Here we go. I don't understand what is happening exactly, but it's very exciting and confusing. I've had a scoop of peanut butter and some coffee with extra half and half. I hope you have had your equivalent favorite breakfast. Or luncheon.

The reason for this internet interview is that I have a new comedy special out, "the special special special!" that's available now for download for $5 on Chill.

Comments: 2237 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

stanthemanchan568 karma

I don't have a question, but I loved your Nerdist interview and your standup specials and I am really glad you survived your issues. Um I do have a question I guess. How are you doing now?

Edited for link.

mariabamfoo733 karma

I'm really good. Thank you. I didn't believe that I'd feel good again- it's really weird with any illness where you can kind of lose hope, but it just takes a while to find the right meds combo (in my opinion-I know some people believe that you need the right Eagle Priestess) and to slow down. Just like cliches say, you don't know what you've got till you lose it. But it's scary because it takes a while and it's hard to feel that bad without knowing if it's going to get better. Anyhoogasians, I'm real good and making efforts to continue the wellness with combo of drug, therapy, group, dog, caffiene, family, fudge.

govthooker520 karma

hi Maria. this isn't a question, so much as a possibly creepy fangirl overshare, but whatever.

so a couple years back, I was really depressed and anxious and pretty much actively wanted to die all the time. to make a long story short, I was really withdrawn from my friends as a result of the whole thing, and I ended up having to move home from college for a while, and I felt really lonely (to put it mildly). one day, a friend of mine linked me to The Maria Bamford Show on the ol' YouTubes and it pretty much changed my life. to see you be so open about mental illness in an insightful but hilarious way changed my attitude about the stuff I was going through, and helped me to get my mind in a better place. it's therapeutic for me to hear bits about mental illness in your routines, because you present them in a very real but very ridiculous fashion that kind of allows me to step outside my head and laugh at myself and my brainmeats once in a while.

I've come to quite a few shows of yours in but I've been too much of a weenie to wait around to tell you this in person. so thanks, Maria Bamford, for existing

mariabamfoo537 karma

That's awesome that you're feeling better. That's why I made it- so I don't feel as alone. And can laugh about it. I love the word brainmeats. That is a good one. Is it ok for me to use brainmeats in my everyday conversation?

Bolognaous_Monk359 karma

What does brian posehns beard smell like?

mariabamfoo966 karma

Like warm barbecue slim jims.

Bananashirt189 karma

I was going to ask what Patton smells like! Now that would just sound like a derivative of your question. :(

mariabamfoo631 karma

Patton smells like the ocean at dawn.

mungrol303 karma

Maria, is there any chance that there will be another Comedians of Comedy tour?

mariabamfoo286 karma

I don't think so. It was a great gift that Patton gave me and the other comics- bankrolled it, imagined it and such. But I think it's good to move on! The Beards of Comedy are another van of comics traveling the country- check them out at @joezimmerman on twitter! The next generation is here!

mariabamfoo278 karma

Hey! Thanks so much for all of the questions! I am honored and gratitudinal for your interest and wish you an excellent dia. ONWARD! Thanks to and Marc Hustvedt for setting up this science!

Frajer245 karma

Hi Maria do you ever worry your standup is too personal to share with us let alone your parents, or do you find it cathartic to share your demons so to speak?

mariabamfoo605 karma

Well, I live in California- where what I'm sharing really isn't that personal? Real estate agents have short memoirs of their shaman healings in my neighborhood-- so it doesn't feel that brave. And my parents (and family) have always talked about EVERYTHING. I mean everything. So, they're probably wondering, "Why doesn't she open up more?" Mom, Dad, I'm just waiting til I feel like I know you better.

ILoveMariaBamford213 karma

Hey Maria! As you can see, I love you. You are one of my biggest inspirations and one of the reasons I am at college studying comedic screenwriting right now. I HAVE ALL THE QUESTIONS.

  1. As a fellow Minnesotan, whats your favorite Minneapolis restaurant?

  2. Are you and Louie friendly friends or is he too much of a ginge to stand?

  3. Did you receive backlash when you first started doing your satirical "typical female comedian" joke (the one where she is empty inside)? Cause I love that one so if so, fuck them.

