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