Maria Bamford Biography (Personal Life, Career)

Maria Bamford is an American stand-up comedian, a unique and original voice in comedy. Maria Bamford is not a traditional stand-up comedian. Rather than telling one-liners or making observations, the female stand-up comedian creates short character pieces and performs multiple voices (all of them funny) at once. Her comedy goes to some dark places (family dysfunction, depression and anxiety) but it all comes out filtered through her sweet, odd persona.

Personal Life

Maria Elizabeth Sheldon Bamford was born in September 3, 1970 at the naval base in Port Hueneme, California, where her father Joel was serving as a Navy dermatologist doctor and her Mother was a therapist. The stand-up comedian grew up there and in Duluth, Minnesota where she attended Chester Park Elementary and The Marshall School. The stand-up comedian went on to attend Bates College the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Minnesota and received a degree in Creative Writing. The comedian has never been married, and she has no children. Though the stand-up comedian is not alone, she has two pugs, Bert and Blossom. They currently live in Eagle Rock, California.


The female comedian started stand-up comedy in Minneapolis at the age of 19 at Stevie Ray's Comedy Cabaret and 10 years later, she made her first appearance on the Tonight Show! She is best known for her portrayal of her dysfunctional family, and comedy lines involving jokes about depression. Bamford is one of those stand-up comedians whose “real” personality seems mysterious. In her act, she shifts through personas and voices (her parents, classmates, airheads, co-workers, monsters), so seamlessly and with such pitch-perfect imitation that it’s easy to think Bamford is 100 percent vessel, 0 percent real person

Maria is the first female comic to have two half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials. She has made multiple late-night comedy appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as not-so-late appearances on John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show, Premium Blend, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and The World Comedy Tour: Melbourne 2003.

In 2004, comedian Patton Oswalt organized a few of his friends and fellow comics together for the Comedians of Comedy tour, a showcase of some of the best in alternative comedy. Bamford was part of that tour. The tour was turned into a documentary/tour film, called The Comedians of Comedy in 2005. In 2008, the stand-up comedian, Bamford joined her fellow Comedians of Comedy for their last-ever comedy show in San Diego.

The comedian’s first stand-up album, The Burning Bridges Tour, was released in 2003. Her second comedy album, How to WIN! was released in 2007 . Her last album, Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome, produced by Comedy Central Records was released in April 2009 and includes a DVD containing "The Maria Bamford Show" episodes. The album was named one of the best comedy albums of the decade by The AV Club. The comedian Maria Bamford also appeared on the comedy compilation CD, Comedy Death-Ray.

The stand-up comedian’s unique voice and ability to perform characters keeps her working in the cartoon voice-over business. Maria currently provides the majority of female voices on the Cartoon animations as Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, Disney Channel’s Kick Buttowski, Nickelodeon’s Kung Fu Panda, PBS’s Emmy-winning series Word Girl, Tight Bros for Adult Swim. The stand-up comedian was also a regular voice on Nickelodeon’s CatDog and Back at the Barnyard, Hey Arnold, Mucha Lucha, Skunk Fu! and the direct-to-video film Charlotte's Web 2. The comedian also does voice for more "grown-up" cartoons, including Tom Goes to the Mayor, Home Movies and Sit Down, Shut Up.

Recently, the stand-up comedian Maria Bamford landed a role as "The Neurotic Farm Wife" in the animated Barnyard feature by Steve Odekerk. Some of her other credits include, Stuart Little 2, Lucky Numbers with John Travolta, Dharma and Greg and The Trouble with Normal.

During the Christmas 2009 shopping season, the


released a free stand up special online as a gift to her fans. Her web comedy series is being displayed at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. The stand-up comedian was named one of Los Angeles Magazine's 10 comics to watch in 2005 and one of Variety's 10 comics to watch in 2007. She has definitely earned a rightful place as one of the patron saints of stand-up comedy today.

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