Funny Female Facts

I was walking by the Laugh Factory yesterday and I saw that the poster in their window featured pictures of 36 big name comics that had performed at the club. The first thing I noticed was a shirtless-Dane-Cook-with-guitar dead center, and the second thing I noticed was that out of 36 comics, only two were women. Two. That's 5%. And they were Roseanne Barr and Wanda Sykes, probably two of the top three or four most recognizable female comedians working now including Ellen DeGeneres and Joan Rivers (the old dame still does it every week here in NYC!).

Which led me to remember a conversation I'd had with someone not that long ago about how many truly big name female stand-up comedians there are. I'm talking household names. I'm talking names my mother would recognize. Let's see:

Two of them are on the same talk show right now: Joy Behar (still does stand-up, but achieved notoriety through The View) and Rosie O'Donnell (hasn't done stand-up in forever but obviously she counts). Then rounding-out the old school list is Paula Poundstone (just put out a book and does a lot of radio work) and Brett Butler (she's back with the Southern Belles of Comedy). Then there's Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho and Sarah Silverman - and Sarah might even be a stretch (despite her popularity) in the household name division. (Obviously that depends on the household.) You could say the same for gals like Judy Gold and Rita Rudner.

Sure there are lots of other women who have had big success in the business (especially if you include sketch performers and comedic actresses) and even plenty of ladies we know that make a psuedo-living performing and doing various film/TV/writing projects, but I think that's really it as far as top bill stand-ups go. Anybody have any names to add? Besides, of course, Mo'Nique...

This is obviously not to say that these are the only women deserving of household status - that's of course my point. Amy Poehler (as our girls at Hello, Hilarious also pointed out) has a great interview in BUST this issue about women in comedy. Here's my favorite exchange:
Amy Poehler: I was watching the MTV Movie Awards, and when they announced the nominees for Best Comedic Performance, I don't think there was one chick in there.

Jill Soloway: Right. It was probably Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Jack Black-

AP: Right. And they are deserving of their success, but it felt a little thin, if you will. It felt a little-

JS: Like a tiny pubic mustache?

AP: [laughs] Right! I want female comedies to be like full, giant '70s bushes right now, not tiny little pubic mustaches.
Check. So I say, bush it up, Laugh Factory! Bush it up!


Underground But Not Underdogs

Tomorrow, Tuesday September 12, Chicks and Giggles will be performing a kick ass show for the New York Underground Comedy Festival.