Tag Archives: women in comedy

The Soapbox: Comedy Still Sees What Men Think Is Funny As The Default Human Experience

jenny collier women comics

Recently, London comedian Jenny Collier tweeted a screen grab of an email she received from a booker informing her that she was kicked off a show because there were too many women already on the line-up.

Yes. That’s right. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Why Will Ferrell’s New Female-Focused Production Department Isn’t Cause For Celebration

The Soapbox: Why Will Ferrell's New Female-Focused Production Department Isn't Cause For Celebration

Yesterday, Will Ferrell’s company, Gary Sanchez Productions, announced that it is launching a female-focused film and television department called Gloria Sanchez Productions. The idea came from Jessica Elbaum, an exec at Gary Sanchez, who will head the division.

This is exciting news, but I think they missed a major point. I believe people are at their funniest, smartest, most moral and most complete when they exist together. Gary Sanchez Productions is like an apartment with no living room. Yes, it’s vital and sanity-saving to have your own room, but all the best stuff happens in the living room, where people congregate and everyone feels like they belong. While I love the new Girls Room of Gary Sanchez Productions, it doesn’t improve what has been going on in the Boys Room at all. Keep reading »

“Saturday Night Live” Adds Two Black Women To Writers’ Room Staff

lakendra tookes and leslie jones
  • Good news in Today’s Lady News, for once: “Saturday Night Live” has added two Black women to its writing staff beginning this month. LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones are both comediennes who were discovered during recent auditions held by executive producer Lorne Michaels, with the express purpose of adding a Black female to the cast. “SNL” announced earlier this week that it had cast Sasheer Zamata, a performer with the Upright Citizens Brigade. She’ll join the show as a featured player on the January 18th episode hosted by Drake. Congratulations, ladies! [Hollywood Reporter]
  • Meanwhile, Amy Poehler doesn’t want to talk about it. [Salon] Keep reading »

“Saturday Night Live” Adds Sasheer Zamata, First Black Female Cast Member in 5 Years, As A Featured Player

“Saturday Night Live” Adds Sasheer Zamata, First Black Female Cast Member, As A Featured Player

Putting to rest (for now) a controversy over why the iconic comedy show has not had a Black woman on the cast for five years, Sasheer Zamata has joined”Saturday Night Live” as a featured player. According to Deadline Hollywood, Sasheer graduated from the University of Virginia three years ago and trained with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. You might even recognize her from her appearances on “Inside Amy Schumer” and in a number of viral YouTube comedy videos, including “How To Politely React To Your Friend’s Terrible Engagement.” “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels had promised to add a Black comedienne to the cast after the show was criticized during the fall following remarks by Black male cast members, Keenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah. Keenan had suggested there weren’t enough Black women who were “ready,” while Jay said the show needed to get with the program and be more diverse. Sasheer will appear on January 18th, with Drake as a musical guest and host. Looking forward to it! [Deadline Hollywood, Sasheer.com]

Lorne Michaels Promises “Saturday Night Live” Will Add A Black Female Cast Member In January 2014

lorne michaels
  • “Saturday Night Live” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said the show will add a Black female cast member in January 2014. The show held a special audition for a group of Black comediennes. (One woman who auditioned has come forward calling the whole thing a publicity stunt, which seems like a dicey move to me at this juncture.) Cast members Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson have both spoken publicly about the lack of Black women on the cast — Jay in support of adding more [fourth item], Kenan throwing up his hands. Let’s hope Lorne holds true with his promise and casting henceforth is more diverse overall. [New York Times] Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Women Tell Dirty Jokes, Deal With It

The Soapbox: Women Tell Dirty Jokes, Deal With It
Why Funny Women Rule
Mind of Man
John DeVore on why funny women are a natural resource. Read More »

Dear Variety Columnist Brian Lowry,

You wrote a negative review of Sarah Silverman’s new comedy special, “We Are Miracles,” which aired on HBO Saturday night.

