Posts tagged as women in comedy

This "Women of Community" Round Table Makes March 15 Seem Very Far Away

What could be greater than a discussion with Community's Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, and writer Megan Ganz? Maybe if they surprise-announced that Community was actually coming back tonight instead of March 15. Barring the realization of that fantasy, this round table is a fun look at how the show creates three-dimensional female and minority characters, the challenges of dealing with Chevy Chase, and the scary prevalence of the wildly unrealistic Teen Girl Sexual Dynamo archetype. Hurry up and finish reading it so we can all go suck on lollipops while peering coyly through our eyelashes at our algebra teachers!

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 [...]

Times Highlights New Trend of Brash Female Comics

The second edition of the The New York Times' new comedy column gets right into the nitty-gritty with a conversation about female comics' rape jokes. The article argues that "there are areas of aggressive, shocking comedy where women could go further than men," and cites Sarah Silverman, Whitney Cummings, and Amy Schumer as examples of women telling racy jokes that men would shy away from. These three are great comics and they definitely exemplify how we've come a long way since 1979 when Johnny Carson was grossed out by women talking about sex. But this is only the beginning! We can all dream of a world where we're [...]

Amy Schumer Shows Us How to Be Funny and Also a Lady

Amy Schumer took some time out of her busy female schedule of getting her toenails painted in pastel plaid and calling her ex-boyfriends to make this informative video about how to be a comedian and also, simultaneously, a woman. Flanked by Nikki Glaser and Jackie Monahan, she takes us behind the scenes to the grueling Comedy Academy for Ladies, taught by none other than Maria Bamford. I know this is a satire and all, but I can't be the only one fervently wishing this were a real place. And that we all wore those tampon earrings.

Mind the Gap: The Awkward Filthiness of Nighty Night

For this installment, we are going back to a classic: the 2004-2005 mindfuck that is Nighty Night. Julia Davis writes and stars as the most psychopathically awkward woman to ever grace a comedy. It’s British, of course, and focuses on the exploits of Jill Tyrell, narcissist for the ages, and her desperate attempts to win the love of the suburban dope next door while also savaging everything else.

In the Steve Coogan-produced show, Davis throttles the trope of unattractive leading protagonist to full on repulsive. She is actually attractive, in the sense that she wears thong underwear. She loves sex. But she also keeps bags of dog shit under [...]

How a Female Comic Was Assaulted Onstage Last Night

Last night, standup comic Gaby Dunn was sexually harassed while performing at a small show in the East Village. She wrote about her experience here, and it's pretty horrifying:

When he first started talking, I had tried to do that thing women are taught to do where you’re distantly polite to a man who is attacking you in the hopes that things don’t escalate. “Just smile and make a joke so he doesn’t hurt you.”

Part of me is so sick of that line of thinking. Even though I’m still scared, I mock him a bit saying he hangs outside the CVS all day and telling him I [...]

2011: The Year of Women in Sitcoms, at Least According to the Liberal Media

Man Up! Last Man Standing. Two and a Half Men. In my day, it was Three Men and they didn’t even need a woman to raise a baby. These days, television is chock full of emasculated male heroes, trying to muddle through somehow in a woman’s world. What’s that Beyonce? Who run the world? Girls? I’m pretty sure that’s what the Equal Rights Amendment was all about, castrating the other sex. Or being like them enough so we can become them and overtake them? I don’t know. I didn’t take women’s studies; I had boyfriends. High five, Dr. Pepper Ten and Light Beer Commercials! Boobs.

I am pretty [...]

Why Isn't Anna Faris Ever in Great Movies?

What's Your Number?'s numbers are in, and they aren't good. The movie had "the fifth-worst debut ever for a movie in more than 3,000 theaters," making only $5.6 million at the box office.

So okay, not the brightest star on Anna Faris' IMDB page. OR IS IT? Because there aren't too many bright stars there. No, it is a cloudy, cloudy night on Anna Faris' IMDB page, so cloudy that you can't even see Orion. I'm going to stop with the star analogy now. She's been featured in a dizzying number of not-great movies, from the My Super Ex-Girlfriend, the Scary Movie series, Alvin & the [...]

Everyone Still Wondering Why There Are No Women TV Writers

A recent and super-depressing study showing that the percentage of female TV writers has halved over the last four years has prompted another round of asking everyone who might have an opinion: "Why Is Television Losing Women Writers?"

Turns out there are a lot of possible reasons! The bad economy and writers' strike fallout affecting women and minorities most. The intimidation women face when entering the male-dominated writers room. Genre trends leaning towards episodic shows about spies in fancy suits setting off car explosions rather than hourlong emotional feeling-fests (because, as we all know, those two extremes are the only possible types of television shows! Nothing [...]

Chivalry and Improv

Will Hines is a teacher at the UCB Training Center in New York. This is republished from his blog Improv Nonsense with permission.

Something to teach: Male improvisers should be chivalrous to female improvisers on stage. I use that word “chivalry” because it communicates “respect” but also acknowledges that there is a double standard. Chivalry dictates men’s behavior more than the women’s. This isn’t because female improvisers demand it but because the audience demands it. For example: In general a woman can be verbally abusive to a man on stage and the audience could enjoy it. But if a man were verbally abusive to a woman — the [...]

Jimmy Fallon Is Being Sued for "Gender Bias" Against Men

Jimmy Fallon and NBC Universal are being sued for discrimination by Paul Tarascio, a former Late Night stage manager. Tarascio claims that he was fired in 2010 and replaced with a "less qualified" and "totally incompetent woman" due to Fallon's "gender bias." Huh. Well, uh…late night TV hosts aren't often accused of being anti-men in their hiring practices, so this is something of a first. Bright side?

Is ABC's Work It Unfair to Women?

Work It, ABC's upcoming comedy about men dressing as women to get jobs, does not look like it's breaking any records for being funny. But it might break some for misrepresenting gender in the workplace, argues Jezebel. That article notes that the show's premise – that men have to be women to get jobs in this economy – is backwards in a recession that's actually hit women harder than men.

If ABC really wanted to examine women in the workplace, there are a disgusting number of hilarious women they could have hired. This isn't that show, which is fine – there's nothing innately wrong with a comedy [...]

Talking Shop with Some Female Late Night Writers at the WGA West Diversity Panel

Last Friday night, the WGA West brought together a bunch of funny ladies for yet another serious discussion on the issue of women in late night comedy. Nell Scovell, who has written for Vanity Fair about her experience writing for Late Night with David Letterman, moderated the panel that included former and current late night writers.

Unlike what happened at a similar panel of different women in late night writing last May, there was never any commentary about how the women were funny because they "wrote like men." However, there was discussion about the role that gender plays in the tone of the humor. Scovell pointed out [...]

On Funny Women, Feminism, and Being Pretty

I’ll admit it. When I go to an improv show and I see a woman on stage, I brace myself. “Please be funny, please be funny.” Why do I do that? I'm a feminist! Why do I internalize this idea that women can’t be funny or witty?

The notion that women can’t be funny is a mantra repeated both subtly and explicitly in theaters, classrooms, black box spaces, and large performance clubs and venues, a mantra spoken and internalized by men and women alike. In 2007, Vanity Fair magazine perpetuated this assumption by publishing Christopher Hitchen’s article “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” Someone recently asked Brad Sherwood why [...]