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Entertainment & Arts

Maria Bamford releases a comedy special direct to fans

Maria Bamford releases a comedy special direct to fans
Maria Bamford will release her ¿Maria Bamford: The special special special!” on Nov. 28 direct to fans on Chill.com.
(Susan Maljan/Courtesy Omnipop)

Culture Monster headed to Maria Bamford’s Eagle Rock kitchen on a recent Saturday evening. It was a relatively intimate affair: just Bamford and her parents, Joel and Marilyn Bamford, who live in Duluth, Minn., Bamford’s two pugs and us.  Oh and about a dozen production crew members mulling about.

Why? Bamford was shooting her first direct-to-fan comedy special, which she will release on Nov. 28 through Chill.com, an L.A.-based social video site. With the hour-long “Maria Bamford: The special special special!," Chill.com will launch its direct-to-consumer offshoot, Chill Direct.

Bamford is the next comedian to go the “Louis CK route” – CK having successfully self-released his comedy special direct to fans on his website in late 2011. His effort was so successful, it inspired comedians – famous and emerging -- to do the same. Last year Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan and Rob Delaney followed suit.

Bamford calls her imminent release an “anti-special.” It’s as low-tech as it gets: just Bamford performing an hour of stand up in her living room for her parents. “Everything we do is for our parents’ approval anyway,” she told Culture Monster, as the scent of burnt cookies permeated her kitchen.

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To boot, Bamford’s “The special special special!” is a bargain. It will go for a penny less than those of CK, Ansari, Gaffigan and Delaney at just $4.99 a download.

“The special special special!” is directed by Jordan Brady and executive produced by Bamford, Bruce Smith of Omnipop and Chill.com executives Marc Hustvedt, Brian Norgard and Jesse Albert.

“So many specials on TV have been so slick,” executive producer Smith told Culture Monster. “We wanted to show all the exposed wires behind the scenes of a comedy special -- the tech problems, warm ups and interruptions. I would say it’s very meta.”

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