Just for Laughs Interview: Maria Bamford

Posted by: Tim Gray  //  July 27, 2011 @ 11:25am

Filed under: Kinda Sorta Maybe Like a Podcast

When I heard I was going to interview one of the most inventive and wonderfully obscure comedians -- Maria Bamford -- I nearly s*** myself. And then I actually s*** myself. After I cleaned myself up, I started to prepare for what would be a pinnacle moment in my comedy career. And then I s*** myself one last time.

I've been mesmerized with Maria's writing and performing since the first time I heard her on "Invite Them Up". On the powerhouse stand-up series, "Comedians of Comedy" (and her album How to Win), she has a joke referencing comedy club comedians as being "barrel chested Polynesian men telling caustic one-liners" and I thought that perfectly encapsulated the fading world of sport-coat comedians. To me she's on the forefront of where stand-up comedy is heading, or at least where it's at right now. She fits perfectly into the alt-comedy scene that's redefined the art form of stand-up comedy.

I knew that she is a fairly reserved person and comes off as a little mentally unstable on stage. I drew the assumption that if she were to get nervous, she would hide away in one of her many, many voices. Taking this into mind, I prefaced the interview by telling her about myself and where I'm coming from as an interviewer. It turned into one of my favourite conversations on the philosophy of comedy, recorded or not. Her endearing attitude toward the craft and her fixation with improving as a person and a comedian makes her impossible to dislike.

Maria Bamford is performing as part of several shows at this year's Just for Laughs, including her own solo show ("Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome"), "The Alternative Comedy Show", and an episode of CBC radio's The Debaters. For more information and to get tickets to one of her performances that run through Saturday, July 30, visit hahaha.com.

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When ShowbizMonkeys.com gets a chance to interview someone cool, but it's not part of one of our other featured podcasts, then it falls to our long-running (and always insecure) Kinda Sorta Maybe Like a Podcast. With no discernible format, we do get to talk to some really awesome folks, including comedians, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and more.

Often hosted by Paul Little, other contributors include Andrew Lizotte, J.D. Renaud, and Mark McLeod.

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Tags: Just for Laughs, Maria Bamford, jokes, hecklers, Minnesota, stand-up, comedy, Montreal, comedy festival, JFL2011

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Tim Gray is a hardly-sought-after Winnipeg comedian and a member of the sketch group H.U.N.K.S. His stand up has been described as "a slap in the face to what it is we do". He tweets as @WinnipegTim.

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