Speaking from his front porch in California most mornings for about an hour on Instagram, Maron has been sharing his grief and the minutia of every day life in quarantine.
He generally signals his nearly 900,000 followers on Twitter before his live appearances, saying he’ll “be over in the other place in about 15 minutes.” He’ll then start rolling as he carries on with daily tasks, like taking his recycling to the curb or preparing his coffee.
The bespectacled and bearded Maron observes nature, eats salted watermelon, sips smoothies and shares what he’s having for lunch. He answers viewers’ questions as they pop up in his feed, revealing stories about his past drug use, daily hikes or updates about his cat Buster, who Maron feels has grown irritated with him now that all his attention is focused solely on the pet.
But mostly, he shares his sadness, for Shelton, for his beloved cat, Monkey, who died in August, and for the divisiveness that has taken over the country.
Shelton had moved in with Maron early in the pandemic, he has said, and died suddenly from an undiagnosed blood disorder. Maron recently pointed to Shelton’s coat and hat, still hanging on the coat rack by his front door. Her cowboy boots are lined up below. Maron said he uses these items to “summon” her when he needs to.
“She was my partner. She was my girlfriend. She was my friend. And I loved her. A lot. And she loved me, and I knew that,” Maron said in an episode of his “WTF” podcast following her death.
“It’s awesome to hear stories about Lynn. It sounds like she was a wonderful person,” one viewer commented Monday, as Maron shared a broth recipe Shelton loved.
Mourning is painful and mourning amid a pandemic that’s keeping us apart even more so. Maron seems to be leaning into his audience as they turn to him.
“If I can’t hang out with friends, I can hang out with Marc every morning,” wrote another commenter on Monday.
Like many in this time, Maron admits that he sometimes feels alone, is nervous about the coronavirus, wildfires, the government, the Earth, among countless other things. He’s sometimes paranoid, other times grouchy but also hopeful.
Maron said his Instagram appearances are, in part, an opportunity for him to work out his comedy, in case you didn’t get that.
When viewers ask when he will get back to stand up, he often replies, “I’m doing it right now.”
He’ll look up and reference the number of viewers on the top right of his screen. “Seven hundred people, not a bad crowd.”
And then he signs off.