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.
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.
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.
Jesse ruminates on alone time and... William Carlos Williams' "Danse Russe".
This segment originally aired on 2/12/13.
Actor Ken Tremblett joins us to talk about playing Mr. Belding 2.0, modern art, and Nerf Wars.
Download episode 339 here. (right-click)
Email us at "spy [at] maximumfun [dot] org" or phone us at (206) 339-8328.
Brought to you by:
(click here for the full recap)
New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean joins Jordan and Jesse for a discussion of pitcher cocktails, overgrooming, and the modern day tukey leg craze.
Come for the erudite discussion of games industry acquisitions and mergers, stay for the discussion of undergarment oversaturation.
Suggested talking points: GamerTalk, The Law, Memory Foam Remembers, Seeds of Pants, Caesar's Revenge, Weird Ask Jeeves
The teams brainstorm obsolete technology that Apple could revive, filthy British TV adaptations and Nate explains how the LA comedy scene likes to celebrate Independence Day on the beach.
Other useful links this week:
Santina Muha is on Twitter @SantinaMuha and will be performing her solo show, That Girl in The Wheelchair at the UCB (LA) at the end of September. Santina thinks you should check out TV show, The Fosters.
And finally, Dave Holmes is on Twitter @DaveHolmes, hosts his live quiz show, The Friday Forty at LA’s Meltdown Theatre on the second Friday of every month and recommends Boy George’s autobiography, Take it Like a Man, which is out now on paper.
You can let us know what you think of International Waters and suggest guests on the MaxFun forum or through our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter for updates on guests and when we’ve just posted a new episode (hint: it’ll be 1st and 15th of every month).
This week, Ricky is joined by comedians Beth Stelling and James Fritz to discuss the 1978 iteration of the sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers! Plus, the three chat about the films they're looking forward to, and everyone tries to get to the bottom of Beth's true feelings about Ben Affleck.
Next week, we will be watching Blue Ruin, which is currently available on Netflix Watch Instant.
Guest Leah Eva (comic), Cherie Turner (lawyer) and Edwin Li (comic) sit in w/ The Goosedown as Kim & Jasper discuss celebrities that people love to hate.
Biz and Theresa talk about preserving the precious memories we have about our children, only to discover that, as usual, we are each failing at it in our own special way! Plus, Biz finds herself trying to explain the Afghanistan War to a five-year-old and Theresa tricks her kids into thinking everything old is new again. And, we talk with with Mary Kobinger, whose husband is on the front lines of the fight against Ebola, about what it's like being married to someone who puts his life at risk everyday. (Super relaxing, probably?)
Being a Good Ancestor: A Biblical Guide to Protecting Our Descendants, by Mary Kobinger
Share your genius and fail moments! Call 206-350-9485
Opening theme: Summon the Rawk, Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Ones and Zeros, Awesome, Beehive Sessions (http://awesomeinquotes.com, also avail on iTunes)
Mom Song, Adira Amran, Hot Jams For Teens (www.adiraamram.com, available on iTunes)
Telephone, Awesome, Beehive Sessions (http://awesomeinquotes.com, also avail on iTunes)
Closing music: Mama Blues, Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans
Rye Silverman (@ryesilverman) joins the ladies to discuss Grease, twats, water slides, coconut oil, dolphins and more! Then, the Drought Cop (@Ron Babcock) plays a game of Never Have I Ever with the ladies. Produced by David Janove, intern Kailey Godoy, theme song by Zach Ames.
Email us your Lady Problem at email@example.com
Stand brings the case against her Dad, David. She's living in Norway for two years for graduate school, and wants David to pay a visit to see her and the sights. David says travel is a hassle and Stand should just come home every once in awhile. Who's right?
THANK YOU to Erik Brewster for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.