Maria Bamford: Old Baby (2017) Movie Script

I always like to tell audiences...
just in case you're brought
here by a friend.
Sometimes friends lead us astray.
I had two very close friends.
My parents invite me to go see a film.
I said, "Of course
I'll go see that movie with you,
because you love me.
Why on earth would
you want to see me suffer?"
And then I sat through
Steven Spielberg's War Horse,
which, if you haven't seen,
as far as I'm concerned,
is a 14-hour, real-time documentary
about a gentle horse struggling in vain
to escape from barbed wire.
This may be your war horse.
If that's the case,
do as I did.
Take a lap outside.
Get yourself a treat.
There's probably a CVS
or a Rite Aid selling ice cream... nearby
because you're a good friend.
You took a risk.
And in fact,
your relationship has only grown deeper,
because now you know
you have different senses of humor
when it comes to certain types
of stand-up comedy.
Oh! What a stinging broth intimacy can be.
[mimics shivering]
That's who you are.
That's it.
Did you know that on Netflix,
it is possible to run out
of genocide documentaries?
And I've got to fill
my queue with something.
How else am I gonna feel that contentment
that comes from the perception
I'm not about to kill millions of people,
nor are millions
of people about to kill me?
My queue kept suggesting a reality show
called Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta,
which is a show wherein young ladies
pick out gowns for their nuptials.
And it's very similar
to a genocide documentary,
[deep voice] in that no one
is learning from history!
[Southern accent] It's my day,
it's the most important
day in a woman's life.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
[deep low voice]
I just want a pretty dress.
Bigger than the other dresses.
Bigger than the other dresses.
I just got married last year.
Uh... As an older bride.
What is that, a specter from the attic?
And, uh...
The thing is,
what you might ask, is...
The reason it happened
was I had an epiphany.
I was so sick of myself
asking that question
of people in relationships:
"How did you guys meet?
Did your hands come together
by accident in a garden?"
And what do people
in relationships always say?
They always say,
"Um, well, we just met
and we genuinely liked each other,
and, you know, there's ups and downs.
We like each other, so we stay together."
Oh, I'm sorry if you're bored
with your miracle!
And it seems like to me romance
takes a lot more than that.
Like, you gotta want it, but no.
Be available.
Too busy.
He's the one.
But that's the deal breaker.
The odds of falling in love
with the perfect person
at the perfect time
are about the odds of, I don't know,
being discovered in Hollywood.
Wait a minute.
I asked a similarly desperate question
for many years,
which was,
how do you make it in show business?
Do you move to San Diego
and disguise yourself as a bush?
Moving slowly northward
beneath the cover of dusk?
[audience laughs]
And what do famous people always say?
They always say,
"Well, do you enjoy doing it?"
Isn't it fun, yeah, just keep doing it.
Just keep it doing, you know,
and, um...
if you don't enjoy it,
please, you know, stop.
But no one can ever
take that away from you.
You get to do it, and it's a privilege.
And just,
you know,
pretty soon you've been
doing it a long time, you go, whoa this,
this is what I do.
This is what I've done with my life.
Best of luck.
Which is profoundly true.
Is that what a relationship is?
Is it just continuing
to show up without any guarantee?
I can do that!
I didn't realize there'd be ambiguity,
doubt, confusion,
or at least the amount
that there is in a job.
'Cause people always say,
once you've been doing
something a long time, they say,
"I bet you always knew
you wanted to be a comedian."
[whispers] I did not want
to do this show today.
You guys know that.
[normal voice] And, uh...
that means me and my boo-boo,
me and my snuggle man,
me and my Mr. Handsome Face Turkey Butt,
have a chance,
because we've had our high times.
Oh, God,
when you're starting out real cocky.
Oh, our kissing is so hot,
it should be on TV.
La, la, la, la...
And then you get the craftsmanship stage.
That's when things take more effort.
That's when I get a poor attitude,
like in this job.
I say, "I'd like to do an invulnerable
impersonation of my mother,
but I don't wanna
do it in front of a sports bar,
where the Raisin Bran Bowl is playing
and nobody's listening."
Well, Princess Daffodil,
that would be the whole fucking thing,
so why don't you learn
to project above nine television sets
and make some friends?
[audience laughs]
And if you're lucky in life,
you get to have those dark times,
the relationship equivalent
of two weeks in Laughlin, Nevada.
Bombing three shows a night
for hundreds of silent,
angry jet skiers.
Laughing, crying,
thinking, this is not
at all what I wanted!
But there's always one
strawberry toaster pastry left
in the hallway vending machine.
And you break it,
and share it with the opener
and the headliner.
[whispers] And you make
it through another show.
And that way you get days like today,
where it all seems
like it was meant to be.
Happy anniversary
to show business audience
of over 20 years.
I love you all far more deeply
than the day we first met,
and the fact that we all still have
the free will to abandon each other
at any given moment...
makes it all the more compelling.
I'm back, I came back!
But I don't,
it's my special,
but I don't want to come back,
but I'm coming back!
No, okay, okay.
No, no! No!
But what if I didn't come back?
But I did, I did.
That's full body peek-a-boo.
Not a lot of comics who are doing that.
[audience laughing]
You're right.
[blows raspberry]
I know.
I'm 46 years-old.
Of course I've fallen in love
many times before.
It was always over 100% my fault,
uh, that it didn't work out,
'cause you know how it is.