And I get it.

The special felt stale, pointlessly antagonistic, and lacked actual jokes. But worse than the program itself was the bizarrely-gendered language you used to smash it.

The title of your piece, which I can only assume was approved by a Victorian-era ghost, was “Sarah Silverman’s Bad Career Choice: Being as Dirty as the Guys.” In the review, you claim Silverman appeared, “determined to prove she can be as dirty and distasteful as the boys.” Keep reading »

Sarah Silverman Makes Too Many Pottymouth Jokes For A Lady, Says Variety Reviewer

  • A Variety reviewer of Sarah Silverman’s upcoming HBO comedy special objected to the amount of dirty jokes she tells. Gasp! Dirty jokes, you say! Brian Lowry mentioned Silverman’s “looks” as a “career-friendly gift” and then lamented the comedian feels she needs to “prove she can be as dirty and distasteful as the boys.” When did the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey start writing etiquette tips for gentle young ladies in Variety?   [The Wire]
  • “Orange Is The New Black” actress Uzo Aduba has spoken out about Julianne Hough’s blackface Halloween costume as her character Crazy Eyes. “I think maybe it was an unfortunate event, but she apologized and I feel like we can all move on,” said Aduba. [E! Online] Keep reading »

“I Love Lucy” Headed Back To TV — In Color!

  • Nope, I haven’t ripped this headline from 1955: CBS really is putting “I Love Lucy” back on the air — for one night only, sadly. But this time, the old time-y episodes will be  in color. The channel will air two back-to-back episodes on  December 20: “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (AKA the grape stomping episode) and “Christmas Episode.” Both shows, which were filmed in black and white, will be “colorized with a vintage look.” Top that, Nick at Nite. [Entertainment Weekly]
  • More details on the Kimye proposal: Kim Kardashian’s blingy engagement ring is 15-carats. Yowza. And Kanye West paid local orchestra musicians $1,000 each to play “Young & Beautiful” during the proposal inside a San Francisco stadium, which was (of course) filmed for TV. ‘Ye reportedly has final say on what footage will air. If I know these two like I think I know these two, I would say all of it. [People, TMZ]
  • Oopsies! Katharine McPhee was photographed kissing her “Smash” director Michael Morris. Morris is married to the actress Mary McCormack, while McPhee has been married to producer Nick Cokas for five years but separated these past six months. [TMZ]
  • Jenna Jameson claimed she was just “exhausted” when she was slurring so much on “Good Day NY” that producers cut the interview short. [US Weekly] Keep reading »

Black Comedienne Nyima Funk Is Not Ready To Be On “Saturday Night Live”

nyima funk
Watch Nyima Get Ready

Earlier this week, Kenan Thompson from “Saturday Night Live,” spoke to TV Guide and explained why he puts on a dress and plays all the roles of Black women on the show instead of, you know, hiring one. The lack of Black women is a “tough part of the business,” Thompson said. “Like in auditions, they never seem to find ones that are ready.”

Comedienne Nyima Funk, who is a Black alum of Second City, could not agree more. So, here is she getting ready to be on “SNL.”  I hope you’re watching, Lorne Michaels. [Jezebel]

Kenan Thompson Says There Are No Black Women On “Saturday Night Live” Because There Aren’t Enough Funny Black Women

Kenan Thompson Says There Are No Black Women On "Saturday Night Live" Because There Aren't Enough Funny Black Women

I like Kenan Thompson a lot. He’s probably my favorite actor on “Saturday Night Live” right now. But what the heck was he thinking when he spoke to TV Guide about diversity on “SNL”? The show hasn’t had a Black woman on the cast for six years, despite having numerous other performers of color, including Thompson, Jay Pharoah (who is Black), and Nasim Pedrad (who is both Iranian and a woman).  Yet when asked why “SNL” hasn’t cast a Black woman, Thompson suggested that there just aren’t enough funny Black ladies:

“It’s just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”

Ummm.

Keep reading »

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