Women in comedy? Media asks

The San Francisco Chronicle headline today already has you groaning before you read the actual story: Yes, guys, they’re funny and female.

I went to a comedy show last night that featured four very different female stand-ups: Whitney Cummings, with a comedic sensibility that’s very Los Angeles; Laura Krafft, striking writer from The Colbert Report with a hilarious list of suggested laws for pedestrians; Chelsea Peretti, willing to break down all barriers to make you laugh; and Janeane Garofalo, godmother to the "alternative" scene who’s unafraid to still bring that notebook onstage and talk about what politics or what she’s watching on TV and let you know she’s likely not going to read this site because she doesn’t have a computer or an email address.

You could argue that the Chronicle was trying to help the cause of women in stand-up comedy. But, eh, not really. Some notes sound condescending. There’s an odd need at the end of the article to mention that some of the comedians asked about which quotes be put off the record. Odd, because all sorts of people in all sorts of professions wonder how they’ll be portrayed at the end of an on-the-record interview, so to point it out for female comedians just makes them look worse for no good reason. And for bonus points, in interviewing Rachel Dratch, the reporter (and in turn, the editor passing the story along) allow the actor to talk about the difficulties in getting good roles without asking her about getting forced out of 30 Rock, a decorated TV show created, written by and starring a woman who happened to work with Dratch on Saturday Night Live (that’d be Tina Fey for those of you who somehow clicked here with no previous knowledge of comedy).

That said, at least it’s some extra publicity for SF Sketchfest, right?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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