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.
The Dis/orient/ed Comedy tour has been selling out venues up and down the West Coast and lands in Portland this weekend! There's a lot to be excited about at Dis/orient/Ed: the show features national-touring and local Asian-American female comedians, while also providing space on the roster for other great comics from diverse backgrounds. In the world of mainstream comedy, shows like Dis/orient/ed are a necessary gust of fresh air.
I chatted with co-producer Jenny Yang about how Dis/orient/ed got started and what's so crucial about diversity in comedy.
Recently I told some jokes a stand-up show and as I was getting off stage, the host said, "Go give her a hug after the show!" I shuddered back into my seat and pulled my beer in front of my chest like a protective shield.
"For those of you who don't know me, I'm not wasted, but the doctor who delivered me was." So begins the standup comedy set from Maysoon Zayid: disabled comic, actor, humanitarian, and "Arab Gone Wild."
Defying nondisabled persons outdated notions of what disability is like is difficult enough; making people laugh while doing so is a feat of its own. Thankfully, there are some badasses taking that immense challenge head on and succeeding.