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The Hollywood Reporter Unveils Comedy Class of 2013

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    Comedy Issue
    Marc Maron
    Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
    Marc Maron
    Podcast Phenomenon

    When Jonathan Winters died April 11, many in the comedy world turned to Maron for insight on the passing of the 87-year-old legend.

    "That hour I spent with him was a high point of my life," says Maron, 49, of the March 2011 interview he did at Winters ' Montecito, Calif., home for Maron's WTF podcast. "He was a genius, he loved life, and I was so honored to be able to contextualize him for people who never knew his comedy." 

    Maron's passion for the craft -- and blistering openness about his struggles with drugs and dysfunctional relationships -- has made him a star in his own right: Since 2009, the New Jersey native's podcast has become the most coveted destination for comics to come clean and kvetch (check out his August 2011 chat with Andrew Dice Clay), with more than 75 million overall downloads and an average of 2.4 million a month.

    STORY: Why Podcasts Are Comedy's Second Coming: Adam Carolla, Marc Maron and Greg Proops Weigh In (Q&A)

    WTF's success has spawned not only Maron's just-published memoir, Attempting Normal, but also a scripted TV series, Maron, which premieres May 3 on IFC. The show, a fictionalized version of the podcast, is set to feature Denis Leary, Adam Scott and Jeff Garlin, among others.

    "Honestly, I'd given up on anything like this happening," says Maron. "I approach everything with earnestness -- that's how I do the podcast and the TV show. I'm glad it's finally working out!"

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