You fall in love with someone.
You tell them, uh,
that you love them,
and then you share with them
what you think
is the single most horrifying
fact about yourself.
They're gonna think it's something else.
For example, I would tell you,
I love you so much.
Heads up:
mental illness runs in my family.
If ever I start talking too fast
about wanting to get in touch
with the pope
or some other ethical authority,
you're gonna wanna put me in a purple van,
drive me to doggy day care 'cause
I need to be boarded for the weekend.
Some guys said,
"Whoa, whoa, whoa."
Fair enough.
And some guys were like,
"Oh, okay."
And I rejected them.
They shared with me their deepest secret,
and one fantastic
human being to share with me.
Babe, I love you,
and... I think you should know,
my dad's in the mafia.
I'm not, but I do have a million
in cash in case something goes down.
He uses my Social Security number.
He will probably try to use yours,
but it'll never be a problem."
What I said was, "Whoa, whoa, whoa."
What I could have said was,
"I work in the entertainment industry.
I am awash in filthy money!"
The Disney Channel's a front
for Thai child prostitution.
That's an open secret.
I've paid in cash most nights
with a gun on the table.
I would be honored
if your father used my Social,
and at certain points in my life,
it would have only raised my credit score.
I had another, uh,
handsome individual
share with me,
"Babe, a couple years back,
I had a two-year,
meth-fueled gay relationship,
but then I got into Weight Watchers,
and I gained back my confidence."
What I said, very judgmentally, was...
"Whoa, whoa, whoa."
What I could have said was,
"That sounds like fun!"
Life is fucking hard.
I hope you make up for it in points.
if you want to talk about
bizarre sexual behavior,
I for a period of 15 years
had a one night stand
in a Hampton Inn or better
up and down the I-35W corridor.
They were always drunk,
I was always stone-cold sober.
It was planned, it was cyclical.
Those are a few of
the signs of a predator.
Nobody's perfect.
Let's work this out!
So when my scrumptious beloved...
explained to me that at the age of 52
he is not, in fact, a virgin,
and I had always dreamed
of having a clean boy...
[audience laughs]
but he is a filthy little monkey.
And he was okay with me.
He said, "I know sometimes
women who are post-menopausal...
Um, well, anyways,
if you go to the psych ward,
they don't let you have sharp stuff.
And if-if you grew a beard,
I'd come in and I'd shave your beard."
[audience laughs]
That's about the most
romantic thing I ever did hear tell!
Uh, you interested in some merch?
Uh, we take, uh, cash,
we take credit cards.
We, uh, take barter.
Um, that's a safe dating card.
It takes you through the stages of dating,
all the way through rape
and domestic violence.
You don't have any CDs or anything?
Uh, I do not sell any CDs
of my stand-up comedy.
I know... I bought this already,
because it's my own merch,
but wouldn't I be interested
in having a little more?
'Cause what if I gave this one away?
The signature, I'm hiding hat.
And then I would need another.
These are perfect for the athletic in you.
[man] Jesus Christ!
Um, this is an XXL.
You think, that would be too big on me,
but is it not just maybe perfect?
The perfect size.
If you want a conversation starter,
you know, and you say,
okay, I wanna wear a big short
that's gonna make people ask questions,
but then also acknowledge my limitations
as a personality,
so that, when you abruptly walk away,
look down,
they're not surprised.
"Oh, do you wanna be happy?"
"Do you wanna be a success?"
"Do you wanna buy merch?"
I just tricked you there.
It's a pancake stress squeezer,
um, and then it reads, which is very true,
"Meds are more effective."
[audience laughs]
More merch available pencil.
I already want 100.
Wait a minute, I bought 100!
My husband has noticed, uh,
something about me.
I like to tear open packages of food,
take caps partially off beverages,
and then leave them out and around,
and he said very kindly, very sweetly,
I explained, because I am raccoon.
I need to get in there, okay,
get what's good,
be on my way.
Oh, but what if you get sick,
you know, because sometimes it can go bad?
You'll fall ill.
Were you not listening
when I just mentioned that I am raccoon?
I can digest ceiling tile.
I just need to fill this up,
get back to the river with my friends.
Did you just bring an old salad to bed?
[softly] It's nighttime, I'm awake!
Um, uh...
We do not know what we're doing,
uh, so we go see a therapist,
and we don't know if it's helping,
but we have written a song about her.
Cheryl Hirsham
Cheryl Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
You go to Cheryl Hirsham
'Cause she reflects back what
your partner's trying to say to you
And it normalizes conflict
Cheryl Hirsham
Cheryl Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
Cheryl Hirsham
Scott freaked out
'cause I locked him in the garage
by accident for two hours,
and he's like,
"Oh, my God, I'm with somebody
who didn't even notice I'm not there!"
And he told Cheryl Hirsham,
and she kind of giggled,
and then he felt
irritated and felt unsafe.
And then we all laughed.
Cheryl Hirsham
Cheryl Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
I freaked out
'cause Scott peed in the backyard,
and I'm like, "Oh, my God,
are we going Grey Gardens here,
gonna start collecting
wet newspaper and cat food?"
And I told Cheryl Hirsham,
and she said,
"Sometimes my son pees in the backyard,
and it helps scare away the deer."
Cheryl Hirsham
Cheryl Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
She has long silver hair
That you can tell she sets in hot rollers
'cause she fucking cares about herself!
