Maria Bamford

My mom bought my brother, who is a huge Chelsea Handler fan, this Comedy Central DVD of female comedians.  Maria Bamford was on it and I had heard of her from this article and also this one.

She also did a Reddit AMA. Excerpts:

Well, I live in California- where what I’m sharing really isn’t that personal? Real estate agents have short memoirs of their shaman healings in my neighborhood– so it doesn’t feel that brave. And my parents (and family) have always talked about EVERYTHING. I mean everything. So, they’re probably wondering, “Why doesn’t she open up more?” Mom, Dad, I’m just waiting til I feel like I know you better.

Just do it. Do what you think is funny. Do it again and again. Fail, try, try, fail, enjoy, triumph, again. That’s all there is. We’re all in the same boat- i’m just as scared as you are. I’ve always been sort of shy and passive aggressive (which I hope is changing) and stand-up has been comfortable for me. It’s a way to say what I want without being challenged- which of course would be different if I did a lot of shows in the UK – where heckling is an art form. Just do it. You are your biggest fan.

 

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Scott Moran and “Modern Comedian”

Modern Comedian is a new web series by Scott Moran.  Moran, a comedian, follows/films/interviews other comedians.  There will be 10 episodes (at least for this season), 3 are already posted, and new episodes are uploaded on Mondays.

So far:

The episodes are a nice length, scored by very pensive music.  They seem to focus on a facet of the comedian’s act or personality, rather than the comedian’s biography.

Moran on Moran (from his website):

Scott Moran is an up and coming stand-up comedian from Seattle, WA now based in New York City. His material explores his life as a member of the middle class in a silly and sometimes surprisingly poignant, smart-assy manner. Scott is a regular on shows all around NYC and tours the country featuring in comedy clubs and playing indie shows on a regular basis.

From Moran’s interview with thecomicscomic.com:

Were there any other documentary series like this that inspired Modern Comedian? Two things come to mind. The first being the WTF podcast which in my opinion is THE podcast. I know there are a bunch of good podcasts, but I wanted to create something visual where you could learn about a comedian. Also Errol Morris, my favorite documentary film maker, was a huge inspiration.

I love this series and am already hoping for a second season.  I also like finding out about comedians I haven’t heard of yet and this provides a great introduction. Go watch!

 

 

Simon Amstell

Simon Amstell is a British, gay, vegan Woody Allen.  Neurotic, ironic, and endearing, Amstell is currently performing his play Numb in NYC (tickets)

This stand up show was called Do Nothing.  Words to live by.

So good! I will be watching all of Grandma’s House immediately.

Also, I would have guessed he was 25 years old, at the most, but he is 32.

Tig Notaro

This American Life did an episode (464: Invisible Made Visible) to feature the parts of its live show that would work for radio (they cut out the dancing and Mike Birbiglia’s short about Terry Gross).

Act Two. Groundhog Dayne is Tig Notaro’s story about seeing a famous person (albeit a minor celebrity) in real life.  Over and over and over again.  (Listen above)

I love Tig Notaro’s (or Navarro’s as I catch myself saying) delivery.  So dry.  Dry as a desert.

The ending of that is perfection.

Tig hosts the podcast Professor Blastoff, and has a comedy album called Good One.

Kevin Avery and Thugs, The Musical

Thugs, The Musical is about a mediocre, slightly delusional, and very “non-urban” black actor in Hollywood who, after years of auditioning but not being considered “black enough” to be cast in any of the roles that his fellow black actors have been getting – the Gangsta, the fast-talking Sidekick, the one doomed Black Guy at the party in the horror movie – decides to write, direct, and star in his own theater production – an epically bad play called Thugs, The Musical – to show Hollywood (and the world) that he, too, can “act black.”

Saw this video on Laughspin. Kevin Avery wrote and stars in “Thugs, The Musical,” a mockumentary short film. The film was financed through Kickstarter and premiers in New York on May 2nd, as part of the New York No Limits Film Series at The Wild Project. With musical numbers like “Who’s That Keepin’ It Real?”, “Drive-By” and “Oh No She Di-in’t,” “Thugs” is bound to be hilarious.

Here’s some of Kevin Avery’s stand-up (the first clip reminds me of Key and Peele):

Hannibal Buress

Yes. Yes, that is his real name. No. No, he is not named after Hannibal Lecter.

Hannibal Buress is a former writer for SNL and 30Rock.  He has played a bum on 30Rock seven times (the picture above was taken during filming).  UPDATE: He was on last night’s (5/3) episode as Rus/Gus, the man in the tin-foil hat. Buress’ first comedy album, My Name is Hannibal, released in 2010, is available on itunes.

I recently listened to the WTF with Marc Maron with Hannibal. He talked about how when he first moved to NYC, his sister kicked him out, so he had to live in hostels, and when he couldn’t afford that, he slept on the F train.  Dang, that is a level of commitment I have never reached.

My favorite part starts at 5:00: