Comedy… a Young Man’s Game Full of Dick Picks and Vagina Jokes??

KimWard Unicorn

No Penis Envy Here… just a Uniquecorny (not to be confused with being  uniquely horny)

So I’ve been resting on my laurels a bit since finishing my ‘whirlwind tour’ of 4 open mics last month. For a newbie in comedy not a bad start, especially since I’ve got several other irons in the fire. I’m going to go ahead and do the local open mics again this month. Laugh Local and Stroke Yer Joke, in that order (more below on that).

The other night I went to see FemCom over in Barre at Cafe Espresso Bueno. The night started with the sweet voice of Linda Young and for a set the wonderful jazz guitar of Danielle O’Hallisey. Local musicians performing some lovely music by which to dream of spring.

Afterward, the comedy got started. Five women doing comedy. Riotous! And such a wonderful feeling of solidarity to see all women doing comedy on stage. As many of you may know already, the world of comedy is not so different from the world of Role Playing, Magic the Gathering, and (at times) Gamergate  in that it is full of MEN, dick pics, and vagina jokes. Not something I am opposed to at all – men doing comedy – men in general – dicks or vaginas  in general (or in jokes for that matter) – but when the scales tip so precipitously to all-male showcases and media, it really pisses me off and bores me.

I never did get up at the open mic in Burlington last month, due to our late arrival and all that white knuckle driving in icy weather on my crap bald tires of my crap Toyota Yaris… but when I got there, the numbers seemed a bit better in terms of the male-to-female ratio. What was astonishing – even though I know it to be true – was the extremely young demographic at the Burlington open mic, and the fact that a younger crowd onstage seems to skew all of the subject matter toward Tinder, dating, dick pics and vagina jokes…again, funny now and then but thin in the long term and boring after 20 comics in a row.

There’s a reason that some of my favorite comics are Jackie Kashian, Kathleen Madigan, Maria Bamford, Eddie Izzard, Jim Gaffigan, Robin Williams, (like he NEEDs a link here) and Mike Birbiglia. These comedians have something ELSE to talk about besides sex. And low and behold, they are all currently over the age of 30. Coincidence? A symptom of slowly seeping hormones & bone degeneration? Or a sign of maturity? You decide.

The male dominance in stand up comedy IS changing, but that’s like saying “But we won Roe v. Wade!” Then looking at the folks running for office at every level in this country not right now, not to mention the curren
Oh yeah! I’m a Unicorn (Unique and Corny)t case load at the US Supreme Court level.

Another example you say? TRY to set up a channel for comedy on Pandora without typing the word woman or ‘women in comedy’ and see what comes up; ALL MEN for hours and hours, male comedians from time immemorial to present day. Where are the women? How about Moms Mabley or Jean Carol? How about Phyllis Diller or Joan Rivers? How about Lilly Tomlin or Tig Notaro? Hell, how about Jackie Kashian or Maria Bamford? Nope. But when I play the ‘Women in Comedy’ station, after about five women, I start getting Louis CK and Jim Gaffagan as ‘people like Jackie Kashian.’ Really guys?! And I don’t say “people” here for a reason. WTF Folks? I love both of those male comedians, but don’t you see the problem?

OK – Rant over. You can see me at the following shows this March, probably with no dick pic jokes – (maybe with some vagina jokes…)

  • Laugh Local – TONIGHT – Friday March 11 at 8pm (Free) at the American Legion Hall, Main Street, Montpelier.
  • Stroke Yer Joke – Friday March 18th 8pm (Free) at Cafe Espresso Bueno, Main Street, Barre.
  • Vermont Comedy ClubWednesday March 30th at 7pm (Free) If the weather’s good (& I’ve bought new tires so we’re good there!) 101 Main Street, Burlington – CANCELED Due to other projects…

Keep laughing folks, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane some days…

Kim Ward, aka Girlusinterruptus


Time for Sleeping Beauty to Wake The Fuck UP!

I’ve had Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’ signed out from work for a week. I’m only supposed to sign books out one at a time, and only for a week. Yet I haven’t cracked the cover. I’ve meant to read the book since I first saw it in the bookstore. I began reading her new book “Moranthology,’ today while at work. I’d finished a new post for this very blog, while on lunch and thought, “God/dess I’ve got to work on my blogging skills,” when I discovered Moranthology on the shelves. She had me at “People like people who bring cake!” And I had to finish the book. So I bought it. So I’m halfway through it. While her book, How To Be a Woman sits languishing, whispering, “I’m do back at the store, Sweetie!” In a creepy Poltergeist-y, ‘there here!’ voice. I’m hooked.

Is it the allure of consumerism that made me buy the newer book while the free signed-out book sat languishing? Or was it just my frustration at my own prose and the fact that I usually want to crack the cover on something escapist when I go to bed, and so avoid nonfiction in the wee hours of the night?

So I was supposed to go to the house of some friends to see the last episode EVER of Downton Abby tonight, an invitation which I have habitually blown off the last two seasons. The only excuse I could come up with for not going has been that it’s cold in winter in Vermont, and DARK… <petulant foot kick> and I don’t feel like going out once I get home and comfy in my chair with my cat shedding in my lap… All of which are true. This weekend, I was determined to go.

“See you SUNDAY!” I said with a pointy gunny finger and a wink, but the time came and – yeah, nope.

So I was watching a documentary “Winter on Fire” on Netflix when the time came to go. So I’d been struggling to write all day with some kind of – ANY kind of – clarity and feeling like it just wasn’t happening. So I had a wicked headache as I watched the Maidan Square in the city of Kiev in the Ukraine burn and the police beat the shit out of people who had been protesting peacefully and was feeling a bit like – really? We’re going to go watch a PBS show about the dying aristocracy in England circa 19th century while the Ukraine STILL continues to burn? (At the time that I am writing this, the body count for the Ukraine Civil War is 9,000+) while Donald Trump gets more and more popular here in the US even though his speeches have been paralleled to Hitlers? (And yes, let me say I am not unaware of how many comparisons to Hitler have been made during the five decades since WWII ended and how often they’ve been conflated.)

And it dawned on me that I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t indulge in escapist television tonight, even though the main goal was socializing. I feel so strongly that our society here in the States has gotten further and further anesthetized to the realities of the world – I’ve been likening the US to the last days of Rome for a good many decades – since college – and I just realized THAT 30 year reunion has come and gone recently – that I couldn’t spend the night imitating the country we broke from over 20 years ago – for good reason.

It’s time for Sleeping Beauty to wake up. Perhaps she needs to be willing to be pricked by a few needles. Perhaps she needs to just put on some chain-mail gloves and just spin the fucking spinning wheel. Get out there and DO something. Kill her TV.