I used to complain loudly and bitterly that I didn’t get laid after my comedy shows.
The truth is that a lot of guys like me didn’t get laid after their shows and I say guys because the comics were almost all guys. The women who did perform with the improv troupe I worked with usually were actual actresses who left for real acting jobs or maybe they just got sick of all of the dildo scenes, who can tell?
Maybe if instead of working at the same local biker-esque bars I had worked with our touring company in actual comedy clubs I would have gotten more “fan appreciation” because I know those touring guys did. I know because I went on the road with my ex husband a few times and it was sort of sticky. Not nearly as sticky as say touring with The Black Crowes, but still….
Woman like funny men. Men like quirky women which is another way of saying that they will put up with a dork as long as she’s really, really good looking. I used to get a lot of sideway glances when I made jokes…I know a lot of my material probably just wasn’t actually funny but as I see women exploding in comedy now, I’d rather think that I was just ahead of my time. (Let an older lady dream, ok?!)
On or off stage, my behavior was always in question. It wasn’t enough that I was adorable, could sing, not a ½ bad dancer or actress…I also had to accept that I was just the girl. Not meant to be onstage to be funny, or have any real point of view but just be female. Now, I give my comedy comrades tons of credit for even seeing the value in having a woman on stage with them…it’s more than The Kids in the Hall ever did. The guys I worked with would say “sure we could act like women but why not just have a woman on stage…” revolutionary thought in 1991.
I look back at the women on stage at that time, like the women in Mr. Show and I think, wow…they are just placeholders. That’s what I was expected to do.
I give Amy Poehler and Tina Fey all of the credit in the world for breaking into a world with so few trails for them to follow. They did blaze their own. They cut a path for Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson who do the type of comedy I could only dream of women doing. Comedy that doesn’t make me feel like it was made for me but turns out feels like it was made only for me.
Now when I see Leslie Jones yelling on Weekend Update I am filled with unshakable glee. Keep yelling, Lesdoggg. You don’t know that you are yelling for me but you are.
For years, comedy has been the realm of men. Look at the list of dudes who have been nominated for comedy writing Emmy’s. They’ve been the comedians. Writing it, directing it and it’s changing. And I’m glad.