You might have missed it earlier this week because you were doing something more important with your time—like Jazzercising, or building a tiny city out of Triscuit crackers and cream cheese, or watching some kind of filibuster—but some conservative strategists have decided that, in order to court those darned Millennials who failed to elect Romeny in 2012, they are going to have to start talking to them on their terms.
If you'd told me ten years ago, "I have a really great mp3 for you—it's a recording of two people you don't know discussing their lives," I would have been very confused, and then probably would have told you to go to hell. But that was then, and this now.
Though the media seems to "discover" women in comedy once every few years, the truth is that they've been there from the beginning. From early stand-ups like Phyllis Diller and improv pioneers like Elaine May, through today's breakout television stars like Mindy Kaling, women have played a crucial part in every era of modern American comedy.
Yael Kohen's comprehensive oral history We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy (which comes out in paperback this October, with a new introduction by Kohen) follows a vast and varied cast of over 150 comedians, writers, actors, directors, and others, who together provide a definitive look at the lives, careers, successes, and struggles of female comedians in America.
In this mad, mad world of ours, there are only a few things that we can all agree upon—the sky is blue, the internet cat video pheonomena is an excellent waste of time, and the filmBridesmaids was one of the biggest hits of 2011. It earned a total domestic gross of $169,106,725, was nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay, and made stars out of actors Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Rebel Wilson.
But it was more than just another surprise summer blockbuster.