If making good comedy means taking big risks, Maria Bamford is in the midst of her greatest work. Her new album, Ask Me About My New God, and special, The Special Special Special, delve into Bamford’s history with mental illness, including bipolar disorder, thoughts of suicide, and her time in a psychiatric hospital just last year. Critics and audiences have responded with favorable reviews and sold-out shows, and Bamford has simply kept working, creating and starring in a new webseries, Ask My Mom, appearing in the latest season of Arrested Development, and performing stand-up in venues and festivals across North America, including an upcoming appearance at the New York Comedy Festival tonight, November 8.
We caught up with Maria Bamford at home between gigs. Here, she pauses to reflect on her hectic schedule, performing for her parents, how society regards mental and physical illness, and what she’s waiting for on Netflix.