FTS Q&A: Bob Marley

Maine’s most successful comedian, Bob Marley, is making his triumphant return to Orono to play the Collins Center for the Arts on Friday October 4th and we have an exclusive interview with the man himself.

A native of Bangor, Bob spent his later youth growing up in Portland and attending Deering High School. He went on to attend UMaine Farmington which makes him an honorary member of Fill The Steins Nation in our book. In a career that has stretched over 20 years, Marley displays the experience of a road veteran while maintaining current and relevant content and observations. He has performed on every late night talk show from Leno to Letterman as well as being featured on Comedy Central multiple times; so when he agreed to sit down with us we were more than thrilled.

FTS: Thanks so much for taking time out of your tour schedule to talk to us. Having spent so much time in the entertainment industry out on the west coast, it must be great to be doing shows back home in this neck of the woods right?

Bob: I love it here. I live in Maine now after spending eleven years in Los Angeles and it’s great to be back. I’ve been to every state and 15 countries and I have to say that Maine is still my favorite place.

FTS: You grew up in the Portland area, can you tell us when and where your first comedy gig was and how it went?

Bob: My first gig was actually at UMaine Farmington at a “stress relief fair” sponsored by all the health majors (I was one). It went great, I still have the video. I wince if I watch it now, but at the time it worked.

FTS: So having attended a UMaine college you are an honorary Black Bear. Speaking of your time at Farmington, what was the college experience like for you?

Bob: It was a free ride to go skiing every single day at Sugarloaf and I made a lot of great friends. I lived with my girlfriend who is now my wife and we had a blast up there. I had a job at Sugarloaf in the Health Club and that was just so much fun. I love Sugarloaf.

FTS: Wow, so your comedy career started in Farmington and then took root in the Portland comedy clubs, so what is your favorite venue to play in Maine and why?

Bob: I loved the Comedy Connection in Portland but they closed down a year or so ago. I really like Stone Mountain in Brownfield, the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, and also Jonathan’s in Ogunquit. There are lots of great places that are fun to play in Maine.

FTS: Let’s talk television for a minute. You’ve performed on virtually every late night show, is there a funny story from one of your television appearances that most of your fans don’t know about that you care to share?

Bob: Actually, I brought my Mom to Jimmy Fallon once and she got lost. I went to park the car and when I came back she was gone. It wasn’t until I was on stage actually taping the show that I saw her in the front row. She had a bad tooth so she was slurping her gums loudly so the whole audience could hear. Good times.

FTS: Several years back I seem to remember some mention of you working on your own network sitcom where you would play “a guy from Maine”, but ultimately you didn’t like the way Maine or your character was written and you decided to turn down the offer. That’s a pretty strong indicator of the type of person you are, can you talk about that experience a little bit?

Bob: The portrayal of my character was just not me or Maine, it made us look really stupid. It’s kind of like, I can make fun of my own family but you can’t. It was mutual between NBC and me that we never went to pilot. The script just wasn’t good enough in my opinion.

FTS: Fair enough, that shows you’re a man of character and I can respect that. Let’s finish up with a character question that we like to ask everyone we interview. When it is time to fill your stein, what is your beverage of choice?

Bob: Jameson if I’ve got nowhere to be for three days. Otherwise it would be Pabst, Coors, Miller or Schlitz if I’m just drinking!

You can purchase tickets for Marley’s performance at the Collins Center through his website or through the CCA box office page. Special thanks to Bob for taking time out of his tour schedule to speak with us and we’re hoping for a sold out show in Orono on October 4th.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bob Marley via bmarley.com

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