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Stand-up For Real campaign: Andree Vermeulen for Kotex

Of all of the arguments about women in stand-up comedy, the one I never ever hear is the portrayal of female stand-up comedy in TV ad campaigns.

Because it’s almost always for feminine hygiene products, showing us a woman onstage with a microphone making jokes about whatever problem the product is designed to solve. This new campaign kicked off by Kotex this week, “Stand Up For Real,” features comedian Andree Vermeulen (a frequent performer with the UCB Theatres).

Roll the clip.

Do you think TV commercials that portray female stand-up comedians help shape how the mainstream masses feel about women in comedy? Or is this all a bunch of hogwash? And who would wash anything with hogs? Aren’t hogs covered in mud? I know, I know. I’ve just gone off-topic. Back on topic.

Stand-up comedy portrayals in TV ads. Like ’em? Love ’em? Loathe ’em? Let me know your take on it.

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.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →

7 thoughts on “Stand-up For Real campaign: Andree Vermeulen for Kotex

  1. I honestly think it could be the other way around. Some advertising executive was sitting at a table thinking, “How do we sell tampons? Oh, don’t female stand-up comics do nothing but talk about their periods? I’ve never watched one, but that’s what my friend at the bar tells me. Let’s get a female comic then.”

    And then the ad works because people agree with the stereotypes. Do the advertisements perpetuate stereotypes? Yes, but they usually play upon ones that are already established.

    But then, it raises the additional question: Why is a female comic talking about her period a specific point of comparison when a male comic talking about masturbation for 10 minutes is par for the course? If Jay Leno did an add for ExtenZ or whatever, we wouldn’t be talking about how it shapes perceptions of male comics.

    1. Did my research as soon as I saw this spot and while I respect and admire my Improv folks, they are not stand-up comics. If a real female standup were offered this spot, she’d probably not have that “female comic” delivery that is so often portrayed on TV that the industry loves. You know, the whole “You know what I’m talkin about, ladies” crap.But my issue isn’t with Andree. The commercial is terrible thanks to the script alone. But why on earth didnt Kotex hire a true stand-up? However, congrats to Andree regarding her bank account. They’re running that thing like crazy!!

  2. Good comedians are just that. Comedians. Their gender doesn’t play a role. Not one time have I ever heard Kathleen Madigan say the word TAMPON.

  3. Not all chicks talk about periods, but not all comedians talk about airplanes–but a good chunk do, some funny, some not (Carlin on You’re All Diseased QED). Chicks with period material now, do it as a joke, like “I’m going to do the obligatory period material” or “I’m not going to talk about periods (launches into three minute kotex wings bit)”

    Who cares as long as it’s funny?

    Oh right, it ain’t.

  4. I get what the critics are saying, but I thought it is a very effective advertising campaign. I thought is was witty and clever and wasn’t fooled that it was an ad for Kotex. The actor/improv comedian’s delivery was great. Bravo to Kotex for creating an entertaining and original ad and something people will talk about. That doesn’t mean I’m any more likely to buy this product than before.

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