Maria Bamford's comedy often touches upon things that aren't so funny, like her struggles with OCD and bipolar disorder — but you can't help but laugh, she's just that funny. In her interview with Fresh Air she talks about how she used Dale Carnegie's techniques from “How to Win Friends and Influence People" to make friends and relax in social settings, though it didn’t always work:
I got my first boyfriend. I was nominated [and] I won the Winter Frolic Queen crown. And I think genuinely, because I started doing all these weird techniques, and because everyone was in high school, I think nobody picked up on the BS factor of it. And I think it was sincere. I was so desperately sincere.
I tried to use the same tactics when I went to school out East, and I did not go over at all. I remember my roommates — I was going to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine — and they were from New York. They’re like, ‘Why do you keep saying our name?’ They were totally on to me, immediately, and they were completely weirded out by the whole thing.
Related: Today Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a biography of Carnegie, “Self-Help Messiah" by Steven Watts.