Last Saturday night, I was utterly jazzed to schedule a full hour of comedy watching — female comics. “Standup in Stilettos” is a new series on the TV Guide Network of women comics performing for an audience of women. This is refreshing, and I couldn’t welcome this show more if I tried. As a lifelong comedy nerd who was first inspired and entertained by Looney Tunes and the Muppet Show, to an angst-riddled teen who watched more than her fair share of standup on Comedy Central (before it was even called Comedy Central), to an adult who finally recognizes the genius of Joan Rivers, loves the rise of women in primetime comedy, and will never forget seeing George Carlin live on his last comedy tour, I’m sick of these discussions of women “not being funny.” This postulation is simply not true and completely inaccurate. Funny comes in all forms and flavors, and the women who performed on last week’s show — including the genius host, Kate Flannery (“Meredith” from The Office) — were all good, some even great.
Kicking off the show was Mary Lynn Rajskub who, if you don’t know her (“24,” Punch Drunk Love, the new “Dirty Work”), you should definitely get to know her. The slow build up of some of her bits is timed so well that you end up in stitches. Helen Hong also performed, as well as Arden Myrin, Gina Yashere and others. What’s surprising to me is that there is so little information about this series in the media! With all this constant talk of women’s “inability” to do comedy, I would think that there would be more buzz. While some comics are more well known than others, there is a nice mix of people who you might not have seen or heard of before. Unfortunately, the only channel that really does comedy — Comedy Central — doesn’t do much standup programming anymore, and when they do, they are specials and are by male comics. I lament the passing of the “comedy remix” days hosted by Laura Kightlinger and Mario Joyner. It’s there that I got to know people like Janeane Garofalo, Margaret Cho, Carol Leifer, Marc Maron, Richard Lewis, Rita Rudner, Denis Leary…
Coming up tonight on the show — its second episode (it airs in two half-hour segments) — is the brilliant Retta (“Parks and Recreation”), Lisa Sundstedt, Lisa Alvarado, Maria Bamford (who makes a killer comedy album, by the way), Jamie Lee and Erin Jackson.
So make some popcorn, plop down on the couch and laugh with me at 10PM and 10:30PM tonight (eastern) on TV Guide Network — channel 273 on DirecTV!
Schedule and more info at: