I didn’t get out of the house Monday to see Janelle Monáe for free.
But I did manage, on Wednesday night, to make a 10-minute drive to the verging-on-hip neighborhood of Eagle Rock and see one of my favorite standup comics – Maria Bamford – for free. (I blogged about her last October.)
This was an odd show. Took place in a tiny used bookstore, with Bamford and a few comedy buddies (like this guy) doing short, loose sets. They were illuminated by the single bulb of a clamp lamp.
Twenty-five people were in the joint, including the comedians, the storeowners and a few middle-school kids. Some folks had to stand in the book aisles.
But I love standup comics, so it was all good.
I got to meet Ms. Bamford and shake her hand and tell her I was a fan. We even engaged in a little improv when she asked the audience for a topic, any topic at all, about which she would create a joke on the spot.
I called out: “Adult-onset bedwetting.”
Bamford didn’t make up a joke about it but did relate an incident about a particular dog that liked to pee in her bed.
Turns out a used bookstore wasn’t the place to see “The Bammer” go full throttle. For that, I was a week too late. She just recorded material for her third comedy album at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood.
In the meantime, a 2007 CD anthology called “Comedy Death Ray” has a 16-minute chunk of Maria Bamford (including some previously recorded jokes). I’m streaming a 4-minute slice on my Vox blog. Click here to listen.