Marc Maron Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON, March 5

Marc MaronDanforth Music Hall, Toronto ON, March 5
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Marc Maron is a man of stories. He's mostly known for drawing lifelong tales out of his guests on his podcast WTF with Marc Maron, but he also has endless narratives of his own about meeting people across North America, addiction and sobriety, and going from being bitter to — well, still being bitter, but keeping it more to himself. With his loosely tied together musings punctuated by comically gnomic thoughts, Maron's set was deep, yet it magically still felt like it was all off the top of his head.
 
Opener Ryan Singer did a great job of starting the show with his quirky yet smart lines like "No one has ever started a war over rose quartz" and his reflections about the universe. Singer's chilled-out happy hippie sensibility was the opposite of Maron's anxious realism, but the two comics fit together nicely thanks to the intellectual aspects of their comedy.
 
Maron's hour was filled with meticulously written thoughts like "I'm uncomfortable in my comfort zone" and brilliant callbacks, yet he always stayed in the moment. Most memorably, Maron realized he had an old story about a Jerry Garcia concert that would tie in nicely to his act as he was performing. With confidence and ease, he took ten seconds of silence to review the beats of the story, then proceeded to deliver that unexpected segment perfectly. Better yet, Maron took odd interruptions of his comedy in stride. When a single piece of confetti fell from the ceiling, he pretended it was a note from the heavens and improvised a hilarious message from God. Similarly, when he pretended to call out to God and a random audience member replied, Maron didn't let it ruin his train of thought. He simply riffed about how he expected God to be better than a "half-drunk Canadian" with passive-aggressive amusement, and moved forward.
 
Additionally, Maron had some cautiously cheerful comedy in his heady, acerbic hour. His bit about how dying alone beside a nice nurse would be better than dying beside your weeping family was uncompromising yet heart-warming, as was his material about fondly recalling drama with past girlfriends now that he's in a healthy relationship. Also, his closer about the journey of a fancy big hat from an old man to a hipster in a Goodwill was delightful, especially when he delivered the whole narrative a second time as if it was a children's book.