  4. Stop hinting at the Arrested Development role and just TELL US WHO YOU ARE PLAYING.

  5. Give us secrets on how you make your voice do all those amazing brain warp things.

  6. Have my blonde babies.


mariabamfoo416 karma

  1. Pizza Luce.
  2. He is a comedy pal, but I don't have his home phone number.
  3. Well, I didn't mean it as a "female comic" type- I meant it as what I wish I could be that would be more FUN and likeable- what seems to go over- I guess I thought it was just a comic in general- who usually does a better job of entertaining an audience then I do. It's born out of insecurity, jealousy of other comics. Oof.
  4. I'm not sure if I can- I thought it was supposed to be some of secret or something because they sent the sides with confidentiality dealios on them. Let's just say, I'm learning to Act!
  5. I really only do about 7 voices- 11 if you make one lower or higher- I'd love to do more, but with social media and pug eye care, I don't have time for creative observation and craft!
  6. I'm 42. I don't know if I can have babies. But if you needed one, I would help you. And they'd have dark brown hair because that is the truth.

Hobbzor187 karma

I love you. Please acknowledge my existence.

mariabamfoo524 karma

You are here now. I read your comment. I respond. You respond. I respond. We are. This is.

KarlyPilkoids180 karma

What was your best/worst experience with a heckler?

mariabamfoo305 karma

There's always a new, more frightening experience to be had, but uhm- let's see-it's been a while. I don't know if it's because I'm a lady, but I mostly get walk-outs instead of direct confrontation.

The person I'd like to most be like with a heckler is like Paul F Thompkins- he is a DELIGHT to watch with hecklers- easy going, fun, elegant and amused. That is what I wish to be, to really listen to the emotions behind the words of what someone is saying. I've been at shows that I hate and have had a few drinks and it is frustrating. They just want to be heard and I think that's why I love live performance- is that heckling can happen.

Last bad one- Vancouver- I really bombed and guy told me to get off- i had no real good response- just sort of tired and went on with my bits.

Last funny one- Portland- this lady had a really really loud laugh that pre-empted every punchline and sometimes set-ups and really, any sound that came out of my mouth. It was really ridiculous. I tried to acknowledge it, but I didn't want her to feel bad and she was laughing- so very interesting, confusing.

paradox28jon179 karma

You had your mom on "The Maria Bamford Show" and now both parents on "the special special special." Any plans on getting your sister Sarah on a video with you?

mariabamfoo354 karma

I'd be more afraid to go up in front of my sister. She's my Apollo Theatre. She's really funny and I don't know if she'd work for less than scale.

m65fieldjacket164 karma

What was it like working in CatDog?

mariabamfoo329 karma

Super good. I was scared the whole time that I was going to get fired- I had been a secretary at Nickelodeon and got the job through just working at the front desk and so, it seemed a little dreamy to be there. People ask how to get into voiceover and my experience is to temp at an animation studio and make your own stuff. Because I am limited to only that experience.

thisfreemind153 karma

Does doing the voices for a Lumpy Space Mom, a Slime Princess, and a Huntress Wizard who live in a post-apocalyptic magical universe meet your expectations of a silly workplace environment?

mariabamfoo151 karma

Ahhahah! YES! That is a very good point. I didn't realize that it's all happened.

Shadow_Boxer144 karma

How did you begin working with Tim and Eric?

mariabamfoo337 karma

They just called my manager and I got to go in. I always thought entertainment was sort of magical but I think it's just like a small town- and once you've lived there 15 years- people start thinking of you as a resident. "Oh, is that lady still out there on Miller Trunk Highway selling hot tubs? Huh, well, we do need a hot tub." I have a billboard off the 2.

Laughterkey137 karma

What was the worst job you had as a teenager?

mariabamfoo375 karma

I worked at Sbarro, the Italian Eatery at the mall. It was just hard because of the lying. "How long has that been sitting there?" "About 9 hours, but we can heat it up for you!". I was supposed to say that it just got out of the oven. (9 hours ago)

andy6891618 karma

At Miller Hill Mall?

cbaci24 karma

I worked at MHMall Hickory farms, I had to hand out slices of beef stick during the holidays.

mariabamfoo74 karma

i've been there! Smells real good around the holidays!

thombudsman135 karma

What's the strangest thing a stranger has said to you?

mariabamfoo639 karma

There's a weird thing that people have said- after a few drinks- where a wife will say, "You're on my husband's celebrity list". Meaning who you'd have sex with if you had an opportunity, I guess. That is odd. Especially since, having sex with a stranger- I'd be all trembly and cold and probably, not guaranteed, most mostly likely, have some tears involved because he'd be drunk and his wife would be there.

