Maria Bamford - Psych Ward - Uncensored

Panic 10/28/2016 Views: 5,280

When Maria Bamford checked herself into a psychiatric hospital, it was only the beginning of a spiral into mental illness that prevented her from doing comedy for two years. (13:02)

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- Uh, I'min a county-stamped gown

and a pairof electric-green gripper socks

that are not my own.

You tell whoeverthe fuck you want.

Because all is lost.

- Yeah!

[cheers and applause]

[in slow-motion]Yeah!

[indistinct slow-motion chatter]

[dark electronic music]

[in slow-motion]- [growls]

[audience gasps]


- [screaming]

[mud splashes][slow-motion yelling]

[grunting and yelling continues]

[struggling vocally]

[cheers and applause]

- One of myfavorite all-time comics.

You guys are gonnaabsolutely love her.

It's an honor to bring herup to the stage.

She's got her own show onNetflix called "Lady Dynamite."

Please keep it going

for Miss Maria Bamford,everybody.

Let her hear it.

[cheers and applause]

- Congratulationson being here tonight.

It's so hard to livein Los Angeles.

People are working so hard,

not only in L.A.,but in this country.

That's all we talk about.

"What are you working onthese days?

"What's going on with you?

"What's on the next pagefor you?

"What's-what's coming upfor you?

What are you working on?"

Uh, oh, oh, I'm done.

Yeah, I finished early.

It's also scary--[stammers]

"What do you do?What do you do for a living?"

And I often saythat I'm a bookkeeper,

which I am.

I do my own QuickBooks.

I've been audited bythe IRS five times.

Turns out they owed me25 bucks.


'Cause I may be eccentric,but I save my receipts.

And, uh...

Anyways, um...

the reason I sayI'm a bookkeeper

is 'cause onceI was on a flight

from JFK to LAX,

and I made the mistakeof saying what I did,

and the woman wentinto a PTSD

stream of consciousnessmonologue.

"The worst experienceI ever had in my whole life

"was at a comedy club.

"We had to sit throughthis man bombing for an hour,

"and it was so painful.

I will never go seestand-up comedy again."

Well, we are sorry that youexperienced that

with our services.

If there's any waywe can win back your business--

In fact I'd love to set you up

with 20 free ticketsto a comedy show.

As you guys know,they're pretty easy to come by.


So, uh, defensivelyI asked her

what she did for a living,of course,

and she explainedthat she was an employee

of a little company called

Cirque du Soleilas a clown.

[scattered oohs]

A fucking clown.

I have dated a clown before,

and I have sat throughfive performances

of a clown as Christ figure,clown crucified,

red rubber nose,

audience armedwith water balloons,

asked to scream "Jew"

while throwing themat said clown Christ.

If you want to talk aboutthe deep discomfort of the arts,

dive in.

My only regret is that I wishI had paid to see those shows,

but I was--I was on the guest list.

So, um...

I was, uh--

I couldn't work for a while.

I took about a year and a halfoff of work.

'Cause I went mental.


I don't know if anyone hereis thinking of suicide.

Don't do it.It's not the season for it.

Late fall.

And...most people,

you don't think about doing it,but you think of it,

you know,every once in a while,

just kind of feeling sorryfor yourself, like,

"Oh, well, the stewardess won'tgive me the whole can."

[sobbing and whimpering]

"Oh, turbulence.I want to live."



I had told a friend of mine,

hey, heads up--if ever I start talking too fast

about wanting to get in touchwith the Pope

or some other ethical authority,

put me in a purple vanand drive me to doggy daycare,

'cause I need to be boardedfor the weekend.

Mental illness runsin my family,

and it dropsat about 40 years old.

And that's what happened.

So my friend drove meto the psych ward,

and I had my interviewwith the psychiatrist.

And he asked me,you know, "Why are you here?"

I said, "Well, I have a plan.

I'm gonna--I'm gonna kill myself."

"Okay, great, um...

What arethe mitigating circumstances?"

"Well, I just, you know--I just--I just--

"Every moment is unbearable,and so I'm just worried

"that I'm gonna--I don't feel safe by myself,

"like I'm gonna do something,like I'm gonna hurt myself.

"I know I will,and I know I will,

"and I'll be a real mess.

I just don't wantto do that to other--"

Okay. And they said,"Well, what do you do?

For a living?"

And I said, "I'm a comedian."

No response.

Totally chill with it.

And went on typingon his laptop.

He seemed a little distracted,

and there was some soundcoming from his machine.

And I get it, you know,I get bored at work.

Right now whileI'm doing this story,

I'm actually watching a turtleeating lettuce

on a web video.

