Sunday, July 27, 2008

Funny Girls

I recommend everyone read my friend Kim's piece in Time Out Chicago on women in the Chicago comedy scene, Painful Punchlines. There's been a lot of acutely defensive backlash-- which in my opinion can only be construed as a reaction precipitated from guilt--from some readers and comedians on both TOC's article and The Bastion.

One comedian and commenter suggested that this "divisive" article was the last thing the scene needed right now. Is it better to sweep such "divisive" issues under the rug, should they upset everyone too much?

Personally, I'm glad that this piece brought up some of the issues that have kept me from being truly drawn in by live comedy in the city. Whether or not girl-bashing is offensive, it's not particularly funny or original.

Furthermore, defending the comedians who engage in girl-bashing, like Chicago comedian Carrie Callahan did ("A few of the dudes who have misogynist stage personas are some of the sweetest guys around."), only provides weak excuses for bad comedy by arguably banal, locker room comedians.

Since this piece was published, I've felt like I keep running into more issues of women in comedy. T Magazine did screen tests with comedians, including Anna Faris, who said the following: 'It's harder for a woman to be accepted as funny if there's sexuality involved because sexuality isn't always very humorous.'

I then got sucked into watching Sarah Haskin's "Target Women" series, which I find pretty hilarious (and not to mention tasteful). Sarah happens to live in Chicago too, which is worth mentioning, and was profiled on The Bastion.

Here are a few of my favorites of her videos, but also check out the Suffrage and Botox videos.

Feed Your F---ing Family



Yogurt Edition



Wedding Shows

3 comments:

pomjob said...

Thanks for introducing me to Sarah Haskins - she's hilarious!

Bryan Bowden said...

I am a Chicago stand-up comedian. I would like to recommend a couple of stand-up comedy show cases in the city that are run by women, and I do not think would make you feel uncomfortable. Chicago Underground Comedy (co-produced by Elizabeth McQuern)is every Tuesday at 9pm at The Beat Kitchen(2100 W. Belmont), Entertaining Julia (run by Jena Friedman) is every Sunday at 8 at the Town Hall Pub (3340 N. Halsted) and Fourth Fridays (run by Cameron Esposito) is every fourth Friday at 9 at the Town Hall Pub.

I encourage you to go check out some live comedy in the city. If you see me, introduce yourself and I'll introduce you to the comedians mentioned in the article as well as the comedians I mentioned above. We are all quite harmless, and friendly.

And Sarah Haskins is amazing. I've been a fan of her comedy since seeing her perform at The Playground and IO here in Chicago.

Caitlin said...

Hey Bryan,

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll be sure to check those spots out--they sound great. For me, girl-bashing comedy doesn't make me feel uncomfortable, it just doesn't make me laugh. So, why bother, right? But I look forward to seeing some creative stuff at these other venues! And I'll be sure to say hi if I see you there.

Thanks again!