Here we go again. I still don’t understand what’s happening exactly, but it’s very exciting and confusing.

The reason for my second Reddit internet interview is because I just launched a 12 part web-series called “Ave Maria Bamford” on Topic.com. No, never heard to it? Of course not. There is a tidal wave of content heading towards your already-flooded, ocean-side iPhone. Take care of yourself. But if you'd like to watch a flawed person in a jazzy bishop’s costume suggest that the Worst may be the Best — this may be for you. Then again, it may be offensively flip on a range of issues that are genuinely heartbreaking. “Ask Me Anything!” unless of course you are from my troll demographic (young dads of children, under the age of 5, living in a suburb of Denver)……

Proof: https://i.redd.it/7btac8yrfr401.jpg

Watch Ave Maria Bamford here.

Edit: Thank you for all the great questions. Signing off now. I'll let you know next time I'm back.

Comments: 229 • Responses: 41  • Date: 

kmoneyixaj53 karma

Hey Maria! You are my favorite stand up comedian. I've seen your show twice. I actually got a tattoo inspired by one of your jokes.

So I guess my question is....whatcha think?

https://i.imgur.com/uM7aS7w.jpg

Edit: Oh! And also I'm a therapist, thank you for talking so openly about mental health! :)

topicstories41 karma

GORGEOUS! WOWEEE! That is so pretty!! And thank you for your service to our nation.

AquaFox33 karma

As a person with bipolar disorder you have been a huge inspiration to me. You've encouraged me to be myself even if I'm extremely weird. I also find your comedy to be sophisticated, can you enlighten us on who your inspirations are? Also which comedians to look out for?

Thanks for being you.

topicstories26 karma

I love any comedian in front of me. Seriously, I am a big fan of comedians, in general- in LA, a young man named Vince Caldera is just great -coming out of Glassel Park, I love Vance Sanders- a comedian working in LA for 25 years who has run a show here for as many years and always has new, fresh topical material at his show BARK in Pasadena, a great show called GENTRIFICATION hosted by Danielle Perez in Highland park. Seriously, Google comedy and your zip code and you may find your next favorite comic!

HasaDiga_Eebowai27 karma

Is DeBrie Bardeaux going to be in season 5 of Arrested Development?

topicstories53 karma

Yes!

SackOfHellNo26 karma

Maria, I want you to know that you are one of my idols, and you help me feel less crazy and less alone. Even though I don't know you. I bought your adorable critter shirt as a reminder that you support me, and a reminder that we're all just weird people doing our best. I also bought tickets to your Salt Lake show because not seeing your act would actually ruin my month.

I guess I have a few questions. What is your favorite book? When you feel like you're losing grip, how do you pull it back? What is the most valuable thing anyone has ever told you?

Again, thank you for everything.

topicstories29 karma

The Artists Way was given to me by Frank Conniff (follow him on Twitter!) and it really changed my life (I think).

Sometimes, things get so bad, that nothing can really make you feel "better", but I know asking for help (even from strangers- phone operators, suicide hotlines, delta airlines representatives) can be oddly helpful in a pinch.

Stephendost24 karma

How did Mom and Dad enjoy their acting debut on Lady Dynamite?

topicstories34 karma

They were a little exhausted by it, but they both got scale SAG and so, i think it was worth it.

StaySeatedPlease19 karma

If you were Santa Claus, what would you put in Donald Trump's stocking this Christmas?

topicstories67 karma

Influenza. Just enough to stop him from doing things for 2 weeks. It might save a few lives.

TheLegendaryWindMstr19 karma

What's your favorite food and why?

topicstories53 karma

I love peanut butter and diet coke. A scoop in the morning with a cold DC straight from the fridge is a real wake-up call.

suaveitguy17 karma

How has mental health stigma hurt you professionally? Is eroding it a conscious goal of yours?

topicstories36 karma

Well, obviously, I don't really know about jobs I didn't get. And entertainment is much more lenient, liberal and understanding about mental health issues than any other industry. (My manager said when I called him from the psych ward- "Oh! I have two other clients with bipolar- call me when you feel better!") If it has, I don't care- I didn't have much to lose by being open about it and it turns out, weirdly, it's been a cash cow, haha.

