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women in comedy

Melissa McCarthy’s “Spy” is a boon for women in comedy

in Fiction by

Shouldn’t the hardest part of comedy be having to keep a straight face? Not fighting to climb the sexist career ladder. There’s nothing funny about gender inequality. Despite many strides made for, y’know, basic human rights, women are still treated like second-class citizens. This gender gap (more like a gender Grand Canyon) has always been enormous in professional comedy to the point that people asked if women even have a sense of humor. Is it any wonder that the early pioneers—Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers—weren’t allowed to attractive or confident? Luckily, along came intellectual comedians like Elaine May and Lilly Tomlin in the early 60s, followed by the badasses of Saturday Night Live, and finally today’s Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler,…

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Joan Rivers: The tart-tongued trailblazer was also a bestselling author

in Potpourri by

Joan Rivers was bawdy, obnoxious, loud, sometimes crude, and always irreverent. Love her or hate her, no one can deny she was a true original. With her acerbic wit and signature New Yawker raspy voice, she pushed the boundaries of comedy like no other female comic before her or since, and opened doors for others like Roseanne Barr, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Silverman and Kathy Griffin. The iconic comedienne, actress, writer, director and talk show host, who was also a bestselling author, passed away on September 4 in New York City at the age of 81. From her first appearance in 1965 on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, to her last stand-up gig the night before she went into cardiac…

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