And she has this Thomas Kinkade painting,
I don't know if you've seen it,
it's Christian painter,
painter of light, a lot of...
Anyways, uh, don't judge her for it.
And then she has
this magazine in her lobby
called Bi-Polar Magazine.
Nineteen copies of the same issue.
I said, "Hey, can I have one of those?"
And she said, "No."
Cheryl Hirsham
Cheryl Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
[deep voice] Every time
we go to see Cheryl Hirsham,
we can't remember the code to get in.
Is it 4-0-0-2?
Wait, is it 2-0-0-4?
I thought you wrote it down!
You put it in your phone!
I didn't bring my phone
because I thought we're supposed
to be more mindful of our time together
and be off social media!
It's your fault!
No, it's your fault!
Wait, wait.
It's our fault.
We did all this together.
We're a team!
Cheryl Hirsham Hirsham
It is so hard to love people nowadays.
There is too much to keep track of.
"Oh, you didn't like my Facebook event."
I'm fucking here!
You want me to Hellen Keller
a thumbs up into your palm?
[audience laughs]
And, uh,
I love my father.
I was painting him a ceramic
dog bank at Color Me Mine,
and of course I wanted
to create something meaningful
that would last forever.
The plan was garishly splatter
an already extremely
unattractive ceramic dog bank
to get the following reaction:
Joel, do we have to keep
this thing from Maria
in the center of the living room?
It's a gift from our youngest daughter,
and it deserves a place of honor.
Oh, I just can't stand it.
I can't stand it.
I'm putting it in the basement.
Marilyn, I get to have one goddamn
thing in this house that's mine!
Are you keeping money in here?
It's my money, Marilyn.
That's a savory piece of gristle
those two kids can tug back and forth
over the course of their golden years.
But you know how it is.
You are creating something,
you start out strong,
but then you're working on a Spicy V8
and you start to lose focus.
And, uh,
I ended up barely
covering the dog in one color,
and shoving it into the kiln.
I left sick with anger at myself.
I said, "Is that all I have for my father?
An unobtrusive tchotchke?"
She hates it.
It worked out exactly as you planned!
[audience laughs]
Yeah, and I bought a China cat
to sit opposite of it
so there's a real nice tension.
And he's not putting money in there,
'cause he says he can't trust me.
But when she's looking,
I put my lips to its slot
and I whisper my wishes.
I got secrets, Marilyn.
Your mother's been opening
my mail for 45 years,
which is a federal offense.
I opened a birthday
card from your sister.
Are you hiding something?
I don't know, Marilyn.
You read it.
Am I?
You say that you love people.
I say that I love my nieces and nephews,
but is that what I say when once a year
I FedEx them a box of wigs?
Does that...
one act really make up for the fact
that I never make eye contact
and I am still not clear on their names?
Hey, Coltnol.
Oh, where are all the,
the taller shadows?
[audience laughs]
I have a dear friend
who I know still has a flip phone,
yet I continue to send
her emojis of eggplants,
basketballs, pieces of pizza,
knowing that all she sees are squares!
I need to find a way to show people
how much I love them
despite all my words and actions.
Here's what I've come up with.
What's more constant, loving,
and eternal than the Internet?
You make...
a three-second gif saying how you feel.
I care,
I care,
I care,
I care,
I care.
That way, you're covered.
That's like a flame that never goes out.
That's like that candle
outside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,
like, yeah, we can't remember
who's all stacked up back here,
but we got this still going.
Whenever I walk past a cemetery,
I like to say,
"What happened?"
[audience laughing]
That way, the next time
you let somebody down
like I'm letting you guys down right now,
there are not nearly enough
punch lines per second.
Jesus, what is this, a speech?
Yeah, and then after the show
she gives these shoulder-based hugs.
Does she even give a shit?
[audience laughing]
Well, why don't you click on my...
my new Snapchat story?
[whispers] I love you,
but I have glasses and a big mustache.
Rainbow vomit.
I love you.
Glasses, mustache, rainbow vomit.
I love you.
Glasses, mustache,
rainbow vomit.
I have a friend who's always
trying to get me to do stuff.
You want to go horseback riding?
What is it?
You go on a dusty trail with two lesbians
who used to be a couple,
but now they run
a small business together.
And horses bite.
[audience laughs]
Okay, I'll go once,
but I'm gonna have
to cry all the way there,
and I'm gonna need
a Dairy Queen peanut buster parfait
on the way back.
And that's hot fudge, peanuts, ice cream,
hot fudge, peanuts, ice cream,
hot fudge, peanuts, ice cream,
whip cream, cherry topper.
And what I do is I go for the eye,
'cause it takes the fight right out of it!
Do you wanna go swing dancing?
Are people still doing that?
The war is over!
There's plenty of pantyhose for everyone.
It's every Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00,
just when you don't wanna do anything.
And it's side, side,
back step, side, side.
I'll go for three years,
but that is it!
Turns out it's pretty fun.
Do you wanna go to a fitness boot camp?
It's every day at 6:00 a.m.
'cause they're making us into a shape,
and you run
and there's no game element
to distract you from the fact
that you keep running and running.
Here's what I'm gonna do.
I'm gonna go for five days.
Day five, Tanya,
and I know it's gonna be Tanya,
is gonna say,
"Come on, Maria!
I wanna see you push it!"
And I am never gonna go again.
