Comedy Central and Refinery29 present “taking The Stage” series that Allows Women to “Speak Up”

There’s a new stand-up showcase series to keep you company during the coronavirus quarantine, thanks to Comedy Central and Refinery29.

CC x R29: Taking the Stage, a short-form stand-up showcase, premiered Tuesday on Comedy Central’s Stand-Up YouTube channelCC x R29: Speak Up, a series featuring intimate one-on-one conversations with stand-up comedians, debuts tomorrow on Refinery29’s YouTube.

Talent starring in both series includes Chanel Ali, Marcia Belsky, Ayo Edebiri, Marie Faustin, Jena Friedman, Kat Radley, Rachel Sennott, and Tien Tran.

“Amplifying female voices and perspectives in comedy is a critical, ongoing priority for Comedy Central on all platforms, and Refinery29 is the perfect partner to supercharge our efforts in the digital-media space,” said Sarah Babineau Head of Comedy Central Content and Creative Enterprises.

“Now, more than ever, our audience is looking for moments of levity and laughter, and we’re thrilled to spotlight these brilliantly funny women and continue to offer independent creators a platform to amplify their voices,” said Showrunner Julie Miller.

The co-branded series, fully supported with a majority female-identifying behind-the-scenes staff and crew led by Miller, are produced by Comedy Central Productions in a digital-content collaboration between Comedy Central and Refinery29. The partnership builds on Refinery29’s ongoing work to identify and amplify inclusive female voices through original content and incubation programs. This partnership also featured a strong and important emphasis on providing educational opportunities for women who are looking to gain more professional experience in the entertainment industry.

CC x R29: Taking the Stage                        CC x R29: Speak Up

Tuesday, April 7 – Tien Tran                     Wednesday, April 8 – Tien & Chanel

Thursday, April 9 – Chanel Ali                    Wednesday, April 15 – Jena & Kat    

Tuesday, April 14 – Jena Friedman            Wednesday, April 22 – Marie & Marcia

Thursday, April 16 – Kat Radley                 Wednesday, April 29 – Rachel & Ayo

Tuesday,  April 21 – Marie Faustin

Thursday, April 23 – Marcia Belsky

Tuesday, April 28 – Rachel Sennott

Thursday, April 30 – Ayo Edebiri

Featured comedians:

Chanel Ali is a standup comedian, writer, and actress living in New York City. She hosts the Food Network digital series Food Debate! and was a cast member on MTV’s Girl Code. Chanel was recently honored as a New Face at the 2019 Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, and she can be seen on the Starz series Night Train with Wyatt Cenac and Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks on TruTV. Chanel was featured on the dais of the Friar’s Club’s Roast of Gloria Allred, where she is also a member, and she recently wrote for the @NetflixisaJoke social media accounts.

Marcia Belsky is a New York City based stand-up comedian and writer. She co-hosts a podcast with comedian Rae Sanni called Misandry with Marcia and Rae, and has been a guest on NPR’s MarketplaceRadiolab and more. She is the creator of the Headless Women of Hollywood project which explores objectification of women in media. Most recently, she co-wrote and starred in two full length musical parodies: Fiddler on the Rooftop Bar & Handmaid’s Tale: The Musical, the latter of which performed all around the Northeast including at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington D.C.

Ayo Edebiri is a fast-rising comedian, writer, and performer who has been profiled by Time Out NY, Vulture, and Forbes. She currently is a Consulting Producer on Big Mouth and voicing the lead role in the upcoming animated Netflix series We Lost Our Human, opposite Ben Schwartz.  Ayo can next be seen in S2 of the Apple series Dickinson as ‘Hattie,’ a role that was created specifically for her after she joined the writers’ room in S1. Other writing credits include Sunnyside and The Franchesca Ramsey Show. In 2019, Ayo was selected by Comedy Central as one of their “Up Next” comics to showcase at Clusterfest. She has appeared in videos for Refinery29 and Funny or Die, and she co-hosts the podcast Iconography for Forever Dog.

Marie Faustin is an NYC-based comedian and actress. She has appeared on Broad CityComedy Central Stand-Up, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, The BET Awards and TruTV. She co-hosted Viceland’s nightly variety show VICE LIVE, as well as Oxygen’s Very Real Talk. Marie was named a 2018 Comedian You Should Know by Vulture. She was also selected as one of Just For Laughs Montreal’s New Faces in 2017. Marie has performed at Comedy Central’s Clusterfest and TBS’ New York Comedy Festival. Marie co-hosts the weekly podcast The Unofficial Expert (named #2 on Time Out’s list of “Best NYC Podcasts”) as well as the notable and long-running stand-up showcase Comedy at the Knit at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. She has also appeared on podcasts like Las Culturistas, Inside The Closet, Girls Gotta Eat and more.

Jena Friedman – An alumnus of The Daily Show, Jena Friedman spent the last three years of Jon Stewart’s tenure as a field producer for Samantha Bee, John Oliver, and Michael Che. She was also a writer for The  Late Show with David Letterman. Friedman’s one-woman show American C**t premiered in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was named by Paste as one of the 10 Best Stand Up Comedy Specials of 2016. In her critically acclaimed series of specials, Soft Focus on Adult Swim, she fearlessly interviewed figures such as the “Cannibal Cop” and murder suspect John McAfee, offering a bold blend of feminist politics and heart-in-your-mouth edginess.

Kat Radley is a New York based comedian and currently a staff writer on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central. She has been featured in magazines like Glamour and The Hollywood Reporter for their pieces highlighting women writing for late nightHer debut album, The Important Thing is That I’m Pretty, reached #4 on the iTunes comedy charts, and Kat frequently tours the country as part of The Daily Show Writers Comedy Tour. Kat has also performed on FOX’s Laughs, and has made multiple appearances in many prestigious comedy festivals such as The Laughing Skull, SF Sketchfest, and headlined the Women in Comedy Festival.

Rachel Sennott is an NYU-trained writer/performer who was recently profiled by Forbes and was the lead in two back to back indie features this past summer: Shiva Baby (SXSW), inspired by the critically acclaimed short film, as well as Tahara (Slamdance), directed by Sundance Ignite fellow Olivia Peace. Rachel was also cast as the lead in the upcoming ABC pilot My Village, opposite Kyra Sedgwick. As a stand up, Rachel was named one of the Top Comics to Watch of 2019 by Time Out NY, with her comedy stylings praised as “Gloria Steinem reporting undercover from the Playboy Club.” Rachel is also developing a short form series with Comedy Central, and a half hour comedy with Phoebe Robinson.

Tien Tran is an actress, writer, and comedian from Chicago, now based in Los Angeles. She was the Head Writer of the CBS Diversity Showcase in 2020, she was a Consultant on the first season of the Showtime series Work in Progress and is currently working as a Staff Writer on the second season. Her television credits include Space Force (Netflix), Easy (Netflix), Sherman’s Showcase (IFC) and Hot Date (TruTV). She was recently named a New Face at the 2019 Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, and performed in the 2019 CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase. She was a former member of The Second City’s 106th Mainstage revue, Dream Freaks Fall From Space, was in The Second City’s 41st etc revue, Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno, as well as a graduate of Boston College and a 2016 Second City Bob Curry Fellow. Her stand up was featured at the Second City NBCUniversal Break Out Comedy Festival and SCOUT Festival, and she currently performs all around Los Angeles. Tien is one of the co-hosts of the Crooked Media podcast Hysteria.

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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