Monday, March 15, 2010

An open letter to the people who walked out on Maria Bamford at the Improv Saturday night

Posted By on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 11:15 AM

You idiots,

click to enlarge bamford_maria
You waited through the first three acts: host Chris Matson, the disaster that was Robin Savage, and the spastic comedy of Jackie Kashian, and then you left?

Did you not know what you were paying $14 to see? Do you have the luxury of throwing away that kind of money, like so much gaff tape, in the middle of a crippling recession? Shame on you.

And more importantly, you walked out on Maria Bamford? Have you no taste? Have you no appreciation for CatDog, Word Girl, and Comedy Central’s “Top Ten Comics to Watch”?

She won “Best of the Web” on She was on “Comedy Central Presents,” twice and, like, four different late night shows, multiple times! She was one quarter of “Comedians of Comedy.” What the hell is wrong with you?

Not to mention, she’s fucking funny.

But you wouldn’t know that, because

you yapped the whole time like a bunch of fat chickens. You were like that “Joy Whack-a-Mole” game she joked about: something good happens, and you try to share it with someone else, and they just whack your joy down, like a mole that needs to die. You’re mole-killers.

But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you know comedy better than I do. Because this is comedy, isn’t it? Part tragedy, part absurdity? Maybe you’re the real comedians, all 12 of you.

In which case, you really should have done your research before walking in the door. Or, at least, not sat in the front row.

But it’s like Maria said, as you were exiting the theater loudly, “Sometimes, people don’t know what they’re coming to see, so they get mad or they talk during the show. They act like jackasses.”

You didn’t even hear her. Now that’s funny.

Will Ferrell called stand-up, “hard, lonely, and vicious.” You’re onstage by yourself. You can see every face in the audience. They don’t know they’re being watched, so they emote freely. At times they look delighted, at times disgusted. At times, they talk through the greater portion of your routine and then leave disruptively.

And maybe that’s why so many comedians are chronically depressed: because people like you take the fun out of funny.

Like late comedian and heroin addict Mitch Hedberg, who said, “You know, you can't please all the people all the time, and last night, all those people were at my show.” He died of an overdose in 2005. I’m not saying his audiences were at fault; I’m simply drawing a comparison between his experience and Maria’s last night, and saying, thank god she’s not a heroin addict. She might have died.

In the words of author and cartoonist Ashleigh Brilliant, “My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure.”

Your fellow audience member,

Sarah Gerard

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