But will you forget
to cancel the automatic debit
coming from your checking account
and pay for it
for the next year and a half?
[whispers] Of course I will.
I love you so much.
Uh, I'm not very good with chit-chat.
Uh, I like a structured communication,
a la stand-up, you know?
I like a hard out.
You know, chit, chat,
chit, chat.
Chit chat...
Where are we going with this?
There is a guy at my dog park
who does not have a dog.
And, um...
[audience laughs]
You're a very beautiful woman.
Hmm, keep it coming.
Turns out I do have all day.
Uh, Howard's 85 years-old
and he used to be a dog trainer.
[mans voice] You know,
these dogs you have,
they don't know the difference
between good and bad
the same way people don't know
the difference between good and bad.
The happiest days of my life,
I was five years old,
I was riding on my father's shoulders,
Times Square,
end of World War II, V-Day.
The war was over, but...
you know, at that same moment
the atomic bomb was being dropped
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
where millions died.
So was it good or was it bad?
[audience laughs]
[normal voice] Okay, this makes much
more sense than clicker training.
We will sit,
and we will stay,
which is not a problem for our family,
because, uh,
everyone's brought in a wagon.
We've got two elderly, overweight pugs.
Nobody walks.
Uh, just out to get some air.
And, you know, Howard's trying
to get me to teach the dogs something.
You gotta give them consequences.
Howard, we're keeping them alive.
Uh... Is that not cruelty enough?
Well, you know, if I asked you,
hey, would you raise
your right hand for me,
you'd say, fuck you, Howard.
I don't know you.
Oh, sounds like you do know me.
But if I dug you underground,
put you underground for six months,
no light, no sound, no human contact,
and then I brought you back up
and I said, "Now, will you
raise your right hand for me?
You're gonna raise your right hand.
Point of order.
Our, uh...
Our family,
I don't know if you've been there,
but you know when you
fucked up in life in a major way,
and you look around and you think,
I have just enough people who love me.
Even if I continued to fuck up
in kind of a major way on a regular basis,
I'm still gonna get treats.
Why strive
for some imaginary standard of behavior?
Even if some of us,
and I'm not gonna say who...
It's me!
Shit on the carpet,
sometimes three times a day,
I can't make it to the toity,
Papa's still gonna helicopter us
into the-the bed for snuggles.
We had a great dog named Trixie.
We called her Trixie
'cause she could do so many tricks.
Jesus Christ, we're not idiots, Howard!
Of course her name was Trixie
'cause she'd...
Sadly, Shaq is always
a Rottweiler in a Lakers jersey.
Pancake is a white, overweight guinea pig.
These things remain true over time!
[audience laughs]
She was a great dog.
The only problem was
she couldn't stop licking herself,
touching herself.
With us guys, it's one and done,
but with you ladies
there's no reason to stop, you know?
And, uh,
we would throw tennis balls at us,
spray orange juice in her face.
We got her this buzzer collar.
That just made it worse.
[audience laughs]
Yeah, our, uh,
our pug Betty, she, uh,
she loops her leg around Arnold's head
and forces him into a position
of cunnilingus...
for hours.
Uh, we call it The Cherry Picker.
That's when I think our animals
have so much to teach us.
[singing in French]
All right.
Okay, merch door open, open!
Come on in! Uh...
I'm changing into
a more professional voice
so that you'll feel more comfortable
exchanging money and credit.
Hey, come on by.
We have the T-shirt,
uh, the one that I'm wearing, as well.
All sorts of sizes.
They run big because
they are made in America.
Uh, and they are, uh,
union made.
Everything else made in Indochina.
Now these are, they're such good quality.
Uh, they're fresh.
It's so easy to, it's so easy...
Okay, it's not as easy as I thought.
Um, I don't want you to feel pressure
to buy anything either.
If you need that pen, you...
You can have it.
I can have it? Okay, okay!
I've lived in Los Angeles, uh, so long
that I've become violently positive.
I am aggressively optimistic.
I was, um, [clicks tongue]
talking to a lady in a shop,
and she said,
"I've always wanted to open
a little boutique like this,
but just like a gourmet deli!"
[audience laughs]
it's already started happening.
You just, you say,
"I am now a grocer.
I am now purveying cookies,
candies, cakes, cornucopias.
I am now."
Yeah, I have two kids, a full-time job.
That'd be pretty tough.
I know it seems impossible,
but it is insane how much
the universe supports you!
Pretty soon you'll be like,
oh, my God, there's a warehouse.
And then like somebody's like,
I've got a free crate of tuna
you could have!
And then...
I'm your first customer.
[deep voice] Hello!
Is the beef fresh?
[normal voice]
This is so powerful if you act it out.
[deep voice] Is the beef fresh?
Is it fresh?
Is it fresh?
[audience laughs]
Um, you know what? It's actually, uh...
[audience laughs]
Probably when I think about it,
it was probably just something
I was just saying.
[laughs nervously]
I probably wouldn't necessarily
want to get into retail.
Open up your fucking
[yells] shop!
[audience laughing]
Make real every passing fancy!
My beloved husband is, of course,
bearing the brunt
of this unsolicited support.
We were talking about Diana Nyad.
She swam from Cuba to Florida,
a 1,000 miles, open water,
without a shark cage.
He said, "Oh, I could never do that!"
I said,
"Yes, you can!"
she's an Olympic swimmer.
She attempted five times.
She almost died twice.