Em_Adespoton13 karma

What sort of humor do you find the funniest?

topicstories25 karma

Maria: I love all types of Hu-MORE! I like a joke that is well-written and thoughtful, but I also appreciate a fall into a bramble.

MilkPocket9113 karma

Dammit, I can’t think of anything to ask, but I really like your stand up.

Umm, see any good movies lately?

topicstories21 karma

THE SHAPE OF WATER!!!!!!! So beautiful!!!!

larginstar9012 karma

Hey Maria- Which segment from "Ave Maria Bamford" was your favorite to shoot? Did you make up all your material on the spot or was it a script?

topicstories19 karma

I really enjoyed Single Mother and Early Death with Baron Vaughn as Jesus. I think those really came to life. And Paul Welsh was a delight as the imaginary boyfriend. The spots were improvised with a general idea of what each piece meant to say. I wish I had scripted it- I think it would have been better for me to have written something, but I have become lazy and phat in my loose sweatpants and jazz the glass on a wave of sloppy improv.

mlcathcart12 karma

What are some of your favorite books and/or authors?

topicstories25 karma

Just reading Tiffany Haddish's LAST BLACK UNICORN- beautifully written and hilarious. I love memoir- so, Mary Karr. Graphic Memoir- Allison Bechdel (sp?) Fun Home and "Marbles" by Ellen Forney. Madness by Marya Hornbacher, anything by Kay Redfield Jamison. I also like For Dummies- Personal Finance for and Bipolar Disorder for.

DMZaius12 karma

Have you ever dealt with ever feeling like you weren't doing enough, or weren't far enough in yourcareer. Did it ever cause you to make rash decisions about your life, like feeling you have to move to a different city or make some other kind of drastic change?

topicstories30 karma

Every few seconds. Yes, of course. OF COURSE. What helps me is community- which means I belong to several 12-step groups, I call people, I've learned the name of every barista at the coffee shop (Brooklyn, Jeremy, Sarah, Angel, Gabby, Lydia, Anja, Matt) and I ask my friends for help A LOT. I need to "bookend" (checking in with someone before and after doing a task) in order to do the simplest 5 -minutes of rehearsal. For reals. It is sometimes setting a timer for 5 minutes, calling my friend Alex and telling him I'm going to rehearse and then rehearsing and calling him again when the timer goes off. It is sometimes EXCRUTIATING to get myself to do things and then, even when I do things, I am flooded with thoughts that it's not enough. It's bullshit. I think it's along the lines of a phobia- where your brain is trying to keep you safe by raising your fear levels- that you're not in any danger, you are doing enough. I know as much as you do on that front for sure. It is painful to just keep moving.

hated132712 karma

Hey Maria, I just want to say that you have helped me so much with talking about my bipolar. You are my favorite comedian and you're a huge inspiration to me. I can't wait to see you in SLC in March the day after my b day!

What's a superpower you wish your dogs had?

topicstories19 karma

I'd love if Jackie Onassis the chihuahua mix could learn not to mark inside the house. That would be like a cape.

WickedSushi11 karma

What was the last song you listened to?

topicstories13 karma

Better Day by Lake Lady, a singer songwriter from Los Angeles!

almondparfitt10 karma

Hi Maria, is there someone or thing that influences your comedy more now than when you first started in your YouTube days? How are you dogs doing?? Thx!

topicstories24 karma

My hubby influences me a ton because he has a lot of great movement and vocabulary that I've never had access to and he lets me use it in the family business. The dogs (we've had 6) are now Betty the black pug and Jackie the Chihuahua and they are doing very well. Scott has taken them out to poopoo pee pee!

Owwmysoul10 karma

Hello Ms. Bamford! Big fan!

How do you feel comedy has changed sincenyou started your stand up career?

