Monday, January 16th, 2012

Eddie Brill Responds to His New York Times Profile

Eddie Brill was the subject of Jason Zinoman's comedy column last week in the New York Times, and he didn't come off looking too good. The most damning part of the piece is the following quote:

Among some comics “Late Show” has a reputation for favoring a certain profile. “The types they seem to like are middle-aged white men from the Midwest,” the comic Amy Schumer said. Only one woman (Karen Rontowski) was booked in 2011. “There are a lot less female comics who are authentic,” Mr. Brill said. “I see a lot of female comics who to please an audience will act like men.”

In the comments of this Mirth Magazine essay on the article, Brill defended himself, claiming that his quotes were taken out of context and that he was only talking about two specific comedians rather than all female comedians.

The quotes that shook everything up…were taken out of context. I wasn’t talking about all female comics or female comics in general. I was talking about a couple of comics the writer had brought up to me. If you do some Googling…you will see where I was quoted in the Washington Post saying that “some of the funniest comedians on the planet are women.” The comedians and colleagues who know me…know that I respect all comedians…and that I am far from the neanderthal that people who don’t know me are assuming I am. The article was shocking to me…because it seemed like the guy had it in for me. And I don’t know why.

Zinoman then responded, refuting his claims that it was a hit job with out-of-context quotes.

He’s wrong. My question was this: “How come there aren’t more female comics on the show?” It was not in reference to a few specific comics as he says, and since my question followed another question inquiring how many female comics have been on the show in 2011, I find it hard to believe that he misunderstood.

Both responses are quite lengthy — head over to the comments at Mirth Magazine to read them in full.

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  • carson

    Brill's not the first guy to say this and he's not entirely wrong either. If you're just looking at the female standup class, a masculine (for lack of a better word) is a very common approach. Look at Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Lisa Lampinelli or Roseanne (who once said, "Some people say I'm not feminine enough. Well they can just suck my dick"). There are obviously female standups who skew outside of a sort of "one of the guys" persona, but when I think of prominent female standups, I think of ones who defy the constrictions of feminine. I'm not saying that's wrong or right, I love some of those ladies, I'm just saying Brill was not necessarily off-base with his comments.