I'm not a good swimmer.
I also really don't want to do it.
[audience laughs]
Why don't you believe in yourself?
We would just incrementally increase
the time you spend in the tub!
I-I'd nip you with washcloths
to mimic the sting of the box jelly.
I was wondering
why I was getting so enraged
when someone suggested there are limits,
and, um,
it is because I think
I feel terribly guilty
that all my dreams
came true relatively easily
about 15 years ago.
I just wanted to be on television.
It happened.
I'd like to think that,
that was a result of hard work.
But if you know me at all,
you know that I am sleepy
and I cannot remember
what you just told me.
That leaves luck.
Luck is just another of way of saying,
some of us were born
sliding into home plate.
Uh, I was given a full ride scholarship
through the age of 25
by an organization called
The Bamfords!
I was talking to a group
of high school students,
and none of us knew why I was there.
Very confusing,
not a little frightening.
I was saying something
extremely ill-advised,
like, "You could do anything
you set your mind to, turtles!"
Kid in the back said,
it's not that easy."
[frightened panting]
[audience laughs]
As a final lesson for Career Day,
if you could take
one of my head shots from 1999
of which I ordered 1,000 on rush
and have never needed them,
and if you guys could toss those out,
I can't seem to.
And as you say to yourself,
Who was that even?
I don't even want to be what she is.
It's like,
she's all shaky."
How does she even have a job?
[audience laughing]
Just know what one individual
managed to accomplish
with a modicum of effort...
and every possible advantage.
"She's like an old baby."
[audience laughs]
That is the perfect description
of what I am.
Very old,
and baby-like.
[audience laughs]
Was getting older.
I am still getting older.
Heard a colleague say,
"Whoa, she's really let herself go!"
And I just felt elated.
uh, 'cause that... is my plan.
I'm going full Detroit,
abandoning all infrastructure,
letting my neural pathways
grow slack with disuse.
People used to come here.
She's so pretty.
She's so pretty in the moonlight.
[audience laughs]
She's just a little girl.
But the disgust in that man's voice, uh,
you know, like, God,
is it my civic duty?
Do I need to keep myself
looking tight, puffy, and wet...
in order to not bring down
the property value
of the person I'm standing next to?
And then I thought about Los Angeles.
We have 100,000 people
living on the streets.
We need more of me.
More places where you can take
the emotional equivalent
of a shopping cart
full of dead car batteries
and pull it up.
I'm a very good place to squat.
I cannot provide you any services,
if you're at a party,
or you stand around, don't feel welcome,
come sit next to me.
I can be a shelter from the storm.
[audience laughs]
Uh, I like my job, but sometimes I lie
about what I do, uh...
because, uh, sometimes I say
I'm a bookkeeper, you know?
If I'm in a closed space.
I wish I am.
I do all my own Quicken and QuickBooks.
I have also been audited by the IRS
five times!
Turns out they owed me $25!
'Cause I may be eccentric,
but I save my receipts in a bucket.
And, um...
the reason I say that, uh,
I'm a bookkeeper
is because one time I was on a flight
from Los Angeles to New York,
and a woman said,
what do you do, what I did.
And she went into a PTSD
stream of consciousness
traumatic monologue
about the worst experience I've...
The night... when my husband,
we were in the front row of a comedy show,
and the comedian,
it was an hour and no, no laughs.
He was bombing, and,
you know what? We couldn't leave.
And it was so painful.
It was...
weird and...
I will never go see stand-up comedy ever.
[audience laughs]
Well, we apologize that
you experienced that with our services.
If there's any way we can
win back your business,
in fact, I'd love to get your e-mail
address and your birthday
and set you up with 20 free tickets
to a comedy show!
As it turns out, for the most part,
as you all know,
comedy tickets are...
I then very defensively asked her
what she did for a living.
She then explained
that she was an employee
of a little Canadian corporation
called Cirque du Soleil
as a fucking clown.
Now I,
of course, have dated a clown before.
[audience laughs]
And I sat through six performances
of a clown as a Christ figure.
Crucified clown Christ.
Red rubber nose,
audience armed with water balloons,
asked to fling them at said clown Christ
while screaming, "Jew!"
If you want to talk about
the deep discomfort of the arts,
dive in.
I wish I had paid to see that show.
But I was always on the guest list.
Uh, I had to take a break from work
'cause, uh, I went mental.
And, uh...
my friend told me,
hey, you're talking a little too fast,
having a lot of shit ideas.
Uh, why don't you get in my Ford Flex,
and I'll, uh, motor you over
to the public storage.
And, uh...
I went into a psychiatric facility,
which, if you haven't been, uh,
don't feel bad if you go,
and, uh...
they're uniformly awful.
You're not at the wrong one.
They're all bad, they're all bad.
Uh... [laughs]
It's as if an art director
came in and said,
"Okay, I want to break five more chairs,
and then we need...
uh, at least three pieces
taken out of every puzzle.
the big screen TV,
let's have it playing
Ultimate Fighting Championships
at maximum volume,
lose the remote."
They sat me down with the-the psych guy,
and he said, you know,
the usual questions.
"Why are you here?"
Oh, I have...
explicit plans to kill myself.
"Okay, great."
pretty common.
"What, uh, are the circumstances?"
Every moment is unbearable.
"Uh, what kind of work do you do?"
I'm a comedian.
No response.
Felt... so relieved.
