This week, I’m not writing about any “must-see” comedy event or comedian. Instead, I’m using this blog as a platform to get all my weird little thoughts out and start a discussion about women in comedy. Partly because I’ve spent my morning listening to Bikini Kill and the Dresden Dolls, and mostly because I don’t care about political correctness (what is this, the ’90s?), I’m ignoring any potential offense I may be causing and am sticking to my guns by titling this post whatever I want because it’s actually how I describe myself: a funny bitch. If I do ruffle anyone’s feathers by using potentially “anti-women” language in this post’s title, I’m sorry. I guess I’ll just have to see you next Tuesday. Because Tuesday is the the day I post the comedy blog.
Really, the “point” of this post is just to get a discussion going on women and comedy in Maine. Don’t get me wrong–I’ve definitely seen you funny gals out there doing your stand-up thing. But you’re heavily outnumbered by dudes in this state. And not all these dudes are funny. I’m positive not all female comedians who tried would be great, either. But I’m so tired of hearing the old “girls just aren’t as funny” crap. That’s ridiculous. Most of the funniest people I know have two X chromosomes. And I’m not going to pull the “try bleeding for five days and not having a sense of humor” shtick, either (seriously though, try it). This is not a “I am woman, hear my roar” post. I don’t roar. I growl. But this post isn’t about my dating life.
My thought process is this: people do stupid stuff that deserves to be observed and then made fun of on stage. Hence stand-up comedy. Women make up half of people. Maine, though low in population, might have a higher percentage of people doing stupid stuff. I’m not a demographer or anything, but have you ever been to Lewiston? Therefore, I’d like to see more Maine women getting on stage and talking about all this stupid stuff they’ve seen and/or done. Fair? Also, there are only so many “so I was jerking off…” jokes I can take. No wonder comedians are supposedly depressed. They all sit around and steal each other’s jerk off jokes. Women, unite! Let’s bring some fresh material in! OK, fine. Nothing’s original. I hear you. But maybe bring some newish material for everyone to steal. Let’s keep this vicious cycle going.
I’m not advocating that you women need to come out and make jokes about your period. But I’m not saying you should be afraid to do that, either. Dude comics talk about their stupid penises half of the time (if not more) they’re on stage. I mean, male genitalia is pretty funny, so I guess why not? If you want to come out and talk about your lady stuff, that’s cool. Do it up. But it better be funny. Unfunny dick jokes blow (see what I did there?). The same rules apply to women. Funny subject matter doesn’t garner funny jokes. If you don’t want to “genderize” your stand-up, that’s cool. Good for you. If you’re funny, you probably don’t have to. Funny is funny. Who gives a crud how you identify. Male, female, trans, gay, straight, whatever, there are funny people out there from all nooks and crannies of the identity spectrum. But as a weird little lady, I would really love to see more of you Maine women get up on stage and represent. I’m calling on YOU to do this because I’m too big of a kitty cat to do so myself. Again, I’ve seen some of the female comics out there doing their thing and they cracked me up. I just want more of them.
Looking for some good places to start? Portland’s Slainte has comedy open mic on Thursday nights, as does Spring Point Tavern in South Portland every first and third Tuesday of the month. Though there aren’t too many ladies getting up and taking the stage at either, there are a few. From my experience, the comics there telling jokes (both male and female) are mostly pretty cool. Just don’t go in all defensive and sensitive. No one likes a sweet bitch.* Get ready to take shit and give shit. It’s part of the fun, right? Plus, you can learn a lot from people who have been doing it for a while. And these more laid-back “let me try this new joke” atmospheres are good and comfortable places to test the waters of stand-up.
*sweet bitch n. a non-gender specific insult specifying a person who is perhaps altogether too whiney for real-life situations; a crybaby; someone who overuses emoticons
Ex: Remember that sweet bitch who wrote you a song after you only semi-dated for two weeks?
And ladies, if you should decide to do some stand-up and you’re feeling especially out of the “boys’ club” of comedy (though I’m not sure it really is just a boys’ club anymore), just remember this: men have testicles. One wrong move and they are incapacitated. Who’s the weaker sex now?
I just want to thank all my ex-flames for hate-reading me today, and as always, thanks for your support Marcel Lulu. To everyone else: let me know what you think, OK? I’m curious as to others’ opinions. Is it more daunting for women to do stand-up? Is Maine comedy any less/more difficult for women comics than other places? Is this all a load of bull? Did I eat too many bathsalts with my Honey Nut Cheerios this morning? Are you a female comic and you agree/don’t agree? Are you a dude who hates women and just wishes I’d stop writing and make you a sandwich? Cool. You sound awesome.