SacComedy: I understand you have two pugs. Bert and Blossom. Is that true? If so, what are their names attributed to?
Maria: Yes. It is true. Blossom was named for the Power Puff (?) girls by my nephew, George. Bert was named in order to save him from being called “Colby”- which is not his name at all.
SacComedy: Your old stomping grounds of Duluth Minnesota have been referred to as “The Air Conditioned City.” Besides that nickname, what are some other names that might represent Duluth better? And why?
Maria: Duluth- We can hear you. There’s no reason to yell. Duluth- It’s an International Port because of the St. Lawerence Seaway and all of that. Duluth- maybe you should think about going to AA. Duluth- Yes- you drove through there some time in the 80’s. There’s a lake. Right. You remember. That one restaurant by a bridge. Duluth- it’s getting real sophisticated nowadays.
SacComedy: I have a friend that has lived in Duluth for many years. His name is Lee Johnson. Do you know him?
Maria: I do not. My Mom does. She is connected to us all.
SacComedy: Your new album, “Unwanted Thought Syndrome,” is due out soon? Or is out already? Please tell me about it.
Maria: It is out now – it’s good and it’s named after the type of OCD I have called, “Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome”.
SacComedy: From the Comedians of Comedy Tour, if you were to pick between PattonOswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Brian Posehn and they were the last men on earth, which fellow would you choose to be your step-father and why?
Maria: Zach. He has a farm.
SacComedy: What other projects are in the works for you?
Maria: I’m writing a book on depression/mental illness and in the new Fox Animated Series “Sit Down Shut Up” as various side voices! Yay!
SacComedy: Who are some of you favorite comics…past and present?
Maria: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy- currently- Patton Oswalt, Jesse Klein, Jimmy Dore, Jen Kirkman, Jackie Kashian, the list goes on!
SacComedy: Where is your favorite place in Northern California to perform?
Maria: San Francisco Sketchfest!
SacComedy: Besides cash, what do you get out of performing? And how has it changed since you started?
Maria: I get lots of approval and prestige and the feeling that I’m acceptable in some way- and checks, some small, some large. I also get some encouragement to be more self-absorbed than I already am. I may go the Cat Stevens route and go AWOL from showbiz. What has changed, is that I am less and less able to stay in certain Best Westerns, which seem to vary vastly in quality and upkeep. What has not changed, is my sense that the best is yet to come!
SacComedy: Maria, Wikipedia states that you attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Now as most Americans know, Bates was founded in 1855 by abolitionists. Do you believe that the reason those “alleged” abolitionists decided to establish their institution in such a harsh climate, was because they knew that most African Americans are not well suited for the cold? Or do you think they truly were sincere in their abolitionist convictions?
Maria: Excellent point. When I attended Bates, there were approximately 1 1/2 African Americans- all within the confines of a very tall man named Ollie. I think Bates does it’s best to convince most people not to come there by being enormously expensive and then once you get there, by putting you in a squashed 4-bunk dorm room with rich kids from The City.
SacComedy: If you weren’t a comic, what would you do for a living?
Maria: Type. Listen. Go on breaks. Try.
SacComedy: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
Maria: Keeping going and some participation in 12-step addiction groups for 18 years that shall remain nameless. (so you can have fun guessing!)
SacComedy: What incident are you most ashamed of in your life?
Maria: Most recently, trying to control my mother’s need to ask questions about my roommate over the phone. Who cares? Answer her questions, ding dong! And then, over a lifetime, being late and/or cancelling things at the last minute with friends and professional bookings. This is an ongoing problem that I understand results from a Fear of Intimacy.
SacComedy: How attached to your pugs are you?
Maria: If they needed my kidney, I would definitely donate.
SacComedy: If one were to pass away in a horrible ice cream truck incident, what type arrangements would you make for it?
Maria: Well, that’s horrible to imagine, but I’d like to have a unplgged guitar burial featuring the chords of my dad and boyfriend- as we buried their shells and celebrated their spirits.
SacComedy: Are you the type of person that cares more for animals than people? If so, why? If not, then explain your version of why those sick individuals behave in such an unrefined, barbaric manner.
Maria: People are more important than animals. That said, I’m a vegetarian, but if someone only has a ham for me to eat, I won’t turn it town or be weird about it.
SacComedy: Do you feel pretty in dresses or uncomfortable? Explain.
Maria: I love dresses. I don’t wear them often- which must mean I feel uncomfortable, but I love dresses.
SacComedy: Advise for aspiring comedians?
Maria: Do it again and again and enjoy.