Entries tagged "gender"

“Closer to “consensual comedy” than traditional stand-up.” My interview with Hairpin

I’ll admit it I’m very excited about this piece. It’s the biggest interview ever published with me and we got to talk about all kinds of juicy stuff I care a lot about.

I had a lot of fun talking with writer Lili Loofbourow for this interview for The Hairpin in which I discuss my approach to making interactive shows, gender, who’s in the “audience,” how the room never ends now in performance because of social media, and the work of Marc Maron, Louie CK, the whole ‘women aren’t  funny’ thing, social media gender issues and all that “rapey” talk.

It’s always a delight to ge to give shout outs and voice to some of the women from whom I’ve learned  and been inspired. Some are famous like Jennifer Coolidge and some are not, but are infamous but not so known, like Cynthia Szigeti and some like my Aunt Fraida never even got a chance to get on stage. My Aunt Fraida is the funniest person I’ve known. Who’s the funniest person you’ve known?

Harvey Korman is gone and so is comedy with heart

He died at 81. This is very sad news. I loved Harvey Korman. He was brilliant comedic performer with a pitch perfect sense of camp.

My favourite memory of him is as the (Jewish) Fairy Godmother in a Carol Burnett sketch asking the knight in white armor, “You vanta blintz prince?” As one of the only Jewish kids in a small town, this scene would send me into its of giggles anytime anyone in our family quoted it. It was a fast love affair with the ridiculous, camp, comedic large life that felt right to me and that I saw almost nowhere else.

His passing has prompted me to watch a whole lotta video clips of him on the Carol Burnett Show and in Mel Brooks movies. Mel Brooksis one of my few heroes (I pour a kiddish cup for him at Seder).

I had two, no three feelings (these may seem like thoughts, but I assure you I felt em :-):

1) Damn, Harvey Korman was brilliant and why didn’t I get to see him in much these last 30 years?
2) There were so many more women that these guys performed with (Carol Burnet, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman) and so much more togetherness in that supposedly more sexist time than i see now
(insert avg. TV sitcom or summer Ferrell/Sandler/Stiller movie here)
3) Wow our comedy (the comedy of MSM) seems less silly, good-hearted and campy than the Mel Brooks/Burnett/Korman era. It’s really distant and snarky-guy based or childish without being childlike.
The stuff of the Harvey Korman era is why I wanted to do comedy in the first place. Time for more fun and comedy with heart!



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