Maria Bamford

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Maria Bamford and George Saunders [R]

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New to Bullseye? Subscribe to the show in iTunes or via the RSS feed, or check out our SoundCloud page to share any or all of these interviews or recommendations!

Maria Bamford: Comedy's Orchid

Maria Bamford's comedy is weird and wonderfully distinctive. For example: she recorded her last stand up special at home, in her living room. The seating? Her couch. The audience? Her parents. She performed her set with breaks "off-stage" to take cookies out of the oven and administer medicine to her pet pug. Her comedy takes on a number of difficult issues, ones that are personal to her -- mental illness, suicidal thoughts, or tough family dynamics (she describes her family's favorite pastime as "Joy Whack-a-Mole"). But she doesn't use humor as a shield. She uses it to confront an issue, point-blank.

Bamford talks to us about why she chose to perform a special in front of her parents, processing awful experiences or feelings into jokes, and why she describes herself as "the orchid of comedy".

The Special Special Special is available now and streaming on Netflix. Her new Comedy Central CD / DVD special, Ask Me About My New God is now available.

This interview originally aired on 2/12/13.

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Dan Deacon on "The Song That Changed My Life"

Dan Deacon is a Baltimore-based composer and electronics musician who has released over a dozen albums since 2003. He talks about why a player piano composition by Conlon Nancarrow changed his life and the way he made music.

This interview originally aired on 1/03/12.

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George Saunders on Creative Challenge and Financial Pressure

George Saunders could have been a geophysicist. In fact, he was one. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines and worked in the oil fields of Sumatra. He came to fiction writing a little later in life, attending Syracuse University's creative writing program (where he now teaches).

Saunders is now well-recognized as one of the greatest short story writers and satirists of our time. He's been awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship, along with piles of literary accolades for his collections, which include Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. His stories often explore a world much like our own, just slightly more grotesque -- societies that are terrifying and recognizable. His writing is incisive, sad, and also really funny. His collection, Tenth of December, is available now in paperback.

Saunders talks to us about how people interpret luck and what they do with it, drawing inspiration from a disturbing dream, and unyielding financial pressure (the kind that doesn't even lift when you win a major award).

This interview originally aired on 2/12/13.

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The Outshot: William Carlos Williams' "Danse Russe"

Jesse ruminates on alone time and... William Carlos Williams' "Danse Russe".

This segment originally aired on 2/12/13.

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Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 332: Cake-Spangled Banner with Maria Bamford

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Guests: 
Maria Bamford

Fan favorite Maria Bamford joins Jordan and Jesse for a discussion of Jordan's new possible nickname, Maria's community building, survival stories and everyone performs a special version of the national anthem.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Best Comedy of 2013 Special

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Show: 
Bullseye

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

It was a great year for comedy. Everyone from seasoned stand-ups to musical comedy groups came out with hilarious new material. We listened to all of it and picked the absolute best for you to enjoy. Get ready for the Best Comedy of 2013 Special, as picked by our staff at Bullseye.

You’ll hear selections from the following, almost all of which are available for purchase (with the exception of the sets from the Atlantic Ocean Comedy and Music Festival).

Kumail Nanjiani - Beta Male

Kathleen Madigan - Madigan Again

Pete Holmes - Nice Try, the Devil

Moshe Kasher - Live in Oakland

Bill Cosby - Far From Finished

Maria Bamford - Ask Me About My New God!

Mike Birbiglia - My Girlfriend's Boyfriend

Eugene Mirman - An Evening of Comedy in a Fake, Underground Laboratory

Todd Glass - Todd Glass Talks About Stuff

Craig Ferguson - I'm Here to Help

Chris Hardwick - Mandroid

The Lonely Island - The Wack Album

Dana Gould - I Know It’s Wrong

John Roy - Alexander Hamilton

Josie Long - from the Atlantic Ocean Comedy and Music Festival

Jasper Redd - from the Atlantic Ocean Comedy and Music Festival

Kurt Braunohler - How Do I Land?

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The Atlantic Ocean Comedy and Music Festival

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Join your favorite comedians and musicians September 13th through 16th, 2013 for three fun-filled days on the high seas. It’s The Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival, presented by MaximumFun.org, Splitsider and KCRW!

Our ship sets sail from Miami, Florida for a three-night celebration of good times. We’ll have exclusive parties, a trip to a private Caribbean island, a stop in the Bahamas, and a truly spectacular lineup of comics and musicians, including

Maria Bamford ~ Kurt Braunohler ~ Chuck Bryant


John Darnielle ~ John Hodgman ~ Hari Kondabolu ~ Josie Long


Al Madirgal ~ Marc Maron ~ Nellie McKay ~ Eugene Mirman


Jasper Redd ~ John Roderick ~ Kristen Schaal ~ Nick Thune

And don’t worry, cruise enthusiasts: there will also be shuffleboard and giant plates of shrimp.