lindseypalooza110 karma

Hi Maria, I met you at your show in Atlanta last spring. You told me that you didn’t think you would ever book a gig in Birmingham, AL (close to where I live) but I think you would do really well at the Bottletree! Please, please, please look into it! It’s a really cool venue. Patton Oswalt did well there and I’m sure you would too. We’re not so bad in Alabama, I promise. :)

mariabamfoo169 karma

I want to go! This is my booker's email- [email protected]! He will do a door deal with anyone who wants to set it up! What happens is that a theatre will contact me with a guarantee of air and a minimum of wage and then a split of the door. If you have the promoting moxie or it's on your vision board, contact TJ at Gersh in Beverly Hills! Beverly Hills, where everyone is welcome!

[deleted]95 karma


mariabamfoo247 karma

I think one about a co-working Venette and TEMP WANT CAKE. I still do a n old, old bit at the end of most shows "Pterodactyl Song" which I feel a little ashamed about- that I should think of something new, but oh well.

nawtyeravgjoe83 karma

kill, fuck, marry: Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn

mariabamfoo286 karma

Ok. This is a difficult game. Well, if you marry, then, you get to fuck, right? Arggh. But according to some comics, the fuck stops after marry. And killing is wrong. Except if it were improv- then, you've got to do whatever comes to mind because the scene is in charge. Hmph. OK. You know what- I would fuck all of them. And when I say, "fuck" I mean, mindfully touch, noticing their body and state of mind, in the moment and not forcing, but pleasuring. They're good guys.

squirrelsinmypants82 karma

Hello Maria! Long time listener, first time caller.

Alright, so say that The Maria Bamford Show was picked up by one of the big broadcasting stations. How would you have gone about adapting it to a more regular format? What changes would have been made to make it more palatable or would you just say fuck it and kept it the way it is?

If you answer this or not, I'd just like to say thank you for the work you've done. You are easily one of the best comedians working today.

mariabamfoo125 karma

I had an opportunity to do development of the idea for animation and I just felt tapped out on the idea. Like, it's sort of a done deal for my brain and now I'm interested in other things. I'd love to make something - a series that would work like it has with where there aren't a lot of people involved- where you can just make it and it doesn't have to go through a bunch of committees. I'd like to be a part of a show- Arrested Development was a dream come true because it was all of those elements- really creative- but also I didn't have to be in charge of everything. I don't know if I like Leadership.

ArtTeacherFriend82 karma

Maria, You are wonderful. I have been living alone for a couple of years now and have been wondering if I should get a cat? What do you think? Should I get a cat?

mariabamfoo229 karma

YES! CAT POSITIVE!!!!!! CAT! A big, older chubby one? A rascally whippet? I'm pro-cat- though allergic- and can't wait till you GET A CAT!

m65fieldjacket80 karma

What do you want for christmas?

mariabamfoo200 karma

To be able to talk to all of my neighbors. And get inside of their homes somehow (as a guest). I want to know what's going on with everybody.

Also, the williingness to cook.

dadmachine74 karma

Hi Maria, What is your favorite place to get pizza? Both chain and small local places

You do a decent amount of work (voice acting/stand up/acting), what has been your favorite project to work on?

PS: I loved the Special Special Special!

mariabamfoo231 karma

Brownstone Pizzeria in Eagle Rock is where I order from- Bert likes it- he can drag a large piece quietly from the living room without anyone noticing because of the light crust.

Whatever that I'm doing in the present is my favorite- like Adventuretime- that show is so creative and lovely and the actors on it are so good- it's fun to watch people be good at their jobs.

Volraith70 karma

Hey Maria, love your stand up. Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

mariabamfoo204 karma

OK. This is important. 100 duck sized horses. Ducks seem very aggro. Horses have soft snouts and I feel like, if I had the right attitude, we could learn to understand eachother- I could press the their haunches with my thumb and they would know that I wanted to go back to the ranch.

naught2shabby69 karma

Hello, Ms. Bamford. I loved, loved, loved the Special Special Special. Even thought I am broke I paid for the version with the autographed poster. My question is, as an aspiring comedian and generally special person, when you're creating your sets how do you turn the negative voices down or tell them to stfu?

