Maria Bamford ‘The Special Special Special'
Much like “Tig Notaro Live” urgently captured the moment when the talented comedian learned she had cancer and worked through her feelings on stage, Maria Bamford's “The Special Special Special” addresses the “Comedians of Comedy” star's recent near-suicide and subsequent treatment for bipolar disorder. On the surface, “Special Special Special” does not sound like comedy gold, but Bamford's emotional honesty and vocal elasticity provide the genius and dark hilarity of this downloadable 50-minute standup special.
To inject just a little more discomfort, Bamford staged “Special Special Special” in her Los Angeles living room, and the only audience members are her parents, Joel and Marilyn Bamford. She does not temper her material, even with her straight-laced mom and dad just a few feet away, and as Bamford plumbs her recent struggles for lacerating laughs, her parents' chuckles veer between empathy and discomfort. Bamford is smart, insightful and uncompromising, and “Special Special Special” is her artistic breakthrough. (Download for $4.99 at Chill.com)
— George Lang