comedy

The Shelf: Episode 11

Welcome back to The Shelf, a film review podcast about the physical media we carry with us. Do you like comedy?! Do you like politics?! Then join as as we review The Campaign…looking for both, and finding neither.

If you’re having trouble loading in this browser, you can also access the episode externally here: The Shelf, Episode 11: The Campaign

The Shelf: Episode 6

Welcome back to The Shelf, a film review podcast about the physical media we carry with us. Nic and Hannah delve into The Dark Knigh….eerr, we mean Batman Begins. Did you know that bats are scary, and an element, and also a MAN? Join us this week as fathers and sons make Nic cry, Hannah cracks the thematic code, and still has a cold. 

If you’re having trouble loading in this browser, you can also access the episode externally here: The Shelf, Episode 6: Batman Begins

Pansexuality in Schitt’s Creek: A Win for Represenation

How is everyone’s beautiful day/night/evening/morning/afternoon/twilight going? Wonderful! Well, mine is just fantastic, thank you for asking. Why is it so fantastic you may ask? Oh haha ta hee ha. Let me tell you. Because of a very special TV show called “Schitt’s Creek.”

10 Hilarious Queer Comics to Watch Out For

Stand-up comedy is a tricky subject for a marginalized audience. Though we may all know queer icons like Ellen DeGeneres, Margaret Cho, or Tig Notaro, queer comics can seem to be few and far between. And in the age of #MeToo, when we are realizing that many comic icons like Louis CK and Bill Cosby are sexual predators, we are more aware that mainstream comedy does not represent minority communities than we ever have been before. Worse still is the fact that despite queer comics being underrepresented, cis-heterosexual comedians still place us as the punchline to homophobic and transphobic jokes that are often horrifyingly violent, such as Tracy Morgan’s homophobic tirade in which he says he would “stab” his son for coming out as gay, or Lil Duval’s appearance on variety show The Breakfast Club when he joked about killing a sexual partner if he found out she was trans. The occurrence of disparaging jokes against the queer community is not limited to just these two examples, either–it is disturbingly common and routine in sets from non-queer comedians to presumably non-queer audiences.

10 Great Episodes of “Queery” to Give a Listen

Trigger Warning: Eating disorder mention under entry #3, and homophobic slurs under entry #10.

 

Are you looking for a great queer-themed podcast to try out? Consider stand-up comic Cameron Esposito’s newest podcast Queery, which debuted August 2017. Esposito set out with Queery determined to give our community something that we do not have enough of: a recorded oral history. Our stories and experiences are important and worth recording, which is exactly what Esposito accomplishes with Queery.

 

What I like most about her show is the diversity, which is of utmost importance when recording the history of the queer community––after all, we are not all the white-washed, nearly always cis version of ourselves that is represented in the media. Esposito sits down with queer people of color, queer people across the gender and sexuality spectrum, disability rights advocates, trans and non-binary people, and more. But not only does Esposito believe in diversity of identity, but diversity of opinion, as well. She understands that we don’t all want the same thing, or have the same views on current issues. As she says in her intro to each episode, “This is a show about individual experience and personal identity. There may be times when folks use identifying words or phrases that don’t feel right to you. That’s part of what we’re exploring here. Please listen with an open heart, and, as always, I welcome your polite, engaged feedback, and I encourage you to continue the conversation in your life and with your community.” Esposito wants to start conversations, get our community talking, and work towards a community that respects and understands each other.

 

To get you started, here are ten of my personal favorite Queery episodes. Please consider giving them a listen! And if you like what you hear, you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, join the forum on the Earwolf website, or follow Queery on Facebook and Twitter. Also, give a listen to Esposito’s other podcast, weekly stand-up showcase Put Your Hands Together.

 

Cameron Esposito’s “Rape Jokes” and the Importance of Diversity in Comedy

Trigger Warning: post contains sexual assault mention

 

Cameron Esposito starts her new one-hour set with an honest, and, yes, funny, discussion of sexual assault: “What can I do at work if I can’t talk about your sweater?” she asks in mock confusion. Her fitting and layered response: “Work.” This is what Esposito implores for all of us in her new stand-up special Rape Jokes, which has already accomplished much of what it set out to do. Offered for free on-demand viewing through her website, its viral status has earned it glowing reviews on major media outlets, and among her fans: from devoted followers of her career, to the new recruits to her brutally honest, timely, loveable, and funny comedic style. And most importantly, the special has brought on the tough conversations that we need to have in the #MeToo era. This is not to mention the over $30,000 which it has raised––through modest donations for a download of the entire set––for RAINN, the largest non-profit in the United States dedicated to ending rape and sexual violence.

 

Esposito’s central idea behind Rape Jokes is the reclamation of rape jokes by survivors of sexual assault––including Esposito herself. She uses a fluid, story-based comedy style that weaves witty insights about her personal life with important questions about a society built around patriarchal rape culture. From growing up “very, very Catholic” with a lack of proper sex education, to being shamed into the closet during college, to her sexual assault by a friend and classmate, Esposito shows how the shame and lack of education surrounding sex in our culture works to both promote sexual violence, and to hide it from view. Esposito shows that jokes about sexual assault can be funny from the proper perspective. She urges us to understand that when rape is used for its shock value, we are only further desensitized to sexual violence, and taught that it is something to uncomfortably laugh off.