Female comedy fest devolves into Twitter war

"Funny Women" is a British talent contest to find the funniest ladies around. Too bad they're all fighting

Topics: Feminism, Theater, Writers and Writing, Television,

Female comedy fest devolves into Twitter warDionne Hughes, winner of the 2009 Funny Women Awards

Tina Fey has been bringing attention to the lack of women’s roles in American comedy (both on-screen and off), but it turns out Britain might be even worse off. Britain has a brilliant comic tradition — Monty Python, Russell Brand, those two guys from “Peep Show”– but you’d be hard-pressed to think of a woman famous for her comedy, aside from Jennifer Saunders from “Absolutely Fabulous.”

And it’s not getting better. One of the largest attempts to encourage British female comedians are the “Funny Women Awards,” a “Last Comic Standing”-type event that bills itself as “the UK’s leading female comedy brand.” This year, the show is charging its contestants an entry fee of $30, causing some funny people to get serious on Twitter. Three British female comedians took offense to this “pay to play” idea, with Shappi Khorsandi, Sarah Millican and Jo Caulfield telling women not to enter the contest, which is run by a woman herself. Khorsandi even wrote, “Aspiring comics! Never pay to enter a competition! Buy a new hat instead,” which seems a little demeaning in its own right. Others claimed that men would never be forced to pay $30 for a comedy competition.



Lynne Parker, who started Funny Women in 2003, took to her blog, calling these women stereotypical of “bitchy irrational female comedian more interested in gossip than developing a professional profile.” She has since taken the post down and apologized, claiming she was “cyber-bullied” into writing a “emotional, knee-jerk” response.

It’s sad when women try to help women get a leg up in the comedy world, and the whole thing devolves into name-calling and victimization. It turns out we don’t need men to keep us out of the comedy world: We’re doing a damn fine job of it ourselves.

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>