In Which It’s Up To You, Tina Fey, To Save Womankind

Frankly, You Scare Me: A Meditation On Mean Comics

by Tess Lynch

Red Sweater! — Aquabats (mp3)

Cigarettes Wedding Bands — A Band of Horses (mp3)

Today I had an audition. Wondering how it went? Badly, at least in the waiting room. Want to know why? Because all the women there (and there were only women) were stand-up comedians. I am not, myself, a stand-up comedian, and the reason for this is that I am hyper-sensitive, insecure, and not funny enough. Wait, the first two reasons would actually support my being a stand-up comedian. Let’s start again. I am not funny enough and I have stage fright — not camera fright, stage fright. I don’t want to see a million eyes glazing over while I start in about dating, or taking the bus, or avocados.

Hay there missus

I know a lot of stand-up comics. My friend Allan used to be a great one, and my friend Max is one, and I recently met a very funny girl named Robin Reiser who was sympathetically intimidated (because it’s so true!) by the implied dress code when you go shopping in Beverly Hills. But in my limited experience, most stand-up comics are real assholes. No offense if you are one; you’re probably the exception. In my mind, an assholic comedian wouldn’t even be reading a blog. They get up in the morning, spit on homeless people as they pass, and then go home and pretend they’re Rupert Pupkin until the wee hours of the morning, when they drink whiskey and pass out.

Charlyne Yi/I wanna be/friends with thee

Lou Reed — Street Hassle (mp3)

Silver Jews — I’m Gonna Love The Hell Out Of You (mp3)

Anyway, there was all sorts of high-school cattiness abounding in the waiting room of my audition. I found my scene partner and introduced myself, and she hated me. I was going over some ideas for the scene and she literally turned away from me to mouth something to the girl next to her, who exploded with laughter. I went around the corner and had a fake conversation on my cell phone, quietly sweating, feeling half an inch high.

Team Aniston

These situations make me feel terribly indignant. I’m not sure why she hated me, but what I was mumbling into my disconnected cell phone was that FUNNY GIRLS SHOULD STICK TOGETHER. I’m not saying I’m hilarious, but I’m more than willing to fall down or be involved in a joke centered around a booger. This is not necessarily the case with most of the chicks who float around in Los Angeles, and it’s so exciting when you meet a girl who’s, like, funny and self-deprecating and smokes pot (that last one is just bonus points). But then why are so many of them so goddamn mean?

How mean can you be when you know everyone has the ace up their sleeve? They’re just like “Jimmy Kimmel” and it’s all over.

The Libertines — Music When The Lights Go Out (mp3)

Actually, I know why. The way most people become funny is because they have to defend themselves against one or all of the following: they are fat, they are short, they are inherently mean and have to find a way to worm their way into your heart somehow, they were officiously unpopular or they have been told they suck (often, maybe by their parents, who are usually not funny people in any way). In case you were wondering, Molly was short and I was fat and we were both officiously unpopular in junior high; then we became funny, tremendously charismatic feminists (TREMENDOUSLY CHARISMATIC) and that is how we became friends.

teeny weeny campus ladies.

I have to believe that the funny women with which I am peppering this thing are actually not assholes, because a) I have to, or else I will go kill myself, and b) I really don’t think anyone could bear to hire a mean stand-up comedian. Maybe if they did, they’d be a little cheerier (maybe not). Anyway, I had to write this primarily just to remind myself that funny women do exist outside of the Sphere of Evil. If you are a funny woman, I urge you to move to Los Angeles and audition for things with me. We can be a twofer. And I will be so nice to you.

That is not a mean mug.

That is wine. That was 11 in the morning. Fuck you, nasty audition woman.

Tess Lynch is Contributing Editor here at This Recording. She will probably never do stand-up comedy, but will soon appear in a sketch for Danish Rhythm.


More on stand-up (previously linked, but so totes relevant!)

Catch up on P-Run From Day One

Girl Power, God bless ’em

5 thoughts on “In Which It’s Up To You, Tina Fey, To Save Womankind

  1. Another reason why funny girls are mean! — they developed their sense of humor to attract a certain type of boy* and as another funny girl, you threaten their “monopoly” on this type. As a funnyish girl, I often have to suppress my fearful, protective instincts when I interface with another funny girl, even though I really want to be friends with her!

    *A strategy that NEVER works.

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