Maria Bamford on Becoming Her Mother | The New York Times Maria Bamford. I hadn't heard of Maria Bamford until I read @Emily Heller's Milq Q+A, but as is often true for things you've never heard of, you begin to hear about them all the time. Last week, I found out that Maria Bamford is my neighbor, as is Marc Maron and Eric Wareheim (not 100% sure about Wareheim, but I've seen him at two local establishments [1.] [2.] in the past two weeks so I'm making an educated guess i.e. assumption.) Highland Park represent!
Last night I went to the Highland Park Show, a monthly comedy night at the neighborhood's favorite Stumptown provider Cafe De Leche. My friends and I thought we had safely secured seats in the middle of the room, but the turn out was not great— pretty much just us and the comics! and the middle became the front when the comedians scooted the mic to what amounted to be directly in front of me. The most feared comedy show seat in the house became pretty exciting when Maria Bamford was surprised announced as the first comic of the night. The proximity made me feel a little starstruck, and when she extended her hand for me to hold, I leaned in affectionately.
She explained a game she played in grade school called "One big blob." She was the blob and chanted, "One big blob." When she held my hand, we both chanted "One big blob," and soon enough the entire room was holding hands and shouting "One big blob." That was basically her entire bit, and I loved it. Margaret Cho on Power Bottoms and Surviving Bullshit Margaret Cho on Power Bottoms and Surviving Bullshit. Margaret Cho is a no-bullshit comedian, actress, producer and author known for tackling the politics of gender, sexuality, and race with razor sharp wit. Early in her career, Cho starred in the 1994 sitcom All American Girl on ABC. But after network executives criticized her appearance—asking her to lose weight and tone herself down—the actress decided to part ways from the show. While Cho has struggled with an eating disorder and addiction in the past, she's since channelled these experiences into her performances. Before it was trendy Cho was, and remains, an unabashed feminist.
As a Korean-American and an openly bisexual entertainer, Cho uses her stand-up and one-woman shows as a platform to discuss her personal life and politics, bringing honesty and activism to the stage. In the past decade, she has produced a Broadway show, launched multiple national tours, and sold out rooms around the country. On stage and off she's been a perpetual voice to marginalized communities and her next show, There Is No I In Team But There Is A Cho In Psycho, is no exception. Let's talk about women in comedy for just a second Let's talk about women in comedy for just a second. (Reposted from Facebook)
I've never once responded to any articles about The Pizza Underground, but this one, wow! As a co-founder and one of the “considerably less famous” Pizza Underground members, I find Eugenia Williamson's use of the backlash she received against her original post to rail against how women are treated in journalism and comedy to be, ironically, totally offensive to women. Yes, as a fellow female journalist and comedian (of sorts), I am certainly for equal wages and respect, but the answer is not to pathetically attempt to make fun of a celebrity in the public eye and to then discredit the backlash by blaming the patriarchy. By capitalizing off the media attention she is critiquing, the writer is stooping as low as the system she blames.
"I was a nobody making fun of a somebody. I was a woman making fun of a man. I was a middling freelance writer making fun of a celebrity millionaire. I believe I was scorned for not respecting the order of things,” she wrote in this article published, for some reason, yesterday. The backlash Williamson got for her original post is not because she is a not-funny woman, it’s because the so-called article she wrote is not funny period, and her sloppiness as a journalist undermines her cause entirely.
What if instead of making fun of former child stars, she mentioned the female comedians in the band, the ones who were too un-famous for her to deem worthy of an interview? Whether she liked the show or not, thought we were funny or not, much of our jokes are written and performed by the women in the band, myself and Phoebe Kreutz, a musical comedy writer and one of the funniest people I know. Williamson attended our show in Boston, but said nothing about it in the article, in lieu of mentioning getting free whiskeys from the bartender.
Williamson is miffed that our publicist would not grant her an exclusive interview with Macaualy Culkin, but many much more experienced journalists from both genders and top-tier publications were also denied the same interview. Mack is one of five in the band, and not even a founding member. Sure, he is a celebrity and the rest of us are not, but by refusing to grant exclusive interviews with Mack, our band was doing what we could to balance the media attention. Of course, there is little we can do diffuse the spotlight from Mack, and despite our best efforts, people were not going to stop calling us, as the title of this article does, “Macaulay Culkin’s Pizza Underground,” but at least we were attempting to honor our own mission.
On a positive note, reading this article made me aware of all the rad people who came to our defense like John Darnielle, Alex Goldman, Tom Scharpling, and Patton Oswalt. Sweet.