Feminism | Posted by Dara K on 10/15/2009

The Boy’s Club of Comedy

stand up comedy: just for guys?

stand up comedy: just for guys?

Last night, at a stand up open mike, a kid I’d met just before doing my set told me afterward, “Nice job! I didn’t think you’d be funny!”  I didn’t take this offensively.  It was a compliment – a “NEG” – but nonetheless, still a compliment.

I was one of two girls who performed last night and the other girl/woman wasn’t there until the second half.  So I found myself in a joke-telling sausage fest (please note*: not the kind of sausage fest my parents annually host where they make a variety of worldly sausages for guests to indulge upon.  And yes, they refuse to not call it a sausage fest despite me and my brothers’ multiple attempts to explain to them what the phrase sausage fest suggests among America’s youth culture.)

not quite...

not quite...

I digress.  Back to this joke-telling sausage fest.  When I find myself in these kind of situations, i.e. find myself in an uncomfortable minority only because its brought to attention an unnecessary amount and I don’t want to be known as the token girl, I tend not to let out my balls to the walls personality because, simply put, there are already enough balls in the room.  Or so I so kindly assume.

The point is, I was myself surprised with the kid who complimented me. I didn’t think he’d be funny based on my first impression of him socializing at the sausage fest. But, he was. He was funny. HOWEVER, would it not be so impolite of me to tell him: “I didn’t think you’d be funny, but you were!”?

There’s no doubt in my mind that he would’ve taken offense to a comment like that. I would’ve stripped him of his manhood in front of his peers. I would’ve been implying, “I didn’t think you’d be funny because your socially awkward tendencies off stage make people uncomfortable, and you look like you’re trying too hard with all the gay jokes.”

My comedy partner and I talk all the time about how we’re over being totally WOMEN CAN DO COMEDY, TOO!!!! Because they can. There’s no question anymore.

So instead of filing this little happening in a boring dissertation on the female comic getting lost in the bowels of the man’s world, I’d rather like to file this under “Learn Some Manners.”

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  • dare2believe @ at 11:36 am, October 15th, 2009

    I can’t believe he actually told you that. Or actually, yeah, I can.

  • Kayleigh @ at 3:40 pm, October 15th, 2009

    I don’t understand, really. I would have said the same thing back to the guy. It’s a room full of comedians, not just guys, why would he take it wrong? If your implying that comedians don’t have a sense of humor, then all is lost.

    There aren’t as many female comedians as male, I’ll give you that. But the few female comedians who have made it are hilarious, and if your hilarious in your own right, then you’ll do well.

  • Ash The Biased Gamer @ at 4:19 pm, October 15th, 2009

    Yeah, this why I don’t the comedy network nearly as much as I used to. It’s 95% guys telling the same jokes about being single and married. It’s really boring. =/

  • toongrrl @ at 5:40 pm, October 15th, 2009

    Funny girls forever!!!

  • Mara @ at 1:05 am, October 16th, 2009

    This is definitely an issue that I noticed last year when I did After Dinner Speaking (funny speech with a serious point) last year in speech. It’s mostly guys, and people expect them to be funny, not the girls. I gave an ADS on feminism, and the guys just stared at me. It was an awkward time.

    But I still can’t believe he would say that. Sheesh.

    Keep being funny!

  • Maria XD @ at 1:14 pm, October 17th, 2009

    I think you’re taking this a bit to seriously… He had no ‘evil intentions’ or even an ‘evil mindset’ when he said that… He was just joking around being a normal human being… Chill.

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