Also, I listened to your episode of The Mental Illness Happy hour and thought that was very sweet and brave of you.

topicstories18 karma

We're definitely in an awesome boom! I hope it means that there are many more opportunities for all voices to be heard. I know my voice has been heard enough.

orrangearrow9 karma

When did you grow cute little tiny-wittle-mini hands on the back of your head? Can they still grab stuff without thumbs?

topicstories19 karma

That was an OPTICAL ILLUSION. If you are a fan of science, it is an easily recreated Trick of the Eye that you can do with infinite combinations of your head with the parts of a loved one's body behind you as ears!

suaveitguy9 karma

I saw your show in Toronto last year, and the last 5-10 minutes was you blowing raspberries. I felt it was a wonderful denouement. Has the response to that bit been mixed? edit: last

topicstories19 karma

I'm not sure what the response has been because I don't read internet comments, but I'm sure it's not everyone's favorite, but who cares. I don't really have a choice except to do the ideas that come to me and if they're not "good", oh well.

solutionsfirst9 karma

[deleted]

topicstories27 karma

Jackie Kashian! Story telling with light swearing and a LOVE of performing. www.jackiekashian.com.

DropFlaccid9 karma

Hi, Maria! Long-time fan, and I finally have the chance to see you perform next month! You're one of my all-time favorite comedians, and I love your work in other mediums as well.

What do you think a comedian's responsibility is regarding material that may make the audience uncomfortable? I typically roll my eyes when people complain about political correctness, but I understand the desire to push the envelope or stretch the medium. How should a comedian tastefully experiment with their material in a way that's not harmful? Sorry if this is a loaded question, have a lovely day!

topicstories26 karma

I don't know- I have an extremely limited perspective- I am a white, older, well-off (now) lady and I try to wake up, but I know there is no way I am not going to make mistakes as a result of my cultural ignorance. If someone is hurt by something, they are hurt and I think, it needs to be addressed- that it's an important part of being a human being- to acknowledge the experience of others. People can then agree to disagree, but to say someone's wrong or too sensitive for not liking something also is irresponsible.

solutionsfirst7 karma

[deleted]

topicstories36 karma

Person to person, live. If you meet me, I will do a joke for you and though, it will be odd (maybe), you will remember it. I will even mime holding a mic and heckle you if you try to leave.

yearizzle7 karma

Hi Maria! Thank you for distracting me from studying for finals with your vids. One question - are you a cake or pie kind of gal?

topicstories18 karma

I love cake at a cold temperature with butter cream frosting- grocery store kind- crisco is fine. I have been saddened by the whipped cream frosting cake movement.

icco7 karma

What is your favorite film to watch for inspiration?

topicstories11 karma

Hm. The best inspiration is my friends, family, hub, dogs and writing itself.

Katzeye6 karma

I just wanted you to know that I almost hyperventilated while watching Lady Dynamite at the gym from laughing too hard and I personally blame you.

Maria, why don't you think of others when making your show?

topicstories21 karma

I am a frightened animal and make choices from fear rather than my center of general ok-ness.

Bearded_Sandwich6 karma

Hi Maria! Long time, first time! What was your favorite part of developing your netflix series? Also, thanks for your bits on mental health. You have saved me from doing silly things through humour/podcasts at different times.

topicstories8 karma

Free kale salad!

fancyclocks6 karma

Hi Maria! I just saw you last Sunday in San Francisco. We got there 45 minutes early and we passed Jackie Kashian going in the stage entrance, but I didn't realize it was her until I saw her Christmas suit on stage. If I ever see you out in public, is it ok to approach you and tell you how much I appreciate your work, or should I mutter my thanks to myself and leave you alone thank you very much?

topicstories14 karma

I am always down for a hello, but if we are in a bathroom or if I am in a heated conversation with my husband about whether he should share his onion rings with me before he's even had a chance to eat one himself- then- maybe just know that I love and appreciate you from afar!

suaveitguy6 karma

Could someone start a successful stand-up career at 50, if they had never even written a joke or done an open mic until then?

topicstories9 karma

OF COURSE! There is a huge demand for comedians (I think) especially for people who really love it, who are passionate and have something to say- and when you say "successful"- I would really get clear with what that would mean for you! Do you mean "success" as in have a TV show (in which case- I'd start making YouTube videos as well) or doing stand-up? That will help you. Grandma Moses didn't start painting until she was 70 and she's got an entire museum!

