WTF: What Theater Feeds


Lewis Black was interviewed on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast last month, and what was talked about most was playwriting.

I happen to have interviewed both Black and Maron in the past. This was years ago—I talked to Maron because I dug his morning show on the Air America network, and Black because he was appearing at the Oakdale in Wallingford. Neither one, I remember, wanted to talk about playwriting. And, believe me, I tried to get them to.

Black was a produced playwright and had been doing theater longer than he’d done either TV or stand-up. He’d gone to the Yale School of Drama. He’d done many summers at the Williamstown Theater Festival. But when I started on the subject of his playwriting, he basically told me that his School of Drama experience hadn’t been a particularly good one and that he wanted to change the subject.

Marc Maron had done a one-man show called the Jerusalem Syndrome, Off Broadway in 2000. The script had been published in book form. But our conversation basically was all about his Air American show Morning Sedition.

Turns out, from their WTF discussion, that Marc Maron had playwriting aspirations during his college years. He has a story about applying to the Yale School of Drama and being hideously unprepared. (He didn’t get in.)

And Black has never entirely given up live theater. He’s shopping one of his old full-length scripts right now, in fact. He mentions his Yale School of Drama classmate Joe Grifasi as a current collaborator. Grifasi directed the Preston Sturges play A Cup of Coffee at Yale Rep in 1999 and appeared with Brian Dennehy in Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie at the Long Wharf in 2008.

Hear it for yourself. Seriously, most of this show involves two important modern comedians discussing the state of the American theater.

The WTF podcast is here.