mariabamfoo146 karma

The best cure for creative self-consciousness, creative jealousy, etc. from what I've read or what's helped me- is creativity. So, I write 3 pages of nonsense a day, I'll commit to a pal that I'm going to write 10 premises and then call them back, I'll PAY somebody to just watch me practice (trolls welcome to comment here)- just so I can go through a whole bunch of stuff. Just do whatever it is and that seems to shut everything up. But I have a hard time too sometimes- I think everybody does.

cbaci64 karma

Hi Maria, we have snow here in Duluth, come and shovel your family sidewalk please

mariabamfoo96 karma

Ah! My family lives on Little Lake Pequaym where there IS no sidewalk! Ha! And my sister lives in a sidewalkless enclave! But, I did scrape ice off their driveway a week ago in a pair of borrowed Uggs. My neices did most of the work. But I do enjoy shoveling. What is your addy and I will come in March.

mungrol60 karma

Maria, how long does it take to build and prepare for a comedy special. What is your process like?

mariabamfoo143 karma

I had about 5 years worth of material for an hour and I just had to be done with it. I was so sick of the material- that's it. I just wanted to get it out. Now, I'm so excited to have NEW BITS! But in order to prepare I just practiced it over and over again for other comics- asking for only constructive feedback like- "Hey, you're mumbling." or "I don't understand what you mean by any of that because you didn't use verbs." But the thing that is really fun IS the process, IS the new bits- like writing something just to fill an hour isn't as appealing to me as just working on the tender vittles as they come.

ajduffel8360 karma


mariabamfoo195 karma

I always feel embarrassed that I don't know much about music- because I know it's a serious art form and I don't go to a lot of live stuff- though I know it's awesome. Here is what I've seen in concert: India Arie- which, I was blown away by her scarf work- I hadn't been to a concert in about 10 years and I was like- whoa! This scarf thing is new! It was awesome and she came into the crowd and I thought I've GOT to go see more live music. It's been 5 years now. These are my radio stations- Top 40, Top 40 English/Spanish, KCRW, KPCC and then, classical- though I never listen to classical. I just bookmark it for classical emergencies, I guess.

countrockulot45 karma

What's your favorite episode of Star Trek TNG and why? Thanks.

mariabamfoo177 karma

This is going to be really sad and disrespectful, but though I played a Bajoran for Paramount Parks in 1995-1996, I never actually watched the series. That's wrong and not good. I cannot make up for this. Discomfort.

bkogrady45 karma

Hey Maria. I'm a comic in Austin, TX (look forward to seeing you tomorrow). Myself and an awful lot of comedians that I know have loved your work and considered you a great inspiration to our comedy. What other comics are inspiring you right now?

mariabamfoo66 karma

I love my friends because I get to see their bits develop- Jackie Kashian, the young Baron Vaughn and Joe Zimmerman- I'm always inspired by anybody doing it- at any "level". I really admire Paul F Thompkins- he's a beautiful storyteller and I feel like there are way to many to mention. I'm really inspired by people just starting- like yourself- because every time is like starting all over again- I feel like I get MORE stage fright now than I ever did. But besides comedy, anyone who is just TRYING something- is inspiring.

JustinNoir43 karma

Hi Maria!!! Huge fan of yours, purchased your special the other day and was laughing out loud the entire time! I listened to you on The Nerdist podcast the other day and it couldn't have come at a better time, hearing you speak about your struggles with depression and how you dealt with it (the bit about how many bad ideas you've had and didn't pursue) and it really made me laugh when I needed it more than ever. Thank you. :) P.S. How was it working with Louis C.K. for "Louie"? Are you and Louie friends? Was the part written for you?

mariabamfoo73 karma

I'm so glad! I share about it so that I don't feel as embarrassed about it- It was scary to do "acting" because I don't have a ton of experience with it, but Louie was really kindly and it was so wonderful to see somebody really taking responsibility for his creative vision- he works cameras, he edits, he acts, does standup- it's a small crew, like just awesome- no intense makeup hair costumery- really simple. Mitch Hurwitz on AD seemed the same way- just really enjoying himself, making something and it was really inspiring. I know Louie through work, but not super well- just admire his work and I don't know if it was written for me, but I am grateful I got it!

colkurtz740 karma

Hey Maria, One of the many things I love about you is how easily you can throw your voice into a very real sounding voice. I also love your voice you use on stage but I have always wondered if that is your neutral voice.

mariabamfoo92 karma

I think it is. my sister has the same voice. You can review for yourself at where she is a life coach with video blogs on animal totems and decorating. She is also a licensed pathologist and mother of 4. And has that voice. It's possible to thrive with this disability.

grammargiraffe36 karma

Hey Maria,

I've now watched the Special Special Special three times [with different audiences--trying to spread the gospel a little]. It's possibly one of the bravest and most honest pieces of art I've seen. [If you guys haven't seen it, really, check it out. It makes Louie look guarded and safe by comparison].

