The Village Voice On The Comedian As Artist


Respect: typically we can’t get none of it. However, in The Village Voice article, “Have You Heard the One About the Art Scene Embracing Comedians?,” author Martha Schwendener argues that the comedy scene  is currently getting a shout-out from the world of art. For example, this Saturday MOMA P.S.1 is hosting a showcase of comedians like Jon Glaser, Jenny Slate, Reggie Watts, Rory Scovel and Maeve Higgins, with the intent to highlight comedians as the artists they are. Comedy and art, the article argues, both share the uncertainty and structurelessness that creates an environment where “the crackpot can thrive,” while comedy does not have the safeguards of museums and colleges to embed it in culture. Hey, whatever pays homage to the craft is alright with us. We probably spend the same amount of time having health insurance-related panic attacks too!

Schwendener argues that the line between comedy and performance art has always been blurry; as performance art grows in acceptance among the art world, so too does comedy. P.S.1 curator Miriam Katz  even notes that New York’s comedy scene “feels a little like the ‘50s in the New York art world.” But with 100% more jokes about Hoarders, I’m imagining.