They expect him to be funny, articulate, insightful and slightly profane. The listeners -- whom Maron usually greets with "How's it going, What the Fuckineers, What the Fucksters?" or other similar nicknames -- then get an intimate monologue about Maron's life before an hourlong-or-more interview with everyone from Iggy Pop to Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, David Sedaris, Cheech and Chong and almost every comedian -- up-and-coming and otherwise -- on the club circuit these days.
He's that guy. But taller.
"There's nothing more intimate than audio. The relationship people have with it is very specific and individual, and very powerful," Maron says.
The comic's candor, his killer guest list and skill at engaging famous folks in conversation have drawn legions of devoted fans all over the world.
But this is the third, or even fourth act for this longtime standup comic, whose journey has led him to podcasting and now an IFC TV series starting production on its second season.
"I think the perseverance is just really about" -- he takes a long pause here -- "I didn't really have another plan. I didn't have a plan B. And after a certain point, even if you have one, it kind of disappears. I mean, what are you practically going to do after a certain point?"
As fans of his podcast know, Maron just turned 50, started standup in the 1980s just as the comedy club scene was dying, has written two books, loves cats, is divorced twice and is mildly obsessed with Lorne Michaels.
"I had plenty of opportunities. I was a respected comic. I had my own angle on things. In '95 I did an HBO special," he says. "I've been on Comedy Central Presents. I've been on Conan 50 times. And you can build it, and they may not come. You can't manufacture what may make people gravitate toward you. I just could never sell tickets. I worked all the time but not for a lot of money."
His authenticity -- something he pursues and is drawn to with an almost zealot-like fervor -- underlines the pursuit of his vocation. "Fortunately and unfortunately, I never saw it as a career," Maron says at his cluttered home's dining room table where a box of Nicorette lozenges sits alongside a copy of his latest book, "Attempting Normal," a laptop and other effluvia of a performer.
"When I first started doing comedy, I just knew I wanted to be a comic. I knew I had things to say and I wasn't sure what those things were, but I wanted to do it on that stage."
His garage is famous. It's pretty small, but that's where he does his interviews, and it is crammed with books, CDs, art, tchotchkes and lots of tributes from fans, including several amazing portraits, a one-sheet from a "Gimme Shelter" re-release, a framed cartoon of Maron berating a dejected-looking Fozzie bear, and several guitars.
"By the time I started the podcast (in 2009), I had given up on a lot of things," he says. "I didn't think I'd be relevant as a comic. Whatever TV aspirations I had, I had to let go. It was heartbreaking. I started the podcast with no real expectations and it just sort of evolved into this thing."
Sitting in his garage, alone, creating the introductions to the interviews allowed him the luxury of thinking out loud. "Once I got comfortable talking into the mics without anyone around it was a major breakthrough. And once I started to do longer-form interviews it was more about me needing to talk to people than it was necessarily what those people were up to."
The podcasting has other benefits. "It certainly informs my comedy. For the first time in my life I had done something, I had achieved something that was relevant to people, that had a lot of effect on a lot of different levels on people. I got something I never had before -- some genuine self-esteem."
Audiences can see for themselves in his standup special for Netflix, "Marc Maron: Thinky Pain."
"If you watch 'Thinky Pain' -- it's an hour and a half of comedy. People don't really do those anymore," he says. "I was very specific about how it was shot, and I wanted to honor how I do standup and I don't think I've ever done better standup than I'm doing now.