[laughing]'Cause--'cause it's just--

It just, uh--

It's nice to justget a break.

Anyways, so he was doingsomething on his laptop.

Turned it around to me,and he said, "Is this you?"

And he had YouTubed me,and it was me,

obviously with a lot more makeupand much better material.

And...he said,"Oh, well, I had--

"I had to make surethat you weren't having

a grandiose delusion."

Since when is it psychosisto somehow claim

that you're interactingwith the entertainment industry?

It's not like I saidI was Richard Pryor.

And if I had claimed to be

one of the best comediansof this past century,

and a black manand deceased at that,

and been able to do anything

from his 1979 specialin Long Beach,

well, how wonderfulwould that have been?

But the last laugh was on me,

'cause he put meon a mood stabilizer

whose primary side-effectsare cognitive,

making it almost impossibleto think or talk.

No own!

Or should I say--oh no!



Few days later,I was doing a gig and--

by myself, down in Chicago,bleeding,

and I had lostall my identification

and was making this noise--

[moaning unintelligibly]

About an hour before showtime.

And I called my motherand said...

[moaning unintelligibly,stammering]

"Honey, somehowget to the airport.

"Go to Delta Priority.

"Tell them you areGold Medallion.

And tell themabout your website."

And I didwhat my mother told me,

and I gota first-class upgrade,

'cause I was justbatshit crazy enough

to have that many points.

And ended up taking--yeah, almost two years off work.

And--oh, just--I always like to say this.

I was so scaredof taking time off work,

especially just in caseanyone found out, you know?

"Oh, God,what if somebody found out?

Well, oh, God.Oh, God."

This is what happensif somebody finds out.

I was in the psych ward,

and a woman came up to meand said,

"Um, hi, um, I know you.[laughs]

"I'm a therapist here, but I--I don't know you personally,

"but I have friendsin the comedy circles, and, um--

"Joe Delarosa, he's outof the Stress Factory

"in New Brunswick,New Jersey.

"Do you ever play there?You don't?

"Oh, you should.It's a great--

"That's surprising,'cause I would think that your--

"I mean, not that I would--I would never tell.

"This iscompletely confidential,

"and I would never--

[whispering]I would never tell anyone."

Um...I'm ina county-stamped gown

and a pairof electric-green gripper socks

that are not my own.

You tell whoeverthe fuck you want.

Because all is lost.

But I went back to workand I just--

you know, I just can't doas much as I used to,

and I got all this shit

from this one fellow coworker,you know?

"Hey, I heard what happenedin Chicago. Jeez."

"Yeah, it was a real mess.

"I owed them a lot of money.

"I missed, like, six shows.

It was a terrible,terrible mess."

"Yeah, I've never done that.I've never missed a show.

"I had a temperatureof 475 degrees.

"I was the temperatureof a fully charred pork chop.

"I did a full 90 minutes,lost control of my bowels,

"to standing ovations.

You got to makethose fuckers laugh."

"Yeah, I guessI was just worried--

"you know, I wasn't ableto think or talk,

and it might not beas funny as I'd hoped."

"Yeah, comedy'sgot to be funny.

"It's got to be funnyto everybody.

"If it's not funny,it's not comedy.

"You gotta check it out.I test my shit.

"I went to China this year.I was not welcome.

"It was extremelyuncomfortable.

"I did not have a visa.

"But I spentthree months there,

"I translated all my jokesinto facial expressions.

Guess who has a tourof the Jiangsu Province."

"That's awesome, man.

"So you don't ever get scaredof doing a certain,

you know, type of gig?"

"Nah, nah, nah.I love a challenge.

"I was doing a pop-up open micat a live birth, and...

"You know, of course,the mom's distracted,

"but you know, just to--[choking up]

"just to be therefor baby's first laugh...

"You know, and I always--I always do this closer

"with the younger crowds--please don't take it.

"I've been doing itsince the late '80s

and it kind of pisses me off'cause I see people doing it."

And he's like,"I've got this on tape.

"But here,you close your eyes.

"Oh, shit.Peek-a-boo is yours, man?"

"Yeah, I basically copyrightedthe entire human experience."

"That's awesome."

Yeah, I guess, I don't know,I just, I can't--

I can't be as ambitiousas I once was, you know?

So--like right beforetonight's show,

I looked in the reflectionof my Diet Coke can.

And I said,hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

[in gravelly voice]Hey, kid.

I want to see 20%.

If not, 5.

'Cause so what?Who cares?

It doesn't even matter.

Thank you guys so much.Thanks a lot.

[cheers and applause]