STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Maria Bamford

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Maria Bamford. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Comedian and actress Maria Bamford recently released her brand-new special, “Maria Bamford: The special special special!” via Chill.com’s new direct-to-consumer video platform, Chill Direct. The move has Bamford joining the likes of Louis C.K. and other comedians who are cutting out the middle man and making their content more widely available to fans. Bamford’s one-hour “anti-special” features the comedian performing stand-up in her living room for her parents, Joel and Marilyn Bamford, where she bakes cookies and offers pizza to all involved.

Naturally, Bamford’s new special is absolutely hilarious as the comedian talks about everything from not being able to cook to having accidentally killed her childhood dog, and immediately offers a sound reason behind her choice to perform in her parents’ home:

“The reason I decided to do the special here,” Maria confesses, while curling her hair in the bathroom, “was because it is free to perform in your own home.”

In honor of the special’s release, Bamford took to Reddit recently in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session to give her fans the opportunity to interact with her and pose their questions. Bamford, who has never shied away from talking about her own struggles with depression, offered some very candid and heartfelt responses. When asked by one fan how she was doing lately, Bamford responded, “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 clichés 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.”

Despite the two-person audience (save for a few crew members and ‘host’ Jackie Kashian), Bamford has you pulled in from the start. With her wide variety of vocal skills and characterizations, she simply doesn’t need to rely on an audience reaction to add to the humor of her material.  The frequent interruptions at the sound of the smoke detector, the need for a pug to take his medicine, and the pizza delivery guy merely serve to add to the feeling that you are sitting right next to Joel or Marilyn on the couch.

Bamford starred alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Brian Posehn in the film and Comedy Central series “Comedians of Comedy” as well as having starred in two half-hour “Comedy Central Presents” specials.  She provides voiceover for numerous animated series including “Adventure Time,” “Legend of Korra” and PBS’s Emmy-nominated series “Word Girl.”  She recently recurred on the critically praised FX series “Louie” and will soon recur in the upcoming reboot of “Arrested Development” on Netflix.  Her new CD “Ask Me About My New God” is forthcoming from Comedy Central Records in 2013.

Chill Direct is an exciting new platform that allows any filmmaker, comedian, musician, or artist to directly release premium video to the fans who love them through social integration. With the recent success enjoyed by other comedians who have self-released material, Chill Direct expands on this concept, empowering artists to engage their audiences and build customizable communities where fans and talent can interact. Chill Direct differs from other content outlets in that artists are able to retain creative control and flexibility over content as well as ownership of intellectual property. There are no royalties or hidden fees for artists with Chill Direct – just a simple revenue share – which will no doubt open up a tremendous amount of opportunity for artists who may otherwise be held back in putting their content out there for fans.

“Chill is a critical step towards an ecosystem where artists are finally in control of their creative destiny. For filmmakers, comedians and musicians it will soon become essential to be able to distribute their best work directly to fans, “said Chill Co-Founder Brian Norgard. “We’re going to make it easy for anyone with a creative vision to distribute their work to millions of people. Amazing work should have no boundaries.”

At only $4.99, Maria Bamford’s “Maria Bamford: The special special special!” is the perfect holiday gift for any comedy fan – so download your copy today and, while you’re there, pick up one for a friend.

 

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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