Jodi Lennon is a NYC based comedian whose past works include the Comedy Central sketch show series Exit 57, films Shock Asylum, Fatty Drives the Bus, and is the co-author of The Date Book. Her latest project is a documentary which follows comedian Marc Maron circa 2001 the week of 9/11 called Marc Maron: Voice of Something. She did a screening last week at The PIT to a packed audience. There were appearances by Chris Gethard, Jena Friedman, and Leo Allen. The event was hosted by The Talent Show’s Elna Baker & Kevin Townley. We got a chance to chat with Jodi after the show about the documentary and here is what she had to say about her Maron doc, road trips and feral cats.
What inspired you to start following Marc around with a camera in 2001?
Ha! I went to Great Neck with him to a therapy appointment. I never got into the office.
What were some of your and Marc’s other favorite past times?
Past times? From that day? Not from that day but just as having Marc as a neighbor two things come to mind. He was always baking and not wanting to eat everything he baked so I was always getting treats. That was awesome! He makes delicious scones. Also, I helped Marc catch his cats. It was during the Republican National Convention in 2004. We caught four feral cats from behind our building. It was a little crazy. I wish I had footage of that. It was like releasing caffeinated squirrels into his apartment. I hear they are much more tame now.
You were neighbors in his famous Queens apartment. Who lived there first? How did you guys officially meet?
I met Marc at HBO Downtown. We both were working on HBO produced shows so we had offices close to each other. I had been looking for a new apartment and I wanted something big, Chicago style so I looked in Astoria. I saw a bunch of stuff. I didn’t know Astoria and I felt lost. I bumped into Marc at the subway stop and told him I just looked at places and he asked where. It turned out I saw something in his building, so I took it. I liked the idea of having someone in the building that I knew.
Marc really seemed to lean on your opinion throughout the film, does he still call you up for advice?
We had spent 10 hours together so we had a major bonding thing happening. No, he doesn’t ask me for advice but we do keep in touch. Like modern people do: via text.
The film is technically a short, have you considered expanding the film into a full length documentary?
I have ten rich hours of footage. It was a lot of work trying to make it into 18 minutes. I cut out big chunks of the day, (great neck!) but I like the length. I’m proud of how we, my editor Nick Mougis and I, edited it.
You have also directed, written, and starred in several UCB Comedy short. What type of film making do you enjoy more? Documentary or comedy style?
Comedy is my comfort zone. I’ve been doing it for so long and it’s what I love. Even though this is a doc with a serious subject there is humor.
What else do you have on the horizon? Any new film projects in the works?
I just directed a one-man show, fooling around with Casey Jost. We have a few dates in NYC and at The Annoyance in Chicago. I’m also traveling with the Maron doc to festivals. I have a few exciting new things going on but I don’t like to discuss things until they are finished.
If you are in the Chicago area next month you can catch Marc Maron: The Voice of Something on Tuesday November 8th or 9th at the The Annoyance Theatre at 7PM. Find out more about Jodi Lennon on her website or follow her on twitter.