In lieu of a real interview, we sent over 50 questions to Maria Bamford and told her to answer as many as she could and that regardless of how far she got, we'd publish all of them.
So you incorporate a lot of characters and voices into your act, right?
(IN HIGH LADY) Yes, (LOW LADY), I do. (MEDIUM LADY)
How many do you do?
About 4 voices.
Can you do one right now?
How’d it go?
Well, I did an impersonation of me doing an impersonation of myself doing an impersonation of me because I am in a hotel business center and I feel self-conscious. I said “hello” to myself in the mirror. It was pretty accurate.
What person would you say has the best speaking voice in the world?
Barack Obama has a very warm palate of tones.
How about the best peaking voice?
The voice of Everest has been silent, but as it is trampled by millions seeking its summit, I believe it will rise up. (What are we talking about?)
Who needs to stop talking all together?
I’m often caught in the middle of my own monologue to a stranger and wonder— what’s that high-pitched beeping— “Oh! I’m still talking!”
What was the best conversation you had in the past week?
My boyfriend doing impersonations of our dogs.
If you’re in a group conversation, what’s your role?
Listener, laugher (Lady).
You’re buying a picture frame and notice that the stock photo in the frame is YOU. What do you do?
Call my manager to celebrate!
How do you stay in such tip top shape?
What’s your favorite exercise?
Elliptical while Netflixing.
How much can you bench?
What’s your relationship like with your parents?
What do you wish it was like?
What’s something you wish you could say to your parents but never would?
You guys, I’m going back to school in Library Science.
Do you think they’ll read this interview?
My Mom had me on Google-Alert –so I assume, yes. Hi, Mom!
How old is too old to start doing stand-up?
With technology, I think hospice care, or late 50’s-90’s, is the best time to start! Free time, great perspective on some edgy topics— death, chronic pain, loss, bedsores. The Internet is a 24 hour international open mic and the AARP membership is a growing, untapped audience. I can’t wait to see what my parents’ generation is going to come up with. They’re cra-zay.
What’s the funniest joke you’ve ever heard told by a child?
I like a fart noise.
What’s the least funny joke you’ve ever heard told by a child?
Hitting me on the head with a plastic baseball bat.
Do you know anyone you would consider a “hack”?
I certainly have the characteristics of what I’ve heard a “hack” is— heterosexual relationships, food, airport references. And there’s always
a new generation of “hack”— so, I’m sure whatever’s edgy now will become the norm and then, the people will rise up.
Do you know anyone you would consider a “hacker”?
I am in a commune of artistes. We do not speak of technology.
Angelina Jolie was in Hackers. How would you describe her whole “deal”?
She’s pretty great and all.
Since this is a sex-themed issue, do you mind if we ask you a few sex related questions?
Of course. I want to be obliging.
Sex: Overrated? Underrated?
UNDER! It’s so fun and funny.
What sex advice would you give to someone having sex for the first time?
What sex advice would you give to someone having sex for the last time?
Give it your 20%!
Pornography: what does the word mean to you?
Cash cow, harder than waitressing.
What’s a good outfit someone can wear during sex?
Who’s sexier? Steve Jobs or Steve Spielberg?
I can’t choose. They both have their sensual energies. Especially since Steve Jobs would be a ghost.
What’s your favorite Steve Spielberg movie?
ET. It reminds me of how I feel living in Los Angeles. Surviving off of Reese’s Pieces in a closet.
Ol’ Steve Spielberg is getting a little full of himself, no?
He has a lot to be proud of. He’s been able to do a lot despite being a tiny little man with girl hands.
When would you say Steve Spielberg jumped the shark?
This is where I mention Jaws.
Did you say Jaws? You know, because of the shark that’s in that movie?
Who directed Jaws 2?
I don’t know and I won’t check.
Did you even see Jaws 2?
No, I didn’t and I won’t. I simply will not watch JAWS 2.
A typical day for me involves approximately four hours of upright consciousness— all activities must be contained between 12 noon and 4 and then I fall into a heap of pugs. There is no room—with all of my snacking and responsibilities—to attend to all of pop culture.
Do you watch House of Cards?
Negatory, but my parents keep me up to date on Kevin Spacey’s shenanigans.
What is your favorite TV show, not including House of Cards?
DEREK!!!!!! And Suze Orman (available on iTunes!).
Which is more fun to play, House or Cards?
House is much more fun— especially grocery shop miming.
Do you care about the Beatles?
We keep in touch.
Who’s tall these days?
Is Manute Bol still a reference?
What do you do when you see someone over seven feet tall?
I enunciate clearly and loudly.
It’s like where do they even get off?
Well, they get off at whatever stop they want to but if they go to the end of the line— then, that’s their beeswax.
If you were a betting woman, what would be the name of the horse you’d bet on?
Braindead Megaphone – title of one of my favorite books – or Bert.
Are you a betting woman?
Have you ever stolen anything?
I have stolen food. And when I say stolen—I mean—relieved friends of old candy corn in a cupboard while they weren’t watching. Who is the victim?
Are you currently in possession of anything that doesn’t belong to you?
As a middle-class white woman, I’m sure there are a few things I’ve appropriated that I should return. I should probably give back reggae.
What is the quickest and easiest way to express disapproval?
Grimace and downcast eyes.
Boxers or brief...cases?
I’m going with Boxers. Petting dogs lowers your blood pressure, and business luggage is still evolving.
This article was originally published October 2013