"My heroes were always drug addicts," Marc Maron begins his interview with CNN's Red Chair series. "It wasn't a sports guy. It was always the beatniks. Burroughs, Keith Richards, Lenny Bruce."
To regular listeners of the comedian's acclaimed podcast "WTF with Marc Maron," this confession is nothing new. Since launching in 2009, Maron's podcast has set itself apart from other comedy-centric podcasts by Maron's devotion to exploring his interview subjects' lives with more bite than some of his competition. (In the episode released today, for instance, Maron interviews rocker Jack White about his religious upbringing.)
And as Maron states in this CNN interview, his own past with drugs informs this curiosity.
"I did my graduate work in chopping coke for Sam," Maron says. That would be the late comedian Sam Kinison, whose entourage Maron found himself in upon moving to Los Angeles in the '80s. But the lifestyle proved to be too much for Maron, and eventually his mental health took a toll.
"It's weird when you hear voices in your head. It's never one. It's always many. And you spend a lot of time trying to get them to pick a leader." (Maron has been sober for over a decade.)
Be sure to check out the entire interview, in which Maron discusses his past with Louis C.K. and why he doesn't like for his show to be categorized as "therapy" for anyone. Plus, the video features some pretty great vintage photos of Maron.