Is it possible for a female comedienne to win "Last Comic Standing?"

Before I begin, let me explain to you how much deliberation went into deciding the forum for this question. :confused:

In a way, this would fit into:

[li]General Questions[/li][li]In My Honest Opinion[/li][li]Great Debates[/li][li]Cafe Society[/li][li]MPSIMS[/li][li]and the BBQ Pit[/li][/ul]

Because it’s TV-related, I chose this one, but bear with me:

Is it possible for a woman to win “Last Comic Standing?” The only reason I ask is because, with the exception of Janeane Garofalo, I have never seen a comedienne I thought was particularly funny. And I’d like to think I’ve seen my share.

It seems to me that audiences react more favorably on male stand-ups. Given the current way of weeding out the comics, in which two comedians “face off” in front of a live audience, who in turn votes for the funniest one, how can a woman survive?

It seems to me that I’m treading into GD territory when I say this, but a goodly portion of female comediennes seemingly construct their material based on two tenets – men suck, and they can’t do anything right. That alienates 50% of your audience right there, even if it manages to get the female contingency on your side. This is why Garofalo and Margaret Cho have been moderately successful – their material doesn’t stem from those old chestnuts, and it seems fresher and more polished.

Still, even if you’re Margaret Cho, I’d wager you’d have a tough time winning an audience over if you’re competing against a male comedian of the same caliber – say, an Eddie Griffin, or a Dave Attell.

So what do you think – can a woman win this show against a man?

In all fairness, I did not watch the first one, but if the method of elimination is repeated between series, then I would say that since the game was fixed, anything is possible.

No doubt on that sentiment. I’ve never seen a “reality” show in which the outcome was more predestined by the execs. :rolleyes:

However, assuming a level playing field and an equal amount of experience…will a male comedian always defeat a woman of the same skill in front of a voting audience?

Why or why not?

A friend of mine had a theory that if two talented comics went head to head, the winner was the one who alienated the smallest portion of the audience.

So, if the comedienne alienates the men, then no, she cannot win.

My theory is the most humble contestant wins. This explains how Dat Phan beat Ralphie May.

Then again, once Ralphie’s hot girlfriend showed up, it was all over for him. All the pity votes went immediately to Dat, with his sleeping under the desk and getting picked on by mean roommates.

Well, Dat Phan wasn’t funny at all IMO. However, I couldn’t see Tess winning over Ralphie or Rich Voss.

The bitch who got voted off last night deserved it. She hadn’t said one funny thing since it started. Frankly, I was waiting for the Italian woman to smack her. Her snide comments earned her no friends.

I don’t think it’s really about sexism. I’ve seen comics of both sexes that are really funny and really bad. The reason it might seem that men are funnier is because there are so many more male comics than female ones. Just my guess.

That’s funny. Before I even opened this thread, I was thinking of Janeane Garafalo as being one of the few female comics I’ve ever liked. I think it’s possible for a woman to win, if she has some good material.

I remember Rhett Butler doing some pretty funny stuff that wasn’t dependent on those two premises, but otherwise I tend to agree. It’s really part of a bigger problem that ANY comedian who bases their whole act on one thing isn’t going to last. They might have their 15 minutes of fame, but that’s it. Consider these people who were all one-trick ponies:

Louie Anderson - “I’m fat”
Margaret Cho - “I’m Asian”
Tim Allen - “Men like tools”

They had some funny jokes, but were unable to branch out into other areas, so they all got out of the stand-up business. You just can’t build a whole stand-up career out of one bit. [Notable exceptions being Don Rickles and Rodney Dangerfield.]

I think it is possible to alienate a large portion of your audience if you do it right. Eddie Murphy constantly ripped into white people, and we all ate it up. Women haven’t traditionally gotten into the stand-up business, but as more and more start doing it, I bet we’ll see more and more successful ones.

There’s another female comic I like quite a bit – Rita Rudner. IMHO, although a lot of her stuff is about gender, it’s not in either a stridently feminist or an offensively anti-feminist sort of way.

I have always liked the political and off-the-wall comedians best, my first comic loves were George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Mort Sahl and I was perpetually disappointed that no female performers tried to go in that direction. This was when Phyliss Diller, Joan Rivers (in her first incarnation) and Jodie Fields were the “big name” women of comedy (and damn near the “only women” of comedy. i knwo know that some of this was dictated to them, it was the only humor they could do and still get hired.

Brett Butler used to do more of the word-play, political stuff, along with stuff about her ex and his family. I hope she still is, I haven’t seen her stand-up act in a while. Paula Poundstone also did political humor and Ellen DeGenerous is off-the-wall, so some doors have been opened.

I think I woman could win on Last Comic, but only if she did this type of more gender neutral comedy. I’m not sure any of the women on this show have that kind of an act. I don’t mean that they shouldn’t do any type of relationship jokes–lots of Pryor’s stuff was about relationships–but they need to have something more.

Of course, if it was up to me Jay London would win the whole thing. To me, he is by far the funniest person on the show and I would gladly spend money to see him perform (yes, the long-haired guy in overalls).

I would credit Louie Anderson with being at least a two-trick pony, as he told lots of jokes about growing up in his big, crazy family. And Tim Allen took his one trick and turned it into a long-running sitcom.

I think Tammy has a good shot. She’s wonderful.

Last season, I thought Tess was funnier than most of those people.

…I always thought women were funnier than men in general. And there are plenty of female comedians who don’t rag on men, especially the lesbian ones for obvious reasons. But I don’t watch this show, so I don’t know about what’s going on here.

I think a woman will win this one. Kathleen Madigan is a seasoned pro, has loads of solid material from years of stand up, is by no means a one trick pony and she ties jokes together very well. I mean no offense to the competition but she’s far above it. I’m not even sure I know why she’s there.

Anyhow, yeah…I think a woman has a chance to win. Her only competition is Alonzo Boden (spelling?)

It’s sad, but I thought Bonnie would win last night. Not because she was funnier than the other guy (Jon Heffron?), but because her and Tammy don’t get along. That’s how little respect I have in this show.

The editing though, on Heffron’s piece was bad. When he first came out, he started open, putting the mike stand out of the way, then in a split second, he was closed up.

Nothing useful to add, except that “female comedienne” is redundant, no?

So did Margaret Cho, except hers wasn’t long-running. That’s exactly my point, though. All 3 have had further success in the entertainment business (especially Allen), but only because they got out of the stand-up biz.

Oooh, I forgot about Joan Rivers. In her day, I thought she was really good. She didn’t just rely on man-bashing; she did a lot of topical humor.

Brett Butler used to do more of the word-play, political stuff, along with stuff about her ex and his family.

Ha, ha - I just realized I accidentally typed “Rhett Butler” earlier. Oops. :o

Check out Elvira Kurt. She is absolutely hilarious.

“It’s amazing with those playgrounds that we survived childhood! Anyone remember the swings? You could actually convince your little friends to hurt themselves. ‘Go higher! Go higher! JUMP!’ You’re running over to the lifeless body of your best friend, pokinf it with a stick, ‘Get up! Oh, you suck.’”

She’d kick the ass of any of the last comic standing people. Not that last year’s winner gives me any hope for a good ending…

I agree, Elvira Kurt is in fact extremely hilarious. I just can’t get sick of her stand up routine no matter how many times I hear it.

“Wait, so if you’re a…does that mean we’re all…?”


It was the pantsuit’s fault.

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I think the only female comedian that has the potential to do as well as a male comedian is one who “thinks like the guys.” Otherwise, their material will always suck. My sisters agree. They’ve hated all the female comics they’ve seen or heard. Jokes about periods get old fast. :rolleyes: