Maria Bamford killed this year at Bridgetown. And from what I've heard, she was every bit as good when she came through town during the Comedians of Comedy tour a few years back. But Bamford has never had her own headlining slot in Portland—there's been no place for it. As such, fans who dig her wonderfully odd psychological darts have had to make due with rare appearances and shortened sets. It got to the point where some of Bamford's fans in Bend sent her a care package hoping for a visit.
"They sent me pictures of their pet cow, Stormy," Bamford told me last month. "And they made a costume for Blossom (Bamford's pet pug), which was a cow costume."
This weekend, however, there will be no truncated sets. Bamford is headlining at Helium tonight, then playing two shows apiece on Friday and Saturday. It's also an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Bamford, who is obsessed with mental health issues, says she'll be there to play psychologist.
"I'll be brining my therapeutic services to people in the audience," she says. "If anybody's having any issues and they can't afford to see a professional, I've seen professionals and I think I can help." The offer expires, Bamford adds, at the end of show. No free advice at the merch table afterward.
Bamford parodies the kind of comedy you won't be seeing at Helium this weekend:
|Maria Bamford - That Schtick|
A little more like it: