Dave Anthony discusses ‘Maron’ and the funniest people he knows
In the last couple of years, I’ve posed this question to a few comics: Who is the funniest person you know?
Ask yourself that question and it’s probably difficult to come up with a quick answer. Now, imagine being a stand-up comedian, a person who is funny and is around funny people almost all the time, and think of how tough it would be to pick one.
Truth be told, I’m usually not after one answer and comics, like most of us, generally give two or three names. For us normals, the answers might be your best friend and a wacky co-worker.
For comics, like this week’s interview subject, Dave Anthony, the answers are Andy Kindler, Patton Oswalt and Bill Burr. You know, just three of the sharpest comedic minds in the business.
Anthony is a damn funny stand-up himself and plays a hilariously churlish character on IFC’s “Maron,” one of the best shows on television that was recently renewed for a third season. Anthony is also a writer on the program that chronicles the sometimes crazy things that happen or have happened in Marc Maron’s life and we discussed, among other things, how different the writing process is on “Maron” and whether or not Anthony enjoys being a pain in Maron’s ass once the cameras are rolling.
TC: I’ve talked with a lot of comics who say they remember really bad sets more vividly than really good sets. Is that true for you?
DA: No. I remember the good sets. I never remember the bad sets. I guess I just have a way of blocking those out.
TC: That’s interesting because I remember Andy Kindler saying that he could be playing a 300-person room and 299 of them could be laughing and having a good time, but he would automatically focus on the one person who wasn’t.
DA: I hear comics say that and I don’t understand it. If 300 people are laughing, I’m not going to worry at all about one or two people who aren’t. I’m thinking they just don’t get it and I move on. I probably don’t even notice them in the first place.
TC: Your character on “Maron” is a real dick sometimes. Do you find it fun to play a role that causes Marc’s character such stress?
DA: It is fun. Number 1, one of the easiest things to do in acting is being a dick. Also, you can’t do that to Marc in real life. (interviewer, Anthony laugh) It’s just not possible so, yeah, I have fun with that.
TC: “Maron” is one of my favorite shows on television, in part because of how different it is from most every other program. What is the writing process like?
DA: There are six of us, including Marc. We’ll sit down and start talking about things in Marc’s life and we’ll put some ideas on a board. As we’re discussing those, Marc will often stop us and mention that something happened a different way, and that usually is an improvement. He’ll worry about the changes, but we’re like “No, that’s much better.” It’s a unique writing experience. I’ve never worked on a show like it.
TC: That realness is part of what makes the show so great. You feel like those experiences are things he’s gone through and I guess that’s because, in a lot of cases, he has.
DA: That’s true. The episode where I tried to give him my cat, for instance. I really did try to give him my cat. He wouldn’t take it and I eventually had to put it down.
TC: I remember that. Matt Braunger was the veterinarian.
DA: Yeah, Matt was great.
TC: Who is the funniest person you know?
DA: That’s a tough one. (pause) Kindler is one. He makes me laugh, but I’d have to say Patton.
You know, Burr is another one. When you talk to him, he talks in bits. I mean, his brain is turning information into jokes and bits as you’re having a conversation. It’s amazing.
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— rob delaney (@robdelaney) September 18, 2014