After extensively developing the material in theaters and clubs across the country, Maria Bamford recorded her 2012 standup special The Special Special Special! in her own living room for an audience of two: her mom and dad. In her latest release, Old Baby, which The New York Times called “inspired gibberish,” Bamford — who also appears alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Brian Posehn in 2005’s The Comedians of Comedy and in Louis CK’s self-titled FX series and might still be best known for a series of Target holiday ads about which she has been openly morally conflicted (she joked she used the money from the commercials to redo her house in “shades of gray”) — performs in a larger variety of locations, à la Chris Rock’s Kill the Messenger, only instead of cutting between massive sold-out shows around the world, Bamford performs her endearingly goofy and incredibly vulnerable material at a bookstore, a bowling alley — and for herself in the mirror. Her delightfully Dada Netflix sitcom Lady Dynamite has her hopping timelines to relate her present-day issues with her past traumas. But wherever you catch Bamford, she’s thoughtful, hilarious and singularly herself, which is probably why Stephen Colbert called her “my favorite comedian on planet Earth.”
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