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Maria Bamford Gifts Us With Another Flawless Commencement Speech

"Call Domino's, they have to pick up!"

There is simply no one quite like Maria Bamford. The Lady Dynamite creator is a wholly unique voice and brilliantly funny comedian who is bracingly honest about her mental health struggles, which she filters through her absurdist comedy. Bamford channels her signature energy in her commencement speech for the class of 2020, as part of Adult Swim’s Class of 2020 Commencement Speaker Series.

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Adult Swim is live-streaming commencement speeches from a variety of comedians and personalities, such as Eric Andre, JB Smoove, Killer Mike, and Jena Friedman. In a press release the channel said, “Our featured speakers will avoid the insulting simplicity of year-end platitudes and instead provide refreshing insight to help every American clarify the challenges ahead and encourage transformative progress for all humankind. Or something … ”

Bamford previously gave a hilarious commencement speech at the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, which was all about her negotiating her fee for said speech.

Her 2020 commencement speech is delightfully low budget, and features Bamford playing both herself and bored college graduate Britney. The details of the piece are hilarious, such has Bamford’s toilet paper cap tassel, and the sheet of paper that simply says “school” on Britney’s shirt.

Bamford encourages Britney not to be afraid to ask for help, while Britney texts on a non-existent phone, and sticks motivational post-its on her face. Bamford’s rambling speech revolves around her various failures at adulthood, and how important it is to ask for help, even if it’s “free shitty help you have to work your ass off to get.” She rattles off free resources like suicide hotlines, online support groups, the library, county hospitals, and reaching out to literally anyone. “I once called an operator and got them to tell me they loved me,” Bamford mentions, before encouraging her bored graduate to call Domino’s Pizza because “they have to pick up!”

Bamford’s Britney then incorrectly wears a face mask while giving medical diagnoses to an armful of stuffed animals and dog toys. Bamford then asks a dog toy if it ever chews on itself to alleviate anxiety. It’s a wonderfully loopy send-up of commencement speeches, and the upside-down world that graduates now find themselves in.

If you’re looking for something hilarious to binge-watch, both seasons of Lady Dynamite are available on Netflix. I also highly recommend her comedy special The Special Special Special, also on Netflix, where Bamford performs a comedy set in her living room for her parents.

You can also check out her latest special, Weakness is the Brand, for free on Amazon Prime.

(via Pitchfork, image:)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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