And he went back to his little laptop, um,
and some music came out of it,
and I was like, well that's kind of weird.
Uh, but I get it, uh...
A lot of times,
in the light booth right now actually
I have a little, uh,
Wimp video playing a baby tortoise
trying to eat a raspberry.
And it's just so,
when at work when I get bored,
I have something to cheer me up.
[audience laughs]
It doesn't affect my performance at all.
He turned the laptop around,
and he said, is this you?
And I said, yes, clearly it's me,
with more make-up and better material.
And, uh...
he said, "I had to YouTube you
because I was concerned
that you were delusional."
Since when is it grandiose psychosis
to claim that in any way you're involved
in the entertainment industry?
It is simple courtesy to wait
until someone has left
the room to IMDb them.
[audience laughs]
And it's not like I said
I was Richard Pryor.
And had I claimed to be
one of the finest comedians
of our past century
and been able to perform anything
from his quintessential 1979
Long Beach stand-up special,
perhaps, more weirdly,
uh, been able to quote
some of his lesser-known material
about the difference between
beating white women and black women.
doesn't age well.
But the joke was on me,
uh, because, uh, the psychiatrist
then put me on a mood stabilizer
whose primary side effects are cognitive,
making it almost impossible
to think or talk.
Ho on!
Or should I say, "Oh no."
[audience laughs]
Seventy two hours later,
you know how it is, you've gotta work.
Oh, God, get back to work.
I'm working on stuff.
I'm really doing the inner work
so I can get back and get,
get back to work.
I found myself
in downtown Chicago, bleeding.
I had lost all my identification
and was making this noise.
[vocalizes] Ah.
I called my mother and said,
[audience laughing and clapping]
She said, "Honey, somehow,
you know what?
Somehow get to the airport,
tell... Go to Delta Priority.
Tell them you are gold medallion!"
[audience laughs]
I did what my mother told me,
and it turns out, uh,
points is not a bad form of health-care.
Got an upgrade.
Uh... I was bleeding and crying,
but a lot of leg room.
Merch for sale.
Mer... Merch for...
Merch for sale!
Hi, guys.
Selling, um, some items.
I don't want to force you into anything.
Whatever's within your budget.
All the money goes, uh, to support
uh, the psychiatric hospital
that is in my hometown, Miller-Dwan.
My mom's stayed there and worked there.
And this is a pencil
that has hope on this side.
There's the words "Hope"
so you can grind down "Hope",
very slowly.
[audience laughing]
And at the bottom it says,
"More merch available."
Look at that, that looks perfect on you.
- It works.
- You know what?
It's... Everything's free.
Everything's free.
I can't, I can't charge these people.
Just take it, take it, take it.
Take it. It's-it's all yours.
And thank you for coming to the show.
We've raised a dollar.
Every dollar counts.
That dollar might go towards
a packet of graham crackers that,
you know, they wouldn't have had.
I finally got back to work
about a year and a half later, [chuckles]
and everybody was really nice about it,
uh, coming back.
But I had one coworker say,
"Hey, Bamford.
Heard about what happened in Chicago.
Oh, man. Jeez"
Yeah, it wasn't cool.
I had to cancel-cancel like six shows.
I-I still owe them a lot of money.
I'm on, I'm on...
a payment plan.
Yeah, I've never bailed on a show.
I had a temperature of 495 degrees.
I was the temperature
of a fully charred pork chop.
[audience laughs]
But I did my 90-minute set,
then I lost control of my bowels.
That's awesome, man.
Good for you.
I just wasn't able to think or talk,
and I thought that might
not be as funny as I'd hoped.
[audience laughing]
Yeah, comedy's gotta be funny.
[audience laughing]
And it's gotta be funny to everybody,
you know?
If it's not funny,
it's not comedy.
[audience laughs]
And I test my shit out.
I went to China this year.
I was not welcome.
I did not have a Visa.
But I worked it out,
and now I have a tight hour
of chopstick impersonations.
I do kitty cat, bunny,
uh, walrus, llama.
You know, I could do a ten city tour
of the Gansu province if need be.
That's awesome, man.
So you never get scared of performing
outside of certain groups or anything?
No, no.
I just did a pop-up open mic
at a live birth.
[audience laughs]
You know, Mom's distracted,
but just to be there.
You know, for baby's first laugh.
[audience laughs]
And, uh, actually,
somebody's been using one
of my closing bits
that I use for younger crowds.
And it really pissed me off,
because I've been doing
it since the early 90's
and I got tape on it.
If you see anybody doing it,
if you could tell them
to cease and desist.
[audience laughs]
Oh, shit, peek-a-boo is yours?
You know, basically I decided to copyright
the entire human experience.
That's awesome, man.
I guess I just... I just don't...
I don't have that ambition in me anymore.
I don't know if it's the meds, but...
Like even before tonight's show,
I stared into the reflection
of my Diet Coke tallboy.
[audience laughing]
And I said, "Hey, hey, hey, hey.
Hey, kid.
I wanna see 20 percent,
if not five.
[audience laughs]
'Cause you know what?
So what?
Who cares?
It doesn't even fucking matter."
[audience laughs]
[rapidly gulping]
[gulping continues]
I was so scared of going
into a psychiatric institution,
I thought, what if somebody finds out?
Uh, this is what happened
if somebody finds out.
I was in there,
and, um, somebody came up and said,
I'm one of the therapists here.
