Dublin: 13 °C Monday 14 June, 2021

Forget Louis CK - it's time to start supporting and shouting about the women who make you laugh

Shout her name!

EARLIER THIS WEEK, it was reported that Louis CK had emerged from the wilderness to perform his first stand-up set less than a year after he found himself at the centre of his own #MeToo scandal. 

Last November, the disgraced comedian was accused by five women of sexual misconduct. All five women outlined incidents in which Louis CK either masturbated in their presence or attempted to do so. The comedian later apologised and issued a statement in which he said, “These stories are true.”

His reappearance this week sparked much debate. Some argued that he had ‘served his time’ and atoned for his misdeeds, while others pointed out that there are probably cans of beans in your press that predate the furore. 

The incident highlighted a troubling double standard in comedy, namely how a comedian can admit to being a serial sex pest and still be welcomed with open arms by certain audience members because, hey, he didn’t actually rape them. Meanwhile scant regard is shown for the female comedians whose lives and careers were irrevocably changed by Louis CK’s actions.

In response, British comedian Tiffany Stevenson wrote a lucid and eye-opening thread on Twitter about the realities of being a woman in comedy. Not only do women in comedy frequently encounter sexism and prejudice, she wrote, but they are also regularly pitted against each other for a seat at the table only to then be regarded as the ‘token woman’.

“I don’t know how we make this better except for pleading that instead of focussing on those men f**king up we turn to shine a light on all the brilliant women who aren’t,” she wrote.

She encouraged followers to support their women in comedy by attending their shows, sharing their content, and being a patient audience. 

“Make it your mission to follow us on here and Instagram. Attend our shows, share our podcasts buy our specials. Be loving and lenient like you are with the male comics, give us the benefit of the doubt to grow and learn. Watch us make mistakes and get better.”

She also launched the #ShoutHerName, the purpose of which is to shine a light on funny, creative women. 

With that in mind, I have decided to follow her lead and shout about some spectacularly funny women doing things that deserve to be on your radar. 

Aisling Bea

The Kildare woman is having quite the week. Not only was it announced that she will star opposite the perennially fresh-faced Paul Rudd (!) in a new Netflix comedy series, but her debut comedy special has just hit the streaming platform. It’s a bitesized fifteen minutes, but packs quite the punch. Do yourself a favour and watch it this weekend. 

Nicole Byer

Nicole Byer is a lot of things. She’s a comedian, a cookery show host, and the owner of the greatest collection of swimwear I’ve ever seen. (If you like bikinis and body positivity, get on her Instagram.) She is also the host of Why Won’t You Date Me?, which sees her grapple with the question of why she’s still single and discuss everything from Tinder to stalking your ex. Subscribe immediately. 

Aine Gallagher

Fresh from a stint in Edinburgh, comedian and Bright Club MC Aine Gallagher is bringing her show Making Sense to the Dublin Fringe Festival. She will be performing it in The International from September 10th – 15th. Well worth a gander. 

Ali Wong

Haven’t watched Ali Wong’s Netflix specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife yet? Trust me when I say Wong’s honest and delightfully vulgar observations on motherhood, pregnancy, and marriage will have you in stitches. Plus her leopard print dress in Hard Knock Wife is nothing short of iconic. 

Rose Matafeo

Source: TheMelbComedyFest/YouTube

The New Zealander won the best comedy show award at this year’s Edinburgh fringe festival. You know who won the same award last year? Hannah Gadsby. Enough said. 

Esther Povitsky & Caroline Goldfarb 

Like your glam chat with a side of laughter? Comedians Esther Povitsky and Caroline Goldfarb are the hosts of Glowing Up, a beauty podcast that feels like you’re eavesdropping on a chat between friends. Previous guests have included Rachel Bloom, Tavi Gevinson and Carmen Electra. 

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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