What the Googa?
Marc Maron brings popular podcast to Brooklyn festival, with assists from Hodgman and Klosterman
By Michael Shashoua / Jester editor-in-chief
Marc Maron brought his WTF podcast to Brooklyn May 19 with a live edition in the “Extra Mooga” portion of the “Googa Mooga” festival in Prospect Park. Guests John Hodgman and Chuck Klosterman, perhaps the patron saints of Brooklyn hipsterism, however much they might protest that label, brought the most life to the event, out of five guests Maron hosted.
“Daily Show” commentator Hodgman, picking up on a previous thread of conversation between Klosterman and Maron, deconstructed Twitter. It’s a mystery as to why Hodgman was seeking a ferret skeleton for a photo shoot at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont hotel, but he recalled putting out a call for one on Twitter, and got the same joke from hundreds of followers – “Are you sure you don’t mean the Chateau Marmot?” To explain, a marmot is an animal that resembles a ferret but is a different species.
Incredulous, Hodgman said he bets each person tweeting this thought they had come up with a great original joke, but collectively, group instinct on Twitter somehow leads tweeters to all come up with the same bad pun nearly simultaneously. To Hodgman, it’s a reminder of how unspectacular Twitter and tweeting really is. He went on to also relate past unsatisfying experiences trying to write about food as a freelancer for Men’s Journal, but being confined to pieces about cooking steak or barbecue – or “things a mentally ill man could make in a halfway house.” But you’ll probably catch more of this when Maron eventually releases a recording of this show.
Klosterman made his conversation with Maron lively by repeatedly challenging and questioning his host, touching on hipsterism, pop culture and, yes, Twitter. He had a paradox to share -- that what makes a hipster is that they actually hate hipsters. Therefore, Klosterman says, he can’t be one because he loves them, and they are the strongest patrons of his writing (journalism and novels). Klosterman also bucked Maron up a bit, countering his self-deprecating assertion that he’s no longer up on pop culture, and counseling him not to engage with Internet and Twitter “trolls,” who send nasty comments his way.
Speaking of self-deprecating, the audience size for this live podcast was a little less than Maron might have liked, as he remarked at the beginning of the show. This probably owed to the fact that it shouldn’t have been placed within the more exclusive (and expensive-ticketed) “Extra Mooga” area of the festival, especially if Maron wanted a better turnout as host. Overall, his other guests, comedians Joe Mande and Mike Silvestri proved more mellow but less dynamic than Klosterman and Hodgman, but the first guest, Nicki Russ of the Russ & Daughters gourmet food shop engaged in an interesting historical and foodie discussion with Maron.
The Great Googa Mooga and Extra Mooga continue on May 20. Extra Mooga will feature appearances by Patton Oswalt and Kurt & Kristen on its second day.
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© 2005-2017 Michael Shashoua