Every so often, you encounter a debate about whether women are funny (which is a silly debate, because, yes, women are funny!). In this new video, comedian/filmmaker Heather Fink -- with help from comedian/actress Angela Trimbur and friends -- jokingly raises a separate issue for discussion. Does a female comedian face an additional obstacle onstage in getting laughs from the audience if she's also attractive? Do women need to cover up and dress like men to get laughs like men? As Fink wrote on her blog introducing the clip:
"Female comedians can't be too distracting with their boobies and such! Or can they? Maybe they just have to be funny or talented and nobody cares what they look like."
This short video doesn't depict an actual reality, but does it depict the subconscious reality? Watching this made me think of Sarah Silverman, who deliberately dons casual shirts and sweats onstage while delivering her risque jokes; also Iliza Shlesinger, who won the "last" Last Comic Standing and almost always wears a revealing top. But watch this and judge for yourselves. Note: It's NSFW, due to profanities from Trimbur (who happens to appear in episodes this fall of new shows Secret Girlfriend and The League). Roll the clip!
Heh heh, heh heh, heh heh. Here's something to brighten your Friday, especially if you live in any part of America that got doused and frozen yesterday (which is many parts). Dana Foyer from 50/50 caught up with animated TV icons from the 1990s -- Beavis and Butthead -- live and in the flesh to see what they're up to now that they're in their late 30s. Face it. You've waited long enough to hear someone say they're Cornholio, haven't you. Starring Slovin & Allen, and featuring Heather Fink. Enjoy!
Gossip Girl's second season starts Sept. 1, so everybody get your xoxo's ready! Of course, if you live in New York City, you cannot go anywhere without knowing that -- and in fact, they filmed another upcoming scene in my Brooklyn neighborhood earlier this month, so really, you cannot escape it. But the show already got a wee bit crazy near the end of its first season with the big reveal that Serena...killed....someone. And then, it turned out to be all OK, somehow. Spoiler? Here's something better: NYC comedians such as Heather Fink, Sara Benincasa, Rick Shapiro and VH1 contributor Brian Faas as Chuck Bass filmed their own, more realistic version of what happened last spring. Also note Sara Copeland and Adam Good, for the record. Slightly NSFW. Enjoy:
Heather Fink got Top Chef 4's Spike to let her tape his crotch and groin and whatnots for her new video that hit the Internets. It's "Boner Tape!" Whether it's safe for work or not depends upon you...enjoy!
UPDATE: Video became unavailable Friday morning. Fink herself blogged: The powers that be asked me to remove the Spike video "Boner Troubles?" for the time being ... I'll let you know if and when I can put it back :(
FYI: Comedian Heather Fink will appear on today's Dr. Phil (most markets, 3 p.m.) to confront one of Gawker's favorite dating nightmares, Paul Janka. Fellow Gawker nightmare (their "Worst Person in the World") will be on the program, too.
If that's not enough, Janka also will be a guest on Fink's live comedy show, Street Meat, on Monday, May 12, at the Cake Shop (152 Ludlow St., in the Lower East Side). Also on that bill: Brett Gelman, Cole Kazdin, Luke Cunningham, Esther Ku, Rick Shapiro and music from Forest Fire.
The folks at Defamer used this photo of Sarah Silverman to promote her gig over the weekend in Los Angeles. Just when I thought it was safe to cancel my subscription to Rolling Stone. More importantly, though, the photo of Silverman reminded me of a note NYC comedian Heather Fink sent out to her friends via Facebook, MySpace and her email list. Fink told me after sending it that she received both complimentary and odd replies from people. Well, perhaps you should read the note yourselves...
Dear Comedy People,
I write this because I need you all to know my position, and I need you to stop asking. It happens too damn frequently and no it's really not a compliment:
NO, I will not play a hot babe in your comedy video. I will not wear a bikini in your video. I will not get undressed in your video. I will not do comedy burlesque on your stages. I will not play a hot babe or a sexy chick in your comedy sketch. No I will not do bikini improv or the bikini babes standup comedy tour.
Exceptions: You are one of my good friends, and you are a smart comedian who I completely trust, and the joke you are making is worth it - or - I wrote it.
As for taking enough money- why would anyone pay me lots of money to be their hot babe? Get a model. That's their job.
It's not acceptable for you to ask me to be eye candy or an accessory in your comedy bit. I am a f***ing writer and a motherf***ing comedian, and you're disrespecting my goddamn credibility. Write me some real lines and then we will talk.
So for those of you looking for a bikini babe in your comedy video, ask Sarah Silverman first? On second thought, perhaps this is as good a time as any -- not including whenever Vanity Fair (2007 edition; 2008 edition) or anyone else questions the credibility or female stand-up comedians -- to wonder why we invariably have different standards for judging male and female comics. The more recent VF piece certainly suggested that today's funny ladies also need to be attractive.
Why does it matter what a comedian looks like for one gender and not the other? And why does it seem acceptable for female comics to show skin or play up their looks, but when a male comic does it, it's considered a crutch he uses compensate for a lack of material? And yet, getting back to Fink's request, so many male comedians produce online videos featuring scantily-clad women, all in a shameless and desperate ploy for viewers. They usually get those increased views, but what does it say about their comedy?
Just in time for the holidays, Heather Fink meets the Easter Bunny.
Today is the final day for open voting for the ECNY Awards, which used to stand for Emerging Comics of New York, but now just is ECNY to honor other kinds of comedians, sort of how KFC decided it was much more than merely Kentucky Fried. The awards ceremony is Jan. 28 at Comix. And the show promises to be a hoot. Jon Friedman hosts. Look for live performances and pre-taped magic, and for a sneak peek, I caught up with ECNY's producers as they got some of the nominees on camera. So I got them getting them on camera. Here's a fun snippet with The Apple Sisters...
Who will be getting your votes? Perhaps more importantly, who'll get my votes? I'm on the "Industry Committee," which means not only do I get until Jan. 20 to place my votes, but also that the Industry Committee's votes count for half of the total -- perhaps they got that concept from Dancing With The Stars, in which the judges get 50% of the say, the audience the other 50% through call-in votes. Since I still have some time before I fill out my ballot, perhaps you can help make the case for your favorites or get me to take a second look at someone I may have overlooked.
As it stands, my thoughts are...