Ask Steven Colbert or John Oliver who’s their favorite comedian, and they name Maria Bamford. Her impressions are hilarious with a pretty much unlimited supply of voices at her disposal. Her fast-paced wit keeps the audience just one step behind her, something reminiscent of a Robin Williams hour, but with fewer Hawaiian shirts and much less sweat.
But what makes Maria stand out, or perhaps, why she has yet to reach the fame of her counterparts no matter the gender, is her unabashed discussion of struggles with mental illness. She is unafraid to tell her story of breakdown and time in a mental hospital, no apologizing (and she definitely shouldn’t). Check it out here. It is uncomfortable. Unsettling even. And it should be. However, Maria also makes it funny and lets the audience laugh, turning what should be a horrifying nightmare into a mechanism to share, release, and maybe even heal.
You can find her on many a Youtube video and her special on Netflix, Old Baby. Enjoy.