Maria Bamford

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Maria Bamford
Bamford in 2008.
Birth name Maria Elizabeth Sheldon Bamford
Born (1970-09-03) September 3, 1970 (age 45)
Port Hueneme, California, United States
Medium Stand-up, television, film
Nationality American
Years active 1989–present
Genres Observational comedy, character comedy, surreal humor, alternative comedy
Subject(s) Pop culture, personal life, mental health
Spouse Scott Marvel Cassidy (m. 2015)

Maria Elizabeth Sheldon Bamford (born September 3, 1970) is an American stand-up comedian, actress, and voice actress. She is best known for her portrayal of her dysfunctional family and self-deprecating comedy involving jokes about depression and anxiety. Her comedy style is surreal and incorporates voice impressions of various character types.

Early life[edit]

Bamford was born at the naval base in Port Hueneme, California, where her father Joel was serving as a Navy doctor. She grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, where she attended Chester Park Elementary and The Marshall School. She went on to attend Bates College, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Minnesota, where she earned a degree in Creative Writing. She started doing stand-up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at age 19, at Stevie Ray's Comedy Cabaret. Bamford then joined Edinburgh's improvised comedy show The Improverts. Maria has one sister, Sarah Bamford Seidelmann.


Bamford has been in a number of movies and television shows, including voice appearances in cartoons. Most notably, she was the voice of Shriek in CatDog, a huge selection of secondary characters in Cartoon Network's Adventure Time and Mrs. Botsford, Violet, and Leslie on the long running PBS educational series WordGirl. The best-known aspect of her act is her various impersonations (including her mother and her agent). Her stand-up comedy often takes the form of vignettes rather than the standard setup/punchline format.

Bamford was featured in the documentary series The Comedians of Comedy on Comedy Central and Showtime, and appeared in short skits titled "The Maria Bamford Show" broadcast on the recently rebooted website Super Deluxe. She also appears on the comedy compilation CD Comedy Death-Ray.

Her album Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome, produced by Comedy Central Records, was released in April 2009 and includes a DVD containing "The Maria Bamford Show" episodes.

During the Christmas 2009-2010 shopping seasons, Bamford was featured in a series of Target commercials, portraying an overachieving shopper determined to be first in line.[1]

For Christmas 2009, she released a free stand-up special online as a gift to her fans.[2]

In 2012 she released The Special Special Special for download through The special was recorded at her own home in Los Angeles with only Bamford's parents present as the audience and is now available on Netflix.[3][4]

In 2013, Bamford created and stars in a web series called 'Ask My Mom.' Maria plays both herself and her mom, who answers questions sent in by fans.[5]

Also in 2013, Bamford appeared as herself in one episode of the interview web series All Growz Up with Melinda Hill.[6]

She provides the voice of Pema in Nickelodeon cartoon The Legend of Korra. In 2013, she appeared in season four of Arrested Development as DeBrie Bardeaux, Tobias Fünke's love interest.[7]

She appeared in Season 3 of Louis CK's Louie.[8] And in 2014, she co-created, wrote and starred in "The Program" with Melinda Hill, produced by Funny or Die.[9][10]

In 2014, she won the American Comedy Award for Best Club Comic.[11]

In January 2016, she was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where he called her his "favorite comedian on planet Earth."[12]

In 2016 Bamford starred in Lady Dynamite based on her own life on Netflix.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Bamford stated in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune that she has been diagnosed with bipolar II disorder,[15] "the new gladiator sandal," as she puts it in her comic performances.[4]

On December 11, 2014, during her show at the Neptune Theater in Seattle, Bamford announced that she was engaged to artist Scott Marvel Cassidy.[16] They were married in 2015.


Compilation features[edit]




Web series[edit]


  1. ^ Keller, Joel (November 24, 2009). "Maria Bamford plays a demented shopper in new Target ads". TVSquad. AOL Television. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ Maria Bamford's One-Hour Homemade Christmas Special! on Vimeo
  3. ^ "Maria Bamford: the special special special!". Chill. 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  4. ^ a b Sara Corbett (July 17, 2014). "The Weird, Scary and Ingenious Brain of Maria Bamford". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ David, Haglund. "Maria Bamford on Arrested Development and Her New Web Series, Ask My Mom!". Slate. Retrieved 10 June 2013.  External link in |work= (help)
  6. ^ Balthazar, Brian. ""All Growz Up" Talks To Maria Bamford In A Back Alley". Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Onion, Rebecca. "Tobias gets served.". Slate. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ Maria Bamford (2012-07-20). "What it's like to work with Louis C. K.". Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  9. ^ "Maria Bamford, Melinda Hill's Funny Or Die series The Program features Jerry Minor, Oscar Nunez and more as Debtors Anonymous members (Videos)". LAUGHSPIN. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "The Program Part 1: Visions". Funny or Die. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Steiner, Amanda Michelle. "American Comedy Awards Winners List: Bill Hader, Amy Poehler & More". Hollywood Life. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  12. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (16 January 2016). "Maria Bamford on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert". The Comics Comic. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "Maria Bamford's Lady Dynamite comedy series is heading to Netflix". Entertainment Weekly. June 19, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Maria Bamford Announces 'Lady Dynamite' Premiere Date – With A Little Help". Deadline. February 23, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  15. ^ David Burger (June 22, 2011). "Comic Maria Bamford will cross personal boundaries at Utah show". The Salt Lake Tribune. I was re-diagnosed (after a three-day stay at the hospital) as Bipolar II 
  16. ^ Burch, Cathalena (4 September 2014). "Comic takes on politics, understanding conservatives and suicide". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 

External links[edit]