Normally I’d say the world does not need any more comedians talking about comedy, but here’s something in that vein that’s actually worth checking out. Roy Wood Jr, a very funny man, has been hosting a weekly video chat series for Comedy Central called Stand-up Playback. Each week a different comedian watches sets and jokes from earlier in their career, and then talks with Wood about how they feel about them today. He’s had a good lineup over the last few weeks—George Wallace, Mike Birbiglia, Ali Siddiq—and today’s guest is another big name: Maria Bamford, who’s long been one of our favorites. At its best Stand-up Playback is a fascinating look at how both people and the culture can change over time; at its least it’s still an entertaining hangout session among some of the best comedians in the business today.
The Maria Bamford episode will be up on the Comedy Central Stand-up YouTube page later today. Here’s a sneak preview, though: a short clip of Bamford and Wood watching and commenting on an excerpt from 2005’s Comedians of Comedy tour film. That tour and film—where she starred alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Brian Posehn—was one of manycareer milestones for Bamford, and it’s interesting to hear what she thinks about that era today. Bamford has always been amazingly candid about mental health issues throughout her career, making it a constant undercurrent of her comedy; given the stresses and anxieties caused by this pandemic, it makes her voice more powerful and important than ever.
Stand-up Playback is also part of a larger effort by Comedy Central to promote awareness of mental health. It’s all part of the AloneTogether.com campaign by ViacomCBS and the Ad Council. If you need tips on how to stay healthy during this unusual time, or resources on ways to stay connected while physical distancing, AloneTogether can help.
Check it out below and find the full episode later today at the Comedy Central Stand-up YouTube page.