ColGuano5 karma

How did you decide on an Austrian accent for your Pug on Lady Dynamite?? (Very funny BTW)

topicstories16 karma

If you've heard Werner Herzog narrate Curious George, there is your answer.

NotserpYmmat5 karma

One thing I love so much about Lady Dynamite is how you capture Minnesota. Some of the names in Season 2, and the way characters treat one another is really spot-on. Have you been finding this translates in a universal way for people from other places, or does this distinct neurotic flavor seem unusual to them?

topicstories11 karma

I just know Minnesota, but from what I've heard worldwide through other comics- is that every region has it's own distinctive dysfunction.

allwevelearned4 karma

I saw you in Okc recently and you were fantastic!!!

I was wondering which character on Adventure Time was your favorite to be the voice of?

topicstories10 karma

I liked Hot Dog Princess and thank you for coming to see live comedy!!!

suaveitguy3 karma

SCTV, SNL, or Monty Python?

topicstories4 karma

I'm going to say SNL because it is still on and features the GREAT MELISSA VILLASENOR!

messykatie3 karma

What what your first comedy show like?

topicstories7 karma

I think it was really in high school doing a speech to get elected for office- I did a "funny" speech in our school chapel (Catholic school) and I got elected as president of our class (beat out Alex Tretinayk- the perhaps more qualified applicant!)

TransGirlInCharge3 karma

For a while now, you've been doing voice work in animation. What lead you to that? Do you have any plans to expand to video game voice work?

topicstories8 karma

I'll do anything for a paycheck (unless of course it is against what I'm down for- like, I won't do commercials anymore because the Target thing was so hard to not be able to criticize publicly- As soon as someone tells me I can't say anything, it becomes problematic)

hdealz3 karma

Hi Maria! Huge fan here. I'm excited to check out your new web series!

Do you have any advice for someone who is dreading going back to their hometown for the holidays? Granted, I'll only be there for one day, but many of the circumstances involved is triggering lots of anxiety for me.

Thanks for being so open and honest with your own mental health struggles. Your honesty and humor makes you one of my favs, hands down.

topicstories12 karma

Well, something to do in your old home town that is FREE. FREE, I tell you- is go to an open AA, NA, OA, DA, Alanon meeting- where people talk anonymously about their lives and you can realize you are not alone! You don't have to have any of those issues to go- just go and you can sit and listen to a bunch of strangers and it's nice. There's some talk of higher powers and such, but i find I can let it wash over me with the free coffee and sometimes snacks (though not at OA) provided.

nsfw_hebrew3 karma

How many years of hard work did it take for people to get your act?

topicstories6 karma

I'm not sure if it was hard work all the time- if you mean- when did I make a living from it full time? It took 10 years of doing relatively full-time secretarial work during the day and comedy at night in non-traditional venues (theatres, wimmins fests, closets)

akeller523 karma

You are coming to Fresno in April and I’m DEVASTATED because my bff is getting married that night. I already missed you once in LA. My question is... why does the universe hate me? WHY?!

topicstories5 karma

It's a numbers thing- there is no Higher Power controlling this situation. If you follow me on twitter, You'll increase your statistical odds- I do daytime shows a lot in LA.

Younessman3 karma

Any plans to come to Toronto? I really loved last year's show at the Queen Elizabeth theatre!!

topicstories3 karma

No- but i'm sure I'll be back (if asked!)

LullabyLullaby3 karma

Do you prefer performing live or on camera?

topicstories9 karma

They are both great for different ways, but I love hearing laughs- that is very satisfying.

solutionsfirst3 karma

[deleted]

topicstories10 karma

Have a job with the public! I've had those and people are naturally very funny and surprising and terrible and exciting.

lastknowncapricorn3 karma

Do you think Meryl knew?

What are some good clubs in L.A. for a wannabe comedian with ZERO experience talking, being on a stage, or having people like him?

topicstories7 karma

www.thecomedybureau.com and start your own show! There is no better way to become a comedian than by starting to be a comedian. It is all terrifying. Might as well do something you're into. Do a show today!