My question, I guess, is how do you keep yourself to such a standard of integrity in your act? It seems that "alternative comedy" is really in a boom period [Tig and Louis and Patton and a whole bunch of others], so is it a matter of your peers? Or is it just this lonely thing where you're out on the edge, alone? [edit: I don't mean to make you sound like this outsider artist or anything, but it just seems like you're going pretty damn deep into psychological and sociological matters in your standup]

mariabamfoo57 karma

Well, again, in LA- I'm not that big an outsider - at least in the rooms I play a lot of people are doing similar things, I think. And with the internet, I get worried now that I get sort of coddled in this insulated bubble of love- which I'm on the fence whether it's good or not- like I get worried I don't work as hard to hone material because people are already on board? But at the same time, life is short and do I want to go and do shows where my material might not be welcome/appropriate for the crowd? Now I can't remember what you've asked, but there's a huge warm community in LA for comedy- for real- and lots of support- it seriously hasn't been hard at all- I've been real lucky.

ajduffel8330 karma


mariabamfoo136 karma

OK! Maybe I can get a regular 2 minute work-in at the Grand Ole Opry. I can just do my suicide chunk with a southern accent and I'm sure it will totally translate. I can do any room. Except most rooms.

HeyLookATaco28 karma

Hi Maria! You're my favorite comedian, thanks for letting us ask you stuff. How long did you do stand up before you found your comedic voice? Were you always a story teller? Do you have any advice for a new comedian trying to find their voice?

mariabamfoo72 karma

Just do it. Do what you think is funny. Do it again and again. Fail, try, try, fail, enjoy, triumph, again. That's all there is. We're all in the same boat- i'm just as scared as you are. I've always been sort of shy and passive aggressive (which I hope is changing) and stand-up has been comfortable for me. It's a way to say what I want without being challenged- which of course would be different if I did a lot of shows in the UK - where heckling is an art form. Just do it. You are your biggest fan.

RubyFTW25 karma

Maria what was being on Louie like and how well did you know Louis C.K. beforehand? edit: How much of a say did you have in your lines in the show?

mariabamfoo58 karma

I did all lines as written. And I'd opened for Louie a few times and chatted at shows, but I don't have access to his facebook password.

pjb8t19 karma

Did your family have pugs growing up, or were they something you discovered an affinity for later in life?

mariabamfoo49 karma

I took a dog calculator quiz on the internet and the best dog for me was "PUG"- sedentary lifestyle, don't mind shedding.

bookoisseur18 karma

What is your favorite book?

mariabamfoo47 karma

I like a lot of books- but here's a few, Madness by Marya Hornbacher, Lit by Mary Karr, Kathy Griffin's Autobiography, the new biography of David Foster Wallace- which I can't remember the title of, and then, my mom gets this magazine, "Guideposts" which is chicken soup for the soul type Christian stories that are sort of ludicrously awesome.

mycleach18 karma

Hey Maria! Do you ever come to any open mics around minneapolis? There is one at the corner bar that is pretty cool, and it'd be awesome to see you there!

mariabamfoo27 karma

YES! I love open mics! Sometimes I get too tired- I tried to go to one last time I was in MSP at Grumpy's but it was cancelled and 2 comics told me outside the bar so I didn't sit all night waiting to go up : ) I signed up too late to go up at one in Duluth- you have to sign up the night before.

elvellon0315 karma

Hi Maria! My boyfriend, our bunny and myself loved your Special Special Special so darn much. Those cookies you made looked so good. Do you often bake? Is it a hobby? What are some things you typically bake?

mariabamfoo24 karma

They were Hollywood cookies. I didn't make them! I make drives to my friend Amy's house for cookies that she has made.

bwandice15 karma

Dear Maria,

Do you ever put on your alternate voices in real life just to see what it's like to live another life?

mariabamfoo38 karma

No, but it seems like it'd be a great idea- I'd just feel bad that I was "lying" to somebody? But I dye my hair white blonde- I don't know why but it keeps getting blonder and blonder and I'm looking into it with social worker- and I go around acting like I'm a blonde. Hm. I will think about this. Have you done that?