"Don't try to kill yourself."
Always good advice, and even more meaningful when coming from someone like Maria Bamford. The successful stand-up comic has spoken openly through the years about her battles with depression.
It's especially good when it's given to a crowd of stressed-out young adults who are about to be unleashed on a cold, unforgiving world, freed to rise or fall -- and then fall, again, and still somehow keep falling -- all on their own.
Few things pose a greater risk to the graduating class of 2017's mental health then their outstanding student loan debts. Kids take out more in loans and graduate with greater amounts owed than ever before.
Bamford, a Minnesota native and a graduate of the University of Minnesota, knows the problem first-hand: She says her husband just finally paid off what was once a $17,000 loan debt; in the end, it wound up costing him $53,000.
That's why on Sunday, the Netflix star picked a random theater arts major out of the crowd, and did her small part to help. That theater grad was Alyse Moné, and she left with a $5,000 check made out to Sallie Mae, which holds one of her loan accounts.
Moné told us yesterday she felt "blessed" to shed one of her loans entirely on the very day she left school. As you can see from the screenshot above, and the video below, she was also rather shocked.
Though the moment with Moné is the most joyful, Bamford's whole speech (courtesy of the U of M) is worth watching. It's thoughtful, and poignant, and (like her stand-up) unsparingly self-referential, as Bamford warns graduates not to make the same mistakes she did. Some of hers are wild, and would be hard to replicate, anyway.
But again, "Don't try to kill yourself, either actively or passively," is just good common sense, as is what followed it: "Do stay alive, even for spite."
A good line. Maria Bamford's probably the funniest person on stage at a U of M graduation ceremony since... well, probably since Maria Bamford, English major.
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