Insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli has made headlines again – for all the wrong reasons. Last week during the Writers Guild Awards, she shamelessly tweeted a picture of she and HBO “Girls” producer and star, Lena Dunham captioned “Me with my Ni**a @LenaDunham of @HBOGirls – I love this beyotch!!”
The interwebs erupted with rage as yet another privileged white comedian made a “joke” at the expense of the Black experience. The ubiquitous nature of racism means while we see and hear it everywhere, we’re rarely given the opportunity to understand the motivation behind it. Lampanelli’s entire shtick is to exploit the sensitive nature of race and homosexuality and to make money from abusing the art of comedy, not taking responsibility for the social implications of her “work.” Keep reading »
Jen Kirkman is a comedian on “Chelsea Lately” and “After Lately.” This post was reprinted with permission from her Tumblr.
I’m on a Twitter strike. I am so sick of the way men on Twitter treat lady comics. And my male friends always DM me or text me or email me or talk to me about how they hate it too but they never speak up.
I am constantly tweeting about gay rights (I’m straight) and racism (I’m white). It takes two seconds and it’s part of who I am. My male comedy friends show support by suggesting that I just let it slide, “these people are idiots/trolls.” But I don’t see it as “trolls” — these are actual men who are showing me that their opinion is that a woman is acting “hysterical” when she reacts to being treated unfairly. Suddenly I am not funny or fun. My male comedy friends sometimes lament that they want to support and that they hate how they see their women friends being treated on line but “but don’t know what to say.” Keep reading »
“I remember my agent at ICM at the beginning of my career telling me that I wasn’t pretty enough, that I was always going to be a quirky sidekick. And he was an ogre of a man. He should have been carrying a torch. If he was in a bar, he couldn’t have come near me, and then he was deciding my fate.”
Whitney Cummings in New York magazine on an ex-agent telling her she wasn’t pretty enough to play anything other than Zooey Deschanel roles. And now Zooey has her own show, and so does Whitney, so who has egg on their face now, ogre-agent man? Ironically, Whitney Cummings gets a lot (a lot) of flack for ‘only being successful because she’s hot.’ So what is it: too hot or not hot enough? (Neither! You can’t win!)
After the jump, another quote from Whitney about criticisms that she and her characters on “Whitney” (on which she stars) and “Two Broke Girls” (which she created) are not “good for women.” Keep reading »
“Do you remember that episode of 30 Rock where Liz got the cheap Lasik and starts crying out of her mouth? It was so funny and a bit grotesque. I just thought, This is the funniest, coolest thing ever. In The Office, I didn’t get that many opportunities to go, Yeah, I’m completely willing to do stuff for comedy. In the pantheon of funniest people ever — Sasha Baron Cohen, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey — they all do these things that show they have no vanity, I’ve been really eager to embrace that.”
–Mindy Kaling, on putting it all on the line for comedy. We agree, gross can be really funny, though sometimes gross is just, well, gross (sorry, I’m watching “Scary Movie 4″ as I write this). Point is, female comedians shouldn’t be afraid of looking gross in order to be funny. [NY Mag]
G.O.B. tampons: they’re feminine hygiene products by the people who know a woman’s body best — old Republican men! With flaps and wings and widgets and hooziwhatsits for all your confusing lady parts, a woman could not have invented it better herself. (No, seriously, she couldn’t have: she’s not allowed.)
“Saturday Night Live” skits can be hit or miss but it’s impossible for skits about periods to not be funny. I mean, hello? Tina Fey in the Annualle skit? I still crack up thinking about it to this day. [NBC]
I was recently contacted through my website by a pregnant black woman who inquired about hiring me to perform standup at her baby shower. She and her husband were diehard comedy fans, and thought it would be fun to have a comic perform for their guests.
“How did you find me?” I asked. “I Googled ‘Fat Black Female Comics’ and you were one of the women that popped up!” she answered. “Everyone knows that fat black women are the funniest comics alive!”
After I hung up the phone, I sat there for a moment trying to figure out if I should be offended or not. While I understand that she was trying to be complimentary, I’m not sure if I am flattered by someone thinking that I am automatically funny just because I am plus-sized and black. Then I thought about the $1,500 she offered to pay me to stand in the middle of her living room and crack jokes for 30 minutes, and I instantly felt better. Throughout my career, I’ve been paid much less to do far worse. There was plenty of time for me to be offended later, but for now it was time to get paid!
Comedy is hard work, no matter what you look like. The perception that fat black women have an edge up, purely because of the size of their bodies, diminishes the amount of hard work, discipline and creativity that it takes for us to create this art form known as comedy. Furthermore, I think it’s crazy that someone would assume that all fat black women are funny.
On the other hand, I get it. Keep reading »
The doctor has prepared me for more weight loss and losing my hair. Dating isn’t the main focus here, but it’s fresh in my mind, because I just got out of a relationship. So I’m just sitting here, thinking, ‘Wow, not only am I single, but I’m about to be four pounds and bald.’
–Comedienne Tig Notaro went onstage last month in Los Angeles and opened her set by saying “Thank you, I have cancer, thank you.” The audience was shocked. In this week’s New York Times Magazine, Notaro talks about how she had a life-threatening infection, lost her mother to a freak accident days after leaving the hospital, and then was diagnosed with breast cancer. To cope, she did what she does best: got up onstage and laughed about it. It really struck me from this interview, jokes aside, that Tig Notaro is an extremely strong person. Very much hoping for she gets well soon — and stops being on the receiving end of life’s shit stick. [New York Times Magazine] [Image: NYT Magazine]
“I so didn’t, and I so don’t care about you asking about it.”
– That is Chelsea Handler‘s response to a journalist for Marie Claire @Work asking her about the rumor — legend? slur? — that she only got her show “Chelsea Lately” because she was dating the former head of E! Want to see me become irrationally angry and start breathing fire out of my nose? Suggest Handler only got her show because she slept her way to the top. I have a torn a new asshole on many a buffoon who has dared suggest that luck, talent, hard work and savvy had nothing to do with it. Her bestselling books? Her (since-cancelled) sitcom? Her comedy tours? Her roundtable of comics — like Whitney Cummings — getting their own shows? Her ex-boyfriend’s penis must have been pretty damn magical to make all that happen. Keep reading »