Um. I know you.
Not personally,
but we have a friend in common,
Joe De La Rosa?
He's a comic out of New Jersey.
He's fantastic.
He does The Laugh Factory,
The Comedy Store.
I've never seen you there.
They're great clubs.
Have you ever tried to get in on there?
'Cause it just seems like,
there's just great crowds.
But, um...
anyways, I just,
I wanted to let you know
that this is totally confidential,
and I would never tell anyone."
I'm in a county-stamped gown
and a pair of electric green gripper socks
that are not my own.
You tell whoever the fuck you want.
Because all is lost.
[audience laughing]
I had a dream come true, uh,
which I-I couldn't believe it.
Show business came to my
hometown of Duluth, Minnesota
and said the kinds of things
that show business does,
things like,
"This is amazing.
Oh, my God.
It's like a little San Francisco here.
It's like a freshwater Monaco.
Why have I never heard
of this Duluth, Minnesota?
We definitely have to shoot here.
We want to use local talent,
all local catering.
Let's start getting lists of people
who may be interested
in acting in a television series
in the area.
We'll see you next month."
And then what happened...
is nothing.
And, uh...
I was left...
I told my mom, and she was,
"Honey, but they came to supper twice,
and they said that I was very talented
and your father had a gift,
and that...
everyone at the lake could play a part."
Oh, Mother.
We just need to go to each
person and tell them
they've actually had one of the most
authentic show business experiences...
you can have.
is being given the full ghost.
Don't know what ghosting is?
That's when someone declares
their undying love for you,
and then disappears off
the face of the Earth.
Can't happen in a small town.
The person will just say,
"I see you over there."
[audience laughs]
I tried to explain to my mom
that show business is like having a friend
with a terrible drinking problem.
I love her so much.
She's so much fun
if you get her at right...
The just... the right time of...
"You're the most beautiful.
So, you're my best friend.
I love you, okay?
Only you.
It's just me and you, okay?
And literally loving you."
The next day,
she may have forgotten
about that of which we spoke.
I'm sorry, I don't know who you are.
This is hot dogs,
they're for principal talent only.
The background extras' hot dogs
are behind two warehouses
and a semi that's running.
They are the same exact hot dogs.
But they are 2,000 yards away
behind a truck that's on.
We live next to a frat house
and, uh...
it's just as funny as you think.
One night,
they were playing Sweet Home Alabama
uh, about 3:30 a.m.
Which I did not realize
was still speaking to people.
my husband pulled up his, uh,
pajama pants,
all the way up to his little beard.
I put on my t-shirt nightgown
with the long slit
that I got in 1994
from the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport
with the moose on it.
[audience laughs]
And we went on over there and said, "Hey.
You guys,
we don't have jobs, but come on."
[audience laughs and applause]
"Oh, so sorry.
You know, so sorry about the noise,
you guys.
Hey, come on, you guys.
Let's shut it down!
We're waking up the whole neighborhood.
Hey, so sorry about this, you know?
Normally, you know,
we're just like you guys, you know?
We're total nerds."
Wait, nobody said anything about nerds.
"Yeah, but it's our senior year,
so we're just really
trying to enjoy our house."
Oh, we get it.
Yeah, Scott's 52 and I'm 46.
This year we're gonna do it.
We're gonna try anal.
[audience laughing]
So if you hear any, "Yelps!"
It's just pleasure.
We're just trying to enjoy our house.
[audience laughs]
We have a lot of sex.
A lot of fudging and wedging
and lotions and potions
and unguents and poultices,
jams and jellies.
Custards, mustards, sauces,
souses, and foam soups,
smoothing milks.
Hustle, bustle,
hustle, bustle, hustle, bustle.
Hammer, anvil, hammer,
anvil, hammer, anvil!
[audience laughing]
I have to say it,
I used to look down
on people with hobbies.
And, uh...
I was like,
"What are you doing over there
for no money?
You getting any cash
on the back end of this hiking deal?
This walk to nowhere?"
And then I looked down
at what I was always doing
very happily for fun and for free.
I was always filling out
a self-help manual of some kind.
I have not changed
discernibly in 25 years,
which means I've been playing a very long,
super fun game
of emotional Sudoku.
My husband and I
got a board going at home.
Your great-grandfather
was a violent alcoholic
who was in the army who beat his son,
who was a violent alcoholic
in the army who beat his son,
who was a violent alcoholic
in the marines who beat you.
You're not in the armed services at all.
You don't drink.
But you have PTSD so bad
that you think you can clench
your buttocks and fly the plane.
That part's done.
My great-grandmother had six kids
and then could never leave
her attic to raise them.
My grandmother died
in a fire of her own making.
My mother has 15 grand
in a secret savings account
just in case next time she goes manic
she wants to stay in a nice hotel.
I have this thing called Vaginismus.
Anytime something interesting
gets near my vago,
she slams shut!
And I gotta convince her to flower open
with juice and stories.
All we need is, uh...
two alcoholics, a suicide,
and a Seven,
and we could break for popcorn.
[audience laughs]
It's so much fun!
Have you ever read the work
of Dr. John and Judy Gottman?
They're family therapists.
You-you watch for the Four Horsemen
of the Apocalypse
in all of your relationships
without criticism, contempt,
defensiveness, and stonewalling.
So let's say your friend says,
"Hey, look at that sailboat!"
You say "Criticism."