Ready to join us? BOOK NOW!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: George Saunders and Maria Bamford

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
George Saunders
Guests: 
Maria Bamford

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to the show in iTunes or via the RSS feed, or check out our SoundCloud page to share any or all of these interviews or recommendations!

Comics Recommendations: Hawkeye and Don't Go Where I Can't Follow

Brian Heater and Alex Zalben join us this week to share some comics picks. Alex suggests you check out Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon, a superhero comic about everyday stuff -- like attending a BBQ. Brian recommends Anders Nilsen's Don't Go Where I Can't Follow, a very moving pastiche of a couple's relationship.

Brian Heater curates Boing Boing’s comics column, and Alex Zalben writes about comics for MTV Geek.

Share Alex and Brian's Comics Picks

George Saunders on Creative Challenge and Financial Pressure

George Saunders could have been a geophysicist. In fact, he was one. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines and worked in the oil fields of Sumatra. He came to fiction writing a little later in life, attending Syracuse University's creative writing program (where he now teaches).

Saunders is now well-recognized as one of the greatest short story writers and satirists of our time. He's been awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship, along with piles of literary accolades for his collections, which include Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. His stories often explore a world much like our own, just slightly more grotesque -- societies that are terrifying and recognizable. His writing is incisive, sad, and also really funny. His new collection, Tenth of December, is out now.

Saunders talks to us about how people interpret luck and what they do with it, drawing inspiration from a disturbing dream, and unyielding financial pressure (the kind that doesn't even lift when you win a major award).

Embed or Share this interview with George Saunders

Maria Bamford: Comedy's Orchid

Maria Bamford's comedy is weird and wonderfully distinctive. She's just released a new special, recorded at her home, where she performs a stand up set with breaks "off-stage" to take cookies out of the oven and administer medicine to her pet pug. Her comedy takes on a number of difficult issues, ones that are personal to her -- mental illness, suicidal thoughts, or tough family dynamics (she describes her family's favorite pastime as "Joy Whack-a-Mole"). But she doesn't use humor as a shield. She uses it to confront an issue, point-blank.

Bamford talks to us about why she chose to perform a special in front of her parents, processing awful experiences or feelings into jokes, and why she describes herself as "the orchid of comedy".

The Special Special Special is available now. Her new Comedy Central CD / DVD special, Ask Me About My New God, is due out later this year.

Embed or Share this interview with Maria Bamford

The Outshot: William Carlos Williams' "Danse Russe"

Jesse ruminates on alone time and... William Carlos Williams' "Danse Russe".

Embed or Share this Outshot on William Carlos Williams' "Danse Russe"

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Best Comedy of 2012 Special

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Show: 
Bullseye

It was a great year in comedy, so selecting the best of the best and compiling it into an hour-long special was a tall order. We have done just that, however, and we're kicking a new year off with a bang and The Best Comedy of 2012, as curated by the Bullseye staff.

You'll hear selections from the following, all of which are available for purchase now:

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to the show in iTunes or via the RSS feed, or check out our SoundCloud page to share any or all of our interviews or recommendations!

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Alumni Newsletter: Week of November 12, 2012

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  • Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein announced the release date of the new season of Portlandia via this delightful video, Meditation Crush. The show will return to IFC for its third season on January 4th. As a holiday treat, the show will release a special on Dec. 14th called Winter in Portlandia.
  • Here’s a bright start to the holiday season: on November 28th, Maria Bamford will self-release a new comedy special entitled Maria Bamford: The special special special! True to her unique style, the show was taped in her living room and the only audience members are her parents, Joel and Marilyn. Best of all, you’ll be able to download it from Chill.com for the fan-friendly price of only $4.99!
  • Bored with your current collection of holiday music? We have wonderful news: Our MaxFun pals Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick are releasing a new CD of original Christmas songs! (And one Hanukkah tune!) For a taste, you can stream two of the songs here; but if you want the full holiday experience, you can order the complete collection - plus other related treats - here.
  • Chris Hardwick premiered his first one-hour Comedy Central special this weekend. Entitled Mandroid, it is chock-full of the usual nerdy goodness you’ve come to expect from Chris and will be available on CD, DVD and as a digital download on January 22, 2013 (but a real friend would pre-order it , don’t you think?)
  • And, of course, you’ve totally read Jon Ronson’s terrific new book, right? It’s an amazing set of stories entitled Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries- and it features the same unique blend of humor, adventure and thoughtful journalism that have made his previous works so memorable. Ronson visited The Daily Show recently to discuss it. You should also check out Ronson's recent appearance as our special guest on International Waters.

