What’s immediately striking is the tone of his voice. No “Hey, What-the-fuckers!” No “How’s everybody doing?” No jangly guitar theme song. Just a halting, “Hey, OK, it’s Marc.”
On Monday morning, less than 48 hours after his partner, the celebrated director Lynn Shelton, suddenly passed away from a previously undiagnosed blood disorder, Marc Maron was there on his WTF podcast, as he always is, talking directly to listeners about what happened.
The comedian’s voice immediately started to crack as he said the words, “I’m sure most of you know that Lynn Shelton died at about 12:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. She was my partner. She was my girlfriend. She was my friend. And I loved her. I love her a lot. And she loved me. And I knew that.”
Maron, who had been married twice before meeting Shelton, added, “I don’t know that I’d ever felt what I felt with her before. I do know, actually. I did not. I have not.” He said that with Shelton he was “getting used to love” in a way he hadn’t been able to before. “I was so comfortable with this person, with Lynn Shelton,” he said. “And I’m not really that comfortable emotionally or otherwise. But I was—I was able to exist in a state of self-acceptance because of her love for me.”
The host has a deep relationship with his podcast listeners after more than a decade and a total of 1,124 episodes. And he did not hold back in sharing the details of what happened to her. He openly wept as he described how close he had become with Shelton, especially during this quarantine period, and the horror of her fast decline over the past week.
Last Monday on the podcast, Maron talked about his fear that Shelton may have had COVID-19 after she came down with a sore throat and fever. She was able to get tested and received a negative result, so they figured it might be a strep infection. But late Thursday night, he heard her collapse in the hallway and found her unable to move on the floor. “I called 911 and they came and that was the last time I saw her alive, was on the floor, being taken away,” he revealed.
Maron said that the doctors at two different hospitals “tried very hard” to save Shelton’s life, but they “eventually had to let her go.”
“She was an amazing woman,” he said. “She was an inspiration to so many people. So many people loved her. She was a very determined artist.” He said she made him a better person, a better comedian, and a better actor, as evidenced by his unshakable performance in what ended up being her last film, 2019’s Sword of Trust.
Maron grew even more emotional as he said, “No one’s got anything bad to say about Lynn Shelton, that’s for fucking sure.”
He said it’s “really helping” that all of her friends are now reaching out to him. The one moment of dark levity in his monologue came when he added, “I’m so glad that Lynn was so well-loved, because people are like, ‘Let’s make sure that guy’s OK.’” He chuckled and sounded almost like himself for a second when he imagined them thinking, “How’s the cranky guy doing?”
In lieu of a new interview guest, Maron replayed his 2015 conversation with Shelton. It’s something he’s now done for numerous guests who have died in the years after sitting down with him in his garage, including, most notably, Robin Williams.
As he revealed to listeners, that podcast taping was the first time they met. At that time, she was married and he was in a relationship, but he said their connection was “undeniable.”
The first thing he said to her in that interview five years ago was, “I like your movies.”
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