Comedian Bri Pruett performs at the All Jane, No Dick comedy festival last year. Photo by Jason Traeger.
On Saturday night in Portland, comedians packed a large cafe, one by one climbing onto a corner stage to take the mic-and destroy. The thing that was different about this comedy night than any of the other hundreds of comedy nights happening at the exact same time across the country was that almost every comedian was a woman.
Give these women all of your ticket sales. From the top left: Caroline Bassett, Karinda Dobbins, Rebecca O'Neal, Rhiannon Archer, a cute cat, Kiran Deol, and Eliza Skinner. (Photos via Twitter and Facebook.)
This past weekend, Portland was overrun with an influx of comedians from around the country for the seventh annual Bridgetown Comedy Festival.
It’s official. The days of people thinking of Comedy Central as just a network for men are over. The smash hit Inside Amy Schumer is returning in April and there’s even more exciting news: today Comedy Central announced that critical darling Broad City has been renewed for a second season.
The Tumblr was created yesterday by Kate Stayman-London, a fan of the game who is making a point about the lack of women in comedy. On the Tumblr, Stayman-London explains her thinking: "Cards Against Humanity is awesome. Know what’s less awesome? A lack of ladies and lady-centric jokes in the comedy world, CAH included."
Last night, Saturday Night Live announced they have hired Sasheer Zamata as a mid-season addition to the cast, responding to months of controversy over the show’s lack of black female performers. The news suggests that the series might finally be taking public criticism of its homogeneous casting decisions seriously—and puts enormous pressure on Zamata to be a great performer.
You may have never heard Kay Cannon's name, but you've definitely laughed at her jokes. An alum of Chicago comedy group The Second City, Cannon landed a job as a writer and co-producer on 30 Rock. Tina Fey wrote of Cannon in Bossypants: “Her success at the show is a testament to why all parents should make their daughters pursue team sports instead of pageants.”
These days, Cannon she is currently a writer and co-executive producer on the television series New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel and is the writer of hit 2012 comedy Pitch Perfect and its just-announced sequel.
Totally Biased writer Aparna Nancherla is hilarious. Having recently been named the first Indian-American female comic to perform on late-night television, Nancherla graciously chatted with me in the midst of prepping for her multiple sets for Portland’s all-female All Jane No Dick comedy festival and sampling as many culinary treats she could squeeze in during her latest 48-hour stint in Portland, Oregon.
Lizz Winstead is a prolific comedian. First off, she's the co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show. She left months before Jon Stewart became the host (but not before discovering Stephen Colbert) and went on to co-found Air America Radio and hosted the show Unfiltered with Chuck D and Rachel Maddow. In May 2012, she published a book of biographical essays, Lizz Free or Die, that chronicle her life growing up in a Catholic family in Minnesota, getting an abortion at age 17, becoming a stand-up comedian, and moving to New York to revolutionize the way Americans see the news.
Winstead is coming to Portland, Oregon this Saturday to speak at NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon’s Annual Choice Gala. She took time to talk with me over the phone on Monday about her history, Twitter fights, and how comedians have become the watchdogs of media.