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Comedian Maria Bamford

Maria Bamford on her comedy, mental illness, parents and pugs.

From "Maria Bamford: the Special Special Special!"

From “Maria Bamford: the Special Special Special!”

Maria Bamford is the kind of comedian who doesn’t slow down for the slow wing of the audience.  She lays it all out there, full of twists and turns and the mind’s curlicues and says, in effect, hang on.  Through religion and family, shame and shopping, sex and suicide and the mind’s dark side.  She’s had her own issues there, bipolar, and just keeps going.  With “Arrested Development,” Louis CK, her own albums.  She’s the American Comedy Awards “ Best Club Comic, 2014.”  And she’s with us.  This hour, On Point:  Comedian Maria Bamford, on life.

- Tom Ashbrook


Maria Bamford, comedian and actress. Winner of the 2014 American Comedy Award for “Best Club Comic.” She co-created, wrote, and stars in the Funny or Die web series “The Program.” Her latest comedy album is “Ask Me About My New God!” and her comedy special “The Maria Bamford: the Special Special Special!” is available online and on Netflix. (@mariabamfoo)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: The Weird, Scary and Ingenious Brain of Maria Bamford — “Much of Bamford’s work examines the relationship between “people” — generally well-intentioned friends and family — and those who grapple with depression or anxiety or any other challenge to the psyche. Her act is a series of monologues and mini-skits performed rapid fire and often without regard for transition. Deploying a range of deadpan voices, she mimics the faux-enlightened who hover around the afflicted, offering toothless platitudes (“You just need to get out in nature”), bootstrapping pep talks (“It’s all about attitude. You gotta want it!”) or concern warped by self-interest (“You’d think you’d just stop vomiting for me and the kids”).”

The Toast: “I’ll Be Alright” — “This is risky comedy. By disguising her intelligence in goofy voices, she risks looking like a nutcase. She doesn’t bother to slow down or explain herself. She uses words like “pugilism” and “prehensile,” the audience be damned.”

LaughSpin: Diagnosis, Maria Bamford – “Bamford is known for manipulating her voice and facial expressions to transform on stage into her family, friends, and other hypothetical or universal types, which often means deftly embodying multiple characters at once in a stream-of-consciousness storytelling style.” 

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  • Boz K

    Maria gives me cheek cramps.

    • Eppie Griffin

      ha ha good description.

  • geraldfnord

    Commendations for her diverse and seemingly interested work on “Adventure Time”; I rank her V.O. acting talent with LaMarche’s and Kenny’s, not quite as high or as wide-ranging, but with time….

    Given her non-violent history despite some of the intrusive thoughts to which she is prone, I’d like to see her play a rôle of the ‘noble monster’ category that’s popped-up a lot recently, for example the vampire who refuses to live as a predator (and probably solves crimes with a plucky side-kick, because television likes best what it’s seen before), or for that matter, Dexter. (Pat Cadigan has an excellent story “The Power and the Passion”, featuring a character with characteristics of both…and prone to intrusive, ultraviolent fantasies he calls ‘flash movies’, on which term’s aptness I’d to hear Ms Bamford’s take.)

    And here’s to her bravery for taping a stand-up special before a tough crowd, that being her parents…..

  • 1Brett1

    Oh, man, her jokes on prehensile appendages are hysterical!

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    She said, “Bamf”. Huh-huh-huh-huh …

  • http://www.PeaPickleFarm.com Leslie Allen

    I met Maria’s parents a few years ago at the farmers market in Marquette, Michigan, when they stopped at my booth and we started talking and a half hour or more later we had laughed so much and had such interesting conversations. Her father gave me his business card which listed so many things, including his children and their websites, and then her mother added even more information, and they told me about Maria being a comedian and I figured if she was anything like her parents, she would be damn funny. And she is.

  • hennorama

    Ms. Bamford’s bravery in discussing her own struggles, and then successfully channeling them into humor is wonderful, and she is hilarious.

  • 1Brett1

    Great comment, Lilian!

  • Andrea Stephen

    And here’s to her bravery for taping a stand-up special before a tough crowd, that being her parents…..

  • nj_v2

    Listened from on the road. Was unfamiliar with Ms. Bamford. Funny, brave woman. Good stuff!

  • CasioCA32W

    I feel like Maria is a hidden treasure and I sort of hate to see her get huge. I want her all to myself! Any time I need a pick me up, I just put on a youtube of her and it never fails to brighten my day.

  • Regular_Listener

    We’re all entitled to our opinions of course, but it didn’t seem to me like he was doing that. She was bringing it up as much as he was. I think she wanted to talk about it. She wants people to know.

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