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Monday, January 31, 2011

Marc Maron Interviews Gallagher

Posted by Lindy West on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 2:09 PM

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In celebration of Marc Maron's stint at Helium this past weekend (and our shared hatred of Gallagher), I wanted to let you guys know that Maron posted his truncated interview with Gallagher today (Gallagher threw down the mic and stormed out after 30 minutes).

You can listen to it here. And you should.

Maron (measured, direct, and fair—I love him) questions Gallagher about his history, the mechanics of comedy, and finally—as the interview builds toward Gallagher's abrupt exit—some of his more controversial material. Gallagher rants about sub-atomic particles (electrons are giving us cancer) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (apparently they screwed him out of some money—for pizza, probably) for the first ten minutes or so, and then it gets to the political stuff.

You should definitely listen to it if you're interested in this at all. It's a really dramatic, sad interview.

Gallagher has eight main defenses—which you can learn about after the jump.

1. The "Jokes Don't Matter" Defense: "IT'S A NIGHTCLUB." "I am telling them things they'll laugh at. And they enjoy it."

2. The "I'm Just Pandering to My Audience" Defense: "There's no blacks in my audience. Not one." "You can't tell a lesbian joke in Boston, Minneapolis, Portland, or Seattle."

3. The "But Gays Are Weird" Defense: "Here's what comedy is—it's a reversal...so having a female spirit in a male body or a male spirit in a female body is a reversal. It's God's joke!"

4. The "I Stole That Joke Off a Racist Hobo" Defense: "I'm repeating jokes I heard on the street!"

5. The "White Men Are Strong and Can Take It, Unlike the Rest of You" Defense: "Let's say I tell a joke about a white, middle-class man. Does anybody say why do I not like white, middle-class men? It's that ONE area of our society is sensitive and can't take a joke!"

6. The "Arabs Are Our Enemy" Defense: "Arabs are our enemy!"

7. The "I'mma Let You Finish but Gallagher Is Like the Greatest Comedian of All Time" Defense: "Most comedians are terrible. They should listen to me."

8. Aaaand the "Lindy West Broke My Brain" Defense: "I tell five lesbian jokes, and you went and found one article that was written about me, and you decided to put me in a pigeon-hole."

My bad, Gallagher. My bad. Frowny-face.

I really do feel bad for Gallagher. He is old and bitter and sad. But his ideas are terrible and he has a platform to reach people, so he should be prepared to be called on his shit. Maron does it beautifully.

One last thing I want to mention. At one point, Maron is trying to patiently explain to Gallagher what a stereotype is—why he shouldn't tell jokes about money-hungry Jews—and Gallagher rebuts with yet another stereotype: "Black comedians ONLY talk about the differences between blacks and whites." The idea that "black comedians" deal only in stereotypes is a stereotype about black comedians. A dated, untrue stereotype. Maron doesn't point that out, and I wish he would.

Oh, and one last thing: Apparently you can now follow Gallagher on Twitter. A sample tweet:

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Sigh.

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