Maria Bamford (born September 3, 1970) is an American stand-up comedian and voice actor. She is best known for her portrayal of her dysfunctional family and self-deprecating comedy involving jokes about depression. Her comedy style draws upon surrealism and incorporates voice impressions that good-naturedly mock various character types. Comic Patton Oswalt has called her one of the most creative and original comics working today.
Bamford was born at the naval base in Port Hueneme, California, where her father Joel was serving as a Navy doctor. She grew up there and in Duluth, Minnesota, where she attended Chester Park Elementary and The Marshall School. She went on to attend Bates College, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Minnesota, where she earned a degree in Creative Writing. She started doing stand-up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at age 19, at Stevie Ray's Comedy Cabaret. Bamford then joined Edinburgh's improvised comedy show The Improverts.
Bamford has been in a number of movies and television shows, including voice appearances in cartoons. The best-known aspect of her act are her various impersonations (including her mother and her agent. Her comedy often takes the form of vignettes rather than the comedy stand-up standard setup/punchline format.
Bamford was featured in the documentary series The Comedians of Comedy on Comedy Central and Showtime, and appeared in short skits titled "The Maria Bamford Show" broadcast on the now defunct website Super Deluxe. She also appears on the comedy compilation CD Comedy Death-Ray.
Her last album, produced by Comedy Central Records and called Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome, was released in April 2009 and includes a DVD containing "The Maria Bamford Show" episodes.
During the Christmas 2009 shopping season, Bamford was featured in a series of Target commercials, portraying both an overachieving shopper determined to be first in line at 5 a.m. and her average-mom sister who will get there when she can. That same Christmas, she released a free stand up special online as a gift to her fans.
Bamford and her pugs, Bert and Blossom, reside in Eagle Rock, California.
TV show appearances
- Arthur (voice of Sue Ellen Armstrong (1996–2004) and Catherine Frensky (1996–2003) in some episodes)
- The Comedians of Comedy
- Comedy Central Presents
- Comic Remix
- Daria (voice)
- Dharma & Greg
- CatDog (voice)
- Hey Arnold! (Mayor Dixie)
- Back at the Barnyard (voice of Mrs. Beady)
- Home Movies (voice)
- Jimmy Kimmel Live
- Late Friday
- Mucha Lucha! (voice)
- Premium Blend
- Cromartie High School
- Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (voice)
- Rove Live
- The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
- Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
- Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule
- Tom Goes to the Mayor (voice)
- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
- The Trouble with Normal
- World Comedy Tour
- Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island (voice)
- WordGirl (voice of Sally Botsford, Leslie, the assistant to Mr. Big and Violet Heaslip)
- Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
- Skunk Fu! (voice)
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 (the fiddler during the square dancing host segment in episode 607- BLOODLUST!)
- John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show (2010) (Season 1)
- Adventure Time (Cartoon Network series) (Manfried, Slime Princess and others, voice) (2010) (Season 1)
- The Sarah Silverman Show (2010) (Mae Kadoodie – Episode "Nightmayor")
- Kick Buttowski (voice)
- Lucky Numbers (2000)
- Stuart Little 2 (2002)
- Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure (2003)
- The Comedians of Comedy (2005)
- Open Season (2006)
- Barnyard (2006)
- The Burning Bridges Tour (2005)
- The Comedians of Comedy: Live at the El Rey (2005)
- Comedians of Comedy Tour 3"CD (2006)
- How to WIN! (2007)
- The Comedians of Comedy: Live at the Troubadour (2007)
- Comedy Death-Ray (album) (2007)
- Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome (2009)
Radio show appearances
- The Now Show (2006)
- The Sound of Young America (2007)
- The Bob & Tom Show (2009)
- WTF with Marc Maron (2009)
- The Nerdist Podcast (2010)
- Keller, Joel (November 24, 2009). "Maria Bamford plays a demented shopper in new Target ads". TVSquad. AOL Television. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
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