This Week Live

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Here's where you can find some of our favorite people this week:

Asheville, NC - They Might Be Giants at The Orange Peel on Sept. 28th;

Atlanta, GA - Adam Corolla at the Tabernacle on Sept. 30th;

Baton Rouge, LA - Brian Posehn at the Manship Theater on Sept. 26th and 27th;

Bloomington, IL - The Comedy Attic will feature Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford on Sept. 22nd, 23rd and 24th and Doug Benson (taping an episode of Doug Loves Movies) on Sept. 26th;

Boston, MA - The Wilbur Theater will host Bill Burr on Sept. 23rd and 24th and Louis CK on Oct. 1st; Das Racist will be at the Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub on the 28th;

Canton, MA - The Hold Steady will appear at the Life Is Good Festival on Sept. 24th;

Chicago, IL - They Might Be Giants with Jonathan Coulton at The Vic Theater on Sept. 23rd;

Colorado Springs, CO - Doug Benson at The Black Sheep on Sept. 21st;

Des Moines, IA - Demitri Martin will appear at Hoyt Sherman Place on Sept. 23rd;

Detroit, MI - Chris Tucker will perform at the Fox Theater Detroit on October 1st;

Indianapolis, IN - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at The Vogue on the 22nd; Doug Benson at Crackers on Sept. 25th; Chris Tucker at the Murat Theater at Old National Center on Sept. 30th;

Louisville, KY - The Improv will host Marc Maron on Sept. 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th and Doug Benson on October 1st; Bob Edwards will be appearing to promote his new book, "A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio", at the Filson Historical Society on the 22nd;

Madison, WI - Dave Atell will at the Comedy Club on State on Sept. 23rd and 24th;

Miami Beach, FL - Chris Tucker will be at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater on Sept. 24th;

Nashville, TN - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the Cannery Ballroom on Sept. 27th;

New Haven, CT - Das Racist will play at Toad's Place on Sept. 29th;

New Orleans, LA - Chris Tucker at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Sept. 23rd;

New York, NY: Colson Whitehead will be doing a book signing at McNally Jackson Books as part of the New Yorker Festival on October 2nd; He'll also be participating in a panel discussion about Alternative Realities at SVA Theatre on Sept. 30th;

Omaha, NE - Demitri Marin will be at the Omaha Music Hall on Sept. 24th;

Ottawa, ON - Greg Proops will be performing "Whose Live Anyway?" at the Centrepointe Theater in Ottawa, ON on Sept. 23rd;

Philadelphia, PA - The Hold Steady at the Popped Music Festival on Sept. 23rd; They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the Theater of the Living Arts on Sept. 30th.

Portland, OR - Scott Thompson and Kevin McDonald perform "Two Kids, One Hall" at Helium on Sept. 22nd, 23rd and 24th; Tig Notaro at Mississippi Studios on Sept. 28th;

Providence, RI - Das Racist at The Met on Sept. 30th;

Raleigh, NC - Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson performing "Two Kids, One Hall" at Goodnights on Sept. 29th, 30th, Oct. 1st and 2nd;

Richmond, VA - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the The National on Sept. 29th;

Salt Lake City, UT - Jimmy Pardo at Wiseguys Comedy Club on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st;

Sayreville, NJ - Brian Posehn at the Starland Ballroom on Sept. 30th;

Seattle, WA - Demitri Martin at The Neptune Theater on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st;

St. Louis, MO - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at The Pagaent on Sept. 24th

Tulsa, OK - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at Cains Ballroom on Sept. 25th;

Ventura, CA - Doug Benson at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club on Sept. 28th;

Washington, DC - Das Racist at the 9:30 Club on October 1st.

This Week Live: August 22nd, 2011

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Here are some spots around the country where you can catch your MaxFun favorites this week.

Andy Kindler will be at the Playboy Comedy Lounge of the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas August 25th to 27th.

Bill Burr will be at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, NJ from August 25th to the 28th.

Colson Whitehead will be at the University of Wyoming in Laramie tonight, August 22nd.

Childish Gambino, Mobb Deep and Blu & Exile will be in Mountain View, CA as part of the Rock the Bells Festival at the Shoreline Amphitheater on August 27th.

Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford will be performing at the Helium Comedy Club in Portland, OR on August 25th, 26th and 27th.

Jimmy Pardo will be at the Funny Bone in Virginia Beach, VA on August 25th-27th.

Kumail Nanjiani will be performing the Meltdown Show at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles on August 24th with Brent Weinbach, Jen Kirkman and Brett Gelman.

Marc Maron will be at Hilarities in Cleveland, OH on August 25th-28th.

Tig Notaro will be at the Tin Roof in Charleston, SC on August 24th and at the Calendonia in Athens, GA on August 25th.

Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson will be performing Two Kids, One Hall at Zanies in Nashville on August 25th-28th.

Wyatt Cenac will be appearing at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in Arlington, VA on August 26th.

A MaxFunCon Special with Brooke Gladstone, Lee Unkrich and more on The Sound of Young America

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A moment with John Hodgman and Lee Unkrich
Show: 
Bullseye

This week, highlights from our annual creativity and comedy conference, MaxFunCon. Join us for some excerpts of illuminating talks:

Plus, top-notch comedy from:

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