That's a stupid sailboat. Contempt."
You and your fucking sailboats!
Uh, defensiveness.
I'm not into sailboats,
I have nothing to do with sailboats!
[audience laughs]
And they gave us this magnet
that looks like a piece of flooring,
and you hand it to your partner
when you're done speaking and you say,
now you have the floor.
It costs $900.
We got our pictures taken
with their cardboard cutout
'cause they couldn't be there.
And they've...
they've also gave us an acronym for love,
which is,
Letting Others Voluntarily Evolve.
It was so fucking fun!
[audience laughs]
Um, my husband and I do LARP.
We Live Action Role Play...
as our mothers.
[audience laughing]
Hey, Linda.
Listen, it's Marilyn.
I got myself a new purse
with my Hilton Honors Points
and I just, uh,
I thought of you.
Oh, Marilyn, I don't need a purse.
I got nothin' to put in one.
Nowhere to go.
Well, Linda,
you need to treat yourself.
You raised four beautiful children
through very difficult circumstances,
and you...
I had nothing to do with it.
They had a horrible childhood.
I'm amazed that they even survived.
Well, you know, Linda,
You know, the thing, kid,
the thing, yeah.
I... When...
You never worked a day
in your life, Marilyn.
I worked for 40 years as a nurse.
I stood over men's deathbeds
as they begged for hand jobs
with their dying breath.
She actually says "Blowjobs",
but please don't say
that because it's my mother.
Well, I gotta tell you,
once you give Maria a detail, you know?
It's kind of out of all of our hands.
[audience laughing]
Linda, I get it, you know.
My husband Joel,
I'm a kept woman.
He's 75 years old,
but he still has his appetites, you know?
Sometimes I feel like I wear a diamond
solitaire necklace like a yoke.
Would you want to watch
one of my hundreds of DVDs
starring anything with Timothy Olyphant?
We could have some
chocolate-dipped strawberries
from Shari's Berries,
still cold from the Internet.
You can't sit next to me.
I don't like people.
Uh, listen, Linda.
I'll put my purse between us,
and we can pretend
we're in Delta economy comfort.
Give ourselves an upgrade.
We deserve it. [laughs]
Sorry. Fine.
[laughs] So, it's rude.
This is more one-woman show territory.
[audience laughs]
[whispers] Apologies, apologies.
Okay, this is the scariest part
of the show.
I'm trying to believe in something,
and, uh...
I can't, there's something more,
more bigger
than myself,
and I just, I just can't,
I can't think of anything.
And, um...
But then I remember there's this game
that we used to play when we were kids,
and it's called One Big Blob.
What happens: I'm it,
you run away from me,
frightened, afraid.
I begin running after you,
while chanting,
one big blob!
One big blob!
One big blob!
Eventually I end up catching one of you,
and it's gonna be you.
I got you.
Come on, take my hand, take my hand.
And now we both have to begin chanting.
One big blob!
One big blob!
Now you catch the person next to you.
I know.
One big blob!
And then we start catching each other.
Come on, you guys!
It takes a long time,
and a lot of effort.
Come on, everybody!
[all] One big blob!
Join hands.
[all] One big blob!
One big blob!
I'm gonna wait!
One big blob!
I don't want to do it, either.
One big blob!
One big blob!
One big blob!
One big blob!
I know it's weird.
One big blob!
You can do it!
One big blob!
One big blob!
One big blob!
One big blob!
That's great. Okay, now...
This is great.
Isn't it uncomfortable to be in the blob?
It's so awful!
Your hands are sweaty.
But you have to do it,
and we gotta stay together because
you have to catch the one outlier,
probably that guy who's going out
the back door,
the apparent winner, but is he?
Because he's alone.
He is alone.
And everyone must let themselves be caught
because otherwise the game will never end,
and it is a shit game.
Everybody just wants to play soccer,
a game of individual
achievement and glory.
So, um, anyways,
if we could just blob it on a few things.
I could hang a religion on that.
Anyways, that's my, that's what I love.
- Thank you so much for cooperating!
- [audience cheering]
That was amazing! That was fun!
One big blob.
I should have blobbed with you, Arnold.
I should have blobbed with you.
Thank you so much. Thank you!
Thank you so much!
Thank everybody on this flat,
and on the balcony!
Thank you so much. Thank you!
I have one more song.
Please have your seats,
have your seats.
I have one more song, and, um...
I love music.
And, you know,
I'm not trained, uh, classically.
But, uh...
I've been working on some...
[mimics farting]
[farting rhythmically]
Oh, those are just fart noises.
[audience laughs]
Yes, they are.
[mimics farting]
[mimics silent farts]
Oh, that's not music.
That's what they said about Stravinsky,
Philip Glass, the punks.
[mimics farting]
If this is my song,
how can I keep from singing?
[audience laughs]
[mimics farting]
[audience laughs]
The harshest criticism...
[mimics farting]
has come from fellow comics.
[farting continues]
Who said, "Jesus Christ, Maria.
Aren't you even writing anymore?"
[audience laughs]
[mimics farting]
[mimics farting]
[mimics farting]
[mimics silent farts]
[mimics farting]
[mimics farting]
[mimics farting]
No, I am not.
[mimics farting]
Hmm, I just wrote that.
[laughing continues]
Do a serious face, serious face now.
That's good stuff.
He's so fucking good at peek-a-boo,
you guys.