Attack of the Female Comedians

In Duluth with Tiffany Norton.

I’ve noticed a trend lately where there are more and more good female comics.  I probably shouldn’t say this but, until a few years ago, I never worked with a female comic who really made me laugh besides Monique Marvez and Patti Vasquez.  I would see female comics who had things that made me laugh, but they never seemed to be versatile enough to make all types of groups laugh. Outside of Kathleen Madigan and Jackie Kashian, the rest of the chicks working the road seemed to be too narrow-casted. They were too much like Jenny Jones doing just for women shows.  Not anymore.

As I mentioned before the Twin Cities seem to be leading the way in the amount of quality comics. This is definitely the case with female comics.. Minnesota is the place that produced Maria Bamford and is where I met 2 of my favorite female comedians, Jessi Campbell and Mary Mack.  Just in the past couple years I’ve worked with other good female comics from the Twin Cities area like Shannan Paul, Amber Preston, Elaine Thompson, Tiffany Norton, and Raleigh Weld.  From what I’ve been told there are other good female comics from there, so that is great to hear. The Twin Cities has it’s comedy cliques like anywhere else, but it appears like the vibe there is way more nurturing than other markets I visit.

A lot of male comics I know are negative towards females in the biz, but I have a lot of respect for them. While you can get TV opportunities more quickly by being female, simply because of the smaller amount of female comics, trying to be a headliner on the road is way more difficult. Here are the reasons I can think why it is harder for the ladies.

  • Most guys have a negative idea of female comics. It’s always been a male dominated biz, so that is the biggest obstacle. Also, a lot of married guys are predisposed to think, great, I’ve went out here to escape my wife complaining and now I have to hear another broad bitch about things. I know that isn’t fair, but it is the way a lot of guys think.
  • Guys are constantly going to hit on you, especially if the female comic talks about sex at all in her act.  It’s as if guys see female comics like European men perceive American women to be. You know, sluts.  Once again, not fair, but it is the way it is.
  • A lot of comedy clubs have 2 bedroom apartments they use as lodging for the comics.  I’ve been told horror stories from female comics who have been harassed by the male comics they were sharing a place with.
  • It is harder for a woman to deal with hecklers. If a woman is a aggressive with a heckler she automatically comes off like a bitch.
  • If you are going to have babies, good luck finding a husband who will take care of them them while you are on the road.

Authors Note: I’m sure some female comics reading this could list a lot more issues they deal with that I have left out. I also can imagine that some of you are reading this thinking, what gives him the right to even discuss this topic? Well, I try at this blog to look at the standup biz from as many angles as possible. I know that every time I list names I piss someone else off. Not trying to do that.  I listed these female comics because these are the ones I saw do at least a 30 minute set and know they can do well with pretty much any group.  I also want to finish by saying that I worked with April Macie last year and she kicked ass with the crowd more than any female comic I’ve ever worked with.  Her life has been so fucked up that she has had enough pain and struggle that she can be hilarious despite being sexy.

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One thought on “Attack of the Female Comedians

  1. Phillis Diller had to take her 5 small kids on the road with her because her husband was a bum.

    I’ve had to write out one of my more risque jokes because it got me hit on too much. Once got stalked around the club by an open mic comic until I had someone walk me to my car. Dude was hanging out by the alley.
    It sucks, but a cleaner act means more work for me.

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