15 perfect answers to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy?”

by GOLD staff

Hoo boy, do female comedians LOOOOVE this question. Almost as much as they love the word “comedienne.”

(Answers below without links are from GOLD interviews.)

Aparna Nancherla

What is it like to be a woman in comedy? I would say it’s 1% jokes & 99% answering this question.”

Cameron Esposito

On Take My Wife: “I think it’s a lot like being a woman in any profession, except maybe less dick jokes?”

In real life: “What’s it like being a woman in comedy today? To start, it’s being asked that question in every interview, and occasionally interpersonally, like at a party or something. ‘What’s it like being a woman in comedy and do you know where the bathroom is at this apartment?’…

To be a woman in comedy is to be pitted against the only other female comic in the city you came up in for every booking in town and to never share a bill with her. It’s to walk out onstage after this intro: ‘We’re really glad this next comic isn’t raped and dead in an alley.’ (That is an actual intro I have gotten.)…To be a woman in comedy is to look a little bit off standing in front of a brick wall telling jokes, only because we have seen and continue to see statistically more men standing in front of brick walls telling jokes.

I’ll speak for myself specifically to finish up. For me, to be a woman in comedy today is to want to be recognized as important to the field, because of my talent and because of my diversity. It’s hoping that comics who happen to be in the demographic majority realize the dominant position they hold and are stoked to have comics like me for running interference on sameness. Perhaps most importantly, it’s wanting to be seen as a comic.”

Ophira Eisenberg

“Very lucrative.”

Photo credit: Mindy Tucker

Wendy Liebman

“I’ve never been a man in comedy, so I don’t know the difference.”

Joanna Briley

“What’s it like to be able to breathe?”

Carole Montgomery

“Yawn.”

Amy Schumer

What’s the hardest part about being a female comedian? The rape.”

Jen Kirkman

“This question is the hardest part – it’s yet again another opportunity for guys to say that I’m complaining or to retread the same old stories. There is sexism in the world so of course it bleeds into every single area of life. I don’t answer this particular question anymore.”Faith Choyce

Getting put on pink flyers. Being asked to do shows that are marketed in such groundbreaking ways as ‘Chicks Are Funny Too,’ ‘Broads, Beer, and Belly Laughs.’ Being introduced as ‘a lovely lady.’”

Suzy Nakamura

“I don’t know that we’ll shake the idea that there are People in Comedy, and then there are Women in Comedy.”

Beth Stelling

“I’ve been called a “female comic” so many times, I’ll probably only be able to answer to “girl daddy” when I have children.”

Clare O’Kane

My gender shouldn’t matter when it comes to what I want to do as a profession. It’s only used as a way to say, ‘Hey so this next comedian is a WOMAN, so now you know what to expect! Period jokes and sh*t!’”

Phoebe Robinson

“I don’t want to validate that stupid-ass question. People get so hung on gender, sexuality, and race, and they don’t see you as a creative as they might, say, Jerry Seinfeld.”

Michelle Collins

“I find it annoying that funny women always have to talk about being a funny woman. I’m a funny person. We’re not charity cases. We’re talented. It’s done.”

Eden Dranger

Let’s be clear about this: Male comedians are never asked what it is like to be a guy in comedy. They might be asked what it is like being a comedian, but that is because comedian almost always defaults to “male” in people’s minds, just like doctor, astronaut, and assless chaps model. But the landscape is changing, and stand-up comedy is no longer the total sausage fest it used to be. That’s why when I get asked about being a woman in comedy, I can honestly say, “It’s f*cking great!” Because you know what, it IS! Walking on stage and making people laugh and forgetting about your own issues for a while is an awesome job to have.”



“What’s it like to be a woman in comedy?”

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