Maria Bamford Brings Awkwardly Cool Comedy to Irvine

Maria Bamford isn’t just a funny female comedian, she’s a brilliantly hilarious comic across many boards. Her bubbly personality and quirky persona has drawn a cult following worldwide and this Wednesday March 9th at the Irvine Improv, you’ll get the chance to become one of them. Full disclosure, we were beyond fanboy (girl) to talk to her and while spinning with excitement, she spun a magical web of fun on us.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): You’re on my comedy interview bucket list so pardon me for freaking out.

Maria Bamford: [Laughs.] Oh my god well, you have obtainable goals!

And I mean this in the most respectful way, how do you find the balance between being a bit awkward and coming across cool?

Oh gosh! I think it’s the idea of both of those words, I don’t know. It’s much like beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder. All of those things are fleeting though. If you could see me now you’d see that I’m not that cool. [Laughs.] And perhaps maybe not as awkward as I would seem. I just went to McDonald’s which is the least awkward of places. It’s so hip, there’s so many choices now! There’s breakfast all day and you can get different meats on your salad, McDonalds isn’t fenced in to what you thought they were.

Breakfast all day, what a world we live in. I saw one of their billboards the other day that said something like, “We’ve added a new feature. We listen.”

 Ohhh that’s really sweet. We just want good listeners. [Laughs.] I didn’t know that they did that. That’s funny. 

I just want to point out that I asked you about being so cool and you flipped it into Mickey D’s talk. Again, cool. When it comes to your writing process, do you do the whole “notes all over the house” writing thing or do you keep a lot in your head?

I do this three pages a day thing from The Artist Way. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that book where you write three pages in the beginning of the day. It’s good. I also do open mics and tell some of my friends what I’m working on out loud. It’s helpful to hear your jokes out loud and with your friends there, they can tell you what they hear and what it’s about.

I gotta look into that book. I hit walls often.

Oh listen, any creative self-help things you need, that’s my thing. That’s my bag.

I’m into it. Your special “The Special Special Special” was so fantastic. I see people online say they want to do a special taped in front of a few people like you did proving different can be good. Well done.

That’s nice! It’s certainly cost-effective too because you don’t have to load an audience in, you don’t have to rent a theater, it’s like DIY! I like the idea of making something without having to use a lot of money. You really don’t even have to have any artistic material. [Laughs.] You just have to keep it rolling. I’m so glad people liked it. A lot of it was laziness too because I wasn’t feeling super great at the time so I just wanted to get it done. I thought, what would be the easiest? And the easiest would be like ten feet from where I sleep. And then with my parents, well, my parents are super supportive so I thought adding them would be fun. 

My parents would love something like that too, if I had an awesome job like that of course. When I was in kindergarten I wanted to be a waitress when I grew up. What did you want to be?

Oh my god that is so sweet! [Laughs.] It seems like in kindergarten they brought in firemen, policemen, doctors and stuff like that. The one thing I remember is thinking when I was like ten was that prostitution seemed good. Those people always wore fancy outfits, they stayed at nice hotels, and people were so nice to them. They always had those shows with a lady of the evening and she was so sassy and sophisticated. She’d be staying in a nice hotel with an older man and he’d buy her nice outfits.

OK, haha I always think wanting to be a waitress is hilarious but prostitution, you win.

I think wanting to be a waitress is so delightful though! I waitressed for a couple of years and I was so bad at it. I still wish that I had the wherewithal to do it because it’s such a gift and truly an art form to be able to be friendly, relaxed, and organized enough to remember things.

It’s not a bad living says the ex-waitress who is now a writer. One night only in Irvine tells me you might be working out material for a new special.

Well, I just do one-nighters because I like to come home. [Laughs.] So yeah, I just do one show at a time. I don’t do many long runs of shows anymore, which I don’t know if that’s bad or good, but it’s what’s happening. I thought I had a new hour but I think I’m a little short so I’m working on some new bits to fill it out. I think within a year I’ll be able to tape something.

I’ll be excited and waiting for that so you already have one viewer. I can’t wait for your show in Irvine.

Thanks Ali, I appreciate that. It’s a good job. Comedy is a really good job. I’ve been married for ten months now so I really have some deep wisdom to share with Irvine. It’s going to be very safe and positive so people can go there and be in a very safe space at the Irvine Improv. If you’ve been like, “Oh last time I went to a comedy show someone talked to me and I felt scared,” that won’t happen here. We’ll be very caring, loving, and gentle. It just couldn’t get any more gentle and that will be very rewarding. I also support the arts in Irvine. I’ve been to Irvine so I know it’s there.

Grab your tickets now to see Maria Bamford at the Irvine Improv this Wednesday March 9th, 31 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618, (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to For more on Maria, check out her website, become a fan on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @MariaBamfoo. Also be on the lookout for her new show “Lady Dynamite” on Netflix. 

Follow us on Twitter @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality and follow the author on Twitter @AliNotAlli.

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