I Heart NPR

Maria Bamford Loves NPR

Maria Bamford at NPR West. i i
Melissa Kuypers/NPR
Maria Bamford at NPR West.
Melissa Kuypers/NPR

Maria Bamford is a stand-up comedian with a growing and dedicated following. You might recognize her unique voice from the many cartoons she plays, or you might know her as a meth addict named Debris in the new season of Arrested Development.

She came in for an interview with Fresh Air about her new comedy album Ask Me About My New God and her personal struggles that have inspired her work. This new album isn't the first time she's used her anxieties for material. She had a fictional YouTube show called The Maria Bamford Show that acts out her great fear - recovering from a nervous breakdown in a bedroom at her parents' house .

"I think I've always been a little on the edge psychologically, you know, feeling like that my brain felt a little bit out of my control. And so I - and I'd always had a fantasy of being on a sitcom, and so I - and I couldn't seem to get on one," she told Host Terry Gross.

Family is a big part of her act. In The Special Special Special, her real-life mom and dad are the only audience members for Bamford's stand-up show, which takes place in her living room. Partly because she's more comfortable in front of small audiences and partly because her "parents are so supportive. They are also extremely inexpensive as talent."

Listen to the interview to hear Bamford talk about learning to love the stage, her comedic influences and even more about her parents. You'll also get to hear "My Anxiety Song," an episode of Ask My Mom and the game her family plays called "Joy Wack-a-Mole" - essentially deflating someone's good news with a heavy stick of reality.

Luckily, we didn't try this out when Bamford expressed her excitement about being on the show. She told Gross, "It's been such an honor and a pleasure. I feel so excited." So excited in fact, that she was very happy to oblige when I asked if I could take her photo on the way out.

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