Podcast king and comedian Marc Maron
was in Florida over Valentine’s weekend
, and he had some interesting observations about Orlando and Tampa.
In a new episode
of his “WTF” podcast, Maron has a pretty great conversation with journalist (and Mia Farrow-Woody Allen offspring) Ronan Farrow, but he spends the opening minutes of the episode talking about his shows at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live and the Straz Center for Performing Arts in Tampa, which he played on Feb. 15 and Feb. 14, respectively.
"I tried to choose the most grownup-looking of the hotels. There was no theme to the hotel, no pirate theme, no fun and games, no animals. It was the grownup one, kinda," Maron joked. "But it was right within the park. I have no
sense of Orlando. I don't know if it's a real city. I think it's just some sort of corporate mirage that people go to have fun on. I don't know what it is."
“Audiences were tremendous, great audiences. But despite that my opinions on Florida have not changed at all,” Maron said. “Shit went down, some weird shit went down. Nothing violent or hostile or even painful, but Florida is Florida, and if you know what I’m talking about, you know what I’m talking about.”
“Bad food, we had bad food in Florida,” he said about Orlando, which he admitted to being “nervous about” since he didn’t know anything about the town. He pointed out that his hotel was part of the Universal resort theme park.
"I believe our hotel was a ride… it’s not a great ride, it’s not even a haunted house really," he joked. “It’s the sad reality house.”
He copped to beelining out of the City Beautiful to get to Tampa where Maron played the Straz Center, which he described as “pretty fucking nice… [with] a great crowd” in the podcast.
“It’s only an hour-and-a-half to Tampa, but there was no fucking way—no reason—to hang around Orlando,” he said.
When he got here, Maron was perplexed by “hundreds of people” walking around downtown Tampa in period costumes as part of the big real-life “Clue” game
happening on and around the Tampa Riverwalk.
Maron was also unimpressed by Tampa’s changing downtown in general.
“Downtown Tampa, again, I don’t want to judge, but it looks like it halfway happened,” he said. “It looked like there was attempt at some point in time to kind of make it hip, to do something with downtown, and it might've happened for a month or two, or maybe a year, but it’s definitely on the other side of that.”
Maron was impressed, however, by a mediation that went down in the front row when a couple was having an argument that ended up making it into the show for, which the woman allegedly bought tickets for as a Valentine’s Day gift.
“He’s up, visible to the crowd… ‘What is happening, are you fucked up? What’s going on?,’” Maron said about the audience exchange. The woman explained that her date was drunk, but Maron wondered why he had to deal with the couple’s marital problems. He asked them to go and resolve the issue outside before describing how happy he was to see the woman push the man up the aisle and out of the room.
“I was so relieved,” he said. “She took care of it. It would’ve been awful if the guy had to be walked out of security.”
“That was Tampa. Had a couple of woo-ers, which I don’t love as some of you know. But I was very happy; I want to express some gratitude to that woman for managing for her fucking drunk ass husband,” he said. “It did set the show into a weird zone, but I think it pulled out OK.”
Maron goes on to close his Tampa meditation with a heartwarming story about who filled the empty seats after the couple left, but you should listen to him tell it.
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