Artist: Maria Bamford
Section: Interview
Importance: A funny standup comic that isn't as famous as she should be.
The Plug: She's part of an upcoming documentary that will be featured at the South by Southwest music festival.
Fansite and Message Board: www.mariabamfordfan.com
 
Editors Note: This is an edited conversation that I had with Maria on her cell phone. The transcript is even more boiled down than the audio file you can listen to. Make sure you listen to the sound file to hear Maria's great voices and characters. To listen to the sound file you'll need QuickTime 4 or greater.

No one is really sure if the voice that Maria speaks in is her real voice, or is it the voice of all the characters she portrays on stage. But what really matters is that she's really funny, and is almost as angry as I am. Read on as I try to convince her of this.
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When I see your act. I always thought of you as a really angry person, is that not the case?
Really?
Yeah, you are so angry.
That's good, that's good to know. I haven't taken a publicity class where I know how I come off. I do have low grade depression, which I heard is anger turned inward. I don't know. I come of as angry? That's exciting. I'm excited. I always think I come off…people have said, "Oh I love your act, it's cute it's cute."
OK, those are the stupid people who don't get it.
<Sarcasm> Dumb asses, who don't get it with my whole vision of creativity. </Sarcasm> But I come off as angry, so should I start renaming myself as the "Angry St. Bernard of Comedy," "the Chihuahua of comedy."
Nothing but trouble. First of all everyone hates a Chihuahua…
"The Pug of Comedy…"
OH, you could be that freaky hairless cat of comedy.
OK, what's that called the Menk?
Look if you call it that, no one will know what you're talking about. You gotta call it the "Freaky Hairless Cat of Comedy," or all the stupid people won't get you. See you are angry.
Ok, I believe it I believe it.
All right. Now [it sounds like] I'm angry at you. And I'm not.
(Laughs.)
I didn't mean to come off as angry. Cuz I'm not angry. I'm such a fan.
No, no. Thanks. I think I'm passive aggressive. I don't even know how angry I am. That's how out of touch I am with my true feelings. I don't know. I'll look into my anger.

So you talk a lot about being a temp worker, which I completely relate to. And I'm curious, what's the worst job you've ever had.
It always seems to be the last job that I had. Like I worked at a temp job like a month ago. [Laughs] Cuz I still temp. And it was like a lady who, I worked with all day, like a foot from each other, she wouldn't talk to me.
Consider that a blessing. You don't want to talk to these people. They're awful awful people.
But for 8 hours a day it was extremely awkward. So that was kind of excruciating. But every temp job has its own delightful horrors. Actually I do kinda like secretarial work. I like organizing stuff, and sitting at a desk in a secretarial costume.
Cuz to you it's like another acting job. I'll act like a secretary. This'll be great.
Yes, yes, it's more fun that way.
Here's the difference between chicks and dudes. Cuz when you're a dude, they don't want you being receptionist.
Right they won't put you up front. That's so harsh. Then you get stuck doin' somethin'.
You get stuck doin' data entry. You get stuck doin' the thing that noooo one in the company will do.
Reception kinda rocks cuz you just sit there all day and do whatever you want.

Now I've seen your comedy Central special, a couple of times.
Oh that's so nice.
I watch it every time.
Oooooohhhhh that's so nice of you.
Now, keep in mind, I'm not hitting on you, but if I was would it have helped?
No, no, yeahhhhhhhhhhhh.
The one piece [of your special] that I always miss, and I was wondering if you could do this for our listeners, it's the bit that you do where you show up to the company and the woman there says, "This is like no company you've ever worked for." And what she'd have to say in order for it to be like no other company.
[Office woman voice] OK. Things are a little crazy around here today. Dan from marketing is in the employee kitchen nude, except for a baseball cap with the company logo, and he's asking anyone who uses the microwave into doing shots of non dairy creamer off his dingle dangle. [Laughs] Anywho…lunch is from 12-1, but there is a wrinkle in time, so if you could just get back anytime before the quickening…Here are your flippers, your barbecue tongs…call me if you have any questions…and you'll be working for Anne. Anne is kind of a witch. Seriously, she put a Lipton Cup of Noodle Soup in a caldron, cast a spell over the office supplies, and now the stable remover's got these great big googly eyes, and will not shut up. [Laughs] It's crazy…it's crazy…around….here.
That's it.
Wow[Laughs] That was great. Thank you so much.
No problem.
You're one of the few people who will do stuff on request.
Oh yeah, sure. Why not.
Are you at liberty yet, to talk about the show you're pitching to comedy central?
My mom is a licensed family therapist and it'd be me and my mom going all over the country to different comedy clubs providing mental health services to comics. And so that's the show. [Laughs] And we did like a pilot presentation of it and I think it's pretty funny.

Oh, you gotta do the lightning round.
What's your favorite movie? Umm Valley Girl.
Favorite Sound? Like boing noises. Oh and the way that dogs snuffle. I like dog snuffling noises.
Favorite Word? Peeps
Favorite Taste? Vanilla…I don't know. Diet Coke actually. I have a problem with Diet Coke.
OK, at some point could you just email me the list of all your problems?
Yes, I know. I have so many of them dude. Seriously. I have a resume of them.
Favorite Piece of clothing? I have a new pink skirt.
Favorite comfort food? Ice Cream
Would you rather fly or be invisible? Be invisible
Oh, that says so much about you.
Really?
Yes.
It's your crippling low self esteem. You wanna be indivisible, but yet you wanna be on stage at the same time.
Can I be an invisible fly?
No.
Dinette Set or Trip to Europe?
Trip to Europe.
And who would you really like to punch in the face? [thinking] one bap to the face. [very excited] Oh Jerry Lewis! Jerry Lewis.
Now it's disturbing that you say Jerry Lewis with such excitement.
Yeah!
Like you've almost upped it to baseball bat level.
No. It would be much more satisfying to have skin on skin contact.
[touching myself] Yeah that's great.
That's disturbing…sorry.
No I actually took it to a sexy place.
Oh OK [Laughs] He said at the Aspen comedy awards that he doesn't find women funny. He doesn't know any women that are funny, and that women belong birthing children and it bothers him to see women on stage. But that's because he's an old-timer. So hopefully I'd give him a light tap to the head, and he'd just fall like a doll.
You'd get a fist full of shoe black and hair grease on your hand if you hit him too hard.
Hey, is there anything I forgot to ask you?
No, you've been a wonderful interviewer. You've very thorough and extremely complimentary, and I feel very good about the interview.