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Posts tagged as women in comedy

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 [...]

Mind the Gap: A Series on Awkward Women in Comedy

We want to talk about life before Bridesmaids. You might be fatigued from all the talk about women in comedy, from sentences like “women aren’t funny” and “WOMEN AREN’T FUNNY?” or even “this movie won’t make you grow breasts,” (the strangest commendation for an Apatow film yet). We get that, and so we want to take off your glasses, rub your temples, and escort you to other moments in comedy that expose the famous dearth of 3-dimensional ladies, and what happens when they show up anyway (usually in Britain). We’ve been tracking the fucked-up funny women who have managed to flex their dimensions and do what everybody is all excited about [...]

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 [...]

Every New Comedy Picked Up by Networks So Far Has Female Leads and Creators

"How many new comedy series with a female lead were picked up last May? Zero. How many have been picked up so far this season? Every single one. All four new comedy series ordered so far by Fox and NBC this season have female leads. That is how many the four broadcast networks combined have on the air this season: NBC's 30 Rock starring Tina Fey and Parks and Recreation starring Amy Poehler, and ABC's The Middle starring Patricia Heaton and Cougar Town starring Courteney Cox. Half of those were created by women. All four of the newly picked series come from female creators."

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 [...]

Things Are Lookin' Pretty Dudetastic at the Bonnaroo Comedy Tent

Hey, remember when there was a bit of a kerfuffle over SxSW's inanely gender imbalanced comedy lineup? I'm sure any festival that books large numbers of comedians learned something from that, right? Hahaha, I am glad we can look back on that and laugh! With Bonnaroo happening this weekend, we can see how far things have come in just a few months, I'm sure. Let's look at the lineup!