Stand-up comedian Maria Bamford performs live, in her own home in Eagle Rock, California, for an audience of two: her parents, Joel and Marilyn Bamford, in Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special!
There’s plenty of fresh material here, as well as older material having to do with her family, given a new depth when the camera cuts to the “audience.”
There are a couple of skits worked in (making/burning cookies, blowing a fuse), all organic enough while still being weird enough to fit alongside Bamford’s wonderfully peculiar brand of stand-up.
The special was filmed for the now defunct Chill.com, which sought to follow the Louis CK method of selling specials exclusively online, for $5 a download/stream. You can now watch Maria Bamford: The Special, Special, Special! via Amazon here.
Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special! Quotes
Maria Bamford: Sure, I’ve done television shows. I’ve been in a few seconds of certain movies. But the people I’m really creating things for are (stumbles over this a bit) Joel and Marilyn Bamford, my parents. I do know their names: Joel and Marilyn Bamford.
Jackie Kashian: You know her from birth. You’ve known her for a long time, since the very beginning. Let’s have a big round of applause, a big Eagle Rock welcome for Maria Bamford!
Bamford: Everybody says how easy it is to cook, but it’s not any easier than not cooking.
“Oh, just get a really good virgin olive oil.”
“Uhhh…Girl Scout cookie wrapped in meat.”
“Oh, no, just slice up a couple of vegetables.”
“Squeezy cheese on finger, can of wine.”
“No, just preheat the oven to – ”
“Ahh!! Hot PowerBar from the glove compartment!”
Bamford: Now I see there’s a loving couple out in the audience tonight. I myself have not had a lot of confidence. I have not had the gift of, “Yeah, we both met and we both just kinda knew.”
“Oh, oh so you guys never fight about anything?”
“Oh (laughs), he doesn’t like onions.”
“Oh, so you’ve never had any issues you’ve had to work through with like a fucking workbook?”
“You know if I were you I’d just look out for red flags.”
“Oh, okay. But what if I’m like a flag factory, that only manufactures giant red flags?”
“Maybe you need to learn to be the one, before you meet the one.”
“Oh is that Bob Dylan? He’s so funny.”
“Hey, good luck.”
“Yeah, good luck with whatever you’re doing, Merlin the Magician, with your book of spells and potions.”
Bamford: If your sweet pea says something like, “Hey, babe, I just want you to know I would never hit you” oop, you’re gonna be getting a beat down. Yep, right quick. Brace for impact, Papa’s comin’ home.
Bamford: I do not borrow books, I lease. I like there to be a public record of me stealing something.
Bamford: Pretty much a native speaker in pretend tiger: Rawr, rawr, rawr, rawr, rawr.
Bamford: I hope no one here is deeply religious. If you are, just rest in the glory that I am wrong. I am trying to be more spiritual – I mean, more self righteous. I get those confused.
Bamford: I wish that science – if there is a science – would come up with a brain ride, where you could take a ride in someone’s brain and see all their thoughts, and their memories, and their feelings, and why they do the things they do and why they feel the way they do. And I know there’s a low tech version just called listening, but I want a ride!
Bamford: A lot of my friends do have religious beliefs, and I will question them.
“Hey, why did that horrible thing happen?”
“It was God’s will.”
“Why did that awesome thing happen?”
“It was God’s will.”
“You can’t just answer the same answer to every question, that just shows you didn’t study.”
“Or maybe that’s God’s will.”
Or the one answer they always say is, “We can’t understand it, it’s a mystery. God’s just so much smarter than us. We can’t figure it out, it’s a mystery.”
Oh, that makes sense, because all of God’s mysteries start with a horrendous murder with no discernible motive.
Bamford: Is anyone thinking of suicide? Oh, don’t do it! Don’t do it, people will be so mad at you if you do that. They will be so mad at you! It’s not the season for it. Early spring, early spring.
Bamford: The reason people don’t go for help is because there is still stigma, because people don’t talk about mental illnesses the way they talk about other illnesses.
“Apparently Steve has cancer. It’s like, fuck off, we all have cancer, right? I have cancer pretty bad right now, but I go to chemotherapy, I get it taken care of, I get back to work.”
“Yeah, I was dating this chick, all this time apparently, she let me know, she’s been wearing contact lenses. I was like, ‘Whoa, do whatever you need to do, but I don’t believe in all that Western medicine shit. If you wanna like see other people, it’s all about attitude. You gotta want it.’”
Bamford: So I want to teach you guys how to play a new game, something me and my family play. Oh wait a minute, you are my family. Probably other people play it, but we call it “Joy Wack-a-Mole.”
What happens is that someone brings up something that they’re really happy about, and then the other person tries to slam it down before they ever feel too good about what’s going on in their lives.
I was playing with my dad recently.
“Dad, check out this new jacket.”
“Oh, it’s very nice.”
“Guess how much?”
“I don’t know, a hundred bucks.”
“Oh, Jesus, that’s a good deal!”
“Yeah, ya got that right. It’s like, ten bucks, how do they do it?”
“Oh, I was reading about that: slavery. Yeah, they put the manufacturing on these people, there’s no labor laws, human rights violations, and, you know, environmental protection, and they pass the savings on to you.”
My mom is a king of this game.
“Mom, Amy had her baby.”
“Oh, that is great news, honey. I mean, it’s not such great news for the 600,000 kids in foster care, but if she wants a fresh one…Oh, jeez, everyone wants one that looks like them, it’s so selfish.”
Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special! Trailer
Maria Bamford Talks to CNN About Her Dysfunctional Family
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