion of how the interview was handled from either side, it makes for great listening. The disastrous WTF episode (and all episodes, for that matter) are available for download on podcast's website.