I’ve been lucky to work in television, film, and theatre with a number of artists with impressive comedy chops of their own, like John Krasinski, Olympia Dukakis, Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Aniston, Meg Ryan, Matthew Broderick, Aasif Mandvi, Tara Summers, David Walton, Faith Ford, John Ritter, Tim Allen, Kirstie Alley, Andy Dick, Jesse Martin, Jordan Carlos, Jay Mohr, Dominick Dunne, Kevin Bacon, Jerry Orbach, and Griffin Dunne. But for me, Maria Bamford is really something else — a comedy genius purely her own. She’s on a whole ‘nother plane — and rarely have I encountered a mind that can make so many connections so quickly and with such riveting hilarity.
I could go on and on about how her performance left me with a ruptured appendix from laughing so hard — and inspired me with its raw honesty and moral conscience, but I’m still digesting the “experience” (I am tempted to write a think piece about it, stay tuned). All this to say, if you have the opportunity to see her live — DO. It’s an experience unlike any other — and you’ll be thinking about it afterwards for many days and even weeks to come. Also, at a time when suicide and depression are headline news, Maria’s comedy creates a welcome and needed space in which mental illness stigma and shame are tossed to the wind, and being human in all of its messiness and terror is not only normalized but transformed into comedic high art. Ave Maria — thank you for being so bloody funny — and you, completely, you.